Category Archives: sundries

books, latin, yum, vids

Hey y’all! Here are some random thoughts that are not necessarily a cohesive post:

– I just finished reading Paper Towns by John Green, which comes heartily recommended, but was a very difficult read for me because it’s set in my hometown. Clearly, O-town and I have issues.
– All my books just came to me from home! I want to reread everything. Especially Blankets (Craig Thompson), because it’s right next to me! Clearly, Olga has no focus.
– Regina Spektor is awesome.
– I have been reading and writing Latin again recently. Hello ambiguous feelings!
– I have also been yearning for Holmes and Watson to acknowledge their pure & deliciously gay love. Oh yeah. Are you in denial? Need a vid? Fever by talitha78 will help you out. (Link goes to the old version – editing is better than the remastered version!)
– Speaking of vids, if you like True Blood and/or Amanda Palmer, you will probably love Runs in the Family by mresundance. (Warning: LOTS of gore, and sex! But if you watch True Blood, these things should be self-evident.) On a more serious note, Afraid of Americans (vidder to be revealed) perfectly pairs David Bowie’s classic song with footage from Watchmen. “God is an American” has never seemed more unsettling or portentous, or been so deeply felt.

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general olga update

My birthday is this weekend, and it’s turning out to be one of those birthdays that start a week early and end a week late. Pretty awesome, if you ask me.

Here’s my birthday present to myself:
my tattoos
If you need an explanation about the new one, urban dictionary does a good job. Also, it’s a (F/f)aith tattoo! Yes, I went there. As to the one on the right (c. 2007), beyond the obvious, it’s not a topic for this blog.

The lettering was done by my friend Yuko.

Hmm. Other news. I love Foucault, but he is BREAKING MY BRAIN. I have realized that I do not know enough/ANYTHING? about economics, although I more than passed the AP Macro exam in 2005… something got lost along the way. There are cute boys on my radar, but as I have realized that I need someone to be a Watson to my Holmes, they may or may not be qualified candidates. Forget Miss Marple! Holmes is what I am going for!

Mmm, Jude Law. But I digress.

books to read!

I’ve been putting off posting because I want to do an in-depth look at why Elaine Showalter’s Hystories is the worst book ever written… ever (ok, that’s not true, Mere Christianity is a tough contender), but that’s taking a while. It’s rare that I read a book that is so bad that it is painful for me to read (as opposed to hilarious), but this… this is one. Anyway. You have that to look forward to!

TOP FIVE BOOKS EVERYBODY SHOULD READ AND BY EVERYBODY I MEAN YOU
The Industrial Vagina: The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade, Sheila Jeffries. I tell everyone about this book because it is even more awesome than the title, and you know what, that is hard. I do not agree with some of the things that Jeffries says, but her work is amazing and groundbreaking and her arguments totally valid. This was my first real exposure to discussions of global and transnational feminism, and it blew me out of the water.
All Our Kin: strategies for survival in a Black community, Carol Stack. I love this book. I don’t think that this book says everything about race, or class – the author was a middle-class white ethnographer researching a poor Black community – but for insight into outside economies, it can’t be beat. It is a golden oldie.
Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman. This is basically THE book.when it comes to the history of trauma studies and current thoughts on dealing with trauma. As a survivor, this and Angela Shelton’s Warrior Workbook have been the two most helpful things for me. As She Who Is Really Into The History of 19th Century Women’s Mental Health, this book is also quite excellent.
Beyond God the Father: toward a philosophy of women’s liberation, Mary Daly. Mary Daly needs no other recommendation.
Gender Trouble: feminism and the subversion of identity, Judith Butler. I feel like choosing this for #5 is a little bit of a cop-out, because everybody already knows MY PURE AND GLORIOUS LOVE for JB, but hey – this is, again, a book that everyone should read. It is not easy going. But it will make you think!

yay, christmas

This is not an actual blog post, just me posting my favorite prayer because it’s Christmas.

God, it is night. The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done. Let it be.
The night is dark. Let our fears of the darkness of the world
and of our own lives rest in you.
The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities.
In your name we pray. Amen

– from the New Zealand Prayer Book

links from livejournal!

As a general rule, the links I bring to you come to me via (a) someone on livejournal or (b) Google reader, in that order of frequency. (The exception would be the links that my ex-bf sends to me… although I don’t know if I’ve actually put up any of them on the blog yet. Hi, ex-bf!)

sutlers discusses criticism of Avatar and the denial of native cultures’ agency in popular media. (See also: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like Avatar? A question to which we’d all like to know the answer.)

gabrielleabelle‘s Sunday Link Posts are a great resource for current discussion about rape in the media and blogosphere. A highlight from this week’s update is What Part of No Do You Still Not Understand? Date Rape in the time of Kobe, roofies, and Girls Gone Wild, a surprisingly level-headed discussion of date rape in a major news publication (LA Weekly). I am so sad that I just typed that. Good breakdown of the Koss study and more recent corroborating research, although bad dismissal of male survivors. :/

rm updates frequently with links that are moderately random but always interesting: topics include but are not limited to fandom, glbt issues, sexism, racism, representation of women in the media, infuriating things in the NYT (often a subsection of the previous topics), and Torchwood. She is a writer, actor, independent scholar, and professional badass, so I doubly recommend her journal.

– Not exactly political but brought a huge smile to my face: Things I Learned From Holly by theuglyvolvo. Truly lovely, rich piece about pomegranates and the process of peeling them. Also, life, you know, that stuff. Tragically standard warnings about heteronormativity apply.

– Now I want to write a poem that rhymes “heteronormativity” with “nativity.” Sadly, that is beyond the scope of this blog post. (Or maybe a rap number? Does one of y’all DJ? Perhaps we should ask Victor…)


I’m having one of those weeks where I keep visualizing cases and correspondingly have a burning need to use prepositions correctly. Lingua latina, meos soxores non roxaris. (Were you aware that “r0x0r” is a deponent verb? Well… it is now.)


Further posts of substance may have to wait until after Christmas, but of course now that I’ve said that I’ll end up posting something anyway. EITHER WAY… if you’re celebrating a holiday now, I wish you a lovely one!

yeah, I’m on vacation

All I really want to do is recommend you some vids, because, yo, I’m obviously not doing anything constructive on vacation, but perhaps this post should have some content. Or maybe not. At least, it’ll have some links.

– I love Dinosaur Comics. So, naturally, I also love fanstrips that address the Serious Issues of cultural appropriation and racism in dance moves. I think this may be a call to action, action in this case being a slumber party with Save the Last Dance, lots of alcohol, and critical analysis. Or maybe just some Bring It On.

– Apparently there are no good fanvids for Golden Girls. Well, I don’t believe that. None that I can find easily. This is frustrating.

– I actually recommended a fic to someone the other day with the endorsement, “It references Stanley Fish!”

– My church’s book club is reading Small Gods for January and Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bible! for February. Previously on Olga’s Church’s Book Club: Cat’s Cradle and The Poisonwood Bible. I am pleased. (I have not yet read Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bible!, and I keep getting it confused with Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains!, which I am fairly sure is not the same.)


Okay, done with content now! Vid recs, absurdist edition!

– As I said to my friend Mer, who is the target audience for this fic, “Christian Bale + Zefron = NO = yay!” “Bet on It” meets Newsies for a ludicrous Disneygasm.

– There is no way that the execution of “Harry Potter meets Snakes on a Plane” could ever have topped the concept, but my, does Dualbunny’s vid give it a run for its money. I have at best a tepid tolerance for the first four Harry Potter films, and neutral feelings about HP vidding, but this vid won me over.

– I have feelings about the first Twilight movie, feelings which mostly boil down to, “I am so glad that my friend Dallas bought this for me, because I would never have paid money for it, but it is the best excuse for drinking games ever.” (Sidenote: despite what the content of this post, and possibly the content of this blog, may suggest, I have never played a drinking game.) However, this vid has made me see that, deep inside this… this… I’m trying to find a synonym for “black hole” that doesn’t have disturbingly yoni-like connotations — this abominable snowman of a movie, there is actually a pretty hilarious film. From Cappy, “All Apologies”. Ah, Nirvana and Edward… a match made in heaven. I cried happy emo tears.


Next time on the blog: actual content, as opposed to a mashup of links I keep emailing my poor innocent best friend in France & my Twitter feed.

book recs & link round-up

Last night’s party was awesome! If you weren’t there, we totally missed you. It was good times.

Two books I heartily recommend:
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks – Do you like smart girls? Do you like the panopticon? Do you like subverting the dominant paradigm? In YA fiction? Then… this book is for you. There aren’t even any vampires.
The Magicians – I just really want someone to read this book so they can discuss it with me! A strange blend of Harry Potter, Less than Zero, & The Secret History.

LINKS (the part you all care about)
great post by my friend Flourish about Twilight.

But when we do that, we’re aligning ourselves with the patriarchy. Do you think that patriarchy is only about presenting women with images of sexy Edward who stalks you (but it’s okay, because he loves you)? No, that’s not the only thing patriarchy is about. Patriarchy is also about saying that what women like is not appropriate. Boys read boys’ books, and girls read boys’ books. Girls get to cook and clean and be doctors and lawyers, but boys only get to be doctors and lawyers. Girls are shamed for their desires, girls are told they aren’t allowed to have desires.

16 of 19 social networking sites have a more female than male users.

– (ok, this is just cool) The Jayne Austen Book & Gun Club: Pride & Extreme Prejudice. I’m not a Firefly fan, but this made me laugh. A lot. So I offer it to you.

Dollhouse, Joss Whedon, and the Strange and Difficult Path of Feminist Dudes: Some Thoughts. As someone who (a) loves Buffy and (b) only managed to get three episodes into Dollhouse, I’m really intrigued by this writer’s perspective. It may persuade me to give Dollhouse a second chance. But maybe not. (You should totally watch the linked vid, btw.)

– Another great post about Twilight from Tiger Beatdown. It’s my new favorite blog, btw.