Tuesday Quotes

“I don’t decide to play the characters I play as a political choice, yet the characters I play often do become political statements because having your story told as a woman, as a person of color, as a lesbian or as a trans person, or as any member of any disenfranchised community, is sadly, often, still a radical idea. There is so much power in storytelling, and there is enormous power in inclusive storytelling.”

Kerry Washington, demonstrating intersectional feminism and all kinds of awesomeness in her speech at the GLAAD Awards.

Links Lundi

Spring weather approaches (at least in this part of the country), and with it, the first stirrings of clothing-related modesty lectures aimed at women. As usual, I have strong opinions about this issue, but I really like what this article had to say about it: “You might see some cleavage and have a sexual thought. You might also see a woman tying her shoe and have a sexual thought…That battle happens within your mind and it is your responsibility.”

A new mom’s anxiety over baby clothes teaches larger lessons: “Femininity is not less than masculinity. It is a different kind of strength, but it is powerful and wonderful and deserves our respect.

How often does modern Doctor Who pass the Bechdel Test? (A note on the Bechdel Test. Passing doesn’t necessarily mean a movie is a good representation of women – it only means the creators took the time to come up with more than one female character and put them in a conversation together. Which shouldn’t be difficult, and yet alarmingly few movies pass. Conversely, a movie can have multiple well-written female characters, but if they never talk to each other, that movie will fail the test – like Avengers, or How To Train Your Dragon 2 [see my thoughts below].)

A new anthology uses science fiction to reimagine justice. It never even occurred to me to wonder what we could do besides prisons, so I’m looking forward to reading this.

We finally saw “How To Train Your Dragon 2″ and since I’d already read this article, I was prepared to be disappointed by the character of Hiccup’s mother. I do believe Valka was grossly neglected for the movie’s final act, but I agree more with this article in that overall, HTTYD2 does an awesome job challenging gender-based tropes. What do you think?

Kicked Out

She’s curled up in my passenger seat, hunched around the ever-present flask I want to snatch from her life.

“We’re just trying to help.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Her eyes glitter, lost but so damned proud. “Let’s just go.”

Four Bottles Left

When I went to England, my friends had some advice for me.

“Try Strongbow,” they said. “It’s a cider they have over there and it’s really good.”

I was a college sophomore, spending the better part of a month in the UK learning about writing and British writers. I liked England, with its gray drizzle that reminded me of my Northwest home.

I didn’t like feeling like an outsider because my goal wasn’t to be the next Great American Novelist, unlike some others in the class.

But I liked the frigid, dark, rainy January evenings spent in the pub with two or three friends – others who were writing for fun, not academia or accolades – before we went back to the hotel to work on our stories or watch this weird show we’d discovered, “Doctor Who.”

I liked being of legal drinking age, and I really liked Strongbow. I liked the crisp dryness of cider, something more grown-up than the Mike’s Hard Lemonade and (shudder) Smirnoff Ice I was used to drinking at the time.

So when I got home, I wanted to try to find Strongbow stateside.

Shopping for Strongbow became an ongoing quest, something archived in my mental grocery lists for around six years. Strongbow wasn’t easy to find, at least not where I lived, but occasionally I would find myself in a liquor store or specialty grocery store that happened have a six-pack. Then, I would savor my purchase, only cracking open a bottle for the most anticipated of parties or the worst of bad days.

Strongbow was my drink of choice on my birthdays. My then boyfriend, now husband even bought me a six-pack for my birthday one year. It had a red bow on it. When one of my England classmates returned home from a semester abroad, we drank Strongbow. (I remember texting her on a winter break, having just tracked down another six-pack: “Captain Strongbow rides again!“) And when other friends went to England, I passed along the recommendation.

Roll the clock forward on those six years. I graduated. I got married. I had three or four jobs. We bought a house. And all that time, I kept an eye out for Strongbow.

It turned out that the nearby Fred Meyer carried Strongbow right there in the beer aisle, a phenomenon I hadn’t experienced before. Strongbow? Just sitting there, waiting for me? Mission accomplished! I can just grab more whenever I want!

I took it for granted. That doesn’t mean I went crazy with it – in fact, I still have four bottles from the last six-pack I ever purchased. I still wanted to save them for special occasions.

Those occasions are going to have to be very special, because they stopped selling original Strongbow in the US in 2014.

I should’ve been paying more attention. Hindsight being 20/20, I realized I had begun to notice some kind of change. The beer aisle seemed to only offer something called Strongbow Gold, a sweeter variety I had no interest in. I just assumed the market was changing and I would have to resume actively searching for the Strongbow I liked. After being served the Gold stuff in a British pub in Portland, though, I finally looked online and found out Strongbow as I knew it didn’t even exist in this country anymore.

Four bottles left. How long does cider keep? How much longer can I preserve my nostalgia?

Hopefully it’ll buy me enough time to visit Canada and restock.

Links Lundi

Have some “West Wing” trivia! Can’t decide whether my favorite is the possibility of Sydney Poitier being the President, or Madeleine Albright shaming the producers into creating Nancy McNally.

Love those Girl Scout Samoas? Sad that the box only lasts a day or two? Solution: bake your own! The recipe make FOUR DOZEN COOKIES which should last at least three days.

I’ve been getting my nostalgia fix from these recaps of “X-Men: Evolution,” a show that eventually becomes good but starts really really terribly. Favorite quote so far: “Just in case you needed an illustration of how thoroughly spending your formative years with Charles Xavier will f*** you up, Cyclops immediately apologizes for having failed to stop Toad, having been irresponsible enough to get himself knocked out while attempting to defend a hapless peer from his insane guardian’s murder playground.”

A photon’s-eye view of travel at the speed of light.

For your bookmarks: an entire tumblr dedicated to gifs of people flipping tables. Like:

or:

Which will come in handy a lot.