Thursday, July 31, 2008

Are We Going To Prom Or To Hell?

Never was a more valid question posed, by a film-character in the history of Western Cinema.
I'm hoping to play croquet this weekend and so, style inspiration is needed. Now, one could always go all Alice In Wonderland, but because of my irrational love of hedgehogs, I think I'll opt for something a little more
"Heathers" (also, bizarrely known as Lethal Attraction).

It is truly fascinating that, not too long ago (honestly kids 20 years ain't nothin'), there was a time in America, when a teen movie like this could be made. Murder, mayhem, blowing up stuff, and it's a comedy. I mean, Elephant and Juno, are all fine and good, but honest to blog, this movie has it all. Including some of the most awesome and/or awful late 80s fashion. Shoulder-pads: God bless us, everyone.

I think this movie may have been where my irrational obsession with murderous psychopaths begun. Unfortunately, they don't appear to have much in common with Christian Slater in real life. Darn you Hollywood.

Ps. Remember when Winona Ryder was the coolest person alive? What happened Winona, where did it all go so wrong?!!!!? (I mean I know WHAT happened, but still.)
Also: were movie trailers, as well as our attention spans, longer in the days of yore?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Life-Changing Fiction

One of my favorite blogs of all time, belongs to the insanely, and at the same time, maddeningly (surely those two things ought to cancel each other out) talented author, Lauren Groff (whom I may have mentioned a few times before in this blog). In her latest post Ms. Groff relates a peculiar encounter another author, Brendan Halpin (who's blog is also worthy of a visit) recently had, due to using (tongue in cheek) the term "life-changing fiction", in reference to his own work in a blog post. To his surprise, Mr. Halpin was promptly issued a notice that this particular phrase was, in fact copyrighted material, which he had no right to be tossing around so carelessly. Apparently, the said term can only be applied to the works of one Ms. Karen Kingsbury, an inspirational Christian writer, who in spite of being a bona fide NY Times best selling author, and whatnot, took time out of her busy schedule to inform Mr. Halpin of the error of his ways. No, really.

It's madness, I tell you madness! I mean, hilarity ensues, etc. but in all seriousness, I think we should all make like Ms. Groff, and use that trite-ass phrase in conjunction with the work of all kinds of authors who are not Ms. Kingsbury. If you're a fellow book-lover, feel free to join me.

In my humble opinion, here are some works of truly life-changing fiction:

What do you consider life-changing fiction? Ms. Kingsbury and I are terribly curious to find out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Life at camp is lots of fun

It is, if you have friends like Missa, who send you loverly packages filled with vintage handicrafts magazines, girl scout postcards, beautiful ribbons, bows and charms!

If you just happened to get over a nasty cold and score vintage dresses for a dime and a song. 
If you're married to a wonderful man, no matter how far away he is.
If the bees are kind enough not to sting you.
If there's carrot soup on the stove.
If the full moon is up and there's nary a werewolf in sight.

Not to mention that Lauren Groff's new short story collection is mere seven months away!

They're lovely aren't they, those rare times when life seems both easy and beautiful, and lighter than air too...

Listening to: Patrick Wolf (of course)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Orange juice doesn't grow on trees...

...except that it sorta does. In my humble opinion.

I remember a time when I thought, that this was exactly what love was. Jordan Catalano grabbing Angela Chase's hand in that hallway, is like, a seminal moment for my generation. Or something.

Listening to: uummm...Buffalo Tom

(I know I know. Serious 90s kick. It's that skort I tell you! It's got powers!)
(and the screenwriting student within admires the scarcity of dialogue in the scene)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

If you have to dye your hair... it with cool-aid.
This is the most important piece of advise wikihow has to impart to kids today on the topic of How To Be Grunge . Now, I came of age in the 90s, when most of the current Nirvana-T-shirt-wearing crowd was still sporting OshKosh-dungarees, and I gotta say, the existence of such a manual seems kinda, well redundant and hilarious (especially step 15 which doesn't apply to girls apparently). Sure, flannel shirts and combat boots were very acceptable, and many of my fairer friends certainly did dye their hair with cool-aid (or the Finnish equivalent of it anyway), but the point of the era was not so much, that there was a certain look, but rather that anything went. Especially, since you were most likely wearing it to a gig.

In the early 1990s, at the height of the recession, the long depressed, former lumber and industry boomtowns of America's rainy Northwestern corner, suddenly found themselves in the front lines of Western pop-culture. Almost overnight, depression and darkness became cool, and no one did them better than the kids who'd grown up places like Seattle, Olympia and Aberdeen. The point of grunge styles was just that, depression, indifference; you used whatever was handy, and didn't cost money. Most likely the reason flannel shirts gained such popularity among the early followers of grunge music, was that they were readily available at the yard-sales and Goodwills of those towns, discarded by the lumberjacks.

Rayanne, Angela and Ricky. Bffs you wanted to have circa 1995.

The ultimare misery chick Daria and her heartthrob Trent, the singer of Mystik Spiral. (also the only cartoon character I ever remember having a crush on)

A lot of what kids wore to concerts then was a mix of many different things, rather than a uniform-look. Vintage dresses went with huge grandpa cardigans, over-alls with tie-dye tops (self-made, tie-dye was cheap to do), 60s house dresses over 70s jeans, vests worn over floral dresses, woolly hats and scarfs with everything, rain or shine. Sounds eerily reminiscent, doesn't it?

Sassy Intern Chloë. Sevigny. (was there anywhere that girl wasn't in the 90s???)

Now that the early 90s are creeping back into the mainstream, I have to admit, that I never quite got over them in the first place. The mix-and-match ethos appealed to my style-sense, honed by a lifetime of thrift-shopping. Grunge democratized fashion, taking off the pressure to look perfect. Apart from that now infamous Perry Ellis-collection, high fashion left it alone, so there were no brands, no knock-offs and infinitely more expensive genuine items. In fact, the true measurement of your hipness was not how faithfully you could adopt a certain hipster look, but rather if you could come up with one so unique, kids in your circle would copy it (I'm talking to you Jenni, of the animal-hand-puppets-as-mittens-fame!). To me at least, that was what the era was about, unapologetically being your own, weird self. Or as the city of Aberdeen has seen fit to state it, in honor of it's plaid-wearing heroes:

Listening to: Hole, Greenriver.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Taxidermied Love

I've been thinking of buying my friend Simoney a jackalope for her birthday. On ebay. Ebay really does have everything, even mythical animals. I have a long-standing obsession with taxidermied creations like these, and she and I used to talk about shopping for Jackalopes, so it might just be the perfect gift.

Last summer, I got to see Jake The Alligator Man at Marsh's Free Museum in Long Beach,
which rekindled this crazy affair with man-made fairy-tale creatures. I just love how obviously fake they look, yet have enticed generations of people to believe in their "what if"-ness. There is something heart-warming about our willingness to believe in the unbelievable, magical, and even the down-right counterfeited.

This is the Feejee mermaid, who features heavily in a story I'm working on.

I think this obsession may originate from this image in a Patrick Woodroffe book I had as a kid. My mom let me read weird things. It's all her fault, apparently.

Listening To: R.B Reed's Taxidermied Love

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Moccasin Flowers

Gloria, originally uploaded by Elif Sanem Karakoc.

All my life,
so far,
I have loved
more than one thing,

including the mossy hooves
of dreams, including'
the spongy litter
under the tall trees

In spring
the moccasin flowers
reack for the crackling
lick of the sun

and burn down. Sometimes,
in the shadows
I see the hazy eyes,
the lamb lips

of oblivion
its deep drowse
and I can imagine a new nothing
in the universe

the matted leaves splitting
open, revealing
the black planks
of the stairs.

But all my life-sofar-
I have loved best
how the flowers rise
and open, how

the pink lungs of their bodies
enter the fore of the world
and stand there shining
and willing- the one

thing they can do before
they shuffle forward
into the floor of darkness, they
become the trees.

-Mary Oliver-
If'I'm posting only pictures and videos and other people's words these days, it's because I've all but used up my own. Writing's hard and breaks your heart.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

She is sure.

Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes, who doesn't love her? The headbands, the facepaint, the wizard staffs, it's all so delightfully zany, devil-may-care.

And this Donnie Darko- (with more than a dash of Twin Peaks thrown in the mix)inspired clip, may, in my humble opinion, be one of the finest music videos ever.

Friday, July 4, 2008

What you should know about to be a poet

, originally uploaded by lastleaf.

"all you can about animals as persons.
the names of trees and flowers and weeds.
names of stars, and the movements of the planets
and the moon.

your own six senses, with a watchful and elegant mind."

-Gary Snyder- an excerpt from the poem