Red

So… This is a prose poem I wrote the other day and I wanted to share it. It’s titled “red.”

Studies show that people fall in love most often when wearing red. They all claim that the color red does something to our partner’s brain that makes him (or her) more receptive to feelings of love. Is that really true? Maybe the color red does something to our brains that makes us feel more worthy of love. Maybe red is just a color we all think we look good in so we choose the vibrant color for situations where falling in love is already on the agenda. Or, maybe, we have been told so often and so loudly that red is a color of seduction and passion and we so desperately want to believe it that we make it true. Of course, if you wear red every day you will be wearing it on the day you fall in love.

Like all things, red has its dark side. We close our eyes and picture roses and blushing cheeks, all in a glittering pink hue. Then we see blood dripping from clean finger tips. We picture rage; heart thumping in our ears, blood burning our neck. Red has no place in the middle ground. It is always burning and hot, always violent and bold. Never tempered. Burning. Illumating every corner of our soul. Maybe we want to see love the way the way we see glowing coals keeping a fire burning. 

The coldest part of the flame is red.

I wonder if people ever fall in love in blue. Or is that the kind of inextinguishable passion reserved only for fairy tale princesses? 

Cinderella wore blue to the ball. Would the prince have scoured the kingdom for her had she been wearing red?

I wonder if we are afraid to fall in love in blue, a color that reminds us of the fathomless depths of the ocean, the untraceable heights of the sky. The greatest and most terrible powers we can imagine are blue. Blue is the depths of the sea, the heights of the sky, the streak of lightning, the hottest flame. Blue is the love we do not understand and do not dare to hope for for fear of drowning. Or for fear of never finding it at all. Fear of spending our lives standing in the beach waiting for the tide to sweep us away but the waves never reach us. We settle for red and pretend Cinderella is only a fairy tale.

I am Alice and this is Wonderland 

I love to display my books and movies and memories and artwork because I look around my space and think, “this is what my mind looks like.” When I put my home together I create a world in which I can see some of who I am, the things that make me me. I put up my framed memories (moments in time that have meant something to me) and the books that have shaped the way I think and write and I get to see it all. I do my best to keep it neat and if I am unhappy I rearrange until I am happy again.

That’s how I look at my mind, it is a world all my own that tends to be difficult to share and I see my home and my space as an extension of that world. It is my “wonderland.” That is also why I sometimes have a hard time sharing my space. When I invite someone into my space I’m giving them a glimpse of who I am, glimpses that they might not get otherwise, and I’m always afraid they won’t understand. 


You’ll notice that in the story Alice never shares Wonderland with anyone else from our world. It is a land of her own making (depending on how you choose to read the story) in which everything is nonsense and she can be the hero that Victorian era women were rarely allowed to be. It was a world that she had a small amount of control over. How can you share something like that? 

Now, I realize that my home is not actually my brain and that most people coming into my home won’t notice the pieces of my personality littered around them but they are there. That’s how I like to decorate at least.

These boots were made for walking.

I love walking places. I don’t feel like I have really experienced a place until I have walked around it. You see, when you walk around your town to get from place to place you experience things that you don’t get to in a car. 

Cars move too fast. You can’t see all of the things around you, the letters etched into the sidewalk or the trees that have slightly dipped branches. When you walk you get all of that. You notice that the birdhouse on the corner is actually a mini library but, more importantly, you hear the conversations of everyone around you.


(You thought I was kidding)

Hearing people as they go about their lives is one of my favorite things. They don’t realize anyone can hear them. You see all sorts of dynamics play out, even if you only get snap shots of their lives.

I’m living pretty close to a college campus so I see a lot of students wandering around, studying, playing soccer in the park, etc. Today, on my way to church I saw 3 different girls doing the dreaded “walk of shame (I hate that term; “walk of shame.” It’s only ever used for women and it implies that the woman had meaningless sex just hours before but it is never applied to men and, honestly, you know nothing about that girl or her relationship.).” Two of these girls were walking together in their pretty, though slightly disheveled, party dresses. Their hair was messy and one still wore her makeup, smudged across one cheek, like she ducked out of there so fast she didn’t even have time to look in a mirror. Or maybe she didn’t care in which case good for you but, given the conversation that I heard, I don’t think that was the case. The other young woman looked like she had a little more time to put herself together that morning. I got the impression she had gone to pick up the first girl and make sure she got home safely. Their conversation made me laugh.

The first one, with the makeup smudged across her face, practically shouted “I have a condom.” 

The second, “Then use it.

“The one I found in your makeup bag?”

“Oh no,” the second girl shook her head, “don’t use that one.” 

My internal monologue went crazy as the two girls turned the corner and moved out of earshot. 

Um… what? 

These two girls were clearly the same age but one was the “mother friend” angrily clicking at troublesome duckling. That part didn’t interest me quite as much as this mysterious makeup bag condom and why the mother hen would rather have that one go unused in this situation. What was it for? Was it not a condom at all and was about to cause an embarrassing situation for the first girl? I have so many questions. 

Immediately following this was a young man carrying a bag of groceries reading Chaucer while he walked. Oh college, what an interesting place you always were.

But that is why I like walking. I have probably seen these people a dozens times as I have driven around town but I’ve never gotten any insight into their lives, I didn’t even notice them. 

Star Wars calls to me

Star Wars calls to me and I must heed the call.

I’m going to tell you something in all honesty and seriousness (I’m always honest though not always serious). I will only watch the original theatrical cuts of Star Wars. I will not watch the re edits with the added cgi nonsense. The main reason is Han and Greedo’s scene. Yeah, lots of people argue about Han  shooting first for all sorts of reasons but it’s incredibly important to me for only one reason, it changes Han’s character development.

In the original cuts when we first meet Han he is a smuggler who cares about exactly 3 things; himself, Chewie, and the falcon. He is not a hero. He is not that sort of man to wait for someone to attack him. Oh no, he is the sort of man to shoot first and calmly flip a coin to the barkeep apologizing for the mess. Han doesn’t even want to save Leia, he only does it for the money. Han is more than just a reluctant hero, he is dragged kicking and screaming into being a hero. 

  
That’s what makes his character arc so much more interesting. Here’s this guy who has only ever looked out for himself until he meets these two idealistic kids and starts having feelings, first for this kid (Luke) who becomes his friend that he actually wants to help then for Leia, and by the end of the story for the rebellion. He goes from not caring about anything to realizing people actually care about him and he doesn’t hate them either. You see that come to fruition in The Force Awakens in the way he takes care of Rey. 

This is important to me, if you take away his starting point you cheapen his story line. How dare you!

  
I guess it’s kind of a dumb thing for me to get so up in arms about but really I will die before I accept that Greedo shot before Han. Han shot, end of story.

You’re probably saying, “woah Katie, you care a little too much.” And you would be right but I do, I care very deeply about this. Part of why is Han is one of the characters in fiction that connect most deeply with (please don’t start arguing, I’ll explain in a minute).

  
There’s that whole ‘3 fictional characters’ thing going around Facebook and I’ll be honest, I jumped on that bandwagon hard but the 3 characters I said were a lie. I connect with all of them but not on the level that I connect with others. I chose to keep my real 3 to myself (until now). I was afraid of being made fun of or argued with for my choices, including Han Solo. Seriously though, if anyone is Han I’m Han (and my mom agrees).

The other reason was… They’re all men and every woman I know was posting female characters. I felt cornered, like I needed to post female characters too. Well no more. I’ve never fit in the box anyway.

The 3 characters I connect most with are Han Solo, Flynn Ryder, and Sokka. Quite frankly, when I watch those movies/shows I think I am those characters.

  
  
  
(You’ll notice none of them are the main/heroic character, none of them have super abilities, and they are all very sarcastic) (meat and sarcasm, that’s basically my whole personality)

Everything I like about my personality is embodied in Han Solo; his attitude, his insouciance, his sarcasm but also his genuine care for his friends. I mean, he goes out into the tundra of Hoth to find Luke! Han Solo puts into words the way I feel about myself. So I’m sorry if I get a little defensive about his character arc but it’s important to me. 

The Selction in Review

Now that I have officially and actually finished reading The Selection series by Kierra Cass, I would like to share my opinion on it (you can trust me, my degree is in English).
I found the whole series to be insipid wish fulfillment on the part of the author.

  
Now let me tell you a quick story. About a year ago I started reading The Selection. A lot of my friends had read it and called it “adorable” and “amazing.” I didn’t see it could do any harm to my brain to read something “adorable” and “amazing” so I checked it out from the library. About a third of the way through reading “the one” my copy of Winter by Marissa Meyer showed up and I couldn’t be bothered to read anything else.

Unfortunately, after reading winter I could not bring myself back to “the one” without wanting to vomit. The whole thing is too sickeningly sweet and predictable and I could not do it. I had to get some distance before I could give it another go.

Yesterday I picked up the audiobook so I would have something to listen to while I tackled my 29 item weekend to do list.

After finishing the book I stand by my 2 star review on goodreads and I’m about to tell you why.

Oh, P.S. This post is going to contain some spoilers so buckle up.

So the basic plot of the series is this; there’s a prince, he has to find a wife, girls from every province are selected and they play a high stakes version of the bachelor. There is also a rebellion and some political intrigue. Which, incidentally, leads me to my first point.

Why the HELL does one of the rebellions not want to overthrow the monarchy that has a long history of abuse? Oh no they support the monarchy they just also want elected officials. BULLSHIT! The only reason the author did not dissolve the monarchy at the end of the series was because they wanted our plucky, rise of the proletarian, heroine to be a princess in the end. Yuck, I just got a cavity thinking about it. If you want America to be a princess in the end that is fine, just don’t make the monarchy currently and historically abusive.

On a related note, I found the fact that she named her freedom fighting heroine America a little heavy handed.

I’m not saying that I hated every minute of these books, some of it was most enjoyable (like eating cake for breakfast) but jeeze Louise lady, pick a theme! Was it love? Was it self acceptance? Was it freedom? I wish I knew.

I also found the books boringly predictable. I could call every twist 10 pages before it happened, including the final rebel attack. I get it, the books were for teens but come on Cass have a little respect for your readers.

In fact, the only surprise I did not see coming was the murder of Celeste, which in hindsight I think I should have. 

I found the whole thing to be insipid wish fulfillment and could have been much better. That being said, if you are looking for a book to read that is a little like eating whipped cream, this is probably the book for you. It was adorable with only a few cringe-worthy moments.

Enjoy.

Iconic Women I Look Up To (and you should too)

1) Wonder Woman

Last weekend I went to Salt Lake Comic Con and, because I’m super nerdy, I dressed up as some of my favorite nerdy things. My favorite of my favorites was Wonder Woman, I would wear my Wonder Woman costume every day if it were appropriate for work.

  
Walking home from the train, while dressed as Wonder Woman, I was behind a little girl dressed as Batgirl walking with her mom. Her mom glanced back at me then leaned over to Batgirl and whispered, “look, it’s Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is her favorite.” For a minute I got to be Wonder Woman for this little girl who looks up to Wonder Woman and it was great. Wonder Woman is an iconic figure who that little girl looked up to and that I look up to as well. 

In fact, every woman should look up to Wonder Woman. She is an iconic figure and it is not just because she has been around since 1948 or is a standard of beauty. Wonder Woman is a warrior and a symbol of what women are and can be. Did you know that Wonder Woman doesn’t wear make-up? In one of the comics she tells a woman that she shouldn’t have to cover up her natural beauty. In an episode of the justice league she smashed a tv because a critic tried to tear down her heroics because of what she wears. Just because she wears something revealing doesn’t mean her accomplishments are any less than her male counterparts and she won’t let anyone tell her otherwise.

  
Wonder Woman is the sort of women we should all strive to be like, I know I do.

2) Miss Piggy

I don’t know why people don’t take me seriously when I say this. I am being serious; Miss Piggy is my fashion muse, if she can wear something then so can I.

  
I LOVE Miss Piggy! She is my hero and has been since I was young. She may be a muppet, and a pig, but you can’t deny that pig has got style. She does not ever let anyone tell her she can’t have what she wants because she is the wrong body type or a woman. Miss Piggy charges into Lady Holiday’s office and announces that she wants to be a hug fashion model. It doesn’t matter if anyone else believes in her or her dreams because she does and she is going to fight to get them.

  
The thing is, people are going to tell you that you can’t be what you want to be, you can’t tell yourself no. You have to fight to be who you want to be, just like Miss Piggy.

3) Barbie

  
I’m done apologizing for my defense of Barbie. If you are against Barbie you are stupid and not a real feminist (I won’t apologize for that comment either). Barbie is an icon who has consistently held male-dominated positions decades before women became common in those positions. Yes, she’s a doll whose mainly designed to have her fashionable clothes changed but she is also a doll who lets young girls dream of doing thousands of different things. Barbie is great and we should all strive to be like her.

  

Why you shouldn’t binge watch shows

I finally did it, I broke down and got Netflix. There were so many shows that I had not gotten to watch all of and wanted to. But, I got a DVD subscription rather than just streaming and here’s why; I think it is bad for you to binge watch shows. I think it is bad to just watch a bunch of episodes of anything all in a row. You can’t actually sit and focus for that long, for one, and I don’t think you enjoy it as much as you think you do. So instead of watching 8 eoiusides of game of thrones in a row I’m watching it 2 episodes in a row then waiting 4 days for my next disc and you know what,I like it way better. 

Watching it this way I have to figure out how to cope with life for the time that I don’t have my show (like when you are interrupted by real life) and therefore it doesn’t interrupt my life. 

I’ve long thought that we shouldn’t binge watch shows but nowi am convinced that it  is bad for your brain and youneec yo stop. Just trust me on this.

I will have a longer and better blog post on Sunday, this is all I have foryoy right now.