Fashion: Gareth Pugh Spring 2015

This collection felt like it was walking the line between spring and fall. It reminds me of witches, and the harvest, and Halloween, and Salem. Very creative, per usual for Gareth Pugh, but also very simple. Gorgeous and well crafted. Plus that flowerball thing is just spectacular.

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Language: Norman Fait Des Videos

I recently asked acquaintances for recommendations in order to practice my French.
And one of the suggestions was Norman Fait Des Videos.
Win! These videos are HILARIOUS (and very weird).
And, they are amazingly good French practice.


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Music: Stromae

I first heard Stromae when Alors On Danse came onto the French language station I created on Pandora.
His beats and rhymes are so smooth and addictive.
Plus it’s good for my French comprehension.
He’s Belgian and his parents are Rwandan.
His music has so many deep emotions flowing through it.
Basically, he’s a lot of fun to listen to.

Alors On Danse

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Society: Rape and “Miscommunication”

Important study.

I just read a paper from the discipline of conversation analysis.  It dovetails nicely with what I wrote in Talking Past Each Other, and I’m going to go through some of the findings (I can’t redistribute the paper itself), and talk about some conclusions.  Long story short:  in conversation, “no” is disfavored, and people try to say no in ways that soften the rejection, often avoiding the word at all.  People issue rejections in softened language, and people hear rejections in softened language, and the notion that anything but a clear “no” can’t be understood is just nonsense.  First, the notion that rape results from miscommunication is just wrong.  Rape results from a refusal to heed, rather than an inability to understand, a rejection.  Second, while the authors of the paper say that this makes all rape prevention advice about communicating a clear “no” pointless, I have a different take.  Clear communication of…

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Fashion: Oscars 2014

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett

Love Cate Blanchett. Her acceptance speech was so awesome. And she looks amazing.

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Society: Stereotypes and “the danger of a single story”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story

The TED summary is as follows:

“Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.”

I love watching Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s talks. She is so wonderful, and brilliant.
She makes an absolutely excellent point, and one that I think is so important to every person worldwide, especially as our world becomes smaller thanks to the internet and technological advances.

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Society: Homes in Unexpected Places

Iwan Baan: Ingenious homes in unexpected places

This TED talk is fascinating. Human beings are so resilient and ingenious.

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Art: Naked Man Statue on Campus

There is a life-like naked man statue on Wellesley College’s campus. It’s my alma mater, and it’s a women’s college.

the statue, titled "The Sleepwalker" (source: Jezebel)

the statue, titled “The Sleepwalker” (source: Jezebel)

Media Coverage:

  1. Gawker
  2. Jezebel
  3. Boston Globe (as far as I can tell the media coverage started here)

And I’m not linking to the ridiculous other articles that are really disrespectful.
Do yourself a favor and remember not to read the comments.

Responses from Wellesley College Alumnae:

  1. Gaining Perspective: The Wellesley Debate (a piece written for HollaBack Boston)
  2. The Sleepwalker’s Dream (an art piece inspired by the statue)

And the statue now has a twitter account.

Basically, my 2 cents is this:

  1. the coverage of this event is really rude and disrespectful to the women who are affected by this statue
  2. the statue is in the home of the students and they are the ones who should decide if it stays or goes (no one comes into your home forcing art on you)
  3. and how is it ok to keep forcing an art piece on a person who has their PTSD triggered by it?

I also think that if this was about a piece of art that was triggering soldiers with PTSD it would be an entirely different conversation.

And comments are turned off, because I don’t want to fight with the internet.

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Film and TV: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of my favorite actors. He is one of the rare few actors where I will watch their entire filmography, just for their performance. His death is such a great loss for the art of filmmaking and of theater. I had expected to be able to watch him in films for years and years to come. I can’t even voice how much my heart hurts thinking of the artistic loss. And the loss of a human life, a flawed and beautiful human life.

I think of all celebrity deaths recently, or in my recent memory, this one is hitting me the hardest. And the only thing I can really do is gather together my opinions, and the things I have read on the internet, into a blog post.

A great article on his acting style and his career in general is from the Monkey See pop culture blog on NPR: Philip Seymour Hoffman And The Blessings Of Friction. It’s where I got the following quote:

“His career never peaked; it just rang out over and over, and the pain of it for selfish admirers is that the peak might still have been coming. We lost at least 30 years of work yesterday; and 30 years before yesterday, he hadn’t even been onscreen yet. He was then seven years away from his screen debut […] More than half, in all likelihood, that’s what we lost. And it’s so sad.” – Linda Holmes, Monkey See Blog, NPR

You can see all the movies he has been in on his IMDB page.

My favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman performances (that I have seen so far) are

  1. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  2. Pirate Radio
  3. Doubt
  4. Almost Famous
  5. Capote

One of my facebook friends posted this great New York Times article about him from 2008: A Higher Calling

A great companion piece on addiction is Russell Brand: my life without drugs.

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Fashion: Ulyana Sergeenko Spring 2014

Ulyana Sergeenko Spring 2014 Couture

“a reimagining of a ride on the Orient Express”

I love how classic and retro her clothes feel. And they look so luxe!

boarding the Orient Express

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Fashion: SAG Awards 2014

My favorite looks, in no particular order.

Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong’o

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Fashion: Golden Globes 2014

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren

You should know the drill by now. These are my favorites.

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Science: The Polar Vortex Explained

NPR asks: What Is The Polar Vortex And Why Is It Doing This To Us?

also, they use this picture, which is just awesome:

Meanwhile, here in Virginia, it feels like Boston.
I finally have an excuse to dress for real winter weather.
I kind of missed the cold…

Everyone else in Virginia:

I pulled this meme from a good article explaining the polar vortex: Go home, Arctic, You’re Drunk.

And then, this weekend it is forecasted to be close to 60 degrees. Gross. I hate these extreme temperature fluxuations.

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Me: Making My Bed

That is not what a bad made by an adult looks like.
It looks like a child made my bed.

Which may in fact be true.
Because my bed making skills stalled at early middle school.
That is when I decided I did not care if my bed was made.
And it is only now, in my 27th year on this earth, that I decided that I do care about how my bed looks.
Plus, LOGIC, I have to pretty much make my bed before I get in it at night anyways, so I might as well make it when I get up.
And let me tell you, I am not a morning person, and I hate adding to my routine.
But, here we are, and my room looks so much nicer now that my bed is made.
And I end up telling myself: “Clare, it’s ok if the duvet bed looks like a messy teenager tossed it around, at least your bed is made. You can get better at it later, now is not the time to be a perfectionist! Just go to work.”

4 months later:

By month 4 of this new habit the making of my bed has become turning down the duvet so it’s nicely folded in half at the bottom of my bed.
It looks nice, and I don’t have to make my bed all the way.
And it looks like an adult (now 28 year old me) made my bed.
This is what I call a success.
Now, on to create more good habits!

(Note: getting out of my bed to go outside into the polar vortex is a whole other story)

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Internets: Icy Lake Michigan

“Lake Michigan has turned into a sea of ice balls in Glen Arbor”
The video description explains:
“Ice boulders have returned to Lake Michigan in Glen Arbor. The giant ice balls form in just-below-freezing water and start as small chunks of ice. The boulders grow layer-by-layer, getting shaped the waves before washing up on Lake Michigan shore.”
Absolutely mesmerizing.

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Art: Frozen Bubbles

Art: Frozen Bubbles

Photographer Angela Kelly and her son blow bubbles in 15 degree weather and the results are stunning.

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Fashion: Puzzle Apparel

So I don’t normally plug indiegogo campaigns, but I really like this idea: customize-able fashion. And the designs are really cute.

Puzzle Apparel: Craft Your Fashion

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Film: Short Film “A Relationship in 5 Minutes”

Absolutely brilliant.

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Feminism: Rape and Alcohol

Reminder: Getting Drunk Doesn’t Cause Rape to Magically Appear

“While many victims of sexual assaults are intoxicated, so are victims of other crimes — like robbery — in similar percentages. Further, as many have written, a woman can drink until she’s blue in the face and unless a rapist is present, she won’t get raped. She might have a really bad headache the next day, but she won’t get raped.

But what about men who drink and then get all handsy and don’t know that they’ve raped until they wake up the next morning horrified with themselves? A myth, says Culp-Reeser, who cites research that shows men who already plan on victimizing women will sometimes drink as a way to justify their behavior. Further, men who rape don’t just do it once; they tend to consciously select a victim, deliberately isolate her, and use alcohol to diminish her ability to say no. Alcohol is among the many “tools” employed by rapists who wish to victimize women; it’s not a potion that transforms a carefree college girl into a sexual assault victim.”

Actually, The Link Between Sexual Assault And Alcohol Isn’t As Clear As You Think

some good quotes from this article:

1) “A 2001 research project into sexual assault and alcohol commissioned by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism puts it this way: “Although alcohol consumption and sexual assault frequently co-occur, this phenomenon does not prove that alcohol use causes sexual assault.” In some cases, the researchers pointed out, it may actually be the other way around. The desire to commit a sexual assault may actually encourage alcohol consumption, as some men may drink before assaulting a woman in order to help justify their behavior.”

2) “But the important point to note is that alcohol is just one of many tools at rapists’ disposal — and if alcohol isn’t available, that won’t necessarily stop a rapist from assaulting people.”

3) “And perhaps more broadly, it’s important to remember that sexual assault isn’t actually unique in its relationship to alcohol. In fact, at least half of all violent crimes occur after the perpetrator, the victim, or both have been drinking alcohol. Sexual assault simply fits neatly within that larger pattern — yet we’re much less likely to assume that alcohol factored into an armed robbery, or call on people to stop drinking so they won’t get mugged.”

I was thinking something similar to the third quote (from the second article) the other day. We don’t say that murder victims should have made sure they didn’t drink because it’s their fault they were targeted, because that’s a load of crap.

Sure, there are many things that I can do to keep myself safer, and I do most of those things. I don’t go out by myself late at night. etc. etc. But that doesn’t guarantee my safety. In fact I have seen how it can lull women into thinking they are safe, until they are not, until they are raped by someone they know. While they were trying to “be safe”. The fact is that I can modify my life all day long, it doesn’t make rapists, and sexual harassers, and people who wish me harm, magically disappear. And I think that’s the broader conversation we need to have, why do we keep the onus on women to change their lives instead of addressing the very real problem that rapists keep raping?

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Film: Netflix Instant + Horror


Which means it’s time to watch some horror movies! And stress eat candy from the fear, like you do.
Here are some movies you can watch Right Now.

Horror on Netflix Watch Instantly

My favorites from that list (in the order they appear):

  1. Cabin in the Woods
  2. Scream
  3. Rosemary’s Baby
  4. Session 9
  5. Let the Right One In (the Swedish original)

Other favorites available on Instant:

  1. Resident Evil
  2. Scream 2 & 3
  3. American Horror Story Season 1

On my To Watch list:

  1. House on Haunted Hill (1959)
  2. The Ward
  3. The Awakening
  4. The Moth Diaries
  5. The Hole
  6. Nosferatu (1922)

Mini reviews

Other list List:
Cabin in the Woods has unexpected twists, and some really funny moments. Mind bending in an enjoyable way.
Scream is so meta, and so good, this is the one horror movies I have seen umpteen number of times.
Rosemary’s Baby is a classic for a reason. Mia Farrow is great.
Session 9 is eerie and scary as hell. I agree with the linked mini review that it is ridiculously well acted. And haunted insane asylums are always really messed up.
Let the Right One In is subtle and really gets to you without the blood and guts.

Other faves List:
Resident Evil is fun to watch, I love the ass kicking main character.
Scream 2 is good, not as good as the original, but I enjoy the entire series.
American Horror Story is truly a long form horror movie, scary as hell. And the cast is AH-MAZING.

I have seen Event Horizon, and it’s not listed because it was so scary I didn’t like it. SPOILER ALERT I don’t remember what happened but I vaguely remember someone getting skinned alive. And it has a great cast, with some really good acting.
Silent Hill Revelation is on Netflix, the first one is the single scariest thing I have ever seen. So if you’re into horror, watch it.
Giallo was just gross, and not that great.

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