Old School Obsessions: Etiquette

I’m not sure when exactly I got obsessed with reading etiquette guides. I think it was during my semester off when I was reading voraciously, and found a deeply disposable British Chick Lit series about an etiquette expert who becomes a kind of sort of escort? (It was so disposable I don’t even remember what it was called. But I recall enjoying it. Also, this is why I now love Goodreads…) Around that same time I also read Tim Gunn’s Golden Rules, which is Mr. Gunn’s deeply lovely book about modern manners and behavior.

So it was somewhere in the 2009 to 2010 range.

Anyway, from there it was onto the hard stuff, like Emily Post and Miss Manners.

But for all of the stuffy rules my favorite thing about etiquette is that it boils down in most cases to “Don’t make the people around you uncomfortable, you asshole!”

As someone who doesn’t always pick up on social cues super quickly, and was raised by wolves (By this I mean I am an introvert who was raised by extroverts, not that my parents are animals) I find the shortcuts of knowing the basic proper etiquette helpful, and I think that this obsession has made me much better at being a friend, daughter, employee and certainly, guest and hostess. My current supervisor says that she was floored when they received a written thank you note from me the day after my interview. Also, the night I met Dom, at a birthday party at his house, he was surprised and impressed that I brought  3 bottles of Champagne, 1 as Juli’s birthday gift, 1 to thank him for hosting and 1 to drink at said party.  (I would now never bring Dom champagne as a thank you, I’d bring him craft beer. But I didn’t know him yet and champagne is a very safe bet, most people like it.) And if I have even 2 hours warning that you’re coming to my house, you can be sure that there will be a cheese plate out and your preferred alcohol choice available. Less time, I’ll order either pizza or Chinese app basics, and you’ll have to make due with red wine, champagne, vodka or Miller Lite, because that’s what I keep in my house.

Anyway, something’s brought the obsession out again. It was a little bit the Royal Wedding, and a big bit, me listening to the podcast Shmanners, which details the  history of various etiquette traditions, and how they can be applied in modern life.

I’ve also purchased the book, How Not To Be A Dick, which I am enjoying greatly. Overall, I think it’s an important part of society that most people overlook, but knowing the right thing to do, in different situations is incredibly freeing.

Does anyone have any specific etiquette or social guides that they love? I love checking out new ones!

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You’re Heart’s Not In The Right Place

deadpool 2

I really enjoyed the first Deadpool (It in fact reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the character over all.) and was really  excited for the second one too. And like Guardians of The Galaxy: Vol 2, Deadpool 2 had a tough needle to thread.

It mostly succeeds. The jokes whizz by as fast as the bullets, Ryan Reynolds continues to be wonderful, and I will most certainly wear out this soundtrack (figuratively) over the summer.

The new characters are boatloads of fun. Especially the too cool for school Domino, and Josh Brolin’s excellent turn as Cable. The plot is functional and interesting, if involving a not to gruesome fridgeing in the first act. (It’s handled and subverted pretty well throughout the whole film, and I’m not too made at it.)

The blood and jokes remain the thing, but what this movie does that the first didn’t is ground itself in Wade’s pain. Seriously, it’s a brutal movie, not just bloody and violent, but actually kind of adult and nuanced in it’s subject matter, perhaps even more so than Logan, which, Wade tells us in no uncertain terms, in the first few moments, they are trying to top here.

Deadpool 2 is first rate entertainment, and a very good entry in the super hero cinema canon.

And genuinely, has a soundtrack to kick the asses off both Guardians volumes!

Rankings:

  1. Deadpool 2
  2. Avengers: Infinity War

Trailers:

We were a little late so we missed a couple, but here’s what we did see

Ocean’s 8: I cannot wait to see this movie. Badly, badly, can’t wait. I need it and it’s fancy dresses and talented ladies talking to each other the whole time so badly I can barely stand it.

Mission Impossible: Fallout: Over drinks after the movie we had an extended conversation about Scientology. That is how little I care about this movie.

Bohemian Rhapsody: This comes out on my birthday and also looks amazing. We all need a little Freddy in our lives right now I think.

The First Purge: I will not see this and frankly, I resent that these people have pulled Marissa Tomei into their nonsense, she deserves better.

The Happytime Murders: this looks incredible. Also, selfishly, I want it to do well so that there’s talk of an Avenue Q movie.

 

 

Ultimate Team Ups: Teen Drama Edition

I like to consider myself something of a scholar of the teen drama television series. While I haven’t watched every entry into the genre, I still need to finish Felicity, I don’t speak Party of Five at all, I’m woefully ignorant of anything in the post Gossip Girl era, save Rivderdale, and anything Degrassi that happened after Spinner became the sage older character belongs in a flaming trash can, I do have certain episodes of The OC actually memorized, and I could probably write a book on the various film allusions in Dawson’s Creek. Plus, you know, One Tree Hill. 

So, that gives me some cred, I think.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to create the ULTIMATE TEEN DRAMA CAST Avengers style. We’ve got some archetypes to play with, and I think it’ll go well.

The Brooding Bad Boy: Dylan McKay – Beverly Hills, 90210

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There is only one choice, and it is the original. I firmly believe that without Luke Perry as Dylan, this genre would not exist. Everything about Dylan is perfect. His agnst, his chip on his shoulder, his dumb 50’s haircut, his ability to cry at the drop of a hat. I recently rewatched season 1, and I think that the scene where he sits on the floor of his hotel suite, crying into the phone when he can’t reach his parents might be the peak moment of the entire genre. It’s been all downhill from there.

The “Slutty” Girl Who Just Wants To Be Loved: Brooke Davis – One Tree Hill

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While 90210 and Dawson’s did excellent work with this archetype in Kelly and Jen respectively, it was perfected in Sophia Bush’s Brooke. Desperately insecure and insanely confident at the same time, Brooke is fun, funny, brilliant and perfect. Not to mention in the right circumstances she is also an excellent shit stirrer.

The Comic Relief: Seth Cohen – The OC

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If the genre wouldn’t exist with Dylan, it would have gone away in the 90’s without Seth. The OC was going to bring twenty somethings playing angst ridden rich teens into the twenty first century kicking and screaming if it had to. And the biggest part of that equation was Seth. Ever quippy, indomitable, perfectly cast in Adam Brody, sometimes a little bit too much Seth.

The Bitch – Blair Waldorf – Gossip Girl

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Look, I love Brenda Walsh, I love Cheryl Blossom. Neither of them can hold a candle to the queen of the Upper East Side, and really everything, Blair Waldorf. Never learns her lesson, treats everyone around her like they’re beneath her (they are), and we root for her anyway. (To be fair our other options were Jenny, Serena and Vanessa…which no.)  Also, in a fun meta sense, Leighton Meister is now married to Adam Brody, which means that Blair and Seth can be a couple in this imaginary show.

The Normal Boring One – Wallace Fennel – Veronica Mars

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While his classmates dealt with murder investigations, rape recovery, gang wars, learning they were switched at birth and any number of other insane plots, Wallace was worrying about things like basketball, whether Tessa Thompson liked him (even she was a secret teen mom!), if he was OK with his mom dating his best friend’s dad. He’s very normal. Also, unlike his competition for this slot, Dawson Leery, Archie Andrews and Dan Humphrey, Wallace is neither the worst nor totally boring, he’s got a fun personality. And keeps the list from being completely white people! (It’s a genre that’s only just starting to do well on a diversity basis. It’s been very white for a very long time)

The Girl Next Door – Joey Potter – Dawson’s Creek

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The secret main character of the show she was on! (Blair, Seth, and Dylan also fulfill this requirement) Again, with deference to the “perfect” version of this Betty Cooper, she’s not as perfect as dreamy, weepy, constantly put upon Joey. So wonderful is Joey Potter that Dawson rewrites their story every time so that they end up together, even though they never end up together. (TEAM PACEY!) And just imagine the amount of cry-shouting that would go into a Joey and Dylan romance!

The One From The Wrong Side Of The Tracks – Jughead Jones – Riverdale

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While Jughead also qualifies for Brooding Bad Boy, he does double duty as the character from a slightly more disadvantaged background who hangs around to tell people that they “don’t understand.” Sometimes this person is barely from the Wrong Side, (Andrea Zuckerman was from The Valley! The Humphreys lived in Brooklyn!) and sometimes they’re there to provide culture shock (Ryan Atwood worked construction on his summer vacations!)  and sometimes they are genuine criminals (Weevil Navarro CHAINED A DUDE TO A PIPE TO GET EXPLODED!) But Jughead is all of those things. He still goes to school with Archie, Betty and Veronica, but he lives in a drive in for a while and HEY REMEMBER WHEN HE CUT THAT LADY? Bonus Points: He and Joey can bond about their ex con fathers who now work in food service.

Obvious Pairings That Are Obvious:

Brooke and Jughead, they’d banter and be the best, and one day realize that they’re both much more sensitive than they let everyone see. Then there’d be trailer sex.

Blair and Seth: While Blair would initially go for Dylan (with the brooding and hotel living, how could she resist) we’d all succumb to the fact that real world couples need to be fictional couples on these shows. Also, Seth is the not the worst version of Dan, who Blair also dated, although we all pretend that never happened.

Joey and Dylan: SO MANY FEELINGS!

Wallace And A Series Of Lovely Recurring Guest Stars: Much like on Veronica Mars no one in this main cast is a functional enough human to deserve Wallace. Though there would perhaps be a short and ill advised Brooke/Wallace hookup, and the writers would try to keep making Joey and Wallace happen.

I really enjoyed making this list, and I might do more of these ultimate team ups. Or just write some really fun fanfic with this group. Would you guys been up for that? Feel free to suggest plotlines.

 

Author’s Note: A Shift In Perspective

ANNOUNCEMENT! (This’ll be fun, I swear!)

The Marina Chronicle

Hi Everyone!

So, here’s the deal. I’ve reached kind of a plot standstill, and while I try to journal, look through old journals and saved documents, and untangle the bit of a knot I’ve tied, I didn’t want to stop playing in Cammadan and sharing it with you.

I have been here since I was 15, I do know all of the beginning and end points, I know where this is going, it’s the road along the way where I get fuzzy, and sometimes things take on their own life. For a clear example based on today’s post, Marina and Lefty were supposed to flirt a bunch to make Tristan jealous, but once I put them together they fell stubbornly and frustratingly in love.

Marina’s always had a way of not doing what I want her to do. Seriously, she began life as a vaguely sci-fi psychic character in a…

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What If?

Marina and Tristan say goodbye. Annalise makes a promise and a wish!

The Marina Chronicle

I woke seeing Damian sitting up. I looked at him then noticed it was still dark out.

“Where are you going?” I asked. He laughed and kissed me.

“I didn’t want to wake you,” he whispered. I nodded. “But I probably shouldn’t be found here either.” I nodded. “I will see you in the morning.”

“No,” I whispered and took his hand, “stay a little longer.” He laughed and kissed my hand.

“No,” he said. “I’ll come again tomorrow night, if you’d like.” I nodded. “Sleep well, my love.” I fell back against the pillows and exhaled. I wasn’t going to be able to sleep anymore no matter how hard I tried. I wrapped myself in a cloak and walked to my maze. I reached the center and found Tristan at the fountain.

“Hello,” I said softly. He looked at me.

“Hello,” he smiled. “I can’t sleep.” I nodded.

“Me…

View original post 834 more words

[title of show], Killing My Vampires and remembering to be “Nine People’s Favorite Thing”

When I lose inspiration or the drive to create, there are lots of things I do. I watch Julie And Julia, or listen to Kevin Smith talk on one of his podcasts or specials, or sometimes I just take a break from creating and consume because I’m tired.

But in the past few months, I’ve found a new one to add to the rotation. And that’s [title of show] which I had vague memories of from my college fading theatrical obsession days (it opened on Broadway in 2008, I for sure watched a few you tube clips of it, but never saw it) and it came roaring back to me as something I needed in my life when the podcast that is my soul This Is Rad did an episode about it and I listened through the cast album.

[title of show] is a musical about writing a musical, and it’s whacky and silly and perfect and lovely and everything about it is great.

But it wasn’t until I posted a video of the particularly funny and insightful “Die Vampire Die” on a friend’s blog post about feeling creatively blocked that I realized how much in the past few months I’ve come to rely on [title of show]’s viewpoint to keep myself moving creatively.

Particularly I’ve been thinking about “Air Freshener Vampires” and the “Vampires of Self Doubt” which require you to sanitize your work and remind you that you’re not good enough anyway so just give up. (And to fight them, remember that if you clean up too much you’ll wind up with a tight paragraph about kittens that your grandmother will just love, and that if a stranger said those kinds of things to you, you’d think they were a mentally ill asshole)

I’m pouring a lot of my heart and soul into The Marina Chroniclemore than I even thought I would previously. That said, it’s not necessarily yielding the kind of returns I’d hoped for. (But that all of my closest friends are reading it totally warms my heart. Love you girls to bits!) And that was discouraging until I remembered that I’d rather be nine people’s favorite thing than ninety nine people’s ninth favorite thing.

That is, I’d rather my original vision speak to only a few people than water it down or change it to make more people like it.

I wanted to write One Tree Hill in Westeros (not exactly, but that’s the gist!). I wanted to focus on the myriad of complicated threads that hold teenage girls who love one another deeply together. I wanted to talk about family, and heartbreak and getting what you want and realizing that it wasn’t what you wanted after all.

Most of all I wanted to create these girls. These infuriating, beautiful, powerful girls who are in control of their own lives and fates. These girls realizing that they have to forge their own path, because the carefully laid out plans of their lives don’t make sense to them, or are gone for whatever reason. That’s who Marina and Annalise are to me, and I won’t compromise on that, not for a minute.

And when that doesn’t work and I still have writers block, I remind myself that writing should be easy, like a monkey driving a speedboat.

Also! Read my thing. Next week is going to start an excellent jumping on point! (And a reprieve if Marina’s boy whining and Daddy worrying is not your thing!)

Cosplay Corner: Dapper Day Disneybound Figment

OK, so this is truly the last you’ll hear about this Disney trip, and it’s not about the trip quite so much as one of my outfits on it.

Hooray!

Anyway, planning Dapper Bounds is easily my favorite part of Dapper Day weekends. (To the point that I’m considering going down for Fall again…if I can swing it…just because of the Animal Kingdom outing…swoon)

And while my Figment bound is an achievement in both ‘bounding and just in general Disney Park nerdery, as Figment be crazy obscure, y’all, I was mostly happy with how nice it looked and how comfortable it was.

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The dress is a cotton poly blend, purchased from Amazon, which is also where the belt came from. The crinoline, which is bright orange and probably won’t have any other uses…came from Wish.

Seriously, Wish.com, it’s been incredible to me these past few costume seasons.

I wore my hair in my now kind of signature (whatever, let me have this delusion) Usagi style pigtail buns, as it’s gets my, too long for it’s own good (but I love it) hair off my neck, and gave a nice nod to Figment’s horns. I added the bows for cuteness. I also wore my saddle shoes. (For my effusive ode to saddle shoes, see my Cinderella ‘bound post)

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Coming up in Cosplay Corner…A Han Solo casual cosplay, the return of Wonder Girl, Ren Faire prep, and a possible jaunt of the Enterprise. Who’s excited?