Gender-roles and “fag hags”

Lately, I’ve been wondering why I have (had) so many gay friends. In fact, I’ve never been without a gay friend. From the time I started school through the various jobs and places I’ve been, I’ve always found it easy to befriend gay men. I also have a lot of  straight guy and women friends but it’s a whole different matter with gay guy-straight women friendships.

In my searches across the internet, I came across the term “fag hag” or women who have a lot of  or prefer gay men for friends. While I would never call my gay friends fags (lest I be bitch-slapped to death), and I’m certainly far from being a hag (well maybe during my “younger years”, but now I have better fashion sense, no small thanks to my sassy gay friends), I found it rather fascinating that there is some sort of “phenomena” behind this.

I’ve read a lot of purported reasons why women would purposely seek the company of gay men. But here’s my two cents. I think it’s because these gay guys are like me in the sense that they fall somewhere in between the gender-role spectrum. There’s the “overly feminine” and the “overly masculine” and there’s the somewhere in the middle. Before assumptions are made, I am not romantically or sexually attracted to any of my gay friends (that’s just a big no-no). Nor do I wish that they are straight. I like them just the way they are.

Let me explain further. While I would definitely identify myself as 100% heterosexual, I also tend to embody a lot of “masculine” traits which tend to either confuse or intimidate straight guys (I’m speaking from experience). What do I mean by confuse? Most of the time, just because I’m into “guy stuff” (like comics, violent video games, gory movies, military history/fiction, etc) they would assume that I’m certainly not straight or automatically relegate me to “just a friend” status . I am extremely annoyed by this. Where was it written that because I’m a woman, I can’t be interested in those things and still be straight?? Hey, I also happen to like cross-stitching and knitting! Couldn’t they exist side by side?

Sorry, I seem to have lost my composure there for a bit. But being an artist, I find it useful that I can appreciate both the “masculine” and the” feminine”. So I’ve drawn a bad-ass looking Jedi Knight, does that mean I can’t draw a great sexy pin-up of Nancy Callahan from Sin City? I don’t think so.

Another thing is, while I’m certainly far from fat, I’m not frail-as-waif  either (for body type comparison, see Battlestar Galactica’s Kara Thrace). I happen to possess bones that do not break at the slightest pressure. Is that a problem now?? Add my slightly “tomboyish” attitude. I wear make-up, dresses (I’m more of a tee/blouse and jeans person though) and all, but I guess it’s more of the way I carry myself. I hold my head high and swing my arms (not my hips!!) when I walk. And I walk rather fast. I could also be rather direct. Although I generally try to avoid arguments and would rather have things be resolved peacefully if possible. But once  my tolerance (which is considerable) is breached, then we really have a problem. I do not slap people, I’d rather punch them.

Point is, this is who I am and I don’t intend to bend over backwards to please some guy. So far, only one person (from my last relationship) has managed to understand  and like me they way I am. We had have had our differences of course (and so the relationship is sort of over) but that’s one of the things I liked about him. He had no problem with me loving gory/horror films, Call of Duty or Fallout (with the same enthusiasm that he has). Maybe because he is such a geek as well. But you know what I mean.

So, back to the topic of gay men. So my gay friends accept me for who I am. They are generally fun to be with (witty, sarcastic and funny). They call out my BS when they have to and do not let me wallow in self pity. They would boost my self confidence and give great fashion advise (I would still be wearing sweats to the office if not for them). Plus they open doors and carry my stuff for me too. And they’re not doing it to get in my pants because we love the same thing: men.

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When Flaking Out is Not an Option

The odds are certainly in favour of this film. The best book-to-screen adaptation I’ve seen in a while. Jennifer Lawrence captured Katniss’ independent, resourceful, fierce, tough-as-nails-but-still-vulnerable and occasionally arrogant personality. Yeah, I know. Bella Swan (the eherm..’heroine’ of Twilight) comparisons are raging through the net, from The Guardian to Feministe. They can’t be helped I guess.

I really tried to finish the Twilight books, but my higher brain functions were objecting at the turn of every page! Lol. So I gave it up as a bad job. I did finish Twilight and Eclipse though. Anyway, back to the review. Comparisons to Bella cannot be helped, like I said. After all, there is a ‘triangle’ of sorts in The Hunger Games as well. But that’s where it ends. The similarities and differences have been discussed so much that I won’t go through the details anymore.

But here’s my two cents: Although both Bella and Katniss fell in love, Katniss will always be her own person. She is the Mockingjay, the Girl on Fire and not defined by her relationship with Peeta or Gale. Her primary concern is not whether she should choose between the two, but the survival of those she cares about and yeah, bringing down a corrupt and unjust system.

Whereas Bella was jumping off cliffs when Edward (a complete jerkass worthy of a restraining order) left, Katniss was busy strategizing with the rebels of District 13 when she and Peeta were briefly separated. Of course she felt lousy the whole time, but that’s the point!

There is nothing wrong with being in love. Hey, I’m a bit of a romantic myself. But I prefer couples whose relationship is more on equal footing (ex: Scully, Mulder from XFiles; John, Aeryn from Farscape; Han, Leia from Star Wars; Zoe, Wash from Firefly; Helo, Athena from Galactica). These couples can both kick ass and wipe the floor with the best of the best. They are certainly not perfect, but they do love one another and do not require their partners to be a limp noodle.

Oh and going back (coherence just jumped out of the window), I like Katniss’ attitude. Being the eldest and primary breadwinner of the family requires a ‘we’ll just have to grit our teeth and do it’ philosphy at times. Flaking out and being weepy is not an option to be considered. Katniss is tough but she is not uncaring, in fact she cares a great deal about the people around her. Just not in that ‘merry sunshine’ but in more of a ‘tough love’ way. And hey, she loves a good laugh too!

Why should it matter? Because if ever I’ll have daughters, I’d want them to be Katniss Everdeens or Ellen Ripleys or Hermione Grangers. Not Bella Swans.

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose…

Completely nonsensical title I know. This is to mark the change in my blog heading. It has been called “The Poison Pen Chronicles” since 2007, I think. So that’s six years. But since turning 29 this January, I’ve come to terms with my being past the usual marrying age and learned to poke fun on it. That is not to say I’ve never been in a relationship. I’m not quite sure what to make of my “relationship” status as of the moment (the song “Hot n’ Cold” by, ye gods, Katy Perry  pretty much sums it up). Anyway, the choice of title should be pretty easy to figure out. I’m quite Nerdy and one year away from being labeled a spinster. 😀

I swear to hold a Spinster’s Day celebration when I reach 30 and wear a shirt that says “They say the clock is ticking. I say “Frak it! ” and keep moving!” Not the wittiest statement I can come up with at the moment.  😛

Marriage for marriage’ sake is one of the worst decisions anyone can make (short of purposely ingesting poison) in my opinion. Not that the constant niggling from “concerned parties”  haven’t affected me from time to time, but it’s not like I can hold Hugh Jackman or George Clooney hostage and propose marriage behind the barrel of a shotgun.

Besides, I am quite happy with the way my life is at the moment. No sense in upsetting the balance with completely idiotic sentiments. And no I’m not in the least bitter. 😀

The Mystery of Lyanna Stark

This is just some random free-thinking on my end (because it’s 3:00 in the morning and I can’t sleep, but I’m too tired to draw properly). I’m trying to think back and re-read the series. Truth is, I haven’t even finished “A Clash of Kings” (such a shame!), but I must before watching the seconds season of the HBO Series. I read the Ice and Fire Wiki from time to time to keep myself updated on the goings on at Westeros.

Anyway, there are some theories surrounding Lyanna Stark’s death and Jon Snow’s parentage. I strongly suspect that Jon’s parents are none other than Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. How they came to be is still open for debate. On the surface it seemed that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, held her captive for sometime, forced himself on her and impregnated her as a result. Then the band of “The Outraged Gentlemen” waged war to recover her (and also er..got rid of the clearly- batshit-insane king). Very simple. But I don’t think that’s really what happened. First off, let’s examine some of the characters:

>Robert Baratheon – I have mixed views about Robert. On the one hand he really is a tragic character. The king who doesn’t want to be king. But on the other he just comes across as rather weak (but that is obviously because he failed to ride off into the sunset with Lyanna). A decade of general decadence and drunken torpor is simply too much. Sometimes I get the urge to smack some sense into him! Get yourself together man! I also have issues with him blaming Cersei for everything. I get the feeling Cersei might have liked him at first. But then Robert started spreading bitterness all around. I don’t entirely blame her for being pissed off with him. Anyway, it is clear that Robert loved Lyanna, almost to the point of obsession, I think. But since Lyanna is no longer available for comment then we don’t really now how she felt about him. But I suspect the affection is a bit one-sided (on Robert’s end).

>Rhaegar Targaryen – The only one who seemed to be completely sane on the Targaryen end. Everyone else was Royally Screwed by comparison. Perhaps they should stop marrying each other and give their genes a break. He was described as the epitome of a gentleman by most people (except for Robert of course). That scene about him announcing Lyanna as the Queen of Love and Beauty instead of his wife during a certain Tourney was a bit telling. But ultimately doesn’t prove much except that Rhaegar had liked her (yeah, more than like, since what he did was rather scandalous).
Again Lyanna is unavailable for comment. And Rhaegar too. 😛

I have a bit more exposition, but I’m starting to get sleepy. One last comment about Lyanna Stark herself. Arya Stark, possibly my most favourite female character, is often compared to her. So I generally think she (Lyanna) is one bad-ass character. Strong willed and a bit on the tomboyish side.

Before I completely keel over, here’s my theory: There was a possibility that Lyanna might have gone willingly with him. I am speculating wildly here of course. But think about this, I don’t think Lyanna is that much of a weakling to be kidnapped so easily (again, I’m considering the very fact that Rhaegar is the Crown Prince and had means). I’m inclined to think they might have been of the star-crossed variety here. As for what the “promise” was, I think Lyanna asked Ned to take care of her son and keep him safe. So Ned would rather have Catelyn believe he had been unfaithful rather than reveal the fact that Jon is half Targaryen.

So there. End of this completely pointless rant. LOL.

Heels and Commandos

A few “Odds and Ends” as usual.

One. I  finally got hold of the Star Wars Republic Commando Series. At least one of the books anyway. I bought “Triple Zero” yesterday at Fully Booked. They still don’t have “Hard Contact” and “True Colors” but I had the guy reserve me some copies when they do arrive. Yey! I’ve started reading it last night even though I’m supposed to be resting (as I had to go to work in a few hours). But I just can’t put it down. In fact I’m reading snippets of it as I am typing this blog entry.

Two. I gave in for a bit to my inner “girly-girl” and bought a pair of really great –looking heels. Shock! Horror! They’re high heels if you really want to get nit-picky – somewhere around 2 to 3 inches. I think they’re a bit closer to pumps anyway. My friend (who is incidentally gay) finally convinced me to get one. Why is this news you say? Because I typically do not wear heels. Although I have a bit of love for collecting shoes, I usually wear ballerina style flats (quite stylish, but does not impede walking – because I certainly do not walk like a “lady” haha!) I caved in because I think it would go better with the rather nice dresses (on sale ) I recently bought.

I tried them on (the dress and the shoes) this morning after getting home from work. I practiced walking up and down the stairs too. I think I’ll survive. But I really must commend the women who were able to wear them all the frakking time. Because after 30 minutes or so I feel like all my toes had gone a bit numb. 😀 ahaha! Not to brag, but it does feel good to dress up like a “real” girl from time to time (like last, last week when I hung out with a few friends on one of the local spots. I traded my usual pants/shirt/flats outfit for a navy-blue, greek-inspired dress, which I really loved). I do “clean up” nicely from time to time. Just not ALL the time though. Takes a lot of work, I tell you. And I’m a slob by nature. Besides,I like breathing and blue-berry cheese cakes too much to really focus much of my attention to beauty regimens. But yeah, like I said it feels nice to know you can look pretty for a bit (again, not bragging or anything, I’m not Grace Kelly. But I don’t think I’m ugly either). 😛

And since we’re tackling my “girly-side” (once a century). Let’s move on to the subject of make-up. I’ve only started wearing real make up recently (meaning a year or so ago). But I’ve always known what colors will work for me. The benefits of being an artist I guess. It’s no different than drawing on paper really. I usually go for nudes, neutrals to dark colors  when it comes to lipstick. My staples so far are something called “Dark Chocolate”  (Avon) and “Night Valley Red” (Max Factor). For the eyes, I go with browns; although when I feel like going “gothic” I go a bit overboard with the black liner. But not too much. Let’s be thorough and talk about my hair too! But there’s nothing interesting about my hair. I just use conditioner and that’s it.

Anyway, enough with the nonsense. I feel like I wasted paragraphs talking about “shallow” things like makeup. Haha! Another semi-related thing, I also bought a copy of OK! featuring  Kate Middleton (I must be shot right on the spot! Oh, the horror! The horror!) But whatever, I honestly like the way she dresses. Simple and classy.

Oh, quick footnote.  Our “team” at work had a little exchange gift ceremony earlier (there’s only four of us). I received most of the stuff I put on my wishlist. A laptop skin (mechanical design) and whole load of Bristol Boards (for sketching).

I have to go back to reading Triple Zero now…:P Might write a review afterwards.

Odds and Ends (the month of November to December)

I decided to change the theme yet again. This one, called “Girl in Green” is one of my “go-to” themes. The last one featuring the characters from The Hunger Games, looks far too dark and gloomy. It’s the end of the year, well almost, and enough of the gloom and doom. It’s time to look forward to some hopefully good things to come. Leave all the bad shit (excuse my French) behind for a change.

Indeed there are some really bad memories I definitely need to leave behind. In fact I am now “seething with rage” (bit of an exaggeration, but in essence true) as to why one person would fail to keep his promise nor fail to inform me as to when he actually intends to compensate me.  It makes me think that he has no intention of doing so, which would have been to both our convenience if he had just been direct about it. Therefore, I would no longer expect him to and consequently move on.

The whole situation makes me think of this “old adage” I frequently see hanging near jeepney dashboards (and some buses too). It never fails to make me smile a bit. If you don’t know what it is, then you must have been pretty unobservant or totally idiotic or both. As always, I still give him the benefit of the doubt (for the one hundredth thousandth time I think.) I must remember to have myself lobotomized in the near future. My supposed intelligence seems to fail me when it comes to these things. I’m usually torn between wanting to kiss him and murder him (the balance shifts frequently). Right now I definitely have cold-blooded murder in mind. 😛 Just trying to lighten things up. I’m giving him an entire week to explain himself. A rather generous offer I’d say, considering.

With that bit of ranting out of the way, I will move on to other things.

Watched a few movies on the big screen. That means seeing a few duds once in a while.

Dud #1 is Apollo 18 aka “Blair-Witch-Project-In-Space-with-Crabs”. As one critic put it, “It’s 80 minutes of dead air.” Nothing could be more descriptive. I thought the poster looked visually intriguing so I dragged one of my friends to see what the film was all about. Well, to save you the headache and a bit of cash (in case you want to buy the DVD), the film is all about a bunch of American (and Russian) astronauts encountering deadly space crabs, all in Blair Witch style. I really wanted to sleep through the whole thing but I just have to get my 170 pesos back (too late for that though) so I forced myself to see the entire cinematic blackhole through. Needless to say, I would have been better off asleep. I’m sure any dreams I’m prone to have will be a hundred times more interesting (if it so happens that crabs will make an appearance, they will be cooked and ready to eat). 😀 One of my favourite lines from the film Ghost World comes to mind, “..after seeing this one, you’d wish you had 10 beers.”

Dud #2 is The Immortals aka “The Cheerleaders, circa 12 BC”. They say curiosity killed the cat. In this case, curiosity made me sleepy (slightly comatose even). Another film I thought  would be interesting (in a good way) based on the poster. It’s on the same vein as “Frank Miller’s 300” (and I didn’t like that one very much either). If there is any lesson to be gleaned from this film, it is this: no amount of “cool” special effects will cover for the lack of character depth and crappy storytelling. The hero (Theseus if I recall correctly) is played so inertly by the actor that I can foresee him playing trees or possibly boulders in the near future. True, he seems to shout a lot but it’s “all sound and fury signifying nothing”. There’s even an almost scene for scene reproduction of the 300 “rally”. But instead of feeling inspired and ready for battle I keep expecting the “warriors” to do a cheerleader dance routine (complete with someone doing a high split). Which I’m sure  was NOT what the filmmakers intended. I would say the Gods were pretty bad ass though. If only the costumes were a little less ridiculous.

I did see “Ghost Protocol” during the weekend though. I’d say it more than made up for the duds I had the misfortune to see. A few good films were in line the following months. There’s the American remake of “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – showing this weekend; “Snow White and the Huntsman” – Charlize Theron will eat Kirsten Stewart alive. What were they thinking? But it has Chris Helmsworth. So there. 😛 What else? “The Hunger Games” of course. Quite excited to see this one. Plus some film entries to the Manila Film Festival. Should be enough to keep me entertained.

Still continuing with my drawings, I’m mostly working on quick sketches these days. Hopefully, I can produce at least a painting (canvas) in time for the local Mardi Gras. Crossing my fingers. I’m buying an Easel later in the day. One of the reasons I can’t draw for long periods is the lack of proper working space. The easel should solve that problem for a bit.

Sleepy and a bit hungry….

Life…from a certain point of view