September 5, 2013

She Meant Well

So, I was browsing the internet, as I occasionally do, and ran across this article from Jezebel: 

Concerned Mom: Slutty Girls' Selfies Are Tempting My Perfect Sons

Now, normally I would ignore this, but I clicked. I was curious. The article, and the comments, were amusing enough for me to go read the original post.

Now the comments made sense and I laughed my ass off. I decided to write a comment to Mrs. Hall. I've included it for you below:

As someone who is writing a blog on sexism and sexist behaviors, your first post was bothersome. I see what you were aiming for and your intent. However, you perpetuated a double standard that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. You were attempting to shame a nameless, faceless girl for her activities while publicly parading your sons bodies over the internet. I didn't like the standard you set. It made your statement hypocritical. 
Now I see you've posted the same post (mostly the same) but with your sons covered up. OK but even if I had not seen the first post, I'd wonder about your motives. Does this mean that you'll eventually teach your daughter to ignore racy photos of boys on the internet (they do exist)? Or is it just girls who have the problem because, I assure you, boys are equally culpable. It smacks of the 'shaming' phenomena that's so prevalent in our society. Girls have to be held to a higher standard than boys because boys just can't help themselves. Really? Is that what you think of your sons? That once they see a classmate in a racy selfie, they'll never respect her again? They'll look at her and see boobs? I think, Mrs. Hall, you underestimate your sons while doing them a disservice. You seem to be a nice lady trying, as we all do in this world, to raise respectful intelligent sons. Respect their intelligence now. Assume they know better than to treat a classmate like a sex object instead of a person. 
I also think you also forget that pictures taken by other people can show up on FB tagged to someone's name. Everyone who knows me personally knows I'm not a fan of having my picture on the internet. My pics are few and far between. However, a picture once showed up in my FB album but it was taken and posted by my best friend. I immediately removed the tag but if I had not, and the picture had been me in a racy bikini, would I be de-friended in the Hall household? I didn't take the picture. It's not my fault your son's started think of me in my bikini after it was posted. And honestly, Mrs. Hall, your sons' thoughts are my least concern. It's their ACTIONS I'm concerned with. 
I'll never forget the speed with which a naked selfie of a former college classmate made the rounds on Facebook. Did I particularly enjoy looking at his dangly bits? Nope. Were they out there for me to see? Yep. Does that make him a slut for posting that pic? It definitely makes him an idiot if he posted it purposefully. And there is the hypocrisy. Turns out his ex-girlfriend decided to post some of his pics, pics taken in a spirit of love and trust during their relationship, on Facebook. He was able to remove the tags to his face but he had to contact the administrators to remove the pics. By then, at least six graduating classes, plus everyone THEY knew, had seen those pics. We know now what's in his BVDs.
But under the current policy in your household, you would block his posts (and probably him). He didn't post those pics. He never wanted those pics to get out.
But your zero-tolerance policy doesn't allow for understanding and judgment. It doesn't allow for explanations. It's absolute. So I kindly ask you to add another question to your list: Who posted this? Not all 'selfies' are selfies and, had I defriended him, I might never have learned that (a) he didn't post that, (b) he was now a cop (he wasn't when the pics were taken) (c) she was arrested. How did I learn all this? I remained friends with him. It was humiliating for him but I'm still his friend because I didn't judge and when I see him, I don't see his penis instead of his face.
Actually, I take it back. He's a man, not a girl. So he's still a friend in the Hall household. Because your policy doesn't take into account things your daughter shouldn't see. It's just geared toward girls, who are, more often than not, the victims of this kind of behavior. And if, indeed, some young female friend of a Hall boy decides to post a selfie on FB, she's within her rights. It's her account and can only be seen by those who friend her. If her parents don't object, she can do as she wishes. Does that make it right? Not necessarily. But again, you have a double standard and it leaves me feeling cold. 
I've seen your sons in their swim trunks. I still couldn't give two hoots about them but you chose to glorify their bodies in your first post. You fell into the same behavior that I'm fighting against, perpetuating a double standard against women that your sons don't have to meet. You put your sons bodies out in the world to be seen but you rail against photos that require 'friending' to see. 
I don't require a response. I won't even be upset if you choose not to accept this comment for publication. I do hope you take a moment and think about my points and really ask yourself: Is this right? Is this fair? Or am I simply perpetuating the age old myth of male helplessness in the face of feminine wiles? Are your sons intelligent boys growing into men? Or are they helpless beasts driven by their emotions? 
I have faith in your sons, Mrs. Hall. I choose to believe they're intelligent young men. Men in puberty, yes, and therefore capable of seeing anything and everything in a sexual way. But they don't have to act on their thoughts. I choose to believe you're teaching them to treat everyone with respect.

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October 11, 2012

Gypsy Sling!!!

Yes, she's complete!

Let's ignore the scuff marks at the bottom of the door and the touch up I need to do to the walls, OK?  THANKS!
My Gypsy Sling!

Cell phones nestled inside already and four (4!) pockets you can't see....this bag is the perfect size for me!
I used an outdoor fabricSolaruim Outdoor Canvas-Merona Caribbean from Joann's Fabrics, which is the same fabric I'll use to sew the Weekender bag (at some point....I'm too tired right now).  The interior is canvas duck.  No, seriously.  I have about 10 yards of white canvas duck in the house that needed a use and this was it. I have a tendency to throw any and everything into my bags and I wanted something I could toss into the washing machine and not feel bad about it.  My last 2 bags are stained with chocolate, numerous water bottles, hot and cold tea, ink pens in various colors, a lip liner pencil, ink from papers that had bled next to the water bottles, and all the other various things that get stuck in the bottoms of women's purses (I just named the stuff I could identify).  Not to mention the numerous rips and tears in the delicate lining fabrics.  The white Sak crochet bag I bought 3 months ago looks like I've owned it for three years already.

So this bag, for me, was about beauty, elegance, and durability.  It had to look good, I had to look good carrying it, it had to be big enough (ie. Can I carry my laptop in this comfortably? Yes? Then it's big enough) to carry my everyday items. This is going to be the bag I schlep back and forth to NYC with.  This will be the bag I schlep around NYC with.

Making this was a labor of love.  I'm an occasional sewer; I can make what I want, when I want, as long as the pattern has great instructions.  Otherwise.....well, the results aren't always pretty because I don't sew enough.

So, what went into making this bag?

I read the pattern for weeks after receiving it.
I finally cut out the pattern pieces two weeks ago.
I spent 2 hours last night cutting out the exterior fabric, interfacing and lining.
I reread the instructions again.

I spent ~10 hours today sewing it.  No seriously, from about 10:30 AM to 8:30 PM I was sewing this bag.  What did I learn?
  1. Take breaks.  Have lunch.  Eat dinner.  Walk away from it every so often.
  2. Having a walking foot can save your life!  I've never used my walking foot before today and I can't imagine living without it now.  A walking foot is almost a must on this bag.
  3. I don't think her instructions on making the fabric straps are correct.  If I had followed her directions, I would have had colossal straps (like 80" long per strap).  I took the first strap out, cut it in half, and sewed the ends together to get the correct length.
  4. Amy must have a tiny phone, because there is so way I could fit my phone in her cell phone pocket.  I had planned to put 2 cell phone pockets in my bag anyway (I have a work and a personal cell, so it was a must), but looking at the finished size of her pockets, she must have assumed that everyone making the bag would be lining it in some super stretchy material.
The cell phone on the left (work) is on top of the pocket sewn by her instructions (using a 1/2" seam).  The pocket under the cell (personal) on the right is the same, but used a 1/4" seam.
The final result.  Each cell phone inside it's pocket....a perfect fit.  I didn't bother with the crease/pleat at the bottom either....too much bother.
I'm so excited and proud of what Ive accomplished.  I'm on vacation tomorrow, so I'm going to transfer all my normal purse stuff to this bag and carry it around town for a while. I'm also going to studiously avoid all the fabric and thread scraps on the floor (only what missed the trash) and the mess on my bed.  I need to enjoy this moment.

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September 29, 2012

February Lady in September

When I initially started knitting my February Lady sweater, it was (cringes) November 1 last year.  I assumed that I would have it finished by Christmas (see what I mean by procrastination?).

I even planned (ha ha . . to complete the jacket for the Ravellenic games!  I pulled it out of its basket, reviewed what needed to be done (everything) and added the appropriate tags of EventWIPS & TeamKPLovers.

I completed 2 pairs of socks for the Ravellenic Games.

Now, it's getting cool here in NYC and I could really use my February Lady Jacket.  To compensate, I did order some jackets from Land's End, but it's not the same as a nice, custom made jacket.

So, let's review what I currently have.

What's worse, I know I need to frog some, because I attempted to add short rows (to raise the back) and I didn't like how they looked.  So, I think the September 2012 game plan is to finish the Rubus Suberectus Socks, & finish Magrathea.  I think that's enough to be going on with.

September 27, 2012

Holiday Knitting? Already???

As much as I hate to acknowledge it, now is the time to start thinking about Holiday Knitting. Yeah, Christmas is only 3 months away, so in the true fashion of a procrastinator, I'll start planning now, ignore the plan, then knit like mad starting 3 days before Christmas.

And not finish.

So, once I finish 2 more pairs of socks, I will have officially completed the Sock Knitters "unofficial" 12 socks in '12 KAL". I signed up to knit 30 pairs of socks on May 28 and I'll probably reach my goal by mid-October 2012. 4 months to knit 30 socks (smh) . . . gotta stop sniffing the wool fumes. Anyway, I'm also thinking I'll cut back to two socks a month on the sock knitting to make room for the holiday knitting.

I'm looking forward to the possibility of a project that's just a bit bigger. I had a queue of 2012 projects that I've wanted to complete all year and I'm just now acknowledging that the majority of those projects will never see the needles, but some of them will. I'm determined.

September 26, 2012

I'm back in the groove

Yeah, I know.

Shocked, aren't you?

I'm actually blogging again.  I'm actually sitting down and putting my thoughts to....well, not paper, but on something.

Anyway, here's a status update: