Moaning snakes

I really liked Black Snake Moan and I’m pleased I insisted on seeing it last night.

It’s a movie about sexuality, abuse, anxiety disorders, nymphomania, redemption, blues music and love. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that deals with heavy issues like that in such a cheerful, uplifting way.

The story follows Lazarus (Samuel L Jackson) and Ray (Christina Ricci) in parallel, both broken people with serious issues. They meet, they connect, they are awesome.

I don’t want to spoil it any more, so I’ll just say I recommend it and I would like to own it on DVD.

I’ve been reading Girls Read Comics (and they’re pissed off) a lot, since Morgue linked to it. It is refreshing to read about comics from a feminist standpoint, and it has fired me up about some issues. Anyway, if you read comics at all, she’s easy to read and quite funny, if indignant a lot of the time.
I have been enjoying putting names of comics into the ‘search’ box and reading through the hits. I am sad she hasn’t read Y The Last Man because I’d really like to read her take on it.

Today we had breakfast at Leuven and then went shopping. I got some Lush goodies and a pair of shoes to paint for a cosplay. Must now go to spotlight for fabric paint. I also bought a DVD double pack of the Gremlins movies, because I really enjoyed rewatching them recently and it was $20.

PoF: Clowns scare me
CO: Apprehension re: drain cleaning

bride again then Hard Candy

I said yesterday that The Bride Stripped Bare is told in first person. That was a big lie. It’s actually told in second person, which is pretty unusual and you’d think I would have remembered.
So, this is one of the things that makes the book very personal. All the things described are about you….kinda. I finished it this morning, and it is indeed a wonderful book.

It’s still recommended.

My ongoing belly issues have dulled down to a steady and faint ache, and for several hours last night I felt fine. Which was such a welcome surprise I couldn’t stop smiling. Let’s hope the dull ache is hunger, hey?
I watched Hard Candy and I both liked it and hated it. I am now going to talk about it in a spoilerific way, so if you don’t know what happens in this movie and don’t want to know, please stop reading now.

It was very well made, well acted and written. However it was also gratuitous and horrible and just too much. I kept thinking ‘if the genders were reversed and it was a man torturing a woman and castrating her this movie would never have been made’ but then I think that woman are still being castrated in real life in Middle Eastern countries for less pertinent reasons than Hailey has for doing such to Jeff.

That women are constantly being tortured, killed and raped in movies by men for less motivation.
That in some ways this is an important movie simply because it gives a 14 year old girl the power to completely destroy a man. I don’t approve of what she did in any sense, and I think the movie perhaps didn’t need to go that far, but then mutilation of women in horror and splatter films and on TV (hello Special Victims Unit?) is so very prevalent that it’s kind of justified.

So. In summary. Upsetting, interesting psychologically the same way I was drawn to One Hour Photo, Woodsman, Memento and The Machinist although very different from all those films, just as they are different to each other. I don’t know if I can recommend this film though. It’s a bit too much.

spoilers over.

PoF: muscle singlet
CO: will my belly be good to me?

The Bride Stripped Bare

Originally published anonymously, The Bride Stripped Bare is by Nikki Gemmell , an Australian author now living in London.

I am not yet finished this book, but from 3/4s of the way through I can say this: Read it. If you are a woman, or are in a relationship with a woman or are in any way interested in female sexuality… it.

It is told in first person, as a diary of a married woman. It is primarily about sex, and an exploration of what she thinks about sex, what she wants, what she doesn’t want. Nikki says she deliberately made the woman (who is unnamed) conventional, an everywoman so as to make the text more accessible.

I read it and am relieved that I am not the only one who thinks, feels, wants these things. Reading this book is a bit like having a cup of tea with a close friend who says ‘yes! that’s right!’ and ‘me too’ and ‘you’re normal’.
…Besides all that, it’s also got a fantastic story and engaging characters who make mistakes and learn from them. Great ‘adult’ fiction in every sense of the word.

Nikki answers questions about Bride here

Books I’ve read

I’ve been working my way through (and loving) Y the Last Man, just finished number six Girl on Girl, and now I’m anxiously waiting for the next one to turn up for me. I really enjoy the characters, the storylines and the action. The only complaint I have is about the timeline, because reading them all collected together in a graphic novel you don’t really get a sense of time passing. Plus, when the comics tell you where and when the action is happening, it has an annoying habit of saying: Arizona. Now!

But this is a minor complaint about an overall fantastic series. Loving every frame, and each book has at least one laugh out loud moment as well as a shock, a revelation and a comment on society.

A Respectable Girl by Fleur Beale is in the Children’s Book Awards for best young adult novel, and I really enjoyed it. It’s set in New Plymouth in the 1860’s just as war is starting between the Maori and the English. Hannah is the main character, daughter of English but raised by a Maori stepmother. The story is about discovering roots, acting properly in society, romance, betrayal…all the good stuff. It’s written in first person, and very engagingly. Loved it.

I’m just about to finish reading The Road from Roxbury by Melissa Wiley, the third book in the ‘Little House’ books about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s ancestors. I like reading about cleaning the house. It makes me want to be useful and clean my own house more!

I am also now up to date with Invincible, having read all the collected graphic novels that have so far been published. Loved that too. It’s hard to explain why these stories are so appealing, and I guess they wouldn’t appeal to people who don’t dig the superhero thing at least a bit. There’s human emotion, shock revelations and you really feel you get to know the main character. I want more of them, please.

I have a day off from work tomorrow, which will start with a hair cut. Other plans include writing, cleaning and doing whatever I feel like. Shopping on the way home from the haircut may occur.

PoF: grey stars
CO: releasing pressure

Potter number 7

The seventh and final book of the Harry Potter series is coming out this year. If you didn’t know that already than I suspect you’ve been living under a rock.

Scholastic are preparing for it by planning their biggest ever first print run (article here), among other things.
I am anxious to know what happens in the final book, since I’ve been a fan since just after The Prisoner of Azkaban was published.

I’ve been a participant in the fandom: attended a premiere screening wearing a Gryffindor tshirt and a Hogwarts hoodie (I was outclassed by a kid dressed in an owl suit), I’ve roleplayed a live action Harry Potter adventure as a Ravenclaw girl (with robe), I’ve roleplayed online as Harry himself quite extensively on Hogwarts Hocus (and I still wish I had time to spend on there with Ginny, Lily and Sirius)…and yet I feel I’m not as passionate about the whole fandom as other people.
That’s alright. I’ll celebrate Harry in my own way. And someday I will make myself a proper Gryffindor Quidditch uniform.

PoF: grey
CO: angry belly


Borders has opened!
It’s not as big as the Auckland shop (which is not much of a surprise.) But! The stuff they have!

The Graphic Novel selection was not so hot, just two bays of shelves, and mostly Marvel. No Invincible, two Fables. Complete series of Sandman though, at average prices. I *did* manage to get Jill Thompson’s Little Endless Storybook though, which is an absolute delight: beautifully illustrated and a funny story about Delirium going missing and her dog having to find her. Love it. They were on the other side of the Manga collection, seraph.

DVD collection was interesting but overall quite pricey. I bought Intacto which is a Spanish sci-fi I saw in the film fest about four years ago about very lucky people, who have the power to steal luck of others. It will probably be screened at Movie Night this week, as I really want to see it again. It was $30.

Kid’s section was really nicely set out with space themed carpet and nice open spaces. They have a shelf which is full of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House books, in these nice matchy full colour editions, and cheap too at $17 each. I was very good and only bought the first one, although I suspect I will eventually have them all.

I bought a picture book for my new niece and a copy of The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish which comes with a cd of Neil Gaiman reading it aloud.
Uhm, and the manga section. It’s huge. It has a whole side of an aisle, and not a short aisle either. Wellington finally has an awesome manga supplier. I was tempted to start collecting Angelic Layer, but I managed to resist buying any (although they had two Chobits titles I need, plus Cardcaptor Sakura and oh, so much stuff) because the books were mostly $24 each (Fruits Basket is $17ish) and I think I can get them cheaper off goodbooksnz.

So, I was quite restrained really. The manga section was pretty busy. I think Wellington was very ready for this!
I was talking to the woman who served me at the counter and she was saying they didn’t think they’d be that busy, and were trying to find more staff. I can’t say I was surprised that it was that busy!

PoF: Sunday morning
CO: books are nice


I seem to have mastered the control of my belly issues, through deep breathing and conscious relaxation. The flip side is that I am now definitely keeping all my tension in my right shoulder, where it meets the neck.

Has anyone got any ideas of how I can stop manifesting my psychological state in a physical form?