Msnowe's Blog

Review: Alice James (Jean Strouse)

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on March 7, 2012

Alice James was a tragic yet beautiful soul. You should read about her in this biography.
You can also read about what I thought when I read about her, on Fiction Advocate. I should mention, as a woman living in 2012, I’m still totally jealous of her ability to turn a phrase faster and better than almost anyone I read.

Tagged with: , ,

1980s Movie Titles Help Describe the Current Status of Women’s Rights

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on February 23, 2012

We all loved the 80s, but M.Snowe does not want to go back there, or even farther, as the case may be.

Labia Wars Episode V: The Religious Empire Strikes Back

Raiders of the Lost Vaginal Ark

Aliens in My Hoo-Haa

The Untouchable Part

The Princess Bride of Jesus

Back to the Future, Then Straight Back to the Past Again

This is Spinal Tap but in Your Gonads

Do the Right Thing Unless of Course that Thing is Providing Women Basic Healthcare Needs

The Thing:

The Terminator of 100 years of the Women’s Rights Movement

When Harry Met Sally and Immediately Prepped Her on the Rhythm Method

A Room with a View, a Vaginal Wand, and an Unnecessary Scan of Your Tiny Fetus

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off the Pill

Tagged with: ,

Things One Would No Longer Have to Do to Escape a “Bug a Boo.”

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on February 20, 2012

Things One Would No Longer Have to Do to Escape a “Bug a Boo”**:

–You make me wanna throw my pager out the window
–Tell MCI to cut the phone calls
–I wanna put your number on the call block
–Have AOL make my email stop

Also, a “Bug a Boo” Would No Longer Be:

–Stressin’ me pagin’ my beeper

One Might Still Have to:

–Break my lease so I can move

**Destiny’s Child, The Writing’s on the Wall. This is 1999 folks.

Tagged with: ,

This is all “it all” is.

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on January 25, 2012

Via the New York Times:

Are women bad at setting goals for themselves — or setting themselves the wrong goals?

The standard I-want-to-lose-weight resolution of my female friends is indicative of a common misconception, and I am as guilty of it as any of the ambitious alpha-females I’ve come across in my generation. We were raised to believe that we could actually have it all: A stellar career, a happy family and time for a social life and that crucial workout.

Ambitious men tend to be more focused: They want that stellar career.

Heather McGregor, aka Mrs. Moneypenny, an entrepreneur, broadcaster and columnist at The Financial Times, has just published what might be described as a self-help book for would-be successful women titled “Mrs. Moneypenny’s Careers Advice for Ambitious Women.”

Asked recently to sum it up in a phrase, she said: “You can’t have it all.”

First, what the fuck is this mysterious “it all”? Sure, we could list a bunch of things that people, individually or in groups, might decide to lump into the two-word phrase: a career, a family, good health, a home, etc., and so on. But already, we’re on ridiculously shaky ground when we decide to pinpoint what that means for every living human who sets eyes on this article.

But “it all” seems to also mean=all the stuff that men have that women don’t seem to have, or aren’t as able to get, as easily. But why do we always, without fail, throw this “it all” rhetoric specifically at women, instead of looking at the possible reasons: the basic facts of inequality in the workplace, at home, and in the culture at large?

No one is asking groups that are more obviously prejudiced against why they don’t “have it all.” When was the last time you heard someone ask a Latino man, “hey, why don’t you have it all?” Or, when was the last time you read an article about how a gay couple “just can’t seem to have it all”? That question can answer itself: racism, homophobia, hate, discrimination in general, an unfriendly legislature, the list goes on.

Here’s a newsflash: the human condition is one of constant want. If asked on the street, most people would love to have “more,” of something they already want. We are not all toddling monoliths that can Hoover everything in mouth-range like a Stay Puft marshmallow man, so the idea that anyone in reality could “have it all,” man or woman, is a delusion. And whether or not that’s what the phrase literary translates to, it’s setting up every single person who prescribes to it for incredible failure.

To me, it seems that the image of juggling, and telling women they either should or shouldn’t hope for “it all” does nothing but distract everyone, and somehow makes women less equal. No one (or at least, far fewer people) asks a man who acquires all the conventionally impressive accomplishments how he “does it all.” He just fucking does what he likes, and has fewer barriers than women to do it. And guess what, he probably still wants a ton of other things he doesn’t have.


**Also, ten bucks to the first person who manufactures or finds me a t-shirt that says “I wanted to have it all, but all I got was this stupid t-shirt.”


Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on January 20, 2012

So, which books are written by which former/current GOP Presidential hopeful?

Match the numbered book with the candidate. (Answer key below for cheaters)


A. Michele Bachmann

B. Herman Cain

C. Newt Gingrich

D. Ron Paul

E. Rick Perry

F. Mitt Romney

G. Rick Santorum


1. Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games [A warm up, not a trick question, and not Jon Huntsman–he’s written no books!]

2. Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less: A Handbook for Slashing Gas Prices and Solving Our Energy Crisis [Guzzle, guzzle, pocket Exxon donations, guzzle, guzzle.]

3. End the Fed [See what he did there? Clever, clever.]

4. It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good [Surprisingly, not Romney]

5. Never Call Retreat: Lee and Grant: The Final Victory [OMG 2 subtitles!]

6.The Ron Paul Family Cookbook [A trick question??]

7. Core of Conviction [Like, molten lava core, a crazy Midwestern core, or creamy Cadbury core?]

8. No Apology: The Case for American Greatness [America never apologizes.]

9. This is Herman Cain!: My Journey to the White House [A trick question? If you’ve forgotten your author, remember–look down at the title!]

10. On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts are Worth Fighting For [A memoir from Catholic prison, by Father O’Leary?]

11. Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington [I liked the other guy’s Fed title better…]

12. They Think You’re Stupid [The literary equivalent of an “I’m with stupid” t-shirt]

13. 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours [Hint: Those principles didn’t actually work for us!]

14. Rediscovering God in America: Reflections on the Role of Faith in Our Nation’s History and Future [Published by “Integrity House”?]

15. A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship [ZOOMFG, China, let’s like lunch sometime, OK? Luv u!

Answer key below the stars







1. F Romney

2. C Gingrich

3. D Paul

4. G Santorum

5. C Gingrich

6.D Paul [NOT a trick question, but what the hell are they eating?]

7. A Bachmann

8. F Romney

9. B Cain

10. E Perry

11.E Perry

12. B Cain

13.C Gingrich [with coauthor Jackie Gingrich Cushman, i.e. the first of his two ex-wives.]

14.C Gingrich
15. D Paul [Ronnie: “China is such a total bitch”]
Tagged with: ,

Books 2011. Books 2012?

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on January 3, 2012

Books M.Snowe read (i.e. that she remembers reading) in 2011, unranked, randomly listed, and without comment:

The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides

The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides

A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin

A Clash of Kings, George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin

Bossypants, Tina Fey

Cleopatra, Stacy Schiff

The Uncoupling, Meg Wolitzer

A Short History of Women, Kate Walbert

The Metropolis Case, Matthew Gallaway

Mission Street Food, Myint and Leibowitz

Slammerkin, Emma Donaghue

The Pursuit of Love, Nancy Mitford

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot

A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan

Anywhere but Here, Mona Simpson

The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl

Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon

Veronica, Mary Gaitskill

Foreign Bodies, Cynthia Ozick

Alice James: A Biography, Jean Strouse

The Dud Avocado, Elaine Dundy

Suggestions for 2012?

Tagged with: ,

Elf on a Shelf

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on November 29, 2011

Recently, through a five-year old relative, M.Snowe found out about an “interactive” toy/book product for little ones called “Elf on the Shelf.” Perhaps this has existed for years, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it or heard of it. Here’s the Elf’s “story.”

So let me summarize: You read your kid the book about the Elf. You give the Elf a name, and then it magically acquires some sort of “Christmas Magic.” This Magic allows it to travel back to Santa every night, and REPORT BACK TO SANTA WHAT AN ASSHOLE YOUR KID IS. Also, if the child touches the Elf, they are warned it will LOSE ALL IT’S SPECIAL MAGIC and there will be no Christmas gifts. The Elf travels back to the owner’s house and magically appears in a different location in the morning.

Okay, so maybe these mind games aren’t on par with the Little Albert experiments or anything, but M.Snowe still finds it a bit perverse.

As with all perversities, let’s come up with some other, perhaps more adult-oriented, options:

JoePa on the Sofa–supposedly a nanny cam to make sure your babysitter isn’t feeling up your kids. (This toy was recalled a few months ago.)

Illegal on the Beagle–This underpaid worker disappears at night to take that job at the seven-eleven you wouldn’t condescend to take, even though your damned dog is totally starving.

Pepper Spray Cop on the Laptop— Every time you visit, you’re basically asking for a capsicum shower.

Chupacabra on the Candelabra–I’m just saying, look up when you enter the room.

The Terminator on the ‘Frigerator–He’ll be back…for your Häagen-Dazs.

Tagged with:

Other Things I Would Enjoy Seeing Cut Out of Bella Swan’s Uterus

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on November 22, 2011

  • A vampire baby eating another baby vampire
  • John Boehner’s disembodied head
  • A cogent, leftist argument against the human rights and constitutional violations that would necessarily accompany any passing of a “Personhood Amendment”
  • A clone of Bella, except one with an actual personality and a will to fucking live
  • A temperamental ferret
  • A black swan
  • A sobbing Twi-Mom
  • A delicious Thanksgiving dinner
  • A new, actually super, Super Committee
  • Arya Stark, sword in hand
  • More jobs?
  • Buffy
  • Some crazy shit out of a Goya painting
  • Two free tickets to The Book of Mormon
  • A signed, first edition copy of Bunnicula
  • 283.5 Million Dollars

The Marriage Plot, Hipster Book Club

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on November 3, 2011

Good day, fair readers. A bittersweet day, alas.

The good news is, my review of Jeff EugenidesThe Marriage Plot is up on Hipster Book Club. Anyway, you should read that book, and then we should argue about it. It was a strange read for me, as I experienced two very different higher-learning literature departments–an undergrad program very much connected to tradition, the classics and old school interpretation, and a grad school committed to a strong knowledge of semiotics and deconstruction (personally, the deconstructionist arguments, while engaging thought experiments, felt more out of date than the classic lit. crit. thinkers of old, but msnowe digresses). Eugenides’ book is absolutely wonderful reading, and at the end, reader, I blush to admit to you that I got emotional, which is almost never the case. All that said, you should read it so we can talk/fight about it, because as much as I was engaged, I don’t feel like Madeleine (the main female character among two main male characters) got a fair femilady treatment. Let’s just say the book fails the Bechdel test. But damn, it was a good book. But, damn!

In other, sad news, Hipster Book Club is shuttering its online doors after this month. This  is very sad, indeed, especially for me, as I was just getting comfortable with the reading and reviewing and working with the wonderful editors. Do yourself a favor and check out the review archives on the site.

On to bigger and hopefully better things!

Things that aren’t related but maybe should be.

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on September 22, 2011

[Dana, possessed by “The Gatekeeper,” answers the door]
Dana Barrett: Are you the Keymaster?
Dr. Peter Venkman: Not that I know of.
[She slams the door in his face. Venkman knocks again]
Dana Barrett: Are you the Keymaster?
Dr. Peter Venkman: Yes. Actually I’m a friend of his, he asked me to meet him here.

Ghostbusters, 1984

“‘Good Evening, Sir, I am your Bunny, Marie. May I see the member’s key, please? Are you the keyholder or is this a borrowed key? Thank you. Now I’ll be happy to take your order.’ No deviation allowed. I wondered if the uniformity ever  bored the customers. ‘Is there anything else I can get you, Mr. Jones?’ ‘Thank you, Mr. Jones, come back and see us again.’ I was being programmed.”

–Gloria Steinem,”I Was a Playboy Bunny,” 1963