Category Archives: Books

She’s A Femme Fatale

I think it’s pretty clear by the name of my blog that I have a fascination with femme fatales, probably because they’re about as far from my own personality as one could possibly get. I’ve always fantasized about being this cold-hearted seductress, all sexy and mysterious; not klutzy and awkward, with a habit of over sharing in very public forums such as a blog…

She’s cool, she’s calm, she’s collected…she probably doesn’t have ketchup on her shirt.

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I love the idea of this Mata Hari-esque woman. This seductress who breaks hearts and gets what she wants. It didn’t exactly end well for Mata Hari, but she had a good run and she went down in history as the quintessential femme fatale.

Naturally, I enjoy representations of femme fatales in film, literature and music. Women like Eva Green* are bringing back the ideals of the classic, film noir femme fatale. Type “femme fatale” into Google Images and she’s among the first women who pop up. In real life she may actually be a fairly shy, private person, but on screen she can seduce whole audiences with just one look.

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There’s a comic that I need to get around to reading called Fatale. It’s a supernatural noir style comic centered around an immortal femme fatale character being hunted by a Lovecraftian cult, what’s not to love?!

Fatale_001_Cover_by_Sean_Phillips

Probably my favorite femme fatale representation in media is the song of the same name by Nico and The Velvet Underground. It appeals to my folksy-flower child sensibilities while also singing about my favorite female archetype. As an avid stalker of Neil Gaiman on Facebook, I was delighted when he shared a video by two French singers doing an absolutely gorgeous cover of the song.

From what I can decipher with my high school French, these two were on the French version of The Voice, and I believe the guy won. Either way, they are adorable and I would buy an entire album of them singing. Watch the whole video. The end is so cute!

*I have a small obsession with the stunning French actress.

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Because No One Asked Me Anyway

Lately I’ve seen people post all over the internet their top 10 books. Normally I don’t care what’s trending or whether anyone asks me to participate, which they don’t typically (one positive of being a hermit I guess), but this is one I’d be interested in.

I was relieved that none of my close friends did the ice bucket challenge or thought to challenge me to it. If they had, I would have dumped mud on my head for Crohn’s and Colitis and no one wants to think too hard about “why mud?” (You’re thinking about it now, aren’t you?!)

So since no one’s asked me, but I feel like doing it anyway, here are my 10 most influential books in my life.

In mostly no particular order (kinda):

10. Catherine Called BirdyKaren Cushman. I read this in probably the 4th or 5th grade. It was the first “real” book I remember reading. By real I mean, more than 20 pages and a book I picked out all on my own like a big girl.

9. Alice In Wonderland And Through The Looking Glass, Lewis Carol. I was a manic-pixie-dream-girl in the making way before it was cool.

alice

8. The Once And Future King, T. H. White. I saw Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan reading it in X-Men 2 and was curious. It took me an entire summer and then some to read but so worth it.

7. The Rescue ArtistEdward Dolnick. I didn’t have a lot in common with my grandma other than looks and not being a morning person. One thing we shared though was a love of art and reading. She sent me this book in the mail because she thought I’d like it. Now that she’s gone, I try to read art/capers to hold on to that memory.

6. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Judy Barrett. My absolute favorite book as a kid! It’s still on my bookshelf and in absolute pieces from being read so many times. I refuse to see the movie because I don’t appreciate Hollywood shitting all over my childhood.

5. Of Human Bondage, Somerset Maugham. I read this book freshman year of college. I hated almost every minute of it.  It is the only book I have ever yelled at.

4. Dune, Frank Herbert. This is the first true scifi book I ever read. While I still lean more towards fantasy and trashy vampires, I like to think this book started me on my nerdy path.

3. Bossypants, Tina Fey. Do I really need to explain this one? Liz Lemon is my spirit animal.

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2. Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman. Really everything by him. I absolutely adore Neil Gaiman. He is my favorite author. Last summer I got to meet him briefly at a book signing and I completely fanigirled out when he signed my copy of Ocean At The End Of The Lane with a little love heart!

1. The She-Hulk Diaries, Marta Acosta. Come on this couldn’t not be #1! This book has influenced my life in the best way possible. Last night I received an incredible email from Marta Acosta herself saying how much she liked this blog and what I am doing! I was so touched. I got a little misty and had to reread it 7 or 8 more times to make sure it was real. Words cannot express how much I appreciate what all her book has done for me and how touched I was by her email.

I CAN DO ANYTHING!

I CAN DO ANYTHING!

So what have been the 10 most influential books in your life? And don’t say Harry Potter!

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D-Day

Or how I learned to love the bomb…wait…

I’ve been dreading this day, the nervous anticipation of finally sharing what I’ve been striving for the last two months with family and friends.

It started out as a hair brained idea I got from reading a dumb little book but it’s grown into so much more. She-Hulk has become my new hero, along side Tina Fey and, well really only Tina Fey, but still! In the last two months I’ve tried more new things than I did probably all last year. I’ve been busting my ass to make some positive changes and while they are small and often hard to find, I have made them. I’m becoming my own hero! The person I want to be when I grow up! A third inspirational thing!

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I have plans every Tuesday now. Doctor Who’s Day has become something I look forward to all week long. I get  to watch one of my favorite shows in the company of other nerds who are becoming friends!

I’m reconnecting with old friends as well as making new ones. I had an awesome four hour lunch with Ellis Tesla and I hope to see him again, maybe even for Doctor Who’s Day one of these weeks. I talk more to friends like Gretchen and Isabel, two great ladies who I hope to continue to see more of.

Turns out I’m awesome at making up pseudonyms for people I want to keep anonymous.

I had an amazing birthday! Regardless of how I felt at times during the day, it was wonderful.

I did a cleanse of crap in my life and online. I cleaned out things from my ex, even making a little cash by selling things he gave me. I’ve resisted to urge to talk to him even though I still miss the douche bag. I cleared out my closet and book shelf, making room for bigger and better things. I purged my Facebook of people I no longer speak to, people I’ve reached out to in a time of need and was ignored, people I just kind of hate…And I was rewarded by hearing from people I never knew cared. I reached out my support and they gave it right back, just the way you’re supposed to!

Turns out I make AMAZING jam! Stay tuned for recipes in the future.

I’m taking important steps to figure out what I’m doing with my life. I’m figuring my shit out at my own pace and that’s okay.

I’m going to start trying to sell prints of my work. This goal makes me especially nervous but very excited at the same time. If I can find an outlet for my creativity that actually made me money I will be over the moon happy!

I successfully navigated the quagmire that is the health insurance marketplace. I have coverage and I am paying for it all on my own! This is a level of independence I have never had before and while I am nervous about paying things on time and figuring out what’s covered and what’s not, I’m still making payments and filling prescriptions like a BOSS.

Probably the most important achievement to me personally is that I’ve been a supportive sister and daughter to my family in what has been, for lack of a better term, a fuck ass couple months. As long as I can remember, I’ve been the one in the family with the issues. Always the sick one, out of work, quitting grad school, and having an emotional breakdown. The last few months have been really hard on my family and while I’ve struggled along side them, I haven’t completely isolated myself or took my own pain and frustration out on them. I’m not very good about sharing what’s going on with my siblings, but I’ve been making a conscious effort to be more present lately, especially to my sister RejRej. We’re two extremely different people but no matter what we’re sisters and when she had a health scare this month I am proud to say I have been there to listen to her problems and cheer her up. Now, mind you, I am extremely jealous that she got to see Garfunkel and Oates and Hannah Hart of My Drunk Kitchen all in the same month, I’m still happy she’s getting to do things to raise her spirits. I hope she feels better soon and I hope this is a new chapter in our relationship.

Alright, enough of this heartfelt, inspirational nonsense. Let’s all just sit in peace and eat a sandwich, or in this case…tacos!

 

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Danny Trejo Stars In Machete 3: Garden Gloves Of Death

They say “to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” What does it say when you take a machete and hack your garden to bits?

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Sometimes when life gives you lemons, the only thing you can do is take a big fucking knife and hack away at it. More on that at the bottom.

Last week was a rough week for me. My anxiety was at a new high, I was all alone, and it seemed like nothing was going my way. Shit happens. I know this better than most. Doesn’t mean I don’t throw the occasional tantrum or get drunk and skinny dip. It’s my pool, I do what I want!

Where was I?

I felt even more pressure to have some kind of results since we’ve reached the halfway point of my little social experiment. I’ve been busting my ass for a month now, trying to improve myself and stick to my resolutions with little to show for it. It’s been a frustrating road.

Still don’t have a job, haven’t even gotten any interviews.

Still single and alone. Haven’t made any new friends, let alone met someone I want to date.

Still a blob on the couch. Haven’t been working out or eating particularly well. Might actually be eating worse than usual.

My garden is being eaten to death by bugs and everything is dying.


You know what I have done though?

I’ve tried.

I haven’t quit.

I’ve gone out.

I’ve gone to meetups.

I’ve gone to Doctor Who’s Day every week.

I’ve tried new things.

I had a great birthday.

I’ve applied for jobs in spite of feeling defeated.

I’ve seen friends I haven’t seen in ages and made plans to see them again.

I’ve talked to new people and tried to make friends.

I’ve been taking care of motherfucking business even when it feels like I’m getting nowhere sitting on hold and sending emails.

I started a blog.

I haven’t totally neglected said blog.

If this picture doesn't make you feel at peace I don't know what will

If this picture doesn’t make you feel at peace I don’t know what will

So you know what, I may not have something solid to show for my effort but I have done a damn good job so far. I have a long way to go. Anyone whose been to therapy knows you’re never “fixed,” you’re never done working on yourself, but you also have to cut yourself some slack. Admittedly, this is not something I’m very good at. I am by far my worst critic. If I talked to others the way I talked to myself, well…I’d probably be a lot farther in life actually because I’d be an Anna Wintour level ballbuster…hmmm…

In honor of reaching the halfway point and not completely giving up yet, I’m cutting myself some slack.

Yes, I may have gotten fed up with my life in general. I may have taken a huge ass knife and hacked away at the rat-king, ripping it apart like I was Machete on a rampage. I may have polished off a bottle of wine by myself. I may have gotten naked and finished that bottle in the pool. I may have even texted my friend a blow-by-blow of Sharknado 2.

This all may have happened in one day…It doesn’t matter. I’m cutting myself some slack. So what if I’m feeling a little more Shulky than Jennifer Walters. Sometimes you just have to let the beast rage.

It also bares mentioning that immediately after finishing this post I saw an interview of Danny Trejo on NPR. Here’s the link to hear how Machete got his big break and got his life together after a much darker past than mine.

http://www.npr.org/2014/08/03/337134637/danny-trejo-from-the-big-house-to-the-big-screen

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Bookworms Need Love Too

Just a short post this time I promise.

I wanted to give a shout out to a dating site I came across that I wish was a bigger thing. It’s called alikewise.com. It’s a dating site for book lovers. You can list your favorite books and search by a favorite book or author and see what people like the same.

It’s considerably less stalkerish than okcupid and its free so major points for that. I wish more people knew about this site and used it. I think it’s a great concept. What better way to break the ice with someone than casually discussing your favorite books.

I’ve been on the site for about a week and haven’t gotten a single message. It’s such a nice idea I wish more people were active on it. Oh well, points for trying.

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