Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things


Some More Stuff About Women This Year

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Fred Armisten and Carrie Brownstein (of Sleater Kinney) have a new show coming up on IFC called Portlandia. This skit Feminist Bookstore is a favorite. Props to Minnie for her monotonous job drawing attention to this early.

Image via Robert Killips, Associated Press
The inspiration for Rosie the Riveter, the poster of which I bought at the ripe old age of 7 at the Smithsonian Gift Shop like a super-cool kid, Geraldine Doyle, died at the age of 86. “‘Rosie the Riveter’ is the image of an independent woman who is control of her own destiny. She was a gracious, beautiful woman. Her death is the end of an era, and we need to take note of that. We need to respect what she stood for”, said Gladys Beckwith, the former director of the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame.

This woman is my nana, plus about 15 years.

My next life-goal is to go to all of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s homes. Wendy McClure did just that for her book The Wilder Life (nice title), retracing the journey that Laura Ingalls and her family took across America throughout the series, “immersing herself in all things Little House, and explores the story from fact to fiction, and from the TV shows to the annual summer pageants in Laura’s hometowns. Whether she’s churning butter in her apartment or sitting in a replica log cabin, McClure is always in pursuit of ‘the Laura experience.’ Along the way she comes to understand how Wilder’s life and work have shaped our ideas about girlhood and the American West.”
P.S. Fun fact: Lauren was named after Laura and has been to many (all?) of her homes. Some of us are luckier than others.

The Suburbs’ Favorite Holiday

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There are few days in the year when my family literally fights over the newspaper. The competition is toughest on Thanksgiving day, when we plan the route for Black Friday, comparing the doorbusters and making sure we have the opening hours correct. These days its mostly all talk, however, as most of my family can’t be bothered to wake up at what has become a truly ridiculous hour for what is really a low-grade war zone. In the good old days, my parents would lay a map out on the kitchen table, and label the stores with the opening hours and the goals in each. But then some woman tried to run my mother over with a cart and as she lay there, sprawled on the floor, while savages climbed the toy aisles eventually dominoe-ing the aisles, she decided it wasn’t worth the great deals.

Me, with my great deals.

In any case, my younger sister and I arrived at the mall just before 9 am. We meant to get up at 4 for the opening, but we overslept. Anyways, there were no parking spaces, so we engaged in the polite searching method also known as stalking people. The polite ones point to their cars and sort of walk you to them. The rude ones cut through different lanes to throw you off their scent. We found polite ones. And then we found Gap – 50% off your entire purchase before 10 am (the line was twice around the store and everyone looked pissed, plus the entire store was already trashed), and Banana Republic – 40% off your entire purchase til noon. Macy’s had about 30 people in every line, and they have a lot of registers. The mall got some business back; I helped. I finished all my Christmas shopping, and there were carolers!  Another happy holiday.

Mr. Lincoln: ‘the sexiest man in American history’

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This Thanksgiving, while perusing the ol’, I discovered a heartwarming tale on the origins of President Abraham Lincoln’s sexy beard. When the dinner conversation threatened to veer to the point of no return, the area which makes me greatly fear ever, ever introducing a potential husband to my extended family, I steered the family away from personal stories and to the heartwarming tale of little Grace Bedell, who recommended Lincoln grow a beard, so she might convince her brothers to vote for him. She added, “All the ladies like the whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President.” Guess what Miss Bedell? You were quite on the money!

My lovely Nana chose this moment to announce, quite out of the blue, that my great-great-grandmother was one such woman. She shook Lincoln’s hand in fact. And, moreover, my great-grandfather bought bookends of his face! Whiskers and all. Mr. Lincoln, I know you saved the union, but also contributing to the 19th century Renaissance of beards? How can I ever repay you.

Nana, with her Grandfather’s Lincoln bookends, circa 1910. They will be mine when I settle down and/or when i get married, or when she dies. But not right now because it’s “just a phase.”

Way Harsh Tai Is A Pattern

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I have Lauren to thank for introducing me to this incredibly awesome blog, COLOURLovers, and especially for pointing out this post, which focuses on the fashion of Clueless, one of the greatest movies of our time. The blog takes inspiration from found design, and users create swatches of what they like. Such as these great ones, Way Harsh Tai and Toothache:

Technicolor Fashion: Clueless [Colour Lovers]

The Past, Present and Future of the World

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Since we’re loving maps these days. I’d probably be happiest living on the “Strait of Rick Roll.”

And speaking of the internet and computers, check out my lovely domain master Lauren’s blog, especially this post about women, computer science, and education. The original post she responded to is here, and also super interesting, and very extensive (for those of us who feel less in charge of computers and more controlled by them).

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