Thursday, December 25, 2014

Hail to the Lost Boys

Hail to the Lost Boys
To the young men that have gone before
To the endless nights that blur into day
Pool halls and cigarettes
Sex drugs and best friends
low pay and first loves
Cars, girls, and credit cards

One night too long
One drive that never ended
Never to come home
And forever headed for the next adventure
Flying out there, hand in hand 
Second Star to the right and straight on til morning

Sunday, November 23, 2014

My life in movies

I was a scared child.

I was shy and terrified of all things outside my own little world. People were mean, unpredictable and  had little interest in me. So I spent my days in books, make-believe and most of all, movies.

I found appreciation for classical music through Amadaus, Moonstuck and Shine. Sara Connor showed me I could be stronger than any man, physically or otherwise.

I was always a good kid who followed the rules so Ferris Bueller gave me everything I ever wanted in the day off that I never took. The possibility of the perfect day were there in Groundhogs Day (after 34 attempts that is...)

I could have grand adventures even though I often found myself too scared to leave my house. Frodo and Sam took me to the farthest reaches of Middle Earth. The Millennium Falcon took me even farther.

I've fallen in love so many times. John Cusak in Say Anything and again in Grosse Pointe Blank. Indiana Jones. Han Solo. Humphrey Bogart

Or when love proved impossible, I would watch Amelie and know that I could have the courage to make love possible.  It's a Wonderful Life proved to me that every life matters, no matter how small or desperate. City Lights makes me feel that someone might someday see beneath me and view me for who I really am.

I'm not so sure that's true in life anymore.

I grasp at this little wisps of celluloid but can't find a good hand hold. I'm losing a hope that I always used to have. Perhaps I'm just getting old and this is just the natural progression of things.

But I have this nagging fog hanging over me, whispering that love is dead.

And I can't seem to shake it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Instant, Loud and So Many Things

We are living in an amazing time.

Every bit of information that ever existed can be found or bought with the touch of our fingertips from almost anywhere in the world. I've had flowers to be sent to my mother while standing in a praire in Kansas. I've bought my favorite gummies (only sold in parts of Greece and Turkey) from my living room. I've been at a temple in Kyoto and sent an urgent file to my boss on the other side of the world with my phone. My phone has a power like no other. I can contact anyone. I can ship anything to anywhere. It allows me to travel anywhere and still get work done. Hell, I'm over the Atlantic as I write this.

It's not a perfect object though. It allows us to forgot more easily. (Forgot who that guy in that one movie is? Don't use your brain! Just google it!) It distracts us. (Damn you, Plants Vs Zombies.)  And it interrupts. Like when you're on vacation, in a beautiful Japanese temple, quietly meditating on life when your boss calls in a panic, looking for that one file he needs.

So why am I blathering on about all this stuff that you already know? Because I'm on my second flight of the 36 hour long day and someone has deemed it necessary that I listen to Rihanna.

If your phone makes any noise (ANY NOISE) then you are interrupting someone. You are being rude. It's equivalent to you randomly singing at the top of your lungs. And when I'm just trying to order food or read on the subway or use a public bathroom, it's un-nerving. But honestly, if you pick it up, excuse yourself and leave the area, we will forgive you. It's a phone call. We all get them. It's fine. 

But why, IN THE NAME OF BATMAN, must you watch a YouTube video, listen to music, put your personal call on speaker? I don't like your music. I don't want to know about your mom's hysterectomy. And if you watch a funny cat video on full sound, I will come over and watch over your shoulder. I assumed that is what you wanted since you are sharing that kicky cat music with the rest of the people in this library while I was pretending not to peruse the bodice-ripping romance novels. 

We are all crammed in this together, whether it be the city, an office or in this shiny metal bird. Let's try to remember that we are all inherently selfish assholes then correct that behavior. 

At least until we land.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Denver Comic Con

"We've been to Comic Con." -The Writer Clive Gollings

I'm so happy to have followed in Clive and Graham's footsteps (sort of) and made it to Denver's ComicCon last weekend, which was my very first comic convention. Nothing surprising or shocking about it. (I have done the anime cons for over 10 years now so I'm used to the weird.) But I did notice some differences from this particular venue versus the way Comic Con San Diego is portrayed.

First, I saw no booth babes. There was a flock of rubber bikini clad ladies wandering the floors selling the clothing line but they were just your normal hot chicks. No air-brushed, fake-titted professional models. (Yay for real bodies!) I didn't walk past any booths with a half naked model trying to get me to come check out what she had to offer. And for this, I say thank you! There is really no need to hire a model when there are plenty cute chicks who are true fans. Saying that, there is no need to have hot chicks to lure you in if you have awesome product because there are plenty of people who want cool stuff. Cool stuff (for many of us) = hot chicks. But that's just my humble opinion.

Also, everyone seemed to be much more modest in their cosplay. Sure there were a good number of body suits. There was a lot of cleavage. But compared to some other cons I've been to, I would say that skin wasn't the hottest thing going. I saw more people ask for pictures of the person in the badass Gargoyles cosplay than the half naked chicks. A well crafted and/or clever costume went much further than bare skin. Yay for that as well!

This girl is so fierce I can't even stand it... 

I really love the culture, at least from this particular con, of acceptance and community. Everyone can come together with similar passions and geek out. Want to dress up like Wonder Woman? Cool! Made your costume yourself? No problem. Of a larger body type? No problem. Male? No problem. Now that's not to say that assholes aren't out there and I'm sure someone this weekend didn't have an awesome experience. (In fact, I HIGHLY recommend everyone check out Paige Hall's comic via Epbot that I've linked HERE. It really makes you think twice before getting all judgey...) But I feel that the majority of people felt ok about it. (Please feel free to share your stories, good or bad, in the comments!)

I had a really great time and I can't wait to come back next year. Make sure to check out my next post which will be my interview with the amazing cosplayer Ger Tysk! Also, a huge thank you to my photographer Nick for the amazing shots and hanging out with me.

Long live the Geeks!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Little Death

Our doggie died today.

It seems like our pets are here for such a short time, perhaps to make it all more special. Still, it seems so cosmically unfair that assholes who happen to be human go on for 90 years and these beautiful creatures who only ask for your love and attention can only hang out for 10 years or so. It's not fucking fair.

His squeaky toys are still strewn around the house. His bed, freshly washed is still next to the bed. I listen for his nails tippy-tapping across the wood floor in the morning. And at night, when I don't feel him pushing up against me, hogging the bed, I again feel that deep sadness all over again.

Their little lives can mean so much and to us he was not only a wonderful friend, great listener, endlessly funny and a cuddle monkey, he was a little bit of a past life that's forever gone. He represented a time when our family was whole. There was no car wreaks or tragic accidents yet. And with him goes one more witness to somewhere we can never travel. And that's the real motherfucker of it all.

My little guy loved me with his full heart, without prejudice. No one has ever loved me like that and I can easily say I am heart broken.

I really wanted to be deep and thoughtful in this post but as I read it back, it's kind of angry and sad and full of curse words. But I guess that's the truth of it.

We miss you Buster and if there's any thing after this, we will meet again.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bye Bye Baby

I am heart broken.

Buster died today and I've cried so much, so hard my head throbs.

I won't be back for a while but when I do return, I want to tell you all about him.

Good night sweet pooch.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Cost of Limes

I was 16, in Mexico, stuffing my cheeks full of taquitos like a deranged Mexican hamster.

I went to Mexico City with my 9th grade Spainish class and happened to also turn 16 over the trip. I also thought I didn't need a hat or sunscreen or water while I climbed the Mayan temples and also thought it was fine to eat my salmon sandwhich although it had been on the un-air-conditioned bus for 5 hours.

Needless to say, I almost fainted, puked my guts up and had lobster-red arms. I woke up the next day, on my birthday,

So now I don't eat salmon and I love Mexican food. That said, the Mexican cartels are putting a cramp in my style. (As well as bullets in peoples heads, among other really horrible things.) You've probably read lately about how the heavy rains and a bacteria damaged the lime crop but more news worthy the Mexican cartel The Knights Templar have taken over the sale of limes to diversify from their main export: drugs.

Wouldn't it be cool if we, Americans and other countries alike, got so fed up with our lack of limes we rose up, decided to stand no more for the cartels, and found a way to end the corruption, killings and evil all because of limes?

The Mexican government has promised to send military help but until then, we Americans will have to make do with bad margarita mixs and lemons served with our Cuba Libres.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Queen of Kansas

Stella passed away at 105 years old.

This is not poetic license or hyperbole. She really was 105 year old. Born 1908. The Mad Scientist's grandmother passed away last week so we took the 15 hour drive and met with all his family and laid her to rest in the small, nondescript cemetery next to her husband. Married in the beginning of the Great Depression. They sold chickens to pay the land taxes until the war started, when she said her husband found steady work helping the war effort as a machinist, building parts for airplanes.

On her 100th birthday, she was asked what invention was the best in her lifetime. She said, "The refrigerator." Wow.

I asked her about her grandparents once. She told me this: "My grandfather was very sweet to me but he was a sad man... the Civil War will do that to a man." WHAT? Yeah. Her grandfather was a Yankee, captured by the South and put into Andersonville prison until he was traded for other prisoners of war then proceeded to WALK HOME from Georgia. The idea I was speaking with a lady who could tell me second hand stories of the Civil War was really an amazing gift.

She was a stubborn lady who lead a simple life in a small town in Nebraska. She was stylish and funny. She was feisty until the day she died. She was one in a million. I hope to be more like her.

Good night Stella.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Kansas Funeral

Here's a preview of my next post. The Mad Scientist's grandma passed away last week so we drove out to Kansas. I had completely forgotten the ways of the plains. The mid-west is special and I'm not even being completely sarcastic either. So here's a preview of my weekend in a tiny town in Kansas.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hipster Easter

Yeah. This happened.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Indy's Girl

I am the disappointment of Indiana Jones.

I just got back from a special screening of Raiders of the Lost Arch and I've forgotten how much I loved that movie. Not really forgotten but left behind a hazy fog of horrible summer action movies.


I was born a girl with high anxiety and a poor memory for science and history. I knew from an early age I couldn't be Indy, but I could strive for Spielburgian greatness by emulating his leading ladies. Strong, smart, loud and opinionated. (Except you Willie. Sorry but you must grow a pair and stop the screaming...) I try to embody that sexy leading lady but it doesn't always work out that way. But for Indiana, it is worth trying.

Much like Bond, no woman could hold him. Yet unlike Bond, he was vulnerable. Jones bled and every fight was not so easily won. (And lets not forget his famous phobia.) Indy could get excited by architecture and history. A relic could send him off into a whirlwind of excitement. The man got off on mummies.

It's the passion, drive, daring that made me love him.

All these reasons and more are why I love him. Those three films (Four? There wasn't a forth one. No such thing.) had a great effect on my relationship choices for better or worse.

Hell, I did marry a scientist.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Treasures from Japan

Y'all know this, but I'm going to say it again.

I'm not normal.

Now some would say, "Pix, nobody is normal! We're all special like snowflakes!" And I'd say, "You're mom is a liar..." Then I'd probably throw in a mom joke about how I banged her in the back of a Ford Fiesta. Anywho...

I was in Japan a few weeks ago and while all the other tourists are buying little geisha dolls and decorative fans at the gaijin huts, I'm at the toy stores, vintage shops, department stores, dark alleyways negotiating deals on the black market. Yeah. Not really. But yeah, I'm cool like that.

So I thought I'd share some of my fun finds! First on the block, Crystal 3D Puzzles! Now I love puzzles and always have. I wouldn't say I'm very good at them but they're hours of turn-your-brain-off fun. So when I saw this mini 3D puzzles I had to snag one. There were many to choose from (Mickey, Donald, Winnie, etc) but I chose Stitch because he's so damned adorable.  

I have never seen this in the states before so I have to assume they're a Japanese or Eastern thing. I put it together pretty quickly, although it definatly worked a whole other part of my brain. And here's the result!

He's super happy on my book shelf.

And on the subject of puzzles, check out these!  They're so cute! 

Nanoblocks are like teeny legos. They allow for more detail and they are super fun. I got Tokyo Tower, of course, and a llama, of course. 

Then there's this beauty!

Yeah, it defies convention. It sees your ice 'cubes' and says "No way JACK! I'm doing my own thing!" 

Actually, it's supposed to melt slower because of the less surface area but I just thinks it looks pretty in a glass. And it blows the minds of my (imaginary) party guests. 

Then there's the crown jewel in my collection: 
The Wedding Kimono. 

 Yeah, I am fully aware I'm already married. You should have seen the kimonos for married ladies. They looked like someone had died. They were so black, no light escaped them. Joy and happiness disappeared. They made me sad. So I bought this instead. I'm a happy cucumber.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Do Call Me Shirley

I make me sick.

Not for something I've done or because I've got the stomach flu. This movie I'm watching is so adorable and cute and sweet that I kind of want to vomit rainbows and sunshine. In a good way.

I'm rewatching The Little Princess. (Enough said?) Made in 1939 starring a 10 year old Shirley Temple and based on the charming little book by Frances Hodgson Burnett that I read as a child and perhaps deserves another read through. Yet, I digress.

When I was little, I wasn't the carefree child from fabric softener commercials. I was a little ball of
anxiety. I didn't sleep, make friends or do my school work. So the school councilor told my mother to put a tv in my room. When I woke up in the middle of the night I could put the tv on for company and after my homework was done, I could watch cartoons and decompress. On one of these long nights when sleep wouldn't come, I switched on my little black and white tv. (Literally, there was a dial to switch on... and bunny ears to adjust. Younger readers should google this...)

On one of the 6 stations I could get, there was a movie starting, staring the teeny Shirley. The Set-up: Her wonderful, doting father was headed off to a "little" war but was leaving the sweet, beautiful and rich Sara Crewe in the capable hands of Ms. Minchin who ran a posh boarding school. Most love the kind Sara, except a few who are jealous. (Ahem, the EVIL little Lavinia) Things take a turn though when she receives word that her father has been killed in battle and with no more money coming in, the wicked Ms. Minchin
sells all her nice things and makes her a maid in the house for all her school mates. She rooms with Becky, the other house maid girl and they create fantastic fantasy worlds to keep their spirits alive. Sara will often sneak out at night to search the wounded solider hospital, for she is certain her father would never die and leave her all alone. Time passes and Sara grows tired. She is worn down by the work and has a moment of hopelessness, hunger and hatred for those that are so cruel, something one doesn't see often in Temple films. On the final trip through the wounded hospital, running from Ms. Minchin and certain doom, she goes room to room, bed to bed and walks right past her father, in a head bandage. He doesn't remember her. It tears your god damned heart out. Just as she is walking away, he mumbles, "Sara...Sara..."

The tears flow, Ms. Minchin gets it good and Sara, her father and Becky live happily ever after. And I was enthralled.

Shirley is credited for saving the entire film industry at the time. She attributed herself to Rin Tin Tin, saying people in the depression needed cheering up so they fell in love with a girl and a dog. And that probably explains why I loved her movies. When you little and a little freaked out by the world around you, Shirley Temple is a beacon. A warm light in the cold night.

Shirley fell out of fame slowly as she got older. She focused on humanitarian efforts in Ghana and Czechoslovakia and did a lot of good in the world. In 1972 she went public with the news of her double mastectomy, something that was not talked about back then, which was pretty damned brave and awesome. She also supported Nixon and the Vietnam war... We're not all perfect I guess.

I'm truly sad to see her go. I'm going to eat some gum drops and watch Bright Eyes in my tap shoes.