Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Moving Right Along

I have bit the bullet, seduced by the deliciousness of Wordpress, and finally brought together my home site and my main blog. You will find both co-existing snugly at This blog will remain up for archival purposes until further notice.

My other blogs: The Completist and Books That Rock Us, will remain under their separate banners for now. I may incorporate parts of them into my home site, though. See you on the other side!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Twaddle: Fifty Shades of Ed Grimley

So Cosmopolitan is sponsoring this contest on Wattpad where if you post a Fifty Shades of Grey fan fiction short, you're entered to win prizes or whatever. I used to read Cosmo in college, and actually weeded through the multitude of perfumed full-page ads to get to the articles, not all of which were about pleasing a man in bed. We had a pleasant relationship until I opened one issue to a photospread titled "Go from Boring Brunette to Beautiful Blonde."

I said, "Fuck you, Helen Gurley Brown," threw that Chanel-pungent rag against the wall, and let my subscription lapse. Haven't read it since.

The notion of sanctioned FSoG fanfic amuses me, because we keep hearing about how E.L. James is soooooo protective of her brand and doesn't allow it. Meanwhile, with this damned movie on the horizon, media and handlers have gone to great pains to ignore the fact that FSoG was borne of Twilight fan fiction. I suppose if you ignore a point in history enough people will believe it never happened. It's like when Loretta Young took a nine-month sabbatical from film and returned from some "foreign land" with a baby girl who looked like Clark Gable, saying, "Look, I adopted an orphan."


So, what the hell. I submitted an entry to this blasted contest. I did so on the suggestion of author Jenny Trout, but I'll admit I didn't follow everything to the letter. Jenny's involved in spreading the message about misinformation in these books - how they disguise abuse as romance. If you read her entry, you'll see what she's talking about. Other people following the lead have done similar, but I confess I viewed this contest from an absurdist angle. The entire history of this book's success has baffled me, and in "Entry" I intended to bring absurdity to the project and waste somebody's time at Cosmopolitan. It's enough women are made from the cradle to feel bad about their looks and bodies, and I didn't need to open their magazine and be told I'm boring because I have dark hair, and only if I change color will the men line up to bang me.

Up yours, Cosmo.

If you visit Wattpad to read my ridiculous story, please take a moment to see my other offering, Geek Meets Girl. The complete story is now available and will remain on Wattpad indefinitely. At last check I had over 700 views of my fan fiction and under 40 of Geek. I'd like to see a better balance in the numbers.


When I set out to complete the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, I chose the list of books in advance. I should know better, since life has other plans for now. So does the library.

This is the original list set up before the challenge.

This is the revised list as I go along.

Though I've switched up my reading selections, I intend to go through the original list eventually. To satisfy the audiobook requirement, I picked up the audio version of Martin Short's I Must Say (ARe / AMZ / BN / KOBO) on the recommendation of another person taking the challenge. "He does all the voices," and it's all I needed to convince me to one-click.

I might be one of the few people in the world to admit that the Dick Ebersol season of Saturday Night Live, Short's only season as a regular, was my gateway to the show. I was vaguely familiar with Ed Grimley by way of an occasional SCTV episode running either on syndication or on MTV, but on a black and white portable TV on low volume - headphones in the jack - I stifled laughter at the full spectrum of bizarre characters. Grimley, Jackie Rogers Jr., Irving Cohen, Billy Crystal's Fernando and masochistic, high-voiced Willie to Chris Guest's Frank. I figured eventually I'd read Short's book, but I'm glad I opted instead for the audio, which is unabridged and enhanced by the parade of voices woven throughout - not just his creations but dead-on impersonations of Larry David, Nick Nolte, etc. I don't listen to audiobooks because I am visual reader and prefer to have the words in front of me. I don't think I Must Say would lose anything if read, but if you have a choice get the audio.

If we can get Martin to read FSoG as Ed, I'll buy that, too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday Twaddle: Almost (Didn't) Cut My Hair

People are funny about hair. Me, not so much these days. The other day I saw Kelly Osburne on the red carpet rocking a lavender flat top and it suited her. Thirty years ago I might have made a face, but I think's hair and it'll grow back. If she doesn't want it to grow back, whatever. It's her hair.

I should know, I've cut mine drastically at various points over the decades and people have always had something to say. Some of it good, yes, but I've been looking for an opportunity to post this GIF.

I've never been a girly girl, and I never styled my hair or did anything funky to it beyond raking in a handful of bronzing mousse one time in the tenth grade. As a child my mother always insisted on keeping it cut super short, boy short, presumably because it made life easier for her. I considered the mere act of affixing comb teeth to hair a Herculean chore, so guess who had to pick up the slack and stab at all the hairy tangles?

Hurt like hell, and you would have thought it taught me to take care of my hair. Uh uh.

For much of my adulthood, I've kept my hair long. Long. Not Crystal Gayle long, as it's seemed to grow no more than two and a half feet at the longest. There's a reason for this, actually two. In my youth, when I had short hair, people often mistook me for a boy. It's understandable when you're seven and flat-chested and you don't wear pink and your face holds no discernible characteristics that would scream SnowflakeDisneyPrincessLittlePony, but when you get to high school...

...especially a high school in a part of the South where short hair on a girl is viewed more as a statement on non-Biblically-approved sexuality than comfort and preference, people assume things. It didn't matter that I sported this haircut in a time when girly feminine Janine Turner and Linda Evangelista could win universal praise for their "bold" and "daring" looks. I walked out on 103rd Street with short hair to catcalls like HEY BOY and FUCKIN DYKE!

All that over hair. You begin to think Samson had it right when he refused to cut his, but I'm sure in my neighborhood he'd have heard at least one drive-by call him a fuckin' fairy.

The second reason: nobody EVER cut my hair to my liking. I'd bring in magazines, postcards, glossy eight-by-tens with circles and arrows and yada to Fantastic SuperHair Cuttery and say "Give me this." I'd show them Pat Benatar and Nina Blackwood, and they'd give me this:

I call this cut the Liberty Bell, because your hair is basically a bell-shaped helmet. It's too short to pull back into a ponytail and conceal the bell-ness, so the best you can do with it is wear hats (I brought berets to the Westside). From high school through college, every single time I went to a salon with everything but blueprints I came out with the g-d Liberty Bell. It's like every stylist in town had a file on me with a note attached reading SHE MUST ALWAYS LOOK LIKE ITALIAN VELMA.

If you've met me in person in the last ten years or so, you've hopefully seen a better version of this:

This is from 2013. Last week my hair was longer - it would have draped well below the RUSH. It was also knotting badly in the back and it's graying up top. Par for the course, but long hair is a pain in the ass to maintain. When you say you plan to cut your hair, everybody goes, "Oh noes, why you wanna cut it? It's so beautiful." It's my belief the people most affected by your decision to cut hair have never worn it at two feet long or more. It's heavy. It takes forever to wash. It gets caught in purse straps and car doors. When you bend over to drink from a water fountain it all falls forward into the bowl.

So why have I kept it this length as long as I have?

Vanity. Yes, you can call me out on it. I don't wear makeup, so I used my long hair to compensate for my perceived lack of femininity. I suppose, too, the occasional thought of a haircut triggers a FUCKIN' DYKE memory that I'd rather not relive. I should know better, though, to care what people think of me now. I'm not bothered if people mistake me for something other than a cis-gendered heterosexual female, but if you have a problem with my clothing or hair don't make it mine.

Last week, I decided I no longer wanted the burden. The daughter and I went to our local stylist where she got her bangs trimmed and two inches off the length, and I surrendered eighteen inches:

Thank Ged it's not the Liberty Bell, but maybe I've stumbled on the perfect look for my middle age:

And that's it. I'm not going back to long hair. When I'm seventy I'll have gone full Judi Dench. Can't wait.
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