Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Chanukah Haul:
- A 2009 Little Prince calendar
- A grow your own venus flytrap kit
- Slippers
- A book about fairytales and feminism
- 4 new bras
- A book of Anne Taintor collages
- Chocolates
- A periscope (from my Secret Santa)
- Cash

New Year's resolutions are dumb. Here are mine.
I resolve to:
- Floss my teeth every night
- Make schoolwork a priority
- Go to the gym more
- Not obsess (as much) about things beyond my control
- Not use most of my meal plan on holiday cookies
- Spend less time on Facebook

Favorite movies of 2008:
Baby Mama
The Wackness
Sukiyaki Western Django
Dance of the Dead

Famous people whose deaths made me go "Awww":
George Carlin
Michael Crichton
Bobby Fischer
Eartha Kitt
Paul Newman
Bettie Page
Roy Scheider
Heath Ledger
Charlton Heston

Favorite albums of 2008:
"Vampire Weekend" Vampire Weekend
"Afterparty Babies" Cadence Weapon
"Alopecia" Why?
"Arm's Way" Islands
"Who Killed Amanda Palmer?" Amanda Palmer
"Paper Crane" Walri

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chanukah Miracle 2008

Last night my external hard drive fell down the stairs. It is still okay. Praise Gob!

Yesterday, my dog had diarrhea all over the kitchen floor. Cleaning it up was the least fun I've had all vacation.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

All I want for Chanukah

Tonight is the first night of Chanukah. I'm still in Rochester until tomorrow morning. I should be packing, but instead I'm blogging. ("Blogging.....is such a subversively naughty sounding word. Like everyone knows what it means and yet it still sounds dirty." - J.)

Here is my Chanukah wish list:

The first thing I want is the Dresden Dolls' Virginia Companion songbook. It has the lyrics and sheet music for all the songs off the albums "Yes, Virginia" and "No, Virginia," as well as lots of pictures and other cool things.

I need a new electric hand mixer. My trusty old (and I mean really old) Toastmaster 3-speed mixer broke. I don't really need something as fancy as this Kitchen Aid 9-speed professional mixer, but it's yellow!

This scarf is beautiful. I don't really wear scarves like this, but I'd wear this one! It's really expensive, though. The design on it brings me to the next item...

I want this illustration tattooed on either the inside of my left bicep or on the side of my ribs.

I also would like a new digital camera and also a digital camcorder. I don't have any particular models in mind, though. I really like the Canon Rebel series of DSRL cameras, but I don't know if I really need something that heavy-duty.

Non-material things I want:
- My room to be magically clean
- Obama to appoint more women to high positions than he has been doing
- Better yet - a feminist revolution
- Someone to cuddle and make out with
- Straight 'A's
- The Patriots to win the Superbowl

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gobble Gobble

I hate this time of year.
The lack of sunlight starts to really get to me.
I'm starting to think about the stress of finals, but at the same time I'm not ready for the semester to almost be over.

I hate traveling for Thanksgiving.
I hate packing. (I hate unpacking, too.)
I hate airports, especially when they're very busy.
I hate the stress of being picked up at the airport.
I hate Black Friday, the crowds.
I hate wanting to buy things that I don't need or can't afford.

On the bright side, I love my friends.
I'm actually looking forward to my final papers.
The snow can be beautiful.
I have a decent amount of money in my bank account.

I made a delicious flan on Friday. I accidentally baked the tin foil into the flan, but I managed to salvage it anyhow.

I'm feeling fat. I know I'm not fat, but I've put on 5-10 pounds since the summer. I feel heavy.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yes on 2

Two of the three movies I saw in theaters over the summer centered on the friendship forged between a stoner and his dealer. However, these two movies, The Wackness and Pineapple Express, have little else in common.

Pineapple Express is an action-comedy buddy flick. Seth Rogen plays Dale Denton, a shiftless pothead who is on the run with his dealer (James Franco) after witnessing a murder. The Wackness is a poignant bildungsroman set in NYC in 1994. Josh Peck plays Luke Shapiro, a recent high school graduate and pot dealer who befriends one of his customers, psychiatrist Dr. Squires (played by a brilliant Ben Kingsley), while falling in love with Squires' step-daughter (Olivia Thirlby). The Wackness, directed by Jonathan Levine, played on 6 screens its opening weekend. Pineapple Express, directed by David Gordon Green and produced by Hollywood's darling du jour Judd Apatow, opened on more than 3000 screens.

Aside from these and other technical differences, the films are fundamentally different in their ideologies. They deviate in their representations of marijuana, the people who use it, and the effect it has.

In Pineapple Express, pot is the source of gang violence and polic corruption. The major players in the drug trade are "bad guys." A farcical prologue shows the illegalization of marijuana as the arbitrary result of a stoned Private insulting his superior. In the film, smoking pot, an act that is exclusive to white males, brings people together superficially, but is ultimately harmful to social relationships.

In The Wackness, pot is shown to be benign, especially in comparison to commonly abused drugs such as alcohol and prescription medications, which are legal, yet less accessible than pot. As implied by the film, the illegality of marijuana is a matter of politics, not because of any harmful property of the drug. Smoking pot helps to forge meaningful social relationships across generations, social classes, and economic statuses.

My pot smoking experience is non-existent. However, I've been friends with the stoner crowd since high school. Drawing on that extensive experience, I have come to certain conclusions about pot. Some are negative, some are positive, but my overall stance on the matter is neutral. Marijuana is what it is.

In the general election this November, voters in Massachusetts will have the opportunity to vote to decriminalize adults' possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. The bill, which will appear on the ballot as Question 2, will also impose additional (non-criminal) penalties on minors. The current presidential race is sure to elicit an impressive voter turnout. Hopefully the people will make their voices heard on this issue as well.

- More info about Question 2 on ballotpedia.org

- More info about the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy initiave

Images used in this post were culled from Google Image Search.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

It's hard out there for a [feminist]

Sometimes it is so friggin' hard to be a feminist.

Case in point: I went out last night with my sister and some friends. We went to a couple of bars and clubs. (-"Is that what you're wearing?" -"We are going to a nightclub" <-- Name that movie and win 10 points) My plan was to go out, drink, dance, have fun. Should be easy enough, right? Turns out it's not so easy to have fun while being bombarded by the overt misogyny thrown at a woman who is drinking and dancing.

We went first to a dive-y sports bar. We were left alone for the most part. Walking into the pizza place next door to grab a slice, however, merited whooping and catcalls from the men loitering within. I ignored them as if I were oblivious. I just wanted some pizza.

Our next stop was a club with a mechanical bull (for Friday night Bikini Bull Rides, of course) and a dance floor. The harassment started in line outside. A large drunk man had appointed himself to the position of keeping the line orderly. Mostly this job included eyeballing all the women and mentally undressing them. "What's your name?" He asked, looking me up and down hungrily. I do not take kindly to this type of harassment. It's such a pervasive example of how widely accepted male entitlement is; it is the "harmless" end of the spectrum of rape culture. But I suppressed my raging inner feminist. I was in a good mood and having fun with my friends. I wasn't about to let this asshole spoil it. I didn't just let it go, however. "What do you think my name is?" I asked, playing along. "Happy," he replied, eying my bright yellow top, but clearly thinking about what was beneath it. I had nothing to say to this, so I rolled my eyes and moved up in lines.

Inside, it was about as dark, loud, and sweaty as is typical of this type of establishment. (Note to club DJs: Playing two different songs at once does not qualify as a "mash up." Sorry, you're going to have to try harder than that.) The woman who collected our cover, as well as all the female bar tenders, had her shirt cut open to reveal what can be best described as heavaing bosoms. On sale behind the register were all sorts of bachelorette goodies (feather boas and cowboy hats) and sexxxxy souvenirs (ladies' underwear that said "I got bucked" with a picture of a lasso). We walked through the bar area and down a ramp to the dance floor. My stomach did a little jerk when I saw the stripper poles on raised platforms at each end of the floor. There were no professional dancers, just waxy tanned club-goers, some with bachelorette tiaras, gyrating against the poles and each other. (Ariel Levy, eat your heart out.) At this sight, I tell my shoulder feminist (like a shoulder angel or shoulder devil) that she might as well retire for the night. [Note: I realize that I haven't explained why the stripper poles were problematic. I don't intend to use this post to go off on that particular subject. It is the same reason why the "I got bucked" undies are a problem. For more insight, I highly recommend this "click"-inducing post by Twisty over at I Blame the Patriarchy.]

As we snaked our way through the crowd of grinding bodies, I felt a hand reach out and grab at my stomach. Ew! Who cops a feel of a girl's stomach? I whipped my head around, but there was no way of knowing which leering creepoid was the perp. I shook off the slight but glaring violation and continued on, following my group towards a less dense spot on the dance floor.

Sigh. Being a feminist is hard work. It's hard to "turn it off" for a night. It feels like the only way to have fun in the nightlife-scene is to put your principles on pause. But not to worry, the Patriarchy will still be there in the morning. You can resume your fight once you've sobered up.

That being said, I had a great time last night. I drank, I danced, I had fun. I hope to have more nights like it before the summer is out.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Things Facebook Thinks it Knows About Me

Based on the advertisements I see, Facebook thinks I am:
- Female (true)
- A student (true)
- Single (true)
- Jewish (true)
- Broke (true)
- A Yankees fan (false! EGREGIOUS ERROR! Why would you even think that!? What in my profile could possibly lead you to that conclusion!?)

Once you pop, the fun, etc...

dear mr. and/or mrs. sender-
we're pleased to inform you that your application's been accepted
- "Sex Changes" by the Dresden Dolls

If I were a rap music producer, I would sign a rapper called 35 Cent. She would be just like 50 cent, but her albums would cost 70% less. Y'know, to market to women who get paid 70% less than their male equals.

If I had my own cable channel, one of the shows I would launch would be called "Patriarchal Myth Busters." It would be just like Myth Busters, but it would bust Patriarchy-instilled societal myths rather than urban legends and pop culture hypotheses. The pilot episode would debunk what is perhaps the most persistent and pervasive product of Patriarchal invention: the existence of a thing called "virginity."

What is virginity? Is it a state of being? Or is it something that can be lost, taken, given up and given away? Ask a know-it-all grade schooler and she or he will tell you that a virgin is a woman whose hymen isn't broken. So then "virgin" is a category of woman, right? It is a category based on the state of one's hymen. In Virgin: The Untouched History, (which I admit I never finished reading), Hanne Blank goes through quite a bit of trouble to show that the "natural" state of the hymen is very indefinite. Therefore, women can't really be categorized by their hymens or lack thereof.

As is the trend with many Patriarchal myths and inventions, virginity is not a pseudo-scientific assertion of biology, but a social construct. (See here for an excellent introductory explanation of [feminist] usage of the term "social construct.") It is yet another way for men to appraise the value of a woman. Hanne Blank delves into the history in depth in her book, but I found one particular explanation especially compelling: virginity was invented to ensure the continuity of a patriarchal line. When a man wanted to marry (read: sell) off his daughter, she was worth more if she was a virgin - not because virgins are inherently more valuable or more "pure," but because that way it could be guaranteed that any children she might bear would have been fathered by her husband. It had little to do with the woman and everything to do with the offspring. (Remember, women aren't people; they're slaves for making babies and sandwiches.)

The reason I am writing about this now is because of this article called "The 19-Year-Old Virgin" that will appear in the magazine section of tomorrow's Boston Globe. The tagline is "Sure, I've had the opportunity to have sex. Here's why I've decided to abstain." The article is written by Emma Morgenstern, a 19-year-old who has never had sex. (Shock and awe, right?) Morgenstern is an articulate Jewish college student, in other words, normal. She is not a promise-ring-wearing, wedding-day-waiting loony. What the article attempts to do, though I'm not sure if it is Morgenstern's intention, is make abstinence cool for the atheist crowd.

Morgenstern writes,
But I've realized that being a virgin isn't that big a deal - except for one thing: The one real downside (aside from not having sex, of course) is the unknowns that come with it. I don't know how my first experience will change my life or my relationship. I don't know if my first time will be with someone I love. I don't know how to buy condoms. That's OK, though. I know I have plenty of time. Being a virgin simply means that a person hasn't had sex and therefore probably has more unanswered questions about it. But maybe even this isn't accurate - after all, that senior on my couch seemed as if he had some things he wanted to ask.
Drinking alcohol the week before I turned 21 did not feel much different from drinking alcohol the week after. It makes one realize how arbitrary the age limit is. It is my hope that when Emma does have sex, she will find that not only is virginity not a big deal, but that, "the drinking age," it doesn't really exist in any concrete way. (I realize that this is not a perfect metaphor.)

I had sex for the first time when I was 19. December 8th. It is a big deal to have sex for the first time. But everyone's circumstances are different, so the extent to which it affects a person will vary. When my then-boyfriend brought up the subject for the first time, it was something that I too was thinking about. I really wanted to have sex with him. But I'd never done it before, so I wanted some more time to think. Like Morgenstern, I didn't know how having sex with him might affect our relationship. We'd been seeing each other for two months and were already very intimate - we just hadn't actually "done it" yet.

[[Digression: Morgenstern writes, "You might be wondering what it's like, in today's sex-obsessed world, to be a virgin at the age of 19. Well, you get used to the stares after a while. If I confess my sexual status to the cashier at the movie theater, he'll often give me a children's-price ticket." Why would you confess your sexual status to a box office boy?
Anecdote: At the beginning of my sophomore year in college, B.C. (Before Coitus), a bunch of my housemates were sitting around in the kitchen trying to figure out the house ratio of virgins to vegetarians. They asked me if I'd had sex and I said no. One girl responded, "Really!? But you seem so...liberated!" She assumed that because I kept condoms in my drawer (courtesy of Planned Parenthood) and talked freely and openly about sexuality that I had, in fact, had sex.
Moral: Nobody can tell if you've had sex or not unless you tell them.]]

So after a couple weeks of deliberation, I decided to go for it. We did it. The only thing that changed about our relationship is that we had more sex.

I don't like to say that I "lost" my virginity. The only thing I lost was my ace in the hole for winning Never Have I Ever.

Image used in this post yoinked from Rakka.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Notes on seeing The Dark Knight

***Here there be spoilers!***

- For all the buzz about Heath Ledger's performance, I think that Aaron Eckhart was equally compelling. His turn to the dark side was a bit hard to swallow, but that's a weakness in the script. I only wish that Harvey Dent had been a more likable character.

- The scene in which the Joker burns the big pile of money is problematic for two reasons. 1) Gotham must exist in some very alternate reality in order for the Joker to be able to say that gas is cheap. 2) His monologue is too self-righteous. Who is he to talk about the glory days of Gotham villains?

- This film is definitely non-compliant with the Bechdel-Wallace Rule.

- In a similar vein, of the three female characters who have names, one gets killed, one is a turncoat, and one is a mom. (And isn't Barbara Gordon supposed to be Commissioner Gordon's daughter?)

- I wonder how they write action and car chase sequences for movies like this. Do they write it out specifically: "Motorcycle drives up wall and does a flip thing"? Or just "Insert badass blow-up-y stuff here" and let the action choreographers figure it out?

- I wonder how many mpg the Batmobile gets.

- The trope of a villain putting both a friend and love interest of Batman in peril and making him choose who to save always seemed really gimmicky to me. I'm glad that Batman was not able to save both in this reworking.

- I liked that Joker's exploding ferry scheme was an exercise in Game Theory. Very fitting.

- My favorite thing about Christian Bale's portrayal of Bruce Wayne is that he makes it very obvious (to the audience, at least) that the whole playboy millionaire thing is an act. This is much more convincing and laudable than previous incarnations in which Bruce Wayne has little personality and actually is a playboy. Bale's Wayne is more to Batman what Clark Kent is to Superman - an actual alternate identity - but rather than meek and mild-mannered, he goes for arrogant and air-headed. ("Should I go to the hospital?")

- It was a little too long. One too many climaxes, if you ask me.

- I want an "Ichi the Killer"/"Dark Knight" crossover Christmas special in which Joker and Kakihara go on a crime spree together.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I am a fan of the New England Patriots. However, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Green Bay Packers because my brother has been a Cheesehead since he was three years old. For his Bar Mitzvah, we went to Lambeau Field to see them play. He has something of a shrine to Brett Favre in his room. When Brett Favre announced his retirement in March, I was sad to see him go, but knew it was the right thing. He had a remarkable run. The latest controversy regarding his possible return is therefore somewhat tortuous. This article in the Globe makes the whole thing seem like a messy public break-up:

It ended amicably. They had many fond memories together, but it was time to part ways. Brett broke the news to the Packers in a "tearful goodbye news conference."

Some people close to the couple were surprised it had lasted so long, given the near break-ups they'd every off-season for the past few years, "but it seemed to be for real this time."

They still had strong feelings for each other: "'[General manager] Ted [Thompson] always wanted Brett back,' [coach Mike] McCarthy said. 'We always wanted Brett back.'"

A few weeks later it seemed like they might get back together, but Brett felt that he "had reached a point of closure."

They kept in touch, and "regularly communicated." But there was a "rising tension" in late June. Brett wanted the Packers to take him back, but he still wavered as to whether he "was ready to make a 100 percent commitment."

Then last week, in a "text message exchange between Thompson and Favre," Brett said he needed to talk urgently. He wanted to commit.

But it's too late. The Packers are "committed to Aaron Rodgers as their starter," they "have since moved forward." No doubt this only makes Brett want to get back together even more. Green Bay hopes that there is "some role that he might play here." They still want Brett in their lives, if only as a friend.

Brett thinks it will be too hard to continue seeing each other if they can't have the relationship they once had. He wants out. But the Packers aren't ready to let go. They won't release him.

Where does that leave the Packers and their beloved three-time MVP?

In a pretty big mess.

"Quite frankly, it's a little gut-wrenching as an organization to go through it, and certainly for Mike and myself," Thompson said. "This stuff hurts a lot of people. I mean, it hurts. I'm not talking about physically hurting, but the sensitivity."
So what now? If Brett stays with the Packers, he'll be relegated to the sidelines, forced to look on in envy as his team plays with a different man in his place. His other option is a trade. But can he imagine playing football with someone else? Someone new? He may never find another team with the same chemistry. And what would happen when he'd have to play against the Packers, meeting awkwardly on the field? Would he well up with nostalgia? Or feign a stoic indifference?

Oh, Brett. Breaking up is hard to do, yes. But you should have thought earlier. Now you're left scrambling to hold it together. It isn't fair to us that you keep toying with our emotions like this. We don't want to burn any bridges, but we can't live suspended like this. You broke our hearts, got our hopes up, let us down - we can't take this roller coaster relationship much longer.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Things You Might Not Know About Me: Rachel as Sporty Spice

This post is first in what may become a series.

The summer following 11th grade, I went to Israel for six weeks on a program through my summer camp. The beginning of this post finds me panting as I climb the ridge of a mountain in the Negev desert. The rest of my group is ahead of me. The only person behind me is Elad, our armed guard of the week, who makes sure nobody gets left behind (I did get left behind at a beach in Tel Aviv, but that's another story). Elad says to me, "I don't get it. You seem to really like hiking, and you have great hiking boots, but you're so slow. You're always the last one." Israelis are pretty forward, so I know his curiosity is genuine; he's not trying to put me down. And quite the opposite, I take it as a compliment. Elad's observation is a perfect summation of the story of Sports & Me.

I am by no means an athletic person - I'd take Wii Tennis over real tennis any day - but I do enjoy being active. My general distaste for sports probably stems from the humiliation I suffered at the hands of my elementary school gym teacher. At the beginning of every class period, we'd have to run laps around the gym. Fine. No big deal. The traumatic part was when the teacher would disallow passing. At this point, the entire class would lap me and be stuck running behind me. As their frustration increased, so did my mortification, until they all finished and I was left to run my last lap alone. And so a string of similarly cruel gym teachers discouraged me early on from enjoying physical education.

I used to hate team sports - I didn't like anything where I could cause the team to lose - and so I'd goof off instead of trying to play well and failing. I liked Capture the Flag because I didn't have to make a run for the flag if I didn't want to, which I never did. I was damn good at guarding the jail, though.

To this day, the sports I really like are non-competetive. Ultimate Frisbee is the most competetive sport I play (although unfortunately I haven't played in a long while), and it's known for being laid-back, holding the Spirit of the Game holy above all else. I don't get many opportunities to be active these days. When I was much younger I took horseback riding lessons, and five styles of dance classes - ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, and flamenco. We haven't been on a vacation in a while, but my family likes sporty getaways such as snorkeling and kayaking in Belize or downhill skiing and snow tubing in Maine. On a school trip I went ice climbing, cross-country skiing, and dog sledding. At camp last year I was the head of the rock climbing staff. I love hiking.

When I was thirteen I tried to go to the gym at the JCC with my sister, but I got kicked out because I was a year too young to use any of the equipment. I didn't go back. Of course, It's easy to blame my lack of athleticism on bad experiences. But the real reason is that for a long time I had a lack of motivation. I'd made up my mind that I was bad at sports, so I turned my attentions elsewhere.

This past semester, I started going to the gym at school. All it took was a few friends to show me the ropes. Now, I've started boxing. I'd always wanted to learn how to box, and this summer I finally have the opportunity. I love it. The people and trainers at my gym are all wonderful. I feel myself getting stronger and more competent. I might even step into the ring to spar before the summer's over.

But don't get me wrong - I still loves mah Wii Sports.


Below: Mini Golf is totally a legitimate sport.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

About that title...

The title of this blog is a reference to the song "Less Teeth & More Tits" by Lunachicks, off the album Luxury Problem (1999). The chorus goes:
Am I smiling enough? Am I smiling too much?
Am I tucked in and buckled, do my tits touch?
Hi, how are you? How high are you?
Less teeth and more tits
It's never enough
You'll never be good enough
So a simple reversal gives me the title "More Teeth." I should note, however, that the reciprocal is not necessarily "Less Tits." Lots of teeth, lots of tits - it's all good.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Festive Cupcakes

I've always loved cupcakes, so I'm happy that they're so hip now. It means cupcake bakeries cropping up all over. Before today I hadn't made cupcakes in ages, so I was mostly on the eating end of the craze. But today I baked cupcakes. This is not going to be a cupcake or cooking blog (I recommend Cupcakes Take the Cake for that), but this post is going to be a play-by-play of my epicurean endeavor.

For the cake, I used this recipe for Love Potion Cupcakes. I used margarine instead of butter, and didn't add the chocolate chunks. Here's the batter:

The recipe said to put a frozen raspberry into each cupcake after pouring the batter into each cup. I tried a couple of other techniques as well - pouring the batter over the raspberry (Fig. 1), and pouring batter in, then placing the raspberry, and covering it up (Fig. 2):
Fig. 1 Fig. 2

End of phase one:

...and clean up for phase two!

I watched Law & Order while the cupcakes baked and cooled:

I wanted to decorate them to look like fireworks. I think they look kind of like Spider-man webs, but whatever. They're red, white, and blue, so that must count for something. This sequence shows the process:

This one looks more like fireworks:

Here's how they all came out!

Eating the cupcake:

They were good! I'm rather proud of how they came out. The texture of the cake is more turgid than I'm used to. The raspberry inside is a nice touch. I don't know if it will be as good when it's not still warm. Should be fine. The frosting is where the cupcake loses points. I didn't trust myself to make my own frosting; I worried I wouldn't be able to get a good consistency. But next time I'll have to give it a go.

That wraps it up!

(Yes, I ate two. :-P )

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Abstinence Bites.

I would like to turn your attention to this article in the Boston Globe:
Taking a pledge to remain a virgin until married may help some teens and young adults in delaying the start of sexual activity, U.S. researchers reported Tuesday.

A study by the Rand Corporation research institute found that 34 percent of youths who took such pledges as teens had had sexual intercourse within three years compared to 42 percent of similar teens who did not make virginity pledges.


The Rand report cited estimates that 23 percent of U.S. females and 16 percent of males have made a virginity pledge.


"These findings do not suggest that virginity pledges should be a substitute for comprehensive sexual education programs, or that they will work for all kinds of kids," said Martino. "But virginity pledges may be appropriate as one component of an overall sex education effort."

One debate has centered on whether school-based sex education policies should focus on abstinence-only, with virginity pledges as a possible component. Many sex educators argue that youths need information about how to protect themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

The headline of this article - "Virginity pledges help some delay sex - US study" - is not misleading, but the implication is. It might be assumed that what it means is "Virginity pledges help some delay sex until marriage." But this study does not show that teenagers who take abstinence pledges wait until marriage to have sex. It does not show that abstinence pledges effectively decrease the number of teenagers having sex. All it shows is that teens who have taken abstinence pledges tend to have sex a few years later than other teens.

It is problematic to suggest that this study demonstrates that abstinence-only sex-ed is successful. People have sex for the first time at different ages regardless of what they plan to do. (Note: I do not use the term "lose virginity," but that's a post for another time) Someone who reallyreallyreally wants to have sex might not do so until much later than another like-minded individual. It doesn't matter when a person starts having sex (taking age of consent laws into consideration, of course), as long as she or he is prepared to do so in mind and body.

Mitchell Lichtenstein's recent film "Teeth" could be called a horror film for the virginity-pledge crowd. I call it the feel-good chick flick of the decade. The movie is about one of my favorite topics, the vagina dentata, or toothed vagina. (Cue music.) It stars Jess Weixler as Dawn, a high schooler growing up in a town where diagrams of the female genitalia are covered in the biology textbooks. (Oh, and did I mention there's a nuclear power plant behind her house?) Dawn and her culty friends wear Promise Rings, a symbol that they have pledged not to have sex until they put on that "other ring." No folks, not the NuvaRing - a wedding ring. In my opinion, Dawn's wedding fantasies are the creepiest scenes in the movie. Unfortunately, Dawn will never live out her virginal wedding fantasy, because she gets raped by one of her Promise Ring buddies. Then something goes wrong - wrong-er than most rapes, that is. But Dawn doesn't know what's wrong because she doesn't know what a "normal" vagina is supposed to look like in the first place. She figures it out, though, and talk about female empowerment! The scenes where she puts her nether-teeth to work are the most satisfying, cheer-out-loud moments in recent cinematic history. The film is bold and hilarious. Even the ending credits are delectible, including a "No men were harmed in the making of this film" disclaimer, and a special thanks to Camille Paglia.

My friends and I can't wait for the sequel - "Teeth 2: Wisdom Teeth" and "Teeth 3: Dentures." And a prequel, "Baby Teeth," perhaps? Oh, if only. We also like to speculate about the daily tribulations that might face a woman endowed with a vagina dentata. How does she floss? Does her electric toothbrush double as a vibrator? Does she douche with Listerine? (Troubling fact: Lysol used to be marketed as a douche.) What if she gets cavities? Is there a vagina Tooth Fairy?

At this point I should mention that the title of my blog is only tangentially a reference to vagina dentata. A more in-depth post about the title is forthcoming.

Images used in this post yoinked from IMDb and ArtThrob
R: I really oughta blog
J: it's certainly cathartic
R: but I don't think I'd want a personal blog
R: I've tried starting one a few times before
R: but I can never decide if I want to make it anonymous or not, and whether to tell friends about it or not
J: yeah, my one goal with this blog is to not repeat my last blog
J: aka my livejournal from high school
R: haha
R: yeeeeeah
Well, I'm at it again. But unlike my past attempts, I'm not going to even try to set a theme or agenda for my blog yet. I'll just see where it takes me. For now, I'm keeping it to myself, though.