The Pink Panther Snipes Again

Bad Movie Reviews with a Touch of Snark


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Look Who’s Back (Hint: Not Slim Shady)

This week’s film is our last feature of April’s Blog Free or Die Hard series.  I’ve been so intrigued ever since the book, Er ist wieder da, became a bestseller.  A satirical novel, it imagines Hitler’s return to Germany in the present and follows its citizens’ reactions to his ideology.

I confess I stopped reading the book, in part because I didn’t want all of my work colleagues to suspect me of being a neo-Nazi.  I know—I’ve become that person who hasn’t read the book but watched the movie.

The Film:

Look Who’s Back

Where to Watch:

Netflix (US)

The Premise:

In this mockumentary-style film, Adolf Hitler returns to modern day Germany and enjoys (unintended) success as a comedian.

The Uncondensed Version:

As mentioned above, the film follows Hitler, who has seemingly pulled a Rip Van Winkle when he wakes unchanged in 2014.  Instead of being revered, Hitler is astonished that no one pays him the proper respect, preferring rather to selfie with him.  It doesn’t take long for Hitler to become disgusted with the current state of Germany and draw the conclusion that democracy has failed.  Somewhat unexpectedly, he identifies most strongly with the Green party, which makes an increasing amount of sense when you think about the fanaticism of vegans.

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Not on team iPhone, apparently.

Meanwhile, at a commercial TV station, Katja Bellini has just gotten the big promotion her colleague Sensenbrink fully expected would be his.  In a moment of rage, Sensenbrink fires relatively innocent bystander Sawatzki for a poorly timed comment.  These men are too emotional for leadership positions.  Suddenly out of a job, Sawatzki (which is, ahem, very close to being an anagram for a certain Nazi symbol) is looking for a big scoop.  I WONDER what story he’ll find…

Sadly, Sawatzki’s big idea is just touring the country with Hitler and filming their exploits.  I feel this kind of thing has been done before and isn’t especially noteworthy?  However, what’s remarkable to Sawatzki is how spot-on the impression is and Hitler’s talent for ad-libbing (that was a weird phrase to write).

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Definition, please.

Hitler and Sawatzki go around Germany with surprisingly mixed results.  I felt most conflicted when I identified with Hitler’s annoyance at reality TV programs.  Most of them are objectively bad, though.

It gets a bit too real when some Germans speak with Hitler about the immigrant problem, the government that doesn’t represent their interests, and some fucking insane football hooligans beat the shit out of someone who doesn’t support Germany.  Hitler starts blowing up on social media and getting a scary number of followers.

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Basically never ok to utter this sentence.

All of this brings Hitler to Bellini’s attention, and she’s impressed with his supposed comedy routine.  She gives him the chance to appear on a live sketch show, where he starts improvising rather than following the cue cards.

At first the audience thinks Hitler’s routine is funny, but at a certain point the applause becomes genuine and the audience finds many of his ideas appealing.  The tried and true method of telling everyone the country is going to shit and only he has the answers works wonders and he goes viral.  (Many of the words he utters have honestly come out of Trump’s [Drumpf] mouth.)

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For real, though, “Who Said It: Hitler or Trump?” MUST be a Buzzfeed quiz.

Meanwhile, Sensenbrink is trying to discredit Hitler in order to steal Bellini’s job, but nothing seems to do the trick.  What will it take to stop Hitler—or is history doomed to repeat itself?

The Rating:

This film is very interested in Hitler’s legacy on German politics and, by extension, world politics.  Its title is Look Who’s Back, but it implies that Hitler never really left the world stage.  The effects of fascist, xenophobic hate groups have lingered, though they sometimes disguise themselves behind smiles and charisma.  Look Who’s Back doesn’t shy away from drawing a correlation between Hitler and groups opposed to immigrants, Muslims, refugees, and outsiders.  It encourages viewers to examine this relationship rather than bury it.

Although it’s a satire, a lot of the humor is derived from physical comedy, and it gets a bit didactic at the end and sort of shakes its finger at the audience (there was a pretty great parody of that famous rant scene in Downfall, though).  I don’t dispute that certain political groups are in need of a bit of shaming, but it did feel a bit condescending at times.  That being said, it does make the film much darker and more thought-provoking than I’d anticipated.

But sometimes you just want to laugh at Hitler.

The Rating:

3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

Would Christa go on a cross-country tour with this one or kill it with fire?  Find out here!


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And Now for Something Completely Different, or: Making a Book Stash

Inspired by Hayley’s project (in turn inspired by Miss Vicky Viola‘s blog), I decided to make a book stash from an old volume of poetry I bought years ago at a book sale.  So yes, my 4/20 post is about a place where you can stash (among other things) your weed.

Supplies:

  • A hardcover book that holds no emotional attachment for you (that part is really important)
  • White glue (I used Elmer’s; I think more arts and crafts-y people use Mod Podge or perhaps a glue personally melted down from horses [gross, sorry])
  • A paintbrush (again, that you have no emotional attachment to)
  • Pen/pencil
  • Ruler
  • X-Acto knife
  • Plastic wrap
  • Drill
  • Heavy book and/or telephone book (if you still get one)

The Process:

  1.  Wrap the front cover and first 5 or so pages in plastic wrap to avoid everything sticking together in one big mess.  Do the same with the back cover and last 5ish pages.  You may want to wrap a few extra pages if, like me, you are sometimes overeager with a blade.20160101_173518.jpg
  2.  Hold the book closed and brush glue on all three sides of the pages. Miss Vicky Viola recommends thin, even coats over a thick blobby coat (paraphrasing).20160101_174717.jpg
  3.  Leave to dry for at least half an hour under several heavy books.20160101_182053.jpg
  4. After it has dried, make a box indicating where you will cut.  I measured about an inch from each side, though others have advised closer to 2 inches.20160101_173534.jpg
  5. To ensure even lines, use a drill to make holes in each corner of your box.  Drill only about 3/4 or into the pages to be sure you don’t drill all the way through.

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    Unintended advertising for Esther Price chocolates.

  6. Start cutting!  (This takes forfuckingever.)  Use your ruler and X-Acto knife to cut a few pages at a time, carefully lifting out pages as you go.20160102_171333.jpg
  7. Keep going until you’ve cut out 3/4 of the pages (full disclosure:  I went a bit overboard and cut out way more than 3/4).  Or, you know, stop and eat some ice cream.20160420_210829.jpg
  8. After you’re satisfied with your work (or until your hand starts cramping), coat the book with glue again.  Coat the inside pages where you have cut, around those 1 inch (or more) margins, and along the 3 edges of the book.

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    I don’t have pictures for this stage, so here’s an artsy picture from Unsplash.

  9. To tidy up the top page, glue down one of the front pages you had wrapped in plastic wrap.  Let it dry under heavy books again, then cut a hole in that first page. (I feel like this step didn’t make a whole lot of difference for me, but at this point the X-Acto knife had become almost an appendage and my cutting was probably not as precise as it could have been.)
  10. Let the glue dry completely, and DONE.

Important Notes:

  1. Do this only with books you have absolutely no emotional attachment to. This is harder than it sounds.  I spent nearly 2 years sending journals to their inevitable deaths, and I still felt insanely guilty cutting into this book of American poetry.  Even though it’s been sitting unread on a shelf for 6 years.
  2. You can use your book stash to store valuables, secret documents, or (if you’re me) shit your cat usually bats off end tables (coasters, remotes, laser pointer).20160402_135130.jpg
  3. Also I’m telling you from a completely objective perspective that these are 10,000x cooler when you use old books or books that are deliberately designed to look old. Also a good use of Twilight (I acknowledge that Twilight jokes are about as original as criticizing the presidency of George W. Bush).

I had fun making this, but don’t get used to it on this blog.  I’d rather be making overly critical and borderline inappropriate comments about films that are embarrassingly aware of how terrible they are.


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The Grand Budapest Hotel, or: Courtesan au Chocolat Si’l Vous Plaît

This week’s entry in Blog Free or Die Hard is one of my favorite films and I might have cried a little when Christa suggested it.  I would watch this one with you 1,000 times, blog wife.  Speaking of which, how many times have I seen this film (you may ask yourself)?  Er, more than once…

The Film:

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Where to Watch:

Figure it out

The Premise:

An unnamed author relates the story of M. Gustave, eccentric hotel concierge, and his protégé, Zero Mostafa.

The Uncondensed Version:

I love this film, but it takes the frame story concept a little bit too far:  it’s a story in a story in a story.  In a story.  But it’s a great one, so I’ll let it slide.  And good lord, I don’t think any critic could possibly believe there are too few cameos in this.  It’s like everyone who was even once considered for a role in a Wes Anderson film ended up in this.  Even so, the cameos are pretty excellent.

Our story is based on a fictional book (inspired by a real author’s works), which is in turn based on a lobby boy’s story about his mentor and friend, M. Gustave.  Aforementioned lobby boy is now the owner of the titular Grand Budapest Hotel, now a shadow of its former self.  The author of the story notices this man, Zero Mostafa, because he carries an air of sadness and loneliness.

The author (unnamed as far as I know, but I won’t pretend I’m wonderful at remembering character names) jumps at the chance to have dinner with Zero and hear his story.

Zero’s story introduces M. Gustave, the rather eccentric hotel concierge.  As Zero observes, one of M. Gustave’s, er “other duties as assigned” is to be a sort of male escort to wealthy old blonde ladies.  One of these ladies is played by a basically unrecognizable Tilda Swinton, who is reluctant to leave the hotel as she’s had a premonition of her death.

Gustave reassures her and sends her on her way home, so all must end well, mustn’t it?

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But seriously, Tilda Swinton.  WHAT.

At this point, Zero enters the story as the newly hired lobby boy that M. Gustave is quite irked he never signed off on.  However, he comes around quite quickly and teaches Zero the ways of being a lobby boy.  It’s because of his work as a lobby boy that Zero meets Agatha (played by Saoirse Ronan, who I’m a bit obsessed with).  Agatha works in Mendl’s, the local bakery whose special is a courtesan au chocolat.

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Aaaaaaaaand no one ever explains that scar.

The GBH routine is thrown into chaos when M. Gustave receives bad news about Tilda Swinton (I reiterate that I’m terrible at remembering character names) and rushes to her side along with Zero.  In a moment that becomes of great significance later in the plot, Zero and M. Gustave are stopped during their train journey and roughed up a bit by a rather fascist military force.  Luckily, Edward Norton with a really great moustache intervenes.

By the time M. Gustave and Zero arrive Tilda’s estate (incidentally, a castle), she has died.  On the bright side, she’s left a priceless painting to M. Gustave, “Boy with Apple.”  Tilda’s son, Dmitri, is less than thrilled and, in fact punches M. Gustave, insisting he leave immediately.  M. Gustave and Zero are only too happy to oblige, especially as they manage to smuggle “Boy with Apple” along.

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I love this shot.  And this scene.  And everything about this movie.

Once safely aboard the train, M. Gustave plans to sell the painting, leave the country with Zero before war breaks out, and make Zero his only heir.  This plan is interrupted when M. Gustave is arrested for the murder of Tilda’s character and imprisoned.  As you might expect, this leads to an elaborate prison break attempt.  Additionally, terrifying Willem Dafoe trying to track down the painting at any cost, including murder.  So.  Many.  Murders.

I don’t want to give absolutely everything away, but all of this results in a call to the secret society of concierges, a dramatic high speed sled chase, war breaking out, a shootout in the Grand Budapest Hotel, and the discovery of a secret other will.

The film is fundamentally about M. Gustave and Zero’s relationship, which becomes a father/son relationship as neither has biological family alive.  M. Gustave is one of my favorite characters in film, both committed to behaving properly and in the best interests of the hotel while simultaneously being incredibly self-interested and judgmental.  This film is also a great deal about the end of an era in the aftermath of war, so it’s quite a bit sadder than other Wes Anderson works.

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Fine, I confess I currently cry at EVERYTHING.

Spoiler:  The last 10 minutes will probably crush your spirit.

The Rating:

5/5 Pink Panther Heads

I like that Wes isn’t afraid to go much darker and sadder with this than he usually does.  I lost track of the total number of murders, but there are AT LEAST 11.  Has there been even ONE murder in all other Wes Anderson films combined???  Seriously, please tell me because this film makes me forget about other Wes Anderson films.  It’s so beautiful and confident, and if the last 10 minutes don’t make you weep, your heart is made of stone.

Was Christa on the same page or do I have to write her out of my will? (Totally kidding, girl.  You still get the portrait of Bertha Mason.)  Find out here!

And don’t worry—if you’re getting tired of the high quality in films lately, we WILL return to absolutely shitty B-movies soon.  It’s getting to the point where I feel conflicted about still calling this a bad movie blog.  Bear with us for one more week.


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Kinky Boots, or: I Personally Find No Fault with Burgundy

Blog free or die hard?  That is the essential question that drives this blog to search for meaning (or nonsense).  Let us continue, then, with a film about making shoes for drag queens.  You know Christa has thoughts about this, esp. as she’s seen this one before, whereas I’ve been slacking on my To Be Watched list lately.  And by lately I mean for the past 10+ years.

The Film:

Kinky Boots

Where to Watch:

Netflix (US)

The Premise:

Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Lola, a drag queen who helps a struggling Northampton shoe factory find its niche:  high-heeled shoes (kinky boots, if you will) for drag queens.

The Uncondensed Version:

Both Lola and Charlie know from a young age what they will be doing.  For Lola, it will be performing in drag.  Charlie will inherit his family’s shoe factory, a prospect that doesn’t thrill him.  In an attempt to dodge his fate, Charlie moves to London with his fiancé to study marketing.  Shortly after, he receives the news that his father has passed away and the family business is his.

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“When do get a solo?!”

Charlie is unable to shirk his responsibilities but still feels strange about playing the role of his father in terms of being an authority and role model.  The factory has not kept up with the times and seems to (a) have reasonable working conditions, (b) make a fairly high quality product, and (c) care about tradition.  This leads to pretty heavy layoffs and low morale in general.  As Lauren, one of Charlie’s former employees, points out, what the factory needs is a niche, but what could it be?  Spoiler:  you already know.  If you don’t, please pay at least a little attention.

Charlie’s inspiration comes in the form of Lola, a drag queen he steps in to help when she’s being harassed on the street.  Though clearly uncomfortable in her presence, Charlie has a drink with her and realizes her heeled boots have broken because they weren’t designed to support her frame.

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To be fair, that is a lot of fabulous to hold up.

For somewhat forced plot reasons, Charlie enlists Lauren’s help in recruiting Lola as a shoe model and designer.  Charlie’s fiancé hates the factory and thinks drag queens are unnatural?  You don’t say.  I wonder if Lauren has a more progressive perspective.

Initially Charlie plans to simply take Lola’s measurements and design a pair of red boots.  He really doesn’t want her to visit the factory because he feels his workers won’t be welcoming and he is a bit embarrassed by Lola.  Sensing his discomfort, Lola immediately heads to the factory.

Once there, Charlie dramatically reveals the rather sensible boots he’s made, which is quite impressive considering they are burgundy thigh-highs.  Lola hates them and insists on a sexy heel.  Predictably, many of the factory workers are uncomfortable with Lola’s presence, especially ultra-masculine Don (played by Nick Frost!).

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Whatevs, I’d wear them.  They look comfy.

Charlie manages to talk to Lola when she locks herself in the bathroom (which feels incredibly relevant in light of recent awful American legislation [looking at you, North Carolina]).  They bond over their broken dreams and shared weight of their fathers’ disapproval.

Lola extends an olive branch to Don by asking him to write things she can do to make her more of a man in his eyes; in exchange, he will do the same for Lola.  Additionally, Lola and Charlie regroup and plan to go to Milan with their designs to do some kind of fashion thing (I TRIED really hard to care about shoes/fashion while watching this with varying levels of success).

Everything seems to be going swimmingly.  That is, until Charlie gets really insecure and calls Lola the worst of both sexes.  Suddenly the team is down a model just before their big premiere in Milan.

Also Charlie’s fiancé dumps him.  It’s rather a low point for him, but that’s what happens when you act like a dick.

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Yeah, Nick Frost and Chiwetel Ejiofor arm wrestle in this.

The Rating:

3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

I really enjoyed the beginning of this film but feel it lost steam somewhere along the way.  Partly because it was a bit too Charlie-centric when Lola was the more interesting character.  Chiwetel Ejiofor is absolutely amazing in this.  Joel Edgerton, isn’t bad, esp. when you consider how scary he was in The Great Gatsby.  However, he has much less to work with as he plays the sort of stuffy British everyman who is attractive in a reliable sort of way.

As someone who isn’t overly keen about shoes/fashion, I feel a bit of it was lost on me.  Definitely worth a watch and I can see how this would make a fucking fabulous musical.  Holy shit, I really want to see the musical now.

Does Christa think this film would be a sexy shoe or a sensible sneaker?  Find out here!


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Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, or: The Last Hapsburg Returns

This month is brought to you by a return of Blog Free or Die Hard because we do what we want.  Also we don’t want to watch anyone slowly die of cancer this month.  Christa’s kicking it off with the new Pee-wee Herman film.

(Cons of post-30 Rock Paul Reubens include I can’t think of him without picturing him as the last Hapsburg.)

The Film:

Pee-wee’s Big Holiday

Where to Watch:

Netflix (US)

The Premise:

Really, you guys.  Really.  Pee-wee Herman returns for a…holiday.  Could be big.

The Uncondensed Version:

Pee-wee has been experiencing strange dreams about an alien inviting him to leave Fairville, but he resists.  Could this mean Pee-wee is subconsciously yearning for adventure outside of his hometown?  Spoiler (already revealed in title):  YES.

However, Pee-wee reads nothing into these dreams as he’s happy, well-liked in the community, and rich in those disgusting root beer candies.   The local librarian really likes him as she always gets him the latest Scuba Cop book (and either the Fairville Library doesn’t believe in spine labels or the librarian actually buys him the new book, which is probably the equivalent of half a day’s pay).  Nothing ever changes in his world, and he’s quite content with this arrangement (TBH, I really relate to this).

That is, until the day things do change.  Specifically, the breakup of his band when all of his bandmates begin to take on more responsibilities and no longer have time for practice.  Pee-wee doesn’t take the news well, and ends up reading alone with a certain level of angst in the diner where he works.

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I mean, musical instruments are a pretty big investment.

Suddenly, a really cool biker strides into the diner—none other than Joe Manganiello (who looked vaguely familiar but, I’ll be honest, I had to Google.  Whatever, I’ve never lied about my primary interests being ice cream and hiding from other people).

Pee-wee and Joe have a rather immediate and intense connection, and I kind of wondered if this was actually the porn parody of Pee-wee a few times.  The two share a passion for those vile root beer barrel candies, which I strongly suspect are made of inorganic matter and earwax.  (I occasionally daydream about living in an earlier time, but then I think about what people considered candy back in the day.)

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Seriously, tell me this isn’t how a porno starts.

Joe inspires Pee-wee to leave Fairville and travel to NYC for Joe’s birthday party in 4 days.  As you might expect, Pee-wee’s trip doesn’t go entirely smoothly, and he encounters trouble almost immediately.

Because this is a journey film, there are a lot of obstacles.  Said obstacles include:

  1. Getting hijacked by 3 women who are thieves/bank robbers/criminals in general.  They steal his car and leave him tied up in a motel room, but not before having a pillow fight with male strippers.

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    Girl gang.

  2. Meeting a salesman who decides they should make a stop at a snake farm despite Pee-wee’s fear of snakes.
  3. Stumbling upon a kindly farmer whose 9 daughters all want to marry Pee-wee.
  4. Hitching a ride with a group of friends traveling to a hair styling competition and receiving a makeover (I guess this one isn’t so much an obstacle as an interesting thing that happens).

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    Spoiler:  the makeover involves literal helicopter hair.

  5. Crashing back to Earth in the flying car of a woman who is basically the eccentric millionaire version of Katharine Hepburn.
  6. Almost reenacting Ravenous when a man who lives in a cave rescues him from the wilderness.
  7. Entertaining the Amish with his hobby of blowing up balloons and slowly deflating them (my cat HATED this part of the film)

Throughout the film, Pee-wee imagines how much fun the party will be with Joe, but also begins to doubt that Joe will even notice if Pee-wee fails to make it in time.  I guess that’s pretty relateable, but at the same time not really something I worry about.  And not ENTIRELY because I don’t get invited to parties.

The Rating:

3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

The extra ½ PPH is mostly because librarians get some representation in this without shushing anyone.  This is a reasonably sweet film, but it’s a bit mild for my tastes.  It’s possible I’ve overdone it with the bad horror movies (actually it’s not).

Is Christa inviting this one to the party or will she cry if she wants to?  Does that question even make sense?  Find the answer to at least one of those questions here!


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Sunshine Blogger Award

I’ve been a bad participant in the blogging community lately.  By my count, Christa (A Voluptuous Mind) nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award nearly 3 months ago.  What can I say—2016 was off to a majorly rocky start.

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I really do like these Q and A type posts, though, and I appreciate the love!  Here I go (at last) answering Christa’s questions:

1.  Who would play you in the made-for-tv movie of your life, and why?

Ingrid Bergman so I’d have a cool Swedish accent and look effortlessly classy.  HEY.  There’s time for me to acquire both of those skills.  Would also accept Lucy Lawless as she’s such a badass.  Possibly Tina Fey as well since she’s the queen of eye rolls.  Basically everyone.  Can we make this an I’m Not There scenario and have a different actor for each segment?

2.  If you had to be stuck in a lift with one person for 12 hours who would it be (it can be anybody, alive or dead)?

Margaret Atwood b/c she would tell the best stories.  Even if I didn’t get along with her latest novel.  I am SO pumped for the MaddAddam miniseries.

3.  If you could only have one album on your MP3 player for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Oooooooooooooooh, I think it would have to be Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.  I never get tired of it.  He goes through the entire range of emotions, and “Harmony” is one of my favorite songs in existence, and I’m still not sure if it’s a happy or sad song.

4.  How do you deal with stress? (Asking for a friend)

Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally badly.  I am incredibly good at self-pityingly watching Youtube clips and baking cookies…for myself.  As a wise woman once told me, “Pick your fucks.”  I mostly refuse to get stressed about things anymore because I’m really mean to myself when I get stressed.  Taking a walk actually really helps too, and giving my cat Bertha Mason a squeeze (but not too hard).

5.  If you were releasing your own signature scent, what 3 ingredients would you insist on including?

Lemon, and let’s be real…cat hair.  B/c it would be in there whether or not you intend it to be.  Some kind of papery/book-y smell would be appropriate too since I depend on them both personally and professionally.

6.  You find £50 on the street, no wallet, no witnesses – what do you do?

Keep it but feel paranoid about it for the rest of my life.  Like I would probably break into a sweat every time I saw a cop car and eventually bury it like it was Jumanji.

7.  What’s your greatest quality?

I am organized AF and get shit done when I set my mind to it.

Organized

8.  And your worst? (In your eyes)

I loathe confrontation and will do almost anything to avoid it, including acting like a complete doormat.

9.  Name 3 things you bloody love about your physical appearance – GO!

Eyebrows—I usually don’t have time to pencil them in, but when I do, I try to make them look super, super thick to an almost Wolfman level.  Weird?  IDGAF, I really love thick eyebrows on women.

Hair—mostly because I wash it and do very little else to it, and it still has moments of brilliance.

Calves—big and strong.  Working on this one b/c I’ve never been crazy about my legs, but they literally support me, so it’s only right for me to appreciate them a bit more.

10.  If you had to sleep with one of the main characters in The Big Bang Theory, who would you pick? (Leonard, Sheldon, Raj or Howard/Penny, Amy or Bernadette? The little Comic Book Guy?)

This is challenging because I find all of them quite grating.  Probably Amy even though the actress is a vegan (I know…I’m trying to overcome my bigotry).

11.  Are you a Belieber? (Discuss)

Not especially, but I do find “Love Yourself” ridiculously catchy.  I feel the Bieb is definitely improving with age (though that’s a ridiculous statement to make about a 22-year-old).

Okay, if I have to come up with questions and nominate other bloggers, I am literally never going to post this.

Thanks, Christa, for nominating me!  A little shout-out to Hayley of A Stitch to Scratch as well, definitely a major part of  my blogosphere.  And thank you, readers, for bearing with me.

*All images from Unsplash


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A Few Words About Choice

My intention with this post is not to sway any opinions, but to express my admiration for women who unabashedly support the causes they believe in.

I care about politics more than I’d like to, but I haven’t been one for political rallies up to this point.  They hurt, even when peaceful.  I attended a pro-choice rally a couple of weekends ago organized as a counterpoint to a demonstration at a clinic that provides abortions.  Basically, the people who work for the clinic get harassed for doing their job, and it was especially obnoxious during Lent.

It’s so self-congratulatory.  They wouldn’t do this alleged praying privately because no one would be watching.  Perhaps not a surprise when the current likely GOP nominee is just the one who equates being right with yelling loudest.

Keep in mind these were pastors, religious leaders, who said they were there because they love us and want to save us…despite the fact that we are murderers who will burn in hell.  And that we are Satanist communist pagans, which I really don’t see the problem with.  I admit I got a bit of a giggle when a few pro-choice women started chanting Hail Satan and the pro-lifers believed it to be a literal moment of devil worship.  This is why liberals can be funny but it’s so incredibly painful when conservatives try to use humor—everything has to be literal.

One of the pastors argued that you can’t speak Gaelic and be pro-choice…with a member of our group who then proceeded to speak Gaelic.  That he doesn’t care if anyone gets raped, there are alternatives to abortion.  That all of the Christians there would adopt a child—but have they?  And have they supported a single mother who has no job, maternity leave, or healthcare?

It got really ugly when a pastor told a veteran who has served 3 tours of duty to get back in the kitchen.  And called Obama a Muslin f–, one of only a handful of words I won’t use on this blog.  (Hint:  not the “fuck” f word.)  So many homophobic slurs and the reiteration that sodomy is a sin (but it’s fun).  And abortion is racist because it’s mostly black and Irish babies (I have no idea where the Irish part comes from or why they still think Irish is a race; perhaps it surprises no one that they aren’t interested in talking about Latinas when discussing stats).   It was the only time I’ve heard women un-ironically called “jezebel” and “witch” outside of The Crucible.

I don’t mean to assign blame to religion because I know these groups don’t represent a majority of the faithful.  This isn’t meant as an attack on religion, but on a certain approach to religion.  The mentality that there’s a correct religion to follow, so it’s okay to have a morality complex and talk down to everyone who disagrees with you.  I can’t stand the idea that there’s no room for a viewpoint that isn’t yours (a statement that I acknowledge contains a certain degree of irony).

Some of the cars driving by were encouraging, while others were pretty douchy.  Guess how many of those driving by flipping us the bird were women?  Zero.  And guess how many middle fingers we got from men?  Don’t tell me this issue is about religion or morality or politics.  It’s about men controlling women.

Besides the torrent of verbal abuse, it was sort of the ideal social gathering for me as it required no small talk whatsoever.  Lots of chanting “What do we want?”  “Choice!” and honking and screaming when people supported us.  I truly admire the activists who attend rallies every month and even every week and manage to hear insults hurled at them without taking them to heart.  It was extremely difficult for me to switch gears and go to work later that day without the words popping into my head.

As a librarian it really hurts that people don’t bother to find credible sources of information, which they could at the library.  FOR FREE.  These people STILL believe Planned Parenthood sells baby parts even though the alleged proof was fake, and Planned Parenthood has done more to prevent abortions than Right to Life.  The words you use and the “truth” you spread can kill, so please be careful with them.

You can still feel morally superior and pray for me.

*Image via Unsplash