Nonsense, for Her

It is amazing the things that people think they can get women to buy. By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Bic for Her pens, which cater to the magpie-like tendency of women to take out their purse and spend money on things as long as they are shiny. Bonus points if they’re also pastel or have flowers on them.

The thing about these pens is that there is nothing different about them besides the fact that their shells are pastel. The ink color, the shape of the pens themselves, it’s all the same as their classic clear barreled pens. Supposedly they’re supposed to be more ergonomic for women but we’re talking about a ball point pen here. An office implement that costs less than a dollar doesn’t need to be gendered and—what? Oh, that’s right. These things cost an average of two dollars more per pen than regular, penis-focused pens.

Just like every other gendered thing on the market, we are expected to pay for the privilege of femininity. If you want to be a pretty, attractive, likeable girl (which is of course what we all want, no exceptions), then you need to pay extra for the lady pens, the shower gel with the pretty writing, the vitamins with the pink ribbon. Never mind that these things are exactly the same as the stuff men are buying, just dressed up for the vagina owners.

What got me started, though, was a trip to good old Aisle 8A. Realistically, the only time a guy travels down that particular path is when the lady of the house is sending him on an errand because unless he’s doing research for something, he has no need for either pads or tampons. Or he could be out of putty for his dowel-holes, I don’t know. We always make sure to have enough putty for projects. Mister E isn’t ashamed to go down the period aisle, mainly because he is a man and not a 14 year old boy, but even if he was he understands that for the most part there is nothing scary in those pastel boxes.

Or so we thought.

Apparently, while no one was looking, they decided to try and sneak something back in that I haven’t seen since the eighties: Scented pads.

I don’t even know why these things exist. If you’re worried that an odor might be a problem during your lady times, perhaps more fastidious hygiene is called for rather than using fake floral scent to cover it up. Back in the day, enough of my female relatives fell for the ol’ scented maxi and tampon gimmick that as soon as I opened the cabinet looking for a roll of toilet paper I was smacked in the face by a sickeningly flowery aroma that sticks with me even today. If I smell a bar of soap that even remotely resembles that scent, I’m transported back to 1987 and my aunt’s bathroom and I know I cannot be the only one this happens to.

The end result is that I and many of my friends would never go anywhere near a scented pad, no matter how sparkly or pretty the box is. We all know that scent too well, so if we were ever to come across a lady who smelled like it we would know it was lady times, so the purpose of disguising your period would be defeated entirely. A lady who smells like cucumber-melon is a lady who has had a shower and may or may not be on her period. A lady who smells like cucumber-melon with an undercurrent of sickly-sweet flowers is definitely on her period and also very vulnerable to gender-based advertising.

My only guess is that they’re trying to sell these things to teenage girls and early twenty year olds who aren’t even old enough to remember the Reagan administration, much less the mind-warpingly bad scented maxi pad smell. If that’s the case, then I apologize to all the young ladies out there. Clearly my generation has not done its job if we’re revisiting scented pads and trying to sell you pastel ball point pens.

My advice? Buy some putty.

Doin’ It Gangnam Style

Oh, Pusheen.

Pusheen the Cat

On the off chance you don’t know who the adorable chubby gray cat is, that’s Pusheen. She dances, eats, rides Vespas and all sorts of other things that are all cuter than a baby bunny in a banana leaf. Mostly, she eats. And sometimes she makes reference to internet memes or viral videos and such. This is one of those times.

Perhaps you have not heard of “Gangnam Style.” Perhaps there is a great void in your life that can only be filled by K-Pop and awesome dancing. Perhaps you should fix that.

Gangnam Style is song that has been written and choreographed by a South Korean singer who goes by PSY. Interestingly enough, he went to school at Boston University and Berklee School of Music. The thing about this is that he knows exactly the right way to get you hooked on his music and blow the top of your head right off.

I have long been a fan of J-Pop and J-Punk, but I’d never given K-Pop a try for the simple reason that I cannot understand Korean. This has been sort of inexcusable because we have the internet for a reason and also because I was listening to Persian techno for a little while and I can’t understand that either (though I did have someone make the incredibly racist comment that I was probably listening to terrorist propaganda without knowing it). It turns out I’m a fan of K-Pop, I just didn’t know it.

There are a large number of things I love about this video, from the dancing kid at the beginning, to the humorous dance routines, and the music itself, but one thing that particularly makes me happy is that – as a lot of people have said – PSY isn’t your typical Asian pretty guy singing pre-produced music. He’s odd. He’s chubby. He’s rapping over techno. And it all works in a way that makes me want to start dancing.

Though he would probably never admit it to you, Mister E has been dancing. He loves PSY and Gangnam Style in a way that I would probably say is unhealthy if I didn’t follow the exact same watching pattern with my Persona 4 videos. I am not complaining in any way about his viewing habits, however. I am, in fact, quite pleased. I also downloaded PSY’s newest album (EP) with Gangnam Style on it so that we may watch it when we go on trips. This also pleases Mister E, as he has listened to some of his other music and also loves it.

If you haven’t already watched it, I recommend you watch the Gangnam Style video. Even if you don’t fall in love with it or PSY, I can just about guarantee that you will come away from it feeling like something exploded inside your brain. Good or bad, that’s worth at least one viewing. 74 million people (at the time of writing) cannot be wrong.

Persona 4 Arena AND Player Attack Review

Hey, remember how completely hyped I was about playing Persona 4 Arena? Well, it was all worth it. Every last second of waiting was worth it. Atlas and Arc Systemworks have gotten together behind the takoyaki stand and made a beautiful, beautiful baby.

I finally got my sweaty little Persona-obsessed hands on it the day before my wedding thanks to RJ, who made me swear I wouldn’t open it until after the wedding. This was difficult because even through the box I could see that the instruction booklet was big enough to beat rats to death. This was going to be epic.

The night of my wedding, I played it with my new husband and my ex-husband for about three hours of button-mashing mayhem because we didn’t have time for things like “instructions” and “learning modes” and we just wanted to beat the hell out of each other. This was fun. Once I was in post-wedding mode, I went into some training and discovered that yes, there are combinations that lend a method to the mayhem. This was even more fun.

In spite of everyone saying that Kanji – my favorite guy from Persona 4 and your basic brawler character in P4A – is hard to play with, I took it upon myself to try him out and apparently have learned how to play with him pretty well. All you’ve gotta do is get in there and start hitting things, and it builds from there, but getting in there is sometimes harder than anything. Also, he’s slow and his Persona hits fewer times, but I’ve managed some spectacular wins with him against a moderately difficult computer opponent and even an instant kill twice.

The Story Mode is super-fun too. You have to work through the threads of everyone’s story before you can gather them up into the full epic, and sometimes they’re a little repetitive with the main characters, but I enjoyed reading it all. It’s a lot like a visual novel (which is just what it sounds like: lots of story on screen with some voice acting and music) with some fighting thrown in to make it even more interesting. Even though they’re reduced to one round battles between story chunks, I found myself looking forward to them just as much as the story in a very JRPG fashion.

Persona 4 Arena is just an all-around fun game for Persona-obsessives like me who also like to beat the crap out of things sometimes. If you’re into that sort of thing (I AM SO INTO THIS SORT OF THING), there’s also a $5 DLC pack that lets you wear glasses from the P4 original game. Mister E thinks I am out of my mind for wanting this:

Me: And for $5, you can get glasses for everyone to wear while they fight!
Mister E: Really. That’s the $5 DLC?
Me: ::nod::
Mister E: You know what the $5 DLC is for Skyrim? You can build a freaking house. To live in. With servants.
Me: …
Mister E: Oh, right. I forgot. Glasses fetish.

You can read a much more in-depth review at Player Attack, which I also wrote because I’m awesome like that. So is P4A. You should play it. Or play Persona 4, then play it. Whichever floats your boat, really. But go read my review! Like I said: awesome.

In and Out

Let me tell you what’s fun. Sitting in the very corner of your apartment so you can maybe connect to the internet for a little while. Specifically, the internet that belongs to a cafe near your place because your own internet is dead in the water. For reasons I prefer to keep to myself, we’re currently all out of internet at our place and I’ve been using the internet next door instead. I’m sure if I went over to the cafe and sat there my signal would be much better but, you know, agoraphobic and broke. Hey, it’s an open connection.

The point here is that blog posts may be as sporadic as my internet access until things get cleared up. I’m having good luck right now with typing long things and sending them when I get access, so maybe I’ll be able to post but it’s still a maybe. Last week I had written a bunch of posts for the week after the wedding because I knew I’d be wiped out but now those are gone, and since there may be days when I don’t post I’m just making sure that no one thinks I died.

Good times, yo. Good. Times.

Captain Sexybird and His Little Chum

For those of you who don’t know, I am not just a crazy cat lady. I also have birds.

Birds enrich your life in a number of ways, including unmatched hilarity and/or awkwardness when they start furiously masturbating on their food dish (depending on your company) and the unsettling moments when they imitate something unexpected. Case in point: Years ago I was rooting through The Dad’s change for laundry quarters when I heard him say “What are you doing?” I leaped away from the jar as if someone had burned me, only to discover that it was not The Dad, it was his African Grey. She then proceeded to laugh at me in a very Blackadder The First way and I considered the possibility of parrot fajitas for dinner.

My birds are especially nice. They’re cute and compact, one being a cockatiel and the other being a budgerigar named Rudy and Andrew Bird, respectively. They make sweet noises (most of the time) and are rather affectionate (most of the time), and they don’t judge me when I have to run from the bathroom to the bedroom without a towel (most of the time).

Most of the time, you get birds kind of the same way you get ants. You never asked for them, you can’t get rid of them, but when you get used to them they’re kind of cute. At least, I think they are. Every bird – except one – I’ve ever gotten was because someone didn’t want or couldn’t take care of them. My first bird was purchased at a shop and then died for some reason and it broke my heart to the point I swore I’d never get another. Then THEY happened.

The first bird that came to me was a Quaker and extremely violent until we bonded, followed by two lovebirds whose owner couldn’t take care of them anymore, then a budgie we found in a parking lot, then my current ‘tiel, and finally my current budgie. As such, I have a number of bird cages that I swap out as needed and a lot of chewed up toys.

Rudy belonged to a girl I worked with who was moving to another state. She was worried that she wouldn’t be able to take him on the trip in spite of me informing her over and over that birds can easily be transported. It killed her to give him up but she knew he’d be in good hands with me. I’ve had him for about five years, which makes him either nine or ten years old, and he’s a good boy.

He’s definitely the affectionate one of the two, giving me “kisses” every night before we cover his cage and pretty much anytime I put my face near his. If I set him on my shoulder he leans his head against me, and he alerts me to the presence of kittens on the windowsill by wolf-whistling at them. He also whistles at my cats and makes kissing sounds, which just goes to show that birds are weird.

Andrew Bird was named after a song by the singer of the same name called “A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left,” because when I was called by the people at the clinic where I used to work, they told me he was exhibiting some neurological symptoms. In other words, he was twitching. Often to the left. His nickname is “Tinybird.”

Andrew is the singer. He spends all day warbling out little songs that make him sound like one of those bird-shaped water whistles, barks whenever the horrible little dogs in the courtyard get started, and just recently he’s started whistling like Rudy. He’s not terribly affectionate with me but he loves Mister E to rub his chest, and we hope that someday we’ll be able to let him out of his cage to chill with us like Rudy does. I don’t think he’ll ever be a kisser, but he’s super-cute.

Just because I’m a crazy cat lady doesn’t mean I don’t love my birds. I can’t imagine life without them, and occasionally I think I’d like to own another Quaker sometime. They’re noisy, noisy little birds, though. I wouldn’t be able to have one in an apartment without getting murdered by my neighbors, but they’re very sweet. Once you get used to the screeching and the biting, that is. I miss my Quaker so much.

Because I love you, I’m leaving you with the video for the aforementioned song. Enjoy!