Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Contemplating the Moon---Dracula, the Character, and the Novel

Dracula's one of those books that you think you know well before you read it.

Because Dracula the character has been so completely, ruthlessly assimilated into our collective pop consciousness, it's easy to say just about every person in the western world who's walking and talking knows about him, however vaguely. And it's true--Dracula as an archetype/stereotype is around for most people from childhood on. He's one of the very first monsters we know the name of, and his visage has glowered from every conceivable consumer durable that can be manufactured, from movies to cereal to condoms to Sesame Street. Even if the name isn't used, "vampire" and "Dracula" have become synonymous.

But like most things we know, we don't really know much until we go to the source material. And Bram Stoker's novel Dracula is a book that managed to dip into a very deep well of the human heart and mind, not through its general use of a vampire antagonist but through his very specific creation, of one extraordinary man who longed for more, with such iron will and ferocious ambition that he outstripped his humanity.

I first read Dracula in college. I picked up the Bantam Books paperback that had "Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon" on it:

And, after being startled by the fact that the book "wasn't what I expected" (although what I did expect remains hazy to me) I devoured it, read my original copy to shreds and have read the book every year, around this time, ever since. Every time I do, new facets of this group of characters--a bunch of So Very Victorian Vampire Hunters, and their raging prey--get clearer to me.

(Okay, before we go any further: I'm going in depth here, talking about the entire book, INCLUDING the ending. So if you have for some reason eluded the story of Dracula thus far and want to keep it as a surprise, don't read any further, okay? Also, is it nice on your compound? Can I see your guns?)

All righty then...

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Well, in case you didn't know (and why didn't you?) today is the sixth anniversary of the day My Darling and I joined hearts, hands, and bank accounts.

This was the only one without teddy bears I could find.

And in celebration of this auspicious occasion, my sweetie did indeed come forth, with both a fabulous anniversary gift, and the latest in his worshipful recordings of Yours Truly in my many guises.


Yea, tremble before The Goddess as she is thwarted, incensed, or just plain rubbed the wrong way! BEHOLD WRATH! COWER, YE WORMS, AND DESPAIR!!!!

Seriously, I adore this. Who hasn't felt this way, say, when the government is being held hostage by a delusion cadre of Tea Partiers who somehow equate "taxes" with "End Times", or when the damn cat will not stop opening the refrigerator, necessitating the placement of wedges, chairs, and heavy objects against the door and taking up a good third of the kitchen space, or when one comes to realize that half the people she has trained at work over the last six months have all vanished into the ether, resulting in an endless parade of more training stretching out into the bleak future?

None of us, that's who. But it is only I whose glorious and genius-endowed consort created a perfect visual representation of said emotional state, and it is your paltry yet inconceivably-generous-on-my-part good fortune that allows you to gaze upon it!
Now, some of you may celebrate your anniversaries differently. You may go for a carriage ride, or buy jewelry, or exchange stuffed animals. And that's cool. But just remember, none of you can be as lucky as me, with both an amazing husband and illustrated panoply of moods!


Oh, and have a lovely day.

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Jubilant Goddess!

So, remember how I mentioned that my husband is awesome?


Well, the feisty little bugger has continued to redefine the term! For he, in his infinite wisdom and humility, had created the second in his series of me, his patron goddess, in My Infinite And Varied Moods!

While my last incarnation was "Haughty", gazing upon the world and its environs with a detached and superior gaze, this one displays me in a more cheerful and perky mood!


Everything's comin' up roses!

As you can see, this aspect is much more sporty and fun, from my fetching mini-toga to the bright pink with gold trimmings sash and background. After all, one can't be a contemplative and superior being all the time--well, one can, but one doesn't always have to dress/act that way. In the right moment, one can be cheerful, even euphoric, beaming down upon the mortals below, reveling in the sight of that *bookstore that shall remain nameless but rhymes with "Orders"* as it burns, burns, burns. 

Seriously, though, I just adore this. So fun! So cute! So enthralled with the momentary bliss and pain of mere mortals! Ah, I chose the right consort. 

So enjoy the current representation, kids! C'mon and party it up--ambrosia for everybody!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ring Out, Wild Bells, To The Wild Sky--Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring

So I just saw The Bling Ring, and if there is a more terrifying indictment of how America has gone horribly wrong, failed its youth, and willfully thrown itself into the shallow end of the pool, I for one do not have the stomach to face it.

Goddess Makeover

So, you may have noticed something a little different about my blog.

You know,  it still looks like me, but better? Slicked up? More Goddess-y?

Well, there's a reason for that--I have the most awesome husband ever.

"Am I awesome?"
"How awesome?"
"The awesomest, sweetie."

My beloved and talented spouse had been promising for a couple months to draw some sketches of Yours Truly in my heavenly guise, and he's just completed the first one! It's the new background, as you can see, and I think it's just perfect.

There should be more coming fairly soon, to be put in the gallery at right, and of course I shall post alerts as each one shows up, as I am benevolent and wish to share the bounty of having a cool artist for a husband.

For now, enjoy my "Haughty" persona, far above you mortals and your petty concerns.  Others will be coming soon. I'm really looking forward to Wrathful.

I'm sorry the rest of you can't be me, but, Goddesses don't share. Still, no reason why you can't stand on the other side of the screen, wistfully viewing what cannot be yours. Enjoy!

All images copyrighted. See all my husband's awesomeness here:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

As We Have Done Before: Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House

Well,  you never know what's going to lure me back to posting.

This time around, it's to partially appease, partially excorsise an apparition that follows me in some kind of orbit, one as mysterious and elongated as Pluto's; Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Haterz Gonna Luv: The Joys of Hatewatching TV

So, my husband's been on my case about my TV watching habits.

No problems here.

See, he thinks I watch too much of it. Hah! Just because I found Law and Order on Comcast OnDemand doesn't mean I watch too much! Just because whenever he comes home I've got the TV going for background noise as I obsessively update my posts on Television Without Pity doesn't mean I watch too much! Just because I threatened his life the last time he tried to speak when Mad Men was on doesn't mean I watch too much, okay? I can handle it! I can quit anytime!

Okay, I can't. But that's all the frustrated actor in me. If I can't be on TV I can at least watch other people on TV. And then go on TWoP and enjoy reading fifty five page threads with others who feel the same way! Thoroughly dissecting In The Hall of the Mountain King or Lay Down Your Burdens on the boards makes watching TV all the more rewarding.

"Okay, fine," says stubborn husband. "But you watch stuff you don't even LIKE!"

Ahhh, here we go. Here's where we separate the the fluffy watcher, the casual, the dillettante, from the serious viewer. The viewer who has something to say, and is using a truly wretched/pretentious show as a channel to say it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

THE TRUTH ISN'T OUT THERE, IT'S IN HERE ( . . . in my heart)!

You know how you sometimes run into someone you've almost forgotten, but not quite?

Maybe you knew them in high school or college, or that year you lived in Chicago, or when you did that semester abroad thing or took a vacation in Lincoln, Nebraska. And you liked them--in fact, you ended up hanging out with them a lot. They were funny and cool, in a way that your other friends, even the funny and cool ones, weren't. You got really interested in them and wanted to hear everything they had to say, and if it sometimes didn't track or got a little overly complicated you didn't care, because their complications were way more fascinating then other people's efforts to keep things simple.

But time passed, and the context you knew them in passed, and you kind of lost touch. You didn't forget them--the names remained fresh and crisp, the faces finely drawn--you just were in different places now and you didn't think about them very much.

And then one day you're fooling around on the internet and some site has a gossip item and you read it and those names are right there and suddenly you remember how much fun they really were, and you have this out of nowhere desire to connect with them again! Right now!

That's how it was with me and the X Files.