Feminist Deed of the Day: I Built a Shelf!

Yes, the Twitter rumors are true, I built a shelf! (And I only chipped one nail doing it!) In an afternoon attempt to do something crafty without adding to the clutter already crowding my tiny apartment, I decided that constructing a shelf was in order.

Constructing and I don't get along. My dad is a structural engineer, and spent endless hours helping me build the Ikea furniture I ordered last year for my apartment. And by helping, I mean DJ-ing/bartending/being an open audience for expletives resulting from mildly comprehensive instruction manuals.

Anyways, after endless hours in my closet-room building the essentials, the shelf was abandoned in the back of my closet.

In my first building attempt I thought I'd outsmart the enclosed screws, using double-sided wall tape to put the brackets on the walls.

Needless to say, I had barely descended from the ladder as the plastic and wood pieces came crashing down, snowing little splinters of white plaster in my hair.

Expletive number one.

I threw away the now un-sticky tape and opened the bag of screws.  This detail may be obvious, but I do not own a screwdriver.  Or a hammer.  Or really anything that one would need to construct something.

I aligned a single screw in a bracket and attempted to screw it in with my fingers.  Nothing.  I pounded on the top of the screw with an aluminum Sigg waterbottle, forcing it into the wall.  Success! I finished screwing it in with a tweezers and an eyebrow scissors and repeated for the second side.  The brackets had room for two screws, but the wooden shelf balanced with just one, so yet again, I had outsmarted Ikea.

I aligned some boots on top and ran out to show my roommate my handiwork. Before I could even Instagram my project, two screws, more plaster snow, and five very stylish pairs of shoes flew off the wall, over my head, and into my bed. Awesome.

Retiring from my short-lived carpentry career, I began stuffing my winter shoes into my storage unit, a far easier task than making more storage space.

As I stuffed in my last pair of boots behind my duffle bag, I found a few screws and other metal things leftover from my dad's furniture building last year.

I ate a cupcake, and climbed the ladder again, this time placing the brackets slightly closer together, and using two screws on each side, following the bottle-hammer, hand-screwing, tweezer-tightening method. I put the board on top, added some folded sweaters, and voila!  The shelf was built, and has stayed up for days!

my shelf


Beyonce: Life is But a Dream. Or Not.

February 16th was marked on my calendar for months, the day that Beyonce's documentary would finally be released on HBO.  I was expecting an even better version of Selena, with the pop star playing herself and not getting shot in the end.  Unfortunately, my time would have been better spent re-watching Dreamgirls. Or perhaps even Never Say Neverwhich I will unashamedly admit I saw in theaters two years ago and was far more interested in than this made-for-TV tell-all-but-not-that-much film.

A better title for this hour and a half of video content would have been "Skyping with Beyonce: In Your Dreams."  Over 90 minutes, I had some awkwardly intimate moments with Queen B and her webcam, as she explained how normal and human she is, even though her career/fame/beauty&talent are anything but normal. She admits to being annoyed that everyone is brainwashed by a computer. But she's always in front of her computer. Always.

Beyonce claims she, "Chose being honest over being cool."  I'm not quite sure what that means, but I like it.  She also claims that "People don't make albums anymore."  They don't?  What have I been listening to? This dishonest statement makes me question the former.

“Money gives men the power to define our values, to define what’s sexy, what’s feminine. And that’s bullshit.”

Beyonce, without actually using the f-word, declares herself an ardent feminist, who will not let her values and decisions be decided by men because they have more money and power.  Very nice.  So why are all of your costumes so slinky?  Seriously, almost every performance sampled in the film, Beyonce rocked some Flashdance inspired outfits that just as well could have come from a high class strip club wardrobe.  (Except for the purple sequin blazer scene.  That was awesome).  But seriously?  I understand there's a certain image she needs to portray in order to achieve and maintain her level of celebrity, but this "Independent Woman" singer has yet to show us her definition of sexy femininity outside of the male expectations.

Beyonce has daddy issues. This was established.  While a few cute childhood clips and Destiny's Child rehearsals made the 90 minutes more entertaining, this was far from the Beyonce life story.  Instead, the film was very much a portrait of Beyonce's life now, which I care about a little bit, but who doesn't love a good rise to fame story?  I reiterate, Never Say Never had a more compelling plot.

My favorite part was not the sappy speech she makes while sitting on a boat and listening to Feist, even though that seems like all anyone is talking about, but watching her rehearse in the hallway of her hotel room to music playing though her laptop was one of the scenes that truly made her feel like a real person.  It didn't need any narration (by herself, obviously) about why she was so average but just really blessed, or any pre-written phrases like "being pregnant is like being in love"  (Is it?  Really?), it just spoke for itself.  It was so normal.  And a bit quirky.  And awesome.  And made me want to go dance in my hallway.

The conclusion of Beyonce's much anticipated documentary/autobiographical indulgence film finally reveals Blue Ivy.  And she's adorable!  Of course.  But it makes me wonder if the whole project was a clever ploy to introduce baby Carter to her millions of fans?  Whatever. Who cares.  That's one lucky baby...