Monthly Archives: February 2010

More books to read

You know what time it is! More books to read!

I know, I know, I’ve been caught up in a grad school coma, but I realize it’s been a while since we’ve discussed books!! So we are back with a vengeance and a list of to-reads, not to mention a new bookmark and a pink martini in hand. So saddle in, here’s the next three books:

I Don’t Care About Your Band: What I learned from indie rockers, trust funders, pornographers, felons, faux-sensitive hipsters, and other guys I’ve dated by Julie Klausner

To be honest, this book had me at the subtitle. As a woman who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and has dated her fair share of faux-sensitive hipsters, the minute I saw a chapter entitled “Did I come to Brooklyn for this?” I knew I just had to read it.  The fact that Klausner is a former Upright Citizens Brigade performer and one of the quotes on the back of the book is from SNL alum Rachel Dratch clinched it as a metro transit must-read. Sure, it probably won’t be a core-shaker, but I’m looking forward to a chuckle–and something tells me we can all relate to dating the dud dudes. Let’s just hope post-read I’m a bit wiser when it comes to choosin ’em.

Flow: The cultural history of menstruation by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim

No, we didn’t pick these because they have similar jacket designs (although, how adorbs!) I’m excited to read this one. I’ve head nothing but good reviews–it seems witty and well-written, two things I admire. And can I get a hells yeah for a book about a topic (GASP?! Aunt Flo?!) that we still for whatever reason don’t talk about with our girlfriends? What’s with that?! It stops here, ladies. PERIOD. Read this, come back, we’ll chat about our firsts.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Another coincidental retro swimsuit, I swear! (But yes, I chose this jacket cover instead of the knobby-knees and saddle shoes one.) I don’t think this book needs an introduction, I’m pretty sure we’re all aware of it. Alas, neither Ems or I have ever read it! It’s been on my to-read list for quite some time, and I look forward to reading what one guy told me was the sexiest book he’s ever read. Something tells me I may have issue with that statement… If you’ve read it before, reread and join in the pedo convo. Or if you’re like me and never got around to it, here’s our chace to read and discuss so we don’t sound dumb at wine and cheese night.

Enjoy!

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TGIFridays and Tide: Badvertising Reloaded

Much has been made about how shitty the super bowl ads were this year. My response can be summed up thusly: ummm, duh?

Look at how shitty they are during the rest of the year (remember Guitar Hero? or Nabisco?), of course they’re going to ratchet up the sexism for their most-watched event of the year!!

For those of you who missed the following gems, I’m sorry to be the bearer of badvertising.

Exhibit A: Viewed a number of times in prime time for a new TGIFriday’s deal. A couple is on a first date and the man is getting more and more agitated about the amount of food his date is ordering, culminating in “What am I a bank?!”

TGIFridays: Cuz in here, it’s still 1950! Where men pay for everything and think they have a right to dictate, judge, or otherwise control what women eat.

T.G.I. Fridays 3 for $12.99 – Watch more Funny Videos

(^Click to watch!)
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BTW Reads: Belle de Jour


“That rare and wonderful thing: a fearless and witty revelation of one woman’s sexuality.” –Kate Hickman, author of Courtesans, from the back cover

I read Belle de Jour: the Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl during DC’s Snowverkill and was fully prepared to write a somewhat scathing review of said book.   Having spent the better part of my President’s Day roaming the internet reading more about sex work, the real Belle de Jour, and call girls galore, I’m unable to play the arrogant reviewer card [sorry!].

The book was an enjoyable and intriguing read– even if I hadn’t been snowed in, I have a feeling I would have read it just as quickly.  Belle writes in a familiar and accessible way so that you can understand and empathize with her decisions, in both her personal and professional lives.  The problems I had with the book seem to be common: first and foremost, I thought that she seemed a little too savvy, a little too hardened, a little too something.  She wrote with an almost too cool detachment; while Kate Hickman (above) lauds her work as groundbreaking, I found it to be more pedantic.  While she described and owned her sex work in her writing (although how much you can own your behavior while you remain anonymous is a valid question), she also seemed to make it clear that this was just a job, and she knew that she was fortunate to be educated and that she would eventually have options when she decided, on her own terms, that it was time to leave the business.

A few months back Belle de Jour outed herself to the Sunday Times.  I remember the splash of publicity surrounding the revelation of her identity, but, as I hadn’t yet read the book or watched the series, I didn’t pay close attention.  Today I went back and read India Knight’s article “I’m Belle de Jour“, and follow-up “Belle lays bare the myth that every hooker is a victim“, and am extremely glad I did (and I highly recommend that you take a moment to read one or both, especially if you’ve read the book or seen the show).  Having seen a few episodes of Showtime’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl by now, it’s nice to know what Belle de Jour’s real face looks like (she’s the one on the left) and to learn more about Belle/Brooke. It was increasingly frustrating how few details were provided about her life (education? major? school? field? anything?) in the book.

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Flashback to Feisty Females in Film: Anne of Green Gables

Feisty Female: Plain, old, unromantic Anne — with an e– Shirley. (But couldn’t you just call her Cordelia?)

Year we got to know her:  1986 (1985 if you’re Canadian)

Best known for: Her quick temper, red hair, dramatic elocution, fierce intelligence, and loyalty to her friends and family

Why she deserves a second look:
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Super Bowl Sunday is Here At Last

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Super Bowl 44 is today and I am so ready to veg out with giant bowls of food and barrels of beer and cheer on the Saints (even if they did defeat my beloved Vikings).

Please do yourself a favor and watch this ad from Planned Parenthood whenever the Tim Tebow ad from Focus on the Family is played. Compare the two and ask yourself which one is really about trusting women and the reproductive choices they make. (I sincerely hope the FoF ad is as respectful as it claims it will be.)

I personally LOVE this ad. And I wish Planned Parenthood had enough cash lying around to actually buy the airtime to play it during the Super Bowl. It warms my heart to see two male athletes talking openly about their desire for reproductive freedom and respect for all women. (Another reason I’m rooting for the Saints today? Scott Fujita.)

There has been a lot of back-and-forth about the Tebow ad controversy. I think everything that needed to be said, has been said, so I’ll share with you what I think is the best argument I’ve read. It comes from Jill over at Feministe who writes:
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