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Friday, October 16, 2009

So, what's up with all the heinous b*tches on Glee?

I've been a big fan of "Glee" on Fox since the pilot was a huge hit back in the Spring. Gus and I have been keeping up with the series via my new trusty DVR and I'm starting to realize and get very annoyed by something on the show.

I mean, is it me, or are most of the women on "Glee" usually heinous bitches?

Someone, please tell me I'm not going crazy. I really like the show in theory and loved the pilot. I was a musical theater nut for most of growing up. It wasn't until college, where I didn't really fit in with the weird theater kids, that I stopped doing shows myself. (For anyone wondering, I just found a group of other weird kids that I gelled with better).

And, for the record, I do still like the show and some of the characters that at one point or another have been in my opinion - ridiculously bitchy (like Rachel). 

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Let's take a close look at these characters... I can't help but think after pulling this all together that there's something a bit insanely sexist about the way women are being portrayed every Wednesday on Fox these days.


Hmm, so that was helpful. Let's go to the charts for a closer, more mathematical look at the ridiculousness.

Below, you'll find a graph using all of the main characters plus the following supporting characters - Terri's sister Kendra, Kristin Chenoweth's Guest Starring Role, Jacob Ben Israel (the Blogger Jewish kid), Sandy Ryerson (the former Glee Club teacher), and Mike O'Malley in the role of Kurt's dad. They are ranked men vs. women on a scale of 'Evil to Saintly' regarding their standard portrayal. I've laid out my reasoning for each character after the graphs if you'd care to look it over first.

Pretty ridiculous, eh? Looking at this, the ratio of bitches to evil guys is 2:1!! Moreover, check out the Saintly ratio. I'm going to nickname this category the "Can't-do-no-wrong" Great Guy group. The ratio of deep-down good guys to deep down-good girls is 5:1! Yeesh.

Well, what if you just look at the main characters and leave those fringe/outrageous ones out?

There's 14 total main characters by my count. The women are: Rachel Barry, Quinn, Terri (Will's wife), Sue Sylvester, Emma, Mercedes, and Tina. The men are: Will, Finn, Puck (Finn's 'friend'), Kurt, Artie (Wheelchair kid), Ken Tanaka (the coach), and Principal Figgins.

The numbers should lay out differently right? OH yeah they do - check this out -

Yes you read that right - looking at the characters that are regularly featured, the evil women to evil men ratio becomes 4:1! And the Saintly ratio is off the charts again.

Ugh, how did we get to this point? Here's my reasoning behind the rankings and why I think 1) this is happening and 2) why this needs to be addressed in some way on the series.


Women - Tina and Mercedes
While Mercedes has had her moments of stubborness and diva-tude, she's never really done much on the show other than be comic relief. Tina had a brief moment of slutiness with slapping her thighs to her Glee audition of Katy Perry's I Kissed a Girl, but since then she's been sweet and nice and we've felt for her - especially when Rachel wanted her solo. Tina could even be in the Saintly category but for now- I really think only Emma belongs there.

Men - Principal Figgins
He's a little unorthodox but not all that harmful as the school's principals. He sides with both Will and Sue at seperate points and there isn't much craziness that he's actually a part of - aside from that airline commercial that really, let's be honest, isn't all that bad.

Women - EMMA
Geez, I know they gave her a flaw with her OCD, and I think some might argue it's a little slutty that she's going after Will when he's married. But c'mon, she's doe-eyed for gosh sakes.

Men - Will, Finn, Kurt, Artie, Ken Tanaka, and Mike O'Malley as Kurt's Dad
Will, they've tried to make him flawed but really, Will's always a super nice good guy. He flirts with Emma but hasn't done anything physical, he has made a lot of effort with Terri, he's advising Finn, etc. Finn, okay he did kiss Rachel/cheat on Quinn, but of course it was portrayed in a pretty innocent way and we feel sympathetic towards him as Quinn is lying to him about their child. Finn's also lovably stupid and again, deep down you know he's a good guy. Kurt - I love Kurt as much as anyone else, some may argue that he's sassy to the point that he can't be sainty - I disagree. He hasn't really done anything except stand up for himself and I'd say he's been pretty rewarded at this point for doing so (especially in the episode with his dad).

Artie would be neutral but they've made him lovable and sympathetic through his association with the wheel chair. Ken's not perfect but it's pretty clear that his love for Emma is nearly unconditionable and again- deep down, he's a good guy and Emma's plan Z for her life. Finally, you've got Mike Myers, who on the surface is the macho dad afraid to have a gay son but in the end, you come to find out - you guessed it- he's a good guy!

Women - Rachel, Quinn, Terri, Sue Sylvester, Terri's sister Kendra, and Kristin Chenoweth's Guest Character
SLUTTY/LYING/CHEATERS - Quinn (w/Puck), Rachel (w/Finn)
SELF-OBSESSED - Rachel (again)
MANIPULATIVE/DECEITFUL - Terri, Terri's sister Kendra
SLUTTY/DRUNK - Kristin Chenoweth's character

Men - Puck, Sandy Ryerson (Former Glee Coach), Jacob Ben Israel (Blogger Jewish kid)


So if you'll agree there's a heavy weight being placed on these female characters, why is this happening?

I think the answer might be due to 2 things - the fact that the show was created by three guys (Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan) and continues to be run by Murphy AND dare I say it... poor character writing.

Can anyone tell me what Quinn's motivation for this week's song was about? Why did Rachel break into a devastating ballad of "Take a Bow" portrayed as a betrayal by Finn being with Quinn - when she was the other woman and they had only shared ONE kiss? Poorly written characters - plain and simple.

Does equality for women really mean that the characters on a tv show should lay out equally evil or equally saintly? No, absolutely not. But when week after week, it's the women who are the sluts and the men who are redeemable good ol shlubs stuck in the middle - that can be pretty out of sync not only with sexism but really - with good writing. Lately, the women have become shingles to hang all the issues of the show on. Need to make something interesting? Have one of the women be a slut! Have them lie! Have them try to buy a freaking child and deceive their own husband via an ultrasound! I'm all for drama and comedy and the over-the-topness, but I'd love to see more flaws on the men's side.  How bout it, Ryan Murphy?

Note: I do not expect everyone to agree with me and know that there are counter-arguments. I'm just enjoying finally getting this nagging element of the series of my chest! Woo.

Design QuickFix - The 2-Minute Closet Makeover

My new apartment at M-ville is approximately 80 square feet smaller than my old one at 700 sq. feet total. So, I have a problem - what do I do with the GIANT box that came with this bad boy..?

Samsung 40" - His name is "Sammy"

At my old place, I had a perfect spot in my washer/dryer closet. Unfortunately, there was no such convenient nook around. What to do?

Stick it in my walk-in closet!

Bleh, that'll look ugly. Alas, I do have these 84" curtains lying around from my old living room... Huzzah, time for a Design Quickfix!

The 2-Minute Closet Makeover (that's practical too!)

Step One: Breakdown box by slicing tape and pushing it in on itself (while doing my best to maintain the box's integrity. (Did I really just say that a box has integrity, oy..)
Step Two: Remove closet rod.
Step Three: Take desired, currently unused curtains and place them on rod as if it were a curtain rod.
Step Four: Put rod with curtains back into place.
Step Five: Hide tons of unsightly boxes, suitcases, and more behind the Design Awesome and you're done. Instant glam, ta-dah!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blueberry Birthdays

So, at work, I'm the girl in charge of celebrating the crew birthdays every month. Some people have tried to avoid me knowing their birthday like the plague but AH HA.. I am too quick for them. In September we had five birthdays to celebrate AND it was my first event up to bat for this at my current job. Here, in a nutshell, is how I screwed up and then redeemed myself deliciously.

- The week of Fri Sep. 2
Annie's thoughts, "Too early to celebrate- we'll do it later in the month"

- The week of Fri Sep. 11
"I'm too busy to plan and bake some awesome, gotta move out of H-land Apartments over the weekend"

- The week of Fri Sep. 18
"Moving out this week, brain is fried, bakeware is packed!"

- The week of Fri Sep. 25
"Aha, I know, we'll throw an 'Emergency Meeting' and freak everyone out! Then it'll really be a surprise birthday bash with cupcakes." Good thinking, Annie. ZOINK, cue Production Emergency and suddenly this meeting is not so clever and in bad taste. Cancelled.

- Monday Sep. 28
"Now, I got it - at the last minute - but I got it. I'll surprise everyone with OJ and freshly baked blueberry muffins!"

...Anybody know what Monday, September 28 was this year? Yep, it was Yom Kippur. The Jewish Day of Atonement. Definitely had to be out of work all day to fast and atone for my sins. Add one more sin to the list: screwing up on celebrating September birthdays...

But, hark, is that hope on the horizon? Yes, it is. On Monday, October 6th - I did manage to redeem myself with made-from-scratch-melt-in-your-mouth-can't-believe-how-much-blueberries-cost-these-days muffins at our weekly crew meeting! They were so craveable that no one complained that it was, in fact, October. I topped everything off by sharing anonymously-submitted "favorite things" about each of the Birthday people. It was a rockin celebration in the end.

Here is how you can make these wonderfully redeemable muffins the next time you almost screw up like I did:

Blueberry Birthday Breakfast Muffins
excerpted from this recipe on AllRecipes

8 Servings

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done. 
Annie additions/changes
  • Add vanilla- a lot if you like it. I'm a big fan.
  • Sub some of the white sugar for brown, it's much more interesting.
  • I added cinnamon to the muffin mix as well.
  • Have your lovely boyfriend be your Crumb Topping topper!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Learning to Love the Living Room

At H-land, I had my work cut out for me in my "living area" space since it was a bit awkward. Most apartments out here tend to combine the living and dining space. Mine was an awkward L-shape AND had awful vertical blinds.

However, over the course of a few months I was able to complete this transformation:

To get things started, let's add a couch and some pillows/throws from back home in NC -

Hmm, not really feeling the tiny TV on the Ikea start kit. Though I highly recommend the set... it seems as though Ikea no longer carries it! Sadness.

Anywho, now, for the real AFTER...

Anyone spot the end table from my first segment of "Hidden Potential?" Yep, there it is.

It took quite sometime to bring things up to speed like this but here's a source list if you're interested in anything I used. I'm currently in the midst of decorating my new living room that's got a totally differnet layout. I'm still weighing what I should use from the old place so chime in if you have any favorites!

Sources: Hutch (Henredon, Salvation Army), TV (Samsung, Best Buy), Flowers (Pier One), Curtains, rod, pillows (Bed, Bath, and Beyond), Chairs (Caprice Furniture), Coffee table (Lack, Ikea), End table (Salvation Army), Blue vase and Giraffe accessory (Pier One), Couch (Home Furnishings Liquidation in CA), White frames (Ikea), Lanterns (World Market), Lily tealight holder (Z Gallerie), Black frame and kissing print (AC Moore), Silver Fortune Cookie (gift, Red Envelope), Plates (Target), Table Runner (Curtain folded over, Linens N Things), Dining Table (Caprice Furniture).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hidden Potential: The Scratched-up Suitcase Table

Oh you look so beautiful after a little TLC, little table.

Today's Hidden Potential is all about a scratched-to-hell wooden suitcase table I found at Salvation Army. The asking price was steep- about $95 dollars. They might have based it on the fact that the thing is solid wood that was in great condition and the drawer still works well. 

However, as you'll see from the before pictures, the hiccup on this piece was the fact that a cat or some other ravenous animal seems to have had its way it. Apparently clawing at the very interesting suitcase-inspired leather top was somebody's former pastime.

Oh well, I wouldn't let that stop me AND I managed to pick up this piece for only $35. Excellence.


Crikey! Look at that. What a shame... or is it?

After much love, much help from the BBE, some painter's tape, and many little tubes of Baby Blue and Black acrylic craft paint - a newly ritualized table!


And there ya have it - all thanks to the glory of paint and a little hidden glamour.

Who knows what amazing transformation will occur in the next segment of... Hidden Potential! (Well I'm on pins and needles, how bout you?)
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