Sunday, March 28, 2010

Two more months

The knot sent me an email today telling me that it was two months until the wedding. I think the site and their checklists give people this idea of what and how wedding planning should be--something part of that industry. So here is my checklist that grows everyday, but i think it is far less stressful and a lot more fun than mr. knot's

1. help sethy with the wedding favors
2. order those one things
3. order those other things
4. lanterns
5. guest book area at reception site
6. guest book book
7. send out the last wave of invitations
8. wedding reception play list
9. marriage ceremony finalized
10. programs
11. slideshow

maybe i'll just say that's the april to do list; May will bring its own to do's...including moving!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Where is my eye candy?

I was so hopeful last night, and this afternoon my discouragement with our society has resurfaced in another way.
Last night I went to see Joel Salatin (he was in Food Inc. and is this extremely funny character in that movie, while still maintaining ideas about food, farming, and lifestyle that are logical and good. He could be anyone's quirky uncle, grandpa, or father. He seems like a genuinely good guy. (See him here ) He argues about farming and keeping small farms alive. He talks about big government control and how the FDA has so many freaking regulations on things; it's illegal to sell, as he gave his testimony, raw milk to a consenting adult (giving it as a gift is fine, but when money is involved NOOO) He made a hilarious point, that government hasn't made it illegal for two consenting adults to give each other "venereal disease" but selling an adult raw milk is punishable.
He was just so great and encouraging. But I have to think about how different it is to live a life like his. To do such a thing, one has to really research and know where ones food, products, and really, everything one buys comes from. I am far FAR from this. But it's something I want to work on. But behind knowing where things come from, a person needs to know why someone buys something. We need to be wary of what we buy because, there just isn't any ethics in most major corporations (i can't think of one). Salatin brought up that he likes philosophy more than science; he argued that scientists aren't concerned about the "pigness of a pig" they are concerned with making them bigger, fatter, faster. To make profit. Salatin knows and explores and respects creation as it is. (A pig has a shovel on its nose to dig in the mud not to be locked up in a concrete stall.) He tries to leave his world in better shape than he found it.
And that's what's so devastating about what I read today. At Arizona State University in the School of Business, a study ( has found (and you may wonder how I'm making such a large and maybe off topic leap) that plus sized models are "not working" and making viewers feel insecure.
I think this is bull crap. Clearly, if a viewer is used to seeing beautiful skinny girls in magazines, catalogs, and fashion shows (they used to show fashion shows in Express and I used to just feel so awesome shopping in that place) and now suddenly sees a plus sized "normal" looking person in a Dove advertisement, that viewer is not going to feel as good. People look at advertisements to escape. That's the purpose in all its gloss and fabrication. To make you buy into a fantasy. So, now, when you look at a realistic picture and you see that you are just the same--you have nothing to aspire to, nothing to buy into, nothing being fed to you to make you feel "inferior", and you feel completely unsatisfied and utterly insecure.
Where is my eye candy? If I wanted to look at real life I would walk to the park, or to walmart. and that's just depressing!
But what angers me, besides it being so blatantly obvious, is that the study ignores WHY there is bad self esteem. The study seems to shout that the tactic of showing plus sized models (that hasn't been working) hasn't been to eliminate the pressures to look "correct" but to appeal to the audience in a new way and to do the "right thing" by getting rid of the waif trend. If this advertising business was in any way ethical they would own up to the fact that as a business they have created the problem. They have made people obsessed with escapism, with fantasy, and unrealistic ideals, to the point that we will buy anything that will take us away. And to bring it back to Salatin, I feel that some businesses, corporations or what have you, arnt't concerned with the "personness of a person" but only with what will make a person a better consumer.
And this study is soooo convenient, so convenient that I fear it will be justifiable to use the skinnies since "they work" and they actually make the consumer feel better about themselves.

And may I just state that I do not at all disagree with their findings. I'm sure people feel better about seeing skinny models showing products off, I'm sure they increase something but what they call security is the most fragile and temporary sort of security; it's the security in consuming, it's in relying on products and images to guide and control life.

Back in November Reebok started advertising these stupid shoes that are supposed to create lift in a person's butt. They had these terrible commercials to sell them--completely objectifying the curves of a woman and I saw a group on facebook opposed to these commercials. I explored the site a little bit and found a guy who wrote "face it, sex sells." This is something that is completely maddening. So I had to reply to the guy. I just feel that so many have no idea what the problem is because it's soooo normal and accepted. This is what I said. And I think it kind of sums up what I think about most all advertising and consumerism.

sigh. Carl this is so sad. "face it? sex sells?" are you really suggesting that it's okay to "sell sex" just because it makes money. that we are "inevitably" doomed to live in a world that degrades and objectifies women? that this is just the way life is. you may think, it's just shoes. but clearly it is the marketing-- the system of consuming that America sells that masks a bad thing (women = boobs and ass) into looking normal flashy/sexy or funny.
Submitting to the "sex sells" mentality is a scary thing for anyone, since it throws ethics and morals out the window. It is a corrupt idea to think that "if I can make money off of this...let's sell it."
I mean, seriously, prostitution? "Face it, sex sells."

There's got to be something better. so so much better. "leaving the creation in better shape than we found it." God, I hope.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I am taking a little (work) retreat to my parent's house. It's nice. I love how quiet it is and how I can finally get some work done...with really good coffee.

I did my 2D painting journal so i decided to get some pictures together perhaps for the wedding...but I found some really great ones that I just want to post somewhere.

My family is incredible; I had the best childhood growing up due to really strong parental and grandparental presence.

Some of these pictures are just so potent that they overwhelm me. I will explain as I go.

My Grandma and Grandpa Butherus (George and Irva--I have her ring)

My Grandma and Grandpa Cooper (Barbara and Jerry)

My Cooper Grandparents--isn't Grandma beautiful???

Mom (yellow shirt) has a very Brooke face on...and Grandpa has a black eye?

I was born to love horses. (L to R) My aunt Marcia, Grandma, and Mommy (and her tiny horse and doggy)

Mom and Dad get married. Doesn't Grandpa look so cool?

The new Family. (notice how this is the same church my Butherus grandparents got married would have been ideal to get married here, but logistically, I don't think we'd get all our family and friends to Culbertson, Nebraska...but I really like the idea of one church being like a circle: life together begins and ends it was with the Butherus')

My Grandma and her three brothers (l to r) Paul, Frances, and George (her twin. Twins skip a generation, watch out brooke and seth!)

Me and my Grandpa Butherus. Grandpa passed a way a year and a day ago today.

But I have these precious memories and pictures to go to.

Lacey and I got red ribbons. Why did Dustin get the blue? Not fair. ;)

I kind of lost it when I saw this picture. I loved that horse, Arapahoe. And then look at lace in her sweatsuit. And then I realized....that's where Seth proposed. That's when I lost it.

I thought it was such a fancy trick. Millie was my favorite horse; she was all mine.

I am really into family right now. Seth's sister Sarah, just had her baby, Tyler Dean, on Saturday, and his sister Abby, is due in about a week. It's all just so new and overwhelming and extremely moving. I can't wait for the Forwoods to begin.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm doing the best I can

I am an hour from a giant art history test and I've been studying and studying. I need to breath. Seth said something today that helped me alot, about not worrying so much about the grade, or being the best, or anything like that, but letting what happens happen, and doing my best.
I know that I can at least say that, that I'm trying the best I can.

After this test I will be on spring break, which means I'll have some more time to work on wedding stuff. I realized yesterday that I need to simplify some of my ideas or visions of the wedding. I need to reexamine why and what we want to have included in the reception. It's hard not to get caught up in what wedding culture and The Knot says we need to have. This simplification has made that upcoming day seem a bit more clear. I am so excited.

On this subject of simplifying and trying, artwork has been another area in which I need to relax and stop worrying about being "good" or whatever, and instead, learn.

Here are some of my paintings, which i feel are sucessful if only because I am discovering how I paint. I think I really love painting.

#2 Painting: Color (not the final...the cup and cloth has been retouched)
The starts of the second painting: Color
#1: Neutral Painting

Friday, March 5, 2010


I talked alot this morning about what it means to be a feminist. It's a word that gets a bad name and I understand in someways why. I used to call or consider myself one. And perhaps I can still find a lot of good in parts: rejecting worldly pressures to conform to what it means to look "womanly" (makeup all the time...looking perfect all the time...for a guy's buy clothes.) I think the bad part of being "woman" comes from what you have to "buy." And that it's required for the world's approval of an individual woman.
For instance. I think it's bad when a girl feels she has to buy makeup to appear beautiful at all times. That that is the face they have to wear to feel socially appealing. I think that is a sad pressure put on people. I think that cosmetics are probably a bad thing that no one should have to purchase. But. but. but. From being one who threw away her makeup and razors for a few years, I also understand how grooming and adorning oneself isn't necessarily bad. Consuming mindlessly is bad. Advertising and messages about what it means to look "correct" is bad. But rejecting oneself is even worse. Rejecting where one comes from is worse. And I know for me, this is what happened when I deemed myself "feminist."
Sure, I wasn't curvy, dolled up, or shaven, (things that society calls womanly) BUT I was a slave to something completely different and completely worse. I was in bondage to my own insecurity and "uniqueness." The statements that I was trying to make was the only thing that gave me value, so I thought. That was my identity. It was such a selfish mindset. I was only concerned with looking NOT that way, NOT hanging out with those people, and with judging THOSE people.
My worldview was completely reactionary, with nothing grounded in truth.
Now, I shave when I want to, I don't really care if I do or don't, but (even when summer comes around. why is it really that bad to have hairy legs?? i'm lazy, i still don't like showering :) sometimes I like getting dolled up, I like going through the motions, but sometimes I really don't. But arn't these things so arbitrary. so small? Isn't it obvious how these things are more for self gratification and identity. To make oneself feel like their value is in making it obvious just how unique and individual he or she is?
Really I still don't like thinking about men's roles vs women's roles. I think there are differences between men and women but nothing that makes one less or more than the other.

This is a subject I could go on and on about. It's a really hard thing to write about since I feel in someways I could appear to contradict myself. But I don't really care about that. That's all I have to say right now.

I have more. but later