Flip Through

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not another list!

Actually, yes. Another list. See, I was inspired by TR's latest list and decided to create my own. With better grammar. And better entries. I mean, I love Malcolm Reynolds and Apollo from BSG is so hot it makes me cry, but I can see where they would not be so great to pursue a long-term relationship with. I also like lady-heroes and, given the opportunity and proper circumstances, would probably not turn them down. Let's lust in equal opportunity, and for Nice People, shall we? Therefore I give you Ten Heroes That Nerds Want To Date (And Why They Should).

10. Mr. Miracle: AKA Scott Free, Mr. Miracle is a bona fide sweetie, a freethinker, a loyal husband...and really flexible. Assuming his single status (though I love Scott/Barda!), he'd be one to nab.

9. The Doctor (9-11): of course I disagree wholeheartedly with TR's placement of the Doctor on their DON'T HIT THAT! list. If the TARDIS dropped into my apartment I'd jump in without a second of hesitation (sorry, dear boyfriend). He's amazingly well-traveled, witty, a natty dresser, and has a sonic screwdriver that--hello??--can open anything. I think you know where I'm going with that.

8. Barbara Gordon: if Babs showed an inclination to swing for the other team, I'd be right there with her. She's smart, she's degreed, she's a librarian hacker badass who can kill you from her wheelchair, AND she has gorgeous red hair. Sold!

7. Hank "the Beast" McCoy: he might be blue, furry, and prone to playing with balls of string, but the Beast is also brilliant, witty, and kind--and, if the way Agent Brand talks about him is correct, a whole 'nother kind of beast in the bedroom.

6. Selene: from the Underworld series of films. Selene is gorgeous, efficient and powerful, loyal, and takes no bullshit. Did I mention that she's gorgeous? 'Cause she is.

5. Indiana Jones: yes, he's a ladies' man, but sometimes that's exactly what's called for. Smart, dashing, and capable of using a bullwhip in allllll the right ways, Indy has a gruff exterior masking that yummy marshmallow inside. Indy will open your world in a myriad ways--whether it's using weapons, hunting down ancient archaeological artifacts, or showing you that sometimes it's ok to kiss and tell.

4. Captain Jack Harkness: similar to our #5, every now and then what a nerd really wants is some action. Captain Jack is The Alien to give that to you. Omnisexual, handsome, charming, flies a spaceship...what more do you need?

3. Hoban "Wash" Washburne: haters please note-->this entry clearly assumes that Wash and Zoe are not married, because their love is too true for even a homewrecker to break up. GIVEN THAT, Wash is just about perfect. He'll play dinosaurs with you and admire your legs and love you forever even in the face of red-headed temptresses with heavenly racks.

2. Leonard "Bones" McCoy: the second McCoy on our list, Bones is, plainly put, a decent man. Smart without being smarmy, moral without being moralizing, Bones is sensitive and a good listener. And benefits from being portrayed by Karl Urban.

1. Dick Grayson: the original Robin, Grayson grew out of the short pants and into a mullet and serious abs, cementing his dreamboat status in the eyes of many a nerd. For an orphan who grew up in the shadows of the Batcave, Dick's head is screwed on remarkably straight, he speaks about eight languages, and his heart is big enough to be nice to the horrific offspring of Talia al Ghul and Bruce Wayne. *swoon*

Top Ten of 2010

It is That Time of the Year--the time for doing memes and making lists. Many blogs and websites do format or genre-specific lists (such as SPIN's annual best records, best singles, best reissues, and so forth), but I refuse to be tied down! Thus my year-end list is all over the map. In no particular order, behold Diana's Top Ten of 2010:

10. Best news site: The Wild Hunt. Specifically geared toward pagan and other minority religious news, The Wild Hunt is penned by Jason Pitzl-Waters, a thoughtful, excellent journalist all around. The comments are full of a great variety of people from many religions and paths, and though there are occasional dust-ups, remain some of the most civil comment threads I've seen anywhere online.

9. Best radical feminist: or at least most amusing and incisive, is Twisty Faster of I Blame the Patriarchy. Her strident, hyperbolic, generally loud style of news reporting (and I use these adjectives in complete awe and appreciation) make for reading that is both fun and--to use one of her signature phrases--lobe-blowing.

8. Best boyfriend: mine, of course! Dear manfriend, for cooking, cleaning, taking care of the furry bastards, downloading Wham!'s entire catalogue to your phone before we drove to Georgia, and generally being awesome, here's to you.

7. Best heavy metal album: Poetry for the Poisoned, Kamelot's newest offering (of course! I am nothing if not predictable). View the video for their single "The Great Pandemonium" here on their MySpace page.

6. Best movie: haters gonna hate, but make way for Inception. And people, there was a metric FUCKTON (to be scientific about it) of Movies Diana Loved this year. But the Nolan tour-de-force takes the cake--for making lucid dreaming seem possible, for giving us Tom Hardy, JGL, and Ken Watanabe in snazzy suits, for making pranking your friends a lot easier. The prank, of course, is setting your most neurotic friend's alarm clock to play "Non, je ne regrette rien" when he or she wakes up in the morning.

5. Best blog for news, opinion, storytelling, and more from women of color and other minorities: Womanist Musings. The author/editor, Renee Martin, blogs her own views and news as well as welcoming contributors of all stripes.

4. Best paranormal fantasy book: Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan. Not Sylvan's first book (her others include The Circle Within and the excellent The Body Sacred), this is her debut fiction effort, a sexy, funny, smart entry into the ever-widening canon of vampire-centered fiction. Bonus: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Serenity shout-outs!

3. Best fuck-you song: "Fuck You" by Cee Lo Green, of course. Duh.

2. Best validation of my wit: Topless Robot's Superhero Tweets contest gave my entry an honorable mention. As Kamelot would say, ONE DAY I'LL WIN.

1. Best friend: as ever, the witty, smart, compassionate, inimitable DR SHE BLOGGO. Newish to the blogosphere, her blog is already linked all over the web (mainly for her Glee insights and awesome graphics). Read! Follow! Love!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

And A Very Amiable Festivus To You

Normally I am all for the Airing of Grievances, but this week I am feeling right jolly and rather serene. So I will leave you, dear readers, for the holidays and wish you all well, and return next week five pounds heavier and a few giftcards richer.

Peace and blessings.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

So help me God, yellow eyes!

There are many wonderful things about this time of year, some of which I enumerated in a previous post. However, I have not yet elaborated upon a very specific tradition of the women in my family: watching A Christmas Story as many times as possible between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

My boyfriend, poor soul, freely admits that he does not understand this at all. He is not really a big fan of the movie, having been exposed to it rather late in life (read: he hadn't seen it until he met me). But my sister, mother, and I--oh, we can't get enough of it. I HAVE been known to watch this extremely seasonal movie out of season (DR SHE BLOGGO's May birthday party, I am looking at you), but I do prefer to view it in its proper wintry season, in the following manner:

1. Get home on Christmas Eve in time for my aunt's dessert party. After stuffing my face with enough pastries to give all of Florida diabetes, retire to my grandmother's couch to catch the first viewing as TBS begins to air its "24 Hours of A Christmas Story".

2. Wake up on Christmas Day and have breakfast. Post-eating frenzy, flip on TBS and resume viewing in whatever point of the story is on the screen. Perhaps I have dropped in on the Chinese restaurant goose; perhaps Ralphie has just broken his glasses or said his first curse word; perhaps it's time to show Mommy how the little piggies eat. Wherever the movie is, I watch. And laugh like the ape that I am. I know the damn movie by heart--it doesn't matter if it's an hour in, I'll pick up the storyline and go from there.

3. Sometime Christmas afternoon, migrate to my best friend's house. And, after visiting with her parents and sister, plop to the living room floor, flip on TBS, and do it all again.

It just does not get old, folks. It is the movie I will never be sick of. I've probably seen it more times than I've seen STAR WARS or 10 Things I Hate About You. It is just, as Ferris Bueller would say, so choice. I didn't live through the Fifties (thank all the gods), so this is what that era looks like to me: hideous fashion, weird toys, heavily buttered food, oblivious husbands whose wives laugh at them obliquely. 95% of the film's lines have made it into popular parlance. My sister and I used to have a string of mini leg lights that we decorated with this time of year; hardly a substitute for a real leg lamp, but we make do. The first time we showed the movie to our mother--in a Williamsburg inn when I was about 12--she laughed through THE ENTIRE THING. Tears streaming, sides clutched.

So there you have it: Diana's most cherished holiday tradition. Classy people have churches and Masses and candle-lighting and special foods or drinks they make each year...I have Ralphie and Randy and Scut Farkus. Speaking of which, apologies to Zack Ward, who actually grew up to be extremely handsome. Peter Billingsley also did well; he was in an after-school special about steroids which my classmates and I watched with horror in high school health, and now he produces movies like Iron Man.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Black Swan (spoilers)

Things I am now terrified of after seeing Black Swan: swans, Natalie Portman, fingernails, nail files, feathers, masturbating, Barbara Hershey, mothers, ballet, Frenchmen, Winona Ryder, girls from San Francisco, mirrors. However, it could've been worse--I realized last night that Aronofsky COULD have chosen to use The Nutcracker instead of Swan Lake, and then I'd be doomed, because I'm already pretty scared of The Nutcracker.

Um, also it was a great film. I actually am not sure what to say about it beyond what's been said already; it was a very intense viewing experience and I still feel a bit high-strung. Dear readers, when you see this film, please remember to bring a bottle of wine to chug afterwards. Or some anxiety meds. It is definitely a horror movie. There is blood and disturbing body imagery, and many jump-out-of-your-skin moments. It is quintessentially Aronofsky.

I really like Darren Aronofsky films. I love Pi: Faith in Chaos, The Fountain, and The Wrestler. I may cautiously say that I loved Black Swan. I dislike Requiem for a Dream but understand why it's important (it certainly isn't BAD, it's just very hard to watch), and I have not seen Below. Given that I have seen almost all his movies, I don't know why it's taken so long for me to realize that he's totally an auteur, with the major theme being dreams and goals and how they affect a person. You are all probably saying "Duh!" but last night I found it a revelation, for lo, I am slow. Black Swan is definitely, completely in this ouvre. My boyfriend, who did not see it with me, asked after I got home and was babbling about it if it was similar to The Wrestler. At first I was like, ...eh, and then about ten seconds later was like, IT TOTALLY IS!, and then everything crystallized. Of course this Theme makes me intensely interested in how he'll go about directing The Wolverine, given that the main conceit of Aronofsky films is that the dream or goal drives the main characters, taunts or haunts or torments or seduces them, to an eventual endpoint of glory or destruction (or both).

Black Swan, like I said, is a quintessential embodiment of Aronofsky style. There is body horror in the mode of "this is happening to my body, I can't control it" a la Izzi's scene in The Fountain wherein she realizes that she is no longer sensitive to heat, and psychological horror in the mode of "I can no longer trust my brain", as when Max's mind begins to betray him in Pi, and the shocking effects of obsession on the body and mind together (just pick a film, this happens to all his characters). If you're a fan of his previous films I would heartily recommend this new one. Beautifully shot, beautifully acted, frightening, compelling, funny, sexy: it has everything. Too, I am interested of course in the ways in which Nina (Natalie Portman's character) is molded, against her will or no, by kyriarchal forces. At one point the main male character, Thomas, asks the male prima ballerina if he would "fuck this girl (Nina)", with the clear answer being no. In a broader context, the need for Nina to be fuckable by men would be non-issue, but in the context of the film there is reason given for this criterion: the Black Swan alter ego is undeniably seductive. Can a woman who has never experienced sex portray seduction believably? Of course for a Hollywood director to ask such a question is inherently laughable, and for the "cure" for a tightly-wound virgin to be sexual encounters of various kinds is an ancient cliche. However, I found that Nina was such an unreliable narrator that the plot itself transcended its baseline, reasonably simple love story. In some ways the use of what is basically softcore girl-on-girl porn to further Nina's career (I think Twisty would use the word "enpornulation" here) IS offensive and irritating and a fall-back, but I found that to view the scene as something that did not literally occur--something that is a fever dream born of Nina's mind--made more sense within the context of the movie, since Nina sees many, many things that are not there and carries out many actions which have different effects in "the real world" as opposed to her mind. I venture that, like other of Aronofsky's movies, the question of free will is an important one; where does Nina's overpowering desire to be a dancer come from? Her controlling, infantilizing mother, who gave up a dancing career to have her daughter? A genuine love and talent for dancing? In this equation, Nina's entire world is dictated to and for her. She has been created by outside forces, chiefly kyriarchal ones, and they continue to control her until she loses (or refuses) control completely, when it had previously been her idol. This allows her to achieve her greatest goal but also destroys her. The entire film, in some ways, is an indictment of our current system.

Also, I kinda want to dress up like the Black Swan for Halloween next year, because the costume is gorgeous and would be pretty easy to do...but I'm totally terrified if I do I'll turn into a swan. QUANDARY.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Film Fantasy Friday: The Blue Castle

Aaaaah, you knew it had to happen eventually. Being the Montgomeryite that I am, and in particular the Valancy fangirl that I am, 'twas inevitable. There are NO SPOILERS in this very pared-down line-up; I would encourage you to read the book and find out just what spoilers I might be talking about.

Valancy Stirling: played by Kristin Kreuk, Valancy realizes upon her 29th birthday that her family is hideous and her life completely stifled. She leaves home, causing quite a scandal, and sets out to do things her way.

Barney Snaith: played by Ewan McGregor, Barney is the town rascal--mysterious and always in his shirtsleeves. No one knows where he's from, who his people are, or just what he does for a living.

Abel Gay: played by Brendan Gleeson, "Roaring Abel" is a disreputable old drunk with a heart of gold.

Cecily Gay: played by Amanda Seyfried, Cecily is the daughter of Abel Gay and is wasting away of consumption. She had a child out of wedlock--rumored to be Barney's--and after leaving her family Valancy takes care of Cecily and keeps house for Abel.

And that's how Diana casts it! All images pulled from Google and Wikipedia.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

If you didn't look closely...

You would likely mistake me for a sad librarian spinster, similar to the one that George's wife in It's A Wonderful Life would have become if he had never been born.

(Which, by the way, is just ONE of the reasons I detest that movie.)

Let me take a metaphorical cam pic for you: here I am, sitting on my couch in DC superhero sweatpants and a "Club sandwiches not seals" shirt at 8PM with two cats and a box of those delectable Belgian chocolate seashells, indulging my lady-boner for Roy Khan.*

(um, yum?)

(Kamelot really needs to release a new live DVD. Or TOUR HERE PLEASE. Either one will do. I need me some bombastic power metal in the flesh on at least a yearly basis. Please get better, Khan!)

*In fact, this scenario is mostly why my boyfriend likes me. I have the feeling that if I ever got the chance to get nekkid with Mr. Khan, Boyfriend would high-five me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The wish list

In my attempts to keep my snot-ridden, coughing ass awake at work (previous attempts today include not-at-all-clandestine Echo Bazaar-ing, doing every crossword puzzle in the building, and eating an entire bag of iced gingerbread cookies), I give you the Completely Unreasonable Holiday Wish List, 2010 Edition, in no particular order. NOTE: until Blogger makes it EASY to post pictures again, images will be restricted to my film posts. Seriously, WTF Blogger? Way to "fix" something that wasn't broke.

10. The Sater sofa: from IKEA, of course, this sofa is gorgeous and Jeremy and I fell in love with it the first time we went to IKEA together. In our joint-brain it occupies our Future!Home in Canada. IKEA's product picture looks black, but really it is a glorious dark brown.

9. "Lilith" pendant: from Etsy seller santiamnaturals. Beautiful pendant necklace, in gold and blue.

8. "Padme Nouveau": from Her Universe, an awesome online shop created for us girl Star Wars fans. The Padme t-shirt is just one of their wondrous offerings.

7. TARDIS cookie jar: along similarly nerdy lines, the TARDIS cookie jar from ThinkGeek is just calling out to have its very own spot on my kitchen counter.

6. The Historical Thesaurus to the Oxford English Dictionary: oh yeah, I would sacrifice babies to have a copy of this.

5. The "Graphite Drawing" dress: from ModCloth, of course. I love the hourglass shape and mod details.

4. "Queen Bennet" bedframe: from Jordan's. I LOVE metal bedframes, probably a consequence of reading too much fantasy in my formative years. This one is perfect.

3. "Julia" Frye boots: the perfect "if Anne Shirley were a hooker" boots, amirite? From Frye by way of Zappos.

2. The entire set of Animorphs: including the Alternamorphs, Megamorphs, and Chronicles books. SOMEDAY, PEOPLE.

1. Yoga retreat at Salt Spring Island, BC: Two words: oh yeah.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Yes, I have some version of the blarg. I suspect posting will be slim this week as I will be spending the bulk of my time at work trying not to fall asleep and my time at home indulging in my favorite cardinal sin.

In happier news, I have just learned that I've won a signed copy of Queen of Shadows! Suddenly my day is much brighter. Awesome and sauce.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Film Fantasy Friday: The Dark Is Rising

Hello, dear readers. I know, I know--you pined and balsamed after I deprived you last Friday of a wildly overblown book-to-movie cast. Let me make it up to you! Let me create a cast for one of my favorite books, a book which was in recent years very, very badly served by Hollywood, a book which is such a primo Christmas story that I reread it every year around this time. You are correct, ladies (I don't think there is a gentleman among you): it's time for the Dark to rise. Let it be so! Keep in mind: this is a very pared-down cast, since the Stanton family alone has eleven members.

Will Stanton: played by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Will finds out on his eleventh birthday that he is an Old One and must seek out six Signs, coveted by the forces of darkness.

Merriman Lyon: played by Ian McKellen, Merriman is a Lord of the Light and Will's mentor. He miiiiiight also be Merlin. Oops, SPOILERS.

The Lady: played by Helen Mirren, the Lady is one of the greatest of the Light.

Hawkin: played by Ian Holm, Hawkin was once Merriman's liege man and loyal to the Light (enough Ls in that sentence?), but he betrayed them and became the Rider's servant.

The Rider: played by Gary Oldman, The Rider or the Black Rider is Will's main adversary and a Lord of the Dark.

Miss Greythorne: played by Maggie Smith, Miss Greythorne is the mysterious lady of the Manor, the largest and oldest house in Will's village of Huntercombe. As gradually becomes clear, Miss Greythorne is also one of the Old Ones.

And that's how Diana casts it! All images pulled from Google and Wikipedia. Also...I know what you're saying. Ian McKellen for the wizard, really? IT HAD TO BE DONE. So that his t-shirt can say "I'm Gandalf, Magneto, and Merriman Fucking Lyon."

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

That winter holiday

Full disclosure: I LOVE CHRISTMAS. That is, I love the winter holiday season--I don't love the goddamn motherfucking assclownery that is the shit-for-brains "culture warriors" ruining things for everyone else.

But I don't want to talk about them. I want to talk about things I love about the month of December, because lo, they are legion.

1. Music: I really, really like Christmas carols, despite me not being even a little Christian anymore. I particularly like just simple instrumental versions of carols, particularly in public places while I am shopping. Much more calming and lovely than Jessica Simpson's Mariah Carey rip-off. Some of my favorites include: "Good King Wenceslas" (the loooooong version), "Far Far Away on Judea's Plain" (which I used to make my Young Women's girls sing when I was the Laurel class president, and no one ever knew the words except me), "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day", "The Holly and the Ivy", "Corpus Christi Carol", and "O Holy Night". I love Loreena McKennitt's two holiday albums, To Drive the Cold Winter Away and A Midwinter Night's Dream and heartily recommend them.

2. Food: As we all know, I love to eat. I also like baking and cooking, so the winter season is a great time of year for me and peeps like me. My favorite cookies to bake in the winter time are fudgy bonbons (which are a chocolate dough wrapped around a kiss, then drizzled with glaze after baking) and pecan kisses (pecans dipped in meringue and baked). I also love making mulled cider and wine, and I have an awesomely easy and tasty recipe for fudge--basically, melt together baking chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, butter, and your flavor of choice--peppermint and orange essence are great, as is mixing in peanut butter chips or marshmallow fluff. Christmas with my mother's family at home is great because we normally do a "non-traditional" dinner; no goose, ham, or turkey. Last year we had a fab gumbo, and this year we will likely do some kind of fish. One of my aunts always hosts a dessert party at her house Christmas Eve...yeah, she's one of my favorite family members.

3. Traditions: tradition! Ok, Fiddler on the Roof digression over. My family doesn't really have too many traditions--my mom buys me and my sister a Hallmark collectible ornament each year and we generally try to watch A Christmas Story as many times as possible on Christmas Day. Personally I like to watch the gorgeous, emotionally crippling film The Snowman every year too. This year was really the first year that I got to decorate my apartment exactly how I wanted, and I was sort of surprised at how much I DID want to. I like greenery and lights for the winter season, and that's about it, so now we have some mistletoe in our kitchen doorway, a wreath and some small sprigs (fake pine, of course :/), and white bistro lights strung up over our sliding glass door. Our bedroom has a teeny tree decorated with my assortment of Hallmark ornaments, goddess figurines, and stars, and surrounded by gifts. And candles--candles everywhere. I love candles at most times, but especially during the winter holidays, so many of which revolve around light.

4. Gifts: I love, love holiday shopping. You may commence thinking I am a bizarro now, but it's one of my favorite things to do. I like finding gifts that my loved ones will enjoy and I think I'm pretty good at it. I love wrapping gifts, although I am TERRIBLE at it (back me up here, DR SHE BLOGGO). I love the look of a tree with many gifts under it, waiting to be given away and torn into and loved. I love getting things in the mail that are pretty and funny and functional, not just bills and spam. And yes, of course, I love opening my own gifts. Especially if they are books.

5. Learning: every year around this time I like to bust out my old favorite winter holiday books (Little House in the Big Woods, The Dark Is Rising, etc.) and read new items, online and in bound books, about this time of year. There really is an astounding number of winter festivals around the world. Personally, I don't celebrate a holiday around this time in a religious sense--mostly I use the season to celebrate my loves and friendships and all the good things Lady Fortune has bestowed on me. I do like some of the exterior decorations and symbolism found in winter traditional holidays, specifically Yule or Christmas trees, candles and other lights (which are found in a variety of traditions, from Christmas to Yule to Solstice to Diwali to Alban Arthan to St. Lucy's Day to Saturnalia and Sol Invictus celebrations), and the red/green/white color theme, the origin of which is attributed to many cultures and celebrations.

Do you enjoy this time of year? What do you love or not-love about it? Do you have any particular traditions or celebrations?

Monday, December 06, 2010

An exercise in creative definition

But, first things first: it is 46 degrees outside, people! 46 degrees, Fahrenheit. In Florida, at noon, in December. RIGHT FUCKING ON.


So, I have somewhat of an obsession with Captcha--you know, that thing that lots of people use on their blog comments to make sure that the person commenting is a human and not a robot (which, droid rights: post for another time). I love the weird scrambles of letters, because oftentimes they look and sound like real words. I think someone with more time and brainpower than me should create a board game similar to Balderdash using Captcha terms. Barring that, here are some of my favorites, culled from various blogs, which I have now defined. Let them henceforth enter the common parlance:

  • thillin: v. when one is both thinking and chilling at the same time. This is a common state for villains; note: similar to "highfalutin", there is no ultimate apostrophe. Example: "I was thillin the other day and came up with a sinister plan for world domination via RPGs."
  • bilene: n. like baleen, but for cetaceans who go flirt with everyone. Example: "I met a whale shark last night with a gorgeous set of bilene."
  • uratess: n. a noxious effluvium generally found to issue from the anal appanage of nervous Labrador retrievers. Example: "We'll need to shut Marley up in her cage when Grandma comes over; we don't want her producing that awful uratess in her excited state."
  • bugan: v. humans who subsist entirely upon insects, arachnids, and arthropods. Example: "Oh my god, I am totally bugan. Have you tried the roasted water beetles down at the Exo Cafe? So nommy."
  • ungst: n. a specific type of angst which incites in the bearer the urge to clean all the things. Derived from Felix Unger. Example: "I had a bad case of ungst this morning and now the toaster oven is spotless."
  • nutwons: adj. to be completely nuts over people named Antwon. Example: "My sister's lab partner came over last night to work on a project and now I am completely nutwons for him. He prefers to be called Anthony...I just don't get that."
  • fructi: n. the Finnish word for smoothies. Example: "Erik brought me an awesome fructi while we were camping in the wilds of Nuorgam. I have no idea where he found a cafe!"
  • psescor: n. where phased-out brand name drugs go to die. Example: "Oh, I work for a pharmaceutical company. My job is to toss all the old versions of boner pills into the psescor."
  • ramiting: n. very rare medical condition wherein the sufferer vomits up male sheep. Example: "Lester had a screaming bout of ramiting last night, so we decided to have mutton this year for Christmas dinner."

Ok. Now that I've exposed my extreme dorkdom yet again, I think I'll go process some books. Happy Monday, dear readers.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Poetry jam, Steinbrenner High School media center

My blood is a line stretching back to
old places and brutal ways of
women who keep their mouths shut.
My mother, long-suffering, developed a
splitting headache
in the withering damp heat of August 1987,
and I sprang fully-formed
from the intricacies of her mind.
There was blood,
and my mother opened her mouth and
the birth-howl,
the inverse of the shriek of the banshee
which my mother's mother's mother's mothers
brought to this country from Ireland,
the birth-howl which heralds life
though babies,
in the flush and blood and terror of their new present,
long for death.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Notes from the field: Oodles come when called

Note: the following was found carved into the doorframe of a barn in West Udlmark. Make of it what you will, dear reader.

Names to which the Hirsute Oodle responds:
+Agent Baby


+100 Grand Bar


Names to which the Common Oodle responds:


+Baby Hellfire



I'm not a supermodel

This was an ad created by Body Shop. Apparently Mattel found out about it and, well...yeah. Reblog if you think this ad deserves to be seen.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saying sayonara

There has been quite a bit of hoo-ha lately in the Bloggernacle (that is the Mormon blogosphere, if you were not aware) with regard to the question of why young people are leaving the church. This has grown out of a larger discussion of why young people in general are leaving Christianity behind--Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic discusses the phenomenon here. As all nine of my regular blog readers probably know, I used to be LDS or, more commonly, Mormon. When I left the church I didn't tell most of my friends up front--it came out over time, in my words and actions and opinions and sudden queries of, "Hey, want to go see (insert R-rated movie title)?" In retrospect, this was sort of unfair (especially to you, Dr She Bloggo), and I feel like giving a more complete explanation for my admittedly-abrupt shift from Molly to ExMo, especially since I have been reading the various reactions to the issue of "the nones" with interest. I mentioned this briefly awhile back, but it deserves more time, because it continues to shape who I am, for better or worse.

I am inclined to agree for the most part with Kiley's assessment at We Were Going To Be Queens. I was extremely invested in the LDS church while I was a part of it--I gave talks, held callings, read my scriptures every day, prayed, sang hymns, camped, visit-taught, attended church every Sunday. However, as things changed in my life, it became clear to me that everything I had been doing and everything I had thought I was believing in since age five was a veneer. When the tipping point finally appeared, the ease with which the LDS way of life fell away leads me to conclude that I belong in both the group that never had belief to begin with and the group that lost its belief. In some ways this is the hardest middle ground I can conceive of.

So what WAS that tipping point??

In a word, and that word said with Bill Nye flair, SCIENCE! I know that there are many scientists who reconcile faith with their work, and there are many religious folk who are skeptics and even atheists (a topic which I will return to in another post, fairly soon), but for me and Mormonism it was too much. It was biological anthropology, to be exact--evolutionary theory. I sat in that class and one day managed to see past the awesome hotness of my professor and concentrate on what he was saying, what was on the screen behind his awesomely hot head, what was in front of me in the textbook. And there it was: the Spirit. Honest to Pete, what I felt like right then, what was happening in my brain and my chest, was what I'd been told for fifteen years would happen when the Holy Spirit descended on me.

Obviously I had never felt that. But I was feeling it then. Beautiful, clear evolutionary theory! Nothing had ever made more sense, felt more right. I registered for that class without even thinking that it could damage my faith, and I left that class completely without faith. My faith, I see now, was never particularly strong to begin with, but everyone thought it was because I was such a good LDS girl, and I thought that it needed to be and I was doing something wrong. Many, many sad nights spent crying to God for repentance for perceived transgressions, and hearing and feeling nothing. Many times being told to pray harder, you'll get the right answer!

(To date, by the way, the closest things to "spiritual experiences" that I have had have been that anthropology class, the reading of various books, and a couple of heavy metal concerts. Which probably means I should start worshiping Satan.)

That afternoon after class, I broke down to my dear boyfriend about how I didn't think I could be LDS anymore. I was scared at the time mostly of what I would tell my mother, which I guess says a lot about what my testimony had been previously--I wasn't fearing for my soul, I just didn't want to hurt my mom. Well, I had to. She's still hurt about it, but if AP Lit taught me nothing else, it's that humans can't live for other people for very long before their souls begin to die (o hai Kate Chopin. Leaving a religion is better than drowning yourself, right?). And after that conversation, I felt...light. Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt. Furthermore, I discovered that the things I'd been trying not to think for many years, that feminists weren't really man-hating baby-eaters, that scientific theories weren't concocted by Satanists, that saying "fuck" now and then (or a lot) is more fun than anything else, that gay people ARE PEOPLE TOO: all those things were part of what made me ME. All those things are part of my ethical code. I got them from somewhere, and it was not the church, and when the church's scales fell away, those things remained and grew and developed. I remained and grew and developed.

Me. Hello, self. It was nice to meet you. We are doing wonderful things together and we will continue to. I have a different spirituality now and I attend no church, and I may attend one in the future or I may not, but I am an honest human. The LDS church may be the road to happy for some, but many roads lead that way and currently I like the one I am on.

Film Fantasy Friday: The Will of the Empress (except on Saturday)

This week's a-day-late-and-a-dollar-short edition of FFF brings you another Tamora Pierce title (I can't help myself! Her books are so eminently castable), The Will of the Empress. This is the capstone book for the two Emelan quartets, Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens. TWotE pulls the four main characters together again after being separated for three years, and they find that many things have changed. Like Pierce's other books, this one has a reasonably hefty ensemble. Behold:

Lady Sandrilene fa Toren: played by Sarah Bolger, Sandry is a thread mage and the fulcrum of this film's plot. Asked not-so-politely by her cousin to come for a visit, Sandry heads to Namorn to see the court of the Empress.

Daja Kisubo: played by Aissa Maiga, Daja is a smith-mage. She is independently wealthy at the age of 18 due to her magical prowess. She keeps a house in Summersea, Emelan's capital, where she, Briar, and Tris live. Currently she and her three foster-siblings are feuding for a variety of reasons.

Briar Moss: played by Shahid Kapoor, Briar is a plant mage. He too has quite a bit of money stemming from his power with plants. After living through a war in far-off Yanjing, he is having post-traumatic stress symptoms, which he doesn't want his foster-sisters to know about.

Trisana Chandler: played by Rachel Hurd-Wood (with a pair of spectacles), Tris is a weather-mage, one of the most powerful living. Despite this, she is relatively poor, since most of her would-be employers want to use her for battle magic, something Tris finds repulsive.

Duke Vedris IV of Emelan: played by Mark Strong, the Duke is Emelan's ruler and Sandry's uncle. He shows an inclination to make her his heir, rather than either of his ill-suited sons.

Empress Berenene dor Ocmore of Namorn: played by Marion Cotillard, Berenene is Sandry's cousin through her mother and the antagonist of the film. She intends to trap all four young mages in Namorn in order to give her court more power.

Rizu fa Dalach: played by Angel Coulby, Rizu is Berenene's mistress of the wardrobe. Rizu and Daja fall in love, but Rizu is not willing to leave Namorn to be with Daja.

Ishabal Ladyhammer: played by Helen Mirren, Ishabal is Berenene's most powerful court mage. She attempts to keep the four mages inside Namorn's border but is beaten back by their combined strength.

Ambros fer Landreg: played by Matthew Goode, Ambros is Sandry's Namornese cousin and the steward of her estates. She eventually transfers the rights of the estates to him.

Zhegorz Fiavrus: played by Tim Roth, Zhegorz is thought mad by all who come into contact with him. Tris recognizes that he hears voices on the wind and begins to teach him to harness his power.

And that's how Diana casts it! All images pulled from Google and Wikipedia.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


It may come as a complete lack of surprise to you, dear readers, that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love to eat and I really love to eat potatoes, so yes--the foodiest of all American holidays is my numero uno.

I also enjoy thinking about things that I love and people that I adore. If I may wax Mormon for a moment, it is good to count your blessings. In a general life sense, I am most grateful for my friends--my beloved, my best friend, my family. I am grateful for my job and my career, my education, my ever-growing stock of books, my access to food and clean water, my privileges.

But this is a nerd blog. And nerds have a lot to be thankful for. My Nerdsgiving list includes the following.

1. Dr Who: my personal favorite incarnation as yet is pictured here. What a delectable show. Almost as yummy as mashed potatoes.

2. The Potterverse: awesome books, awesome movies, awesomely cute cast which gives me warm fuzzies, similar to the feeling of mashed potatoes in one's belly.

3. Gail Simone: lady comic book writer par excellence. Her Birds of Prey kicks so much ass, kind of like when you leave little lumps here and there in the mashed potatoes.

4. Obessive message boards: The Internet is a wonderful place for nerds, because places like Snarkfest and Fief Goldenlake exist. These are my two current favorite nerd-friendly message boards, though I used to frequent the starwars.com forums as well, where I would trade mashed potato recipes with screennames like Gothmog and Kaelis Tuar.

5. Nathan Fillion: need more be said? Warning: watching Nathan Fillion do anything for too long may induce a state of happy comatosity, similar to the effects of passing out face-down in a plate of mashed potatoes.

6. Geeky tumblrs: remember how the Internet is an awesome place for nerds? Tumblr is really helping us immerse ourselves in plates of mashed potatoes, with users like FuckYeahDickGrayson, FuckYeahMarvel, FuckYeahComicRelationships, FuckYeahInception, FuckYeahBuffy, and FuckYeahStarWars.

7. Bruce Timm cartoons: I love Bruce Timm. I have a fantasy that involves Bruce Timm, a marathon of Batman Beyond, and a kiddy pool of mashed potatoes.

8. British comedy shows: things like Peep Show, Spaced, and Top Gear (yes, I realize the last is not strictly a sitcom) hit my giggle nerve like no other, not even mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are no laughing matter.

9. Kick-ass comic book ladies: I love comics almost as much as mashed potatoes, and I really love reading about women in comics. DC has a couple of good runs going currently, including the new Birds of Prey and Gotham City Sirens, which features some of my favorite villainesses: Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy. Marvel is doing Heralds, starring Emma Frost, Agent Abigail Brand (my current Marvel girl-crush), Hellcat, Monica Rambeau, She-Hulk, Valkyrie, and a few others.

10. Cowboys and Aliens: Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, and Harrison Ford...and aliens. My only question is, Will there be mashed potato fighting as well?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Salma Hayek wants, Salma Hayek gets



Here is what it is. Last night I dreamed about Salma Hayek. Sadly, it was not a sexy dream. However, she told me that she read my blog, liked the Film Fantasy Friday posts, but that if Lioness Rampant ever happened, she would need to be cast as Thayet.

So. Henceforth, this post, and by extension this movie, will star Salma Hayek in the role of Thayet, not my original choice of Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Just thought you guys should know that celebrities are speaking to me in my dreams.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Harry Potter and the *devolves into weeping*

So. Everyone in the free world knows that part one of the last Harry Potter book-to-film premiered this weekend, to the tune of over 100 million smackers.

In my wastrel youth I would've been among the robed-up hoardes standing in line at midnight last Thursday. However, I have to work and stuff now, because being a Grown-Up is boring and horrible. So I waited until yesterday evening to see this truly magical movie.

Was there crying? Is Ryan Reynolds the Sexiest Man Alive? Man, I was crying before any of the characters actually appeared. I cried when I heard the signature HP twinkly music, I cried-while-laughing when the Order of the Phoenix turned themselves into Harrys in an attempt to deflect harm from him, I cried when Hedwig dive-bombed a Death Eater and was killed, I cried when George was brought into the Burrow with his ear missing. I cried when Ron and Harry had their tiff and Ron left. I cried when Harry and Hermione danced. I cried for Xeno Lovegood trying to save his daughter. I cried when Dobby appeared and then...well, you know.

I was basically crying the whole time. Not just because, if I may be flip, this movie is Srs Bzns. Which it is--I saw a headline to the effect that "HP7 puts away childish things". This film is the trio growing up, unable to always protect their loved ones and unable to be protected by people older and wiser. It's a very sad movie, and the second installment will be even worse (mostly because it will kill off my two favorites). But maybe even more than that, my tears were because I'm grown up now too and sometimes that just kills me. Most of the people in my theatre were around my age: 20-somethings who started reading HP when they were 11 or 12 and literally grew up with the books. For my part, I blazed through the first three when I was 11 and then read each subsequent book as it came out. I spent an entire Saturday reading The Deathly Hallows when I was 20, because if I went into work the next day without knowing the end someone would spoil it for me. My cousin and I made S.P.E.W. badges and acted out our favorite scenes. I dressed up as Tonks for Halloween '06. I've read all the books at least 3 times and seen every movie at least twice.

Harry Potter is mine. I am glad, very very glad, that people of all ages love the books and movies, that the books get kids reading and the movies get adults to think about magic again. But HP is mine, and my cousin's, and my best friend's. We were kids with Harry and now we're adults with him and this movie, the beginning of the end, is the culmination of a decade of fandom, of kids believing in magic and trying to hold onto that as they grow older, of young adults finding that the magic they want to make won't always work, that first love doesn't always last, that bad people get away with doing bad things, that active compassion is the highest good, that our choices are far more important than our blood. That friends create a family.

(the unstoppable trio)

What are your Harry stories (heh)? Did you grow up reading the books, or are you a newer convert? What is most special about the films or books to you?

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Dammit, I am empty. I have nothing to write about, nothing to say. After this weekend I'll have thoughts on the new Potter film, but until then, is there anything my dear readers would like to see me blog about?

Monday, November 15, 2010

In other news, I've converted to Jedism

Well, not really, but if I had to have a religions...well, actually, I'd go Sith.


So, awhile back I read God of the Witches by Margaret Murray, partly for research purposes but also partly for the lulz. It IS pretty funny (although shockingly dry), and I suppose anyone interested in modern pagan movements should give it a whirl, being that we're still seeing the influence of some of Murray's theories today. In an undergrad anthropology course I read Journey to Ixtlan and then a few more of Castaneda's works; at the time I thought some of the ideas presented were compelling, but confusing--now that I know a bit more about Castaneda, I am inclined to shame that professor for not mentioning the air of disrepute and inauthenticity surrounding Castaneda and "Don Juan".

Given these experiences, and a discussion on a previous post here, I was inspired (o hai LDS buzzword) to make some notes about the effects of fiction on religious feeling and experience.* For my part as an a-religious person, I venture that fiction books can have at least the same impact and sometimes a greater impact on a person's religious development than "scripture". I've read a good bit of Marion Zimmer Bradley's works (and by good bit I mean all of them. Even the crappy "Diana L. Paxson as Marion Zimmer Bradley" books in the Avalon series) and though my opinion of them, chiefly The Mists of Avalon, has changed somewhat since I was 15, I still find their depiction of ritual and goddess worship extremely beautiful and evocative. Similarly, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant purports to tell the story of Dina in the Old Testament, by way of Semitic and proto-Semitic goddess worship. Like Mists, The Red Tent shows a women's religion in full flower and I found Dina's story of her four "mothers", Jacob's wives, and their commitment to their goddesses quite moving. One of my favorite blogger/authors, Dianne Sylvan, noted in a post some time ago that her reactions to the book Strands of Starlight affected her personal religion more than "a dozen Wicca 101 books".

I think there is a lot to be said for allowing books you love to affect your religious feelings. If I were looking to implement a personal religion, I would likely take a smattering from Wrapt in Crystal, a pinch from the world of The King's Peace, a dash from the Living Circle path outlined in Tamora Pierce's Emelan books, mash together with some good old-fashioned spiral dancing, and paint it on thick as woad. I guess my point is that if you happen upon something, whether in a book or in a movie or in a song, and it moves you to some specific deep feeling, if it makes you want to be better, if it makes you rejoice--that's what I want a religion to do. It should be touching, moving, rich and interesting and active. Does it matter to your bones and your spirit if that something that kicked you into gear is "inauthentic" or "not real"?

Authenticity, or lack of, is intriguing. Carlos Castaneda's books about Don Juan are almost certainly false; Margaret Murray's books The Witch Cult in Western Europe and God of the Witches are based on scant evidence and a fair bit of complete fiction; Charles Leland's book Aradia has a similarly murky factual basis. But in the religious realm, does this really matter? Not to say that religious paths must ignore facts, but I think it's possible for a person to read any of the above purported non-fiction books OR any of the admitted fictions and draw great inspiration from them. The only problem arises when a person tries to make their personal truth into a universal one, but this happens with ALL religions.

If I find The Wicker Man compelling and beautiful, if I listen to "The Old Ways" or "Moon and Moon" and am moved to change or action, if I read The Firebrand and from there immerse myself in classical mythology and Hellenic reconstructionist religions, where is the difference from reading the Bible or the Bhagavad Gita or listening to hymns? If the end result is the same--a new outlook, a changing soul, an active spirituality--who is to say boo? Find inspiration everywhere, in all things, proven fact or glorious fiction.

*Of course the snarky among us may say, What religions AREN'T based on fiction? Snark away, my dears.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Here's the thing. If you watch the Glee episode "Funk" and take a drink every time a character says the word "funk", you will be drunk in under an hour. This is because they say that word 29 TIMES IN THE EPISODE. If you are really feeling down, watch "Hairography" and do the same for "distraction", or "Theatricality" and "theatricality" or "Home" and "home".

Please note: use beer, not liquor. This is a very, VERY good way to get drunk. You don't want to be taking 20 shots of vodka in an hour, do you? I didn't think so.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Film Fantasy Friday: Wuthering Heights

Ok dudes, superawesomedeliciouspostinprogress is still in progress and after this week I have nothing left in me except the desire to indulge in a fantastically unrealistic casting of Wuthering Heights. Not my favorite Bronte book, but I'm very (very) taken with the new Jane Eyre trailer and so I'm in a windy-moors-Byronic-heroes mindset. Also, I am kind of depressed. Also again, I wanted to see if I could keep all the Lintons and Earnshaws straight. Also the third, everyone please note my restraint in not casting Michael Fassbender for every role anything. Less do this!

Catherine Earnshaw Linton: played by Keira Knightley, Catherine is beautiful, tempestuous, and not a little crazy. She is mired in a frightening love/hate relationship with Heathcliff, but denies their bond and marries Edgar instead and then dies of boredom

Heathcliff: played by Ben Whishaw, Heathcliff is adopted by Catherine and Hindley's father; no one knows where Heathcliff comes from or who his people are. Dark, brooding, and not a little crazy, Heathcliff marries Isabella, torments her, and eventually wastes away after Catherine's death.

Edgar Linton: played by Chris Egan, Edgar is spoiled, boring, and ineffectual. Attracted by his wealth, Catherine marries Edgar and gives birth to their daughter, Cathy.

Isabella Linton Earnshaw: played by Clemence Poesy, Isabella is Edgar's spoiled sister. She is lured and bullied by turns into marrying Heathcliff. On their wedding day, he kills her dog! She eventually gives birth to their son, Linton and becomes estranged from Heathcliff.

Cathy Linton Earnshaw: played by Aisling Loftus, Cathy is the strong-willed, mostly wild daughter of Catherine and Edgar. She marries her cousin, Linton, but after his death and that of her father, she moves to Wuthering Heights.

Linton Earnshaw: played by Alex Pettyfer, Linton is the sickly child of Isabella and Heathcliff. He and Cathy marry very young, but Linton dies soon after.

Hareton Earnshaw: played by Skandar Keynes, Hareton is the son of Catherine's older brother Hindley. Given little education and abused by his half-uncle (?) Heathcliff as well as his father, Hareton is wild and strange. Cathy takes him in hand, teaches him to read and use utensils, and they plan to marry.

Hindley Earnshaw: played by David O'Hara, Hindley is the drunk, abusive older brother of Catherine. He spends his portion of the story swearing, drinking, and throwing his son down stairs.

Nellie Dean: played by Imelda Staunton, Nellie is the lifelong servant of the Earnshaws. She moves between the Heights and Thrushcross Grange depending on where Catherine and the children are. She is a bit of a busybody and narrates the story.

Mr. Lockwood: played by Jude Law, Mr. Lockwood is Heathcliff's tenant at the outset of the story. The film unfolds through the lens of Nellie filling him in on the family gossip. He is a leeeeeeetle bit gay.

And that's how Diana casts it! All images pulled from Google and Wikipedia.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...