Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hey! Who's the slut in the slip?

I remember looking for this a couple of years ago, and coming away feeling foolish, as if I'd imagined it. There was no sign of it anywhere then. It was in a book about women's sexuality during the Edwardian era. Obviously, higher education was a road to ruin in those days, with fresh young college girls soon deteriorating into chain-smoking, un-bed-making, card-playing, sleazy-magazine-reading, barefoot, tousle-haired, slip-strap-sliding SLUTS.

To transcribe the text:

Is College Bad for Girls? A Personal Canvass. Articles:

* Evils of Dormitory Life - Midnight Hours of Who Knows What?

* Flirting and Speaking to Male Students without Proper Introduction and             

* Reading Improper Novels, Magazines, and Other Suggestive Literature.

* Forming of Unladylike Habits that May Harm the Health and Morals of a delicate Girl - Such as Smoking and Card Playing.

I love the fact that this pamphlet (and wouldn't you like to get your hands on the whole thing?) was "available from your doctor". Now, just what sort of doctor would that be?

Doing a little more burrowing into all this salacious filth, I found this astonishing artifact: a personal canvas (tote, probably) printed with the Personal Canvass!

It isn't super-obvious unless you blow this up big, but her left nipple is showing. Is she being deliberately provocative, or is it just a wardrobe malfunction?

Rest in Peace, Mr. Trololo

I was truly shocked and sorry to hear (belatedly - I can't keep up with all these things!) of the death of Mr. Trololo, that internet sensation whose song - well, what WAS it called anyway? Trololo? - made him an internet sensation 30 years after the fact.

I saw some video of him taken a couple of years ago, and he seemed like his usual jaunty self. Hadn't really aged that much. He must have avoided the vodka-and-cigarettes diet so common in Vladivostok.

I will miss him. I truly feel sad about this. Do you know why I liked him so much? He was fun. His jollity was refreshing. His voice was really pretty good, too, compared to the atrocious swill I've been posting in the past couple of days. I found the playlist of an album he cut long ago, and I'll try to dredge it up because it's pretty entertaining, too.

May you find happiness in heaven, Mr. Trololo.

(From Wikipedia - I'm paraphrasing for emphasis):

He was the first artist to sing such songs as:

Woodcutters (Лесорубы in Russian)  

Moon Stone (Лунный камень) by Arkady Ostrovsky 

Song about Friend (Песня о друге) 

Blue Cities (Голубые города)

And People Go To the Sea (А люди уходят в море) by Andrey Petrov

Other popular songs performed by Khil included: 

From What the Homeland Begins? (С чего начинается Родина?) 

How the Steamers Are Seen Off (Как провожают пароходы) 

Winter (Зима) 

Birch Sap (Берёзовый сок)

Alder Catkin  (Серёжка ольховая)

We Need Only the Victory (Нам нужна одна победа) 

and many others.

Khil's manner of execution of songs is unique and easily recognizable in 

Russia, characterized by charm, always having a great sounding bright, 

sonorous voice and the flight of lyrical baritone, with the powerful charge of 

optimism and humour.

Ele-pants (or: Trunk Envy)

The world of the contemporary knitter is strange. And growing stranger. There's some sort of guerrila movement afoot to festoon public facilities like park benches with, well, knitty-things. It's called Guerrilla Knitting or some-such. I should look it up right now. (Nah.)

These artistic installations are done by young knitters, and I don't know what possesses them to pick up needles and wool in the first place. Knitting was always a Grandma-thing, wasn't it?

I'm one of the oldsters, the Beehive pattern set who used to knit on long, straight steel needles that I still have. Cold as hell, clanky, scrapy, heavy, and horrible. I wonder if the daring new set of Yarn Harlots uses these. Probably not. . . maybe they knit with their fingers.

OK, I looked it up:

Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarnstorming, guerrilla knitting, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.

I'd-a just dismissed all this as an urban myth, but when I was going to the Dollarama with Caitlin (9 years old and savvy about everything), she pointed to a brightly-colored tangle of textile artfully draped on a  fence pole and said, "Look, Grandma. Yarn bombing."

The one Caitlin and I saw wasn't like the colorful tree cozy you see above. To me it looked like one of the reluctant snarls I sometimes have to pitch into the garbage (i. e. the panda I killed with scissors, many posts ago). I don't know how you do the stripey ones.. I guess you shimmy up there and knit it right on to the tree.

ANYWAY, I am now far off-topic. I wanted to compare notes on some elephant-ware I have seen on the net lately. I'm attempting my first elephant from a book called World of Knitted Toys which attempts to represent the animals therein in a more realistic way than usual.

I doubt if the blighter will look like this, but I can try. So far he is using up more and more yarn, so that I will have to go trotting back to Michaels (again), praying it all works out in the end.

I suspect these are dolls, not human beings ((in fact I have an awful feeling the bottom one is a silicone Reborn, the type elderly Southern women talk to and rock to sleep at night). The hats are cute, aren't they? But why not knit the body and be done with it?

Strange elephants. Looking as they have received electroshock therapy in the recent past. But cute, also, in a sort of abstract way.

I'm not going to be critical of anyone who knits a whole elephant. It's a long and often tedious process. This is the snuggle-bug variety who has a rare talent for climbing trees (or else a strange sort of elephantine yarn bomb).

Heads bigger than bodies. Might they tip over in the wild?

I have a pet peeve, and a serious one: knitted stuffies with no eyes. They look creepy and devoid of all character or expression. In my case, sometimes the only thing that saves a project from the garbage pail (over which most of my things hover at least 3 or 4 times) is giving it a face: eyes, a mouth, a nice little smile or nose holes.

I have a few more pictures,  but this breathtaking image sweeps them all aside. These are called elephant pants (or elephant underwear: would you really want to wear these in public?)  Obviously, careful measurements would need to be taken before you proceed. I don't know how it must feel to sit on those ears, and there is no discernible fly, making it less convenient than the average tighty-whitey pair of gaunch. But at least this one has a facial expression, almost as if it's smiling. Or something.

Why don't I just kill myself right now?

On the internet, to quote the words of Robert Frost, “way leads on to way”, which is how I came to find (or rediscover – I had seen the hurdy-gurdy one before years ago) those last few excruciatingly beautiful videos. But I found other stuff. I couldn’t help but conclude that the popular culture (nay, even the medical community) thinks of the average post-menopausal woman as a worn-out old horse.

Maybe when the ovaries close up shop, it’s all over, or it’s supposed to be. Unless you’re Carol Burnett or Mary Tyler Moore (both married to dishy, much-younger men) and can afford to pull the skin of your face back and tie it behind your head, you’re on the reject pile along with moldy old VHS tapes (or Beta!) and giant hand-cranked cell phones from the early 1990s.

It’s those diagrams. Men don’t have those diagrams. And EVERYTHING they list is negative, uncomfortable, miserable, and adds to a woman’s unattractiveness. Caved-in breasts, straggly hair, weak heart, shrivelled vagina, etc. etc. Expecting a man to find this attractive is asking too much. Might as well send him to a museum to make love to the fossils.

Is it really this way? I don’t know, even though I’ve been in this land-of-obsolescence for longer than I care to admit. After a rocky period at the end of my fertility, my cycle reset by taking birth control pills (YES, BIRTH CONTROL PILLS, THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL LIKE ALL HORMONES), I don’t remember it being all that bad. (We don't take hormones - EVER - because hormones kill us and besides, we're just supposed to grit our teeth and take whatever Mother Nature dishes out, for the ten or so years of that vaguely-defined span known as "perimenopause".)

My body isn’t the same, but when WAS it? This is when the only-moderately-attractive woman gets her revenge. There isn’t as far to fall, see. My appearance has waxed and waned throughout my life. In every case, I look back on photos from years ago and think, you know, I really looked a lot better than I thought.

I had a dream last night that some university professor made us all go for a makeover (I’m leaving out chunks I don’t remember), so I had to go get my chin waxed. I have never had even one hair sprout there, in fact, almost all my leg hair has disappeared and I never have to shave under my arms (in direct contradiction to that “body hair coarsens and increases” bullshit). And I had something done to my, well, thing on my neck or whatever, the Grandma thing that I guess I should mind, but don’t particularly. I don’t know what they were doing with it: trying to dissolve it with acid?

This salon or whatever it was had a big glassed-in cage with birds in it, mostly miniature cockatoos. I don’t know what they were doing there. It was as disjointed as all my dreams, meandering around in the maze of my subconscious. My bare legs were a blaze of color and seemed to have been tattooed, though I had no memory of it.

As I said. . . my body hair has nearly disappeared, my breasts haven’t fallen down to my knees yet (in fact, they fell about as far as they were going to fall right after I weaned my second child). My hair is probably better than it has ever been, coarser, which is just what I needed for my thin, fine, limp locks. For the first time in my life, I have a hair style. So all this unspeakable horror can work to your advantage.

It’s not that I never get depressed, but I got depressed all the rest of my life too, so it kind of blends together. Now I get depressed or morose or just pensive about mortality. Mainly I get pensive because so many of my friends have died prematurely, and oh how I miss them. I’ll never see them again.

How should I feel about this stage of my life? Dismayed, I guess, that all my worth as a female has (supposedly) passed the expiry date.  God, the diagrams leave no doubt, do they? Cross-sections of breasts, each atom of a woman’s body with labels on it, all dire and depressing. We are meat. I don’t remember seeing any such thing relating to a male body, except perhaps a cross-section of a testicle, the only part that really matters. The rest of a man’s body never changes anyway.

Are these diagrams meant to cheer us up, to educate us, or what? Or just make us want to go out and commit suicide because we’re so useless? Nowhere is there stated that this is a highly individual process, and that some aspects of life (like sex and orgasm: no kidding!) may actually improve after menopause. Just to mention such a possibility is so “ick” that no one ever does it. A grandmother wanting, needing, LIKING sex? Jesus!  Excuse me while I go someplace and spit up.

When I breast-fed my kids I felt sort of like a Jersey cow, smelling like sour milk all the time while my baby threw up what looked like cottage cheese. I wasn’t disgusted by it because I adore my children without reservation, then and now, but it did give me pause: men never experience anything this blatantly corporeal, except maybe ejaculation (and it’s over pretty fast). Women are pods growing the creatures that will inherit the earth.. Spawn. Frog jelly. When the frog jelly is no longer forthcoming, oops, it’s time to hit the road to hopelessness.


There isn't much to say about this one. It's simply baffling. Unlike the others, one wishes this would go on forever so you can figure out WTF is happening here! At the very end is a flicker of the same morose man grinning away. This was the golden era of grainy, flickery VHS or Beta tape in the early '90s, which at the time we thought was the marvel of the ages. I remember thinking: how does the VCR KNOW to record TV shows even when the TV isn't turned on? Isn't that impossible? This video will either make your jaw drop, or inspire a religiious conversion.

God, let it soon be over: yet another worst video ever made

The last two videos seemed like a tie for the worst ones ever made, until I found (or rediscovered) this one. These people are completely unfamiliar with the concept of rehearsal. The accompanist is obviously on something, maybe blood pressure medicine, or else is that way all the time.

Yes, this music is spiritual, in that you pray it will soon be over.