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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Fantastically Feminine: Ella Minnow Pea

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This is as much a post to praise author Mark Dunn as it is to talk about a wonderful female protagonist. It’s also a plug for one of my favorite books of all time. Ella Minnow Pea lives on the fictional island of Nollop, a country that praises the English language. When letters begin falling off of a public statue, the leaders of the country take it as a sign that those letters must not be used any more. This new rule comes to receive totalitarian enforcement. The best part? The novel is written as letters between characters so as the letters disappear from the statue, they also disappear from the novel. So beyond cleverly written.

As for the protagonist, she’s lovely. Ella is strong, intelligent, and persistant. That’s all I’ll even say about her here. The rest you’ll need to read in the book.

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50 More Ways to Say Goodbye

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First- this post won’t make any sense if you’re not familiar with Train’s song “50 Ways to Say Goodbye.” It’s a delightful little number which I’ve included here for your convenience.

Yes, it’s a great song. And no, you weren’t imagining when you thought it sounded like a mariachi version of Phantom of the Opera. Anyway since Mr.Monahan is out of ways to say his former girlfriend died, I offer the following 50 ways.

  1. Choked on a gum ball
  2. Flattened by a zamboni
  3. Picked up by a tornado
  4. Strapped to a rocket
  5. Struck by lightning
  6. Attacked by a badger
  7. Crushed by a wild mob
  8. Froze in a snowstorm
  9. Caught in an avalanche
  10. Sucked in a turbine
  11. Had a coconut fall on her head
  12. Tripped off a building
  13. Fell through while ice fishing
  14. Hit by a firecracker
  15. Zapped by a wet toaster
  16. Smacked with a baseball bat
  17. Ate some poisoned mushrooms
  18. Bit by a rabid monkey
  19. Stepped too close to a bonfire
  20. Impaled by an icicle
  21. Crushed by a rolling bale of hay
  22. Rode her bike off a cliff
  23. Impaled by a rhino
  24. Ran into some cannibals
  25. Caught the black plague
  26. Bid by a black widow
  27. Went running with scissors
  28. Smashed under a piano
  29. Sucked into a black hole
  30. Insulted Chuck Norris
  31. Slain by some ninjas
  32. Hugged a cactus
  33. Sat on by a sumo wrestler
  34. Stung by a jelly fish
  35. Skied off a mountain
  36. Snagged by a bear trap
  37. Starved in Siberia
  38. Ran into a wolverine
  39. Stuck on an island
  40. Scared half to death twice
  41. Became a vampire’s lunch
  42. Fried by some lava
  43. Scuba tank had a leak
  44. Played tribute in the Hunger Games
  45. Sacrificed by some Aztecs
  46. Had a faulty parachute
  47. Beat to death with a spatula
  48. Forced to walk the plank
  49. Elevator dropped 20 floors
  50. Contracted a rare tropical disease

There you have it. 50 more ways to say goodbye.

Fantastically Feminine: Veronica Mars

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This one is all Melissa’s fault. Yes, one day my roommate got me totally addicted to this t.v. show about a high school detective named Veronica Mars. The first season follows Veronica as she attempts to discover who murdered her best friend, something she accomplishes while solving all the other little mysteries in town.

How would I describe Veronica? Witty, feisty, brilliant, delightful. The show provides endless fun watching her sneak through various types of securities and mimic various personalities in order to dig up dirt.

Veronica’s awesomeness is due in no small part to her portrayal by the lovely and talented Kristen Bell. The show counldn’t possibly have been as incredible as it was without Ms. Bell’s contribution. That said, the rest of the cast is also phenomenal. You’ll probably recognize a few like Amanda Seyfried, Enrico Colantoni (Contagion), Kristen Ryter (Don’t Trust the B), Chris Lowel (The Help), Tina Majorino (Napoleon Dynamite) and Aaron Ashmore (X-Men).

Basically what I’m saying is if you haven’t seen this show, watch it! It’s finally back on air. Also, you can find episodes online for free on the WB website. Watch it! I dare you! Unless you don’t think you can stand the awesomeness.

I

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I just found this old email from a friend who is more funny (but a rather less competent speller) than I am.

you’re last message only contained ‘i’ and your name at the bottem, so i respond anyway. i wasn’t shure if you sent it by accident, were aware of that and sent it as a joke, the only key that worked was the ‘i’ key and you tried in frustration to convey this to me by sending that sole letter, or you were abducted after only writing ‘i’ and barely managed to press the send button in you stuggle against you captor. if its the last reason im sorry if you’re still in captivity or this note brings back unhappy memories. as a random thought: in many movies where people get kidnapped they try to make signs for help, but in reality most people don’t notice these signs, take them as a joke, or believe they are just weird and then forget about them. unfortunently too many people play practical jokes that immitate kidnapping and other such bad things, so people don’t take actual crimes as seriously.
so don’t accidently press the send button/ please get a better sense of humor/ good luck fixing your keyboard/ i hope your kidnappers face an aweful death wherever they are/ other.

conrad

Women in Refrigerators: The List

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Aero: depowered

Alex Dewitt: dead

Alysande Stuart: dead

Amber: depowered, dead

Angel (Angel Salvadore): depowered

Anima: dead, cut in half

Aquagirl (Tula): dead

Aranya: enslaved, temporarily depowered

Batgirl (Barbara Gordon): paralyzed from waist down, but restored use of her legs under the new 52

Batgirl/Robin (Stephanie Brown): tortured by Black Mask

Bekka: dead

Betty Banner: miscarriage, turned into Harpy

Big Barta: dead, revived but displaced to Earth 51

Black Canary: tortured, temporary infertility and loss of powers

Black Widow: brainwashed, impersonated

Bluebird: dead

Butterfly: trapped in an internment camp

Callisto: depowered

Candy Southern: dead

Celsius: dead

Coagula: dead

Copycat: dead

Courtney Ross: dead

Crimson Fox: both sisters dead

Danielle Moonstar: depowered

Darkstar: dead

Dawnstar: wings amputated

Dazzler: career crash, miscarriage

Deathcry: dead

Diamond Lil: dead

Dinah Soar: dead

Doctor Midnight (Beth Campbell): beheaded

Doll Girl: died of cancer because her powers prevented medical help

Dolphin: dead

Domino: tortured

Dorothy Spinner: mental breakdown, coma, life support pulled

Dryad: depowered, killed

Duela Dent: dead

Dusk: enslaved, missing

Echo: dead

Elasti-girl: only original member of Doom Patrol to stay dead until Infinite Crisis

Elektra: dead, but revived

Element Girl: dead

Feral: depowered, killed

Fever: dead

Flamebird: dead

Frenzy: abused, mind controlled

Gertrude Yorkes: dead

Gloss: dead

Gwen Stacy: dead

Harbinger: dead

Hawk (Holly Granger): dead

Hawkeye (Kate Bishop): sexually abused

Hawkwoman (Sharon Carter): dead

Huntress (Helena Wayne): dead, erased from memory

Huntress (Helena Bertinelli): sexually abused, dead *I will say I’m confused on the Huntress status in the New 52

Ice: dead, but later resurected

Icemaiden: retired due to severe injuries, flayed

Invisible Woman (Sue Richards): miscarriage of second child, mind possession

Jackpot (Alana Jobson): dead

Jarella: dead

Jean Loring: mental breakdown, dead

Jocasta: Married an evil robot in order to save the world, then was exiled to uninhabited planet with said evil robot.

Jewel/Jessica Jones: sexually abused

Jubilee: depowered on M-Day

Karen Page: addicted to heroin, becomes a porn star, contracts HIV, is killed by Bullseye (just like Elektra was)

Karma: raped, possessed, obese as a result of possession, leg amputated

Kinetix: dead, incinerated

Lady Dorma: dead

Lian: dead

Lilandra: dead

Lilith Clay: dead

Lionheart: killed, forced separation from children, brainwashed

Magik (Illyana Rasputin): captured by demons, aged, de-aged, and all sorts of other crazy mumbo jumbo. Also dead for awhile.

Madame Xanadu: blinded

Madelyne Pryor: uh, basically nothing good ever happens to her.

Magma: attempted crucifixion

Mantis: child taken from her

Maria Trovaya: dead

Marlo Chandler: Stabbed to death, revived, kidnapped, turned into Harpy

Marrina: insanity, dead, revived and used against her husband.

Marrow: depowered

Mary Marvel: turned evil, depowered

Maxima: dead

Mera: child murdered, insane for awhile

Mirage (DC): impregnated by rape

Mirage II (Marvel): dead

Miss America: died in childbirth

Misty Knight: mind controlled

Moira McTaggert: Dead

Ms. Marvel/ Warbird: abducted, mind controlled, impregnated by rape, powers and memories stolen, temporarily depowered

Ms. Marvel II: mutated into monstrous form, insane, turned on Fantastic Four

Namorita: died in an explosion

Mystek: dead

Naiad: depowered

Negative Woman: dead

Network: depowered, dead

Nightwind: depowered

Pantha: head punched off, dead

Phantom Lady (Dee Tyler): dead, body hung on Washington monument

Phoenix (Jean Grey): turned evil, dead… again

Pixie: has part of her soul stolen in Limbo

Petra: dead

Phantom Lady (Dee Tyler) impaled, body hung on Washington Monument.

Polaris: depowered multiple times, mind controlled, mental breakdown

Power Girl: magically impregnated

Preview: depowered

Psylocke: beaten, eyes gouged out, kidnapped, brainwashed

Raven: we never know if she’s evil or dead, but it’s usually one of the two

Revanche: dead

Rogue: another of those who never seem to have anything good happen to them.

Roulette (Jennifer Stavros): dead

Rubbermaid: depowered, dead

Sasha Bordeaux- turned into a cyborg

Scarlet Witch: loses children, insane, accidentally depowers many mutants including herself and attacks the Avengers

Secret: murdered, turned evil, depowered

Shadowcat: possessed by demon, sometimes losses control of ability

Shadow Lass: enslaved, mental break down but later recovers

Sharon Friedlander: dead

Shrinking Violet: abducted, lost a leg for awhile

Shvaughn Erin: actually a male, has effectively disappeared from comics

Siena Blaze: death at concentration camp

Silver Sorceress: dead

Snowbird: family murdered, insane, dead for awhile

Speedy (Mia Dearden) abused, forced into child prostitution, HIV positive, kidnapped

Spider Woman (Mattie Franklin): killed in a ritual

Stacy X: prostitute, depowered

Starfire: raped, enslaved, two forced marriages

Starlight: kidnapped and brainwashed

Starshine (Landra): dead

Stature: enslaved, dead

Stepford Cuckoos: two dead

Strange Visitor: dead

Storm: bouts of depowering, sometimes crazy

Sue Dibny: raped, dead (along with unborn child)

Sway: dead

Tana Moon: electrocuted, dead

Tarot: temporarily depowered, died and resurrected twice

Tattoo: dead

Terra: insanity, dead

Thornn: depowered

Tigra: difficulty controlling cat form, enslaved

Tomorrow Woman: destroyed but revived without powers

Vanessa Fisk: buried alive, mentally unstable, dead

Wallflower: dead

Wasp: abused by her husband, dead

Whip (Shelly Gaynor): dead

Wicked: depowered

Wildcat II: dead

Wind Dancer: depowered

Wolfsbane: needs therapy

X-23: cloned, raised in captivity, painful surgery to receive claws

Yelena Belova: believed dead, but currently seen in stasis

Fantastically Feminine Fridays: Eowyn

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When it comes to women as role models in fiction, Eowyn is a classic. And why wouldn’t she be? Her famous scene where she kills the Nazgul pretty much speaks for itself.

Did you see the way she just whacked that thing’s head off? And I haven’t met a woman who doesn’t love her “I am no man!” line.

I’ve always liked Tolkien’s women. Galadriel and Arwen are also favorites of mine. They’re all strong, remarkable women. But Eowyn is still my favorite. She is the shieldmaiden of Rohan. She is an impressive warrior who knows that a woman can fall by a sword without knowing how to wield one. As a warrior, she is eager to help out her country and is discouraged when told to stay behind while the men fight.

I also love how she plays a supportive role in the lives of the men around her. She does what she can to care for Theoden and Rohan when Grima’s poisoned the mind of the king. She seems to be close to both her brother Eomer and her cousin Theodred. Throughout the movie (and I believe the books too, though I haven’t read them in awhile) she is shown to be kind and compassionate as well as bright and cheerful. She eventually becomes a queen and a healer. Basically, she excels at everything she decides to do.

Props to Tolkien for a lot of things. Especially for writing such a great character as Eowyn.

Fantastically Feminine Fridays: Black Widow

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This is the beginning of a new feature on my blog. There’s not that much to it. Every Friday I chose a fictional woman who I think totally rocks and write about her here. The idea was partially inspired by how much fun I had writing about the women of Disney. And I’m open to taking requests on who you want to see featured. Oh, and of course I couldn’t help alliterating.

I’m going to kick off the feature with Black Widow. This mostly has to do with the fact that I saw Avengers last weekend, and I’m still geeking out about it. So good! Each hero got to be totally awesome and Black Widow a.k.a. Natasha Romanova was certainly an equal to all the men. Before seeing the movie one might assume that she was just a token female member for the team. Not so! Scarlett Johansson even commented that “[Black Widow’s] not in the cast simply to be a romantic foil or eye candy. She’s there to fight, so I never felt like I was the only girl. We all have our various skills and it feels equal.” And fight she does. We catch the first glimpse of that in Iron Man 2. 

Ok, I just really like girls who can kick trash like that. You’ll probably notice that more as the feature continues. But she’s got more than mad fight skills. She’s clever. Devious even. In a good way. She knows how to get the information she wants. She’s just. So. Cool. What can I say? Brains, beauty and brawn. Perfect combo.

Ok, I’ll admit they play up her sex appeal. And I wish they didn’t. She doesn’t need it. But there you have it. She’s still awesome. And she’s my new desktop background.