Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Morticia Addams, My (Second) Favorite Feminist

Here's a rather fun article about Morticia Addams that you might enjoy:

Six Quotes That Prove Morticia Addams is a Feminist Queen  Who Has It All

I did love Anjelica Huston as Morticia in the Addams Family movies.  However, Carolyn Jones, who played her in the TV series, will always be MY favorite!!

Of course, you DO know that my Number One favorite feminist is Abby Scutio!  ;-)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The New Kid in Town

My son, Stuart, moved out of our apartment (unofficially) almost two years ago; he still has a lot of junk stuff in it, but basically he's now living with his girlfriend at her parents' house while they try to find an apartment they can actually afford (dream on).  So, in the last several months, Martin has been turning Stuart's former bedroom more and more into a "mancave" dedicated to 40K Warhammer miniatures and similar junk stuff.

A few months ago, my nephew (Stuart's dad's brother's son) called with the news that he has been accepted to San Francisco State University, but was waitlisted for the dorms and needed help finding off-campus housing.  I was glad to help him out, and also gave him some help with his financial aid; since that's what I do for a living, I figured he was entitled to a little free advice.  And I told him that if, for some reason, he was unable to find housing before school started, he was welcome to stay in Stuart's old room until he found something closer to school.  He thanked me, I sent him the info and website links he had requested, along with my e-mail address, and that was the end of it.  So I thought.

Fast forward to last Friday...  I got a call from Stuart telling me that Michael HAD found a place with one of Stuart's friends, but that it had fallen through, and he had also forgotten to keep up with the dorm waitlist and got kicked off it, and could he still take us up on our offer to let him stay with us?  I said yes, then asked when his classes started...  on August 24th, less then ten days away!  Needless to say, I asked Stuart to have Michael call me ASAP.

What follows is a typical parental rant...

What IS it with kids these days??  According to Stuart, he has been nagging Michael to do various things regarding the situation, including calling us sooner, but Michael "just didn't listen".  I told Stuart (with a smirk in my voice) that NOW he understood how I had felt at various times with him in the past.  He was appropriately penitent, heheheh...

Michael just turned 18 in July, so he is still somewhat in the "adults have holes in their heads" phase, but STILL...  He has a cell phone, TWO laptops and a regular computer, not including access to his home phone, so the only reason I can think of why he didn't call sooner is that he was too embarrassed to do so, and was hoping for a miracle that didn't happen. 

So this Friday, Michael will be arriving with his cell phone, computer and two laptops (and hopefully some clothes) to stay with us.  He will be paying room and board, so this will be a big help for us, actually, in addition to enjoying his company and getting to know him better.  

It will be very interesting, from a sociocultural anthropologist's point of view as well as from a personal one, to see how Michael reacts to his new environment.  He will be going from living in Southern California with his uncle and grandmother (he has always lived with them, and they raised him after his father died when he was seven) to living with me and Martin in Northern California.  At home, he was the child; here he will be an adult, with none of the emotional baggage of home except what he brings with him.  When he was younger, he idolized Stuart; now he will get a sample of "walking in Stuart's shoes", so to speak.  And he hasn't lived with a goth before, not to mention that Martin and I are both a little crazy!  I hope it will be a good experience for him, and for us as well. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Review: "Tales of Dark Romance and Horror" by A.D. Vick

Not too long ago, one of my blogger friends, Nightwind of The Gothic Embrace, announced the publication of his first book, Tales of Dark Romance and Horror.  I couldn't wait to buy it!  Now that I've finished reading it, I thought I'd do a short review.

The title is an accurate one, as several of the thirteen stories have romance in them, but all of them have at least a touch of horror (most have more), and the perfect time to curl up and read them is on a gray, rainy day or a dark, stormy night.  Gothic or spooky music playing in the background would be good, too.  ;-)

I already knew I wanted to read this book even before buying it, because Nightwind was kind enough to put the link to a podcast for one of the stories here.  That story, "Night of the Harvestmen", remains my favorite, even after reading the whole book.  To avoid spoiling the story, I will only mention that 'harvestmen' is another word for daddy-long-legs spiders; I tell you this in advance because I had never heard that name for them, and had to look it up to know what I was reading about!

My second and third favorite stores are "Jessica" and "Ozark Howler"; both are awesome, in totally different ways.  "Rosalie" is extremely long, almost a novella, but the action moves quickly.  Be sure to read the Preface before you begin the book, because certain stories are part of a series, and the Preface tells you which ones they are and what order they happen in, although all of them can stand alone.  

I will admit that there were a couple of stories that I didn't care for, but that's just my personal preference, so I'm not going to name them and possibly prejudice you, because you may love them!  

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I'm glad I bought it!  The only suggestion I have for a future book (hint, hint!) would be to have one or two people help with the editing.  It's always difficult to edit your own work, because you know what it should say, so you don't always catch the typos.  And I personally would be more than willing to help (and get a sneak preview)!  ;-)

Congratulations, Nightwind, on a lovely addition to modern gothic literature!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Some Wise Words

Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Artist: Baz Luhrmann
Album: Something For Everybody

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99

Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they've faded but trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked 
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don't worry about the future or worry that know that worrying
Is as affective as trying to solve an algebra equation
By chewing bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things
That never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts
Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours


Don't waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind
The race is long and in the end, it's only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive
Forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements


The most interesting people
I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't
Get plenty of calcium, be kind to your knees
You'll miss them when they're gone

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't
Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't
Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the 'Funky Chicken'
On your 75th wedding anniversary
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own, dance
Even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
Read the directions even if you don't follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good 
Be nice to your siblings, they're your best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get, the more you need the people
You knew when you were young
Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard
Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft


Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you, too, will get old
And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don't expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Don't mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you're 40 it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it 
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it's worth

But trust me on the sunscreen