Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Get me some Pepto Bismol, STAT!

I am so, so, so sick of "empowered" women's symbols/events/causes being doused in pink. Case in point:

My friend Melissa sent me the above graphic because it bugged her so much; this coming from a woman who actually loves pink. She's also a very successful professional musician. In her words, "I love pink, but have never, and will never, play a pink instrument or use a pink guitar pick."

I'm a firm believer that women can, and do, rrrrrraaaawwwkkk, but this package sure as hell doesn't. It's a veritable pink explosion. This doesn't say "Women Rock;" it says, "Hello Kitty." It also says, "We may be able to handle an axe as well as any dude, but don't be scared of wittle us, boys! We're feminine, we promise! Look, we can prove it by dousing ourselves in sweet, innocent, infantile pink!!"


There's nothing wrong with pink per se, although I personally hate it. It clashes with my hair and makes me look like a live sherbet. This is the only pink item that you will find in my home:

If you do like pink and wear it, god bless. I'm not going to thumb my nose at you; it looks fabulous on some women. My problem lies with the marketing geniuses who decided that all woman-centric "empowerment" merchandise should be pink. Listen up, marketing drones; women buy pink breast cancer ribbons because they want to donate to breast cancer research, not because the ribbons are soooo pwetty. Women (and girls) will probably buy the Women Rock package because they want to support women in music (they'll also be supporting Refuge House, which provides direct services to battered women, children and sexual assault survivors).

Now, those are powerful causes. Why not use red? Too aggressive? How about purple? Hmmmm....too regal? Would it make us look uppity? We can't have that...what about...gasp...BLUE? Lots of women like blue. I like blue. What's that, you say? Blue belongs to the boys? Ooops, my bad.

My first bicycle was a "boys' bike." It was blue, with a white seat and white tassels. It also had that horizontal bar between the seat and handlebars. I've never understood the horizontal bar thing on boys' bikes, particularly when you consider the fact that a boy's junk is external. I fell on that bar more than once, and let me tell you, it was not pleasant. Had I been a boy, I would probably have opted for a "girl's" bike, not wanting to put my developing nutsack in harm's way. Anyway, I remember my father getting a TON of shit from other adults for getting me that bike. I got a ton of shit for riding it. Boys and girls alike would yell at me when I rode by. "That's a boy's bike! Why are you riding a boy's bike??"

Shit, where did I put my Pepto? I'm suddenly in need of a swig.

Aaah, the sweetness of early gender role imprinting and the gastrointestinal disruption that it brings. I just ignored it because, you know, I had a bike, and that was sweet. It rode the same as any other kids' bike, and you know what? I didn't grow a penis. My hormonal structure did not change. When I became a teenager, I grew breasts (a bona fide matching set), just like a normal girl. Well, I grew them a lot later than most, but I was really skinny then.

This rant is mostly meant in good fun, but it does bother me that women's groups and marketing peeps always fall back on softfluffycompletelynonthreatening peeeeeeeeennk. It's just lazy; there are only a hundred thousand other colors available, if you'll take thirty seconds of your time to actually think. Women are not the Borg. We like variety. No, really! I swear.

My second bike was a lovely gender-neutral yellow (no bar this time), and it was my mother, not my father, who taught me to ride it on two wheels. Such rebels, my parents. Clearly the apple didn't fall far from the tree.


Cute animal roundup

Angry pussy.

Sleepy puppy.

Stunt dog!

Happy little squirrel.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

"You have the right to remain sexy, sugar."*

Buried at

Friends of freak magnets, be warned: it is contagious.

My girl Tabitha has a theory. She thinks that I look too approachable - that I don't scowl well enough. Hearing that came as a bit of a shock; I've always thought that I could scowl with the best of them. I'm a New Yorker, you see. Bitchface is my birthright. The genome for world-class scowling should be stamped all over my DNA.

Well, then. As far as New Yorkers go, I must be defective.

I went to San Fransisco to visit Tab for New Year's. Like many of my girlfriends, she claims that weirdos only approach her when I'm around. The last time I visited her was certainly memorable for both of us.

We hadn't seen each other for a while, and I was the one who owed her a visit, since she'd stopped in LA last summer on her way to San Diego. So I headed up to San Fran to have fun and enjoy some girl time.

We had just finished walking around the huge new Westfield Mall downtown, and had worked up a post-retail therapy appetite. Tab had made reservations for us at O'Reilly's Holy Grail on Polk Street. Side note: If you ever get the opportunity to dine at the Holy Grail, order the Gaelic Steak. The pepper rub and whiskey sauce are TO DIE FOR.

We had just received our drink order. Tab got the house red, while Yours Truly imbibed a Jameson & ginger ale. As we toasted our friendship and the start of a new year, we noticed a rather intoxicated gentleman stumbling towards our table. Mid 30's, scruffy, in some kind of sports jacket and baseball cap.

He stopped abruptly and leaned in towards our table. "You look greeeeaaat," he slurred, leering at Tabitha.

"Wow, that was a new one," I joked.

"This only ever happens to me when I'm with you," Tab fixed a faux-accusatory glare on me as Tony the Wasted Tiger staggered away.

"Hey, you do look great," I offered lamely. Way to blame the victim.

After our exquisite meal, we walked (or, more accurately, rolled) out onto Polk. Tab's car was in a public parking garage across the street. We stood at the intersection, chatting as we waited for the light to change.

There was a disheveled, drunken man standing on the opposite corner (a different guy than the one in the restaurant). He appeared to be homeless, but I could have been making an assumption, since he was such a mess. He was staring at us with an exaggerated grin on his face. I smelled the potential for trouble, since we would be walking right towards him when the light changed.

The light turned green, and we started across. Conveniently for us, a police car was approaching the intersection on our side of the light. As the car got close, Homeless jumped out into the street and hailed the cops inside.

The car stopped short, about 20 feet from the intersection, to avoid hitting the dude.

"Hey, cops!" Homeless shouted. "Hey, cops!" He gestured towards us. "Those are TWO HOT WIMMIN!"

Uh, yeah.

"My God," Tabitha shook her head. "My God. Wow."

Even the cops didn't know what to do. Arrest us for being hot? Issue a citation for inciting some vagabond to attempt vehicular suicide? They just looked at us weakly as the guy, who apparently had made his point, walked off.

Never a dull moment, hanging out with me.

*Quote from Austin Powers: Goldmember.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I love New York, delusional edition

Buried at

Dracula was Jewish?!

We prefer service without a smile, thank you very much.

All those silly gods are interchangeable, anyway.

One life down, eight to go.

Okay, but is Santa fuckable?

The Men's Rights Activists' manifesto, in a nutshell.

Quite the little Magellan, isn't he?

My personal favorite.

Well, a friend of mine once dated a guy who was a card-carrying member of the Romulan nation...

A sign of the apocalypse

It snowed today in Malibu. MALIBU!

I am stunned to see an actual snowplow in the photo. A month ago, I would have staked my life on the belief that none are to be found within a 100 mile radius of Los Angeles.

We've had all kinds of bizarre cold and rainy weather in LA for too long now. That's it. I'm filing an official complaint.

Dear East Coast Weather:
Thank you for the visit, since I didn't get to see you when I was in New York for Christmas. It was, in fact, at least 55 degrees every day for the duration of my stay; I understand that Long Island has experienced temperatures in the 70s since I got back to Los Angeles.

Cold weather, perhaps you are lost. It happens to the best of us occasionally. Allow me to remind you: you belong on the east coast. Or in the midwest. Or in Canada. You are not supposed to come any further west than Colorado, or any further south than San Fransisco. GO HOME. I moved here to get away from you! Cheers – G.

P.S. West Coast Weather, kindly GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE.

A snowplow. In MALIBU. Oh, HELL no.

The end is nigh, Repent.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A good year

I'm a bit late posting this, but today is Diary of a Freak Magnet's first birthday!

Readers, it has been a tremendous twelve months for Yours Truly. I started this blog purely for the amusement of my family and friends; I would never have guessed that it would grow so quickly through mere word of mouth. I've gotten hits from all over the world, been interviewed on the radio twice, been featured in an online article, and had the honor of hosting a feminist carnival.

It's been quite the thrill ride. One of the best parts of becoming a blogger has been getting to know those of you who've popped by to say hello. You really do become a part of a community when you put yourself out there in cyberspace - the experience of creating this blog has been partly shaped by your presence. Getting your comments and emails has been amazing; knowing that my writing is capable of making people laugh and think makes my day! I knew that one day all the freaks that have crossed my path would be good for something...

I have a New Year's resolution to write a lot more frequently in 2007. In honor of my blog's 1st birthday, I present my favorite post from the past year. Here's to the next twelve months - I hope that those of you who lurk, but don't comment, will make yourselves heard this year!

Speaking of birthdays, a humble tribute to Dr. King. Men and women who share your vision are sorely needed these days.

Finally, all hail the Queen!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Giving credit where it's due

On the show Nip/Tuck, when Dr.'s McNamara and Troy are giving a consultation, their first question is: "Tell me what you don't like about yourself."

How sad. Dear readers, that is no way to start a conversation, unless you're in therapy! Indeed, it is healthy and fabulous to toot your own proverbial horn every once in a while. The brilliant Zuzu at Feministe pays homage to this idea with her post "Wonderful, Glorious Me." As she says:
We’re conditioned, particularly as women, to be self-deprecating, to not take up space, to not revel in our bodies and ourselves. We can get 150 comments in a thread about when we realized that we were aware our bodies weren’t up to snuff; let’s see how many we can generate praising ourselves.

I love it! Starting the new year with a "go, me!" moment will set us all off on the right path! Lord knows, we are all our own worst critics, and Yours Truly is no exception. I'm going to take up Zuzu's challenge of listing 5 things that I love about myself. Without further ado:

1. I love my unique "cat eyes" (that would be them, above). Like many women, I often have trouble graciously accepting compliments, but not when they're directed at my peepers. When I was in college, one of the guys on my floor wrote a sonnet to them. Ah, cute boys and bad poetry - an oddly endearing combination!

2. I'm a voracious reader. One of my dreams is to have a personal library constructed in my home.

3. I have a smile that knocks people out. True story - a guy once walked into a wall after I smiled at him.

4. My strong legs got me to the top of Mount Monadnock in 2 1/2 hours (that's a 3200 foot uphill hike, y'all!)

5. Two words: awesome rack.

Okay, readers - your turn! Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to list 5 things that you LIKE about your body and yourself. Yes, that includes my bepenised readers! I know that you all have plenty of traits worth crowing about, so - crow!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The gift that keeps on giving

A belated Happy New Year to all of you! I hope you all enjoyed your holiday season. I've spent the last couple of weeks either working like crazy, traveling or sick. I've missed my little blog, but a bit of time off was definitely needed.

I'll be back with more stories soon, but in the meantime, enjoy this hysterical video. Unfortunately, I didn't think to include one of these in my letter to Santa. I mean really, who among us couldn't use a good old dick in a box?


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