Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Bikini Answer: I Am Not Cake

Okay, so this is definitely turning into multiple posts. Consider the real-life story to be an intro to all the posts. Then each post will include some quotations from the original offensive text, some quotations of other commentary, and then my own thoughts.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The CRAZIEST thing happened on Saturday. My besties Lauren and Hardy invited Beau and me to hang out at the pool with them. I wore a bikini. So did Lauren.

And nothing happened.

When Hardy hugged me hello, he didn’t suddenly lose control or grab my boobs or my butt. When Beau hugged Lauren hello, he didn’t suddenly lust after her or treat her like a sex object. And when Lauren and I hugged hello, not a single guy whipped out a dick to start an orgy.

It’s almost as though Hardy and Beau (and the other dudes who were at the pool) are human beings, not animals, who are capable of seeing women in skimpy clothing without immediately needing to be sexual with them. In fact, they’re capable of TOUCHING women in skimpy clothing without that touch or their thoughts turning sexual.

So I guess it’s not so much that the craziest thing happened on Saturday, but that it’s totally crazy that nothing happened.

Or at least, that’s what the author of the viral post “The Bikini Question” would have you believe. Apparently all men are visual creatures who are incited to lust by a woman’s body. Apparently all women should wear one-piece bathing suits… no, wait, apparently we should all wear shirts and shorts over our bathing suits… But wait, I’ve been complimented on my legs before, and my hair, and the tattoo on my foot… Does that mean I should go swimming in a burqa? If women have to dress a certain way to keep men from lusting after them, that’s the logical conclusion… right?

Those paragraphs were a nice combination of hyperbole and sarcasm, just in case y’all didn’t catch on to that.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Book Crush: Cheap E-books!

This is a sponsored-ish post. I have a chance to win a $100 gift card to Amazon. But that's not why I'm spreading the word about Summer Book Crush. One of the 50+ authors is Kelly Oram. Remember when I gushed over V is for Virgin? Yeah, that was her. She has a new book out, which I plan on buying during this promotion! Besides, y'all know I can't resist a good e-book bargain!

Hot sun, hot sand, cool drinks, dark tans. Ahhhh. But your summer won’t be complete until you land a new BOOK BOYFRIEND, right? Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered!

SUMMER BOOK CRUSH offers 50+ titles in many genres. This means 50+ chances to (fictitiously) fall in love. And the best part? Each of these gems is only 99¢, but for a limited time only. The SUMMER BOOK CRUSH event starts on June 26th and ends (yes, even the best things in life end at some point) on June 28th. So don't wait up! Mingle with our BOOK BOYFRIENDS and invite all your friends to participate too. There are plenty of BOOK BOYS to share!
Button_who is your book crush

Find your summer’s fling between the pages of a book. And don't stop on one - after all we have many BOOK BOYFRIENDS for you to mingle with.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Man Violated Me Without Laying a Finger on Me

I'm writing this as I attempt to control my sobbing. I'm taking deep breaths and trying to focus on the words on the screen in front of me.

Someone stole my underwear from the laundry room of my apartment building tonight.

When I write it out, it seems silly. Like the plot of a book set at summer camp. Certainly nothing worth crying over. It's just clothes, right? I should be thankful the thief left my sheets and towels, right? It's just one of the hazards of using shared laundry facilities, right?

Except whoever stole my underwear left all the plain cotton ones. Whoever stole my underwear stole lacy, frilly, sexy pairs of underwear that I've worn to seduce my boyfriend. The thief took my favorite cheeky panties that make my ass look amazing. This creep stole almost my entire collection of pretty underwear, about $100 worth of lingerie.

I kept my cool for almost two hours. I emailed my building manager, I put a sign up in the laundry room, and I walked door-to-door for over an hour, questioning the tenants. I did everything right. I was cool, calm, and collected. I knocked loudly on the doors, I asked each tenant if he or she had done laundry around 5:15pm today, and I didn't cry. One tenant had retrieved her laundry at that time, and she described a man leaving as she approached. She had also noticed that the washing machine lid was open, and some clothes were in the sink next to it, both of which she thought was odd. Since I checked my laundry at 5:30pm, and both washers were closed, and no laundry was in the sink, I'm pretty sure it was that man who stole my underwear. Another tenant told me that she'd had bras, camisoles, and panties stolen from the laundry room in the past.

A man, who lives in the same apartment building that I do, stole my sexy panties.

I no longer feel safe in my apartment building. He didn't just steal my underwear. He stole my feeling of security.

I paused in writing this for about half an hour, during which I skyped with Beau, who encouraged me to fill out a police report. I've stopped crying now, but I cried for a good half hour before I get online, and then at least another fifteen minutes while talking to him.

My building manager emailed me back. On top of explaining the steps she is taking for this situation, she also validated my feelings. (Edited to remove personal information. Emphasis mine).

Again, I personally have had strange things happen
 to me in the past... and I know how  
victimized and violated it can make you feel.

Yes. That is exactly how I feel. I feel victimized and violated, two horrible feelings that I haven't felt in a long time. He didn't have to touch me or speak to me or even see me to violate me. By stealing something so personal, where I live, the thief violated me.

Now, anytime I run into a man in my apartment, I will be nervous. Alert. On edge. Was it him? Does he have my underwear? Am I safe?

Men are understandably upset when women treat them like potential rapists. But I was 12, at home, in my kitchen, the first time a boy violated my body. I'm in my 20s now, in my apartment building, and this is only the most recent of times a man has violated me. 

So if I'm extra-cautious around men I don't know,  
can you blame me?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Club Friday: Good Fiction at Its Worst

My book club continues to meet semi-regularly, which I think is pretty awesome. If you don't remember the background, when I still lived in New York, I started a book club with three of my friends. We then promised to meet regularly online, but didn't start up again until about a year after our first in-person meeting. Now we're still not great about meeting every month, because we all have totally different work schedules, but we do meet every six to eight weeks using Google Hangouts. 

Our latest book was The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.
In short, it was technically very good, but sorta kinda bad.

I know my degree isn't in literature, but I was reading this with friends who do have English degrees. And the consensus was the same. 

All the technical elements of writing were great. Like the use of flashbacks to help us understand the present-day relationship between the protagonist and the woman he is visiting. Like how the tone of the narrator, especially as he tells more and more stories from his past, reveal so much of his character and his self-suppression of emotions. Like the historical setting and how the reader has the general knowledge of the time period, so as the narrator reveals more about the past, we understand so much beyond his recollection what was going on.

And maybe because of how technically good Ishiguro writes the voice of Stevens (the protagonist, a butler), it creates a distance between the story and the reader. Like I wanted to keep reading to see if my hypotheses about Stevens' boss and his lady friend were true... But not so much that I could manage to read more than 20 or so pages in a sitting. I wasn't on the edge of my seat. I was tempted basically the entire time to look up on wikipedia instead of finish the book itself. 

So if you want a book that leaves you lackluster, but also wanting more, but also feeling dissatisfied and confused... then read The Remains of the Day.

If you want to read a book that is still brilliant in regards to the technical aspect, BUT also interesting and engaging and full of what-the-fuckery (in a good way), read his novel Never Let Me Go.

I am linking up with Heather for Book Club Friday. I will add actual pictures, links, and the Book Club Friday thingy when I'm not on my iPad. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

They love me! They Really Love Me!

This is my second time being nominated for a Leibster Award! This time, Aukele of 91 Dash nominated me.

The award is pretty simple, given to bloggers by bloggers. It's a way to acknowledge your fellow bloggers' inherent awesomeness, even if they don't have a lot of readers. In fact, it's only for bloggers with less than 200 followers!


The Rules:
  • Acknowledge the blog that nominated you in a post.
  • Share 11 facts about yourself. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you believe deserve some recognition.
  • Post 11 questions for them to answer.
  • Notify all the bloggers selected that they have been nominated.
  • And finally, you can't nominate the blog who nominated you.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Club Friday: Overlooked Women in History

I have not reviewed a book in ages! Hell, I haven't blogged since the "Blog Every Day in May" challenge wore me out. But I've actually finished three books in the last two weeks, which is pretty crazy considering how busy I've been. I want to share my favorite of the three today.
Image via

I've reviewed a book by Philippa Gregory before. She's one of my favorite authors period, and she's easily my favorite author of historic fiction.

About a month ago I went to my local secondhand bookstore to buy a book for my book club. To my delight, I found Lady of the Rivers in amazing condition for only $7.50. I love Philippa Gregory's novels, but even the paperbacks are a bit pricey brand new.

From her website: 

Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta has always had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she meets his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and sees her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft, before Joan is taken to a horrific death at the hands of the English rulers of France.

Married to the Duke of Bedford, English Regent of France, Jacquetta is introduced by him to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her only friend in the great household is the Duke’s squire, Richard Woodville, who is at her side when the Duke’s death leaves her a wealthy young widow. The two become lovers and marry in secret, returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his new queen.

Lady of the Rivers is the third book in The Cousins War series, taking place during the War of the Roses. Although readers are first introduced to Jacquetta in The White Queen, this novel begins when Jacquetta is just a young woman, and ends at the beginning of The White Queen.

I couldn't put this down. Between blogging a lot and working two jobs and spending time with Beau, I haven't had much time to read this year. For this book, I made the time. I stayed up late. I read the book with breakfast. I took it with me to work and read it during lunch. I read it while sitting at the front desk of the JCP salon. 

Throughout the book, I wanted to underline the brilliant thoughts Jacquetta had, and I'm not one to write in my books. There is so much reflection on female power and the male fear of women, especially learned women. This book takes place in the 1400s, but the message is, sadly, still true today.

As usual, I'm linking up for Book Club Friday!


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