In Which I Discuss The Mirrored Shard, by Caitlin Kittredge…

(So it’s been quite some time since my last update, but between getting hit with the flu, the holidays and starting a new job AND internship – it’s been insane.  The move to the city proved to be one of the greatest things I could have done. Slowly but surely I’m working my way into the industry and enjoying every crazed minute of it.  The subway rides have also given me ample time to catch up on my reading. I have about thirty books I’ve read that I desperately want to talk about. Which brings us to today’s post!  The first review in ages and it’s on one of my new favorite books, by an author I geek out over frequently on here. It’s the most recent one I’ve read, but it was so good it gets first slot! So without further ado my kiddies I bring to you the review of The Mirrored Shard by Caitlin Kittredge.)

Since reading the first pages of “The Iron Thorn” I have been hooked on the Iron Codex series by Caitlin Kittredge.  What first grabbed me about the series was the story line.  Steampunk-Plus I like to think of it. It really had everything I enjoy reading all packed into one book.  In addition, the level at which Kittredge writes is superb.  She has a firm command of language and how to weave words into a story that so few authors today have.

As I’ve become even more jaded about writing styles, plot and execution since I started my internship at the agency, it was great to read a book by an author whose work I enjoy not marred by my ever growing critical eye. Even in the cases of published books these days, I find things that make me cringe.  Mirrored Shard had none of this.

It picks up some few months after the end of “Nightmare Garden”.  We get to see Nerissa unmarred by the effects of iron poisoning that drove her from Aoife’s life to begin with.  The story itself follows Aoife as she goes on the journey/hunt/adventure to get Dean back, while she has to deal with the repercussions of opening the gate to the nightmare realm. Needless to say, Aoife has really found herself between Scylla and Charybdis.

What I like most about this novel (and honestly the series as a whole) is that you can truly see how the events Aoife experiences change her. Whether for the good or for the bad, she grows as a character through these novels and it’s believable.  It’s subtle until she does something that makes you say “Well wait in book 1 she never would have done that.”  It’s clear that Kittredge has a grasp on how to grow her characters through multiple books.

Some of the beloved characters return, including Cal who is a personal favorite of mine. The Ghoul with a heart of gold.  There are also some new characters. Some of whom I fell in love with immediately (even though one or two were supposed to be bad…what does that say about me?) and others who had to grow on me.  It’s rare, I feel, to find secondary and tertiary characters that have been as well fleshed out as those in this book.  It gives the story a far more realistic feel that, for example, the stranger Aoife encounters once acts in accordance to certain economic and social conditions. It’s clear that to some degree even these minor characters have a story behind them.

All in all, despite my technical babble the story is great. The writing is great. And I devoured it heartily. I never like to give away too much in reviews because I loathe spoilers. But let’s just say that between the East Coast and the West Coast, Kittredge gives more to the landscape that she started in Iron Thorn.  Hey, we even get to see Alcatraz in this universe – which is pretty cool if you ask me.  There’s also a character, Lei Xiang, that REALLY reminds me a little of something in an old Kung-Fu movie (which, by the way, is not a scathe. I LOVE old Kung-Fu movies, wrought with their crazy villains and ladies with insane eyes.)

And, I also have to say because of the subtle Lovecraftian undertones in this series (and some not so subtle which is by no means a bad thing) I’ve been sparked to pick up the old master again.  I feel my life has been fulfilled a little more because of this. So thank you Ms. Kittredge, for reintroducing me to an author I loved so long ago and had long forgotten.  And thank you for a stunning end to a trilogy.  Though my heart is sad to leave the world of Aoife Grayson, it was indeed a fine finale. I thoroughly look forward to what this author puts out in the future.

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Announcement

I ask you all to pardon the changes made to the site.  I’m trying out some new themes…and until I can scrounge for the upgrade to customize this thing more, it won’t be up to the best it can be for right now.  You’ll still be able to access everything so…please just stay with us for a bit.  I’m trying to keep things organized for you kids so you don’t have to scroll through every post.  We’ll see how that works.  Alrighty. Enjoy!

In Which I Discuss Halloween-Like Things

Ahhh Halloween.  Long has it been my favorite holiday.  There’s something about the sudden leap in creepy, freaky and scary things that just gets my blood going.  During this time of year, no one looks at you funny if you talk about serial killers, ghosts, monsters and random factoids about how the early Christians completely ruined a festival of the harvest.  This is the time of year when everyone wants to jump on the freaky band wagon.  People (most people) try to find the eeriest, most bizarre costumes.  Others like to dress up like hooker cops….This is the time of year when you can walk through bloodied halls of an abandoned mental institution being chased by actors who really just want their big break. Yes. I love everything about Halloween.  I have loved it since I was a kid.  I suspect that I always will.

Needless to say I was extremely excited when I moved to Brooklyn last month because I was gearing up for the Halloween parade.  I was going to go, have an amazing time.  In all the years that I lived in NJ, only a path ride away, I never went.  This was going to be the year!  So…naturally mother nature swings in and ruins that plan.  The Halloween parade, for the first time in its 39 year history, was canceled.  They are talking about rescheduling it but who knows. And believe me I understand.  The city is in total chaos right now. Subways are flooded and transportation in and out of the boroughs is all but impossible.  Half of the city is still without power, and a lot of neighborhoods are still flooded.  So. I get it.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not sad about it.

So what does one do on Halloween when all normal avenues of fun and horror are closed?  One sits at home, drinking cocoa and watches scary movies. That’s what one does.  Sure, there will be a little cleaning today. Typical household chores. But I refuse to not observe Halloween in some fashion.  So, I have a list of movies that I plan to watch. I will drink cocoa, gorge myself on candy until I am nearly in a diabetic coma and probably try to convince my other half that telling scary stories (or reading aloud from one of my many H.P. Lovecraft books) is a good idea.

Later I will walk around the neighborhood to look at the Halloween decorations that didn’t get thrashed by the storm, and avoid cable t.v. as all they are showing is storm coverage.  Yes. I will celebrate Halloween this year.  I look at it this way, with all the branches and leaves in the area, the streets nearly devoid of cars and the cold chill in the air- I can pretend I’m in a zombie wasteland for the day.  It’s something at least.  Maybe I’ll even get some writing done.

Onto the first cup of hot chocolate.  I hope you all have a safe, fun and frightening Halloween.  If anyone affected by the storm has an interesting way they’ve celebrated it (or if anyone anywhere has an interesting way to celebrate it for that matter), do send us an e-mail.  Pictures are always fun, but if you don’t have don’t worry.  If we get enough, we’ll compile them into a story to post sometime later this week.  Stories, pictures and any other fun factoids can be sent to admin@bleakreads.com

And now I leave you with this awful Halloween joke:  Why did the ghost go to the club on halloween?   Because that’s where all the ghouls were!

Corny jokes aside. Have a safe, happy and terrifying halloween.  We’ll see you all soon!

Something Bigger, Something Brighter

So, big things are coming.  Officially this is now bleakreads.com ,  and in effort to make things more official-like, we’re going to have menus, categories and some other goodies on here too.  I already have a few things in the works and thanks to the amazing expertise of my good friend, this place is going to get a makeover- Fearnet style.  I can’t promise anything since it’s all still in the early stages.  But, I ask you bear with us while we get things underway.  I promise you the end result will be fantastic.

 

And I already have a few reviews I’m writing. So, once the new and improved site gets launched- you can look forward to those.  We’re going to branch into movie reviews as well.  So, if there’s anything you’d like to see on here feel free to email us at admin@bleakreads.com  .  We’ll work on getting that underway.  Keep on the lookout for updates, contribution requests and other such deliciousness.

 

See you all soon!

New City, New Things

I just completed a move to Brooklyn.  Things were kind of crazy for a while, but they’re settling now and I’m extremely excited to be back in the general area I grew up in (grew up in NJ, so this is close).  I completely decluttered, sold my car and am now one of the masses  that uses mass transportation to get everywhere. It’s a completely freeing feeling.

Now.  Onto my intentions and aspirations.  For one, more reviews and blogging. I have access to a lot more here so there will be a lot more in the way of reviews and such.  It’s nice to be near theaters that show limited releases of movies I’m aching to see.

I can’t promise that I won’t  fill this blog with tons of randomness, actually that’s a very real possibility.  Photographs and insanity.  Look forward to it because it’s coming.  Well I’m off. Need to get the rest of my things unpacked and pretend to be a productive member of society today.

One Nation, Under Geeks….

…and I forgot the last words of the Pledge of Allegiance. Seriously I sat here for five minutes trying to remember. In any case.  This post is brought to you at the behest of my friends to get the name out there for our facebook group/campaign.  See, it should be noted that we don’t seriously expect it to happen. But in a time of such varying political viewpoints and agendas I decided that I wanted to put my faith in someone who was….well…kick ass.  And not in a re-election kind of way.

Felicia Day for President started after a conversation (probably riddled with beer) that I was so tired of stuffy guys in suits running things when they didn’t know what it was like to be the typical American. I should note that when I have even one drink, I become a pseudo-philosopher and think that all my grand ideas make sense.  They usually don’t but this one stuck because it was a funny kind of awesome. Funny in that my friends actually agreed with me.  I said “You know who I would vote for? Felicia Day. Hell, I’d even write her in!”  My disdain for politics is nothing new, and the idea of my heroine in the world of all things geek and nerdy running the show made sense at the time.
Now It’s sort of just become an on-going thing. I’ll ignore political news with a simple “Eh I’m voting for Felicia Day.”  it confuses most people. Mostly because the people I say that kind of comment to are not in the know.

Anyway. Last night my friends and I were talking about the group and it was decided that I needed to “blow it up.”  It’s certainly not meant as a political statement. Not intentionally anyway.  It’s fun to imagine a country run by my heroes, the only people in the world that I would get starstruck around if I ever met them. So we delved deeper than just Felicia Day last night.  Who would be the Vice President? Secretary of State? ….we crafted out the leaders and aptly entitled our imaginary land of awesome….  The United States of Geekdom.  Or Nerdmerica. We haven’t decided which of them would catch on more.  Anycase.  Below is what we came up with and the rest I filled in on my own this morning:

President:  Felicia Day

Vice President:  Wil Wheaton

Secretary of Defense:  Edward James Olmos (to be referred to as “Adama”)

Secretary of State:  Neil Patrick Harris

Political Speechwriter: Joss Whedon

Speaker of the House:  Nathan Fillion

I’m on a hunt to figure out who would fit best for the other positions and you can expect a list later on.  but for now, imagine the awesomeness of Nerdmerica.  Everyone loves NPH- I suspect world peace could be a reality….all he would need to do was smile.  Oh yes. That or he could decimate enemies with his Freeze Ray- er…right. We’re going for something bigger and better. No decimating. No Decimating. But in any case, I give you the fun musings of friends. Check out the facebook group for Felicia Day for President here

Books to Look Forward To!

This is a very exciting summer.  A summer of impending literary joy! A good chunk of my favorite authors have books coming out this summer. Next month in fact and I am clenching my fists in high expectation.   I don’t exactly have much time to read, opening a business is good for sucking time.  BUT. For these three books coming out in the next two months, I will make SERIOUS exceptions to my typical “I need all the sleeps evar!” rule.  Because I know that the exhilaration of reading the soon to be named novels will be insanely worth the slight bleary eyed days that follow.

 

1. Soul Trade by Caitlin Kittredge:  I’ve made it no secret, my love for her works.  So it’s really kind of obvious that this would be on my list.  I’ve been reading her stuff since I first perused the shelves at B&N back in Jersey and saw ‘Nightlife’. After reading the back, and myself at the time in need of a seriously good book, I said “Sure! let’s give this author I’ve never heard of a try.”  After a long and disappointing love affair with a certain uber-famous UF writer’s books I was in need of something that a.) didn’t suck and b.) wasn’t written by a crazy person eating Crazy O’s for breakfast.  I was immediately hooked.  There’s a certain rush that follows discovering a new writer, putting that first book on your already crowded shelf and staring at B&N’s website like a wide eyed rabid monkey-bird awaiting the announcement of their next novel.  There’s a certain amount of risk involved too. Wondering if, like before, you’ll be let down in a fiery burning crash of words strung together with a barely visible plot and lots and lots of grossly descriptive, not sexy vampire/shapeshifter sex masquerading as a work of ‘literary genius’.  I got off track. ANYWAY.  I’m in love with the Black London series on a level that only rivals my love for things like Eureka, Doctor Who and Torchwood (oh and Felicia Day…whole ‘nother story).  So I’m staring again like a wide eye rabid monkey-bird waiting for the package of this book that I pre-ordered.   (it should be noted that the tangent opinions stated before are STRICTLY my own, and if you’ve deduced what writer I was expressing my distaste for- please don’t take it out on Ms. Kittredge by not buying her books.  Also, I’m not saying don’t buy the books by the unnamed author either. It”s my opinion, and I’ll curl up with it by the fire and call it George.  I mean no true ill will….because I still have all her older stuff before the crazy ate her brain and love it so.)

2.  Seawitch by Kat Richardson:   The Greywalker series is one of those series that I have recommended to every person who asks what kind of stuff I like to read.  I find that it’s a wonderful introduction to the UF genre, with a great heroine and ferrets. I love that there’s ferrets. A ferret specifically but you know what I mean.  The Greywalker novels have long been a favorite of mine, and most of my copies are seconds. Because I generally lend them out so much they get worn kind of quickly.  So I’ve started buying the hardcovers, and then the paperback. When generally I would simply wait for paperback.  Just to have one that won’t end up looking like the copy of Hamlet I had to read in high school.  I can’t wait for this.  Harper Blaine is one of my favorite heroines period.  So. Go read these too.

 

3. Grave Memory by Kalayna Price: Are we sensing a theme here? Yes. I like Series. Because I enjoy getting lost in the worlds these brilliant authors create. It makes me happy. Reading is a lost joy for a lot of people, and for some one they have yet to find.  Anyway, The Alex Craft novels were introduced to me after I watched Felicia Day’s Vaginal Fantasy hangout.  Yes. You read that right. And I’m so glad for it, because I soaked up the first book and then devoured the second.  it’s an amazing thing when I can read a book in five hours. That means I love it. I read fast. And yes, I retain what actually happened. It’s sort of a wibbly wobbly timey wimey warp thing in which time slows and I am able to read novels so fast. Of course, I probably really look like Hammy- and in truth I’m sure that’s how I look.  But hey…. So I highly recommend checking these out too. (I know this was published at the beginning of July, but I have had zero time to read it but it’s a series worthy of noting so I threw it in here too).

 

4. Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire:  Oh Toby Daye.  I don’t know if I can accurately explain the goings on in my head when I read one of these novels. Mostly it’s chitterings of joy and internal interpretative dance.  If you haven’t read any of the Toby Daye novels you are SERIOUSLY missing out on some delicious Fae action. Really. If you love Fae things as much as I do you need to read this. Again, another author that hasn’t let me down.  I hate to say it that way because these are their brainchildren and really who am I to judge in which direction they take their stories? But you know what I mean. I hope.  If not, then my sincerest apologies for sounding like a grade A mule.  I simply mean that every book has been better than the last.    I also hope you all read these and love Tybalt as much as I do.

 

5. The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow:  I can honestly say I own more books by this author than by any other author ever.  Three, four? Years ago I went south for Christmas and I am always in the habit of bringing books (now my kindle) with me for plane rides and late nights when no one else stays awake.  I forgot books on this trip so when I got down there, I went to the bookstore and went on the hunt.  I found the Dante Valentine books and I bought them all. Sight unseen. A rather bit of a risk when I tend to be a little picky on the things I read.  But the storyline sounded great and my first page test left me wanting more and I just had the feeling I was going to devour it.  So, I did.  And since then I have amassed a collection of Ms. Saintcrow’s novels. And each and every one I love and lend out like there is no tomorrow. I’m always excited to find a book by her I didn’t know she had written because it’s like Christmas morning.  I also love steampunk. I love Victorian era ANYTHING. I also love alternative history and mysteries. So…needless to say when I was perusing the web and saw this I was aflight with giggles of glee. It’s certainly on my list and I cannot WAIT to read it.

 

 

So that was definitely 5 and NOT 3.  But I couldn’t help myself. I also know these are mostly authors I talk about a lot, but I can’t help myself.  I haven’t had much time to peruse for new things coming out and with me not working at the bookstore any longer, this information doesn’t just fall into my lap anymore.  So, I’m sure there are a ton of books I should be adding here but I just don’t know about them yet.  In any case, these five will keep me busy for a while. Or maybe only for a weekend considering my tendency to hide away on a weekend off reading multiple books because I’m a lunatic.  Heh.  Everyone has a vice and for me it’s books.  So, go out and buy these. Read them. love them. Yes, I just ordered you to love them.  And for god’s sake don’t pirate them. Pirating books SERIOUSLY hurts authors, and damages the possibility of more books in a series. It’s a whole percentages, sales thing. But it’s kind of like- if you had a really awesome idea and you go to patent it. But someone pirates that idea before you patent it. No one buys it, you show no sales and your idea gets no backers.  Or…you know, just don’t be an ass and pay for them.  When you pirate, and then complain that the books stop? Guess what….YOUR FAULT. Well you and every other scurvy, hook for a hand, eye patch wearing, peg legged sea-dog out there. Talking like a pirate=funny. Stealing things like a pirate=BAD. PSA is now over. You may all go back to your regularly scheduled television shows. Me? I’m going to watch Hoarders before bed.

Here’s a Drabble About Why I Write….and Tangents!

Sometimes I am amazed by the things that come out of my brain. Whenever someone asks me “How do you think of what to write?” I always retort with “It never shuts off.” I’m of the volition that I don’t do or write anything spectacular. I’m certainly not the next Steinbeck or Hemingway. I’ll never write the so-called Great American Novel. While I enjoy reading classic literature and certain veins of LitFic, I can’t stand to write it. It bores me. I don’t have fun with it, and I don’t like to write anything I’m not having fun doing in some respect.

 

I carry with me a notebook or index cards and multitudes of pens at all times because I don’t want to get stuck at a red light and suddenly get an awesome idea for a scene and have no way to record it. (I used to carry a tape recorder around with me but i got tired of listening to my own voice talk back to me later). I’ve looked back at my old scribblings and I wonder where in the hell I came up with some of the stuff.

 
“Purple haired sewer mole that eats souls and it’s only weakness is purified water?!”

 
So I’ve put my other nearly finished projects aside because I am going through the final (at least I really hope so) rewrite of my novel. This little baby has been through five, yes FIVE, different versions. After writing and editing each one, I’ve sent it out and it’s not gotten any bites. So, after each round of no responses and polite “you write well but the story doesn’t draw me in”s, I sat down and read it and said “What am I doing wrong?” The answer each time was to do a complete overhaul.

 

 

It started out as something very different from what it’s become. And I can’t say that I’m unhappy about that. When I started writing this (four years ago, and yes I have written other things since, I usually put this away for about 8 months before going back to it) I was kind of happy with it. Then moving to a little happier. Now I’m at the point where I think I have the entire world created in such a way that should this ever see the light of day as the series I intend it to, I can continue it infinitely. I was limiting myself with older versions, saying it was going to be a three-part series. But the world and the characters have so many stories and lives to share that I just can’t limit myself.

 
The point of this whole drabble is that, yes I’ve gotten rejections and yes I’ve written sub par material and thought it was good until someone slapped me on the back of the head and said “Not engaging enough”, but I’m really not deterred. Writing is my life passion, and I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t writing. If I go a day without writing, even if it’s a measly 500 words, I feel sick and like I have wasted the day. I know the process once someone says “yes I’ll represent you” isn’t an easy one. It’s like any other job I suppose, there will be times I’m sure I’ll want to pull my hair out but with something I love this much I don’t see myself falling into my typical “after three years let’s try something new!” because….with writing I can try something new with each story.

 
It boils down to why I write. Some people act because they enjoy going into different lives and characters, and for the same reason I enjoy writing. I can delve myself into a world that doesn’t exist and shape it to my own desires and whims. I love being able to say “No, I don’t want to follow the laws of physics today.” and then subsequently bastardizing all science has taught us about the world. I enjoy making characters come to life for others, to bring others to that world of make-believe that my favorite authors bring me into. There’s something so rewarding (even when it’s just a friend, family, checkout clerk, insurance agent…) when someone reads it and says “more please?”. It makes me want to continue this arduous process of write, edit, rewrite.

 
Over the course of actually writing this novel, I’ve learned a lot about crafting a story. My biggest problem was always dialogue. I could write descriptions of Tolkien-esque length and create these worlds but the characters would be so fucking bland it made me crazy. So I studied. I started listening to people more, I had the conversations in my book with myself so they would sound more believable. I read up more on creating believable, rounded characters. I gave them each a fifteen page back story, I made them real. And that seems to have made the difference in my eyes at least.

 
I’m no expert, and I’m hardly a person to give advice but I’m going to. Don’t be egotistical. It doesn’t help the craft at all. We all have faults, we all write shit sometimes, and every last one of us makes mistakes in our writing. Letting other people read my writing has been invaluable for unbiased input. Also, choose people who aren’t going to praise your work and give you no constructive criticism. I love constructive criticism. BRING IT ON. I want to know what’s not working so I can fix it and make it shiny. If you can’t take constructive criticism then you can never grow. So grow, create, go out and write the shit out of something. Also, include talking kittens.

 

 
NOTE: Constructive criticism is very, very different from “You suck. I h8 u an everythin’ u write cuz i have no lyfe an like 2 troll.” People, honestly…..oh and when people do that to published authors I like? I want to grab them by the shoulders and stare deep into their eyes and say “You don’t even use proper english who are you to judge?! DO YOU EVEN READ?! Huh?! Do you? Do you?!!?!?” But I restrain myself. I simply shake my head, sigh and move on to more constructive reviews. The internet is full of grown four-year olds aching for attention, even the negative kind, and I will not be party to their antics. They can kick and scream in the corner for all I care.

The Six Best Movies….EVER

So, a while ago I gave you guys the six worst movies, and now I’m giving you the six best. They’re the best in my eyes for different reasons. Either they are beautiful art wise, disturbing on a level I’m sure wome of you people will understand, scare the ever loving shit out of me or are just so ridiculous that they find a place in my heart. Sure, there are more than this….and someday I may tell you about others I love but for now these will have to do. And I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I tried not to spoil too much….but I think I may have in one or two in my over excitement. Whatever the case….onward and upward! (These are in no particular order)

The Tunnel: “Is he eating-oh god that’s his HEAD!” “WHAT LANGUAGE IS THAT ::denegerate into hysterical sobs and incomprehensible whimpers::” That was pretty much my reaction. I don’t get scared easily by movies and this one did. It’s a low budget Australian horror flick that my friend tipped me on. I saw it online when the makers were running it free. I loved it so much I just ordered the DVD now that it’s out. This is a movie about people who go into a tunnel and find something completely terrifying. I don’t like spoilers but I will say that you never get a good look at the thing and it’s creepy and it EATS PEOPLE’S HEADS ya’ll. It’s like Paula Deen for the subterranean community. “Oh, what goes best with sewer water? Why reporter brain of course…nom nom nom”. Even talking about this movie makes me want to cry and curl up in a ball. If it scares me….it’s AWESOME. So…go watch it. With a light on, and don’t go underground for at least a month after viewing. This just goes to further prove that Australia is home to all the deadliest things EVER. Even the fake ones.

 
Death Proof: Who doesn’t love a good Tarantino flick? Who doesn’t love muscle cars? Who doesn’t love hot girls who know muscle cars IN a Tarantino flick? Mix them together and it’s like gearhead girl heaven! Tarantino’s masterful grasp of dialogue and just all around ass kicking is displayed. As usual he makes a cameo, and his cast is AWESOME. We have, Tracy Thoms, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Zoe MOTHAH-FUCKIN Bell (I added the middle name for emphasis on her awesome), Kurt Russel, Rose McGowan and some other chicks like Vanessa Ferlito and the other two who get killed. Death, revenge and three girls kickin’ Kurt Russel’s behind and you have the best movie ever. Best modern movie I should say. Also, did I mention that Zoe Bell is in it? Who doesn’t love her? Oh…you don’t? Well then get out of here and give me back my damn cookies damnit.

 
Yellow Brick Road: Another film that terrified the ever loving crap out of me. Also reccomended by the same friend who reccomneded the tunnel. Set in the NH wilderness (aisde: I fucking live in NH….more on how this is relevant soon) a documentary team goes to investigate why a town in the days of old got up, walked up a wooded path and most were never seen again. The ones that were seen again were seen torn limb from limb. WHY WOULD YOU EVEN?! Hear a story like that, smart people stay away. Not run into the unknown. IDEK. Getting a little excited because I can still hear the trees playing music in my sleep. Basically shit goes down and the crew has every bad thing ever that could possibly happen and go wrong….happen and go wrong. The trees start playing music, people go crazy and some guy rips some chick’s leg off. Rips it off with his bare fucking hands. “Oh wow Gen this is intense so far…what is he- OMFG OMFG THAT’S HER LEG GODDAMNIT! ::more sobbing::” I made the mistake of watching this alone. When everyone had gone away for a weekend. At night. Our house is surrounded by fucking trees. The windows are open with no coverings and it’s so quiet that it’s eerie (growing up in jersey when you don’t hear sirens every five seconds that’s quiet) and I watch this. I was scared enough to sleep with the lights on. Don’t think I’m easily scared, because I’m really not….but when people start ripping legs because the trees are playing music I draw the line…..

 

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover: It’s a long title but trust me, this movie is worth it’s weight in gold. A british film from the 80s starring the gorgeous Dame Helen Mirren, Michael Gambon and Tim roth. It’s brilliantly shot and the plot, a woman who falls in love with another man only to have her crazy bathsit husband go bezerk on her and then shit hits the fan (i can’t tell you everything because really you need to watch it for the full effect), is so well done that this movie will forever remain with you. A friend told me about it a few years ago and I had seen some clips on youtube because it was, up until recently when netflix put it online for streaming (Thank you Netflix!!), impossible to find. I watched it for the first time about two months ago and it soared into my top movie list. It’s just so brilliant, and touching and “WTFOMG?!” inducing. So…I highly suggest you all go watch this movie and right now.

 

Meet the Feebles: It’s disgusting. It’s graphic. It’s disturbing. And it’s puppets. Animal puppets. There’s not much else that can be said about this early Peter Jackson film that really does it justice. Oh, there’s a chorus number called “Sodomy” if that gives you any idea. There’s diseased rabbit, a cute….hedgehog looking thing and a rat that wants to have carnal relations with a dog. This movie is quite possibly the worst in history, which makes it the best. And it’s Peter Jackson (….i love early Peter Jackson. then he did King Kong and my heart broke). And a Hippo gone crazy kills almost everyone. What else is there to say but WATCH IT. For the love of all that is holy WATCH IT. Unless you have a weak stomach and/or constitution. Then avoid this like the plague.

 
Dead Alive: Everyone says it. Hell I’m sure even emo hipsters from myspace are saying it now. I won’t go into the fact that I first saw this in high school, and that at that time no one knew what the hell it was (no one I knew anyway) and how much I hate people who suddenly are like “Oh MAN I’ve loved that movie for like three years!” and then I facepalm, sigh heavily and want to murder someone. RIGHT. Anyway, another gem from old school P.J. that just makes my heart go pitter pitter. Far less disgusting in nature than Meet the Feebles, dead alive focuses on….well…Zombies. But a completely different Zombie origin story is found in this movie, and I won’t say anything because you have to see it. This is a highly quotable movie with lines like “Your mother ate my dog!” and “I kick ass for the lord!” I reccomend this to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet because….it’s gory, its funny and it’s gross but not TOO gross. Check out the lawnmower scene and zombie baby….oh yeah.

Project of Epic Proportions….maybe.

It may or may not be epic. In fact it’s really not all that much…but hey it’s an interesting project and I’m trying my hand at creativity that doesn’t involve leather, feathers and beads…and I just realized how WRONG that sounds. (In my spare time I make dream catchers. It’s a nice stress reliever.)

 

So I’m moving into my apartment next week, and the living/bed room area are all one giant space. Now, while I personally don’t really give a damn I’m fairly certain people visiting don’t want to see my bed while watching tv.  So in an effort to create a separate space and give a little pizazz to the tiny apartment I will be calling home for the next year, I decided I was going to get a shoji screen.  The only problem is they are EXPENSIVE. But I was going to buckle down, it would be an investment in the long run and I figured hey, at some point I could mutilate it with zombie paraphenalia.

 

Then my aunt and uncle say to me yesterday, “HEY! We have this awesome 3 panel screen that we don’t need anymore. It was originally for pictures and some of the glass is missing but it’s yours if you want it.”  My packrat heart went all a crazy. I figured I could pick up some same size frames at the dollar store and replace the glass and backing and voila….working screen.  No need to spend the money I got from selling my kidney on ebay to buy one! I can save that for the ferrari….or the lambourghini….in my mind.

 

So today, I’m driving to Starbucks for my rocketfuel and I pass by michael’s. All of a sudden, while singing along to Half Jack and sipping my coffee with not one, not two, not three but FOUR shots of espresso….I think “I’m going to turn that screen into something of Steampunk awesome.” And then my twitchy Hammy-resembling brain went into overdrive. I went into Michaels and bought All the Things Ever and then promptly drove home like a giddy goose because the cashier at Michael’s asked what I was going to make and I told her and she got as excited as I was (the joys of connectivity in nerdiness).

 

I’m a fan of antiques, and industrial looking stuff. I love old nautical, old industrial and old..everything. So I figured this was going to be a perfect awesome addition to my veritable closet (all joking aside it’s a cute little space) and a project for me to tell my imaginary friends (that would be you guys reading this) about.   And because i generally don’t do stuff like this, I’m rather proud of just the idea of it.  So, I painted it today. Letting it dry and then tomorrow night I’m going to sand and touch it up a bit because I want it to look old and gritty. I may add some embellishments like writing or something but…yeah.

 

Then over the course of this week, there will be all sorts of steps. Aging pictures with tea, aging canvas fabric with tea..trying NOT to glue my fingers together while I Gorilla glue things onto the wood and then finally awesomeness of the finished product.  Though, this may end up NOT getting done until next week because I have a ton of things to do for work, moving to coordinate and possibly a story to write.  Fear not, as the process continues there will be pictures, witty asides and probably cursing and crying as I try to unglue my appendages from one another.

 

NOTE: I was going to put the before and after’s of the paint job up now but I just realized I took the pics without a memory card in my camera and I can’t find the USB cord to upload them. So, you’ll get them in the next update. SIGH.