Sunday, January 27, 2008

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Greetings from FXShow

I'm too tired to type it all out again. Here's what I've been up to.

Off to FxShow

And, I'm heading off late and alone (my photographers bailed). I've got two digital cameras and my MAC; both photographers offered up a camera in response to me kvetching.

Also, my Artist's Passion email went kaputz, so I don't have any big-name interviews set up (also because none of the talent agents involved called me back) so I'm going to try to get into some autograph lines and attend the Whedonverse panel on Sunday, but other than that I'm going to be focusing on artists and crazy people in costumes.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday's fabulous fat chick: Figure magazine

I look through magazines like Cosmo and Vogue and instantly become indignant because of the waifish, sickly women strung throughout the pages. Collar bones and ribs on display for everyone to see.

A flip through Figure, on the other hand, provides a cuddly good time with the big, beautiful girls out there who are making it the big, bad, fat-bashing world.

Sure, Figure isn't as edgy as MissBehave or Bust or as future-minded as Bitch. But, what it lacks in trend appeal it makes up for in the way it mirrors other mainstream fashion magazines, only with a fat girl angle.

There are bland features on exercise and diet alongside celebrity interviews. Fashion spreads show off the latest styles in career wear, sportswear, and lingerie. Yet, instead of anorexic models picked for their slender form above all else, Figure provides readers with sumptuous curves and happy faces.

The most recent issue, with Camryn Manheim on the cover, included a feature on advice for what to do if a stranger shoots off a fat hating comment in your presence. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the link to the article online, but it reminded me of an article I recently read on the Utne Reader Web site.

"Love Your Fat Self" explores what it's like to be a fat girl in today's society, and it specifically showcases the life of Gareth, an active, involved, and tuned-in woman who is beautiful and fat. It shows how others see and treat her despite her accomplishments and pleasant personality.

Photo of Morgan

The woman plays with yarn. What's not to love about someone who crochets?

I'm glad I picked up the new issue of Figure when I did. With graduation the need for a real job looming, my morale has been at an all-time low. Especially when I'm confronted with the other students in my department (many of them look like they've been bred specifically to be botoxed and augmented news anchors). I hadn't picked up an issue since high school; it helped me remember that a good magazine doesn't always have to support a cause or showcase innovations. Sometimes it's good to cuddle up with a warm cup of hot chocolate and look at sexy pictures of big girls in lingerie.

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Some good advice

Thanks to Some Go Softly for posting this. I may actually get off my computer at some point today.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Also, in my new age of MAC, I've discovered iTunes and podcasts. I'm becoming an NPR nut.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My LOL for the day

I'm trying this out on my new MAC with ScribeFire software for Mozilla Firefox. It's going to be weird posting until I get Microsoft Office installed on this computer if I ever decide to. I might just keep the old computer and back text files up on jump drives until it goes kaput.

Now, back on topic:

I found this picture here. Finally, LOLs for G-D.

And, so fare, ScribeFire is awesome for moving pictures from one place to another. I'm becoming some sort of tech geek.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Fido, my new favorite zombie movie

Zombie movies usually aren't that great. I admit that. It's one of the reasons I like them. Either the premise is good but the production itself is "B" quality (think my all-time previous favorite, Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town) or the production quality is good, but it's nothing more than a slick action flick (think Dawn of the Dead).

Then, along came Fido.

Fido is a Canadian film reminiscent of the American '50s. It's about the perfect nuclear family living in Suburbia. But, instead of worrying about the Cold War, they worry about the zombies outside their fenced-in town. And, instead of owning a cute border collie, they own their own zombie slave.

The film does a good job of exploring human nature, our ability as humans to dehumanize our enemies, the possibilities of love, and the multifaceted nature of being a zombie.

These aren't just moaning and groaning sacks of rotting flesh. They're beings with feelings who just happen to have the natural impulse to chomp on human flesh, thanks to some sort of radioactive dust.

Why is it that Canada comes up with so much of the stuff I want?

Friday, January 18, 2008


A few years ago, I was on duty for the security firm I used to work for. I was posted at a gate situated on a very dusty dirt road, making sure paintball teams were entering the fields and the fans were staying out at a local tournament. That was my first taste of paintball; because of errant pellets from the teams' guns, I had little bruises all over my body and paint splatters all over my company-issued polo shirt. Surprisingly enough, I loved the unexpected surprise of getting hit by random paintballs. Thus begun my infatuation with the sport.

I haven't played much since that day, but when I have it's been memorable. Even though I think of myself as the ultimate pacifist, the thought of sneaking around and shooting people with hard capsules filled with paint exhilarates me. The added pain when a pellet hits makes it a lot more exciting than laser tag.

Like everything else in my life, paintball is limited by my lack of funds. And, most of the guys I know don't think of asking the lone girl to come with when they play. So, paintballers out there, if you have a girl friend who hangs out with you a lot, think of asking her to come along the next time you go out to the field.

I've been nosing around Ultimate Paintball, and I think if I were to shell out the money for my own paintball set, I'd go for one of the spyder paintball guns. The sets available wouldn't set me back too much, and I'd get pretty much everything I'd need to get started. Then, of course, with paintballs, cleaning kits, the special playing clothes, and different upgrades (all available through Ultimate Paintball), paintball would slowly eat away at all of my money until I was forced out onto the street. Computers are already doing this to me, so I guess I can always dream.

This post has been sponsored by Ultimate Paintball.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wendy's tip of the day

Don't lick hot things.

Last night, I made Thai spring rolls for the first time. I stir-fried some veggie lemon chicken (it was wonderful, I'm planning a post just about that) with Bragg's and some mushrooms. In a fit of pure genius, I licked the metal spoon I'd been stirring with. That was yesterday; my tongue is still swollen.

Today, I woke up with my tongue glued to the roof of my mouth in a huge amount of pain. So, I skipped my creative writing class's office hours, went to my second class, and ate cold foods today. Sandwiches, potato salad, and ice cream. My tongue feels a lot better now.

So, don't lick hot things. Last night was grumpy; there was lots of foot stomping.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New developments

After writing the post about my suckie bed (even though I love the people who gave it to me for free) I finally decided to bite the bullet. But, I didn't buy one of those thousand dollar mattresses. I bought a down alternative feather bed. For $60. I could feel the tension in my back unknotting a few minutes ago. It's heaven.

And, I am now an intern. A virtual intern. (I swear I'm a real girl.)

Paul Bradshaw, who writes Online Journalism Blog, just started Journalism Enterprise. I'm going to be writing reviews for JE and doing basic intern things when he needs them. The power of the internet is exciting.

PPP versus Pepperjam

It's kind of funny that Pepperjam would use Pay Per Post as a way to create buzz about their product. You see, Pepperjam is another Affiliate Marketing company. I guess, in the weird way of the internet, it makes sense.

There are some advantages to Pepperjam. They list some big-name clients, like Jelly Belly, Sesame Street, and New Line Cinema. They also boast features like chat rooms and a knowledge base affiliates can use for research.

They also have their own blog to keep affiliates abreast of the latest industry and network news, and joining is free.

However, in the info I received from them, it states, "Pepperjam Network has its own affiliate program that pays out up to $7 per approved publisher application."

I make more than that on PPP. It could be an upside, if you consider the minimum amount PPP pays out is $5, but I usually end up writing posts that pay out $10 or more. PPP limits the number of sponsored posts per day and the number of sponsored posts you can have in a row up on your blog. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if Pepperjam does this, so I can't really compare their price with PPP's.

With all of their bells and whistles (i.e. chatrooms and knowledge base out there to help bloggers, which PPP doesn't have) this looks like a great site to start writing paid blogs for. Before making a decision, I'd check out their Web site to see if it's the right fit for you. Here's what their press release has to say:

Pepperjam Announces Launch of Next Generation Affiliate Marketing Network

Pepperjam, a two-time Inc. Magazine fastest growing company and industry leading full-service internet marketing agency, today announced the launch of Pepperjam Network, a proprietary next generation affiliate marketing network.

If you are an advertiser or affiliate and would like to sign-up for Pepperjam Network please visit

“Pepperjam Network represents an evolution in affiliate marketing. The creation of Pepperjam Network represents eight years of research and development and the combined ideas, feedback, and intelligence of hundreds of affiliate marketers and advertisers. Pepperjam Network will forever change the face of affiliate marketing by putting power back in the hands of affiliates and advertisers to build long-term, profitable partnerships through better communication tools and transparency,” said Kristopher B. Jones, President & CEO of Pepperjam.

Among a variety of affiliate marketing enhancements, Pepperjam Network addresses the two primary shortcomings of other existing affiliate networks, namely (1) poor, unreliable communication tools and (2) lack of affiliate transparency. With Pepperjam Network, affiliates and advertisers can communicate in real-time via Pepperjam Chat™, thereby providing a reliable communication system to build stronger, more profitable partnerships. Pepperjam Network also provides advertisers with an unprecedented measure of affiliate transparency, which helps to establish trust, protect brand integrity, and lays the groundwork for open, long-term, profitable relationships.

Pepperjam Network also introduces pepperjamADS, which is a first-ever affiliate marketing widget that affiliates can use to serve customized contextual ads from one or multiple Pepperjam Network advertisers at the same time.

Pepperjam Network was designed to make the experience of affiliate marketing profitable and educational, with the goal of allowing affiliates and advertisers to truly understand and maximize the critical affiliate marketing channel.

Unlike the traditional networks, Pepperjam Network uses Web 2.0 technology to provide affiliates and advertisers with an easy-to-use, cutting-edge interface designed to facilitate and optimize the affiliate marketing process. For instance, Pepperjam Network offers industry leading source-level tracking and reporting - this robust technology is especially beneficial to search marketing and sophisticated super affiliates that want to take advantage of the most up-to-date technology available to track commissions at the keyword level.

Here is just a sample of what many industry experts are saying about Pepperjam Network:

“Even after all these years using Commission Junction on the merchant and affiliate side, I still find it terribly clumsy to find what I want. With Pepperjam Network it is quick and easy. Pepperjam Network is what an affiliate network would look like if it were built from a wish list from both the affiliate and merchant perspective,” said Shawn Collins, Cofounder of Affiliate Summit.

“As both an advertiser and a affiliate, I am on the lookout for affiliate marketing systems that meet all our company’s needs. Pepperjam Network is without a doubt the most comprehensive, practical and useful affiliate marketing system I have seen to date. Pepperjam Network demonstrates that it is possible to combine style with substance in a network that provides site owners and advertisers with tools and resources to increase their bottom line,” said Joel Comm, New York Times Best-Selling author and CEO, InfoMedia, Inc.

About Pepperjam:

Pepperjam is an industry leading full-service internet marketing agency offering marketing services and advanced technology in the areas of pay-per-click, search-engine optimization, affiliate marketing, and online media planning and buying. The company was founded in 1999 by internet marketing expert, accomplished speaker, and published author Kristopher B. Jones. Pepperjam has received numerous awards and achievements, including recognition by Inc. Magazine for two consecutive years as one of the fastest growing privately-held businesses in the United States. Learn more at

This post was sponsored by Pepperjam Network.

How Stuff Works

I admit it, I dislike Wikipedia with a vengeance. I even know two guys who work there, yet I have no love in my heart for the online encyclopedia.

Here's the reason: the two times I looked at Wikipedia for information, the information was wrong. Once was with Jonathan Safran Foer, when I was writing an article about him for The Tampa Tribune. In a talk he was giving at the Jewish Film Festival, he told us the information I'd just looked up that afternoon was incorrect.

So, I'm biased.

But, I do love How Stuff Works. It doesn't have any super verification process that I've seen. However, I've never been told the information I regurgitate from the site is wrong.

I used it for my LED post. I've used it before in articles about scientific happenings at my university. It's never let me down.

How Stuff Works has links to consumer guides, shopping sites, encyclopedias and maps. It's like one stop shopping for people who want to be in the know.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Creating warmth for the holidays

Since I was in high school, my mom's big thing for the holidays has been her Mickey Mouse Christmas topper. It's an animated robot Mickey who waves a lit lantern around in the air. Anyone who falls asleep while the Christmas tree is plugged in is sure to drift off with the creepy "whrr whrr" of his robot arm in their ears.

This year, even though there was trauma when Mickey's lantern burnt out, the focus wasn't the horrific topper of Disney doom. It was LED christmas lights. This was a typical conversation between me and my mom:

Me: I'm worried about school. I need a job, and Tampa isn't the best market.
Mom: Do you think I should buy LED lights for the tree? I think they're having a sale on them at Kmart.
Me: Ummm... They save energy. Maybe. Didn't your tree come lit?
Mom: What? (She's hard-of-hearing.)
Me: (louder) What are you going to do with your old lights?
Mom: I'll throw them away. Don't these LCD, LUD, whatever lights stay cooler than regular lights?
Me: (still louder) LED. I don't know. LED lights are used in lots of stuff. My computer has an LED monitor.
Mom: Oh, well, do you think I should buy them? They're on sale.

Then, we went to my sister's house, where she does have LEDs on her tree. The tree was beautiful; I couldn't really see any reason not to buy them. And, after checking out How Stuff Works (which I'll review in my next post) I found out LED lights do save energy. They are cooler. And, they don't burn out as quickly. So, LED it is.

The possibilities for my own use of LEDs are pretty much endless. About two years ago, my room in my old commune-type-college dorm was covered in Christmas lights that cast a rosy glow over my room, transforming it into either a very festive place, or possibly some sort of love den. I love decorating with string lights; I hope my landlady doesn't mind holes in the ceiling.

This post was sponsored by Holiday LEDs. They offer Halloween, wedding, and rope lights. The picture was taken by me, and it is a picture of my tiny all-year tree next to my mother's Christmas tree. Next year, I'll take a picture of scary Robo Mickey.

New focus

I'm starting this year with a new focus. I'm going to be trying to focus topics and improve my writing in Artist's Passion and My Musings 2.0. I'm going to try to include more in-depth interviewing, more researching, and more linking.

I've noticed I haven't included very much feminism in this blog lately. It's partially because nothing has infuriated me or made me jump for joy lately. I'll still be including feminist theories and rants, starting with a shout-out to an Utne article I read a few days ago. I'm wondering if I should integrate more powerful women in Friday's Fabulous Fat Chick and open up the topic to all women I look up to.

In the future, I'd like to incorporate more video and audio into my blogs. Today, I learned how to do some basic editing in Media 100. Soon, I'd like all of my interviews to be video recorded.

I'm thinking a computer-upgrade is in my near future. I'm going to go to the campus computer store tomorrow to see about my options. I'm pretty sure I want a MacBook, since I'm going to be using for design and multimedia editing.

That's about it for now.

User-generated content and YawpBox

Just a few months ago, I was dragging my feet about user-generated video. I know videos get millions of hits, but I just wasn't into it. I mean, if my mother can get all excited about the skateboard riding dog and the people out there who made their wedding party dance to Thriller, how cool can online videos be?

Then, I realized how easy it is to upload videos to these sites. How easy it is to embed them onto my own sites to show potential employers that, not only do I know how to make videos, but hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people are interested in seeing them.

Now YawpBox has a way to reach millions of viewers in a format that brings user-generated videos to the world audience in a viewer-friendly format. Every week, they show a new episode of YawpBoxTV, featuring the best videos from their network, with the hosts Lex and Terry discussing the footage. The show gives anyone with their own video camera a chance to compete with others for their own 15 minutes of fame on the show, 15 minutes that could potentially reach millions of viewers, producers, and company heads.

For YawpBoxTv, YawpBox has a special Lex and Terry challenge page, where users can see the video topics Lex and Terry are looking for for the show. The topics range from "Have you ever had a mullet" to "Show us your craziest holiday footage." It makes me think YawpBoxTV will soon become an America's Funniest Home Videos for the digital age.

It also gives millions of people the chance to have their voices heard on important topics. User-generated content gives everyone an equal chance to speak for and against the topics they are passionate about. Think about Joy Nash from Fat Rant. A few years ago, the only outlet she would have had for her rant was friends and family, maybe the men and women who read feminist magazines. Now, her rant has gone world-wide.

Even better, user-generated videos allow us to see what others are watching and share what we like, even if it is a dog riding a skateboard.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Urban Urchin correction

I just checked out Marnie Ann Joyce's blog at Curly Purly. There was a mistake in the Urban Urchin pattern, or, as I know it, yesterday's Stitch 'n Bitch calendar pattern. Here's the correction from her blog:

Wherever you see "s2s" in the decrease rounds, the pattern *should* read "sl 2, k1, psso" meaning “slip 2 stitches knitwise at the same time, knit the next stitch, then pass the two slipped stitches over the knitted stitch and off the needles. ”

I'm glad she posted this correction; I'm going to start the pattern today, after work.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Kate Nash video

I found this video on Pop Culture Buzz (part of the 451 Press network, where I have my artist's blog.) I think I have a cavity forming, just from the sugary-sweet sets and the premise of "I just want a kiss." Yet, it's a song I could easily obsess over.

Relaxation time

After eight hours of sitting in front of a computer, hefting boxes, and helping extremely angry people with the problems (mostly due to books that haven't arrived in time for their classes) the thought of my very own Massage Chairsalmost makes me want to cry.

My day job takes its toll after a few hours; I'm just glad I'm not a manager.

If I had the money, I'd probably buy the iJoy robotic massage chair on the Human Touch site. The red model has two things going for it: it's red, and it has a modern design I like. I have a bad habit of making large purchases simply because the item is red; it's like a sickness.

Out of all the chairs presented, I think I like the Perfect Chair the least. Even though the guy in the picture looks like he's found his moment of zen, the chair is kind of scary. I think I'd feel like I was perpetually falling backward.

I don't know, maybe it's just me.

Unfortunately, I have to settle for disappointment; I don't even have the funds for a hand massager right now. Although, if anyone would like to donate the red iJoy 100 to me, let me know.

This post was sponsored by and pictures were taken from Human Touch.

A Pay Per Post Catch-22

My Pay Per Post entry for My Dream Art Collection just bounced back. The offense: I added that it was sponsored by Park West Gallery.

Here's the problem: due to my code of ethics, I must disclose every paid post. Due to Pay Per Post's own policy, I must disclose each post and who sponsored it.

So... I'm doing an experiment. I'm going to see if the gallery will accept a post that simply says it's sponsored, and if PPP will accept the same thing. There's a chance PPP will deny every post without disclosure and the gallery will deny ever post with it.

Fun times.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Getting my monies

So far, all of my Pay Per Post payments have come on schedule. I have half the monies I earned, and I will be getting the other half in the next few days.

The downside is because of my schedule at work, and because people jump on writing opportunities, and because a lot of the advertisers don't want Blogspot or Wordpress blogs in their postings, I haven't earned very much. However, it has been enough to earn a little spending money on the side and get used to a paid blogging system.

I have a few projects I'm looking at for the months leading to graduation.

In 15 minutes, it will be 113 days and counting.

I've turned in my graduation application. I no longer have a minor, because I decided to take Israeli Films and Fiction instead of an anthro class I would hate but would give me the last three credits towards my minor.

I'm pretty happy with my schedule now.

My dream art collection

If I could build an art collection for my home (preferably my future home will be a palatial country estate or a converted urban hotel) I would build a collection dominated by Dali and Goya. Some Picassos would be thrown in there as well. And, of course, my collection wouldn't be complete without art by Orianna Kurrus displayed prominently on my walls.

Acquiring a Picasso, Goya, or Dali seemed horribly, and unfairly, out of reach. I don't have the money for such a purchase, and buying a piece by one of the masters is impossible, right?

Not so, thanks to Park West Art Gallery. The gallery has a significant fine art catalog available on PDF; it includes works by the masters listed above, and more. (Unfortunately, they do not offer paintings by Orianna Kurrus at this time.)

Because of the cruise they offer, I can now fantasize about a vacation on the high seas mingled with the excitement of a high-stakes art auction. Thank you, Park West Art Gallery, for adding to my dreams.

The picture was taken from Orianna Studios. This was a sponsored post.

Geek Graffiti

Leave it to Web Urbanist to write about something as cool as geek graffiti.

From graffitied RSS buttons to graffiti projected onto surfaces, I just wish I'd thought of it.

Yarn porn

Yarn makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Sometimes I think I knit not because I get to make things for people and keep my hands occupied at the same time but because I get to play with warm, fuzzy skeins of yarn.

Thanks to the Stitch 'n Bitch day calendar my best friend Moira bought me for Christmas, I can drool over yarn once a week, when I get to the yarn distributor page.

This week, Spritely Goods was showcased.

The yarn artist, Stephanie Martin, hand-dyes her own yarns and makes unique soaps featuring felted wool built into the bars- a built in washcloth. The site also provides reasonably priced bamboo needles and crochet hooks, kitchen ware and crafting kits.

There are also ready-made gifts for those not knitting-inclined and patterns for those who are.

My favorite yarn featured on the site is Bumbleberry. The club kid in me wants it for new hair extensions; the beads strung onto it just add another dimension of yumminess.

Just from drooling over Martin's supplies for a few days, I have to worry for my wallet. It's empty now; it might be even worse in the future. One day, I'm going to be one of those scary cat ladies who knits and doesn't see the futility of trying to keep her cats from peeing in her many stacked boxes of yarn. Then, one day while reaching for a box of Merino, my boxes will topple and I'll be smothered. Hopefully, my fresh corpse will keep those cats alive for a few more weeks and the smell will alert the neighbors that something is wrong.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Pass the toast

I was scrolling through Smashing Magazine and found something that made me chuckle.

Move over stickypads, here comes toast!

I also thought the Sony Apple remote was quite cute.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Writing delayed

I've been working about 40 hours a week at the bookstore, and my writing, on all fronts, has suffered.

When I get home, I'm usually just not in the mood to write. I'd rather knit and watch old episodes of Buffy I have on DVD.

However, I'm seriously thinking about submitting to Yes Means Yes, a feminist response to the rape issue. I still have some time to pull something together.

Tomorrow starts a new semester, the first semester in my graduate career. My graduate level course is a multimedia journalism course; I read over the syllabus, and it scares me. But, I'm going to take the jump anyways and see where it takes me. At the least, I'll be learning flash, video and audio editing and buying my own Web site domain. I have no reason not to face this head on; everyone knows fear is the mind killer, and I must face my fear.

I graduate in May, then I'm joining the working world for a few years to pay off student loans and broaden my horizons. Eventually, I really want to work towards a master's in cultural reporting at NYU. I enjoy dreaming big.