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What I read in January

I thought it would be fun to do quick reviews of what I read each month this year. Let’s see how long I keep it up.


 

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

I honestly had no previous knowledge of Carrie Brownstein’s life, so this was a surprise. Enjoyed how open it felt.

4/5 stars


Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg

Hilarious and nerdy, this autobiography includes interludes of fanfiction.

4/5 stars


Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsberg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

Packed with info and artwork, this bio on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a must-read.

5/5 stars


People I want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots and Other Suburban Scourges by Jen Mann

Funny shorts on life as a suburban mom. Didn’t think I’d like it since I hate kids, but the author is just as cynical as I am.

4/5 stars


Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

Had to read it for book club. I dare you to find one chapter where someone isn’t crying.

2/5 stars


Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Heartfelt hilarity with Carrie’s crass voice dancing vividly throughout. Read this as we wait for her next book.

5/5 stars


What Would Lizzy Bennet Do by Katie Oliver

Interesting Austenesque story. Not bad for a beach read.

3/5 stars


Strike! by Larry Dane Brimner

Easy read for anyone who wants an intro to the farmworker movement.

3/5 stars


Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Gag. Two people love to hate each other and drive everyone else into ruin for kicks.

3/5 stars


Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy by Benjamin Harper

For kids, but a good introduction to the main ships in the Star Wars films.

2/5 stars


Star Wars: The Force Awakens Incredible Cross-Section by Jason Fry

Glorious photos with info about the characters, locations and ships in the newest Star Wars film.

3/5 stars


Luke Skywalker Can’t Read: And Other Geeky Truths by Ryan Britt

Geekery reaches its peak in this collection of shorts ranging from sharp studies of genre to amusing observations.

5/5 stars


Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo

Filled with great details about The Force Awakens. I loved that we got a chance to learn all the random things about main characters and background folks.

4/5 stars


 

The Perfect Weapon by Delilah S. Dawson

READ. THIS. SHORT. It focuses on Bazine Netal, a character we see for all of five seconds in TFA.

5/5 stars


 

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

I’ve been single-handedly promoting this book every since finishing it. A fairytale for adults who adore a good story with amazing ladies.

5/5 stars


Star Wars, Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes by Jason Aaron

Just reading to fill the void while we wait for the next Star Wars film.

4/5 stars

 

You never forget your first Austen

Today is the 203rd anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice being published. In honor of this book birthday I wanted to share the story of my first copy of the book.

  
I bought this at a library book sale when I was in elementary school, but I don’t think I actually read it until I was 12. At that age, I was too young to appreciate (or understand) what was happening. It wasn’t until later, after a few rereadings and maybe a little heartbreak on my own part, that I really started loving the book. It’s a testament to her work that every time I read her books I take something different away from it depending on what my life is like at that point. 

An interesting aspect of my copy is the careful handwritten notes throughout. As a used book it came to me much loved. I once looked up the previous owner (she had written her full-name and I couldn’t resist) and found out she was a involved in a lot of local organizations. I often wondered if she read the book for a class or for fun, and if she found her Darcy.

Meet Bazine

It’s about time.

As someone who obsessed over the Star Wars Expanded Universe (now called “Legends” by people who aren’t as bitter as I am), I was devastated when I learned it would no longer be canon. Long before we got Padme and Rey, we had Mara Jade.

Why did so many of us cling to our blind devotion to the dark Jedi turned Skywalker wife? Because before Rey, we only really had Leia or Padme to look to for female presence in the Star Wars universe. Leia does a lot of great diplomatic work and Padme has good intentions, but Mara Jade was a BAMF. She overcame a crazy past, always held her own against the scoundrels of the galaxy and still managed to come out kind of ok.

In the newest movie we got Rey, who shows great promise at being this trilogy’s ass-kicking heroine. But we also get Bazine Netal.

Who?

Bazine is one of the many characters we meet in Maz Kanata’s palace.

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 3.58.54 PM

There she is, right before she goes and reports she’s sighted BB-8. Wait. She’s a villain? Well…

She’s more of a mercenary for hire. So she isn’t always on what we’d see as the “good side,” but Mara Jade wasn’t a “good guy” all the time either, and she’s still a great character.

I recently read “The Perfect Weapon,” an all-too-short story about Bazine. I won’t ruin the story itself, because it’s really short and well worth your time to read, but I will highlight my favorite things about this character.

  1. She has a past: We learn that she was an orphan raised in combat school, which explains why she’s an expert at espionage. After that there are allusions to Bazine learning in other schools and teaching herself a lot. She also appreciates learning new things from folks around her.
  2. She doesn’t put up with men who underestimate her because she’s a woman: In the short, one character greets her with “Kloda didn’t say you were a woman.” As if that somehow made her less able to teach this youngin’ a thing or two. She quickly puts him in his place.
  3. Fashion with purpose: In the film we see her dressed rather vividly, and her outfits are described in detail in the story, but everything about her dress is carefully planned out. She can camouflage herself to suit her needs and still conceal a multitude of weapons. At one point we learn exactly why her heels are so high, and a man who had “once chided her for her taste in footwear” is silenced.

I dearly hope we get more about this character because she seems really well-developed and there aren’t enough lady characters to appreciate right now.

Book Review: What Would Lizzy Bennet Do?

Source: Book Review: What Would Lizzy Bennet Do?

#HireMe: I used to tweet to 35,347 people

A recent job interview involved questions about my previous position and the social media numbers for the channels I oversaw. I decided to put them all in one place so I could reference them, and just in case any potential employers stumbled across my blog/Twitter/LinkedIn/etc. The numbers are public anyway, but I thought it would be beneficial to collect these in one place.

I was the only web producer for KGPE and KSEE (the CBS/NBC news stations in Fresno, California, for those who don’t want to Google the call letters). When I started ,there were some accounts already set up, but not all of them were widely or regularly used (and Persicope didn’t exist when I started). Below are the starting and finishing numbers from my time there.

KGPE

Facebook: Start 89,276. Finish 103,172

Twitter: Start 9,383. Finish 13,153.

Instagram: Start 328. Finish 653.

Periscope: Start N/A. Finish 482.

 

KSEE

Facebook: Start 63,425. Finish 68,795.

Twitter: Start 13,164. Finish 22,194.

Instagram: Start N/A. Finish 457.

Periscope: Start N/A. Finish 563.

Book Review: Prejudice and Pride

Source: Book Review: Prejudice and Pride

27 resolutions for 27

  1. Read more books
  2. Get healthy again
  3. Finish editing your film, doofus!
  4. Restock your Etsy shop
  5. Download Spanish podcasts you’ll never listen to
  6. Take a spontaneous trip
  7. Learn to make chocolate truffles of all sorts
  8. Buy a cheap beer making kit. Don’t actually make beer.
  9. Visit family more often
  10. Write more letters
  11. Bleach a big streak in your hair like Caitlin Moran
  12. Stop buying plants you will eventually, inadvertently, but inevitably let die
  13. Finish watching the works of Kurosawa 
  14. Take a dance class
  15. Glance at pile of sewing projects yet to be started
  16. Attempt to go out more
  17. Stay in bed more
  18. Stop contradicting yourself
  19. Marathon more docs
  20. Write more blogs
  21. Clean out the clutter!
  22. Splurge on tacos more often
  23. Break up with the caffeine addiction
  24. Sort some trash
  25. Volunteer at the library
  26. Relearn dinosaur facts
  27. Never give up  

Jane Austen news roundup 8/23/15

Here’s a roundup of Jane Austen-y news from last week (to be enjoyed with your favorite cup of tea):

  • Dystopian Little Women – Not Austen related, but a favorite among many Janeites. There is a “gritty”, “dystopic” version of the Louisa May Alcott favorite being developed for The CW.
  • Jane Austen biopic/Romcom – Some geniuses are making a movie based on “Jane by the Sea” and turn her life into a romcom.
  • Jane for a Day – The New Orleans Jane Austen Society had what sounded like Janeite heaven. If you could be Jane for a day, what would you do?
  • Regency Love App – You can live your own regency romance fantasy on your smartphone. 
  • Manfeels Park – A web comic that takes the convos we have about modern dating, man children and anti-feminists, and plops them into Pride and Prejudice. Lizzy’s reactions are perfection.

10 years of media madness

This fall will mark a huge milestone in my career. I started writing for my high school newspaper sometme in September 2005, and I’ve done a little bit of it all since then.

Papers, magazines, movies, TV shows, radio, ‘zines, web content, podcasts. 

Yes. All the things! I’ve tasted pretty much all the items on the mass media menu and I think I’ve finally found a career that A.) doesn’t send me running for the hills, B) won’t die out in the next five years and C) is super cool to talk about. 

To commemorate my years of pain and agony (aka experience) I’m going to write a few blogs on my time in the trenches, so stay tuned (and feel free to share your own tales).

 

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