Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prickly stuff

I have never cared for the actress Keira Knightley; she always seems full of herself in interviews. She actually said something once about being "so British" -- as way of explanation for why some of us (presumably stupid Americans) don't "get" her or her bony frame.

She was good in "Love Actually" though, wasn't she?

And now she's gone and made the censors uncomfortable.

From Frogblog, an eco-blog out of New Zealand:

In early April, the UK charity Women’s Aid, which battles domestic violence, released this public service announcement, directed by Atonement director Joe Wright and starring Keira Knightley. Without showing graphic violence you couldn’t see on any crime procedural any night of the week, Wright creates a genuinely disturbing two-minute film that unsettles precisely because it’s shot so straightforwardly.

But now, Clearcast, the body that’s responsible for approving ads for British television, has reportedly decided that the PSA is not suitable for television unless they cut the end. You know, the part with the domestic violence in it.

If that's not coming up for you, here's a link to the commercial on YouTube.

It is shocking, and for me, especially upsetting. But as the blogger writes, it's nothing that millions of people pay to see in movies or watch on TV.

One major finding from the study "Violence on Prime Time Broadcast Television 1998-2006"
by Caroline Schulenburg was:

"Violent scenes increasingly include a sexual element. Rapists, sexual predators and fetishists are cropping up with increasing frequency on prime time programs like Law and Order: S.V.U., C.S.I., C.S.I. Miami, C.S.I. New York, Medium, Crossing Jordan, Prison Break, E.R. and House. "

Why not air the PSA at the same time as these shows air? After all, the kiddies are all in bed by this time, right?

Domestic violence isn't pretty, but it does happen to pretty people - not just "trailer trash" and other ignorant folks low down on the socio-economic ladder.

I'm still not a fan of the actress, but I think she took a good part in this project.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A little home-keeping in the midst of wedding madness

I'm going crazy with wedding stuff right now; so busy that I don't even have time to write about myself! (That's pretty busy.)

I did take the time to notice two lovely flowers blooming right now in our front yard, some sort of iris and a sweet orange gerbera daisy:
Pretty, no?

I wish I could take a decent photo that shows the front yard in all its glory. Kyle really keeps it looking fabulous. I'm so lucky. :)

But before I could appreciate the outdoors this morning, I had the displeasure of facing my nemisis:

The hair-clogged tub drain.

One of the down sides of having long hair is that it eventually falls off your head and collects - everywhere. The bathroom is especially plagued with my hair. And the tub drain is no exception.

I've noticed the water taking longer and longer to drain, and this morning I couldn't take it any more. It's my fault, after all.

Thank goodness for my hero Cheryl Mendelson and her book "Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House." Most of my friends will tell you that I love this book, as I've raved about it in the past. But I can't help it - it's so useful, and written well to boot!

For clearing a slow drain (not a fully stopped-up one), she suggests the following:

1. Start boiling a gallon of water (yes, you'll need a big pot). Get out some baking soda and vinegar.

2.Get as much stuff out of the drain manually as possible. (This is the most disgusting thing ever; I will not go into what hair and soap scum comingle as in a drain.)

3. Pour 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. Then pour 1/2 to 1 cup of household vinegar down after it. This will result in some fizzing, which mechanically breaks up some of the gunk.

4. Cover the drain if possible and let sit for five minutes.

5. Pour the gallon of boiling water down the drain.

Now, like I said, it only works for slow-moving drains - clearing a clogged drain is another post altogether.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I want one!

Yes, I've been slacking as of late. I apologize, and as a filler, I give you the geek-cooliest April Fool gift evah:

Tauntaun sleeping bag

(With thanks to my friend Peter for finding first.)