Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finally Completed Computer Room Shelving

I know I haven't posted in quite a few days ( 6 I believe) and I hope I haven't broken too many hearts out there by it. 

Anyone beyond my sister (and niece) enjoy my essay? or read my essay? read the title? look at the picture atleast?  What does everyone think of the blue writing? So far I've gotten a vote in its favor, and I'm thinking of posting alternatively in blue, especially in circumstances that involve me rambling a super long post.

Well I bet you are all DYING to know what my computer room looks like now that the shelving units are filled.. 

Check it out! 

TA-DA! The Finished Product!!!! Looks Awesome Doesn't It?? Doesn't It?

Hope you've all enjoyed this little glimpse into my space..

I will try to get back to every-night-posting, or at least multiple-times-a-week-posting...I hope.

Midterm tomorrow for Native Canadian Literature.. Wish Me Luck!

P.s Doesn't the red rose poster look great by my red IKEA lamp???


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This Essay Recently Took Up All My Blogging Time.. Enjoy. Please Comment!



Spectacular Bodies: Image Analysis, Lady Gaga as Lady Liberty
 The image that will be analyzed is from the cover of V Magazine for fall 2010 and will be referred to as Appendix A.  This year’s fall issue features celebrity pop singer Lady Gaga and clothing designer Marc Jacobs in what the photographer has named “The New York Issue”.  Lady Gaga and Marc Jacobs are pictured together in “formal” attire as if they were going to a large upper-class black tie event.  The twist of it is that Lady Gaga is pictured in a bra and underwear set, with only a large draping of pale toned fabric hanging off her hip.  Standing in front of a grocery cart, she resembles a faux Statue of Liberty with some of the statues recognizable attributes; some of her hair is up in horizontal spikes which seemingly form the liberty crown, and a paper bag on fire takes the place of the Liberty Flame which is held aloft in her left hand.  While she stands facing the photographer full on in the classic Lady Liberty pose, her partner in the picture sits fully clothed in tuxedo on a television set, but he is facing left and away from the camera’s focus.    It is obvious that Lady Gaga is the focal point of this image, with her body and overall appearance succeeding to represent and produce ideologies of sexuality and nation, as well as challenging dominant gender norms in society with her body language. 

The image that Lady Gaga produces on the cover of this magazine is provocative, and highly sexual.   Her body exposure signifies the dominance of sexuality and the importance of it that is placed on the body, specifically on the female body in society today. Social interest in the body has inhibited what is known as “the gaze”, in which, in society there are two types of viewers; the spectators and the objects.  The spectator is the one person who is looking at or viewing someone else, where as the object is the one being looked at.   There is the convention in place that depicts “women as objects of the gaze and men as the lookers”, and which is still in existence today, although in western tradition “men are depicted [as active] and women as objects [or passive]” (Sturken and Cartwright 80-81).  The image in Appendix A plays upon the sexuality of the female body and is encouraging the gaze of both male and female viewers by placing the women front and centre in all her scantily clad beauty.  In this picture of partial nudity the woman’s body further becomes a model factor in the eroticism of the female body, as well producing images of physical sexual freedom.  Lady Gaga’s body on this cover represents a female body that is both desired and desirable.  It is being looked at and inviting the gaze by presenting itself in a sensual, sexual and almost erotic manner as well as allowing itself to be freely and openly viewed.  The use of long hair not only cuts, frames and outlines the face, neck, shoulders and breasts of the woman, but works to partially cover and expose her “feminine” “soft” and more “delicate” features.  The black lingerie in contrast to pale skin draws attention to the parts of the woman’s body that are covered jut enough, and therefore creates a curiosity in the spectator to want to see that which is being covered.  The most covered part of Lady Gaga’s body in Appendix A is her legs and not much else is left to imagination as her more private parts are in almost full view.  Beyond using revealing clothing to cover her torso, the use of the pale and flesh colored shades of the skirt around her legs and hip, gives off an appearance of further nudity.  Along with her blonde hair on her head, the skirt covering her legs brings forth the appearance of blurring out the rest of her body.  It seems that the viewer is supposed to zone in on the shoulder down to the hip, and this blurring of face and legs forces the gaze’s focus.  The female body is on exhibition here, and this woman is both “simultaneously looked at and displayed, with [her] appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so [she appears to] connote to-be-looked-at-ness” (Mulvey, 397).    Thus the woman in this picture serves only one purpose, that is, of being a sexually desirable and viewable body.  If by chance the viewer decides to focus on her face as a more important feature to her body, then they are met with partly closed dark, smoky eyes and light rose colored lips which are parted in a submissive form.  Her face is the perfect mask of sensuality, in which she seems to ask the viewer to view her, and she submits willingly to the gaze and allows her physical self to be sexually objectified.  She is not given a voice or the ability to speak but is considered beautiful, and her body is in pose for the spectators eyes.  Through what is called scopophelia, she stands only to give pleasure to those fascinated with the female human form as her physical body is “viewed sexually and gives the viewer pleasure in looking” (Mulvey 395).         er              

 Lady Gaga in Appendix A is taking on the image of Woman as Nation, as she stands in this picture a mirror of the Statue of Liberty [reflected in poor taste perhaps].  It brings to mind the question of what this image is saying for the American nation; it is saying that New York is associated with nothing but shopping carts, broken television sets and dirty sidewalks.  The image of the great Statue of Liberty is downgraded by this mere imitation of a crown of hair, a twisted up brown paper bag ablaze and part of the lower half of a gown, which not only makes the image cheap but forces its vulnerability. This pose of the partially nude Lady Liberty brings up images of sexual freedom, and this image can be taken as a comment on the ‘liberties’ given and used by the people of America, which the statue of Liberty represents.  She not only represents a nation that is free in mind, but has freedom in its physical action and corporeal body as well.  The Statue of Liberty serves as a reminder and representation of freedom, hope and prosperity.  Lady Gaga as this model of Lady Liberty just puts forth images of sexuality, nudity, poverty and a degradation of women and their bodies.  It speaks of a nation built on garbage and controlled by rampant free sexuality.  She is facing directly at the camera, she is not ashamed of herself, nor is there any attempt to show weakness or restraint, though her vulnerability remains in question.  Lady Gaga invites everyone to an America that thrives on the pleasures of the flesh and says “Look At Me… Need Me… Want Me”.

Beyond producing the normative ideologies of women being viewed solely as sexualized objects and representatives of a physically free nation, this images challenges typical gendered norms that are ever present in visual culture.  In many magazine and television advertisements that feature both men and women, the man is generally standing and the woman is sitting, kneeling, lying down on something or on the ground which produces images of female inferiority and male superiority.  It also tends to show men in an active role and women in a passive role.  In Appendix A, Lady Gaga is standing and the man, Marc Jacobs, in the picture is sitting.  This is challenging the power relationships between men and women in popular culture or media. The image shows a woman getting more height than a man and occupying more space.  In being placed taller or higher than her male counterpart, she comes to represent a strong female image where woman are no longer on the floor or lower than the men they are pictured with.  Standing straight and taking up as much space by use of hair, clothing and physical body parts such as arms and elbows, she remains the strong and proud image of Lady Liberty and can represent the ideas of freedom and strength and progression that the Statue of Liberty Is for the United States.  It is no longer the man in power, as he is crunched up, taking as little of Her space up as possible and not even facing the gaze or her.  She has won the power struggle here.       

The image that has been analyzed allowed a strong image of woman power to be created in relation to challenging some gender norms, as well as producing ideologies of women as sexuality and women as nation.  In putting the picture in a faux New York setting, the sexualized object, the switch in gendered norms of power and the notions of Nation comment on the changes that are in effect in this culture, at least in one of the major big cities of western society.  Using Lady Gaga as Lady Liberty created an interesting characterization of the “type” of New York woman and gives people a model for what that woman stands for, what she is in the flesh and in cultural terms.  Lady Gaga is one pop star that is definitely wanting of “the gaze” and is doing everything possible to invoke, provoke and challenge it.  Now there’s a Spectacular Body!      
 Works Cited
Mulvey, Laura.  “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.”  Cultural Studies Critical Theory 2S03. Ed. Chandrima Chakraborty. Hamilton: McMaster U, 2010. 46-47. Print.
Sturken, Marita and Lisa Cartwright.  Practices of Looking. New York. Oxford UP. 2001. 80-81. Print
            “The New York Issue”. V Magazine. V67. Sweden Unlimited. Fall 2010. Web. October 10th 2010. Image in Appendix A       http://www.vmagazine.com/category/magazine/  IMAGE BELOW



Friday, October 8, 2010

"The Lonely Man"

One man's loneliness, another man's escape...
One man, one room, one guitar,
The only solace from the rough hand deal by life.

Seeking.  Trying.  Pleading.  Aiming

One Man...alone
One Man... waiting
One Man... hoping
One Man... praying

Where will his next meal come from?
Where will the next months rent come from?
Where will his salvation come from?

Alone.  A room.  A window.  Four walls.  Angled ceiling.

One Man... One bed... no frame.
One Man... Carpeted floor... no chair
One Man... One goal
One Man... Survivor 

Sitting alone on a mattress on the floor...
A guitar in his hand the only comfort.
Plugged in to keep him in and block everything else out.

Loneliness.  Purpose. Escape. Survival

Written while observing another being.  The inspiration for this poem.. a lonely man.
Hope you enjoyed it... comment or e-mail.  Thanks

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Feel It Turn... Life An Ever Turning Circle

This chorus of this song has been playing in my mind since yesterday (October 4th)...

I had a dream I was moving forward
Floating gently to the sun
I've come to see my world rewarded
A new day has begun
And I can
Feel it turn Feel It Turn, Feel It Turn, Feel It Turn...

(Random note: Totally Love Great Big Sea!! current dream to see them in concert soon.  Fingers Crossed.)

Interesting how everything keeps turning, and things in life come back around in a full circle.  In the past 24 hours I have  encountered some people and some situations I thought had completely left my world.  I was wrong.  Strange how time works.  You think that because you'd forgotten about something so had others...
Or that feelings and thoughts had been pushed so far out of your mind that they were no longer retrievable, but they come right back to the forefront of it as soon as you hear a voice, or see a face again.  You assume that the people involved in those things from your past which had been buried, would have also forgotten by now.
Then it turns out they haven't...

It's the wheel of the world turning around
It's the wheel of the world turning around
And around
In the blink of an eye
It can change your life
And it never even slows down
It's the wheel of the world
It can open your heart
It can break you apart
And it never even slows down
It's the wheel of the world turning around

It's the wheel of the world turning around
And around

*Sigh* Carry Underwood was singing it right for sure.

Why is it I see my life through song?  If only you could make a living off it.  Oh wait, some people do.  Sadness.  I am not one of those people.  Maybe some day.  Here's hoping!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Room is still a mess.. Photos still to come. 

Wish my printer wouldn't be so stupid...

Hate little useless assignments still.  Thank God they are done for this week.  Ugh Readings still to do!

Hate copying out notes by hand again because they get torn out!.

Can't wait for tomorrow to be over.

Why is it so cold and wet these days?  Canada- dry heat and dry cold..who said anything about rain?

Still reading April Raintree.  So Good.


Monday, October 4, 2010

The Everyday

Don't feel like being too expressive today.  Lots of stuff going on in my head right now. 

Cluttered room = cluttered head = cluttered life.

Too many stupid short assignments to write, too many articles to read and critically analyze and not enough will power to get it all done. Ugh hate rain induced headaches!

sorry, soo 'complainy' right now.

On the bright side of things I started reading a Canadian novel entitled In Search of April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton Mosionier and I am happy to be 150 pages in and LOVING it!  Recommended, a MUST READ!

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day... fingers crossed.


Just Another Crazy Weekend

When aren't my weekends crazy? hmm interesting question.  The answer?


Between church, family stuff and homework and socializing I have had absolutely no time to blog!  In fact, my last blog was the night of September 30th-morning of Oct 1st.  Seems so long ago.  Yet, not really too long ago.

Funny how time passes by and you don't even notice...

Just some updates about my days so far:

-the shelving units in the room I am currently in are still empty, save for some textbooks and course ware of university days gone by that managed to stumble onto bottom shelves.  Oh, and the DVD's are up sort of, mostly they've been scattered about the shelves in individual piles according to genre in the hopes that eventually someone will pick up said piles and arrange them onto the shelves...fingers crossed

-on Friday night I ate at an awesome Japanese restaurant called Sapporo.  Its $25 per person/dinner and you just keep ordering things off the menu until you are full, or they run out of food or kick you out lol.  It's awesome.  Most people really love the Sushi there, I myself am not a fish eater (and my ethnic friend being gracious enough to respect my no fish policy), so we stuck to the teriyaki meats, beef and chicken, rice, veggies, buttered mushrooms (mmmm) and mango ice cream!  So Good! The wait staff also go around with endless pots of  tea and or jugs of water, which I found fantastic!  Think about it, sounds weird but, drinking something hot while eating food actually was quite pleasant.  I found i didn't get full so easily like I usually do when i get an iced-tea or carbonated drink at other restaurants.

-on Saturday after church I went out with my sister, her fiancee and my ethnic friend all went out to Sotiris- a Greek restaurant which is totally worth the twenty minute drive to Burlington!  They have the best Gyros and Pork/Chicken Souvlaki and giant portions at a great reasonable prices.  Everyone goes home with containers because even when you get the "small" size plates, you are left with something at the end of it all.  And man does it taste great re-warmed the next day!

- On Sunday (today) I went to mass as per usual and then afterward my sister and I attended one of our city's 5 annual "Life-Chain's".  For those of you who may not have heard this term before, a "life-chain" is a silent public display against Abortion/The killing of innocent babies.  Our church youth group, though small in numbers, was present along with youth from surrounding catholic high schools and parishioners young and old from the churches involved.  Everyone held a sign with a message.  And we lined up along both sides of Main street which passes by our city's university and prayed individually as well as out loud together as a group with our parish priest leading us in the holy rosary.  This location is specific and is a "life-chain" spot due to the fact that this university has a children's hospital ( one of the best in the area) in which  lives of unborn children  are carelessly and ruthlessly taken from them.  And they call it "choice".
    Our pro-life display was met with positive reactions such as drivers honking their horns and waving, smiling, giving us "thumbs-up" or "peace signs" as well as (few, but memorable) negative reactions involving drivers and passengers shaking heads with disapproving looks and scowls, sticking their heads out windows and proclaiming proudly that they had gone to that same hospital for their abortion, receiving the "Pierre Trudeau salute" or middle finger gesture, and honking with "thumbs down" sticking out of cars and trucks.  There was also alot of indifference, in which many cars just drove right past without looking at anyone/thing around them unless they were forced to stop at the stop lights of the intersection.  Interesting.  I've attached some pics of the signs we carry and the rules and such so enjoy.  If anyone wants more info on this, or wishes to discuss the issues of abortion in society today and such feel free to contact me through E-mail. Please DO NOT attack my blog,  I understand that this topic is very difficult but we must remember that this a free space, and every opinion is welcome so long as it is not destructive or inappropriate but respect is always to be remembered.  For what else is there to fight for if not for the respect of human life... 

-Following the life chain my sister and I went to my grandmothers to visit with her, our aunts, uncle and cousins and we celebrated our little cousins birthday.  She turned 14 and I can't believe how much time is flying and everyone is growing up!  It is scary and yet exciting at the same time.  Her's was the first birthday to be celebrated in my grandmother's new "house" as we just moved her from one side of the city to another this past summer in July.  So it was a big thing for my family.  It's nice to be closely connected to extended family sometimes.  Its just great to form friendships with people who you are connected by blood too.  Some people never get to see their cousins or don't have many or any at all.. my whole life and sense of identity has been formed around this idea of extended family as "true" family and I am happy and honoured and so thankful to have grown up with them all around.  If anyone wants to talk about this please post, share an experience or emotion about it, or e-mail me. hehe

Well that was my weekend.  I hope you all enjoyed reading my ramblings, I apologies for going off on a "pro-life" rant...and a "pro-family" rant as it would seem.. hehe

I hope this makes up for my lack of posts the past few days.  I am trying to stick to it and be diligent in my postings, this week I will not fail you.  I hope.  Maybe...

Thanks for reading and please comment... Goodnight/Good morning All!


Friday, October 1, 2010

IKEA: Where everything is held together by little wooden pegs

Today (September 30th) my sister and I went out and bought some shelving units for our computer room/studying area in the family house.  It was a fun few hours spent wandering about IKEA and perusing all their options.

We managed to find two "Billy" Bookcases that suit our needs perfectly.  As seeing as we already have one in the room if the same style it was a match made in heaven.

We purchased a large bookcase for $69 that comes with 5 shelves and is around 7 feet tall and 3 feet wide, as well as another smaller bookcase for $49with two shelves about 4 feet tall and 1 and a half feet wide. Both are black and look just fine beside the older light cedar colored one we have had since last year.

It's taking a while to get it all up and running, and we spent the better half of this afternoon moving furniture, pulling down shelves and books, emptying the original bookcase, clearing space in the room and then building the two new bookcases and putting them up said room.  But it's almost completed and we've begun filling the shelves with the many books and items that we have.

You'd never guess how many books, textbooks, bound course packs and multiple subject notebooks 3 university undergraduates might collect over a period of 10 years but it is an incredible amount!  If I'm bored I might count it and give you an exact, if not a close approximate number some day :D

I've attached pictures of the shelving unites empty, and the room with them in it along with all the items that have to go one them.   Just for anyone wondering how they look and such.  I will post a picture of the complete final shelves/room at a later date once we decide to finish it up.

My sister and I also bought this wonderful little glass lamp.  Its an oval shape open on the top and bottom and it is round.  It's transparent red glass with opaque red flowers and butterflies all around it and when plugged in and turned on emits a warm glowing light adding such a breath-taking ambiance to our meager space.  Truly the best buy, especially for $11.  I've attached photo's of this as well.

Hope you enjoy a glimpse into my "personal" space, and please don't forget to comment or e-mail me here, the anonymous comment option is available now.  Thanks