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Spring
  It's been more than a year, but here's some more thoughts on the last thing I wrote about: 90s music. But more specifically this article got me thinking about women in music (and how much I loved the Spice Girls). But there were other women in music I loved even more. A lot of them actually. I didn't realize how woman friendly the 90s were for growing up and listening to good and empowering music. I actually do like a good portion of pop and hip hop (and some country) performers today, but I wouldn't want to grow up with them. Here's some music. Enjoy. Edit: If you rightly think I'm crazy for posting so many videos, just watch the really good ones: Alanis, Fiona, Jewel, Tracy, and Pink.

Alanis Morissette, "You Oughta Know" (1995), co-written by Alanis. Perhaps the queen of 90s alternative-y rock, former Canadian pop-star turned edgy, hairy, rocker. Founder of Lilith Fair, an all female music festival. This song is angry, vengeful, passionate. It's amazing.


Sheryl Crow, "Everyday is a Winding Road" (1996 performance). This song is actually kind of repetitive but the beginning has some of my favorite lyrics. I had one of her CDs when I was young but I don't know what happened to it.


Meredith Brooks, "Bitch" performed at Lilith Fair. I loved this song in elementary school (we'll save the fact that my mom doesn't understand the concept of "age appropriate" for a different day). It's a great, womanly song. I relate to it often.
 
Before those annoying (in frequency), heart breaking animal cruelty ads, Sarah McLachlan moved people with songs without pictures of abused animals. "Building a Mystery" live performance, co-written by Sarah.


Fiona Apple. Amazing voice, intense eyes and performance. This rendition of "Sleep to Dream" from 1997 is awesome.


Paula Cole's "Where have all the Cowboys Gone?" played frequently on the radio when I was a kid, here's a high-energy live performance.


Here's another radio favorite from Lisa Loeb, "Stay" live. Also, she has cool glasses.


Jewel was a huge idol to me when I was younger (*le disappointed now*). I chose this performance because it's Jewel as I remember her, not all shiny and plastic. Don't let the crappy visual scare you off, the audio is fine. This song was not a hit, but it's a perfect example of a wonderful song by a female musician (that isn't about love). It's pretty deep. "Little Sister."


A double whammy of awesome, musical minority-ness. Black, female musicians are pretty rare, I don't even want to go into the super-sexualized role models that Black girls are presented with. Tracy Chapman is AMAZING. Best for last (in the category). This song made me cry, hard, when I listened to it tonight. Both from content and the memories it invoked from my childhood. Life is tough. "Fast Car."


Girl power wasn't limited to the awesome rock/folk scene of the 90s. No Doubt, who I associate with pop because that's what they eventually became, had the very straightforward, "Just a A Girl."


Now, from 2006, Pink totally gets it. This video is gold (minus the vomit but including the humorous stabs at Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson). "Stupid Girls." Seriously, where did all the smart people go?!



Alright, I'm done with the videos. One last pondering, all these great, female performers still represent the typical, Western view of beauty (except for Tracy Chapman). They're skinny, flawless skin, beautiful. Not that their messages would be made more powerful by being fat and "ugly" but I wonder how many talented women didn't get the contract because they didn't conform to these standards.

And now to be totally shallow, the women listed above that are still popularly performing, I have a hard time not thinking of them as "sell-outs" (I don't think that sentence was grammatically correct, but, you know...fuck it). Jewel especially. But also Alanis and Sheryl. This is totally unfair in the latter two cases because my basis for feeling this way is that their looks and music have changed. Wow. Artists evolving. FORBIDDEN! I really shouldn't hold it against them that they've updated their looks (WHY IS EVERYONE SO DAMN SHINY THESE DAYS?!) and changed musically, it's just not fair and I'm an awful person.

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Music/niche

Spring
    I've been listening to a lot of 90s music lately. Maybe it could be called "girl rock" or something, anyway: I really like Fiona Apple, Alanis Morrisette, Lisa Lobe, Sarah McLachlan, etc. And of course I listen on my Pandora station. So, when I gave Natalie Imbuglia's song "Torn" a thumbs up, I almost died of shock when her song "Wrong Impression" showed up on my list and it was the same person. I didn't recognize her voice, and when I looked her up on youtube I didn't recognize her face either.


  That's Torn. Typical 90s look I guess. Dark-ish, baggy, etc. (Also the video makes more sense when you know she was in a soap opera.)

Compare that to a more recent video. Wow.

   I don't know if I really have a point, other than the evolution of popular culture I guess. I'm not going to call her out as a "Jewel" who totally sold out in my opinion, but that has more to do with the fact that she started insulting people in the crowd at her shows rather than her changes in style and music.
  
  Also, is it just me or is pop music getting more country-ish? I guess it was inevitable with the commercial success of Taylor Swift.

   I think Natalie was prettier without being all makeup'd and such.

Clean


     I have a paper journal as well. My first entry was March 3rd, 2005 (at about 9:45 PM if you want to be precise, like I do). I don't remember how long I had it before I wrote in it. I love new journals, new notebooks, new pens. But I've never finished one.

     The one I was probably closest to finishing was from middle school/most of high school. It was one of this flower-printed journals with a cheap lock. The kind with a tiny universal key. It was filled with gossip, insecurity, all the things a girl goes through at that time. I threw it away my sophomore year of high school because. Well, some of you know the "because" and some don't. But suffice it to say, I wanted to forget everything that lead to that big conjunction. 

    I got a new journal after a while. Without a lock. Just a thin strap of elastic-fabric to make sure it stays closed. It's purple and blue with seagulls circling a girly-written "Thoughts." That's what I determined it would be. Just "thoughts." No more gossip, no more "why does [name] always ignore me?" and most importantly, no names. I set out to make it general. I didn't want to talk about what he/she said/did to make me feel so (whatever). I wanted to talk about how interactions, events, etc. made me feel in general and more importantly why I thought I felt that way. Even in times of great distress I didn't give in to making it about him/her/them. (I'm still not good at the "why"s of my emotions by the way. Or at least I'm not good at it in the moment.)

    When Tim and I started dating he asked if he could read it. I said "NO." Of course he couldn't read it, it was my journal. And by keeping names, specific events out of it, it was perhaps even more personal than any journal I had before. (It eventually became more specific at times.)

     I let him read it. And then, I started to write entries to him. I wrote 9 entries to Tim, the last one being February 1st, 2009. I signed them differently, I signed them with Tim's nickname for me.

     Then I went more than a year without writing in it. I wrote in it February 13th, 2010 and today. And in that time I've really, really wanted a new journal. (I also stopped writing them to Tim, and signing them in my usual way).

     I've always liked new journals because they have perfect potential for brilliance. The clean and crisp pages wait with batted breath to behold the imagination. The soul. I've accumulated so many journals and notebooks in my life because I love that potential. But I lack the follow-through (maybe the talent (ouch that hurt)). I still have two of my poetry journals. One from middle school and one from high school. (The middle school one is better.) Now I'm afraid to write in them because they're so. Old? They're period pieces really.

    I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about anymore.    

    Oh, right. The whole point I had to this rambling post was that I don't write in my journal as much as I'd like. I think the reason though, is that I think of journals of being private and I don't have much to hid. In fact, you LJ friends will know that I don't really hid things (my last two posts probably fall into the "private" category of a journal). It's not just that Tim will at some time read my journal again (with my consent), it's that...I don't know. I turn anything that would be a journal entry into a facebook status or a LJ post. So I guess that makes me an attention whore. Kind of. Mostly I just think that holding so many things in would make me lonely. That's why I fail at keeping my own secrets. I need the human interaction. The commiseration. That's why I'm so open. But I don't want a blank journal. I want it bursting with words. It will be a good exercise,to write more, so I can get more than one chapter out of my head.

   Also, it's called "Clean" because I love clean paper. Yeah.

Well, it was interesting at least...

Spring
    I had some very disturbing dreams last night. The one I'm choosing to share (because I remember it better than the other, longer, more complex one) also goes down as the most graphic and gross dream I've ever had.

   I think I was walking to bed and I felt something on the side of my upper-leg. It felt kind of how a loose blister feels: watery. I looked at it though and discovered that it was open on one side so I horrifyingly explored a bit and saw there was something under it. I slid the skin away and out poured a bunch of tiny organs. I caught them but I was repulsed and they were far too hot and sticky but I didn't want to drop them. No one else was around and I wanted to find out what they were so I tried to preserve them, first by putting them on a wet cloth and then wrapping them up. I remember the heat in my hands very well. It was really gross.

   Anyway, what the hell could that mean? I was worried about getting a blister on my foot when I went to bed, but that's a stretch even for my brain. It's even stranger when you take into account my low threshold for "ick."

   I wish I could remember the other one better. I was definitely in some sort of compound, ruled by a cult. There were a lot of other people. I wanted to escape but there were only two ways out, an open but sprawled with monsters-zombies-or-something and a tunnel that only had one thing in it, a MAX train-like monster. I went for the train one with some other mystery people, but I the gate at the entrance was about to close and I didn't want to be trapped so I jumped out onto a pile of sand. There I hid in the darkness because the leaders were talking and I knew they were looking for me. They were also talking about building something, and apparently they were resurrecting dead architects to help, but it was hard to find one who would help them (architects are inherently good, who would have though?). This last part made me have crazy deja vu. I also remember thinking about Tim and how he could pick me up on the motocycle if I could get a hold of him.

   So, there's that. If you asked me "Why, Hannah? Dear god, WHY?!" did I just write that I couldn't really say for sure. I like over-sharing sometimes. It was too long and weird for a facebook post, I'm trying to write more in general via LJ, my journal, or my book (eventually, dammit!).

   Perhaps more later on the frustrations of my new phone, and employment.   

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Honeymoon Video (finally)

Spring

So, we were both sick for the whole of our honeymoon in Amsterdam, and I didn't take any pictures. Well, I took one picture, but the same image is in the video. I wish I had taken more pictures now though. The video is mostly fireworks on New Years. The bulk of it is from the apartment, but if you skip along to about 5:26 you can see us on the street, where we had a firework shot near us. It was very exciting.

I really wish we hadn't been sick. I was looking forward to Amsterdam so much! The last day we were there we went to the botanical gardens, which was amazing but mostly we slept and I read or Tim went to Blender to see Nathan (Tim always gets over things before I do. Possibly because my body refuses to get fevers (but I did throw up, yay!)).

For not seeing or experiencing much of the place I sure do have some intense nostalgic feelings for it. I'd like to go back sometime. Only without the horrendous plane ride. Curse you, boat travel for being to long and expensive!

Also, it took me so long because the camera's software/relationship with my computer (and Tim's) is very rocky. They do not get along. Sometimes they don't even speak the same language. But I finally fiddled with it enough to get it all together and accessible.

Also, also: Our bathroom is being remodeled. This is very inconvenient. But it will be worth it (yes?).

Amusing, Ms. Slevin, very amusing indeed...

Spring
Missing: Psyche
Last seen: More than a week ago
Reward: None, the impostor is content filling in

Mmm, tasty tasty Pride, you're such a delicious friend I may never let you go.

I can't really explain how or why this happened but I'm becoming unshakably cocky lately. "Insufferably pleased with myself" should be the saying, but I'm totally fine with it. In fact, there's another part of me that looks on the whole thing with heightening hilarity, which results in a very possibly addictive feeling of self-satisfaction and amusement.

If I were to put a reason to it, I would have to say it's because I've started writing again, which makes sense. There are very few people who have seen me after I've written something I considered framing and dipping in gold, but they're probably familiar with this Hannah.

Some fuddy-duddy in here is also telling me not to get knocked off my high horse, but I don't think I'm going to let it happen this time. Nope, this time I'm limber and determined and I've also taped my legs to the horse (which kind of hurts).

Anyway, this is going to happen sooner or latter, and I'd rather it be sooner. It results in a lot less regret and a lot more happiness (I think).

The only area this this ego-trip hasn't spread to is my body image, but that's not surprising at all...however; my impulsive voice has been tied up in the back of my mind screaming at me for the last few days, telling me I'd look really good with bangs so I should just pick up the scissors and have at it. I think I will do it, maybe tomorrow...I don't want to find out the hard way that I'm not a brilliant hair-stylist, hahaha. But if it does look good on me, god save the world from the rolling ball of smugness that is me.

P.S. About the title, "Ms. Slevin" sounded much better than "Ms. Slevin-Vegdahl", so I'm sticking with it.

I need at least another week


Itinerary:
21: day in Corvallis with Tim's grandparents
22: given away by Tim's mom to other set of grandparents to come see us.
23: Leaving for California
28: Leave California for Amsterdam
7: Come home from Amsterdam

I never got to see anyone. I didn't get to see Crystal/Anthony/Drake or Emily or Jessica. I also didn't get to say goodbye to Shane before he goes to China for a semester.

Comparatively I see Crystal the most. Looking at old notes between us makes me miss our solo time. It's kind of hard to think that we'll never have that again, not with her being a mom. Time with Drake is enjoyable as well, I just don't ever get to see Crystal on her own which also means I can't tell if she's really happy.


I barely saw any of Emily this semester, which is frustrating. I worry that I'm not there for her enough and that she'll think I don't care.

I saw Lauren at our weekly lunch but that ended before the semester did.

Jessica and I were supposed to go see the Princess and the Frog. The only upside to that is that maybe by the time I get back it will be in one of the small theaters that I prefer so much.

Anyway, the point is I didn't get to see a lot of my friends. And I'm worried about Yuki. I love that silly rabbit so much. This honeymoon/Christmas better be awesome so I don't spend the whole time freaking out about him being lonely at home.

While I'm here....

Spring
I'm released from my house-sitting duties on Wednesday, wohoo! Nothing sucks more than feeling like you're awkwardly dating your husband again, waiting for phone calls and e-mails and becoming increasingly insecure.

But this also means I only have until Wednesday to get all this music off my tongue. The animals aren't appreciating my repetative singing of Across the Universe, but I'd never do such a thing like this at home...not where people can hear me. And by people I mostly mean the landlord/roommate. Tim has heard me sing before but not with my heart in it. Hell, my toes are getting into it now.

I highly recommend Fiona Apple's version of Across the Universe. Sing with me! One more time before bed!

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Netflix is dangerous

Rock
I worked on my lit review today and found some interesting stuff. Also, my subject (measuring the satisfaction of volunteers and increasing that satisfaction) is extensively covered by the awesome Jeffrey Brudney, who I have a research-crush on at the moment.

Also, I like having a dishwasher and a food processor. And my netflix movies came today...and I watched all of them. I got two indie films and a documentary. I'm a huge fan of quirky indie movies (and documentaries) so I thought I'd get some that I've had my eye on for a while.

The documentary: Religulous by Bill Maher. I'm a Bill Maher fan and I was looking forward to his look at religion...in short one of the most disappointing films I've ever seen. I may have my beefs with Bible thumpers but even I was like, "WOW...back off!" I don't like watching people be awkwardly reduced by someone who claims to have superior intellect but no apparent empathy. I was only really interested in a few points and they were way too brief.
www.youtube.com/watch

Indie one: How to Be starring Robert Pattinson (I know, scary! Twilight, eek!). Despite the awesome looking trailer I was also disappointed in this one. I feel like it didn't actually go anywhere...but that might have actually been the point. I also feel like it's one of those movies that I'll watch again in a month and really like. I'm weird like that sometimes.
www.youtube.com/watch

Indie two: Hamlet 2. Pretty much the best thing ever. Seriously, it was one of the best movies I've seen. It's a parody of inspirational teacher movies, about a really terrible actor/drama teacher who's department is cut. He puts everything into one last grand play hoping to get funding and it's pretty much the worst/most offensive play ever. I laughed out loud a lot, which is weird (but it could be the cabin fever), but it also had a lot of heart.
www.youtube.com/watch

Seeing as I don't know when I'm going home I'm going ahead and sending them back tomorrow for three more, and I'm keeping my 1 documentary and 2 indies ratio.

Up next:
Doc: The U.S. vs John Lennon: www.youtube.com/watch
Indie 1: Medicine for Melancholy: www.youtube.com/watch
Indie 2: American Splendor: www.youtube.com/watch

Note: I watched Hamlet 2, Religulous, and then How to Be. I wish I'd watched Hamlet 2 last. The other two brought me down. I thought about watching it again before bed, but it's kind of late...*heavy heart*.

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Can I go home yet?

Rock
I don't want to be here. I didn't want to be here in the first place. I almost cried before my mom even left.

Michael's mom dies a few days after the wedding and he's been in Southern California ever since "taking care of things" which means getting drunk with relatives and enjoying his unemployment somewhere that is not the couch in Portland. This has left my mom alone for that period, calling me to complain about fighting with Michael because he wants to move them down there because...well, probably because the whole thing is novel to him seeing as he hasn't gotten off the couch since June. There's sun (well, not anymore, why is it raining/snowing down there?!) and there's a music "night life" (...there's that here too, but again with the ass on the couch thing) so he wants to be down there. Despite the fact that he can't even stand Portland summers, oh and: Unemployed. Where it's super expensive to live. And moving down there would mean that my mom wouldn't have her job either (pitiful as the wages and hours are, it's a job). So my mom went down there to "check things out" even though she doesn't want to live there. Also (maybe the most terribly hilarious part) he wants to move into his deceased mother's trailer. Any of you who have seen their house see the hilarity, they don't have the space for anything. And Michael has 20+ guitars, 3-4 synthesizers and a few electronic drums. I'm sure that would fit great. He says he'll sell them, which officially means hell has frozen over (OH! That's why it's f***ing snowing in So Cal!). They'd also have to have room for Oh and the cats.

Bubba died the week before Thanksgiving. It's so surreal. They cremated him for me, his ashes are in a box in my old room. I don't know what I'd do with them though. I wanted to put them in an urn but now that I have them I don't know. I think I just didn't want the last time I saw him to be handing him to the vet, shaking, cold and alone (now I'm crying for reasons other than being stuck here). He was 15 at the very least, maybe 16. I'm 21. It feels like I had him for all my life. Maybe that's part of why it feels so unreal to be here.

My concentration is shot. I need to write my lit review. And do some work for Don. I'm also getting behind on hours. I can't leave Oh alone for too long. I don't think I've ever felt so lethargic and unfocused. Having cable is not helping the concentration issue either.

I miss Tim and Yuki. This is so unfair. Pull the newlywed away from home why don't you? What makes it worse is that I don't know how long I'll be here. She doesn't have to be back to work until Christmas Eve, but Tim and I are leaving for my dad's on the 23rd. She better be back before then. I can't stand it here (well...having a kitchen is nice, even if it is a dirty and cramped kitchen). There is a possibility that I might not see my rabbit for a month, or close to it. I might get a day of Yuki before we're off to California and then off to Amsterdam (even though the trip might not happen which I'm not even going to touch right now seeing as it's a long and infuriating story).

I want to go home.