11 September, 2007

Lust Objects

A lot of these, you'll probably notice that I go for people that starred as couples in movies, or who had great chemistry together (IMO) onscreen...

A lot of my crushes are pretty mainstream: Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles are still, however-many-years-after-Ten-Things-I-Hate-About-You, my ultimate couple fantasy. (Heath Ledger is probably a good base for most of my boy-likes: wavy hair, non-scruffy [at his best], FANtastic smile, muscular but not in a muscl-y way.)

So cute.

Speaking of Heath Ledger movies, people that have been his co-stars:
Dear Jake Gyllenhaal: thank you for fucking up my dreams FOR MONTHS. Also, Jena Malone is pretty cute.

A Knight's Tale - Laura Fraser and Alan Tudyk!

Unsurprisingly, Alan Tudyk also shows up here:
The cast of Firefly. Yes, the entire cast of Firefly. Even Book. And Jayne.

But especially Morena Baccarin. And Jewel Staite and Gina Torres. And... yes, the entire cast of Firefly.

Morena Baccarin, incidentally, is also FREAKING GORGEOUS in real life.

Back to really, really mainstream: Angelina. Brad I can give or take depending on his looks.

Keira Knightley and Johnny Depp...

The chemistry again - John Cho and Kal Penn.

Ziyi Zhang.

Oded Fehr. Normally I hate beards - it's like the #1 turn-off - but FUCK is he hot. And here.

Russell Peters, a hometown boy: here; and his manager, Big Shake.

What I'd call my "cutesexy" contingent, which is also surprisingly dominated by Big Love cast members: Ginnifer Goodwin, Amanda Sayfried, Tina Majorino, Tom Felton (agh, is he even of age yet?).

Not cute at all, but hot: Dame Judi Dench

And also:
John Abraham and Lisa Ray (here too), stars of Water. Boys in glasses OMFG.

Aishwarya Rai. It's the eyes. All about those eyes.

For the completely random: Kunihiko Ikuhara, the creator of Shoujo Kakumei Utena. He's just ADORABLE. And WEIRD, but mostly adorable.

I'll back Belle up on pretty much everyone here... ESPECIALLY the "total fucking SF fangirl mode". *fans self* Jennifer Tilly? Yes please.

And, to top it off: every single cast member of Heroes over the age of 18. Not pictured: Mr. Bennett. But he's on there too. And let's especially select out Sendhil Ramamurthy: oh yeah. Another one where he's SO cute that the scruff can get a by...

05 September, 2007


This post is the eulogy that my mother wrote for my grandmother's funeral. Both my mother and my grandmother are pretty amazing women, and I hope this gives you an idea of why...:

Wee Hazel, when she drew herself up to full height, stood all of five foot three (and as she insisted) ¾ of an inch. Her stature was the only thing small about my mother she had the most loving heart, most charming personality and the wisest, creative and intuitive mind of anyone I’ve ever known. As a kid, I always hated that intuitive part – I could never get away with anything.

Over the years, people have asked me if I was ever lonely growing up as an only child. My answer was always a resounding “NO”. Mum was my best friend, closest confidant and biggest cheerleader. She had a way of hugging you that made all the problems in the world go away, and if a hug didn’t do the trick, one of her “wee cups of tea” always would.

Mum was a self-professed “softie” and a crusader for social justice long before the term became fashionable. I remember on more than one occasion acquiring an “older sister” - some young woman who had confided in my mother about being abused. Mum would take them into our home and there they would stay until they could manage on their own.

I have also watched 7 foster brothers and sisters grow up and flourish – children from Africa and South America that mum sponsored through Christian Children’s Fund. You may have seen a picture of Hamdu Sulemana in the visitation room. He wants to become a doctor and help the people in his village who have very little access to medical care.

And if that weren’t enough, the Booth household always had a steady stream of animals running through it – hamsters, cats with frozen paws, a three-legged dog, a pigeon, and once, a raccoon I had captured. That lasted about a day, until Mum figured out that there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Like I said, mum was smart. So smart, in fact, that homemaking was never enough for her. She went back to work six months after I was born – something virtually unheard of in the early 1950s.

What I never appreciated until years later was that my dad supported her pursuits. I remember seeing him help cook and clean house, while mum would help him in the yard. The modelling they provided have shaped my attitudes about marriage and work throughout my life.

From her first job as a ticket-taker “on the buses” in wartime England, which is where she met Dad, to secretary at White’s Hardware, co-ordinator of Marketing and Advertising for Dow Corning, and her role as President of the Women’s Advertising Club of Toronto, I always felt proud of my mum’s accomplishments and never felt deprived at being the only kid on the block that didn’t have a stay-at-home mother.

That’s because mum’s lasting legacy was her warm and loving nature – we who are lucky enough to be family got to experience that love all the time, but work colleagues and friends were also drawn by her kindness, charm and wisdom. I used to swear my mother could walk into a closet and come out with a friend.

There are many lasting lessons mum taught me, like: if you have a good story, especially a funny one, tell it. If you can ease someone else’s burden by a kind word or a thoughtful act, do it. Take responsibility for all of your actions. (That’s another one I hated as a child, but certainly grew to appreciate in adulthood.) And, there is no such thing as too much education. Guess I took that last one to heart.

21 January, 2007

Many Things I Love About Myself (More Dots, Many Dots!)

Okay. Zuzu wants us to give at least five things we love about ourselves. Let's go.

First, though, full disclosure: I was (and always have been) the kind of girl that many other women envy for her body. When I wasn't, it was because they worried that I was anorexic. (I never was - I love food far too much for that - and it always simultaneously pissed me off and heartened me that they wondered so. The former because goddamnit, I was not into self-denial; the latter because, thank god, someone was willing to voice that worry to me rather than doing something like not realizing that I was underweight.)

I am still underweight. One of my resolutions this year is to get up to the minimum healthy weight my doctor recommends. But I've never been into the body hangups that my sister and best friend have gone through; it just never touched me. This may be related to the fact that my internal picture of myself doesn't equal the external reality... mine just works to my benefit rather than not.

Anyway. Onto zuzu's challenge.

1) I am brilliant, no matter how fucking down on myself I get some days.
2) According to several people, my tits are perfect. ;) (I think they're pretty awesome - naturals, in fact - but perfect might be a little far. Critical, perhaps. ;)
3) I am getting better at art every time I sketch a Fanart100.
4) I can write. I know story, characters, structure, voice.
5) I have a musician's hands; lithe, long fingers. One day they will be strong enough to play guitar!
6) I am unabashedly a geek, and I have the t-shirts and sweaters (and punchlines) to prove it.
7) I have a dirty mind, and take comfort in the hilarity it provides me.
8) I love being tall.
9) When I get down to it and battle the stove/oven, I win.
10) I love my singing voice. It's suited to more operatic songs rather than pop, so I take great enjoyment out of belting out hymns. Or singing pop songs like they're opera.
11) I'm witty.
12) I am well-read.
13) I am friggin' lucky to have what I do.
14) No matter how much I believe I'm going to fail, I always succeed.
15) I have no economic debt.
16) I tell people when I think they're being asshats.
17) And I don't waste my time with repeat-offender asshats.
18) I love learning languages: French, Italian, Spanish (even when I can't keep them apart!), and I want to learn more.
19) I love having sex, I love getting pleasure during sex, and I love giving it, too.
20) Did I mention fantastic sex?
21) I can think of, right now, six university degrees that I want to take. I have no shortage of interest in the world.
22) I love my looks in casual jeans, a sweater, and no makeup.
23) I also love them in a dress, heels, makeup and jewelry.
24) I know what I want sexually, and what my body enjoys, and I have no qualms about giving it to myself (so long as I can find the right tools and/or people - and if I can't, I'll come up with something just as good!).
25) I have no fear on the street, even at night, despite the fact that many people think I should.
26) I have a strong handshake.
27) I give awesome backrubs, neck rubs, and massages of all sorts.
28) I love my spine. It does this little... 'trill' is the best way I can describe it... if you stroke it properly. It's one of my erogenous zones.
29) I can write 100-word stories and make people KNOW the characters I'm writing for.
30) I can write this fuckin' list despite being depressed out of my MIND.


19 January, 2007

Because damnit, I want to link to it

Especially after the recent brouhaha. Normally, no one here reads my blog that doesn't read someone (much larger than I) on my linklist, so I don't bother...

But damnit, Little Light wrote something that actually moved me, which is fucking rare nowadays, so I am going to post it.

They probably won't come to me, but let's see them come if they do. I, also, have teeth. I like to bare them when I smile.

Seam of Skin and Scales

08 January, 2007

Note to self

There's a fucking reason you don't read things at Twisty's. Especially when you're already fucking depressed! Moron.

06 January, 2007

Let's see if I can string this together coherently.

Hi everyone! (All, what, four of you that pass by here occasionally. ;)

So, uh, it's the new year! Hooray!

If my New Year celebration has any predictive quality, this is going to be a year of Guitar Hero, geekery, and nakedness. Altogether, I think that's a good year to have.

At any rate, I said in my last post that I had a thought churning around in my head. I think I'm going to chuck out all my intentions to research this and just write it, though (although I did read the blog and essay so kindly linked to me :).

Basically it goes like this:

There are some forms of pain that are culturally acceptable.

There are even some forms of pain that it is OK to seek out, even desirable.

Athletics-related pain is specifically what I'm thinking of. We talk about "the burn", muscle stiffness, the feeling of the body breaking down in order to rebuild itself (faster, stronger - we have the technology). It is even possible to have other-created pain that is not undesirable, even if it is to be avoided (being tackled in American football isn't exactly a walk in the park, and let's not start on rugby or boxing).

I have seen exactly one feminist ever say that all pain she could cause herself or others was bad, even if it was unintentional. I wanted to ask her if she was prepared to give up figure skating, because I cannot envision a world in which practicing sports does not cause some amount of pain.

This is, in part, why I wanted to hear feminist perspectives on sport. Because I don't see a lot of feminists arguing that sports are bad. Sports create a winner/loser dichotomy. They're traditionally male-oriented (and I have seen that analyzed). But no feminist I've ever seen has explicitly said that sports should be banned. (Gym class, maybe.) The gendered connotations and language of winners/losers, yes. The competitiveness to the exclusion of sportsmanship, yes. The sports themselves? I haven't seen it.

But there is pain involved.

Let's take boxing. You're deliberately consenting to another human being punching you. Unless you are absolutely the most fantastic boxer ever, you're probably getting (at minimum) winded, and probably bruised, sore ribs, sore jaw. Possibly a broken nose, possibly brain damage, broken teeth, possibly open wounds.


So should real feminists not box?

Or an example from my real actual very-own life. I took kung fu for three years. During that time, I willingly put my body through hell. (At one point I was on the demo team and the accelerated black belt group, although I quit shortly after.) Even just self-inflicted, there was the ache of my arms from pushups, shortness of breath after running, injured ankles from landing improperly, bruises from sparring, sore shoulders, sore legs, sore back, eyes that burned when sweat got into my eyes... And at least on some level, I was enjoying it. Even getting taken down by sparring partners was fun, because it helped me learn about my own weaknesses and blind spots.

...I'm sure most of you have figured out where I'm going with this, but let's make it explicit:

Why is it that when my pain is explicitly consented to, but presented in the context of sexual activity, that it becomes vile, evil, dark, and upholds the patriarchy?

Hell, even if it's not explicitly sexual, but is for sensual gratification, BDSM is considered all those things. Maybe because there's no way to "fight back" (but there is: the safe word) - and let's face it, if a sparring partner keeps pummelling you long after you're down, well, wait a minute, that's assault/battery. So... why do people somehow think that one distinction is harder to make than the other?

It really isn't.

And people get into sports for bad reasons, too. Work out to uphold crazed beauty standards, to fulfil parental dreams, to earn perceived respect, to earn ludicrous amounts of money. (Without the love of the game, that is, for the last two.) Body dysmorphia. Any number of things. Right?

And yet we don't generally belittle or shame these people for doing it once we realize the motivation, I think. Generally.

So I guess to sum up:

If a woman and a man spar, and the man wins, does it uphold the patriarchy? If the woman wins? If they come to a draw? If they laugh about it afterwards? If the "inferior" thanks the "superior" for what they have learned about themselves and about the sport/sex? If the superior does likewise? If the "inferior" in kung fu goes on to "beat" the "superior" in their next "match"? If both participants are male, as above? If both are female, as above?

When are we feminists going to give up on sports? (I, for one, would like American football to be the first on the chopping block, if only because it makes no sense as a game.)

Or when are we going to come to the conclusion that yes - we really can consent to, own, and love our own pain, so long as it remains within our defined bounds? And that this pain is not, necessarily, horribly damaging patriarchy-mimicking cultural backwash? That motivation, as with anything, is key, and that we should not treat those with lamentable motivations with contempt (save in the case of abuse/rape) but rather compassion?

Yeah? Anyone with me?

16 November, 2006

And, for the record:

Things I fantasized about without any input from men, porn, or other sources of sexual ideas (save for the concept of dildos, which came up in sex ed - from female teachers, always):

-lesbian sex with a dildo/strapon
-double penentration, both by (a) one woman with two toys and (b) two men
-fire and ice used in sexual ways
-any of the above in varying combinations

Hetsex, including hetsex in the two most common positions (man on top, woman on top) and oral sex/manual (digital?) sex [fingering, etc.] aren't on the list because they came up in sex ed. So did masturbation.

And those were all private fantasies that I didn't discuss with anyone until at least a year after having them.

So... was I just a really inventive young teen, or did I somehow osmose ideas about these "horribly degrading things" from the world around me? And from where? I was a pretty sheltered kid. Hung out with guys, but I was the first one to awaken to sexual feelings, as far as I know. Certainly I was the one to initiate discussions about sex and sexuality, periods, STDs, etc. Which we had, often. Usually at my prompting. And it was never weird, after the initial shyness. I didn't watch or seek out porn or erotic images. (Stories, but those came after all the above-mentioned fantasies.)

So, where did they come from? I'd like to think that I went "oh, there are THESE parts on people... and THESE are the toys that are out there. I know that I like the feelings when I touch myself HERE and HERE... if I put THOSE parts by/in THESE spots, I'll feel pleasure. And I'm feeling pleasure just thinking about it." Not that explicitly, but you know what I mean.

I mean, was I just some mini-revolutionary who just had no ideas about the "societal pressures" being put on me to not talk about/think about these things? Or a mini-patriarchy-fucker who just had no ideas about the "societal pressures" being put on me TO talk about/think about these things?

I dunno.

Antiprincess posed an intriguing question...

I guess that’s the real meat of the discussion – does being wildly sexually adventurous, pushing sexual boundaries in many different directions, being as they say “polymorphously perverse”, transgress - or uphold - or transcend power?

The full post is here.

Here's my answer:

You know, I always find the porn arguments interesting, because in my partnership, I have always been the one watching the porn. The BF? He dislikes it (with varying degrees of intensity, depending on the quality of the porn). We both tend to find what we see (since I don't go out looking for it actively) pretty run-of-the-mill.

So I always find the perspective that he would force me to do things because of porn very... weird. First of all, while the positions sometimes look cool, we both agree that there's just no way it would be physically possible for us; secondly, the ones that are, we had tried long before I started watching porn.

From that perspective, I think that breaking out of the idea that sex is run-of-the-mill is important.

I've never watched pornography with DP, or read erotica containing it, but I was - quite independently - fantasizing about it no more than a year after I started masturbating. Not by men, but by a woman with toys. Men came into it later.

I think that maybe there is something to the idea that people are and can be influenced by ideas-not-their-own, and that some people will absorb certain cultural messages with those ideas. ("Hot sluts beg for cum on their face!" turns into "Men will like me if I let them cum on my face," etc.)

BUT, I think the solution to that is to teach self-esteem and sexual education early in life, both to boys and girls. If we teach girls how to distinguish the things they want from the things they think they should want, that goes far further than destroying the porn industry ever would. Same goes for boys. If we teach frank discussion, without all the silly giggly embarrassed-ness that tends to surround sex, I think the problem would shrink dramatically.

So I think that pushing sexual boundaries is awesome, in general. I think there are people that can't do it, out of fear or out of shame, and relieving them of that fear and shame should be our goal.

And I don't think it exactly meshes onto the idea of "power" that is usually meant in these conversations. A mentor has "power" over her protegée, but only in that experience is generally seen as a more powerful position than naivete. But she isn't wielding her power against the protegée; she's... donating it, sharing it.

And if the protegée takes that power and uses it to push and test her boundaries until she finds her comfort zone, then, well, success is achieved, and both the mentor and her protegée should, ideally, be joyful about it.

And I think that we're all both roles to everyone, or should be. That's why sharing experiences is important. To learn about others as students, and teach others about ourselves as mentors.

To me, anyway.