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Showing posts from January, 2018

David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music

Of course this title caught my eye when I saw it on the library's New Books shelf.



It's not only a tribute to the late Ziggy Stardust, but a history of LGBT music throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries, from jazz and blues to disco to country to punk rock to hip hop.  It's mostly U.S. and U.K. artists, but sprinkled throughout are stories of singers and bands from other parts of the world.  It's a blend of music industry history and social and political history, and author Darryl W. Bullock often sprinkles in his own opinions of the artists and movements he discusses.

My only criticism is that it's also sprinkled with proofreading errors, but the fascinating stories and information kept my attention anyway.

Some interesting facts I hadn't known before:


Brigham Morris Young, the son of the Mormon leader Brigham Young, was a well-known "female impersonator," performing as "Madam Pattirini" in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.Berli…

What fairy tales teach us about sex

Another post resurrected from Insatiable Booksluts, this one a collaboration between Tess Burton of Tesscatiful and myself, a snark-tastic look at the lessons our favorite tales have taught us about sex.  Once upon a hubba hubba! .  .  .  .  . Originally posted at Insatiable Booksluts on April 26, 2014 How are y’all enjoying Sex Month, fellow Booksluts?  Can I get a “Hubba-hubba!”?  Tess and I (Nerija) decided to team up for today’s post, since we’re both into fairy tales.  So without further ado…

~*~*~TESS~*~*~ Long before Disney lovingly bastardized a handful of classic fairy stories, turning them into the PG versions we refer to today, fairy tales were quite literally another story. Dark, weird and intended for adults, these stories were supposed to warn adults of the ‘dangers of life’. Interestingly, people were expected to listen to the stories and decide for themselves what the lesson was. There was no wrong answer, the life lesson you took from a fairy tale was entirely your own.…

Sexy poetry: Rapunzel, by Anne Sexton

Back in 2013-2014, I was a contributor to the Insatiable Booksluts blog, which specialized in small-press literature reviews, Reading Rages™, and other fun and snark-tastic book-related business (I never did master Susie’s particularly awesome brand of snark myself).  It’s one of the most fun projects I’ve taken part in, and I’m really going to miss working with Susie, sj, and the rest of the IB team. Unfortunately, the site has since been retired, but I’ve decided, with Susie’s permission, to resurrect some of my posts here and at Postcards. .  .  .  .  .

Originally posted at Insatiable Booksluts on April 9, 2014 One of the first Anne Sexton poems I ever read was “Cinderella,” her adaptation of the Grimms’ tale, during my freshman year of college.  I didn’t know at the time that she’d written sixteen other fairy tale verse adaptations.  But a few weeks ago, while looking for a way to fuse Sex Month, Poetry Month, and fairy tales, I found a reference in one of the SurLaLune discussion …

Old video games

Originally posted at LiveJournal on Dec 29, 2011

I'm watching a Modern Marvels episode on 70's technology, and the segment on video games reminds me of my very first TV video game:  SOCRATES!




My older cousin handed it down to my brother and me when I was nine or ten, and it was the coolest. thing. ever. Check out this amazing boot-up sequence! I remember playing a dress-up-doll-type game where you created an outfit for a little girl and then chose an environment for her to stand in (or was it the other way around?) - downtown, out in the country, in a TV studio... Oh! Oh!  And my first hand-held video game - the Tiger LCD Little Mermaid game I begged my mom to buy from Toys 'R Us.  I used to bring it to school to play at recess.  It looked something like this:


image from Etsy
 Except it was purple, and the game had to do with finding those mer-babies from that one TV episode.  And sometimes the bad-guy would trap Ariel in a bubble, and she'd have to call for Sebas…

New favorite song

Originally posted at LiveJournal on Nov 11, 2013

I have a new favorite song.

I found these guys while looking for good versions of the Last Unicorn theme, since apparently the version from the movie isn't available for Amazon download.  Nor is the complete soundtrack -- unless you want it in German.  For $44.99 used.  Or $176.27 new.

This is a very pretty case, though.
Well, I remembered I used to love listening to the Kenny Loggins version in the car, from my mom's Return to Pooh Corner cassette, so I figured that was good enough.  It really is a lovely version, with just the right mood -- deep and melancholy, but also hopeful, and those few bursts of joy.  And I like the way his tone rises in "when the future is past," instead of following the usual pattern.  It's a small thing, but for some reason it makes a difference.

Anyway, I also saw that there was a "Gregorian" version, and of course I was curious about how that would sound, thinking it was an actu…

Oscars and Azar Nafisi

Originally posted at LiveJournal on Mar 2, 2011

Yes, I realize one wouldn't usually expect to see those two topics lumped into one post -- one is a fun, sparkly, creatively orchestrated, but ultimately frivolous tradition, while the other is a fantastic author who's described the hazards of being a dedicated, open-minded female professor in Iran.

But here I go. 
First, hooray to Colin Firth and The King's Speech for getting Best Actor and Best Picture.  And hooray to Toy Story 3 for their Best Picture nomination!  It would've been awesome if an animated movie won that category, and TS3 is one of my favorite Pixar movies ever...but seriously, The King's Speech deserved it more.  I can't comment on how it compares with any of the other nominees, because I haven't seen any of them.  I've heard True Grit is amazing, and would've made a great Best Picture.

Second, Anne Hathaway is one of my favorite Oscars hosts so far (I still bow down to Billy Crystal, not…

A tale of ghosts and corn. Or: What I did for Halloween.

Originally posted at LiveJournal on Nov 3, 2013

Bit late, I know, but I'm still in the Halloween mood.  It was actually a pretty quiet one for me this year.  No elaborate new Abby costume, no trick-or-treaters at our house... at least two of the nearby towns usually set up special trick-or-treat times the weekend before Halloween, when stores and other businesses are the ones giving out the candy.

As for costume ideas, I was actually considering doing something like this:


At least some good came out of Community's fourth season. This seriously may be the dean's most brilliant costume yet.

The idea never came to fruition, though, as there weren't any costume-themed events at which Samantha Stephens (Bewitched) or Jeannie the genie could marvel at the wonders of 2013.  Next year, perhaps.  Ooh, maybe I could get together a bunch of friends and we'd each be a different black-and-white TV character, and we could all marvel together at the wonders of 2014...
But I'm…

Heaven, thy name is gelato

Originally posted at LiveJournal on Jul 14, 2009

Back in Geneva after a long weekend in Rome, and I am afraid to step on a scale.  Italian ice cream is soooo good!  We had it at least once a day, and also tried some Tiramisu.  Our favorite place to buy both was called the House of Tiramisu, and it was only about a ten minute walk from the place we were staying.  You could tell it was a really good place because lots of locals went there, so it wasn`t just some touristy spot.

Around this time of year, Rome is packed--especially, of course, places like the Vatican and the Colosseum.  We got pretty lucky when we visited the Vatican; we were there around 9 in the morning, when the line of people waiting to get into St. Peter`s Basilica was just starting to look a tiny bit intimidating.  An hour later it would have been awful.  We could see the line circling halfway around St. Peter`s Square when we left the Basilica.

Which, by the way, was amazing.  There was organ music playing in the front…

Stopover in Switzerland

Originally posted at LiveJournal on Jul 9, 2009

After two days in Warsaw, we are now at our cousin`s apartment in Geneva.  Tomorrow afternoon we fly to Rome, and then we`ll come back here for five days. 

The flight from Warsaw was interesting--a direct trip to Geneva would have cost something like $1500, so instead we changed planes in London.  We were worried at first about finding our connection in Heathrow, because people kept telling us how huge the airport is, and we only had an hour to catch our next flight, and our luggage might not arrive in Geneva on time so we should pack our carry-ons as if we would never see our luggage again...  in the end, everything went really smoothly. 

Warsaw was cool--we saw the World War II Uprising Museum, and my brother and I checked out the Adam Mikiewicz Museum of Literature, which had two exhibits.  One was on the response of Polish artists and writers to the economic hardships caused by Communist policies during the 70s and 80s.  The other was o…