Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Internet Neglect

Sorry about the lack of posting. We have entered the final stretch of the semester which means papers, gnawed fingernails and few blog entries. Please be sure to check out the blogs on the side bar and check back here in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Not Excited about the 360

I haven't been writing much, maybe because I don't feel compelled to, and in a way, I'm still feeling as such. However, I just felt like saying, with all of that 360 love out there, that I'm not too excited about it. I don't think I'll ever try to get one. Yeah, I went to Best Buy, read all the specs, but it just isn't doing it for me. And I feel like hooking your console up to HD television for your demos is kind of cheating. (Don't get wrong, I think Nintendo and Sony would do the same thing.) I want to see the graphics on a shitty tv--isn't that what most of us would be viewing?

Hands down, I think the console was released too early. I'm hoping for more when the PS3 and the Revolution comes out--I think there's a lot to be said by the fact that I was more impressed with the graphics for the remake of Resident Evil looked on my Game Cube compared to that of 360's Kameo. For the next generation I want little-to-none load times, innovated controls (and concepts--though how vague is that?), interesting games, no lag time when I'm playing, and great grapics. In short, I want the next gen to knock my socks off.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Ooo Lah Lah, Sex in Games

I've come across a few posts that talk about sex in videogames.

First, Bonnie Ruberg has an interview with Brenda Brathwaite, a sex games developer, at Gamasutra. My favorite quote from the article:
Not only is there a place for [sex in games], it's actually a reason many such
games are developed. They allow players to experiment with sexuality in a safe
way.” In addition, though Brathwaite admits the vast majority of adult content
is developing with straight men in mind, certain games offer chances for crucial
female involvement, such as “MMOSVGs and cybering in MMORPGs,” where there is a “strong female player presence.”

Over at Utopian Hell, the issue of sex in massive online RPGs and sexism in video games is directly addressed. A quote:
The video game industry as of late has been talking a lot about making video
games more “mainstream”. Until games stop catering to pubescent fantasies of hot
girl-on-girl action, that just isn’t going to happen.

Make sure you check out both of the articles.

What concerns me the most of sex in video games definately has nothing to do with "OMG! What about The Children!" Rather, has more to do with the intense focus on male heterosexuality. Just like in books, TV, movies--what have you--male het. sex is the default. And you know what? It's boring, sterotypical, and reactionary--and there's still a long way to go. We'll only see a change in how sex is represented when women cease to be "the other" and when heterosexuality is no longer the only accepted way to illustrate sexual passion in entertainment.

I realize this is idealistic. But I can dream, right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Letsa Go

We did it--we have a copy of Mario Kart DS. The only unfortunate part is that we're having trouble connecting to the wifi, but we should be hearing from Nintendo's tech support in the next few days. We did play a little DS to DS action and it was a lot of fun.

When we do get our friend code, we'll probably end up posting.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Cat and Cat

To the left is yet another dark and fuzzy picture of Takun. If you look closely, you can see that he's practicing his superman pose. On the right is Casey on her summer window perch. Look how green it was outside--I hope it doesn't snow tonight.

I think this was written about me.

The except below is from a friend's blog--I'm not telling her that I'm posting this. Exhibitionist? Maybe. I find that when I say things that are completely honest, or that when I write completely honest, I feel that I want to throw up. This doesn't mean that I lie all the time, it just means that often I change what I say in order to appear and be more amiable for those that I am with. If I'm with people I trust, I say what I think--most of the time. I think the times when I'm truly honest and don't feel bad about it is when I'm angry--I get angry a lot, I think because when I was younger and wouldn't let myself feel anger, I became depressed. This is the case for a lot of people. This friend of mine, I saw her scatter for whatever reason, and it was hard for me. It was hard also because I moved away from her.

I am not sure if my anger stems from jealously or rightousness. I tend to think rightousness, as it has been heartily fed by my Women & Gender Studies minor. There's a lot of things to be angry about, frustrated about--what matters is if the anger is productive.

Reading this was hurtful, but it's also good. It gives me a lot to think about.

Dear Anonymous, I've heard from other people that you see me as beautiful,
but that isn't what I pick up from you when we are together. You have been my
mirror, and I feel like I really Have lost something in your eyes. It's been
strange for me seeing you move out of my shadow. Though, that's been happening
consistently since the day we met. You strike me as angry, you've got gall that
I don't. Your future is as mysterious as mine, I can see you gaining strength
and success, but it isn't hard to imagine the opposite, either. I know I've
scared the shit out of you, and I'm sorry... maybe it happened because I trusted
you in the first place. We'll grow more distant, I think, from now on. But I
feel like I am distanced from everyone and everything, anyhow. You are so far
away. And sometimes I think your jealousy ruins you. And your harsh judgements.
I know we'll see each other grow yet.

Action Alert--Cut in Student Loan Funding

I recieved this in my school email inbox:

The U. S. House of Representatives is on the verge of approving what would
be the largest cut in the history of student loan funding. Sometime
later this week (possibly as late as Saturday, November 19), the House will vote
on the FY 2006 budget reconciliation bill that includes $15 billion in cuts to
the student loan programs.

To help fight these cuts, I ask you to do two
things: Call your congressman/woman and tell him/her to oppose the
budget reconciliation bill. Please place calls by Thursday, November 17.
Please forward the "Stop the Raid on Student Aid" flyer, or the link to
it, to your students. (The flyer is posted at Ask
them to call or e-mail Congress in opposition to the House budget reconciliation

To call Congress, use either the Capitol Switchboard
(202-225-3121) or the Student Aid Alliance hotline (1--800-574-4AID), and ask
for your representative's office.

Talking Points

--I call to ask you to oppose the budget reconciliation bill, because it will make the biggest cuts to student loans in the program's history.
--Instead of having student loans make the biggest contribution to deficit reduction of any area of government, Congress needs to increase its investment in student aid so that we can provide the ladder of opportunity and access, prepare the nation's workforce, educate individuals to lead a complex civil society, and sustain our competitiveness in the global economy.
--This is not the way to make higher education affordable for America 's working families. Congress must keep up its commitment to needy students. Their future and the future of the national interest depend on it.
--Balancing the budget on the backs of students puts an inordinate burden on them, and on our nation's future.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

PBS Frontline's "The Last Abortion Clinic"

Last night, Frontline had an excellent piece about the "abortion war." It went over the specifics of Roe vs. Wade, the Casey desicion and what the upcoming future of abortion might be. We need to watch out for November 30th. It also addressed that there is only one abortion clinic left in Mississippi, and that it's existance is terribly threatened. I feel that the piece tried it's best to represent both sides, but listen to the anti-choicers and their "mission" was particularily chilling, especially when they tried to address poverty, which they essentially couldn't. I felt as though they came off as "sex is only for those who can afford it, otherwise you must obstain."

Frontline's website for the show is a valuable tool and you should check it out. (You can even watch the entire show online.) It features an interactive map that lets you click on states around the country so that you can know that state's position on abortion. It really freaked me out. For instance, here's what it said about Illinois:

Mandatory waiting period: No.Informed Consent/State-directed counseling:
No.Enforceable parental consent for minors: No.Public funding for abortion*:
Yes. Illinois allows a woman eligible for medical assistance to obtain public
funds for abortion if the procedure is medically necessary to preserve the
woman's health.Rights of conscience protection to healthcare providers: Yes.
Individuals, healthcare providers, and public or private institutions may refuse
to participate in any health service, including abortion procedures, if the
refusal has been made in writing. Illinois' rights of conscience protection is
the most comprehensive in the country.Abortion clinic regulations: Yes. Illinois
requires state licensing and regulation of outpatient abortion clinics.

Alright, that makes sense--Illinois is a pretty liberal state, and Chicago is a big help. Then I read this:
Other: -Illinois has written into state code language concerning its policy
toward abortion, including that "the unborn child is a human being from the time
of conception and is, therefore, a legal person for purposes of the unborn
child's right to life. … [I]f those [abortion-related] decision of the United
States Supreme Court are ever reverses … then the former policy of this State to
prohibit abortions unless necessary for the preservation of the mother's life
shall be reinstated."

Needless to say, I am scared.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Now I Know (about menstruation)

There's a post from a few days ago over at Media Girl about menstrual suppression. Considering myself a type of menstrual activist (I'm very fond of knitted uteruses, tampon dolls and GladRags) it gave me a lot to think about. Rather, kind of stew over. To me, calling myself a menstual activist means that I actively engage in writings on menstruation. That I look at medication that is used for menstruation with a critical eye. I've learned not to just take in doctor's advice without questioning it. Some of the things that I think about is how the medical community hasn't quite taken the time to know the menstrual cycle as well as they maybe should, so when we use synthetic hormones that suppresses the cycle, how does it affect the rest of your body? I'm informed about (and hope to soon partake in) cervical self-exam, do not consume dioxin laced menstrual products, but rather use Gladrags or make my own pads.

You may be thinking: too much personal information. I choose to write about this here, because it's important. It's a health issue that's taken for granted.

First of all, it needs to be said: when you're on The Pill, you don't menstruate. When women on the pill bleed, it's withdrawal bleeding from the drug. Therefore, you are not having a menstrual cycle. When people talk about Seasonal and mention that they only have their period four times a year, they aren't. They have withdrawal bleeding. So when people bring up the point that nowadays we are getting our periods earlier and having them more often because we aren't pregnant as long, it's misleading, because you are not having your period whenever you take any incarnation of the pill.

Second, I'm not completely anti-pill, or anti-hormonal method. I like the ease of it all, the autonomy that it gives women. I just want more research and information. There's a lot of questions that need to be asked and answered. The other methods that are out there, such as barrier methods, need to be talked about as well. We need to get over the squeamishness of our bodies so that barrier methods can be a realistic option for women who don't want to use the pill or have access to it. One of the barrier methods, the cervical cap, is no longer available because so few women use it. One of the points of the article is that women don't have to be "slaves to biology" or that women are thought of as weird or crazy if they don't want to have their period. I feel that the opposite is true: one time I tried to bring up menstruation as a plus in my Biology of Human Sexuality class, to which my teacher looked at me dumbfoundedly. She basically then told me that she wasn't aware of any woman who liked having their period. I admit that I'm not too fond of it either, but I believe that our societal perception of menstruation greatly influences me. I also experience a lot of pain, on which I tried taking The Pill, in order to deal with it, but unfortunately it didn't help.

I think further discussion of these issues is important: we need to take care of our health, we need access to affordable, convieniet birth control methods, we need to feel like having a female body isn't a disability.

If you're interested, check out this book.

Best Ever

via Kotaku

Pac-Man cross stitch from!

One of the things that I love the most in life is when crafts and videogames combine. The article Game Heroine Invades Bucolic Needlepoint Landscapes; Wreaks Aesthetic Havoc Space over at Game Girl Advance was an epiphany, along with the Space Invaders scarves that can be regularily found over at Craftster. I myself have plans of knitting up a Space Invaders backpack (8 bit graphics are perfect for knitting), but the intarsia has made it slow going. These Pac-Man cross stitch patterns look to be a snap; I'm totally going to start the "Pac-Man for President" tonight.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Political Hair and Feminist Thought

I'm trying to write a cohesive essay for my creative nonfiction class on hair (leg hair) and feminist thought. It also includes androgyny, Disney characters and Jennifer Aniston. I'm try to view the piece sort of as a blog entry, instead of going at it from a Poetry Major's viewpoint, but I'm having a hard time. I wish I could just write a poem. Here's a rough little excerpt:
Androgyny is as fashionable as being a rebel. I wanted to be a white wall: indistinguishable with a plain face and body. What I really wanted to do was to relive a grade school memory: walking to my grandma’s house after a sweaty game of softball in a pair of white polyester pants that hung loosely around my hips, black Nike cleats, a large blue t-shirt that read Coldwell Banker across my chest. My hair was tucked up inside my red baseball cap. Walking along, I stared
at the grass, hitting my metal bat on my toes every step or so. Two boys walked by, but I didn’t bother looking at them. I heard one boy talk to the other in a low, cautious voice. “Was that a boy or a girl?” I was thrilled.

Here are some of the essays that I'm going to refer to in order to try to organize my thoughts:
  • John Berger, Ways of Seeing
  • Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth
  • Zones, "Beauty Myths and Realities and Their Impact on Women's Health" (the first part of the name is cut off on my xeroxed copy)
  • Bell Hooks "Sisterhood: Political Solidarity between Women"

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Our Sunday Cat Blogging

Because Sunday's are a drag, what better way to make it better than some cat-wise navel gazing? Submitted for (my) viewing pleasure, here's Ta-kun (top) and Casey (bottom).

Ta-kun is a seventh month old kitten and is hard to photograph because he's all black. The shawdows, man, the shadows. Casey is six and only has eighteen toes because of a botched declawing. Thus said, declawing is mean.

I'll get better at taking the pictures, I'm still learning my camera. And yes, Ta-kun's named after the kitten in FLCL, like it's said, we're huge nerds.

Welcome to the New and Improved One Hundred Little Dolls blog. After much consideration, I finally decided that Blogger might be a better place because you don't need to sign up in order to leave a comment. I'll miss my Xanga blog *sniff* but I think this will be much, much better.

Plus, I'm happy to announce that Shion's Glasses said that he'll be joining me in posting. He promised. We'll see.