Thursday, April 30, 2009

Menagerie!

I wanted to write something about fetishes and exoticizing women from other races, but instead let me tell you about some things you need to read:

Awkward and Definition, Likewise, and Potential all by Ariel Schrag.

And here's why:

Sometimes I wish I had more interesting stories to tell about my sexuality in high school, but considering I never really got laid in high school the stories I do have revolve more around throwing up on myself while trying to ask a boy to a junior dance, the infamous I Like You card on Valentine's Day and me subsequently throwing up on myself, and this one time this girl Megan (first huge girl crush) and I were working on a Bible project at the house of this incredibly rich guy and we were going to bed and she told me to close my eyes and when I opened them she had written "Eat me" on her stomach with an arrow and I didn't know what she meant (I didn't throw up). Actually, I knew exactly what she meant which is why I didn't do it. Oh and the time Noel and I got so bored one night that I told her to have sex with me, but got really bored a few minutes into it and had her stop. She apologized.

Ariel Schrag on the other hand has really sexy, great stories about the trysts of high school "romance" as it were and her stories are really enjoyable to read. I say sexy, because albiet ridiculous and awkward, I occasionally miss the fun of having crushes (I was constantly rejected though!) and wondering whether or not I'd kiss somebody after school while laying around listening to Weezer or whateverthefuck we listened to then. I remember specifically one time I tried really hard to get Megan to kiss me while we were laying in bed in the morning listening to Aqua. No joke. As an adult my seduction techniques are still pretty much the same (turn on music, blink alot and tilt head, awkwardly reference something like the Buffy musical or maybe have you read the new issue of Bust?), but they're also followed by silly adult thoughts like "where is this relationship going?" "will this person kill me in my sleep?" and "did I pay my water bill in the last three months?"

Hint: The answer to all of these questions is resounding silence.

So for questions not like these, go get these books. You should do it this Saturday, because it's Free Comic Book day!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

H!P '09 Ranking

Well Thank God I got in on this before the polls closed!


I didn't realize that this was an application, until I noticed that everyone who had participated had the exact same pictures of each girl. Alittle slow I know. Without further ado: Me jumping on an H!P related internet bandwagon, scoot over alittle:

1) Yoshizawa Hitomi. No surprise really. Although I think my fangirling of her isn't as rabid as it was in '08, I still think she's the most interesting thing in Hello Project! now. That being said, I liked the old Yossy more than the new. Her talking about marriage on infotainment shows weirds me out and I don't like her as a blonde. I thought she looked more than a bit haggard in those Seattle pics, but that's just me. But she's still Yossy and the only member I have a photobook of. We keep it on the living room table.

2) Ogawa Makoto. Her return from New Zealand was probably my most exciting fandom moment of '08. I really hope they use her for something in '09. I've always thought she was incredibly beautiful, quick witted, and seemed personable. Also, I'm fairly sure that because she went to school, she can read. I love that in a woman. I watched the video of her speaking in English somewhere around 5011 times.

3) Yaguchi Mari. She likes videogames. She likes to read. She buys collectable items from other fandoms. She plays hide and go seek games with her readers through pictures in her blog. She got me interested in eyelash extensions. Clearly, I'm in love. Also, I think she's the most savvy business woman in H!P, based on her ability to stay on relevant non-H!P produced TV more consistantly than any other member.
I'm not sure if getting back into the music biz is her best bet for '09, but I did cry while watching the video of her first performance of Seishun Boku.

4) Kamei Eri. Can I just write that she continues to be one of the most beautiful girls I've ever seen, ever, period? In '08 she didn't really seem to do anything new for me, and I hope she gets more coverage in '09. Mostly I put her on here for the little salute she did in the Mikan video and the fact I finally looked at the Maple photobook which was Good Cake.

5) Okada Yui. So I only got into Biyuden in the last year, which, I realize, is when the group was already scheduled to be disbanded. Now they are no more, but I'm still amazed at Yui's ability to completely own a MV. Alot is said about how she's a gravure model and may eventually appear in a car magazine or whatever, but I think she's a bit more down to earth than anyone gives her credit for. It's like she knows that you think she's gorgeous, but can't quite believe that you would. Or at least that's what I picked up from Kacchoi Ze! Japan, because I read. into. everything.

6) Tsuji Nozomi. I try to imitate her style as often as possible and always fail miserably. When you can wear a giant bow at any age past 3 years old and not look completely ridiculous I'll put you at number 6 of any of my lists too. She didn't do much in '08, but I found a clip of her performing Matsuura's "Nee" the other month and realized yet again how interesting she is as a performer. So energetic.

7) Tsugunaga Momoko. Alot of similarities with #6. She's just such a strong, energetic performer and she's is the only member of H!P that I think has really rode the "cute" persona as it should be. Mai Hagiwara comes off as a brat to me, like a girl I wouldn't have liked in 5th grade and I find Koharu to be so grating that it's hard for me to enjoy Morning Musume anymore. Both of these girls work the "cute" persona, or perhaps the "crazy" persona in the case of Koharu. Momoko seems sharp enough to keep her idol charm without dumbing herself down. I like.

8) Ishikawa Rika. I put her here, because of her work with Yossy this year. From reviews it sounds like she was clearly the more likeable of the two in Seattle. Where Yossy is more reserved and can seem more than a bit scripted when portraying her "Hangry" role, Rika comes off like she knows it's a bit ridiculous and can laugh along with the audience. They're marketing this girl as a goth. I mean seriously.

9) JunJun. Her shyness is endearing in earlier videos, but I'm not sure if that was due to her inability to speak fluent Japanese or if she actually felt self conscious. I suppose it's the first, or she's a good actress, since she's worked in Chinese pop before. I would say something about LinLin, but I don't get her. So China is 1-1 for me right now in terms of idols.

10) Michishige Sayumi. God bless her for trying to sing. I can't sing either, so she gives me hope for my upcoming superstardom. I also enjoy that her hair never changes so I don't have to struggle to wonder who she is. When I'm on a date and I pose alittle I try to channel her. I mean tilting my head while talking or making heart shapes with my hands. You do it too, so don't judge me.

A Post of Unrelated Things I Did Today.


Had breakfast with Rachael and Dan.

Attempted photosex.
video
Admired cats in love.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Abortion and Dating!

Disclaimer: This post contains no references to Japanese girls!

So for the past few months I've been seeing this girl and I suppose we tried to fall for eachother for a minute until she decided that she wasn't ready for a relationship. I won't delve into all of the fallacies in this logic, or the fact she still texts me sweet things on occassion, but no longer kisses me in bed. Regretably, I think she doesn't even consider me a close friend, which is fine, because we have very different lifestyles and besides I'm not in love either. It's also disheartening, because I'm eternally a doe-eyed lolita when I think about falling in love and I was hoping she'd notice that butterflies follow me or smile when I get so excited while speaking quickly that I stutter alittle. I'm pretty sure she thinks I talk too much, which is true. I have a lot to say. She couldn't show me what she has to say, so clearly the conversation has to be one sided.

But this isn't about any of that. This is about what she said to me on the phone tonight. We were talking about work and she suddenly said, "I could never do what you do", but not in the way people sometimes say it when they are showing appreciation or are even surprised. She said it like one might say that they could never clean a sewer for a living. "You couldn't pay me enough to do it, you could pay me thousands of dollars and you couldn't pay me enough".

I've thought about this dilemma before, it's difficult enough to date, especially when you've already narrowed down your demographic to women. What's even more difficult is the realization that although many lesbians are pro-choice, when it comes down to it, talking about abortion and dating someone who is intimately involved with the process of abortion are two very different fish to fry.

When I first realized a couple of months ago that perhaps this woman was not entirely comfortable with my occupation I immediately asked my coworkers. What do you do? How do you do this and find someone who will love you? "They get used to it, they don't want to talk about it, but they get used to it" "Don't give them all of the details at first". The best and probably most resonating advice I received was from a coworker who said, "I came to the realization that he can appreciate my job, but it will never mean to him what it means to me."

With all of this being said I suppose I will be single for a while. Which is fine, for once in my adult life I've been excited at the prospect these last few months. But, I can't imagine being able to share my life with someone who doesn't at least attempt to comprehend the incredible variance of emotion the clinic inspires in me on a daily basis. I can complain about patients who are rude, feel exasperated at the 30 year old who is at my clinic yet again, feel motherly toward a young girl who wants to just continue to play volleyball in school, cry with a woman who is frightened and reminds me of all of my friends, laugh with the lady who makes jokes during counseling, and carry a deep sense of satisfaction when I feel that another and I have finally found a point of clarity. When she looks at me and I can tell that she is at peace with her decision, whatever it may be.

It was a good thing that this woman slightly offended me with her words this evening. I occassionally take my job as a job and it's humbling to be reminded of why I stay.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reminder.

You are not a bird.
I wish that you will walk firmly on the ground.
Despite there are painful matters, there is still a future.
Always, time will be the eraser of memories.

Whatever kind of painful matter happens, it can be forgotten within the passing time.
Do not keep your worries to one person alone, but tell everybody.
You are strong and perhaps that you are not so weak.

Monday, April 13, 2009

What I've listened to a million times today.



The only downside, most of AKB48 looks scarily young.

Edit: Must learn more information about second girl on bike, Sayaka Akimoto!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Some on H!P and The L Word


For anyone who made it to Sakuracon this year and is anxiously awaiting Saturday's Hangry and Angry concert, I hope you're looking yourself in the mirror right now and saying "I am the luckiest mother fucker in the world, because I am about to be breathing the same air as Yoshizawa Hitomi". Seriously.

So I was supposed to go, but my dad ended up having heart surgery. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he had the surgery and continues to live, but seriously, Yoshizawa Hitomi.

Now that you've looked at the obligatory girl with a tie photo, you can surely see my distress. Our favorite girl to be sexually confused by, Yossy. Let me jump up and down and obsess for a minute: Depite the fact that I'm pretty sure that she isn't a lesbian, if I was in Seattle this week, I'd certainly be praying like hell that I wouldn't be thrown out of that convention for trying to find out. I may have a celebrity crush here. She's clearly a rockstar. I'll put up with her using dichotomous male/female language to joke about her "relationship" with Rika, and that shit usually drives me crazy. Fuck, I can even put up with the fact she's clearly making money off of me by her suggestion that she is a major dyke pimp who has probably gotten every member of Momusu and half of the female population of Japan in the sheets all by being so goddamn cute and nice. If she came on TV in the middle of the night and told me and every citizen of America to send $100 to keep her lookin fly and on the prowl, I'd have my checkbook out in a heartbeat.


For those unfamiliar with my strange fandoms I should mention a few things:

1) Yoshizawa Hitomi, or Yossy, is a Hello Project! (think Spice Girls, but with 40 members who are constantly switched out in an audition process) singer and idol who led a pop group called Morning Musume for a few years. She was generally popular for her deeper (comparitively) singing voice, confident swagger, and tomboy fashion. She, as well as the other girls, appeared on tv shows, "behind the scenes moments", music videos, a ton of merchandise and concerts to make you really feel like you were "getting to know the girls". It's ingenious marketing, really. To summarize what she was in Japanese entertainment, any fan of H!P would tell you to watch the "Mr. Moonlight" video on Youtube.

2) One pasttime of the H!P fanbase is shipping pairs of the girls based on anything from so much as a glance between two singers in some concert footage to more blatantly staged stuff like the link above. Yossy is the most popular member by far to ship with other girls from Morning Musume. Her pairings even have special BenandJen type abbreviations: IshiYoshi (YossyxRika), YoMako, YoMiki, depending on the girl she's paired with. These pairings become very real for some fans, to the point where each girls actions are analyzed as though they are characters in a soap opera, while the girls themselves have never made any real claim toward homosexuality. I like IshiYoshi the best, because you can tell the girls are close friends, or at least tremendously talented actresses who can disguise their hatred for one another.

So maybe it's unfair of me to assume Yoshizawa Hitomi is NOT actually a lesbian, because I don't know her and I certainly wouldn't want to be heterocentric, but it's a pretty acknowledged fact in cynical H!P fandom that these girls are entirely scripted for our benefit and management knows what sells. The biggest example of this is the latest Ongaku Gata's video "Come Together", which features a pretty in your face kiss between IshiYoshi. Yes, the girls played dumb in interviews about the kiss, saying that were just fooling around. Yes, the entire thing was promoted in such a way that you watched the clip, said what the fuck, and then wondered why it continued to promote whatever perverted fantasies you had in your head about whether or not H!P was just a ton of lesbians and the company no-boyfriend rule is just an injoke at the agency. While TaTu was frustrating, because the girls were so loud about being homosexual partners in Russian candypop except wait, it's a publicity stunt, IshiYoshi is frustrating, because they are constantly doing things that are so goddamn gay all of the time with no explaination or promotion and then leave you to wonder if you're just a pervert for reading into it. Hell, I've been guilty of showing my roommate a clip of the girls at a "court hearing" type game show where another member, Makoto, accuses Yossy of being a "bad girlfriend" for not wearing their matching bracelets, just to point out how uncomfortable Rika looks in the background so I'm not above it. It's part of the fun of fangirling H!P.

I guess I've been thinking about some representations of lesbianism lately, especially of the faux variety, since it's more plentiful. It's really interesting to me as to why Yossy pairings spark the interests of so many in this fandom. I mainly started thinking about it after the finale of that one show a couple of lesbians watched about continuity errors and murdering your recently gay friend. Okay, so I never got into the L Word. I thought the first season was nice and all, but I never felt that those women represented anything about my experience, plus, again, I thought the writing wasn't incredibly original or, well, good. I know that complaints about the L Word are even more plentiful for women of color, or butch lesbians, but I think anyone who isn't rich and surrounded by beautiful women has at least one or two complaints. Scratch that, I know a few girls who absolutely love the show, but I think they're mostly just watching it for the raunchy sex scenes. That's fine, there was some decent softcore porn on the L Word, but really the entire premise of what I saw as unhappy women in unhealthy relationships sort of put a damper on my ability to get off to 30 minutes of dialogue and 13 minutes of fucking.

In a sort of stark contrast to every Showtime series, sex does not exist in the Japanese pop idol world, which is one of it's charms and also one of it's completely exploitative downfalls. The girls sing songs about falling in love and hint at physical intimacy, but then you remember that they've interviewed as working someodd 355 days a year and receive very little time away from their "personas". Their producer Tsunku interviewed once that these girls have little to no time to pursue their own romantic relationships and even being seen holding hands with a member of the opposite sex has been cause for a swift removal, or as they say 'graduation'. The value of imagined virginity is basically the selling point. It's entirely fucked up. The charm of it though, is that it creates a little innocent fantasy world for what interaction we do see between these women, since we never see them interacting with others. Since there isn't sex, H!P fans can either write fanfiction to fill this gap, or they can and more commonly ship what is suggested. Pairings are more about the sweet things they say to eachother or the way they hold hands that stirs the imagination. The majority of Yossy commentary I've seen seems to be more about her looking at another member out of the corner of her eye and smiling during an interview, or hugging another girl while she's crying about losing a game that involves winning a pudding snack than fucking some girl in a bathroom stall or whether or not she owns a strap on.


And that's what I sometimes feel is missing and perhaps why I'm completely smitten with the character of this girl and the fandom that surrounds her. Sure, the actions of these women are staged to create personas and to a degree, lesbian subtext for profit, but at least I have to say that it's one of the more lovable premises I've ran into. Girls fawning over girls innocently. As a feminist I suppose that I am not supposed to be down with the idea with sexy fakelesbians having pillowfights for the pleasure of a male audience, but sometimes the idea of sex and the city with women who like women for women isn't entirely empowering either. I hope that the new stuff that will surely follow the demise of the L Word has a bit more whimsy to it, maybe taking more from the fun of suggestion that already exists in the "gay community" and a little less emphasis on taking itself so seriously. I don't want to sound like all of this is said, because I want to demean the relevance of physical relationships between women, but surely we're not all about to kill our lovers and I can relate more to the idea that two girls might secretly have a thing for eachother than the idea that I'll ever spend most of my day at a coffee house.


But yeah, Yossy's really hot and I greatly envy you if you're able to catch her. Maybe she'll come back around again.



Typical Introductions.

So I'm a 20 something religious middle-class Southern ablebodied liberal arts school educated whiteish lesbian abortionist. Does that cover all of my intersections? Occasionally I'm funny, but I can't promise you that here. I also like to read, dance, play videogames, write, and support my friends' artistic endeavors. Mostly though, I like Japanese pop and competitive figure skating. Marinate on that for a minute.

I started a blog mainly so I could talk about those last two interests, but I'll probably also talk about work as well, since my job always makes me think and challenges me to be a kinder, more understanding person. Considering that I started out in life being sort of a rough trash talkin' bitch, it's a considerable challenge indeed. I'm full of questions and I hope that writing online will help me organize my thoughts, or at least give me an outlet to vent about the latest judging injustices in international competitions, or rave on the amazingness of Risa Niigaki's nail art.

There will be pictures.