Friday, December 30, 2011

Boy Proof


Victoria Jurgen is definitely not the sort of girl you expect to find in Hollywood. She insists that everyone call her Egg, after the tough-as-nails female character in her favorite dystopian movie, Terminal Earth. She goes a step further - she shaves her head and dresses all in white like Egg as well. Unlike many of the girls in her classes, she doesn't aspire to be an actress, but a creator of movie monsters' designs and prosthetics. She isn't too good with people outside the members of her sci-fi/fantasy club, and prefers to go to the movie theater alone than with a group of friends.
    When Max, the new boy in school, begins giving her attention- and not the bad kind - Egg doesn't know what to make of it. Not only is he a great artist and likes the sames graphic novels as she does, he's just as smart as she is. At first, she decides that Max literally stinks, but then he joins the school newspaper, the same newspaper of which she is the photographer. Even though he's there to draw comics, Egg still feels threatened. Soon, her grades are dropping, and she's called in to the dean's office. If she's still 'boy proof'(a term coined by her mother), why is she reacting this way?

Boy Proof is a fun, quick read. "Egg" really drives the story, and it's her development that is the real conflict. She is an engaging heroine, and even more unusual, a geeky one. The author, Cecil Castellucci, calls herself "a card carrying-geek" and it shows in this story. Too often, authors will try to create a geeky character, but instead perpetrate a poorly written stereotype. But in Boy Proof, the main character's struggle is realistic and sympathetic.  This is a story which will appeal to geeks (especially geeky girls), fans of sci-fi and fantasy, and anyone who has ever felt like an outcast.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hope you and yours have a very merry Christmas! I spent today opening presents with family, took a walk, then enjoyed the Dr. Who Christmas special. I woke up to The Twelve Days of Christmas... slightly changed.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Here is the trailer for the movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which will appear in theatres in a little less than a year! Peter Jackson will return to direct this movie. I cannot wait!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Movie Review: Hugo


Recently, I went to see Hugo in theatres. I was eagerly expecting this movie, as I had read and loved the book (The Invention of Hugo Caberet) a few years previously. A short disclaimer: I had never seen anything directed by Martin Scorsese, so I didn't know what to expect. Most children's books that have been converted to film are notably lackluster, so I wasn't prepared for anything spectacular.

This movie was an amazing adaptation of the book, and in itself, an amazing movie.

Let me sum up the story: A young orphan named Hugo lives behind the walls of the train station in Paris. It was his uncle Claude's job to wind the clocks, but after he disappears, Hugo keeps winding them, to avoid discovery. He spends his days peering out through the inlaid numbers of the clocks, watching the diverse people who work there: the teashop owner, the police inspector, the flower-seller... and a toyshop owner, who sells windup toys. Hugo thieves a few of these toys to supply gears he needs. He's trying to finish the automaton that his father was fixing when he died. But when he's caught with his hand on a toy, he uncovers old secrets that the old toy-seller would rather forget.

The acting was phenomenal. The actors for Hugo(Asa Butterfield) and Isabelle, the toy-seller's goddaughter(Chloe Grace Moretz) give a subtle, yet strong performance. Butterfield is slated to play Ender Wiggin in the upcoming movie Ender's Game, and from his performance in Hugo, I believe he will do an excellent job.  The camera angles were innovative, using framing techniques of cutout numbers to frame actors' eyes. As this movie was designed to be shot in 3D, rather than using the 3D as a gimmick, the feel of the film was quite different from other movies I've seen. The passages behind the walls that Hugo frequents are realistically grungy and aged, full of grease and pitted metal.

I can't say much without exposing spoilers, but we explore the story of classic silent film with Hugo, and watch clips from silent movies with him. I really enoyed this aspect of the movie.

One other thing: this movie is not full of flashy thrills, but instead uses character development and suspense to move the plot along, although, don't misunderstand, it does have many tense moments. I really enjoyed this way of telling a story, and so did the party I went to see the movie with(a group ranging in age from ten years old to seventy-two years old).

This is a gem of a movie. Don't miss it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The story behind favorite Christmas traditions: Mistletoe

Ever wondered why we hang up a sprig of mistletoe around Christmas, for the sole purpose of stealing kisses?


For ancient Celts, the mistletoe was a symbol of fertility and rebirth, as it is an evergreen parasite that clings to its host even after the host tree has died.

But the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe first appears in the Norse myth of Baldur the Beautiful.

Baldur was the most beautiful of all the gods in Aesir, and was the son of Odin, the king of the gods, and Frigga, godess of love. One night his mother dreamed that Hel, the goddess of the underworld, embraced Baldur and led him into her domain. So his mother went to everthing on earth, from the oak tree to the beetle, and exacted their pledge that they would never hurt Baldur. But she overlooked the mistletoe, as it was so small, and much too young to swear this oath. Loki, the god of chaos, heard of this oversight, and began to plot.

"Each arrow overshot his head..."Source

All the gods began to throw spears and axes at Baldur, and he laughed as the weapons went astray or bounced harmlessly off his skin, and all the gods laughed too. Baldur's blind brother Hodor was standing nearby, wishing he could join in with the merriment. Loki placed a bow in his hand, and "Shoot, I'll guide the bow."
He shot true, and the arrow pierced Baldur's heart. The god fell, dead, for the arrow was made of mistletoe. But Baldur the god of the sun, and if he was dead, all life on earth would cease. Frigga began to wail, and cried so much over her son that her tears wetted the red berries of the mistletoe and turned them white. This raised Baldur to life, and Frigga was  so overjoyed that she decreed that when any two people walked under a sprig of mistletoe together they should kiss in memory of Baldur's resurrection.

Later, Artemis, Greek goddess of the moon and of young maidens, was said to wear a crown of mistletoe during the Roman Saturnalia, and indeed, in temples dedicated to Artemis, the priestesses would give her a crown of the parasitic plant during this holiday. Incidentally, the Saturnalia took place from December seventeenth to December twenty-third.

Much later, the Victorians resurrected this custom, as a part of Christmas celebrations. Author Washington Irving describes this tradition.

    "The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases."

Most Victorian households conveniently forgot the latter part of this tradition!


So there you have it: why we kiss under a parasitic plant at Yuletide!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mainstay Productions "Finnick and Annie" episode 1

Mainstay Productions started a webseries following the friendship of Finnick and Annie, a couple from Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. The camera angles, shots and acting are all at a professional level, and tell this fan studio's idea of how Finnick and Annie met. Check it out!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What Child Is This?- A Christmas Story

'Tell me about the first Christmas.'
'You know all about the first Christmas," said her father. 'You just saw the pageant. Mary and Joseph and the angel. The trek to Bethlehem. No room at the inn. Baby Jesus born in a stable.'
'Not His first Christmas. My first Christmas."
That Christmas. 
Last Christmas.
A December when the grownups left a lot to be desired. But oh- the children desired so much.
-From What Child Is This?- A Christmas Story

Eight-year old foster child Katie wants nothing for Christmas but a family of her own. Not a temporary family, but a forever family. When she is given the chance to write her Christmas wish on a paper bell, and hang on a Christmas tree to be granted, she tells the social worker to write 'Katie wants a family.'
'Christmas isn't about big things,' the social worker tells her. But Katie knows that it's a lie.
There are no angels singing down from the heavens this Christmas.
But there is Matt, who hangs the bell with her wish on the tree. There's Liz, whose family decorates every inch of their house, yet still miss out on the real reason for Christmas. There are Tack Knight and his father, who run a restaurant- and by the front counter they place a small tree, almost too small for all the Christmas wishes that weigh down its boughs.
The snow is as deep as Christmas carols, and the air is scented with miracles. Could a little girl's impossible wish be granted this season?

What Child is This? is one of those books to read a few times every Christmas. It's the sort of story that needs to be repeated, because the truth between its pages can be all too often overlooked in the decorating and bustle. Even on the thirtieth reading, it doesn't wear thin, or lose its freshness. It's too miraculous a story for that.

Monday, December 5, 2011

joy in the morning

after a night of hard weeping
the daylight comes
like a heavy hand through
the window and makes my head ache.

slowly waltz
don't break the eggs

my terrier howls and i get up
head heavy from sleep
i dress and walk out with my dog
into the frosty morning

up the middle
all together

each blade of grass is stiff and distict
like a forest of pins
glazed with frost and frozen rain
they crunch underfoot, breaking easily

lift up your arms now
keep the rhythm

the blue sky is clearing
a solitary mockingbird calls
clouds are peeling away from the sun
like petals from a flowers heart

high kick
fall back

the morning has brought with it
inescapable joy

in and out
the forever dance.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


 It's been a while since I reviewed a dystopian book on this blog, so here is a book that has been lurking at the back of my mind, waiting for me to cover it.

photo from author Ann Aguirre's website

Girl15 has always wanted to be a Hunter. They are the ones who are allowed to go outside the enclave, to the ruined world, and bring back food. She isn't good at making things, so she doesn't think she'll be a Builder, and the mere thought of being a Breeder fills her with dread. So at her naming ceremony, when she receives the six scars that make her a Huntress, along the the name Deuce, she is ready to prove herself to the rest of her enclave.
 Deuce's hunting partner is Fade, a strange, aloof boy who was raised outside of the enclave. She doesn't really trust Fade at first. After all, he was raised outside the enclave. But after Fade watches her back in a few fights with the mutated Freaks that live outside, an uneasy trust grows between them. Then they find an odd collection of papers in a ramshackle building, and they also find people who have formed their own community against the Freaks. But when Deuce and Fade tell the authorities of the enclave, they are instructed to be quiet under pain of death.

The enclave is wrong.
The perpetual night that holds the enclave in thrall may not be real.

furry wishes

the sun pushed its frowzy head
out of the cloudbank and yawned

i went into the shed
to unearth my bike from the christmas lights

a faint noise, a rustle
something stirred underneath paint-spattered dust cloths

i take a chance and investigate
gripping tight to the handle of a rake

i rip off the sheets and stir up a mob
of mice (fat young mice) that have been breeding 

in this jumble that is my shed. 
a torn up sock

creates a small nest for
nine sugary pink mice

they squirm in their warm bed and yawn
 taking in the pale winter sun 

i extricate my bike and leave the mouse family
to scurry through the sheets

like small furry wishes.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Who's birthday today

source of picture

Forty-eight years ago, the first Doctor Who episode aired. It was called The Unearthly Child.

The show ran for only a few episodes, and then was revived a few years later. No one knew that it would become the longest-running sci-fi show in the history of television.

It tells the story of a Time-Lord, exiled from his homeworld of Gallifrey, who defends the earth in his time-traveling police box, the TARDIS.  Click this link for more information.

source of picture

Happy Birthday, Doctor Who!

cold rain

Frosty rain soaks the drooping stems
 in the flowerbed
its drops drum the pavement

turns a flight of concrete steps
into a cascade of falling water
it chills our fingers bones and blood

and we vote to stay inside
away from the biting cold
the cold that tears our flesh

like badly made cloth ripping on a nail
in the grey woods
through the black dripping trees

a fire leaps
but the rain soon smothers it
and its smoke is lost in the grey clouds

the rain quenches all
and washes the earth
in coldness.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hunger Games: First Theatrical Trailer

Here is the first released trailer for the Hunger Games, that debuted during today's Good Morning America. It is everything I hoped for in a trailer!

Friday, November 11, 2011


twilight on the plain
the briars lean in the wind
from the north that
has turned the leaves bloodred

the lightning flashes
and a weird bird rises
its heart-shape face
is as pale as a ghost

its sepulchral tones
are louder than the storm
for it is roused and disrupted
by the wuthering wind

the owl floats over
the arched roof of the house
and the earth stirs
the earth wakes

 the people in the house
huddle in doorways
"perhaps it was the lightning 
or the bird's dull cries"

but the earth is moving
an omen
but for good or for ill?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Year and one day blog post (Also one hundred and first post)!

Today I happened to glance back to my first blog post (which is here) and saw that it was marked November 4. I really can't believe I've been blogging for ONE DAY more than a year, and didn't even notice. Another thing that slipped my notice is that the last blog post I wrote was my one hundredth post. Interesting that these two events coincided.

Since it is tradition to publish pictures of one hundred things one your one hundredth blog post, I will not break that tradition now.
The One Hundred Fountain in Tivoli, Italy

Here's a painting that I chanced across by Su Hanchen, a Chinese artist of the Song Dynasty. It's titled "One Hundred Children Playing in the Spring" (百子嬉春图页), which I found strangely appropriate.

It's been great writing this blog, and I've really enjoyed it.
Thanks for reading my musings and bruisings, everyone! It's been great having you along for the ride!

Owl City in Concert: All Things Bright And Beautiful tour (otherwise known as My First Concert)

My heart was racing as I walked into the long, low building that was to house the "All Things Bright and Beautiful" Owl City concert. The first opening band, "Unwed Sailor," played for about thirty minutes. Their instrumental music was rich, almost like the waves going out, and the blue lights gave the feeling of being submerged in some undersea grotto. "Days Difference" followed them, and played for about an hour.
After their set, the stage went dark for about ten minutes. The audience milled around, got drinks, etc.

Then, blue light filled the stage, and a soundbite of falling rain played, while thunder pulsed. A lone owl let out a hoot, and we all cheered as Adam Young and the rest of Owl City moved through the blue mist to their places. Then Adam Young's voice rang out through the sound system:
"I saw the autumn leaves
peel up off the street,
take wing on the balmy breeze
and sweep you off your feet."

Owl City went on to perform much of their album All Things Bright and Beautiful(the only excepted song being Plant Life), along with Cave In, Hello Seattle, Umbrella Beach, and Meteor Shower from Ocean Eyes, and a brand-new song, I Hope You'll Think of Me. They even played Dear Vienna, a personal favorite of mine.
Of course, the perennial favorite Fireflies was performed, with a new intro, and the audience was encouraged to sing the lines:
"I like to make myself believe
that Planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
awake when I'm asleep
because everything is never as it seems
when I fall asleep.."
Personally, I also sang along with every song that was played.

After their finale of The Yacht Club, they retired backstage, but after we chanted for an encore, they came back onstage and performed Vanilla Twilight, and If My Heart was a House, effectively wrapping up a scintillating performance.
(from right to left) Me, my sisters Lydia and Elizabeth, and my brother Andrew, enjoying the concert

This was my first concert, and I would gladly see Owl City again.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House is a classic Halloween story.
Four very different people meet at Hill House, at the behest of Dr. John Montague, who is conducting a ghost-watch at the gothic mansion. Just after her mother's death, Eleanor Vance, who experienced poltergeist  activity as a child, is summoned because  of her connection with the supernatural. Also summoned are artist Theodora and wealthy inheritor of Hill House, Luke. All four will be changed by Hill House, that's for certain. But after they inhale its mysteries and taste its ghosts, will the house let them go unharmed?

The Haunting of Hill House is a favorite of mine. It never ceases to thrill me, surprise me, and send shivers down my spine.


no one is who they are
or what they seem
on this night of all nights

(the wicked witch has a heart of gold)

the scientist prepares to
perform an operation
on the tray of celery sticks

(his monster is quite healthy)

ghosts and goblins
run down the street
screaming "Candy! Candy!"

(for inside, they're sweet)

the chill wind blows
through the knee-high weeds
and rouses a murder of crows

(black against black as they mount to the rising sky)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pink Ray Gun is my favorite new site...

They have awesome pumpkin carving patterns to do!

And I did one!

Not very good resolution, but at least it's a picture of it!


I have a deep-seated love for Shakespeare, especially his tragedies. King Lear, Hamlet, Antony and Cleopatra...I love them all. But my favorite of the Bard's tragedies is the play Macbeth.
Last week, it happened to be playing at the OCU theatre, and I got the chance to attend their A Day With Shakespeare program.
Basically, this is a day for high-school students to come, attend workshops, and watch the play.
I attended a workshop on unarmed stage fighting, which was led by the actors playing Macduff and Lenox. They demonstrated how to use knaps (or a well-placed clap) to make the sound of a slap or punch. They even demonstrated how to perform a flying kick that looks genuine, and rather painful!
Of course, I and my brother and sisters immediately began to try these moves on each other in the hall during the lunch break, and actually worked up to where we could perform all the tricks that they showed us.
Then we went back into the theatre to watch the play. The house lights went down, and when they came up again, all the actors were onstage, engaged in what seemed to be mortal combat, but as still as photographs.
Then they began to fight furiously.
The play was wonderfully done, and I spent hours afterward reliving it in my mind. The director had chosen to place Macbeth in a bleak wasteland environment, and the costumes seemed straight from an apocalyptic steampunk novel. All the fight scenes seemed real (and terrifyingly close as we were seated in the third row).
I really enjoyed this take on Macbeth. It was perfect for Halloween: with witches, apparitions, and murderers, there's not that much more one could ask for in a play.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"bike helmits required"

source for photo

crisp fall leaves crunch under my heels
and the wind is changing
as i walk from my car to the trailhead
a sign marks the start of the path

i run my fingers across a scrape
in the metal and smile at one of the rules
(misspelled) "bike helmits required"
a sign that we are all human.

a red star on the map
"YOU ARE HERE" it shouts
not wanting to be missed by
a less-than-sharp eye.

the small eager star is important
because it is a challenge
shouting in the dark
into the oblivion of anonymity:
"i am here. i am at the beginning. i am moving forward."


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Hanging Tree: fan song of the month

 I keep coming across fan videos of this lovely song lately.
It hails from Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay, and is a sad ballad about a young man who was hanged by the officials for allegedly murdering three people. After he is cut down, he calls out to his love from beyond the grave.

First I found Sam Cushion's melody. Cushion is the composer of the Unofficial Hunger Games soundtrack (also available on Youtube) and is somewhat of a celebrity within the Hunger Games fandom.

The next arrangement I chanced upon was by a band called Poko Lambro, also on Youtube. It is slightly faster, and the singer has a hauntingly beautiful voice.

There are many more fan versions of this song on Youtube, and I could spend all day telling you about them, but I'll let you find them yourself. In the meantime, here are the words to The Hanging Tree.


Are you, are you coming to the tree
Where they strung up a man they say murdered three
Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the Hanging Tree

Are you, are you coming to the tree
Where the dead man called out for his love to flee
Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the Hanging Tree

Are you, are you coming to the tree
Where I told you to run so we'd both be free
Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the Hanging Tree

Are you, are you coming to the tree
Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me
Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the Hanging Tree

-Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

Sunday, October 9, 2011

call to wander

it was a call to wander
 that roused me and made me walk
i traveled so far on muddy roads

and the new asphalt ones
but my feet never touched the ground.

I am half mad and half sane
you know this I'm sure 

the reason you never stopped me
was because you knew.

i walked so far
 my head in the sky
my feet in the air

you must have wondered
if i was ever coming back.

"Never' I said to you and you knew
(again) that i was lying

i walked so far
saw every mood of man

saw the monsters that lurk
under beds now awake and adult
but learned that even if the monsters live

that toads still nestle in their miry holes
 that the world keeps bearing its heavy load

and children still dream beautiful dreams 
in the early morning before the dew has melted.

i learned to dream beautiful dreams too
and when the savage sky
had nibbled holes in my face

i came back and gave you the best
of all the dreams that weighed down my pockets

and from them, you wove a basket as opalescent as dawn.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Panem October Error Message

So, I was trying to log into Panem October* for the big unveiling of their site, along with 54,000 other district members*. And I recieved this error message:

Sorry, District Three*!! had we known, we would have tried to do this in a more democratic fashion! Wait a minute...we're an oligarchy, not a democracy...

*For an explanation of Panem October, click this link.
* I'm in District Eleven.
*For an explanation of District Three, District Eleven and The Hunger Games, click this link.*
*If that link was too much for you, click this link. It's a CNN article for newcomers to the Hunger Games!

That's enough footnotes for now...

Author Ransom Riggs' book trailer to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Ransom Riggs, the author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, is a pretty busy guy. not only did he contact found-photography collectors to ask permission to use their photos in his book, he filmed a book trailer as well. For shots for this trailer, he travelled to Belgium to film the interiors of abandoned houses. Here is the trailer:

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

    Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, the book's cover read in wavery chalkboard style letters.  I stared at the faintly Gothic photograph that made up the cover. A young girl in a paper crown and a melancholy expression floated a foot above the ground. Behind her, skeletal trees stood tall. Intrigued, I opened up the book and began to read.

    Six-year old Jacob Portman is enraptured by his grandfather's stories of a magical home where children with peculiar powers lived.
Ten years later, Jacob still longs for his grandfather's stories to take him away from a seemingly inescapable fate of working in the family-owned drugstore for the rest of his life. It appears that crafting the Empire State building from diapers is the closest he'll ever get to seeing faraway places.
   But when something attacks and kills Jacob's grandpa in the woods outside his home, everything changes. Jacob spotted the monster that took his grandfather's life, and it's a demon straight from his long ago bedtime stories. His parents' response is to take him to see a psychiatrist, but Jacob convinces his doctor to let him visit Wales, the place where his grandfather's stories took place.

And while he's there, he discovers that the monsters aren't the only things of his grandfather's stories that are true.

For me, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was a quick read. There's a pervading sense of urgency and immediacy that flavours the novel. The monsters are just shocking enough that you won't want to read this book alone at midnight, but not so shocking that you can't read it at, say, ten o'clock. The pictures scattered though the book are all found photography, and lend an air of antiquity and sadness to the novel. They, and the spotless prose, make this book well-worth a read.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

white vertigo

picture source

my head is pounding
along with my heart
and my skin is clammy-cold when I wake

'just jump it's not
too far it's easy'
(in the nighmares it is always easy)

and while the clouds
whirl below me
the rock at the edge of the gap

gives way and gripping
bootlessly at the
clouds i plummet on and on forever

then i stumble into the
bathroom splash water on my face
(and the tiles refuse to line up in orderly rows)

but dance before my bleary
eyes perhaps it is vertigo
from all that falling or perhaps it's just old tears

i paint a galaxy on my fingernails
from a bottle small enough to swallow
and go to sleep in sheets as white as clouds

in the morning the sky is an unblemished treasure vault
for the golden sun and the clouds have burned away

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

sensory overload

the ant on the ceiling
makes spirals as i lie awake
the ant is never still, never still

the pillbugs under the leaves
at the bottom of the garden are always
digging their pale pale feet never still, never still

the bees in the cabbage roses
throb in throb out of the fleshy petals
their tiny bodies blurring never still, never still

the wasps in the ivy
needle waists and bulbous rear ends
and dagger wings that buzz black never still, never still

and the beetles in the walls
keep beating like a heart
a heart that will never still, never still

Sunday, September 4, 2011

song for owlets in a tumbledown house

in a tumbledown house
in a tumbledown loft
three owlets wait

fierce wonders

their tuberous eyes widen
reflecting the near-full moon
as red as a cup of wine

pulsing like a beating heart

shadow obscures the moon
folds her broad wings about the nest
and lowers three stiff mice in

the owlets tear them apart and fight over the brains

mother watches proudly
their sharp beaks, sharp talons
will do them good

when the time comes for flight

and hunting
swooping through the gloaming
on down-edged wings

to bury their claws in prey

soon the time will come
so very soon
she will teach them

to fly to the rim of night

and skim along the edge of tomorrow.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Peg Doll costume from Dr Who

Well, tonight the next Doctor Who episode aired. It featured some very disturbing dolls.

But before I watched the episode, I dressed up.

Me as a peg doll!

I got the entire costume together in about twenty minutes. The makeup took up three-fourths of the time - I used aloe, then covered it with baby powder for a distressed look. Then I used eyebrow pencil on my eyelids to make them dark, like the dolls' eyes.

It was fun to lurch around with my eyes closed and scare people.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

the muse

the dead brown grass under the cedar tree
becomes covered with fall leaves
the woman at the bus stop wears a sapphire cloak
her violin case is covered with stickers

(I <3 NY + Recycle & Use the Force, Luke)

bus pulls up chugging smog loud music squeals
from its speakers and the woman winces
acorns as big as tangerines thud onto the sidewalk
as the bus lurches forward trailing notes in its wake

( uprising & viva la vida + another brick in the wall)

sparrow flutters from the tree almost
losing itself in the dun-colored leaves as
girl flies by on a scooter her yellow hair
tangled in the breeze her red bookbag bouncing

(art * english & history)

farther into the park a man plays guitar
strumming faster and faster till his fingers blur
his labrador barking at the squrriels that
leap higher and higher into the branches

(twig; nut ^ bark)

boy in a yellow ballcap weaves his skateboard
in and around the passersby white cables
dangling from his ears the pigeons take wing in
fear as he enters their territory

(grey down + seeds * wheels scraping on pavement)

this is my world
this is my muse
this is my life

Friday, August 26, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Alexa Meade

Alexa Meade paints people. First she paints on the person, then she photographs them. Really. I'm not kidding. It's crazy cool.

Here's the link to her website!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


a hundred dishes fell with a crash
littering the kitchen floor with shards
as delicate as crushed conch shells

(shattered and
harsh white
against the red tiles)

I picked up the base of a cup
turned it over in my hand
it caught on my fingertip, cut deep

(bead of
red bloomed,
a bright eye)

set it in the kitchen sink
and watched it bob up and down
on the frothy tide, suds swelling round it

(white cliffs,
white chalk cliffs
round white sides)

one puff of breath set it spinning
another sent it banging against the side
and a third sent it to the bottom

(bubbles flew
upward, freed
by its demise)

I watched the shipwreck
slipping my hand through the little sea
blood weeping a crimson trail from my finger

(a red tide
algae bloom,
the red sunset sky)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

woman of the seasons

woman sits in the doorway
leaning forward in the sun
her fingers brown polished roots
shelling out the
sweet new peas
with quick birdlike twists

(and the swallow sits singing on the rooftop
of living and gleaning
of living green things to follow)

the woman she hums a tune so old
it has no words, all have faded away
today she husks the summer corn
stripping away its browning cover
exposing its pale yellow heart
and the sun beats down above

(and the sparrow sits singing
of hot sun on the grass and fresh new wheat
and heat to come tomorrow)

the woman wraps a scarf round her head
when the dry leaves fall floating down
it's oysters she's shelling today
fresh from the muck and the brine
she crunches their roofs with her fingernails
and sucks out all the marrow

(and the crow on the tree
cries of fading and falling
of falling he cries today)

woman sits inside her house
stringing dried herbs from the rafters
the children outside are sledding
their laughter slips in through the window
and she sings that old song again
till her voice is faded and pale.

(and the owl in the glen hoots a deep
sad song of resting sleeping
of awaiting the spring he sings)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Haven: an antique shop

Wednesday, I visited one of Port Austin's antique shops.

As we walked up the front path, this sight greeted us:

Something was peeking from among the shrubs... a small flash of blue.

Upon looking closer, we discovered a china plate, with two saucers and a teacup glued on top of it, and then mounted to a pole.
It wasn't the only sculpture.

Wine glasses and perfume flasks had been mounted in a similar manner.

Whole tea sets perched, one piece on top of another. It was like something from the Mad Hatter's garden.

The inside of the shop was equally exquisite.

I purchased some buttons from the overflowing button box, and admired the diminutive ballerina standing on this pink table.

As we were leaving, we stopped to take a last look at the tea set towers, and saw this little cat.

 He watched us go, smirking slightly as we walked away.


Bad Axe Historical Village

In Bad Axe, we stopped to visit a historical village that was open to the public.

It was most interesting!

First, we visited the schoolhouse, the church and the barn, but unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of them.

Then we visited the general store.

On their counter, they had many objects...

including a sausage stuffer

a little shoe

 and a bowtie making kit (cool).

They also carried hats and some clothing.

Then we visited a cabin that had housed eleven children and two adults in its day.

There were only four rooms.
Downstairs, a kitchen

a bedroom

Upstairs, a room where the bathtub and some clothes were kept

and another bedroom with two beds

It was a real trip back in time!