Well done, Sister Suffragettes.

I salute you Susan B. Anthony. I salute you and all your fellow suffragettes. 90 years ago today, the 19th Amendment was passed, allowing all women to vote in the United States of America.

I don’t consider myself a feminist. At least not in the traditional or cliched vision of it. I am all in favor of shaving and wearing a bra. I do believe in Gloria Steinem. I believe in equality more than superiority. Race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, hair cut. We should all be afforded the same rights. And while we most decidedly and definitely are not (I’m talking to you California), 90 years ago a big step was made.

For the first time, women were acknowledged as having a right to be involved in this country. While the USA is still inherently a patriarchal society, whether we’d like to admit it or not, I am thrilled to be able to have my voice heard.

It may have taken 90 years, but it is because of Women’s Suffrage that the political landscape has widened.

Take a look at women in this country in recent years. Madeline Albright. Hilary Clinton. Sarah Palin. Now before you jump down my throat or out a window in distress about including Sarah Palin in that list, let me explain. These women have made headway for women in politics. Madeline Albright was (and is) brilliant. The latter two changed the United States presidential political process. No, they didn’t win, but they got closer than any woman has before.

The sad thing about this, that I must add, is that so many other countries have been led by women. Israel. Great Britain. Germany. It bothers me that Americans will hail this country as progressive and open and a superpower – but how can we socially be so far behind so many countries?

So while I am thrilled to have the right to vote, I can only hope that at some point in the not so distant future, our country will fully and completely enter the 21st century.

But to all the women I know, the suffragettes of 90 years ago still make me proud to be a woman.

Frothy Pop or Why I Don’t Listen to Britney Spears

This morning around 4 am, suddenly awoken by what I am sure was the past date Long Trail Belgian White I drank, I casually rolled over onto my remote to MTV AM. (Shocking, but MTV does still broadcast music videos. And at 4 am, N Sync serenaded me sweetly with “Pop.”) Do you remember N Sync? I do. I wish I didn’t, though.

This got me thinking. Britney Spears, perhaps the artist who ushered in the recent age of pop music, doesn’t particularly make good music. If you ran my low-alto three note range voice through auto-tune, I wouldn’t sound half bad either. Sex and music have always been tied together (Elvis’ hips. Amen.) But I still want music along with my visual of gyrating.

I like pop music. Much as this ruins my street cred, I adore Lily Allen. When she “retired” from the music business, I was devastated. I love her music and her voice and her unabashed confrontation of issues. Britney “sang” a thinly veiled song about threesomes, but Lily Allen wrote and sang a song called “Fuck You” — literally calling out people on being assholes.

I like my pop to be frothy and fun. And not overly processed. I don’t like auto-tune or want auto-tune. I want it to lift my spirits with its cheerful bounciness. I want to feel good when I plug myself into my iPod, not dirty and processed. (Miley Cyrus? Lollerskates.)

In addition to Lily Allen, my boyfriend got me into Swedish singer Annie. She’s got some processed beats, sure, but you can hear her voice. And it is so undeniably and adorably Swedish. (And I can say this with some authority, as I’m friends with an au pair who is undeniably and adorably Swedish.) Annie lifted my spirits today.

So, for those of you reading this, turn off Britney and Miley and all those Disney tweens. And listen to these:

You’re welcome.

Mama Grizzlies

This, if you didn’t know, is another Sarah Palin video.
I’m not writing this to make any political statements. Jon Stewart did it far better and far more eloquently than I ever could.

But I would like to say a thing or two about Mama Grizzly Bears.

1. They scare the living daylights out of me.
2. In the words of an anonymous source, “They fuck shit up.”

Because they’re BEARS. WILD BEARS. Wild bears are not your friends. You do not play catch with wild bears, you do not keep wild bears as pets or domesticate them in any way, and you do not eat wild bears. They will eat you first. And they won’t even pause to savor your flavor.

So I advise all of you – politician, man, woman, child, small and slow animal – stay away from the bears.

Sometimes I Pretend I’m Fashionable: The Jeans Edition

Crossposted on my tumblr.

When it comes to fashion, I’m the anti-couture I’ll tear through fashion magazines in awe, but always finish with a defeated, “Well I can’t wear that” and immediately throw on the nearest pair of jeans. (Usually on the floor. Secret’s out.)

Living perpetually in jeans of some variety of a beat up white Hanes v-neck is getting old. One’s early twenties are a time for self-expression, right? Or catharsis. Or scrimping funds, necessitating the jeans and t-shirt thing.

Slowly and surely I’m waking from my boring stupor and into another world of jeans and t-shirts fashion. I like to call it the “I Wish People at Work Would Stop Asking Me What High Shool I Go To” approach. I couldn’t ever part with my jeans. So what exactly can a girl do to look her age instead of a mid-pubescent frump?

Upon my recent acquisition of my first pair of “Favorite Boyfriend Jeans” from American Eagle, I had a moment. A sparkling fashion moment of mild genius. What can I wear boyfriend jeans with? Especially when they’re designed to look like I stole them from my boyfriend. And then it hit me, a beautiful, denim-scented epiphany. V-neck t-shirt (not Hanes), fitted blazer, boyfriend jeans, and Chuck Taylors. I was proud of this discovery, patted myself on my blazered back, and moved on.

This would be the end of my tale, a sense of fashion discovery from a fashion failure, but it’s not. (Lucky you!) I was casually clicking through my favorite gossip blogs and saw a snapshot of Jennifer Aniston strolling through LAX in boyfriend jeans, a blazer and a t-shirt. And dammit, if there’s any affirmation in this world, it’s affirmation from Jennifer Aniston. And so I closed my browser, with a strong sense of smug satisfaction. Truly this post is everything wrong with the blogging world, structured basically to tell you how awesome I am. But considering I usually blunder around in hoodies, I’m allowing it. It’s really more of a growing up tale, right? (Not at all.)

A Terrible Hiatus

Due to circumstances unknown (mainly: school, work, extra-curriculars, being a space cadet) I appear to have not updated my blog in nearly a year. While I do spend some time on my tumblr, it does not quite have the forum of Notes of Cheerful Calamity, wouldn’t you agree? So I have relaunched this tiny ship into the oblivion of the world wide web. Anyone have a champagne bottle?

Non Sequitors: Verb-ing Nouns

For those of you who know I used to be an English major, keep your mouth shut and don’t comment on my bastardization of the English language. Just don’t. (Please?)

To verb a noun. What does that mean? Why would you destroy grammar in such a terrible fashion? Here’s why – because it’s hilarious. Not only is it hilarious, it can bring a new level of descriptiveness to a feeling or an event.
The first noun I ever verb-ed is perennially my favorite. The noun I used was Charlie Brown. To describe the moment that I verb-ed this noun requires some embellishment, so enjoy the story. One day, a gray and drizzly day, the kind that frizzles the hair and dampens the soul, I sat staring with great melancholy out my window. I felt strange, sad, friendless, lonely and blue. I felt just like Charlie Brown.

And so, I was Charlie Brown-ing. It’s like bumming out, but with a much brighter t-shirt and a much rounder head. And it seems silly, but it really was the most accurate description for how I felt. The fact that Charlie Brown is despairingly pathetic is what endears us to him. (Although I doubt the mood I was in endeared me to anyone in the slightest.)

The more I thought about Charlie Brown, his persona and character, the more I realized that Charlie Brown is not just a feeling, Charlie Brown is an action. Charlie Brown disheartens those around him, he spreads his gloom. He sighs and bemoans his unrequited love of a redhead. Who can be happy around that? So, when I’m feeling particularly gloomy and have a perverse need to make others feel the same way, I Charlie Brown it. A happy, light hearted conversation? I Charlie Brown-ed that conversation.

As ludicrous an idea and concept as it may be, it makes sense, and it makes me smile.

What other nouns would you verb?

Non Sequitors: Unusual Fascinations

I have been called many things in life: weird, strange, freaky, unusual. Most of these stemmed from high school and middle school. The descriptions are quite true, but I like to describe it as delightfully quirky. Like the people in Vermont.

Prefacing with admitted quirkiness, I will now delve into this post.

Have you ever had an unusual fascination with something? An excellent example of this is the Chuck Norris phenomenon. Of course I was swept up in the wave of it my freshmen/sophomore years in college, but it faded fast. Let’s face it, kicking kittens and spandex, karate-capable jeans just aren’t my thing. My life requires a touch more class than that.

And so, last week, I discovered the classy replacement to Chuck Norris. Angela Lansbury. Yes, Angela Lanbsury. This classy broad not only solved murders with an Agatha Christie-like prowess, but she plotted the murder of public figures and wore princess hats in the ’40s with great finesse.

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Angela Lansbury would never kick kittens, oh no. I like to think she would nurture kittens and raise them to full adulthood, with a lilting, perfect accent. And she would never wear spandex jeans. It’s all about neat, well-cut dresses for Ms. Lansbury.

I’d like to use this post to start a revolution. Ladies, let’s look up to Angela. She’s all class. She’s all class and will continue to be all class.

I’m making my new mantra: What would Angela Lansbury do? You should, too.