Category Archives: Blah Blah Blah

Uteruses Before Duderuses: Happy Galentine’s Day!

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To the delight and/or horror of people around the globe, February 14 is upon us.

Treat yo' self!

It’s like Lillith Fair minus the angst — plus fritatas. – Leslie Knope

This day can only mean one of two things:

You’re in a relationship and you are celebrating in high style with your snugglebum or…you’re sitting at home on the couch bemoaning your “single” status with Chinese takeout, a bottle of booze and a cardboard heart of half-eaten chocolates and shame.

Or, like me, you could take a tip from Leslie Knope and have a Galentine’s Day with a lady friend.

Treat yo’ self!

 

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Chick-Rock: 90s Style

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The 90s alternative music scene was the place to be if you were a girl with vocal chops, guitar-shredding skills and a bad ass attitude. A high angst quotient didn’t hurt either. 

And what a decade for fashion.

It was like a 1960s-era Las Vegas lounge club exploded and managed to pull some bits of the 40s and 70s into the blast. I still remember the silver holographic spandex tank top I bought along with the white pleather jacket with enough (faux) lambs wool trim for a small Tibetian village.

Baggy jeans and one-size-too-small tees? Lipstick so marroon your lips were perma-stained? FLANNEL?  Oh…and let’s not forget the mini-skirts and knee-high tights!  I so belonged in a grrrrl band (or on the Sunset Strip — the jury is still out on that).

Fur fur fur fur fur. Hell, it was the 90s.

See that furry thing that Kate Moss is sporting? I owned something similar and it made my 17 year-old heart feel quite fashionable. Looking back on it today, I probably looked more like a runaway prostitute than a fashion model.

Let it also be known that the 80s fashion trends are swiftly turning their eye to the grungy 90s. Prepare yourself for jean shorts with tights, matte lipstick galore, distressed leather jackets, combat boots with dresses and lots and lots of P-L-A-I-D. Most of this is already a thing but the South is slow to respond. I guess we like to think it over before we jump onto the fashion train.

The one thing I will not miss are mom jeans. No matter how tiny your waist or tight your tush, no one looks good in mom jeans, but apparently they are popular in Buenos Aires.

Between seeing what is emmerging this spring on the runway, hearing that The Breeders are touring again, and watching Clueless this weekend (a young Paul Rudd — I mean hello!) I have become fondly reminiscent about one of my favorite things from that decade: the music.

So to give you a peek inside my boy-crazed, music-fueled, and hormonal teenage brain, here are some of my favorite chick-led bands from the 90s.

Cause like…girl power is bitchin’ and stuff!

Dear Year Thirty-Three…

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“All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.” – George Harrison

Dear Year Thirty-Three,

I have a few requests, thoughts and ideas for you based on the previous thirty-two years of my life.

Request #1: I like all the time we have spent together. I really do. However, I would prefer it if we could just slow down and relax together. Take a breather. Have a chat and some coffee. Be comfortable with silence. Breathe.

Request #2: Being on the “other” side of thirty, I would like it if the gray hair at my temples, the pre-wrinkles around my eyes and the increasing inability to stay up past midnight could be viewed as signs of growth and not aging. I think that’s more on my shoulders than yours, though.

Request #3: Thirty-three is considered a Master Number in Numerology. How about this year we focus on growing toward some of the aspects of the number (compassion, courage and healing) and begin to let go of some of the more banal aspects of life. Again…pretty sure this one is on me.

I know that we take a lot out of each other and it can be draining, so I wanted to give you a few kudos for what you have brought into my life.

Thank You #1: Thank you for simply allowing me to be. I realize that’s more of a thank you to my parents for conceiving me, but still…thanks. Even with the heartaches and headaches of life, I still believe that the world is a marvelous place full of beauty and love. I hope that I will always look at life that way.

Thank You #2: Thank you for bringing hundreds of wonderful people into my life. Some I knew only for a short time while others I have known literally since birth. Everyone has brought something to me, whether it was happiness, sorrow or a combination of the two. I have had conversations that have expanded my way of thinking. I have made memories that will never cease to make me laugh and smile. I have gained and I have lost a fair number of people but I wouldn’t consider my life to be authentic without having a little darkness to balance the light.

Thank You #3: Thank you for never letting me feel “settled”. Thank you for always keeping my mind moving onto something new and different. Thank you for introducing change into my life as a way to keep my roots from getting so deep that I am incapable of movement — even if for a short time some of that momentum seems to take me backward. Thank you for showing me how to let go of things that have served me well but are no longer necessary for the expansion of my consciousness and my potential.

I anticipate the following year and plan to do great and marvelous things on your behalf. I hope that you look at the time that you have given me and overlook my shortcomings, failures and missteps.  These are not setbacks. They are just fuel for the next 33 years.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

E

P.S. Herb Alpert’s “Rise” was the number one song on my birthday back in 1979. This must have been where I got my love of music because I have always thought this song was awesome (and not just because The Notorious B.I.G. sampled it).

Dragon*Con 2012: For The Secret Nerd In All Of Us

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USS Enterprise Dog

I wonder if he can go to warp speed?

Whether you’re a closet Cosplayer or live to dress up like your favorite fictional character — or even think the whole thing is a nerdy waste of time — this video shot at this year’s Dragon*Con in Atlanta is a pretty epic show of fandom force.

I really get into Halloween and love costume parties so I have a feeling I would fit right in at one of these things. I have mad love for people who have imagination and a sense of wonder when it comes to life and these lads and ladies prove that dressing up isn’t just for the kiddos.

Props to the people who dressed up like Jareth The Goblin King and Sarah from Labyrinth.

Hearing a remix of “Real Hero” by College doesn’t hurt things, either.

Also…Boba Fett in a red Borat bathing suit @4:02.

What else could you ask for?

Holy 1960s Television Apocalypse, Batman!

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Is that your battarang or are you just happy to see me?

“We found that just by the way we stood, affected women dramatically, and if you look at our show, you’ll see that we always stood with our legs open our fists on hips and our bat bulges forward, which had a profound effect on women!” – Burt Ward

I found a few of my favorite clips from perhaps the most ridiculously awesome show ever to ever grace American television: Batman.

 

I watched the hell out of it when I was a kid (thank heavens for syndication) and for some odd reason I always wanted to be Robin. So much to the point that my mom made me a yellow cape with a large “R” sewn onto it.

Don’t ask me why I chose his lame ass as a role model. Maybe I just wanted to wear tiny green shorts and a black mask on my face.

“You shake a pretty mean cape, Batman!”

If he were my partner I’d have to kill him with my battarang.

What…there’s no such thing as shark repellent?

And le’ts not forget this little gem: http://holysmokesbatman.com/

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

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Ray Bradbury

“The books are to remind us what asses and fool we are. They’re Caeser’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caeser, thou art mortal.’ Most of us can’t rush around, talking to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.” [Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451]

While I can’t say I’ve read all of Bradbury’s books or short stories, the one I can vouch for is Fahrenheit 451.

It was one of those “required” books that I read because I had to, but that isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it. I think perhaps the only book I was ever made to read for school that I did not enjoy at all was Animal Farm. Somehow it just didn’t work for me and I loathed even picking it up (and this coming from the girl who actually enjoyed reading The Good Earth).

The idea of talking animals just rubbed me raw. I would have preferred them to be human. I did like Charlotte’s Web, though, and read it several times. I guess I just prefer dancing pigs to talking porcine revolutionaries.

It didn’t help much that no one explained to me that it was a freaking treatise on the evils of Stalinism and how absolute power corrupts absolutely. I just thought it was a barn yard full of talking animals. Way to go, public education!

Upon hearing of Bradbury’s death I decided to read 451 again but I’ll have to buy another copy. I lent mine to someone in college and it never found it’s way back to me. I honestly can’t even remember who I gave it to but hopefully it still resides on a bookshelf and is repeatedly taken down, read lovingly and dog-eared to death.

Books are the stuff of miracles. They transport you to a different place and time and give you an experience that you could not otherwise have. They are one of my first loves and it took me years to be able to actually write in and mark my books. I felt like I was betraying them! They kept me entertained like no fancy device ever could and the way the smelled and felt — especially the older ones — was like holding a bit of history in my hands. They are perfect in every way. I love them.

Fahrenheit 451

“Why is it,” he said, one time, at the subway entrance, “I feel I’ve known you so many years?”
“Because I like you,” she said, “and I don’t want anything from you.” [Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451]

“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
― Ray Bradbury

Where The Wild Things Mourn: Maurice Sendak (1928-2012)

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Maurice Sendak

. . .from their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions. Fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives. They continually cope with frustrations as best they can. And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things. – Maurice Sendak

I heard about Maurice Sendak‘s passing today while listening to NPR’s Morning Edition.

I have to say that it broke a little piece of my heart.

A tiny piece that still believes I’m a seven year-old sitting in the floor of the library at Webster Elementary listening to Mrs. Gonce reading Where The Wild Things Are  for about the fortieth time.

I was a pretty voracious reader and could easily spend hours lying on my bed and devouring anything I could get my hands on.

Almost every weekend I would either check-out books from the school library, or if we were out on summer break, I would go to the public library and get books for the summer reading program.

Between playing with my sisters, tromping through the woods with neighborhood kids and the lure of a brand new Nintendo, I still found time to read.

Call me a dork. I don’t mind.

To me, reading was this sort of sacred time when I was able to be alone with my thoughts and absorb these magical words on a page that turned into movies in my head.

I became the characters and felt their emotions, embarking on their journeys of discovery and awakening, and learning more about myself in the process.

Besides Shell Silverstein, Madeline L’Engle, Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis, Sendak was one of the most-read authors from my childhood.

I appreciated these writers for not feeding me the simplified drivel that fills most children’s books. They gave me difficult words, uncomfortable concepts and disturbing mental images — and I loved it all.

Where The Wild Things Are

If there’s anything I’m proud of in my work–it’s not that I draw better; there’s so many better graphic artists than me–or that I write better, no. It’s–and I’m not saying I know the truth, because what the hell is that? But what I got from Ruth and Dave, a kind of fierce honesty, to not let the kid down, to not let the kid get punished, to not suffer the child to be dealt with in a boring, simpering, crushing-of-the-spirit kind of way. – Maurice Sendak

Sendak’s illustrations from Wild Things are something that will always stick with me.

I would stare at them for hours, taking note of the colors and lines and the playful-yet-terrifying personalities of the monsters.

I liked the idea that Max could get so close to these grotesque things but still remain strong enough in his own mind to avoid being eaten. He was able to assert his own will (unlike a in his real life) and still be loved.

When Spike Jonze began work on his movie adaptation of Wild Things it was almost more than I could stand. I would scour the internet for photos and interviews, patiently waiting for the day when I would get to see one of my favorite childhood memories come to life.

I was not disappointed.

Between the amazing puppetry, the production design and the music (Arcade Fire and Karen O. from The Yeah Yeah Yeahs) I have a new and more adult understanding of what the book was really about.

It’s amazing how beautifully the original 10 sentences were interpreted into a full-length movie.

It was much darker than I anticipated but then again that’s really what is at the heart of the book.

At an early age, Sendak became acquainted with death and loss, as his extended family was killed during the Holocaust.

His brother Jack, however, understood Sendak’s creative imagination and helped him retain his own sense of self, even as his parents longed for him to be different.

As Sendak well knew, children feel the same emotions as adults.

They feel the same love and joy.

They hurt the same and feel betrayal, loss and despair, just like their parents.

“I said anything I wanted because I don’t believe in children. I don’t believe in childhood. I don’t believe that there’s a demarcation. ‘Oh you mustn’t tell them that. You mustn’t tell them that.’ You tell them anything you want. Just tell them if it’s true. If it’s true you tell them.”

Mr. Sendak, you will be forever cherished by me and countless generations who demand truth, imagination and a certain darkness in their bedtime stories.

Thank you for believing that kids deserve more from their literature than a freshly-scrubbed hero who always does well in school, says “thank you” to his mother and father, and happily eats his broccoli before going to bed without a fight.

That’s an adult’s idea of what a “good” child should do.

That’s an adult giving a moral treatise to an eight year-old and it’s simply not true or real.

Children want to see themselves in their books.

They want honesty.

They want to know that life isn’t all ice cream and puppy dogs and rainbows but that we’re all in it together — and we’ll all survive — even with a few scars and bruises to serve as trophies of experience.

That is truth.