Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Why, Marketers, WHY?

While I realize all big box stores have some major problems in terms of things like politics, I also fall into one of the lower income brackets. That means I can't necessarily afford to shop exclusively at local stores for my every day household needs.

When given the choice between Target or WalMart, I choose Target every time. Because I'm always trying to keep our budget healthy, I look at the weekly ads.

In last week's ad, I found TMNT and superhero merchandise being marketed to girls! Yes! I dig it! At last, girls aren't condemned to flowers and cutesy things!

Then, I made the mistake of taking a closer look.

Oh, c'mon. I may love TMNT, but as a girl, I would have preferred the boy's version. I realize that little girls can shop just as easily in the boys' section, but why should they have to? Why can't girls have rich colors and action packed images, too? Instead, it's the tired old pastel and heart motif.

The girls' TMNT t-shirt is moderately better, but it's still the irritating heart/pastel pattern on the black background. But, once again, there's no reason why girls can't get their clothing in the boys section, provided their parents are okay with it.

And then comes the undies. Similar logos, but still softened to suite the feminine ideal culture smacks female identifying people with every day. But again, if girls want to wear boys undies, the only ones who could stop them are their parents.

On somewhat of a side note, the packaging further drives this point home. The two packages of boys' undies shows the characters in action poses. The colors are rich and there's a bit more detailing. On the girls', the characters are standing back, with big, friendly smiles on their face. Their poses may be on the confident side, but they're still far more passive. The detailing isn't quite as sharp, and the color scheme is generally pastel.

This is also damaging to boys and men. Even their clothing encourages them to fit into the strict ideal of action oriented manly men. They're "not allowed" to be soft, caring or emotional. They're expected to be strictly masculine, just as girls are expected to be strictly feminine.

When it comes to boys shopping in the girls' section, they're still faced with a lot more friction than girls get when shopping in the boys section. What's so bad about a boy taking an interest in girls things? As long as they're healthy and happy, what's the big deal?

When anyone's forced to be someone they may not want to be, I get irritated. Men need to be tender, just as women need to be aggressive. It's disturbing that neither gender is allowed to explore their humanity without being forced into the small box formed by strict societal roles.

And what of those who identify as neither, or as both? What's their role? Why must they be forced to conform to one or the other, while sacrificing who they really are?

It's OK to like princesses, and it's OK to like superheroes, but it's not OK to force people into any role just because of the body they happen to have been born into.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Mutterings ...'n Stuff

Yep. I think I may have pushed myself a bit too hard this month. At least I got a fair amount done, even if I am a bit on the burned out side now.

Let's see if Luna Nina's Unconscious Mutterings will help me kick my brain into gear.

  1. Fish:: heads, fish heads, rolly polly fish heads. (In other words, this song.)
  2. Dreaming :: of going back to bed for a few more hours.
  3. Living :: dead. (Though my version of the living dead is of stalking my coffee press and consuming its caffeinated essence in a fittingly vampiric way.)
  4. Expectations :: of life.
  5. Mug :: See living.
  6. Jacket :: Don't use that language with me! It's summer! There's no call for such obscene images.
  7. Bowl :: of cereal.
  8. Confession :: I haven't done enough reading lately.
  9. Socks :: I have a bunch of clean pairs to match up.
  10. Tank :: top.
Well then.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Fictioneers - More to Life Than Food

It may be time to lay off some of the goofier sci-fi I've been absorbing lately.

Too much Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Not at all! (I'm so close to being done with the anthology.)

Thanks, as always to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers!

Used with permission as a prompt. Marie Gail Stratford

Genre: Science Fiction of the quirky variety
Word Count: 100

More to Life Than Food

“Of all the planets in the galaxy, WHY did you want to come here?” Farahn asked his gelatinous companion, as he glared at the landscape.

Each swelling of land looked suspiciously like piles of Earth peas and hash browns. Puddles of what looked like gravy scattered in the valleys.

Tohmaht oozed aside in time to avoid a metallic, pronged native hurling itself at a stack of green ovoids. “I always feel better when I come here. At least my lot in life is more than jabbing myself into food-like objects and shoveling them to some hole in the sky.”

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

There Are Two Types of People

I'm a bit short on time and words today, but I still wanted to share a couple of reaction pictures to completing a very difficult trail when we were in the Lake Superior area.

I was also carrying a backpack, but took it off to take this pic.
Guess who had a better time.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Unconscious Mutterings and a Weather Report

I'm too lazy to look at how many weeks I've been doing this, but thanks still go out to Luna Nina for hosting!

  1. Strong :: Bad (As in StrongBad the character.)
  2. Bathing :: Suit (Nasty heat index here today.)
  3. Title :: Tricky (Sometimes the hardest thing to come up with.)
  4. Tick Tock :: Goes the clock and what now shall we play? (It's always the right time for Doctor Who)
  5. Dispute :: Judge Judy (...I got nothin'.)
  6. Magazine :: Editor
  7. Stupid! :: Head
  8. Safely :: cross the street. (look both ways)
  9. Reposition :: the cat (he wanted constant attention last night. Need. More. Coffee.)
  10. So wrong :: but so right.
And now, the weather.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Fictioneers - Office Drama

Yay, Friday Fictioneers! As always, thanks go out to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting!

Oh, this one was fun. I saw the picture and immediately knew what had to happen.

Used with permission for this purpose only.
Copyright – Adam Ickes
Genre: Humor
Word Count: 99

Office Drama

Drake groaned as his internet browser froze.


“Goddamn stupid piece of…” He pounded the ctrl, alt and delete buttons to restart the faulty program.


If he’d known at the interview about the office conditions, he wouldn’t have accepted the position. Now, he couldn’t even work, thanks to this system. Which just froze.


He leaned back in the chair and looked around the clutter. His attention settled on the taxidermy head in the corner. What would happen if it ‘came to life’ and attacked the computer?

Maybe the machine would work better with a little more RAM.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Roaring in the Woods

It was a beautiful day. There was just enough breeze to keep the summer sun from scorching you into misery, the birds sang cheerfully and the deer flies stubbornly ignored the bug repellent we'd coated ourselves with.

We'd been hiking all day. My feet were starting to ache, and my muscles were burning. Admittedly, my mood wasn't the highest, but when you're presented by a view like the one below, things can't be that bad.

Now that we'd reached Mount Baldy's peak, we took a break. As we watched the clouds roll by and the wind play with the tree tops, we drank water and dined upon the trail mix we packed that morning.

Suddenly, a roar sounded in the distance.

"What is that?" I asked my husband. "I could have sworn I heard the same thing last night."

"I don't know," my hubby replied as he popped a square of cereal into his mouth. "I didn't hear it then." He paused to chew. "Maybe they're firing off explosives at the mine? The iron range isn't too far away."

"Well, you could sleep through World War three," I retorted as I looked around. It was getting louder. "Maybe it's a plane. Doesn't Duluth have an airport?"

He shrugged, but started looking around as the rock under our feet began to vibrate slightly as the volume continued to escalate.

My nerves started to kick in. Could it be a landslide somewhere nearby? We've been getting a lot of rain lately, and they happen all the time in this area. Pebbles weren't even tumbling nearby, though.

Maybe he was right. It could just be explosions at the mines. Were we really that close to them? We've been vacationing in that park for about five years, and never heard anything like this before.

Gradually, the roar crescendoed, and the sense of unease grew with it. We weren't going to become a headline were we? 'Two hikers mysteriously missing on the north shore. Alien abduction suspected.'

Several minutes later, the noise subsided, and birds begun their song again. All was calm again, and we continued our hike down the mountain and into the bog below, glancing now and then at the sky.

That rocky outcropping is where we paused.
It wasn't until we returned to the camp site several hours later that we discovered what the mysterious roaring was. This time, we spotted three fighter jets flying in formation far over our heads. One of them dropped flares, before they flew off again.

That night, I dreamt alternately of wars, secret agendas and alien invasion. Too many movies, maybe, or too much research into past government campaigns. Did something happen while we were running around in the woods?

The ride back answered us. The Blue Angels were preforming in Duluth that weekend. They must have been practicing their routine over the state park that week.

It may be anticlimactic, but it may inspire some stories in the near future.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Mutterings are late.

Why are they late? I'll tell you why they're late.

They're late because the author didn't get around to them until now, that's why. Why didn't she get around to them 'till now? Because her brain was actually functioning moderately well this morning, she decided to put this monster of an entry up on one of her other blogs.

And now, she's feeling much as she did in fifth grade after taking standardized tests. Here's where word association comes in to help her brain function again!

Once again, thanks to Luna Nina for kick-starting my brain again.
  1. Joke :: Two men walked into a bar. The third one ducked. (Har har har!)
  2. Away :: Song lyrics.
  3. Reaction :: Gif. (Tumblr, what have you done to me?)
  4. High :: as a kite. I wish I had a kite. It's a good day for kite flying.
  5. Movie :: Magic
  6. Decide :: What's for dinner?
  7. Afternoon :: That's what it is now.
  8. Contrarian :: Contradiction
  9. Understand :: Miss Representation (Good movie. Helps the viewer understand how harmful media messages effect people, but especially those who represent as female.)
  10. Zone :: Twilight
And now...moving is out of the question.

 Kitty-cat, I need to get up to update my last blog! You don't even appreciate my nerdy shirt!

Oh, fuzz butt. I guess I can skip ahead on ye olde to-do list a little.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Mutterings

Egads. I'm still reeling from the epic fun I had at this weekend's convention. Wow.

I'll need to give a run down of the highlights at some point, but right now, I'm preparing for a busy
week. I'll write more about it next weekend.

As for now, have some Unconscious Mutterings, as hosted by Luna Nina.

  1. Onion :: Indigestion
  2. Greek :: Food (so good)
  3. Construct :: a sentence with the following word.
  4. Crunch :: "The best chips have a lot of crunch to them."
  5. Bottom :: shelf
  6. Cream :: filling
  7. Slamming :: Drinks
  8. Jerk :: Wad
  9. Closed :: Open
  10. Texture :: Smooth
Fun times, fun times.