Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Location: United States

Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Weekend Web Digest: Shopping and Videos

Though I still have plenty of things that need doing, I have slightly fewer of them than I've had for a while. I should be using this weekend to catch up with all the people whose emails and phone calls have gone unanswered (or under-answered) during the past few months and the blogs that have gone unread for the past few weeks, but I have a serious case of being just flat worn out, and I do not feel at all like doing anything substantive. I also spent nearly $700 on my poor, mistreated truck today and therefore am feeling the need for consolation. So the frivolity continues.

I've done a bit of bargain shopping (fortunately for my bank account, this has been more about looking than about actual buying) and discovered Sparkletime Art Glass, where one can buy handmade, double-sided glass pendants like the one I've shown above, which has Snow White's wicked stepmother on one side and her magic mirror on the other. There's also a pendant featuring Isabella weeping over her pot of basil, Lillith and her owl, Marie Laveau and a rooster, Eleanor of Aquitaine and a white stallion, and many others just as wonderful ($12.99 each, plus shipping).

I also found Bleedingheartbaby's store, where inexpensive ($9.99 or less) handmade necklaces feature everything from Bettie Page with her claws out to cameos of Poe and a kitschy cartoon of a blonde bathing beauty getting carried off by a robot.

Possibly even more glorious, however, is my discovery of Sock Dreams, which may actually live up to its claim to be "the best sock store in the known universe." I have a thing for funky socks and tights, so I'll probably be visiting fairly often--especially since they offer free first-class shipping on orders placed within the U.S.! Not only does this site have fantastic socks and hoisery, but they also have gloves, petticoats, arm and leg warmers, and garters for socks and thigh-highs. Boy Roomie ordered a pair of checkerboard socks from the men's selection; photos of what I bought show up at the top of this entry (for only about $20!). I think I showed marvelous self-restraint, given that I was imagining these and these combined with one of the Stop Staring! dresses I posted about on Wednesday. Once I get my next paycheck, I may well buy a pair of these "Showgirl Fishnets" with their wonderful padded feet.

I also have been gettin' my nostalgia on over at YouTube. I ask you, ladies: can you deny that you seriously wanted Aimee Mann's hair in 1985? And did you know there was an even angstier follow-up video to "Voices Carry"?

Other highlights:

  • Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Better Be Home Soon" (Now, if somebody would only post the video for "Something So Strong," which singlehandedly sparked my massive, raging crush on Neil Finn . . . )
  • Simply Red, "Holding Back the Years" (I still adore this song), "Money's Too Tight to Mention," and "If You Don't Know Me By Now"
  • INXS, "Never Tear Us Apart"
  • Bon Jovi, "Wanted Dead or Alive" (Get out those cigarette lighters, people! You know you want to have them lit by the time Jon sings, "I walk these streets, a loaded six-string on my back / I play for keeps, 'cause I might not make it back.")
  • Heart, "These Dreams" (at the apex of their uber-80s glam rock makeover, complete with huge hair and smoke machines), "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" (if there's a better song about using hitchhikers as sperm donors, I sure don't know about it), and "Barracuda" (live)
  • Prince, "Kiss" and "Little Red Corvette" (Live! On "Solid Gold"!)
  • Howard Jones, "No One Is to Blame," "What Is Love," and "Things Can Only Get Better" (Yep. I am from New Wave Old Skool. In fact, I was in this man's fan club. Every once in a while "HoJo" sent us new things he was working on or Christmas songs on those thin, temporary vinyl records that used to show up in special editions of magazines.)
  • Tears for Fears, "Shout" (I think the video really should've ended with the apotheosis of Roland Orzabal's synthesizer.)
  • Simple Minds, "Don't You Forget About Me"
  • Devo, "Whip It" (Just your average New Wave strip party down on the ranch. With weird pyramidal hats, of course.)
  • Dead or Alive, "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" (Boy Roomie reminded me of this one, which is truly a classic. The lead singer makes a rather sad attempt at being a Boy George impersonator, though he strikes a blow for individuality by wearing an eye patch. But beware: He will try to hypnotize you with his swiveling hips! Perhaps he has succeeded with his bandmates, which would explain their vacant stares and passivity as they're alternately tied up and serve as human flag poles. Watch as the gold lame whips around in the wind tunnel! Marvel as Pseudo-George's hair barely moves!)
  • Madonna, "Express Yourself" (Crotch grabbing! Wet cats! Factory-floor calisthenics! What's not to like?)
  • Cyndi Lauper, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" (Love the red dress) and "She Bop" ("They say I better get a chaperone / 'Cause I can't quit messin' with the danger zone.")
  • Culture Club, "Karma Chameleon" (The boys take on a riverboat gambler in 19th-century Mississippi. Seriously, who came up with these ideas? Because I want to send them flowers.)
  • OMD, "If You Leave"
  • Eurythmics, "Sweet Dreams" (It simply is not possible to be cooler than Annie Lennox is here, but can anybody explain the cows?)
  • Dream Academy, "Life in a Northern Town"
  • A-Ha, "Take On Me" (This has got to be one of the most excellent videos ever made, featuring troubled love with a cartoon and wrench-wielding bad guys) and the follow-up video, "The Sun Always Shines on TV."
  • The Cure, "Just Like Heaven" (This song never gets old. Never. But I must admit that, when I first saw this, I mistook Robert Smith's hair for a shrub in the scene where he's lying down near the cliffs.)
  • Tina Turner, "Private Dancer"
  • The Police, "Don't Stand So Close to Me" (featuring a behind-the-desk strip tease, as well as mortarboards and angel wings) and "Wrapped Around Your Finger" (So many candles that Sting has to wear shades!)
  • Soft Cell, "Tainted Love" (Dude! Flaming, polka-dotted succubi!)
  • Sinead O'Connor, "Nothing Compares 2 U"
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Don't Come Around Here No More" (Remember Tom Petty as the Mad Hatter? And Alice getting served up as cake?)
  • Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "I Hate Myself for Loving You," and "Cherry Bomb." (Uh, okay. Maybe Joan Jett actually trumps Annie Lennox.)
  • Journey, "Don't Stop Believing'" (Emote, Steve Perry! Emote! I once--no lie--made an entire class full of people perform half of an aerobics routine to this song. I figured that, if I had to do something as miserable as taking an aerobics class for credit in college, I'd better damn well have a good time doing it at least once.)
  • Depeche Mode, "Master and Servant" (The other half of the aerobics routine was to this. And yes, faux-whipping motions were involved.)

And, for good measure, there's this astonishing and hilarious 1946 Disney short on the wonders of menstruation.


UPDATE: I'm beginning to wonder whether I could write a conference paper in which I compare the aesthetics of DM's "Personal Jesus" video with the mysticism of, say, Margery Kempe . . . .

And that is how I definitively know that I've watched too many of these in a three-day period.