Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Dec 17

I haven’t blogged in over a month

At least, here. I’ve been blogging in all the other places though. Oops.

This last month has been measured in broken heartbeats, if I’m honest.

It’s also been measured in doors opened to the UPS and FedEx men. The shopping. I’m having such a good financial month, after the annual frustration with the state. I’ve spent a bit of money, purchased some awesome gifts, and yet I have a bit of money left. I am considering a tattoo. A sugar-skull inspired motif on my left thigh. What do you think?

These last few days have consisted of me binging on TED talks about psychology, sex and technology, among other things. This was inspired, in part, by starting and finishing Best Sex Writing 2012 in a course of hours. I forgot how much I like to be educated!

Goliath and his box under the tree

Goliath and his box under the tree

Much of my time has been spent with my sister, who likes to escape her home and invade mine. Her latest thing is asking for homework help that could easily be done over the phone just so she can come over and play video games. She did “help” me put up my Christmas tree, though. It’s blue and silver this year. I didn’t think about how dark blue lights are in comparison to white ones, however. It’s nearly impossible to take a decenter picture!

I’ll end this with a rant. About “Merry Christmas.” And how a million of my Facebook friends — just kidding, I don’t have that many — have posted about how that’s the correct thing to say. And how it’s stupid to be offended by saying it. And they’ll say it regardless.

Yes, I will smile and say “You, too” to anyone who takes the time to wish me a Merry this or a Happy that, even if I’ve never heard of it. Have a good freakin’ Festivus, y’all. But, seriously. There’s a perfectly easy-to-understand reason why Merry Christmas might offend some people.

And it’s not because you celebrate it. It’s because you celebrate it and you assume everyone else also celebrates it. But they don’t. Some of them celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Yule or something else altogether. Some people celebrate no winter holidays, believe it or not.

Despite the fact that so many people proclaim the separation of church and state, the United States is a Christian nation. Winter break includes Christmas but not typically any of the days of Hanukkah, let alone all eight of them. Easter is another holiday that closes down the government and schools. People who are not Christian understand the significance of these holidays. You probably know little about Hanukkah or any other Jewish holiday.

Your normal isn’t everyone else’s default. It’s dangerous and limiting to think that. It’s wonderful to learn what you don’t know — and then to make that something you do know, however.

If you celebrate Christmas, then I hope it’s a good one. If you don’t, I hope other people do not offend you. Either way, I hope you’re not a dick.


Nov 13

Facebook App’s New Internal Browser Sucks!

Facebook's App Settings for external browser

Facebook’s App Settings for external browser

Over the past several days, I updated Facebook on my phone. One of the biggest changes — yet one that I heard little about beforehand — is that Facebook now opens links in the app rather than in your browser. I suspect the idea behind this is to protect users from malicious files and perhaps even scams. However, it also prevents us from using all the features we expect in a modern browser.

This includes private browsing mode and all the options available with a long-click, such as opening a link in a new tab. Although you can readily share any link back to a Facebook post or even a message, opening a link in the app “browser” doesn’t work with a smartphone’s native sharing menu, so sending via text, Bluetooth or email takes a few more clicks.

Plus, links to the Google Play store and YouTube ignore the default settings in my phone. Thanks, Facebook! You can “Save” things to Facebook, but it would be much nicer to access our favorites, especially if you sync browser data across multiple devices.

Perhaps what frustrates me the most is that you’re not able to browse history. I don’t even use favorites all that much because I use the browser on my phone — and tablet — for casual surfing. This morning, I clicked a link in Facebook, wanted to visit it later and promptly lost it because I didn’t “Save” it and there’s no history or any way to return to pages viewed in the internal browser. Arrgh!

Fortunately, you can disable this “feature,” and it’s not difficult. In your App Settings for Facebook, you’ll see an option to open links in an “External” browser. That is, Safari, Firefox, Chrome or whatever browser you prefer on your smartphone or tablet.

I’d love to remove this feature entirely. I’m sure it’s using up precious space on my phone, and it’s definitely causing lag!


Nov 06

Breaking the (Fashion) Laws

Over the past few years, I’ve expanded my wardrobe. I was once a (black) t-shirts and jeans girl all the way, but I met someone who dressed rather nicely, and this impressed upon me a desire to do the same. So I began to add things to my closet:

  • Sweaters
  • Cardigans
  • Skater skirts
  • Leggings
  • Colors
  • Patterns and stripes
  • Fashion boots
  • Fashion scarves

Now, maybe this sounds silly, but I’ve made a conscious decision to try new styles over the past few years. I’m not really following trends; although, new trends provide me with more opportunities to try new things.

This process hasn’t necessarily been easy, of course. I’m a rather finicky person to begin with, but I feel like there’s something more to be discussed. I am not thin. Call me curvy. Plus sized. Overweight. Fat, even. It’s okay. These are just descriptors that I’m fine with. I am generally proportionate; although, I carry some extra weight in my tummy. I know this.

I also know that there seem to be fashion rules imposed on women who aren’t thin specifically. There’s this idea that a skinny person can wear whatever they want, but a person who’s not-so-skinny has to dress in every way to hide the fact. Therefore, we’re allow — nay, required — to wear certain things, including dark colors and vertical stripes. And the ever-so-present empire waist top!

Plus sized? Let me introduce you to the one color you're allowed to wear!

Plus sized? Let me introduce you to the one color you’re allowed to wear!

And we’d best stay away from horizontal stripes, bold colors, busy patterns, form-fitting clothing and a whole host of other things. Why? Because they’ll made us look wide, at least, wider than all-black outfits consisting solely of vertical stripes. Listen, there’s nothing wrong with emphasizing or de-emphasizing your favorite and least favored body parts. But, and this is a but that’s bigger than my own butt, it’s bullshit to say that someone shouldn’t wear something just because it makes them look “wide.”

I mean..

WHO CARES?

There are worse things. Like getting ebola or whatever the current health scare is at the time that you read this.

What if I fucking like stripes? (I do!) Or patterns? (Not so much). What if I feel great in leggings? (Hallelujah!) or want to show off my ass? (Yes, please). What if my favorite color doesn’t look all that great with my skin tone or makes me look like the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka? (Oops?)

What if I give zero fucks about whether or not my ankles and boobs and hips are balanced? And what if I just want to leave the house in an oversized sweater because I just want to be comfortable and not constrained?

And if I don’t want to wear heels because we have snow for six months during the year or it’s okay to admit that I’m short and curvy? Oh freakin’ well!

Seriously.

It’s a little ridiculous when the “rules” start saying that someone shouldn’t wear something because of their size or shape. And it’s silly for people to police themselves and relegate themselves to a boring wardrobe because of what the media is trying to sell them — which will change with the seasons, by the way!

I am so sick of hearing women tell me how they can’t wear horizontal stripes. I’ve got at least four tops that feature stripes, and you know what? I love them. They’re comfortable. They make me feel good, and that sort of confidence does a lot more than looking a specific way because the magazines or some silly blog tells you to.

Ladies, put on your favorite bra! Wear the hell out of those stripes! Don those fleece leggings that feel like Heaven and strut your stuff.

That is all.


Oct 20

The Inevitable Gaming Computer Comparison

After the giddiness of having ~~a new thing~~ has passed, I’m giving some serious consideration to what I like about my Y50 and what I don’t like. As a whole, there’s nothing that’s a deal breaker that would make me return it, but I do sigh wistfully at a few features that I preferred with my Alienware M15x.

Let’s start with the positives, of which there are quite a few.

  • The Y50 is much lighter. It’s missing an internal DVD drive, but my bundle included an external. Since I won’t need it very often, this is fine.
  • The brushed aluminum looks fantastic, and it still has a profile reminiscent of a car. The velvet-cote plastic surface surrounding the keyboard feels fantastic.
  • The speakers are situated in a position so you get the most sound, and it’s rich and deep. It’s hard to believe these are laptop speakers I’m talking about. I’m not sure I’ve ever enjoyed listening to music like this before.
  • Using the arrow keys to control volume and brightness just makes sense!
  • Battery life seems longer.
  • Greater pixel density in the screen.
  • Google Play Music free trial? I’ll take it!
  • There’s also a free Intel game bundle including Total War: Rome 2, which I have yet to install.
  • Finally, it’s fast. Of course, the 4th gen Core processors didn’t even exist four years ago when I bought my first laptop, and that was a 1st or 2nd gen i3! It comes with only 8GB RAM, but this hasn’t been an issue at all.

Plus. 1 terabyte hard drive? Who needs that? XD

But there are just some areas in which my Alienware still reigns supreme.

  • I love choosing colors for the keyboard backlighting and various LEDs. I like red well enough, but the new laptop lacks LEDs in as many places.
  • The lack of number pad on the M15X provided more space for keys, which were generally bigger and well space. The viagra ireland hgh human growth hormone number pad on the y%0 should be a boon, but it’s really not. Key placement is less ideal for my small hands, and I am constantly having to turn number lock on and off. Plus, the Backspace and right Shift keys are cut down to make room for the number pad, so I often find myself hitting the wrong key by mistake.
  • My Alienware has an IR port, which I have a Windows remote control for.
  • It also has a row of capacities touch buttons, including those specifically to control music. There are no music control buttons on the Y50, even though there is space for additional function keys on the top row! While music sounds wonderful, controlling it is more frustrating to control music, and this could really cause me not to do so.
  • Those buttons and all settings came with a simple yet gorgeous on screen display. The Y50’s OSD is puke green and ugly, literally.
  • The trackpad is textured in such a way that you get extremely precise feedback, and the haptic feedback on the buttons blows the trackpad of the Y50 out of the water. In comparison, the Y50 is too sensitive while also being finicky. Weird, right?
  • The screen is really impressive for watching movies or playing games.
  • My M15X came with mousepad, leather-bound instruction manual, complete reformat discs, a slipcase for travel and a few more things. It just felt overall more polished.

As a lineup, I feel pretty confident than Alienware laptops are stronger. They’re more intuitive to use for me, which is a huge bonus. The Y50 is, no doubt, better hardware, but that’s also not quite comparable given there were 4 years in between. The portability and design of the Y50 are certainly a nice break from my hefty laptop, but lack of customization options has me bummed.

I’m sure I’ll learn to love my Y50, but it’s just not love at first sight.


Oct 18

On Consuming Media with Problematic Messages

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about things that I enjoy and how they’re problematic in some way. Typically, this means the music I listen to and messages that may be racist or sexist, but those certainly aren’t the only mediums or messages that are problematic. I probably just notice it in music more because IO am almost always listening to music.’

For example, I love the beat of the new Nick Jonas song “Jealous,” but the lyrics are fucking terrible as he sings about his right to be jealous of his beautiful girlfriend and to act “hellish” because of it. While Nick plays it like it’s normal, Meg Myers has no qualm about talking about her obsessive desires are pretty far out there. I just discover Meg and both “Monster” and “Desire” are like this. They’re fantastic songs, though!

Another song that I can’t help but dance along to is “All About the Bass.” Megan Trainor has landed on the scene in a big way, and her leading anthem about how the boys love her(and dislike thin women for their lack there of) for her curves just rubs me wrong. It’s not body positive to call a slender people “skinny bitches” no matter how she might follow it up with a quip about how they’re beautiful. It just doesn’t come off as genuine.

I checked out a few more Megan Trainor songs, and I have to say her writing skills — or at least her choice in lyrics as a whole — tend to be problematic. She focuses so single-mindedly on “finding and keeping a man who will treat her like a lady and pay for her lavish lifestyle. She’s fallen prey to a society who says she is only worth something as long as she is useful (read: owned by) a man, and it just makes me.. sad. Because she seems like she’s HGH pretty fuckin’ awesome. She doesn’t necessarily have to be a feminist fighter, but there’s so much more to life and music than what she’s chosen thus far. In fact, I think that Mary Lambert does a great job of this!

Before I wrap up this post, I’ll talk about everyone’s favorite love-to-hate singer and songwriter: Taylor Swift. Taylor recently release a fun pop anthem titled “Shake It Off.” I cannot help but get up and dance when I hear it. The beat is amazing, and it might be causing me to lose weight — kidding, though! I can’t believe it only has 1 million views.

But “Shake It Off” has been on the receiving end of a lot of flack. Perhaps most notable is the idea that the video combines one part definite cultural appropriation and perhaps another part racism, depending on how you view it, thanks to concepts that are reminiscent of ye olde minstrel shows.

I also have a bone to pick with the lyrics, which suddenly show Taylor demanding her right to have fun (and potentially sex) with whoever she wants. This in and of itself isn’t problematic. You get it, girl! But she has spent much of her career slut shaming the other girls for being to promiscuous. The sudden change could perhaps be in relation to her growing up. Taylor has even recently has explained how she has come to realize what feminism is and wishes she had understood early so she could have sooner called herself a feminist.

I think there’s two overreaching thoughts here. I still enjoy these things despite their problems. Critical thinking about music and other things we so passively enjoy is an important part of growth. Secondly, even people and creators who have been problematic are starting to see the fact and coming around to the other side, which is kind of inspiring.