Thursday, December 29, 2016

Judi Dench as Titania

I started writing this post a couple of days ago when suddenly the news let us know about Carrie Fisher's passing. And then, not 48 hours later, her mother, Debbie Reynolds, went to be with her daughter. I put this post on hold to write a tribute to Carrie, but now I'm returning to this one for Throwback Thursday.

One fine celebrity I am so glad the world hasn't lost yet is Judi Dench!

When I think of Dame Judi Dench, the role that tends to come to mind is her role as M in James Bond.

So it took me a few minutes to recognize her in the 1968 version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which I was watching on TV.

These pictures are black and white, but in the film she's an earthy shade of green, which fits her role of Titania.

It was her unique voice that I recognized first. Then I started noting her appearance, and after looking it up, sure enough, this is a young, gorgeous Judi!

She was such a pretty young woman who became a beautiful older woman. Sweet, talented Judi, I hope we still have you for years to come! <3



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Carrie Fisher - More than Princess Leia

Today I have been tremendously sad about Carrie Fisher's passing. As a massive Star Wars fan, it feels like I've lost a family member since she's been a part of my happy imaginative world away from reality ever since I was a child. And I know I'm not alone in feeling this way.

But as I got older, I discovered there was more to Carrie than just being Princess Leia in Star Wars. She was also a hell of a writer and one of the funniest women on the planet. Several years ago, I read her book Wishful Drinking, and found it to be a truly hilarious and brutally honest biography in which she tells some wonderfully candid tales about working on Star Wars and also gives us a peek into who she really was as a person. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It's one of the best books I've ever read, really, both in the bio and comedy categories.

After getting a peek at the woman behind the gold bikini, I checked out the movie Postcards from the Edge, which is based off another book of hers, also biographical, this one going more into her life as an addict and an actress, and also about her dysfunctional but still loving relationship between her and her mother. Meryl Streep plays the main character in the film, and I found it to be one of the best, and funniest movies I've ever seen.

So as we mourn yet another beloved celebrity death, I hope you'll take the opportunity, if you haven't read Wishful Drinking or seen or read Postcards from the Edge to do so, in honor of Carrie's passing. They're well worth your time and will help you understand more of who she really was, which was much more than just Princess Leia. They'll also make you smile and laugh, both of which are desperately needed during sad times like these.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

I Think I Have a Mask Fetish

With Halloween coming up, I'm reminded of my life-long love of masks. I've always had a thing for them, whether as artistic pieces or because I find a lot of masked fictional characters really sexy. One of my first crushes of this variety was on Scorpion from Mortal Kombat.

No doubt it has something to do with how sexy mystery is. I've even devoted a pinterest board to my love of masks. My contemporary novel The Art House has a mask on the cover and the characters wear masks at different points in the story. I have a couple of masks in the house that serve as decor.

Part of the appeal of the band Ghost (aside from being amazing, wonderfully creative musicians with stellar stage presence) is the masks they wear. Nobody knows what they look like, and it's sexy! I almost hope they never take them off, but at some point they might.

Even Deadpool is sexy in his own hilarious way, in part because of his get-up with the mask.

Hoods are equally mysterious, which might explain my odd affection for the Grim Reaper.

Any other mask lovers out there?



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Spotlight on Artist Handiedan

Happy Sapphic Sunday! Today instead of just posting one image on social media, I wanted to do a short blogpost on a new artist I recently discovered.

I came across the artist Handiedan's work last week on Pinterest and am totally in love with it. She's a woman who I can call my contemporary, being around my age (mid-30s), and she's from Amsterdam. Though she works with different media, it seems like what's her most popular work is the really cool pulp/burlesque collages she does, many of which are deliciously F/F!

She takes pieces from different pin-up girls and puts them together like a sexy Frankenstein concoction. At fist glance, you can't really see it, but on closer inspection, you can see in the above piece that there are some disembodied arms on the top girl's legs!

I love the old-world/new-world vibe she's got going on. She takes the classic, almost antiquated pinup look and makes it strikingly modern. She's also done some amazing mural work, like this one below in Berlin:

Consider me a new fan! :) 

If you dig her stuff too, there's a lot more on her --> official website <--.



Thursday, July 21, 2016

On Pain and Inspiration

I was looking up pics of Naomi Watts for a project when I came across this quote by the fabulous actress:

I feel like there is a lot of truth to this. It made me recall a quote along the same wavelength, this time by Anne Rice and on the subject of writing in particular:

But Anne Rice also tells us this:

I see a lot of authors out there these days who embrace the whole "Tortured Writer" persona, maybe because they're hooked on that sort of drama, or maybe because they feel like it's the only way to be inspired. 

But I think it's really important to remember that as artists (particularly talking to fellow writers here), we must be willing to embrace life's pleasure along with it's pain. To me, the thing that has inspired me most as a writer, is not one thing or the other, not pain or pleasure, but both! I've gotten so much inspiration from simply allowing myself to live life, sometimes dangerously, to be vulnerable, to screw up and make mistakes, and to also make good choices that bring me joy. 

In life, we all have to go through loss, rejection, fear - all those negative emotions. But it's so important that we don't forget to allow ourselves to be happy, too. I feel like all of the best stories out there have a mixture of pleasure of pain, of laughter and tears. The point is, as artists, I believe it is our job to live life and feel every emotion so that we can properly share that emotion and have readers feel it as deeply as we did.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this subject! Leave a comment if you like :)



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Bisexual Health Awareness Month 2016

March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month, and to contribute, I wanted to write a post regarding one of the aspects of bisexuality that needs more visibility.

Here's an infographic from from a couple of years back:

All of it is important, but for this post, I'm going to be focusing on the violet circle on the bottom right of the graphic: Only considering a person either gay or straight, depending on the sex of the person's partner

I've been married to a man for the past eight years. For many, that would mean that I'm straight. But in reality, that shouldn't erase the fact that I have been in love with and/or had crushes on a number of women in my life. It also shouldn't assume that I'll never be attracted to people of other genders, be they women, intersex, or trans, during my marriage. All it means is that I chose someone who happens to be male to marry and be my partner in life.

I think in general, it's hard for people to understand gray areas, even though they absolutely do exist. We like to label things black or white, right or wrong, gay or straight. But married bisexuals do exist. Bisexuals who are in a monogamous relationship do exist (but the bisexual stereotype of not being monogamous is for another post! ;) )

Basically, being married to one gender does not exclude us from being attracted to other genders, no more than being married excludes straight or gay people from being attracted to others in their preferential gender category or categories.

It's sad to me that bisexuals have so many health problems that seem to stem from stress because they are not accepted or understood as they are. But talking about these issues and bringing them into public awareness is the place we need to start!



Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Elusive Attribution

I admit, I am one of those people who loves Pinterest. I find inspiring pictures on there all the time. But I've been noticing a bit of a trend that's not just Pinterest but it's also on other social media as well, and that is there are all these gorgeous photos circulating out there on the Internet with not a bit of attribution! No credit to the models or photographers. And that kind of bums me out because I think it's important that art gets credited to its creators.

Do you know of any place online a person can go to check the attribution of photography and other art? Here are a few examples of black and white photography (one of my favorites) that have no attribution. I'd love to figure out who the photographers are and who the models are. If anyone knows, please inform me in the comments!



Thursday, February 4, 2016

Valentine's Day: My Changing Attitude Over the Years

When I was in high school, I hated Valentine's Day with a passion. My friends and I called it "Single Awareness Day" before the term was popular, and we counted down the agonizing hours until it was over. Often, we'd have to endure all the popular girls squealing with delight as they received cards and chocolate and jewelry and flowers and big heart-shaped balloons, while we sat there at our desks all empty-hearted having gotten nothing. And to make matters worse, all the popular girls got all this affection from the very boys we had mad crushes on! Talk about depressing.

Into my early 20s, I had a little more luck some years for Valentine's Day, but it was still less than ideal. I had a serious crush on my close friend, but she was married and had made it clear she only saw me as a friend. Her gifts were strictly platonic. I remember a couple of guys I dated sort of half-assed the day. Some gave me a gift, and some didn't. They rarely had much time for me on the regular, so they certainly didn't go out of their way to really be romantic on this day. Overall, I was still left feeling "meh." I realized at that point that it wasn't the gift itself I wanted. Instead, it was a symbol I desired, a tangible sign that the guy I was screwing around with wanted more from me than just a great blowjob. I was hoping for something meaningful in the context of a real committed relationship, but the guys I was dating then were not in it for the long haul, so they saw no need to make the day special.

Finally, when I started dating my now-husband, I got the Valentine's Day I had been longing for. I had a little rent house by then, and I happily prepared a dinner of stroganoff with red wine and dessert and candles and had a cute, gigantic card to give him. After he drove up from out of town (we were dating long-distance), he presented me with a beautiful bouquet of red roses and a big heart-shaped tin of chocolates. But it was more than the gifts. The gifts were just a symbol. He gave me his time. He spent the weekend with me. He gave me his body and his heart. Ever since that day, I haven't felt the need to have a special Valentine's Day again, but sometimes I still like to do something romantic.

I understand that a lot of people think Valentine's Day is a corporate holiday meant to sell chocolates and roses and greeting cards, and on one hand, it is. The restaurants are typically packed to the max, and it's really difficult getting reservations. Plus, when you've been married to someone for years and you know that person loves you, it doesn't necessarily feel as imperative that you get treated in any special way on Valentine's Day.

But there still must be some little vestige of that old me who still gets a certain measure of satisfaction knowing I actually have someone worthwhile to spend the day with after all those years of dreading "Single Awareness Day." I think it's important, for me at least, to do something, even if it's picking up a heart-shaped cookie at the grocery store and sharing it while we watch something on Netflix. It's just an added bonus if we dress up and go out.

What about you? Do you prefer to celebrate Valentine's Day, or do you protest it as a money-making scam? No right or wrong answers, of course! And whatever you do this year, be it ignoring the hearts and flowers or embracing them, I hope the day is perfectly celebrated the way you want it to be. ;)



Monday, January 25, 2016

Bikini Baristas - What's the Big Deal??

Just now on my G+ and Facebook pages, I shared a story and video on Bikini Baristas. Bikini Baristas are people who sell coffee while wearing very little in the way of clothing. Also, there aren't just female Bikini Baristas. There are some that are operated by good-looking shirtless guys.

Apparently Seattle started this off, and you can check out -->this website<-- if you're curious as to where some of these establishments are located, in and out of Seattle.

Naturally this kind of thing is causing a lot of ruckus from folks who think the scantily-clad baristas should put more clothes on. A lot of complaints come from people who have children, who are afraid of their kids seeing a nearly-naked human body.

Which brings me to my thoughts on all this: why the hell are we still making the human body such a scandal? As one of the baristas in the -->story/video<-- says, they aren't hurting anybody. So what's the big deal?

If people don't like it, then perhaps they shouldn't get their coffee from there. And really, while they're at it, they probably shouldn't ever go to the beach again, or turn on the TV, or leave the house because **gasp** they might see someone who is showing off their assets!

C'mon, people. If they're not hurting anything, and are making a living and also making many customers very happy, why try to shut 'em down?

What are your thoughts on it, blog readers?



Monday, January 11, 2016

Bowie - A Few Words

I have loved him since I was five years old, my Goblin King from the world of Labyrinth.

He was the first celebrity that ever appeared in one of my vivid dreams. 

This creative, daring, fascinating soul - this true artist - will live on with us in spirit, forever a part of our lives, his art still here for us and future generations to treasure for years to come. 

I feel so lucky to have been alive during the time that this man was here on Earth.

RIP, David Bowie.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

100 Orgasms a Year = Longer Life?

I was watching the Steve Harvey show yesterday afternoon, and he had on some health specialists who were talking about all the things we can do to help us live longer. They discussed diet, exercise, sleep - all the usual stuff. But what caught my attention was this: apparently, having 100+ orgasms a year can add years to our lives. If that isn't a reason to have more sex, whether it's solo or with someone, I don't know what is!

It's funny because it seems like sex is the only so-called "healthy" thing that I can think of that still has shame attached to it. Why is that? If sex is good for you, if having orgasms actually increases our longevity, why on earth do we still try treat it like it's something to be ashamed of?

I recently read Alan Cumming's autobiography, Not My Father's Son, and there's a part in there about how when he was younger, he was out in the field masturbating and realized after he'd climaxed that a man had been watching him. He states in the book that that moment was a pivotal one for him, as far as shame was concerned. Though his initial reaction was embarrassment and he had the desire to cover himself, he ultimately decided not to be ashamed of what he'd done. It was normal. It felt good. Why suddenly cower at the thought of someone else knowing about it? I really liked his idea of saying no to shame. And I'm certainly glad he embraced his natural sexuality or we would have missed out on an incredibly super-sexy Emcee in Cabaret!

Let's all say no to shame and get our 100+ orgasms in this year! ;)

Happy 2016!