Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day late, bit short

I'm moving into the busiest time of the year at work right now, so this is a day late and a bit short. Just a round-up of the things I'm thinking about right now.

I don't think that women are giving cultural space to express anger the way that men are. I'm impressed that "Avatar: The Last Airbender" devoted an entire episode to a woman exploring her anger over the murder of a family member, without deriding or diminishing that anger as cute, funny, or something that needed to be fixed.

Ed Brubaker was the only writer who really did Catwoman justice. All other writers failed miserably at portraying her as an interesting and complex character who had much more going on than just "teh sex."

I'm disappointed that Congress couldn't pass even a modest gun control act. I'm also disappointed that if and when immigration reform goes through, it is still going to be heavily connected to the employment status of undocumented immigrants. People are more than their perceived "usefulness" to the marketplace.

The pears are really good this year. Yesterday, I bit into a pear and it shot juice straight up my nose.

My radio show is done for the spring season! We won't be having a summer season because the station no longer has a mixing board. Also, we can't find any students who can commit to being monitors for us, and without monitors, there is no show. They make it all happen, I literally can't even turn on my own microphone.

This time of year, because of all the paperwork we handle in the office, I dream about names. Just names and names and names running past my eyes all night long. It reminds me of the one time I took magic mushrooms and hallucinated that my body turned into very fancy text. Except work isn't as frightening and it puts money in my pocket instead of taking it away.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Dear Internet,

When I'm reading an online wiki about a cartoon I like, don't give me pop-up ads for addiction treatment centers in Pennsylvania.

I find it especially rude that you wait until I'm three hours and sixty-seven wiki entries deep into my cartoon research before the ads start appearing. I don't appreciate the implication.


Big Island Rachel

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Horse Day!

Today was Horse Day!

Every April, the institute brings a couple of horses onto campus for the students to draw. I can't pretend that Horse Day isn't one of my favorite secular holidays. Look at them.
Seriously--look at them!
I got to pet them and feed them hay and brush their dusty coats and you can and should be jealous!

A little known fact about Hawaii is that we have a big cowboy culture, and not just because of all the scenes in romantic movies where the couple goes riding on the beach at sunset. The Hawaiian cowboy, or paniolo, actually predates the American cowboy, or at least that's what they told us in middle school one year when we had a paniolo-themed May Day.
First black president. First cowboys. New Yorkers are right, why the hell did I ever leave?
My family never owned any horses, but we always knew people that did. Horseback riding on someone's ranch was an annual or semi-annual activity, along with the Naalehu Rodeo. And one time I got to hand out the ribbons at a quarterhorse show! That was a lot of fun, although I accidentally left the gate to the ring open and a runaway horse ran through with a teenager on its back, and I feel really bad about it to this day, even if no one was hurt.

(Maybe that post I wrote about almost losing my finger in the subway makes a little more sense now.)

A lot of my riding was done with the Girl Scouts, and I probably have a badge or two in horsemanship lying around my mum's storage boxes somewhere. If I do, they should be revoked. I'm a hopeless failure as a horsewoman.
My OKCupid picture is photoshopped! PHOTOSHOPPED!
You see, I like horses. But I like horses a little too much. As soon as I get up on the back of a horse, I go all soft and melty inside, because I love their soft fur and their warm flanks and the smell of their manes and their soft, soft noses when they nuzzle my hands for carrots. I'm a pushover for horses, and they can sense that. Horses are smart. Perceptive. And kind of lazy. They know I'm not going to be mean and make them work. So I get up on their backs and they immediately walk into the bushes and start eating.

This happens literally every time I go riding. I always have to be rescued from wooded thickets by the trailmaster or the trailmaster's kid because I cannot control a horse, and their animals, so they take advantage of me and do what they really want to do: stuff their horsy gobs with weeds. I like to think they're sweet, precious creatures whose domestication represents simultaneously the march of civilization and the call of freedom in the wilderness. But really, they just want to eat and not have to work. They're like enormous cats with better-smelling poops.

The last time I went riding, in the winter of 2012, my horse was such a jerk that she didn't even eat the soft, pretty ti leaves--she ate reams of nasty hitchhiker vines and whipped their seeds all over my legs, so I had to spend the next day in the driveway with a butterknife, scraping the stickers out of my jeans and shoelaces. She didn't even have enough respect for my authority  to stay out of the brambles. I'm lucky we made it back home and she didn't just ditch me on Kaloko Road and make me walk back to the ranch.

So really, it's better for me to experience horses the New York way: at art school, in the rose garden, with the sleeves of my blazer pushed above my elbows so I don't get too dusty on my lunch hour. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

No pedestrian bridge for me

I had a thought as I was falling asleep the other night: "Now's about the right time for me to be turned into a vampire. I'm still good-looking enough."

Random feedback from the ghost in the machine.

Last night, R and I went out to dinner and walked along the Brooklyn Promenade. After the winter that just wouldn't fucking die, it's finally about 50 degrees and actually a pleasure to be outside, instead of simply a task to be endured. We wanted to walk on the new pedestrian bridge that goes from the Promenade to Brooklyn Bridge Park, jumping over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to Pier 1. (The picture on my blog sidebar of shirtless dude lounging in a crowd of people on the grass is BBP Pier 1.) As we stepped on the pedestrian bridge, R squealed, "Oh, it bounces! I like that!"

I replied, "I don't like it. I'm getting off." And I ran back the way we came.

So we didn't get to cross the pedestrian bridge. But we did do something even more dangerous later that night: go to a bar in Bedstuy. As soon as we got of the G Train, R said that I'd better know where I'm going, otherwise she was flagging the first cab out of there. Ha! Jokes on her, there are no cabs in Bedstuy. But I did know where I was going, and we had a good time at a birthday party for another friend in Project Parlor. There was a pinata and everything.

That's all, really. Move along, nothing else to see here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Station Identification

We pause now for station identification.

You are reading Big Island Rachel on I'm Rachel and I'm from the Big Island of Hawaii. I live in Brooklyn now. Most of the people who read this blog are my family members and they already know all this.

I have a book review blog over at that I update on Saturdays. I have a college radio show called the Rodent Hour. We broadcast at 8PM Tuesday nights and you can listen to us online anywhere in the world. Local New York bands play a live set, we interview them, we each some chili, and everyone goes home happy and has trouble getting up for work the next morning.

Recurring characters on my blog are my boyfriend, the BF; his brother Big Scientist, BS; my friend R; Mum, Sister and Daddio; and co-workers designated titles like A, M, Tall Boss, and Big Boss. Recurring themes are feminism, comic books, and life in Brooklyn, New York.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

I like Catwoman.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Oh, lord, the BF's big brother and his wife had a baby. Get ready to feel all the feelings.

We were down in Washington D.C. this weekend for the baby's naming ceremony and damned if I didn't look at that newborn in my lap and immediately decide, "I WANT ONE!" Every instinct in my animal brain kicked in and I wanted nothing more than to get as many of them as I could and raise them all to be successful apex predators that rule over all the other creatures in the jungle.
This is my biological clock.
Fortunately, the part of me that wears clothes and reads books and folds the towels properly so the edges don't show--the civilized part, in other words--knows better than to get myself a baby right now. What would I do with it? I couldn't even let it sleep in a drawer because my dresser is too close to the radiator and the drawers can't open all the way. If I barely have room for the dresser that holds my socks and porn, I definitely don't have room for a tiny human. No matter how cute and squishy they may be. (So cute, y'all. So cute.)

Plus, as my old friend Dean says, "I thought about having a kid, but then decided I wasn't that hungry."
This is Dean.
Seriously, though, the BS's daughter is adorable. I'm not going to post pictures, because she's too young to have an Internet footprint, but trust me, she's great. The BF and I got her a Totoro stuffed toy and a copy of "My Neighbor Totoro," in anticipation of the day when she's old enough to watch movies. We figured "Totoro" is the least annoying of kids movies for the parents to have to watch over and over and over again, as all children, including myself, insist on doing.
Entirely tolerable.
Also, at her naming ceremony, I got to put the sweater and crown back on the Torah scroll and "accidentally" slap the BF in the face with the scroll belt. Religion is fun!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy Passover!

Damn, missed another Sunday post. I'd say it was due to religious reasons, but the truth is, I was just hungover and didn't want to make the effort. On the other hand, I was hungover for religious reasons. So really, God wanted me to miss a post, and all the people who were waiting anxiously to experience my special brand of wit and poetic flavor need to take it up with the big sparkly one upstairs.
That's Mr. Sparkle to you!
Last week was Passover. The BF and I had two Seders to attend this year, which is great news for my social life and bad news for my liver, as four cups of wine must be consumed during the ceremony. I'm completely out of practice for a mandatory drinking event and probably should have had a training montage beforehand instead of just waltzing in and pounding manischewitz like it's a genetically engineered Russian.
The first Seder was at the BF's folks' apartment. I wore a modest navy blue frock and didn't swear in front of the children. The second Seder, the one that interrupted regular Sunday blogging, I wore polka-dots, threw water on God, called Pharaoh a bitch, and led my people across the Red Sea so that nothing bad would ever happen to the Jews ever again.
Between then and this, nothing but sunshine.
My friend R comes from a theater family, so her new tradition--
Sorry, it's compulsory. R's new tradition is to do a Seder play, where instead of just reading about the liberation of the Jews from Egypt, her guests act it out. I got to be Moses this year, hence the throwing of the water on the guest who played Burning Bush God, which is a far more sensible reaction to finding God on fire than Moses taking off his shoes (which is what actually happens in the scripture during that sequence. I may not know Hebrew but I'm not a total goy). I think I made a pretty good Moses, even if my voice is high and squeaky and nothing like Charlton Heston's.

Next time, though, I think I'm going to be Pharaoh and let the BF be Moses. That way, when he's all, "Let my people go!", I'll be all, "Make me, you staff-wielding peasant." And he'll be like, "I'm going to beat you with my staff!" And I'll say, "Ooo, not the staff, my delicate royal skin bruises so easily!" And he'll say, "You've been naughty, Pharaoh, and you know what we do to naughty gods-in-mortal-form out in the desert." The safety word will be placemat, and--

Wait, what am I thinking? R would never allow ad-libbing at her table. Or on or under her table. We'll just have to stick to the script. I think there's some light bondage in Scene 2 I can work with.