Tuesday, June 26, 2007

summer, bok choy, and books........

I've been spending an awful lot of time at the computer lately--what with building the website for blossombones, writing, and virtual book shopping. (I'm an amazon.com addict--I admit it. Perhaps the first step is admitting you have a problem. Today, my son came home from camp, took one look at the dining room table, and said "Another box from amazon??? What did you get this time?")

There has been precious little time to enjoy the summer weather. (Okay, I've also been hiding from the cicadas---Ick!)

Yesterday really felt like summer to me. We had to drive out to UIC for a doctor's appointment (no--that's not the summery part!), and afterwards Mike and Zach and I stopped at Mario's on Taylor street for italian ice. We haven't done that in the longest time! I must remember to get out more. I love those little unexpected good moments in the middle of a very long day. . .And before you ask, I had lemon ice, of course! (Is there any other worthwhile flavor? Mike would argue for watermelon, but I would have to disagree.)

Today, I am back indoors, cleaning out the refrigerator. I have decided there is nothing more disgusting than finding a bag of liquefied parsley in the vegetable drawer. I am also wondering: what exactly did I intend to do with the giant head of bok choy I found in there?

As I am mentally exhausted this week, and in dire need of brain candy, I'm currently reading Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich. Very funny.

Oh, Darwin....

Oh, Darwin. You crazy old kook.

While looking up some information about the lovely Field Museum downtown, which I've been dying to go to lately, I found this article. Apparently the museum has a new exhibit about Charles Darwin and his feelings about marriage. If you read the article, Darwin basically does exactly what Ross did on Friends - he makes a 'pros'/'cons' list about having a wife. Now, I suppose that Darwin's list could easily apply to husbands, but I can't help but feel sorry for his poor wife. Well, technically wife/cousin. Which is gross. Ew. I mean come on Charlie, "better than a dog, anyhow"? That's one of those almost-complements that really isn't very complementary. It's pretty terrible actually, and it makes me wonder if his wife ever saw her hubby's list. "Oh, well as long as I'm better than a dog"....

And let's hope that I'm interpreting the "slave" comment the wrong way. Eeek.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Reconnections, Peter Griffin, and blossombones news!

So this past weekend I ended up reconnecting with my best friend from high school. I hadn't seen him or really talked with him for at least a couple of years, and I thought that would be weird, but really sometimes weird is good. Mostly seeing him again was weird because of how not weird it was....which probably doesn't make sense to anyone outside of my own head, but that's okay. I usually only make sense to myself anyway. Well, my friend and I hung out at two of our former haunts - Caribou, a coffee place where he and I would hang out on pretty much a daily basis, and the very posh town White Castle, where he and I would drink milk shakes til 4 in the morning sometimes. I told my sisters before he came to pick me up last Friday that I seriously felt like I was going back in time: old friends, old hang-outs, writing crappy teenage poetry for most of the day, teenage-caliber acne (it's been a stressful week, and I look like me at 14 rather than 22)....Then, I proceeded to be very Peter Griffin (for those of you who watch Family Guy) and indicate this time-travel by spinning in circles in the middle of the living room.

Life is really funny sometimes. Mostly because I have no problem making an ass out of myself doing random Peter Griffin things.

In blossombones news, I am a busy bee designing some very kickass handouts and bookmarks to pass out at a reading that Susan and I will be attending this Saturday. Once I finish those, I'll scan the finished products in and post them up here for all to see on our blog! Be sure to spread the word about us!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

New feature: links to sites.....

Hi all!

I thought it might be a good idea to actually link to the online journal from the blog. (essential, really!)

At any rate, a link to the blossombones site is now up in the sidebar of the blossombones blog.

I hope to add more cool links to the list soon!

I'm a dork, but I found some really cool stuff....

So I spent the better part of today flipping through some old photo albums that belonged to my grandmother, just looking for a few random vintage photos to scan and use in a few art projects for the blossombones site. What started out as a casual thing turned out to be such a great experience. I found too many amazing photos to post here - so many in fact that I ended up writing six poems and am considering doing some kind of a series connecting poems with the photos. Here are just a few of the best ones that I found:

I'm pretty sure that this is a photo of my grandmother and one of her friends. I love this one because you can see how close these women are. Plus I just love their dresses!
I instantly loved this photo of my grandmother dressed up and waiting at the airport.
This is a photo of my grandmother and my mom when she was a little girl, and it's probably my favorite picture of all time. I love my mom's funny face, but I also think my grandmother's expression is so sweet.
At first glance, this is just a random picture of some cats chasing each other, but when I found out that my mom took this when she was a little girl it meant so much more. If there's one thing that everyone knows about my mom it's that she loves animals. She's the type of person who will pull a U-ie in a busy intersection to scoop up stray dogs. When I saw this picture I thought it was so cool to see that her love of animals started early. I just think this picture is so cute, and it makes my mom even more of a real person. Not that she's not real, duh, but it was neat for me to think about her running around after cats as a little girl.

This was a really dorky entry. Oh well, I'm just glad that I found some inspiration somewhere. It's not everyday that I can crank out six poems that are actually pretty decent. After some editing I might have myself a little mini-series of sorts. Plus I'll have some more art for the site, which I'm sure will be much appreciated!!! The site looks so amazing already thanks to Susan's hard work, so all of you should go check it out! And submit too!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My turn: blogging on BITCH

Having read Melissa's previous commentary on the latest issue of BITCH, I have to put my two cents in, as well. (I haven't seen the movie 300, and having read both the article and Melissa's comments, I don't intend to bother. . .)

What really got my feminist dander up was the article on America's Next Top Model.

In the article entitled "Evil Dead: Feminist bloggers bring the hammer down on Top Model necrophilia," Jennifer Pozner writes of how the "models" were given an assignment to pose as dead girls--more specifically, as victims of violent crimes. The "poses" consisted of women "splayed out in cold concrete corridors, back alleys, and bathtubs, their faux-bloodied, lifeless limbs positioned provocatively" (Pozner 14).

Ugh. When is mass media/popular culture going to stop glamorizing violence against women? I'm not going to get super-annoying and start quoting the statistics on violent crimes against women (and children, too--especially young girls). All you really need to do is turn on the news. You'll see what I'm talking about.

This kind of thing makes me just a tad sick to my stomach.

Violence against women (even when it's staged and labeled "art") is not erotic. It's not sexy.

It's horrible.

Again, thanks BITCH, for calling foul on ANTM. I'm going to renew my subscription. Like, today.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

my current reading list = creepy and more creepy....

Like Susan, I usually like to read at least a few books at once. In my head, it's kind of like being able to change the channel on the TV during commercial breaks so that you can watch more than one show.

This week, I'm reading two books that are pretty twisted:

1) Dolls , a very creepy collection of prose poems by Tom Whalen. You can probably tell what the poems are about by the title. The poems in this chapbook are pretty different from the poems you could typically find me reading, but I absolutely love the idea behind the collection. And for someone who tormented her little sister with dolls (sorry!), the idea of dolls coming to life is one that hits close to home. I really enjoyed the more sinister poems (a doll cuts out the eyes of her owner in one of the creepiest!), but I loved some of the more poignant ones as well (especially "Woman and Dolls" and "Four Visitations"). All in all, I would highly reccommend Tom Whalen's work if you like something that is thematically interesting, a little unconventional, and pretty twisted. Also, the cover art is fantastic!

2) Haunted, by Chuck Palahniuk. For anyone who has never read this collection of stories, I have to warn you, keep a chuck-bucket nearby. Though I've only made it through the first story in the collection, the infamous "Guts", this story left me feeling light-headed and absolutely sick to my stomach. I'm not sure whether that's a good or a bad thing, but I have to give Chuck some serious credit. It's not often that I read something and feel such strong physical discomfort, so you know that the writing is phenomenal. I'll have to update the blog when I finish the rest of the book. I'm just hoping that there isn't anything too puke-inducing in any of the other stories....

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What I'm reading right now--

Currently, I am about half-way finished with Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand. So far, I like the book. I'll probably wait until I'm done with it before I comment any further. For those of you unfamiliar with Hand, I highly recommend her book Waking the Moon, which I probably should have listed as one of my favorites.

Now, I've finished reading a few really good things this past week or so:

1. Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue. A really intriguing collection of revisionist fairy tales with an erotic/sensual edge. Fascinating. I especially like the way she weaves the pieces together, connecting each of these mythological/fairy tale characters. (Of course, being Irish myself, I am partial to writers of Celtic heritage. Nevertheless, It's an excellent read.)

2. Becoming the Villainess by Jeannine Hall Gailey. What can I say about this wonderful collection of poems? It's just fabulous.

3. Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. I think I like to read Palahniuk because the characters in his books make me feel so normal by comparison. An easy read. (And I mean that as a complement. His prose is just so smooth, for lack of a better word.) I finished it in one sitting. Pretty good. And very twisted.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

just a short entry today. . .

I plan to spend the afternoon hard at work on the website for blossombones! I hope to have the first "draft" of the site--including the call for submissions--up and running in about a week.

More news to come. . .

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Top 5 reasons why I'd still like to be Wonder Woman when I grow up. . .

Top 5 reasons why I'd still like to be Wonder Woman when I grow up:

1. Who else can pull off looking like a bada$$ in a tiara?

2. Those short-shorts double as a cheat sheet for my astronomy exam.

3. Foil bracelets useful for wrapping leftovers if they happen to go out of style. . .

4. I am convinced I would deliver a far more effective roundhouse kick to the face to any would-be enemies if only I had red boots instead of knee socks and hush puppies.

5. I am almost as nerdy as Diana Prince. Ask anyone who knows me.

Warning: quick feminist rant ahead!

It's been a few days since I posted, and though I will most likely post a more in-depth entry tomorrow, I'm sitting here reading my new issue of BITCH magazine and I had to comment on something.

A few months ago, my boyfriend and I went to the movie theatre to see the opening night of the movie 300 by director Zack Snyder. Before seeing the film, I was excited - I thought it would be a more comic bookie version of Gladiator. Little did I know that I would be spending two-plus hours of my life suffering through crappy dialogue, even crappier acting, screaming oily men wearing very authentic Spartan black spandex shorts, and, even worse, a very anti-feminist message. Okay, you're probably saying that I took the film too seriously, and that I probably should've known what I was getting myself into; after all, it is a war movie, so it has to be testosterone-crazy, right?

For the longest time I had trouble explaining to the masses what it was about the film that absolutely drove me up the wall. Was the film pretty? Yes, the visuals were pretty awesome. But all in all, I walked out of the theatre feeling offended. Well, in the current issue of BITCH, columnist Nichali M. Ciaccio puts it SO perfectly that I had to quote her:

"The queen's moment of sacrifice (for her king) comes when she 'allows' herself to be sexually brutalized by a politician. Young women everywhere can no show their gratitude to Snyder, a director with the courage to give females a positive role model".

The queen in the film is intended to give women someone in the film to identify with, and yet we as the female audience are force-fed the idea that to offer our bodies up to sexual sacrifice is somehow heroic. I remember feeling so disgusted watching the film that it made me crabby for days afterwards.

Okay, enough of my ranting. Back to reading.....

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

domain name and other news. . .

I have updated my web hosting account and registered the domain for the blossombones site! Now that I have the domain name, I expect to upload the preliminary pages to the site sometime next week, if all goes well.

Of course, I need to build them first!

The site is still in the planning stages; I am currently working on a graphic for the splash page. . .I wish I had a greater artistic talent, but alas, I could use a little help from my friends!

We'll see what I can come up with, in the meantime.

More news coming soon . . .

Just a quick update...

First off, and I can't believe I didn't mention this earlier, I am (kind of) an aunt! My boyfriend's sister just had a baby girl. Her name is Cadence, and I have yet to meet her. We are going to hopefully at least see her later tonight. So yay, that's good news.

I have to admit that throughout this whole baby process that I'm kind of nervous about this whole baby thing. Yeah, I know it's not my kid, but babies in general make me really nervous. Maybe even kind of afraid! I have never held a little teensy baby before, with the exception of my sisters when they were babies and then I'm sure it was an act of coercion, because I am afraid that I will break them. And there's no way you'll catch me straight up lifting a tiny baby up from a crib or when they are in a lying down position - too scary! Not that I think that I completely lack maternal instincts - I obviously need to have some in order to be as overprotective as I am towards my sisters; I think I'm just too neurotic/clueless about babies. There's just too much to do wrong when it comes to them, you know? And if they need something, they can't tell you - they just scream and cry. If I ever have to watch Cadence for any reason, let's hope that at least for now there's a co-babysitter involved.

In other news, I was dorkily doing a search for art on various sites so that I could come up with ideas for the look of the in-production blossombones site and I found this on etsy. All of her prints are AWESOME!!!!! I only wish that I were that artsy and talented. So of course now I'm having to talk myself out of buying a bunch of her prints. She has one of Enid from Ghost World, and Amelie, and another chick....sooooo cool!

I'm so looking forward to the launch of the blossombones site! The more we accomplish putting it together the more excited I become! Yay!

Monday, June 4, 2007


Melissa and Susan at Poets for Human Rights last December. . .

I'm not usually one to brag - in fact, people who brag incessantly get nothing but eye-rolls from me - but after the hellish, horribly emotional weekend I just had, I think that I'm entitled to just a little sincere gloating.

I was notified today that Pebble Lake Review accepted two of my pieces!!! That's awesome news that is definitely welcome right now. For those of you who read this and are familiar with my work - I'm talking to you, Susan, probably the only person who reads this and knows of my work at all - "the second-fairest" and "Zelda" will appear in the Summer 07 issue! I'm so excited! At least my (modest) literary accomplishments are coming up roses, which is always good.

In related news, though I'm definitely not bitching about it, "Titian Magdelene" has managed to elude publication for the 26th time! I don't know what it is about this poem, but it's as if there's some crazy voodoo hex that's been put on it and no one will put it in their freakin' journal!!!! I don't know if everyone who writes has had this same kind of experience. If so, we should band together and work on lifting the voodoo....

The weather outside is so icky that I'm totally in the mood to just stay inside and watch a movie. A good movie. Oooo, a good scary movie - that would help to continue the cheering-up process. I don't know what it is about scary movies that I love because in actuality, I scare really easily. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment....

I'll leave you with something else that totally does the trick when you're in need of a happy-boost - a crazy video of a backwards-car driving to the tune of Prodigy's "Breathe". Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pe2tC_s-eZM

Friday, June 1, 2007

I'm so excited!!!

I think that the title says it all.... I really am so excited to be putting blossombones together with Susan, and I am already feeling completely nerdy about it - it's going to be awesome! I love that we're getting the chance to try something new, branch out, and dig a little deeper into the literary world....wow, that might be the nerdiest thing I said today. Well, second nerdiest actually, after the joke that I told my sister's boyfriend at dinner tonight:

Why did the cactus cross the road?

Because it was stuck to the chicken.

Yeah. I know. But I swear I'm funny when I'm not trying to be! I've never been one for planned humor really, if you know what I mean. To make up for my really bad joke, here's a link to something that is actually hilarious (I was telling Susan about this when we met up today!):


In other news, is it totally sad that I'm at home on a Friday night blogging and watching Gladiator by myself? Let's hope not, because this whole blogging thing is actually pretty entertaining....

life is good. . .

Is there anything better than coming home to find a box from amazon on the front porch? I think not!

Hmmmm. . .What shall I read first?

I'm not procrastinating. . .I'm priming the pump for inspiration!


Welcome to the blossombones blog! While the e-zine is currently under construction, the blog is up and running!

Melissa C. and I are hard at work putting the journal together--be sure to check in here for our progress reports and other comments on all things literary!