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The Isle is Full of Noises

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It's been a long time since I posted anything.  I've had many half entries that I never finished, or walked away from.  But the essay that follows is something I feel needs to be said.  This post may contain some TMI, but pretty much everyone who follows my live journal entries knows me, and will hopefully refrain from any caustic negative judgements. 

I've been reading a handful of articles on the blagoblag latelly on slut-shaming, and I confess that until recently I hadn't heard the term.  In a nutshell, I feel slut-shaming happens when women are shamed by their peers, families, culture, or what-have-you for expressing sexuality in a way the shamers find threatening.  The definition of "slut" is difficult to pin down: is a slut a woman who has sex outside of marriage?  Outside of a long-term, committed relationship?  Does she have sex with mulitple partners?  Does she enjoy sex more than a woman should?  Does she dress in a manner that shows her body?  Does she express her sexuality in any way whatsoever?  I feel the definition comes down to what an individual finds threatening.  I know I've assigned the "slut" label to other women for dressing provocatively, not because their clothing affects me in any real way, but because their clothing unintentionally aggravated my own insecurities about my body.  This labelling was neither just nor kind of me.  Slut-shaming is an effort by society to control women who express their sexualities freely.  As a comment on another blog post noted, "It’s the same idea that motivates politicians to point and cry, “Fascist!” or “Nazi!” when they want to keep someone in line. " 


I've been trying to write this little screed for awhile, and really, I've just come across a bunch of other blogs who've said it much better than I could.  Bottom line: don't call women sluts.  Just don't do it.  

Links:
Why Calling a Woman a Slut is Always Wrong: http://sendaianonymous.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/why-calling-a-woman-a-slut-is-always-wrong-and-no-it-doesnt-matter-that-you-call-men-that-way-too/
Why do women slut shame: http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntucat/why-do-women-slut-shame/
13 year old commits suicide after classmates spread nude photo: http://thecurvature.com/2009/12/02/13-year-old-girl-commits-suicide-after-classmates-spread-nude-photos/#more-7086
Sex is not the enemy (an excellent photoblog): http://sexisnottheenemy.tumblr.com/
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I am so tired, but in a good way, because I had a fabulous day!  I nearly finished the kitty ear hat I have owed a friend for half a year.  I found that yarn shop I couldn't find yesterday (because google maps lies: railroad tracks and bike trails should not have the same map symbol).  It's one of the best--if not the best--yarn shop I've ever been in, and I purchased some wine-coloured yarn to make gloves.  The only downside is that it's quite far away, especially by bike.  I also managed to print some important forms I need for the job interview I have Monday at a temp agency, and pick up some matcha powder for cookie baking.  The ride back to the apartment was difficult because I was tired, hungry, and pedalling into a headwind, but I made it.  Later, I went to the store for more cookie baking things.  I also finally got my Battlestar Galactica Season 4 Soundtrack in the mail and it. is. AMAZING.  I have not actually purchased a physical CD in ages, but this one was worth it.  Wow.  

I did do some baking.  The Russian Tea Cakes/Mexican Wedding Cakes turned out great.  The green tea shortbread with white chocolate ganache...not so much.  It didn't help that my dough wouldn't flatten out without crumbling, and that I found the ganache disgusting (white chocolate + heavy cream = ewwwww) but it was worth a shot.  

Despite being really exhausted and having one failed episode of cookie baking, today was almost perfect.  I can only think of a few (realistic) things that could have made it better.  =)
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My Xanatos Gambits are often undone by some silly-yet-vital detail completely out of my control.  On the bright side, my Battlestar Galactica Season 4 soundtrack shipped today.  
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So, after a good cry the initial wave of despondency over my rejection has passed.  I still can't help but feel a tad hopeless, though.  Epic felt like a good fit for me because they make a point of hiring many new college grads.  While I sent off 15 new job applications through an internet service today, I don't feel particularly optimistic about hearing back from any of them.  I'm now competing with other people who have way more work experience than I do.  I am stuck in the old Catch-22 of job seeking: I can't get a job without experience, but I can't get experience because no one will give me a job.  I am particularly angered by the fact that the people at Epic wouldn't tell me why they wouldn't hire me.  I feel like all I got from all the waiting and jumping through hoops I did for them was one free lunch.  I don't even get to take away a lesson that helps me become a better job candidate in the future. 

This week might get harder still.  My roommate is waiting to hear back from his interview for what amounts to, essentially, his dream job.  While I'd be very happy for him if he got this job, there's a catch: he'd likely move to New York.  I'd be stuck living by myself in Madison with no job prospects in the immediate future.  I am terrified to live alone.  I was perfectly happy in a single at Lawrence, because if I ever got lonely I could easily walk five minutes and visit people, or go to the library or the Con and have instant company.  It's a lot harder in the real world, especially since driving is often involved and I lack a car.  I dread being alone, because it means isolation, and being left with my own silence as my standard companion.  I still want him to get the job, though, because I want my friend to be happy, and I'm sure I'd do the same in his position.  Even so: would anyone want to come live with me in Madison if I found myself sans roommate?  Cramming 2 people into this apartment is a bit interesting, since there's technically only one bedroom.  But, the downstairs is big enough to act as a second bedroom, which is what we've been doing. 

I have at least done one good thing for myself today.  I sent off an email requesting an audition with the Madison Symphony Chorus.  The audition is more of a placement test than an actual we-will-probably-turn-you-away sort of audition, since I got the impression that the chorus takes all comers.  They probably just want to figure out voice types and all that.  I am also looking to see if I can start playing trumpet in my Grandmother's church.  I haven't really practiced since school let out, so I'd have to get back in shape.  But, I'd be playing music again, which would make my life just that much brighter. 

I have been baking from-scratch brownies to ease my jobless pain, although, I'm thinking the wine in the fridge might be a bit better for drowning my sorrows in.  The amount of butter we go through in this apartment due to my baking is staggering. 
Current Mood:
disappointed disappointed
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I didn't get the job.  Fuck my life. 
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~I hate playing the waiting game.  I had my interview at Epic last Friday, and the person who interviewed me said they'd get back to me within the week.  Well, I've been waiting all week and I still haven't heard anything.  I'm starting to become a bit nervous that they won't hire me for some asinine reason, like because I took too long taking their math test, or I did poorly on their programming-related test even though they know I've never programmed before, or because I related one too many of my "overcoming hardships" stories to my experiences as a Conservatory student.   If tomorrow passes without any word, I will officially start panicking.  
~I want to go to ComicCon.  Unfortunately, I am in Wisconsin, and ComicCon is not.  
~  Whenever I get bored (which is a frequent condition due to my lack-of-job) I bake things.  The Strawberry Buttermilk Cake I made was delicious (I ate a third of it by myself in one sitting--here's the recipe: Cakey Goodness), my scones were also delicious (although slightly grey in colour: Scone-y Goodness), and my matcha cookies were tasty and interesting but I think I liked them better than anyone else did (biking out to find the matcha powder was a fun adventure: Weirdo Cookie Goodness). 
~Final Fantasy XII has been my chief form of entertainment lately.  It's a very pretty game, and I am mildly infatuated with Balthier (as infatuated as anyone can really be with a fictional character).  One thing that really annoys me about this game, however, is the lack of available save points.  You need to go away for an extended period of time while you're stuck in the middle of a desert?  Too bad!  No save for you!
~I hardly practice in the real world.  I miss rehearsals, practice rooms, and music professors.  I find myself wandering further and further from my musical roots as the days go on, causing me to feel aimless and bereft.  I imagine that I will need to make a pilgrimmage to the Con in the future.  





Current Mood:
anxious anxious
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If I get this job, biking to work every day might just kill me.  Or it could be really awesome.  But I need to get the job first. 
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...of things on my mind:
~I am bloody sick of seeing wedding pictures of people I don't care about on Facebook.  Even taking the people in question off my friends list doesn't stem the tide.  Gah!
~Gurnee: a postmodern crisis in simulation and the grand narrative (re: the "American Dream") or a crappy town just South of the Wisconsin border?  Discuss. 
~I'm craving nigiri sushi.
~There are hundreds of jobs out there; mostly in accounting, nursing, the armed forces, corporate sales, IT, and truck driving.  Does anyone need a skilled writer/budding musicologist with theories on music and sci-fi and a specialty in snark?  Anyone?  It's ok, I'll be right here, if you change your mind.  Chillin'...or something. 
~My flair board rocks!  I am so accomplished...
~In addittion to being sleepy like the ferret, I am also spiny like the sea urchin.
~Anyone on the job front?  Anyone at all?  Don't be shy, I don't bite.  Anyone...?
~I have a great idea: so, a majority of eco-friendly clothing looks...how to put this, hippie-dippy.  Thus, people won't be inclined to buy it.  Afterall, who wants to pay $20+ for a t-shirt if you can't even wear it to work?  (Although, people seem inclined to wear all sorts of lazy clothing outside the friendly confines of their homes, but that's a rant for another time).  My idea: a boutique that sells environmentally friendly and fashionable clothes.  Now if only I had the slightest clue about the enreprenureal spirit. 
~Speaking of clothes, the mu-mu trend needs to end.  Just like the leggings-as-pants trend. 
~One great thing about moving back to Wisconsin: I'll have access to WPR again.  Huzzah!
~Another great thing about moving back to Wisconsin: Closer proximity to the mothershi--er, the Con. 
~A difficult thing about moving back to Wisconsin: Work!  Work?  Where are you? 
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I recently returned from the Senior Honors Dinner, where I managed to net myself 2 awards.  I won the Tichenor Prize, for best critical essay. I submitted a paper entitled "Empowerment or Embodiment?  Feminine Sexuality in Gibson's Neuromancer and Scott's Blade Runner, which essentially concerns the conflicted, somewhat confused presentation of femininity in Cyberpunk Fiction.  My blurb in the program reads as follows:

In "Empowerment or Embodiment? Feminine Sexuality in Gibson's Neuromancer and Scott's Blade Runner," Sarah poses an innovative and essential question to the two most iconic  cyberpunk texts: whether cyberpunk projects empowered female characters or recycled traditional sexual mores against an ultra-modern, technological backdrop.  The analysis is insightful, exhaustive, and in dialogue with a range of critical perspectives

Professor Spurgin had alerted me to my victory earlier in the year, so I wasn't surprised.  I was still quite excited that my little essay on the portrayal of women in cyberpunk fiction (part of my larger intellectual interest/occasional rant on women and minorities in science fiction) gained some positive attention.  I was, however, pleasantly surprised by my second award: the Clyde Duncan Scholarship, which "goes to an upperclass student with broad interests and abilities that combine music with literature, aesthetics, and culture."  If there ever was an honor that summed up my current musicological interests, this would be it.  I was thrilled to be so honored in the first place, but as an added bonus, my awards gained me $1,300.  Essentially, Lawrence is giving me money for being awesome.  Huzzah!!

I am slightly worried, because I had to duck out of Orchestra to attend the dinner.  Maestro Becker was fine with other students leaving, but I wasn't aware that I was allowed to miss orchestra for this ceremony.  Thus, I didn't tell him I'd be leaving, and I only bowed out after some deliberation with my section leader, who said he'd cover for me.  I also wrote Dr. Becker an extremely apologetic email.  I'm very grateful to be playing on Mahler 1, so I'd be terribly distressed if he was angered by my absence.  I also had to cancel my voice lesson, which led to my teacher sarcastically proclaiming that he "didn't want to hear me sing anyway."

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Speaking of the Con...we seem to (or at least are rumoured to, we haven't received the mass email yet) have come down with a confirmed case of Swine Flu.  EVERYBODY PANIC!!! Ok, are we through panicking?  Anyway, apparently someone has it and is under "quarantine"--how anyone can be quarantined with 3 other roommates is beyond me--and they canceled a jazz recital because said person was an assisting performer.  I feel much worse for the student giving the recital.  He now has to perform during finals week.  Personally, I am a little afraid of getting sick.  I do not fear for my life, but because if I were to catch it, I'd probably be pulled from both my last Wind Ensemble concert AND my Orchestra swan song concert.  Nothing, not even swine flu, will prevent me from performing Mahler 1.  I swear it.

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As for post-Lawrence, plans are finally beginning to take on a vague, nebulous shape, which is more than I had a few months ago.  I'm not going to say much, but I am cautiously optimistic.  Now I must simply find an acceptable job.  Simple, right?

I don't know what I'm going to do musically.  My senior recital didn't go as well as it could have, which hurt me immensely.  Because my music means so much to me, the fact that the performance didn't go as well as I had hoped felt something very close to heartbreak.  I have learned through voice lessons (which I REALLY should have started 4 years ago) that I show marked talent and potential as a singer.  I've sort of latched on to the idea of becoming a better, more successful singer than a trumpet player, which often times strikes me as somewhat blasphemous.  Since I am young, I can still develop my abilities to a high level.  It is not useful to dwell on what could have been, although hearing my teacher tell me how I could have been a star of the conservatory, and even in the professional world, rankles a bit, considering how hard I've struggled with my principle instrument.  I still love it dearly.  But at some point I think there will be a choice.  What do I want to do with my musical performance?  What can I do with it?  Am I even good at it at all?  I would like some others besides my voice teacher to hear me, to get some other opinions.  However, I am shy in asking, and do not want to seem an arrogant upstart.  Even so, I am trying hard to keep an open mind.  

If I go to ACen next year, I will cosplay Austria from APH.  Most people who read this journal already know, but even so: you have been officially warned.  ; )

My keyboard is STILL broken, mostly because I haven't had the chance to go to the store and purchase a USB external one.  So, every "y" and "t" in this entry has been entered via the onscreen keyboard accessory.  When I don' use i' I acquire 'his ridiculous sor' of accen'.  M' compu'er 'hinks i's a drunk Sco' or Englishman.  'ha's wha' I ge' for spilling 'ea on 'he 'hing.  

Anyway...that's my super special awesome update. 
Cheers!

Sarah

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So, while I was practicing today, my mind began to wander, and it settled on the peculiar subject of "nice boys."  Nice boys are the sorts of males complaining about how none of the women around them pay attention to them, despite their "nice" status.  After all, don't all straight women just want "nice" boys?  First of all, I think most of us grew out of "boys" around the age of 17.  Secondly, nice?  Come on, is that the best adjective you can think of to describe yourself?  "Nice" was the word we assigned to storybook characters back in kindergarten when our vocabularies were still limited by an inability to read.  Be clever, witty, interesting, eccentric--hell, be just-plain-weird--before you call yourself nice.  Nice is probably the most bland descriptor in the entirety of the English language.  It smacks of the mundane, of a lack of creativity, of the mediocre.  "Nice" makes me think of a house in the suburbs with 2.5 kids and a white picket fence.  Of pre-sliced processed bread.  Of wood paneled station wagons.  Is describing yourself as nice supposed to excite me, intrigue me?  Honestly, you might as well introduce yourself as "Sir Mundane McBoringsalot."  And yes, that honorific makes no sense, but that's ok.  Yes, my aversion to good ole' dependable nice boys probably explains my inability to form successful long term relationships.  The fact that I'm even ranting about this probably makes me not a nice girl, but somehow, I'm ok with that. 

...On a total sidenote, "Nice boys need not apply" would be a good title for a folk rock album. 
Current Mood:
cynical cynical
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