words kill, words give life

the beginnings of an as yet untitled fiction

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 5, 2010

by yours truly:

Something tickles my nose. Unwilling to open my eyes, I twitch a nostril. Then, I hear a faint buzzing as it moves to rest on my cheek. A fly. I softly blow and it leaves. It’s the time of evening when everything monochrome. A breeze brings the sound of the river and I reach for my sweater.

It’s wet and sticky. The ground must be muddy. Standing, I shrug my arms through the clotted cashmere. I tug it down before folding the throw I was lying on. It’s sticky, too. Oh well, I need to do laundry anyway.

I head for home through the trees and gathering dark. Hopping up the two steps, I pull out the key. When I push on the knob, the door opens. Did I forget to lock it? A chill runs across my back despite my sweater.

My hand slides up the wall finding the light switch. The lamp lies on its side light spilling across the floor. Two streaks of red pass over the threshold leading to a slumped form in the middle of the room. My landlord.

“Mr. Petersen?”

I drop the throw and step into the room.

“Mr. Petersen, are you alright?”

Red covers the front of his shirt.

“Oh, my God, are you bleeding?”

He sits legs splayed like an abandoned baby doll, red-splotched shirt in place of a bib. Two steps bring me to him. I slowly kneel beside him.

“We’ll go to the hospital, OK?”

I reach two fingers towards his neck to check his pulse. Not meeting the resistance I expect, my fingers squish as my knuckles pass his skin.

I scream and jerk back my blood-soaked hand.

The motion knocks his head back. His throat opens to the bone, and in the middle of his windpipe, sits the mouthpiece to my clarinet.

Advertisements

“he’s a stud, she’s a slut…

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 4, 2010

and 49 other double standards every woman should know” is a book by Jessica Valenti, author of “The Purity Myth” and founder of feministing.com.  It’s a hilariously detailing of stereotypes and a helpful look at how to fight them.

On stud vs. slut, Valenti states, “If you have a vagina, chances are someone has called you a slut at least once in your life.” And some of the double standards she chronicles are equal-opportunity offenders.

The chapter “he’s tough, she’s a tomboy” details her accepted childhood love of sports, while the boys who avoided sports were called girls. “You see, it was understandable for me to want to be a tomboy and do ‘boy’ things–because men are better, after all.”

If I Can Dream

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on March 3, 2010

if i can dream, berlin, press tour, giglianne, ben, amanda, kara, cara, justin, gigliani, giglianni, benjamin, reality, tv, television, show, facebook, elliot, gastonFive aspiring performers star in “If I Can Dream,” a new show by Idol creator Simon Fuller different from other reality shows.

You won’t find “If I Can Dream” on TV. Hulu posts new 30 minute episodes every Tuesday. Another first? You can watch any camera in the house live 24/7.

I tuned and found them responding to twitter. On demand, Justin riffed on Johnny Cash, Kara rapped about Jack Sparrow and they all played “Never Have I Ever.”

if i can dream, tv, show, reality, television, amanda, ben,  benjamin, giglianne, kara, cara, gigliani, giglianni, hulu, press, tour

Judging by first impressions (left to right in the right photo) – Amanda is an OCD neat freak, Justin carries his guitar everywhere like it’s his security blanket, Giglianne is way to quiet/boring for a reality show, Ben is a wannabe RPattz and Kara’s the crazy chick you hang out with because she’s hot.

Writing women back into history…

Posted in diary by Kaitlin on March 2, 2010

votes for women, suffrage, california women, 1911, 2011, national  women's history month, national women's history project, poster,  centenniel, centenial, betha boyeis the theme of 2010s National Women’s History Month. Maybe I’ve been hiding under a rock of dumb, but I just discovered this 30-year-old celebration existed. (Does that count as strange?)

To bring more attention to this month, AAUW (formerly American Association of University Women) employees are posting YouTube videos discussing who they’re honoring for National Women’s History Month:

They’re also launching flickr, twitter and facebook campaigns. Learn more about AAUW’s efforts  and how to help on their blog.

NaBloPoMo =

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on March 1, 2010

National Blog Posting Month.

This means for the month of March, I’ll be posting everyday. Shocker, right? Anyway, the theme for the month is STRANGE(R). Interesting?

For today, I’m posting about a woman winning the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Directing. This has never happened – so it will be unusual (strange) when it eventually does. And this could be the year for Kathryn Bigelow.

Kathrine, Cathrine, Cathryn, Biglow, director, best director nominee, the hurt locker, desert, train track

Bigelow is nominated for “The Hurt Locker,” tagline – War is a drug. The powerful film follows SFC James as he leads his soldiers in bomb disarmament. In “The Hurt Locker,” Bigelow created a film that both shows the horror and the humanity involved in war. And for a directing job so awesome no one can say “it was just good for a girl,” Bigelow gets my vote for Best Director.

avatar, titanic, director, best director nominee, camron

Also, I really want to see her the face of her ex-husband, “Avatar” director James Cameron, if he loses to her.

UPDATE: For more info about the surfeit of women in Hollywood check The Women’s Media Center and their awesome video –

gift guide no. 4

Posted in art, etc. by Kaitlin on December 18, 2009

We all have that friend who’s really weird but interesting (you may have more than one). Here are some gifts that are a tad bit off, but not off-putting, just like them.

For $5 and under

Not only is this pure beeswax mouse candle completely adorable, it’s also hand-carved. A mini-masterpiece that’s almost too sweet to burn.

Is this morbid? Yes. Creepy? Mos def. But Baby Doll Soap is exactly what everyone’s shower needs (available in an assortment of colors).

Because everything’s better when it’s on a weird scale, check Poe shrunk in a miniature book of “The Raven.”

For $15 and under

Make baking so hardcore with a “table saw” cake cutter.

Like dentures in your glass, but not as gross – “frozen smiles” ice cube tray.

Bring out evil laughter when you gift the Laboratory Flower Vases. Being a mad scientist never looked so pretty.

For $25 and under

Ever wanted to tell your friend, “Your the kind of person who would punch someone with a coffee cup”? Then the “fisticup” brass knuckle mug is exactly what you need.

It’s a pretty pink furry flocked skull! Is any other explanation needed?

The “washboard” necktie is a metal tie you wear and play with included thimbles. Teal for the person wearing it, totes annoying for everyone else.

For those who are willing to drop a lot of cash

Yes. That is a gold necklace molded in the shape of a retainer. Weirdly interesting enough?

gift guide no. 3

Posted in fashion by Kaitlin on December 12, 2009

Hello all you unfortunate people who love a member of the fashion obsessed. Here is a gift guide just for you to surprise your pickiest fashionista!

For $5 and under

Mock those who came before and failed with the book Peculiar Beauty: Three Centuries of Charmingly Absurd Advice.

A little Blair and a little Jenny, the Chain and Leather Headwrap.

True lovers of fashion never show their eyes. Help them hide with swan lake sunglasses (available in an assortment of colors).

For $15 and under

Tell her you think she’s classy with White Poise Gloves from ModCloth.

Keeping a timepiece on your wrist? So last year. The time’s at their fingertips with a rhinestone Riveria watch ring.

Because everyone should have cards and a teal case to store them in, the Tattoo Etched ID Case.

For $25 and under

Because you can’t afford an actual Prada bag, give them the lovely collage, My Prada Bag.

The Tatlin Necklace brings tribal to the city with chunky wooden beads (also comes in orange).

As The Fashion File attests, every clotheshorse needs this book: The Sartorialist.

For those willing to drop some serious cash

Since green is the new black, your fashion-lover might be trading in cab fare for a bike. Make the choice a classy one with the Chanel bicycle.

More stylish gift guides to come for the person who: knows everything about movies, reads constantly, is really weird but interesting, has everything, has nothing, doesn’t have everything but you still never know what to get him, and has everything because she made it all herself.

If you send out holiday cards, why not send one to:

A Recovering American Soldier

c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center

6900 Georgia Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20307

Because no matter what you feel about our government and the war, soldiers are people who deserve way more than a card.

gift guide no. 2

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on December 6, 2009

…the promised gift guide for the person who is always reading (aka the bibliophile).

For $5 and under

Readers can read their initials even when they’re wiping their mouths if you give them Monogram Cocktail Napkins.

Your friends may not be librarians, but they’ll feel like it after you present them with a 50 pack of Library Cards. (Unfortunately, this might mean you actually have to return any books you borrow from them.)

“Beatrix the Bookworm” is an adorable rounded corner little print. She’ll be right at home amongst your book lover’s shelves.

For $15 and under

Erase the worried search for a page-marker with bookworm bookmarks, a set of 20 with 5 of each design. Bonus: these bookmarks can serve as quick answers to the question “How’s that book?”

Maybe you can’t afford to buy a room full of books, but you can give that old book smell with “In the Library.” It’s a 2ml absolute perfume from CB I Hate Perfume (If you’re near Brooklyn, consider the gallery-only accord, “English Novel”).

If they’re always reading, they need somewhere to keep their books. The Quo-Tote carries the load and lifts the spirits with a Lewis Carroll quote: “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

For $25 and under

Are your neighborhood readers the snooty type? Then they’ll love the display opportunity of the ZigZag Bookholder. Perfect for holding a few ostentatious tomes or keeping well-worn favorites near.

Perchance the book lover also loves to write? The Overdue Notebook may look like a library book, but it never needs returning. It’ s pages are a truly unusual assortment of  “graph paper, lined paper, and others printed with images of receipts, instamatic photos and passport stamps.”

All bibliophile’s may not be shy, but all will find “I think I’m in Love” T-shirt cute. It shows a quick glance between two peeps who have their noses firmly glued between the pages.

For a gag

To test the quality of suspected glamor press, PublishAmerica, James D. Macdonald challenged a group of writers to pen the worst book possible. Separately, they each wrote one chapter without knowing which chapter it would be, the plot, the setting or the characters’ relationships. The results were the travesty “Atlanta Nights” (by Travis Tea) and the knowledge that “PublishAmerica will publish any work, regardless of quality, despite their claims.”

For those willing to drop some serious cash

If given the choice, bibliophiles would probably sit cozily wrapped in a classic smoking jacket reading in their libraries all day. D&G offers a modern take on this most stylish of lounge-wear for around a grand with a blue satin men’s blazer and black velvet women’s blazer.

Keep reading for gift guides for the person who: knows everything about movies, is fashion obsessed, is really weird but interesting, has everything, has nothing, doesn’t have everything but you still never know what to get him, and has everything because she made it all herself.

If you send out holiday cards, why not send one to:

A Recovering American Soldier

c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center

6900 Georgia Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20307

Because no matter what you feel about our government and the war, soldiers are people who deserve way more than a card.

gift guide no. 1

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on December 5, 2009

The holiday gift-giving season is here, so I thought – why not blog a gift guide? Because I believe different types of people need different types of gifts, I’m splitting it into different posts. Gift guide no. 1 is for the person who knows everything about movies (aka the film buff).

For $5 and under

True movie snobs only want to see films in their original format. Show them you’re proud of their snootiness with the “this button hasn’t been modified to fit your clothing” pin (that’s the name of the button – the button actually reads “If you truly cared about a movie, you wouldn’t watch in in fullscreen.”).

What person who knows everything about movies doesn’t want something that was in a movie? While this Peppermint Fight Club novelty soap wasn’t made by Tyler Durden, it reportedly smells like “a punch to the face.” Fun fact: unlike the soap in “Fight Club” this homemade product is not made from human lipo leftovers.

Almost every film buff considers “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” a classic and Audrey Hepburn an icon. Celebrate the Academy Award winning actress with the Scrabble Tile Pendant “I love Audrey”. It’s simply marvelous, darling.

For $15 and under

Directed by the master himself,  George A. Romero, “Dawn of the Dead” is a must-see zombie flick.  Your favorite horror lovers can see zombies everyday with the Dawn of the Dead print.

You know those film snobs who think they can do it better? Give them the Hollywood slate board and watch them set the scene. Director attitude included. (although you might want to include some chalk)

Piles of movies getting your pal down? No organization system? The DVD Storage Box 2-pack will solve all that with room for over 50 DVDs!

For $25 and under

Provoke some deep musings with this quote by a renowned filmmaker, “If it can be written or thought it can be filmed.”  The Stanley Kubrick limited edition art print is perfect for the dramatic friend.

Does the person who seems to know everything about movies really know it all? Shed some light on the behind the scenes with the book “50 Designers/50 Costumes: Concept to Character”. So you’ll pay attention to the Costume Design category at the Oscars.

Speaking of behind the scenes, what about a year subscription to “Creative Screenwriting” magazine? Because the writing’s what really determines a movie’s quality (yes, I may be a tad biased).

For a gag

As a joke (or if you don’t like the person) give them them the action fiasco that is “Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.” Making it worse than such horrors as “The Hottie and the Nottie,”  “Gigli” and “Glitter,” Rotten Tomatoes named this Lucy Liu/Antonio Banderas disaster the worst movie of the last ten years.

For those willing to drop some serious cash

If you have a couple grand lying around loose, pick up a Classic Chaselite Cinema Identity Sign. It’s the perfect addition to any home theater. (These are custom made so you can change the finish and color).

And for just a few hundred more you can give “The Birds” an original oil painting inspired by the similarly titled Hitchcock masterpiece. Beware: this is just one of many in Ginette Callaway’s Vintage Hollywood Series: once they own one, they may want to own them all.

Stay tuned for gift guides for the person who: reads constantly, is fashion obsessed, is really weird but interesting, has everything,  has nothing,  doesn’t have everything but you still never know what to get him, and has everything because she made it all herself.

If you send out holiday cards, why not send one to:

A Recovering American Soldier

c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center

6900 Georgia Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20307

Because no matter what you feel about our government and the war, soldiers are people who deserve way more than a card.

Fantatic Mr. Fox

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on December 3, 2009

Puppet animation and celebrity voices fantastically adapt Roald Dahl’s tale of an ex-crook fox who endeavors to stay on the legal for his family. Family and self-worth are essentials in “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” a morality tale with fairly lax morals.

I loved this film with it’s quirky characters and sunny art direction. A plus for me – The Beach Boys are on the soundtrack including my favorite song of theirs, “Heroes and Villains.”