Category Archives: Movies

To write or not to write

I feel like I’ve hit a wall.

My flannel is wrinkled.

The spikes in my hair are flat.

I don’t want to write any more.  At least not right now.  Not today.  That’s for sure.

I am more content watching TV shows and movies or reading books.  Allowing words and images to wash over me instead of coaxing or forcing them out from that tricky place that’s part heart, part soul.

xx

Movie poster of my life.

Part of me says it’s not ok.  Writers write.  If I’m not writing, I’m not a writer.

The other part says take a break.  Even if I’m not writing, I’m storing words and thoughts for future use.

Here’s some of what I’ve been watching and reading:

Sons of Anarchy — W started watching this biker drama.  I read somewhere that SOA is based on Hamlet and that got this English major’s juices flowing.  So, yeah, it’s well written and well acted, and I like trying to figure out the parallels to the Shakespearean tragedy.  There’s a couple of minor lesbian storylines, but this one is all about the boys and their bikes.  Look for cameos from Stephen King, 70s hottie Adrienne Barbeau and Jimmy Smits.  And appearances by Venus Van Dam, the show’s transgender character.

Women of Will — Speaking of Shakespeare, I saw this play at a local Shakespeare festival last weekend.  Really, it’s part play, part lecture.  Master Shakespearean actor Tina Packer deconstructs the Bard’s most famous female characters with the help of fellow actor Nigel Gore.  Is it wrong that I was hoping for a sexy scene between perchance Lady Macbeth and Queen Gertrude?  Here’s the question I asked myself right before the show began: How do I relate any of this to my writing?  Five minutes in, Packer was riffing on the role of gender in Shakespeare and how Will’s female characters changed as his perceptions about women evolved.  Gender.  Can we ever get a break?

The Guilt Trip — In this cheesy comedy, Seth Rogen takes a cross-country road trip with his over-involved Mom, played by Barbra Streisand.  There are some genuine laughs, but I especially enjoyed the running gag of this mother-son duo listening to the audio version of Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex throughout the trip.  Because gender.  There it is again.

xx

She’s hot!

Lucy — Scarlett Johansson plays a young woman exposed to a synthetic drug that allows her to access 100 percent of her brain and develop cool superhero-like powers.  “She’s hot!” W blurted out at the beginning of the movie, allowing all of us to read her thought bubble.  It was some kind of auto-Johansson response.  No doubt ScarJo is a looker with those blue eyes and blonde locks.  But I was hoping for something a little campier.  In the end though, what’s not to like about a beautiful babe kicking ass.

Bad Words — Jason Bateman finds a loophole in a spelling bee competition and creates a scene as he takes out the school-age competitors one by one.  I like when Bateman plays assholes.  See Juno.  Oh, and words.  There were lots of big words.  And a scene with boobs.

A Most Wanted Man — Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a German spy in this John le Carre thriller.  It’s Seymour Hoffman’s last starring role.  As the credits rolled, W and I just looked at each other.  Sigh.  How sad.

The Best Nonrequired American Reading 2013 — Short stories, lists, poems, cartoons, all in one book.  An eclectic collection.  I read this every year.

* * *

What about you?  What are you watching/reading this summer?

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Showering with Robert Pattinson

I like my showers. I like them extra hot. I like shampoo infused with a bit of mint. It makes my scalp tingle. It makes me feel awake and alive. I like men’s shower gels. I’m not picky about brands although I usually buy some version of Irish Spring or Old Spice.

You can read about me and Axe shower gel here (in “The plumber’s message) and here (in Be careful what you Axe for).  Apparently, I have a whole shower gel thing going on.

Earlier this week, I placed a new bottle of body wash in the shower. I had to stifle a scream when I first used it.  Swear to god on all that is holy like beer and Melissa Etheridge and cleavage.

Dial Magnetic

Oddly, the bottle is shaped like a crooked penis.

The body wash is made by Dial for Men. It’s called “Magnetic: Clean-Rinsing,” and the name is superimposed over the image of an atom as if the gel is a building block of all other things.  Quite arrogant for a bottle of body wash, I think.  I read on and learn that Magnetic is an “Attraction Enhancing Body Wash” that’s “Pheromone Infused.”

Really, how could a butch go wrong?

So, there I was. In the shower. My hair is freshly shampooed and rinsed.

I reach for the body of Magnetic. I pour some of the body wash into my hand.

xx
This is what Magnetic looks like.  Really, Dial?

The gel is bright red. Like blood. Red blood.

I try not to scream. I try not to gag.

After the shock wears off, I rub the viscous crimson gel on my skin.

I feel like Carrie at prom (Sissy Spacek Carrie and not Chloe Grace Moretz Carrie because you should never mess with a classic).

And then I sensed something, someone behind me.

It’s Robert Pattinson. I just know it.

Tall and pale like Ichabod Crane. I am in the shower with Edward from Twilight.

I am too afraid to turn around because I am showering with a known vampire.

Three people I’d rather shower with than Robert Pattinson:

1. Kristen Stewart

Oh. Hi. I’m still in the shower with Kristen Stewart and a bottle of Dial Magnetic. (Did you see her as Joan Jett in the movie The Runaways?)

Robert Pattinson

My shower buddy.

Anyway, there he is. Every morning. Robert Pattinson. In my shower. I can’t seem to get him out of my head.  Or my shower.

This might be a good thing if you are a young girl but not an old butch.

I pick up the bottle of Dial Magnetic and read the back label.

How to use:

1. Squeeze out.

2. Lather up.

3. Rinse off.

4. Watch the magic happen.

And then I get it. The magic. Dial Magnetic can make Robert Pattinson appear in your shower.

Like magic. Weird, creepy magic, but still.

A few of my favorite things

Your favorite butch blogger has been a bit down these past few weeks.  My last post ended on a high — me and W reconnecting on a weekend away — that I haven’t been able to recapture.  Maybe that’s part of the problem.  When the top of your head scrapes the bottom of the clouds for a few days, it’s a short, hard fall back to reality.

Plus, this weather isn’t helping things.  Has it ever been so damn cold in March?  And one of our cats died recently, and that’s been weighing heavy on my heart.  I’ve been struggling with my writing.  It took me weeks to write the shortest chapter of my work in progress.  Did I mention that my son is 14 and acting like a 14-year-old?

To cheer myself up, I thought I’d make a list of a few of my favorite things these days:

Sweet.

Sweet.

* My new Timex Weekender watch with the changeable straps.  So cool and retro looking.  I treated myself to one  for my birthday.  This butch likes to be fresh and color coordinated.  What do you think Dapper Butch?

* The French film, Blue Is the Warmest Color.  Because when else can you watch a lesbian movie with lots of sex and feel so cultured because it had subtitles?

* Apple TV.  I don’t really know how to use it, but I know that it will allow us to watch Orange Is the New Black.

* Coca-Cola.  Everything is better with Coke.

We

We would have such fun, me and you.

* Is anyone else obsessed with Girls?  HBO’s Girls.  Not those girls, you guys.  Ok, those girls, too.

* Lena Dunham, I want to be your best friend.

* Ivan Coyote, you inspire me.  I want to be you when I grow up.

* I  just discovered Lorrie Moore, a funny, brilliant writer.  I want to read everything she’s ever written, including Bark, her new collection of short stories.

* The brand new flannel sheets on the bed I share with W.  Bonus: They were $7.49 on clearance at Target.

* My writers’ group.  Weird that a motley group of off-kilter writers keeps me grounded.

* W.  Not anything she says or does.  But because she’s there, whether I’m in a good mood or bad, happy or sad.

* * *

What about you?  What makes you smile these days?

 

 

Love conquers all, even evil cats

xx

You had me at popcorn.  And girl.

When W and I were first dating, she invited me over to watch the movie Rent. She’d put the kids to bed early and make buttered popcorn. Would I like to come over.

Sure. This red-blooded lesbian had Melissa Etheridge’s “I Want Come Over” playing over and over and over in her head.

Here’s the catch. There’s always a catch. W had cats. Two of them.

And in direct conflict with the laws of nature and lesbianism, this lesbian was allergic to cats.

They only look innocent.

They only look innocent.

For as long as I can remember, cats have made me itchy and scratchy and caused my eyes to seal shut.  The last time that I had played with a cat — a cute little kitten at a college kegger — my eyes got all red and itchy and eventually swelled shut. Two of my friends had to guide me back to my college apartment as if I were Helen Keller. Miracle workers, both of them.

So, yeah, I was nervous about spending time at W’s place. What if my eyes swelled shut and I couldn’t drive home? It was a 45-minute drive, depending on traffic. How embarrassing what that be for this big, bad, I-can-take-care-of-myself butch?

But there was to be hot buttered popcorn. And a movie. Oh, heck, there was a hot girl in the picture. Who am I kidding? She could have been covered in cat hair or wearing a cat-hair sweater and I would have been there with bells on. Maybe not bells, because they are kind of girly.

The big date night arrived, and I found myself sitting in W’s apartment on W’s couch with W.  And her two cats. I was petrified. I tried to ignore the cats but they were curious. You know how cats are. One kept brushing up against me. I was careful not to touch my face or rub my eyes.

The movie started and with one slick move I slid my arm behind W.
Every so often, I took a bodily inventory. No sneezing. No itchy eyes. No scratchy skin. Just a little bit of heavy breathing, but that was to be expected.

Turns out that I didn’t have an allergic reaction that day and haven’t any day since. W and I now live together along with three cats and other assorted random creatures.

Not to throw W under the bus (here’s me throwing W under the bus), but she had mentioned to a friend about me and my cat allergy and basically said that it was a deal breaker. So sad, the friend remarked. She seemed so nice.  She was so ready to dump me for the cats.

Is there a moral to this love story?

It just goes to show you that love conquers all, even deadly allergies.

Cats are diabolical creatures and have broken up many a pair of lovers. They are narcissistic and evil like that.

Take your pick.

* * *

What about you? Any pet-related dating stories to share?

Date night

W and I had a date night on Saturday.  If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that we don’t have a lot of those.

W asked me out, which is always nice.  I might be a butch, but I’m certainly not adverse to being asked out.

We went to see the movie Bad Teacher just because Ms. Diaz was in it.

We went to see the movie Bad Teacher just because Ms. Diaz was in it.  Does this make us bad people?

We went and saw this cute movie called “In a World …,” which is a small rom-com about the voice-over industry.  It’s a smart, funny film.  Lesbian comedienne Tig Notaro was in it.  As was Cameron Diaz, who played the leader of a group of Amazon women who battle a tribe of angry cavemen in the film within the film.  That’s the movie that I’d like to see next, ’cause Cameron Diaz and Amazons.

The movie was showing at our local art house theater and it was the first movie to be shown there in digital format.  So, that was exciting.

After the movie, the theater was presenting a special showing of Rocky Horror, and we got to see everyone dressed up for that.

We ordered dinner from an Italian restaurant across the street and went to a bar and watched the end of the Penn State/Michigan game while we waited for our food.  Penn State won in fourth overtime, which was exciting, especially because I’m a PSU alum.

xx

I’m sensing a theme here.  Are we that predictable?

We headed home with our dinner and ate Italian food in bed and watched a few episodes of season four of Modern Family.

There were some adult activities after that, but this is not that kind of lesbian blog.

Anyway, it was a pretty sedate evening, but it was really nice to have that alone time with W.  One thing about having kids, it makes you appreciate when they’re not around, at least for an evening or so.

Here’s the thing: I like that after all of these years, we still enjoy each other’s company.  We don’t need fancy or exciting or expensive.  Just being together is enough — sharing popcorn and a movie, Cameron Diaz, a football game and decadent desserts in a take-out containers.

Inside the Actors Studio

Inside the Actors StudioI’m a big fan of Inside the Actors Studio.  It’s something that I discovered recently, so I’ve only seen episodes that have aired in the past few years.

As a movie buff, I like learning the behind-the-scenes stories from big-time actors in iconic roles like Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby and Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise.

Plus, I like hearing about  what people are thinking when they are engaged in the creative process.  It’s like finishing a really great book and finding a final chapter in which the author explains the how and why of his writing process for that particular work.  Bonus.  Stephen King has been known to do this.

I also like trying to connect with the artist as a person and finding a link within myself to the art.  It’s the if-she-can-do-it-so-can-I frame of mind that encourages me to push forward with my own work.

Inside the Actors Studio just celebrated its 250th episode with a two-hour retrospective special.  If you’re familiar with the show, you know that host James Lipton asks each guest the same 10 questions at the conclusion of every interview.

I thought I’d tip my hat to the show by taking a shot at those 10 questions:

1. What is your favorite word?  juxtaposition

2. What is your least favorite word?  hate

3. What turns you on?  a woman in tall black leather boots

4. What turns you off?  ignorance

5. What sound do you love?  heavy rain when I am safe inside my house  

6. What sound do you hate?  yelling

7. What is your favorite curse word?  god dammit

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?  English professor

9. What profession would you not like to do?  grade school teacher  

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?  You tried really hard.

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How about you?  Share some of your answers here.


Why Bomb Girls bombed

Last night, I ended up watching Bomb Girls for the first time.  I was surfing the channels and found the Canadian TV drama on some offbeat channel called Reelz.  I knew the show had a lesbian storyline, so it had my attention from the get go.   I’m obvious like that.

If you don’t know anything about Bomb Girls, it’s about a group of women working in a munitions factory during World War II.

Meg in Bomb Girls

Meg in Bomb Girls

Sure, the show had me at “girls,” but there was one thing that made the show unwatchable for me — Meg Tilly, who looks a lot like her actress sister, Jennifer Tilly.

Every time I saw Meg on screen, I immediately thought about her sister Jennifer and her portrayal of Violet, the sexy Sapphic mobster mistress in Bound, my third favorite lesbian flick of all time.  I was like Pavlov’s dog.  If Pavlov’s dog was a lesbian.

Bound came out right around the time that I did, and I was instantly obsessed with the movie.  I can remember one of my co-workers asking me about my sudden fascination with Gina Gershon.

“What is it about Gina Gershon?” she asked, throwing up her hands to illustrate her inability to grasp my sudden fixation with the B-list actress.

Just saying Gina Gershon still gets me all hot and bothered.  Gina Gershon.

I’m not sure that I knew what was up with me and Gina Gershon.  But I knew that Bound, with its Gershon-on-Tilly action, had me thinking about a whole lot of things in a very different way.

I had gone to see Bound with my husband, who was repulsed by the movie.

“I thought the movie was supposed to be about lesbians,” he said.

He meant the kind of lesbians who wear tube tops and make out with each other and the cute pizza delivery boy in a hot tub.

But these were my kind of lesbians.  Real and gritty.  Hot and sexy.  With tattoos.  In the end, Gina Gershon’s character of Corky gets the girl.  There is no pizza boy.  They never even order a small pie.

My first tattoo is actually a labrys modeled after the one that Corky sports in Bound.  I told you — I was obsessed.

Gina and Jennifer in Bound

Gina and Jennifer in Bound

Ok, so back to Bomb Girls.  Meg Tilly looked old and sallow and haggard.  And, here’s the thing — every time she came on screen, I kept thinking about  Violet.  Why was she working in a factory?  And what was up with that do-rag?

Sometimes we want to stay in that magic bubble where we looked our best and had the whole world spread out before us.  Meg Tilly certainly had me feeling my own age — that whole coming out thing was over a decade ago — and missing that exciting time of self-discovery and all-consuming thoughts of naked women.  Corky and Violet had, in a way, made that possible.  They showed me that it was possible to get the girl in the end and live happily ever after.

The only way these two lesbians will see Zero Dark Thirty

The Oscar nominations came out today.

W read the nominees to me, and we did a quick intake of all of the movies that we’ve seen this year.

Turns out that we’ve seen just about every movie that has garnered nominations.  Except for Zero Dark Thirty.  If you haven’t heard of Zero Dark Thirty, it’s a movie about the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden.  The film is  controversial because of its torture scenes.

W and I are turned off by the torture scenes.  We are tree-hugging lesbians, for crying out loud.

This is a conversation that W and I had about Zero Dark Thirty this morning:

Me: I have absolutely no desire to see Zero Dark Thirty.

W: Me neither.

Me: Jessica Chastain just isn’t enough to get my butt in a seat at that movie.

W: I know.

Me: I mean, if it was Zero Dark Jennifer Aniston, then maybe.

W: There you go.

Me: Or, Zero Dark Sofia Vergara.

W: Now I would see that!  And, they could torture me in a back room while I viewed it.

Me: I’m ok with that.

Sofia, these two lesbians love you

Sofia, these two lesbians love you

My life and the Life of Pi

We lost power for most of today.

I work from home, which means that my office of one was closed.

“You could get caught up with your reading,” W suggested in a text in response to my bulletin about the power situation.

The reading is Life of Pi.  We both read the book a couple of years ago but decided to read it again before we go see the movie, which is out in theaters now.

We take books and movies and movies based on books very seriously in our house.

W has a long commute and re-read Life of Pi in about a week.  That is record time for her.  She passed our paperback copy of the book onto me.

Recently, I declared that I was fine seeing the movie without re-reading the book.

“You have to read the book,” W insisted.

“No, I don’t,” I replied.  “I’m perfectly ok with going to the movie now and re-reading the book later.”

We’ve been engaging in this back-and-forth for about four weeks now.

W insists that I can read the book in like a day because I’m an English major.

I’m a fast reader, but I’m not that fast.  It’s not Dostoevsky, but it’s still 400 pages.

I tell her, sure, I’ll read Life of Pi in between getting ready for Thanksgiving and packing lunches and cooking dinner and chauffeuring kids and doing the laundry and oh yeah working.  At my job.  That pays me money.

“So when you ask what’s for dinner, I’ll have to tell you we’re having Life of Pi,” I say.

When we went out on Saturday to celebrate W’s birthday, we stopped at a small used bookstore to browse.  I picked up a copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  In this case, I had seen the movie (American version) but had not read the book.

This could be me

And I kind of have this Rooney Mara fantasy.  Not that I want to do her.  But be like her skinny, bad-ass, ass-kicking, motorcycle-driving, mohawk-sporting character Lisbeth Salander and have sex with hot young girls.

“I think I’ll read this before Life of Pi,” I say just to tweak W.

I tell the clerk about my assigned reading.

The clerk seems perplexed, probably because I’m the oldest student she’s ever seen.

So, with no power, there’s not much else to do besides read.  I bang out about 175 pages of Life of Pi.  I’ll have the book finished by the weekend just in time for a movie date.

Richard Parker

When I start reading the book, I’m reminded that the Bengal tiger’s name is Richard Parker.

I think Richard Parker would make a great name for a house cat.  Sort of like Jenny Lawson’s Hunter S. Tomcat.  Besides, I’m always trying to one-up Lawson.  What blogger isn’t?

I text W.

Me: Let’s get a cat and name him Richard Parker.

W: No more boy cats.

Read: We already have a male cat and he sprays all over the place like a city fire hydrant on an August afternoon.

Me: Ok.  A girl named Dorothy Parker.

Read: See how flexible I am?  And witty, too.  Just like Dorothy Parker. How perfect!

W: Okay!

Read: My fake enthusiasm should be telling you that there’s no way in hell that we’re getting another cat right now.  

Me: Yay!

Read: I’m so excited that you just gave me permission to get a new cat even though you really didn’t mean it.

Stay tuned, folks.

I will be dead before we finish our Netflix queue

Before I went to bed last night, I saw our latest Netflix arrival sitting in its red envelope in front of the TV.

Here’s a conversation that I had with the wife:

Me: Do you know that every time we watch a movie, you see some preview that you like and put it at the top of our Netflix queue?

For example, last week we watched Pariah, a coming-of-age tale about a young, black lesbian who comes to terms with her sexual orientation and her family’s strict, religious ideals.  When we finished the movie, W perused the trailers.  Apparently, another lesbian film caught her eye because she immediately added it to our queue and bumped it up to the top of the list.  So now My Summer of Love sits on our dresser, ahead of 64 other movies, including Cedar Rapids, Ruby Sparks and My Sister’s Keeper.

Me: At this rate, we’ll never get through our Netflix queue.

W: Actually, I don’t do that every time.

Me: Ok, like every other time.

W: Then we’ll get through our queue eventually.

Me: No, we won’t.

W: Yes, we will.

Me: Yeah, like when I’m dead.

W: That has to be the saddest thing ever.  Having to delete someone’s Netflix queue because they’re dead.

Sidenote: So, I’m not sure whether we would actually finish our Netflix queue if W continues to add one new movie every other time that we watch a movie.  As I stated above, our queue currently contains 64 movies.  If she adds half that amount — or 32 movies — we would have 96 movies in our queue.  In a particularly good month, we watch about three movies.  That means it would take us almost three years to watch all of those movies.  All of this, of course, is based on the proposition that we don’t add any more movies.  If I add two movies to our queue today, it’s actually like adding three when you count W’s automatic addition.  And if we watch six movies, W will automatically add three, so I’m pretty sure our queue is approaching infinity.  This is sounding like an episode of The Big Bang Theory.  I think I need to write to the Ask Marilyn chick from the Parade magazine in the Sunday paper.  She could get to the bottom of all of this.  

Fun Fact:  Here are the next five movies on our NetFlix queue:

  1. Barney’s Version
  2. Go Fish
  3. Chloe
  4. The Whole Wide World
  5. Heavenly Creatures

As you can see, our list is top-loaded with gay and lesbian content.  You can read about the reason in this post, Bitch slapped by Netflix.

How about you?  How many movies are in your queue?  What’s at the top of the list?