Posts Tagged: rookie

Lady Inspiration: Carrie Brownstein

carrie brownstein
“In Olympia, Washington, ambition was like a dirty word for a long time. I think in very idyllic and idealistic communities, people want everything to be very even and democratic. And that’s wonderful for supporting one another, but I don’t think it’s antithetical to being a supportive member of a community to aspire to do well, and to feel proud about things. I think it’s OK to have wants and needs that might be at odds with what your friends’ bands are doing, or what the community’s doing. You don’t want to undermine yourself, and to feel like for every step forward you have to justify why you want to do it. If you want success, especially for girls and women, there’s this overly apologetic sensibility, like you have to justify or overexplain why you’re going for it. That shouldn’t exist. But yeah, I definitely came from that.

Miranda July and I have known each other since we were 19, and we both came from Olympia, so we’ve talked about this a lot. We both really wanted things for ourselves. We wanted people to hear our music, and she wanted people to see her performance art and see her films—and that’s not a betrayal, I think. That’s the trick—not feeling like you’re betraying other people. If you have friends who are making you feel that way, that’s not the right community for you. It’s good to find people that are encouraging you, not undermining your efforts or making them seem shallow. Because I think for most people it’s actually not about being rich or famous; it’s about being able to support yourself doing what you love. And I think if you can support yourself doing what you love, no one should criticize that.”
-Carrie Brownstein in an interview with Rookie last year

Wednesday Links


So my gal pal Jayne is hilarious and she writes about her dating adventures on her blog. I always laugh out loud, and this story was no exception!

On HelloGiggles last week, I wrote about one of my favorite cookbooks…the Joy the Baker Cookbook, duh. If you don’t have this yet, I don’t even know what you’re doing with your life.

Happy Halloween! Alex wrote some tips for you.

Carrie sent me this link of Ira Glass extolling the virtues of Rookie.

I don’t like to bitch too much about things I hate on WTLV, but this I agree with, wholeheartedly. I hate those stupid signs.

Basically all I want is for someone to come over and make this Spicy Sausage and Sweet Pepper Pizza for me. I just keep looking at this recipe and thinking about how perfect it looks. Is there a better pizza than sausage and pepper? No, there is not.

I try not to watch scary movies because they kick my anxiety up to nearly unmanageable levels, but I still love scary movies. Specifically scary movies from the 70s and 80s. All I’m saying is everything on this list looks great, and also I had one of my Most Scared Moments while watching Black Christmas. H. acted like he was asleep and then grabbed my ankle during a particularly tense scene. I’m still not over it.

A great quote from Steve Martin.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the Ice Hotel, you guys. A lot of time.

Image of Will Ferrell from New York Magazine

Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong with a Little Taylor Swift


Over the past year, I’ve come to a realization: I like Taylor Swift.

To quote Fred Armisen impersonating Joy Behar, “So what? Who cares?” I mean, I like a lot of things that are far less respected than Taylor Swift, so this isn’t really too big of a deal. What I don’t get, though, is what people have against her. From the amount of vitriol directed towards her for the simple act of writing, recording, and releasing music, you’d think she ran a dog-fighting ring or was involved in a hit-and-run. But Taylor Swift hasn’t done anything.

I mean, think about it. What has she done? She hasn’t had a sex tape or any leaked nudie pics or even done anything remotely scandalous. I’ve never even heard a rumor that she’s rude. Sure, I heard that she broke Taylor Lautner’s heart, but come on, who hasn’t.

All Taylor Swift does is write inoffensive pop songs that are, admit it, very catchy for the most part. Do I hate a couple of her songs? Totally. But I also genuinely enjoy some of them, and one more than one occasion I’ve cried to her music in the car (but then again, I’ve also cried to Katy Perry, so that’s not saying much).

There are a few reasons I know of that people hate Taylor Swift. Some people really don’t like any of her music, which is a valid reason to dislike a musician. Some people say that Taylor Swift can’t actually sing, which is also a valid point. I’ve seen her on live awards shows! It wasn’t good! But I only have to hear her glossy, corrected voice on the radio, so I don’t really care. These are not the reasons that bother me.

What bothers me is when commenters and writers on sites like Jezebel act like Taylor Swift is an affront against feminism for having the gall to sing about love and ending up with dudes and marriage and Prince Charming. There’s this article, which is admittedly old (and I really think Dodai is an interesting and great writer; I just disagree with her on a few points, this being one of them). Taylor Swift is a feminist’s nightmare? Really? A feminist’s nightmare is Todd Akin or Ann Coulter or anyone else who literally seems not to understand what words like “rape” and “assault” and “feminism” mean (or, in the case of Ann Coulter, brazenly pretend to not know what they mean in order to make money and harm other women). Taylor Swift isn’t a “feminist’s nightmare” anymore than romantic comedies or Harlequin romances or all those people who keep asking me when I’m going to get married are feminist’s nightmares. One of the lines in the Jezebel piece was a quote from another piece: “Swift’s lyrical message to teenage girls is clear: BOYS. That’s it. Just boys. Crying over boys and feeling broken and/or completed by boys.”

And that, right there, is my real problem with this Taylor Swift hate. It’s couched in this infuriatingly condescending “we know what’s best for teenage girls” attitude that makes me want to hurl. Because that attitude revolves around the idea that teenage girls believe everything they hear and are incapable of not internalizing a Taylor Swift song. And that just isn’t true.

Let’s have a little bit of respect for teenage girls, okay? They’re capable of filtering things out, of caring about romance and boys while also caring about school and their futures, of making their own decisions regardless of what pop stars do. Furthermore, they’re capable of listening to Taylor Swift and Azealia Banks or David Bowie or Fiona Apple or all sorts of other things. Our culture and certain members of our government constantly tell us that we’re incapable of making our own decisions as women. So it’s no surprise that teenage girls, who are so often overprotected and condescended to and sheltered, are presumed to be too stupid to figure out the difference between music and real life, while teenage boys and Justin Beiber are allowed to run wild all over this planet. We need someone to protect us from the male gaze and the heteronormativity of Taylor Swift’s lyrics!

All I know for sure is that, when I wore a younger man’s clothes (literally, because I bought my clothes from the little boy’s section of thrift stores when I was a teenage girl), I used to read, listen to, and watch all sorts of things. I’ve always been interested in the trashy and weird, so the books I read tended to be full of sex, drugs, and bad decisions. But that didn’t make me drink, do drugs, or have sex (or, more accurately, figure out how to get a boyfriend) in high school because my fully-functioning brain told me those things wouldn’t help me get where I wanted to go.

Teenage girls are so much smarter than we give them credit for. I promise you, they can listen to a pop song and not get a “message” from it. Just look at this great post from Rookie. Those girls understand that music can be romantic and stupid and light and smart and deep and heartbreaking and hilarious all at the same time.

Also, if you don’t think State of Grace is great, then I have nothing left to say to you.

Writing Advice & a Slow Month

I love writing advice. I know it might seem like a waste of time to read about writing instead of just, you know, writing, but it always leaves me feeling energized and excited. Rookie recently posted this great advice that I loved, even though I’m not a teenage writer at all. It’s all about writing stuff down, getting inspiration, and discipline.

Speaking of discipline, I wanted to let you guys know that the blog may be a little slow for the next month or so. I’m working on a project in August that’s going to take up a lot of time, and I might not be able to post quite as frequently. Not that I assume anyone will be anxiously refreshing Welcome to Ladyville, shouting, “WHERE IS SHE? WHY HASN’T SHE POSTED?” at his or her computer screen, but I wanted to say something anyway. I’ll still probably be posting a few times a week, and maybe even posting exactly as much as I do now because I love procrastination, but in the event I do slow down a bit I didn’t want you to think I’d been spirited away to an secret location where I’m not permitted to blog.

Monday Links

How to be Confident Without Seeming Like an A-Hole on Yes and Yes. Although, honestly, everything on Yes and Yes is great, so you’re probably reading it already.

“What can I do now that’ll continue to divert & protect me from that One Big Thing I actually want to do?”

Rookie interviews Carrie Brownstein. My favorite people in one place!

My friend Christine told me about Kitties and Bullshit/ and I’m in love with it.

On being a guy who watches Gilmore Girls. I’ve written about how my brother and I watch GG together, and my experience has shown me that all the coolest guys appreciate Stars Hollow.