Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Favorites

  • This writer and self-avowed fat person asks you to be honest: do you care about the health of fat people, or do you just think they're gross? Awesome essay. (Meloukhia)

Go Hawks!

I am as excited as a person who doesn't really watch football can be about my hometown pride, the Seattle Seahawks, playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday. I am a little disappointed that none of my friends rounded up a party (or if they did, they didn't invite me, which is a pretty critical oversight). Because if they had I would have had reason to do this:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What is old is new: modern tintype photography

These amazing, modern celebrity tintypes should go on my Friday Favorites, I suppose - but I'm just too excited about them to wait.

I collect antique photos and I love the style - I'm so happy to see it make a resurgence! I hope this is the first of many such projects that I see. And I also, I obviously need my own tintype self-portrait.

Close, but no cigar.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sex Ed Sunday

  • Read this fantastic guide on how to talk to your children about gender identity. (Mutha Magazine)
  • Scientists compared female-bodied sexuality to male-bodied sexuality and - surprise! - found it wanting. Apparently if it takes women longer to get aroused and they aren't able to orgasm during penis-in-vagina sex, they have "female sexual dysfunction." Stick a needle in it! (Harper's Bazaar)

  • "Teaching and using plain and accurate language [like penis, vagina, and vulva] to describe the human body can help children live healthier lives." Yeah! So glad this is catching on. (The Atlantic)
  • Even if you aren't interested in performing in porn, this Porn 101 video is still really interesting and informative! (Ms. Naughty)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Favorites

  • I didn't know people actually ate snow with maple syrup! It's so Little House In the Big Woods, I love it.
  • The Seattle tunnel digger, Bertha, has been stalled since December 6th. I voted against the tunnel, so I love this great idea: turn the space dug by Bertha into a cool new underground venue! (Seattle Bike Blog)
  • "We can't hate ourselves into a version of ourselves we can love." 7 things to remember when you think you're not good enough. (Tiny Buddha)

One great way to tank your self-esteem

I'm proud and happy to be a Yelp Elite member (even though it means that I probably spend way too much money dining out and way too much time writing reviews), especially when I get invited to great parties, like the one at Axis Pioneer Square last night. Taite and I snacked on all sorts of great samples, tried a few tasty cocktails, and got balloon hats.

...we also got caricatures.

It's my own fault - hubris, really. I was sitting there, smiling and chatting away with the artist, so certain that my picture would come out looking like a doe-eyed princess.

Clearly I pissed the artist off somehow, because this is what I got:

I wasn't hurt, though - I'm reasonably sure that I don't look like that and I got to laugh about it the rest of the night. Plus, it was free, so at least I didn't pay to get insulted.

But for those of you who aren't feeling so thick-skinned, maybe don't get a caricature done.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Visit Iceland before it's too late!

I took this picture in Iceland this past July (2013).
I was going through this list the New York Times posted of the 52 places to go in 2014. #30 stuck out to me for for obvious reasons:

30. Highlands, Iceland
Natural wonders are in danger. Go see them before it's too late.
The Icelandic government has spend decades protecting its glaciers, pools, ponds, lakes, marshes and permafrost mounds in the Thjorsarver Wetlands, part of the central highlands, which constitute some 40 percent of the entire country, mostly in the interior. But last year, the government announced plans to revoke those protections, allowing for the construction of hydropower plants (instead of glaciers and free-flowing rivers, imagine man-made reservoirs, dams, paved roads and power lines). "If they get into this area, there will be no way to stop them from destroying the wetlands completely, " said Arni Finnsson, the chairman of the Iceland Nature Conservation Association. More bad news looms: A law intending to further repeal conservation efforts has been put forward, so if you ever want to Iceland in all of its famously raw natural beauty, go now.
-Danielle Pergament

This is breaking my heart. I feel more tender toward Iceland every day. I miss it. I don't know if I'll ever go back, but it doesn't matter - it should stay the way I got to enjoy it for generations to come.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sex Ed Sunday

  • If you live in or near Virginia and you sell sex toys (or even if you don't), you might be interested in this two day Female Sexuality Boot Camp, taught by sexologist Dr. Jill.
..what isn't talked about as much is the fact that we silence ourselves in many ways, that we are not merely oppressed by an Oppressor. Rather the oppressor is anonymous, decentered, potentially everywhere. Oftentimes, we are among the oppressors, the police, policing ourselves and others without even realizing it. ...talking in positive, open, respectful ways about sex is where we can collectively begin to change things: because the policing effort is collective, so the solution will be collective as well.
  • Terri-Jean Bedford challenges Stephen Harper to define sex acts - harder than it sounds.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Three thrilling reasons to visit a spa

I went to Olympus Spa in Lynnwood today. It's a bit of a hike from Seattle, but well worth the trek. I had never been, but when my friends were like "it's $35 and you get to enjoy the spa all damn day" I could not get there fast enough.

Photo courtesy of Olympus Spa.

Olympus is an all-woman nude spa. You get a robe and a cap to wear around the facility, but you must be completely buck naked to enjoy the pools.

You can wander through the spa at your leisure and try a bunch of cool, themed "Far-Infrared healing energy" rooms, an herbal dry sauna, a mugwort steam sauna (they're big on mugwort - apparently it's a pretty nifty plant), and of course the pools, all of varying temperatures.

I spent a little more than five hours in the spa, relaxing in the soaking pools, trying all the flavors in the tea room, accidentally falling asleep in the hot, sweat-inducing sand room (they play the sound of crashing waves in there, of course you're going to fall asleep!), and getting a Korean-style scrub. That part was the best. The scrubbing is not gentle, but it feels good - cleansing - and after each round they pour hot, soothing, mugwort-infused water over you. At the end you are massaged and bathed with frothy soap and hot towels, and you feel like the silkiest selkie ever, and beautifully refreshed.

Me right after my scrub. I sneaked my phone out to take a couple of selfies. Look how happy and glowy I am!

If I haven't sold you yet on the amazingness of my spa visit, here are three thrilling reasons to visit a spa close to you:
1. If you go to a nude spa, you will see so many different body types! It always makes me feel much better about my body - yay, I'm totally normal! - when I get to see bodies that aren't always well-represented in traditional media.
2. You spend a lot of time taking care of other people - your family, your partner, your friends, your dog. The word "pampering" can have such weird connotations, but truly - you deserve some pampering.
3. Can't afford a vacation? A spa visit is much cheaper and has almost the same effect. You can visit a spa by yourself or with friends. You're not allowed to have your phone or your computer with you, so it feels like you are cut off from the world in the best way. A spa is a great place to decompress and reflect. Most conversations are held at a whisper so everyone can enjoy their experience in peace. Time slips by surprisingly quickly, but you appreciate every moment. And there are lots of different services and spaces to explore, some probably new to you.
I hope you get the chance to visit a spa in the near future. Spas are such a good mood booster, especially during the winter!

1001 in 101 challenge #63 complete!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Favorites

  • I feel like I shouldn't still love Martha Stewart, but I do. And there's no denying that she is still flawless at 72. So what's her secret? Besides genetics, of course. (The New York Times)
  • PolicyMic has the list of 10 literary blogs every 20-something should read. I read one on the list, the Awl, but I prefer The Hairpin and The Toast - I'm surprised they didn't make the list! Or maybe that would be redundant, since they're run by some of the same people, as far as I understand.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Make this Valentine's Day the best ever!

Seattleites! Want to do something really special for this Valentine's Day? Something that goes beyond the usual things?

I have the perfect suggestion: schedule a boudoir photo shoot with my amazing friend, Dana Kae!

You seriously need to take a look at her portfolio - it is beautiful. Some boudoir photo shoots feel inauthentic and cheesy - but not Dana's. She is the Cupid of photography, and she will make you or your partner (or the both of you together!) feel like the most glorious physical beings. 

Schedule NOW if you want to get those photos by 2/14!

Cogsworth will be all like..

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What I have to look forward to

As you know if you've read the "About" section of this blog, or if you follow me in any other medium, I am an aspiring sex therapist and educator. So when I saw that sexologist Dr. Jill had posted a video of "Shit People Say to Sexologists," I couldn't resist.

Oh boy. Do they teach you patience at sexology school, too?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

On "Girls"

I read this article today about HBO's "Girls," called "Why Adam from HBO's "Girls" Is a Borderline Abusive Love Interest." It's a really accurate title! Adam is terrible. I did question some of the author's points, however, such as this one:
I think it's pretty problematic to have a show portray a guy like Adam as the protagonist of the show like Girls [sic] romantic hero. We see a ton of borderline abusive relationships on television, but often these relationships aren't glamorized or idealized in the way that Hannah and Adam's is. ... Girls tends to skew toward realism, and whether or not you relate to Hannah and her friends isn't really as important as whether the show wants you to - and the show definitely wants you to if you're a struggling 20-something.
 I responded,
I agree with you that Adam is a terrible person and partner! But I would counter that the show DOES want you to see Adam as creepy and dangerous. Because we mostly see "Girls" through Hannah's lens and we know that she is a messed up and unreliable narrator, we are meant to immediately question her statement that Adam is a "great boyfriend." 
I am a 20-something and I am drawn to "Girls" because it represents the worst bits of my 20-something experience. Train wrecks are fascinating, especially train wrecks that speak to your life. Even as I empathize with the characters in "Girls" and see myself in each of them to some degree, I am repulsed. I don't know if it's the intention of "Girls" and Lena Dunham to wean me off my bad behaviors/bad decisions with aversion therapy, but maybe it is. It's definitely meant to be a dark and pointed commentary on the way we 20-somethings live our lives. 
I don't think that we are actually supposed to like or trust any of the characters on "Girls," even if we feel some tenderness toward them. Like you said, the show strives for realism. Real life is not always cute or safe and it doesn't always make good or clear-cut choices. I think "Girls" tries, in some sense, to clue us in to that.
What do you think? Is "Girls" aware of its problematic characters - Adam especially - and means for the audience to recognize that they're messed up, or does the show sincerely romanticize an abusive relationship?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Stitch Fix #7

See Stitch Fix #1#2#3#4#5, #6
Would you like to try Stitch Fix? Sure you would!
Check out my Stitch Fix style inspiration board.

Lucky number seven! Maybe? Here's the message inside, from stylist Jenny:
Hi Inness! I had a blast styling your Fix today! I chose the Papermoon cardigan because it is a fun piece to throw on over anything you could imagine for a casual look. throw it over the LA MADE top with a distressed boyfriend jean, ballet flats, and the Bay to Baubles necklace for a fab look. The LA MADE top is a fun and easy breezy top that you could pair with denim and boots or even a pair of colored denim if the mood strikes. The Bay to Baubles neclace will add intrigue to any neckline so add it to anything! The Tart dress is a fun color and wrap dresses are so great on so many body types - particularly hourglass. Throw a denim jacket or unbuttoned chambray top on with a riding boot and the Emperia bag for a look that will have you looking casually chic. I can't wait to hear your feedback on your Fix! xo Jenny
 1. Tart "Johnna" wrap dress, $98 - returned

The suggested stylings for this dress.

This was a very pretty dress. I was tempted to keep it, but I wasn't sure the color flattered me or that I could afford it. I chose to return it, but it was difficult!

2. Empera "Brennan" studded dome bag, $50ish - returned

This bag says that it's "vegan and lead-free," which is great! But it smelled kind of funny (the faux leather has a strong smell) and it was just much too big of a bag for me. I was sorely tempted, though - the color is exactly the color I prefer for purses, and it had lots of pockets and a leopard print lining.

3. Bay to Baubles metal lace bib necklace, $32 - kept

So pretty! At first I wasn't sure that I wanted it, but it's unlike anything I already own. It's adjustable, and at its longest length it falls exactly where I like necklaces to sit on me. I wore it yesterday and got compliments right away.

4. LA MADE "Daugherty" striped knit tank, $40ish - returned

This tank was made in America, which explains the higher price. It felt well made and I liked the way it fit me. The stripes were perhaps not too flattering. I also feel like I have enough stripey things, and this is a shirt more appropriate for spring/summer. I sent it back mostly based on the price, however. I just can't afford much right now!

5. Papermoon "Jerrard" heathered open front cardigan, $48 (I think) - returned

Hard to see details in this picture - here's one that's better:

I think this type of "heathering" just doesn't look great on me, or at all, really. It looks and feels cheap. I liked the style, but would have preferred it looser and longer.

Well, I love my new necklace! I'm in the midst of moving to a new home, so I'll take a break from Stitch Fix until I'm settled - and I have more wiggle room in my budget.

Stitch Fix

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sex Ed Sunday

  • Planned Parenthood has advice for a teen worried about harassment from protesters.
  • The creators of Mr. Skin, the tacky site that tells you when to expect female-bodied nudity in movies, now have a site for those who prefer male-bodied nudity: Mr. Man. Equally dumb name, but maybe it will encourage equality in nude scenes?
  • Can't do better than this headline: "Flawless Trans Women Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox Respond Flawlessly to Katie Couric's Invasive Questions." (Autostraddle)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Favorites

Soooo... I was really really busy this week and didn't get around to posting my Friday favorites! For shame. But hey look, my hair is blonde now. Platinum blonde!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

How to achieve all your goals for the year

Do what you can, then shift everything else to the next year! At least, that's what I appear to have done with this list I found in my documents, titled, "Things to Do In My 25th Year":

  • Get tattoo
  • Visit Iceland
  • Take piano lessons again and buy a keyboard
  • Apply to grad schools (move to 2014)
  • Get a dog (or a pig) (move to 2014)
  • Learn to cook! (move to 2014)
  • Learn to sew! (move to 2014)
  • Perform burlesque (move to 2014)

Technically I'm not yet 26, so if I get those other things done it totally still counts!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The most useful infographic I've seen all year

And yeah, we're only a week in, but this is still awesome:

See it all big and fancy here!

To be clear, I don't condone breaking the law.. but things happen, and I also don't condone unnecessary arrests!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sex Ed Sunday

  • The "Nordic model" of prostitution law doesn't benefit sex workers. I always saw Scandinavia as a bastion of liberal, sex positive thought, but this is really appalling. And it makes me sad. (The Conversation)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! It is officially 2014, and I am just now discovering that you can make your own gifs on Tumblr.

And I thought of my 2014 New Year's resolutions!

  • Open a Roth IRA account and put a significant amount into it (max is $5000 a year - max it out!)
  • Find a workout that I love - even if I can only afford to go once a week
  • Paint something with black chalkboard paint
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