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Winning the Internet in Perpetuity: “How to Speak While Female”

[ 55 ] July 29, 2015 |

It is a widely-accepted fact that everything women say–and how they say it–is wrong!



*wipes tears*

Some highlights:

  • Never speak in run-on sentences. Use only sentences that Hemingway would use. Speak curtly. Speak of fish and fighting, and the deep wisdom no woman can know. Speak of hills and strong liquor. Speak of Scott Fitzgerald and his fatal weakness.
  • When you form words at all, which should be but rarely, make certain they come out in a low, gravelly growl, like a hungover Joe Cocker who has just gargled shards of glass. Strive to sound like a cigarette would sound if it could talk. Strive to rumble like thunder that has taken a class to counteract its vocal fry. If you sound like the love child of Darth Vader and a female Ent, you have achieved your purpose. Speak so that those who hear you wonder aloud and say, “Surely this speaker is a man. Or a grizzly bear who has swallowed a man whole.”
  • In general, communicate only by tearing off the arms of those with whom you are displeased. Wave these arms like flags, in a kind of gruff semaphore. To express feelings, roll rocks downhill with rude emoji carved on them.

Done done and done, milady.

No Way, Brosé

[ 181 ] July 28, 2015 |


Dudes have discovered Rosé wine. It’s not like it hasn’t been mouldering on the shelves alongside whites and reds for forever now, but apparently since men have discovered it now has relevancy.

I don’t have a problem with people liking Rosé…like, at all. Most of them are too sweet for my taste, but if you dig sweet wine, rock on and swig that sweet wine. What I have a problem with is that this Rosé only became remarkable because men began remarking on it.

(Thanks to N_B for the link.)

Saturday Night Creatures Feature

[ 22 ] July 25, 2015 |

…and I shall call him “Shenanigans.”

Someone discovered a new species of octopus and rightly deemed it adorable. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s an octopus, a hat that some dude wore in the “Fat Albert” cartoon or an “Octonauts” character come to life. All I know is I have purchased two: I am petting one and wearing the other one on my head.

In other news, the corporation I’m working for demanded I make another picture featuring a dead-eyed, big-headed, vaguely-creepy woman wearing a jaunty hat. Being the corporate drone I am, I syngergized my outer-boxness and made this paradigm-shifting motivational poster. Enjoy, tasteless plebes!

Jarred/Country-Style Pork Ribs Ideas

[ 64 ] July 24, 2015 |

Hey, folks. The other day I asked:

I find that nothing really subs for the fresh tang of homemade salsa, NOTHING. So basically when I look for a jarred salsa I’m expecting nothing more than a pleasant condiment to put on corn chips or Mexican food. But, still, jarred salsa is a handy thing to have in the pantry. So what’s your favorite brand?

And, while we’re at it, what’s your favorite jarred brand of BBQ sauce?

This brings me to country-style ribs. Normally I rub them with a premade rub and sear them then throw them in the crockpot on top of some potatoes and cover everything with a cup of BBQ sauce. When the ribs are falling apart and the potatoes are tender, I remove the ribs and brush them with more sauce. But I’ve made this a billion times and frankly I’m sick of it. What do you do with country-style ribs?

More on the Kitchen’s Changing Status

[ 96 ] July 23, 2015 |

I found this interesting because it briefly tackles a favorite subject of mine–the morphing of kitchens as hideaway workspaces into tricked out status symbols. I still find this morph fascinating.

But more than that, the author almost has me convinced that open-plan kitchens are a bad idea. I’m a serious, messy cook. My kitchen is often greasy, smoky, smelly and hot. It’s not a glamorous place. Is there something to the idea that kitchens should be hidden away? I’m not sold yet, but I’m open to being convinced.

Pornography for Women and Corporate Art

[ 91 ] July 22, 2015 |


This entry is a response to a post in previous thread. It broaches the subjects of romance, erotica and my art, all subjects I’m happy to yammer on about.


“bspence at one point asked for criticism of her art”


I’ve never asked for criticism of my art.

and I made a comment that seemed to confuse some people that I thought her art looked corporate. This post has given me a better way to describe why it looks so corporate, because it reminds me of the slick, shopped art that publishing companies put on romance novels to market them.


This particular piece is…I don’t know how else to say it…bad. It’s devoid of nuance, originality, or anything else that could make it qualify as good art. It looks like the cover of a romance novel because I had just read the romance novel that inspired it and essentially ended up making the cover of a romance novel as a result. Weird, huh? Romance novel. If it looks slick and ‘shopped it’s because I am a professional artist who works with…Photoshop. Slick and shopped is what I do. That being said, it’s not indicative of my work at all, which people who know and purchase my art know.

Anyways, more on topic, romance novels have been likened to pornography for women and I think the reliance on the prurient to sell copies is what gives the genre its reputation. Something that gives women the shivers doesn’t need to be of other redeeming quality to sell copies (or make movies, or audiobooks). I don’t read erotic fiction much but I also see no reason that the genre couldn’t sustain more “genuine”* literary undertakings as well, and I’m sure there are plenty of examples out there.

Romance novels are not erotica. They are not porn. There is porn for women. It’s called “porn.” Women produce, act in, direct,  consume, and write porn. Pornography is pornography for women, full stop, end of story. There is nothing that makes me grit my teeth more than the assertion that romance is “porn for women.” Women know porn. Women watch/read porn. Romance ain’t porn…even when it’s scorchingly erotic. Romance and porn scratch two different itches in the end. They just do. So quit saying otherwise. It just proves you don’t know what you’re talking about. (This is not directed at Sue.K. Lots of folks say this.)

Disappearing Women, Fat Women

[ 35 ] July 22, 2015 |


I wanted to share two links with you because I thought the corresponding articles were incredibly well-written and nuanced. And both them deal with–in a roundabout way–the way women are so often reduced to their appearance…be they older, be they beautiful, be they fat. Be they all those things at once.

I don’t know if I’ve disappeared yet. I know it’s only a matter of time. When it happens will I feel relieved or sad? A bit of both I’d reckon and I think that’s ok and normal. When we talk about issues that feminists care about we need to remember to talk about them as if we’re living in this world–today, not a feminist utopia. We are absolutely not living a feminist utopia now, so I think that conversations brimming with nuance are incredibly appropriate.

Rethinking Romance/The Audible Experience

[ 60 ] July 21, 2015 |

“Burn for You Forever”–bspencer



I’ve been listening to my favorite paranormal romance books, having read nearly all in the series. It’s been an enlightening experience. Being a romance fan is something I’ve always copped to without hesitation, but I’ve always felt that qualifiers were hanging in the air when I discussed this. You’re supposed to read romance books understanding they’re trash. Sometimes I’ve even said this. “Most of it’s trash. Its’ a guilty pleasure.” I should feel guilty about enjoying romance novels, right? They’re silly, they’re not books of substance. They’re formulaic, they’re cliched. They’re (almost exclusively) for women. I think I’m done with qualifying my like of the genre now, though.

This brings me to the audible experience, streaming audible books. Boy howdy, I recommend doing it. If there’s a book you’re particularly fond of–assuming your narrator is decent–listening to it will take your appreciation to a whole new level. That’s what happened when I began listening to my favorite paranormal romance series. Whereas I had once thought of these books as silly trifles, listening to them made me rethink my take on them. Here’s why: I read the books voraciously…always looking for the “good parts.” I read them hastily, sloppily. In the end, they all ran together in my head. (They have intersecting plot points so this added to that feeling.) In the end I dismissed them as exceptionally tasty junk food. But listening to them changed all that. I was at the mercy of the narrator, I was going his speed…so there was no rushing to the “good parts.” I actually had to sit and listen and take in details I hadn’t before. It turns out these weren’t trashy novels, I was just a trashy reader. A hurried, shallow reader. No more. I can now say without hesitation that these are good books, quality books. With fully-fleshed-out characters, superb character development, fun, fast-moving plots, and even some decent world-building.

But back to the genre of romance. The obvious thing to say about it is that most of it is trash (most of it is, to be sure) but that if you search it out you can find the good stuff. But can’t you say that about just about everything? Oh, don’t get me wrong–I wouldn’t relish explaining to a non-reader the popularity of “50 Shades.” I couldn’t, because I couldn’t get through the first chapter of the book. (I also made the mistake of attempting to read a couple of its many imitators and found them as baffllingly awful. Never has so much sexual tension been as devoid of sexiness; and never has it caused so much tension in me.) But I can safely and proudly say (now) that I have a read a few really good romance novels, novels that were crafted with care and–I assume–joy, and that didn’t make me vomit with their tortured prose. So I’m done apologizing for being a romance fan and I’m done qualifying my enjoyment of the genre.


Michael Eisner Thinks Beautiful Women Aren’t Funny

[ 140 ] July 6, 2015 |


A tweep of mine went on a righteous rant in response to his idiocy. I Storified it.

I’ll say here what I said to her: a.) Where do men get these idiotic ideas? b.) Why do they feel safe expressing them?


[ 7 ] July 5, 2015 |

Guys, if you’re worried about the huge shiny spot on my forehead, don’t be. As a seasoned multi-tasker I was helping to land planes as I made this video.

Friday Creature Feature

[ 38 ] June 19, 2015 |

Friends, there’s not much people agree on. Should the Air Force continue as a separate branch? Is “Game of Thrones” the best show since “Family Matters?” Was ketchup Hitler’s favorite condiment? Is it probable that 1 of every 3 of the children on “Toddlers and Tiaras” is named “Kaylee?” Opinions differ. We’ll never come to a consensus on these important issues.

But if there’s one thing I think we can all agree on it’s that newborns–of just about  every species– are disgustingly ugly. Just BUTT. UGLY.



This is the Eastern Phoebe chick (s/he hatched in the nest on our front porch) that recently (tentatively) took flight. Whew. Talk about a face only a mother could love…


UPDATE: I don’t think this chick is an Eastern Phoebe. Poster Lara thinks it may be, in fact, a baby Cowbird. I’m inclined to agree because they are so plentiful around here…and this baby was so much bigger than the others. I think, folks, this is a baby Cowbird. Oops!!!

Belated Creature Feature: I AM THE SMARTEST (WO)MAN ALIVE

[ 29 ] June 7, 2015 |

My son has recently gotten into bird-watching. Translation: I have gotten into bird-watching because I have to as my son has taken a serious interest in birds (also, I’m really digging it). We have bird-feeders, Cardinal feeders and hummingbird feeders set up and we’ve attracted a sweet little variety of birds to our yard. So far we’ve identified House Finches, American Goldfinches, Northern Cardinals, House Sparrows (our most abundant visitors), Red-Winged Blackbirds, Rock Doves, and Brown-headed Cowbirds. BUT we had this cute little bird that has a nest on our front porch and rarely leaves our house we could not identify. We bought books. We consulted bird-watching apps. COULD NOT figure out what our mystery bird was. Finally, I got fed up and…did something revolutionary–I Googled it. And I found out our mystery bird was…



Did I just put an Adam Sandler video on this esteemed blog? Yes, yes I did. I realize this is the pop culture equivalent of liking ketchup and vodka, but that’s totally how I felt when I found an exact match for my query–I AM THE SMARTEST WOMAN ALIVE!

Also, our own Dr. Bimler would like you to look at this amazing new ceratopisan.

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