Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
May 11

6 Things I Learned From a Rock Music Festival

I spent my Saturday at the first-ever Northern Invasion. It was an amazing time and surprisingly educational as you’ll see below!

1. Bands Don’t Give A Fuck About the Rules

..and it’s kinda cool! Although crowd surfing and sitting on peoples’ shoulders might be “strongly discouraged,” bands are still going to tell you to do it anyway, and you may just! Of course, if you’re the chick who fell and had to be hauled away in the ambulance, you take full responsibility — financially and otherwise — for your actions.

2. People Will Find Anything to Bitch About

Lines for merch, food and bathrooms? Bitch. Parking? Moan. Weather’s too hot when the sun is up? Bitch and moan. Too cold after sun sets? More damn bitching and moaning. When you’re told there are no re-entries but you expect you’ll be able to leave and come back? You guess the crowd’s response. I mean, seriously. Are people actually that stupid? Oh, right. Yes. Yes, they are.

3. But It Is Impossible to Dress for the Weather in Wisconsin

I wore jeans and a tank top for a day that wasn’t supposed to get warmer than 70. It was 10 degrees warming with the sun blazing, no shade and just a hint of wind. I was sweating standing still let alone while rocking out. But a few hours later, the wind picked up and it dipped to the 50s. Since we weren’t allowed to go back to our vehicles and most people didn’t want to carry layers, there was a lot of jumping going on just to keep warm during the later shows.

But we all forget about it when Slipknot was playing!

4. Everyone Loves Don’t Stop Believin’

It might be a hard-hitting heavy metal and rock fest, but when that infamous Journey song came on, every damned person in the place sang along.

5. You Don’t Have to Love a Band to Love Their Performance

Listen, I like Slipknot. I don’t love the band, but I like them. However, after that single performance, I might be a convert. It wasn’t just how crazy the crowd went, how hard the music was, how amazing the show was with fire, giant LED-light goats and spinning drumkits or how Corey Taylor showed amazing amounts of love and appreciation to the fans. It was none of that, all of that and more.

And the band I went to see — Halestorm? Rocked with amazing energy and a sadly-too-short-show because they were sticking to the schedule and relegated to second stage. They didn’t miss a beat, though. Singing along to the songs from their new CD that I’ve already memorized and rocking out next to a dude who looked surprisingly like a young NPH was awesome!

6. There’s Serious Demand for Rock and Metal in the Area

The Upper Midwest has sadly been looked over by big concert venues, with little coming further north than Chicago or Milwaukee. However, a venue just an hour out of the Twin Cities makes sense. People drove at least 4.5 hours, if not more. All tickets sold out, and there were thousands there.

I’m not quite sure what the final numbers are, but I’m so excited turnout was this good because I can’t wait to do it next year! I’ll have to work on my core for next year, though. I wasn’t prepared to be that sore absolutely everywhere. My legs, my hands, my ankles and feet, my neck and my throat. But that’s what you get for rocking so hard and screaming so much you nearly puke!

And that’s why I love rock ‘n’ roll!

Jan 28

The Worst Haircut in the World

Allow me to be a little dramatic. I was excited to get my hair cut and colored — something bold and bright in this dismal winter time. So I made a same-day appointment at the salon I’ve gone to for the past few haircuts. I hadn’t had my hair colored there before, but I deserved  a treat, didn’t I?

I played with a couple ideas. I knew I wanted to go back to black and red or something similar to that. I found a style that I liked both cut and color, so I sent it to my phone and took it with me to the salon.

I did wind up deviating from the color a bit — I wanted more red than black. We picked colors and the stylist began hacking away.

But somewhere along that way, she cut too much. It didn’t look like the shape of the cut I had chosen at all. You would never guess the photo I took in with me.

and the color? What looked like it would work with the swatches didn’t. Perhaps because of my base color. These things are never exact, I understand. But even though I wound up going lighter than I expected, perhaps black would have been more appropriate in the end.

Overall, it just looks like a bad wig. And it reminds me of this:




Hair is slightly less terrible after going back to have it fixed.

Dec 30

Come to the Feminist Side, Kaley Cuoco

If you’re sick of my feminist rants, this post isn’t for you. But, then again, I am not the friend for you. So go away.

Today, the Internet is atwitter with an Interview with Kaley Cuoco, the actress who plays Penny in The Big Bang Theory. In this interview, Cuoco explains why she’s not a feminist, and it essentially boils down to “but sexism doesn’t hurt me!”

Sexism looks like a fairy tale to Kaley Cuoco.. because she's attratctive

Sexism looks like a fairy tale to Kaley Cuoco.. because she’s attratctive

It’s not difficult to understand how Kaley Cuoco might not feel discriminated against. After all, she is young, talented and attractive. On the surface, misogyny keeps her afloat rather than pulling her under. But if she weren’t so thin? If she wasn’t a bubbly blond? Chances are that the effects of sexism would be more noticeable for her.

And in the year 2014, the issues that women face are different than they were 50 or 100 years ago. We can vote and own property. We can keep our last names when we marry, and we can work outside the house if we want. There’s a lot of progress, but this just means that we have to focus on those little subversive ways that sexism and misogyny still exist in our everyday lives, even if we as women don’t notice them. If we don’t always pick up on them as women, who are being antagonized, how would a man who is unaffected? Many times, they don’t.

When you look more closely at Kaley, you can see how she’s been a victim of misogyny. The thing we have to remember is that people revere her not because they respect her but because they want to own her. Men want to possess her. Indeed, that’s the entirety of a multiple-season plot arc between Cuoco’s character Penny, a “slutty, dumb blond”, on The Big Bang Theory and the nerdy guy to whom the character is now her fiancee. Penny might not be the brightest bulb, but at least she’s cute.

And as long as sexism exist, we’re going to keep hearing “at least she’s cute,” as if a woman cannot possibly be attractive and intelligent or talented. As if a woman’s talents mean less than her naturally or hard-earned beauty. As if a woman who isn’t attractive will never, could never, be enough. Even though she has benefited from sexism in this way, I am sure that Cuoco has been on the other side, especially in Hollywood. Sleazy producers and directors? Being judged more harshly for her looks than male actors? Making less money than her peers? Kaley has had to deal with all of those, even if sexism provides her some minuscule perks in comparison.

Kaley seems to understand that maybe she’s “because I’ve never really faced inequality,” but I’d love to her show more depth when she thinks about these things, and perhaps an interview with People mag isn’t the place to be deep, but wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if it were?

I hope that Kaley Cuoco surrounds herself with women who aren’t afraid to tell her just how they have been discriminated against, and how sexism still occurs, albeit sometimes in a more subtle way than can be difficult for people like Kaley to understand when they’re not constantly barraged by the waves of misogyny. Perhaps with people close to her pointing out their experiences, she will listen, and she will want to take up the feminist mantle because, at the very least, she wants to help other women.

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!

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