“THE VERSE” a Firefly Fan Film

I just found this awesome fan film for Firefly this morning on Pinterest. It is amazing, well acted, and fun. It looks like there is a tie in online game as well.
[http://youtu.be/B24h1SYIxEc]

Book Review: Embrace

My library has this little off shoot room called Teenscape. It’s full of wonderful YA books and shuffling teenagers. Chicago had a room like this in its library, but the room was huge and the one here in my local village could fit four times over in it. I hate going in those rooms. For one, it is usually full of teenagers. Secondly, I carry into the room with me the belief that people probably think I’m a teenager because I’m in the teenage section, and don’t realize that I have actually graduated high school, college, AND law school. Because in spite being a decade older, most people think I’m at most 22. In Chicago, I used to just put the teen books on hold and pick them up on my weekly trip to the library because the hold section was in the adult area. Here, I have no time excuse not to just pick out my own damn books and plus I wanted to browse. 

I walked by the room twice, double checking to see if there were any lumbering lurking teens hidden in between the three aisles. Seeing none, I held my head high and snuck inside. Then I got down to business and starting with the A’s and going through the entire alphabet I browsed to my hearts content, even when I was interrupted twice by shuffling feet and downward glances. There seems to be an unwritten rule of teenagers in the Teenscape land not to look anyone in the eye. It’s unnerving. 

embrace

In my browsing I found a really pretty cover and after reading the back decided to check out Embrace, by Jessica Shervington. I haven’t read a lot of the demon/angel subgenre, but what I’ve read has been entertaining, and so I thought I would broaden my knowledge of that area of YA fiction. Embrace is the story of Violet Eden who is turning 17. Every birthday is a reminder of her dead mother and absent father who ignores her in his continual grief and workaholism. Luckily, Violet has lots of money, big boobs, a quirky best friend, and a sparring partner to keep her busy. And …. some …. of this is about to change. Not the dead mother, or the absent father, but Violet’s seemingly normal rich teenage life is interrupted by the revelation that she must choose whether or not she will embrace (see what I did there?) her Grigori heritage. Grigori are half-human half-angel hybrid, and protect humans against the exiled angels wrecking havoc on earth. 

While and interesting and rather light reading that kept me page turning, Embrace had a few pitfalls that would land it in purgatory at least. Violet is yet another, “I don’t want to be what I clearly already am” character, and that is not the only YA trope to grace the pages. However, Violet at least reconciles this part of herself by the end of the book. For me this is passable. It’s when the warring within the self goes on for several books that I have an issue.

There is of course the triangle of good boy versus bad boy. Each male character is rather underdeveloped and of one note, there is always hope that further character development will happen in the rest of the series. But it would have been refreshing for the male leads to be fleshed out full characters the first time around. One non-YA trope was that Violet has sex in the book. Then yet another trope as unfortunately, as her sex life (or as much as someone who is 17 and UNDERAGE! has a sex life) becomes a thing of shame and gossip. In fact, her sexual advances mean that Violet is emotionally connected to someone who preys on that connection to the extreme. More disturbingly, Violet was sexually assaulted in the not too distance past by an adult figure in her life, which factors into why she is learning to spar, but is not brought up in the context of her sexual development as a woman.

Violet needs some counseling, in fact, a lot of fantasy characters do. Why is this a thing? Why can’t we have our favorite characters learning how to be emotionally healthy so that they can deal with all the weird stuff that happens in their lives? One review I read suggested that this series should have been given an older protagonist and I agree. If Violet was just a bit older both parents could be dead and Violet living on her own rather than a dead mother and absent, except when needed to further the plot, father. Furthermore, an older protagonist would have had some time to work through her sexual assault and be better ready for exploring her sexuality.  

Despite all the tropes, Embrace was an interesting read. Shirvington writes with a fresh and uncluttered voice. So while there is no real plot twist, and it is a trope filled story, I kept reading to see what would happen and how Violet would react. Embrace is simply (perhaps too simply) a coming of age story of Violet, a half-human half-angel girl. While, I’ve more than a few quibbles with the book, if you want a light consume the book in a day down by the pool read, it has enough going for it that you might not want to come inside right away for dinner. 

Read a review by The Book Smugglers, who points out a few more plot holes and also is a bit more spoilery than my own review. 

In My Element

This weekend Chris and I went to an estate sale on a whim since we both had the day off. While there the car overheated, which waylaid our plans and so we found a shady spot and walked around for a bit. Once we finally got back on the road it was really bad traffic so when we saw the Forth Worth Montgomery Antique Mall we pulled over and spent some time wandering the aisles. It is MASSIVE! I’ve been to many antique malls over the years and this was by far the biggest store I have been to. I would guess it was the size of a football field. But my favorite little shop (the mall is divided into several shops) was a book corner I found. The book I’m holding was worth $40. Unfortunately, I forget the title.

me

Cigarette Zombies

Razor sharp teeth, mouth agape, lips stretched wider than a human’s mouth should go, a monster that was once a man rushed past me. I threw my arm out and caught the child by my side, pushing us up against the wall hoping the oncoming swarm would pass by and leave us alone.

It all started earlier while I was stocking shelves. The last of summer’s water toys were going up for clearance, the bright colors out of place next to all the decorations for Halloween. Holidays arrived earlier every year. My co-worker next to me was peeved, “I just don’t understand.” He mumbled.

“CVS and Walgreens merged, they are now one company.” I explained again. “We have to get inventory ready for the merger now that we work for Walgreens.”

“I can’t believe we work for Walgreens. I just don’t understand.” She mumbled again.

I noticed a wiry man with long stringy graying hair shuffle pass me, looking around out of the corner of his eyes. Checking to see if any of us employees noticed him. Suspicious behavior requires excellent customer service, so I went over to him and offered to help him find something. My co-worker peeked around the corner to see where I had gone, his brown bangs swinging in his face, hiding his eyes. The customer didn’t need my help and shambled away from me. “Surprisingly”, I found work to do near him, watching for more suspicious behavior.

He was looking at cartoons of cigarettes which for some reason had been temporarily moved because of the merger and were no longer locked up or put out of reach. He piled his arms full of them and headed toward the checkout counter. I kept “fixing” the items on a shelf watching to see what he would do. Suddenly he darted toward the automatic sliding doors and ran outside with his stolen loot. Fast on his heels was a old woman, her arms also full of stolen cigarettes.

I stood up from where I was shelving lotions, and watched as the man and woman flung cigarettes into the air, liberating them for the masses. Quicker than I would have dreamed possible, hordes of tobacco starved people began to pile onto the street grabbing at the falling cigarettes. I caught movement in my right peripheral and saw a gaping mouth, spread too wide, full of inhuman teeth running toward me and realized I was in the way of the zombie and his cigarettes.

I reached out for my co-worker and pulled her back against the wall next to me, hoping that we would not be bitten by such horrific teeth. His mouth loomed closer and closer. Something wasn’t right. How was the child next to me also a man and a woman? Why would  a cigarette zombie even exists?

I woke with a start and rolled over pushing my face into the pillow. Ugh, zombie interrupted sleep. Again.

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Picture by Chris who also suggested the ending, and wants credit for it.

Webseries Review: Stand Up Girls

Stand Up Girls was created by Amy K. Green & Blair Skinner. Stand Up Girls  is a “scripted series about stand up female comedians and their horribly, misguided views on life.” Jenna Brister (Harper), Stephanie Kornick (Ursula), and Hollie Lee (Dolores) are all real life stand up comedians, bringing a unique perspective to this webseries.

I watched all eight episodes of the first season which is available on line. Production is decent, though attempts to create a bunch of different apartments was maybe a bit ambitious, and I suspect a bookcase was used in two different sets. Each episode is about five minutes long and full of awkward, agonizingly so, hilariously so, moments. My favorite line was: “But then I thawed out and became a woman again.”Some of the stand up was not my favorite, some of it made me guffaw. I liked the interweaving of stand up to real life, because that is where  the good stand ups get their material, and it seemed more realistic and made it all a bit funnier.

Reminiscent of Awkward Embraces, Stand Up Girls will add a few chuckles to your day and make you glad your problems don’t include homeless squatters, a magician as an employer, or a mic in front of you every night.

New Movie from Dollhouse Alums

I recently started rewatching Dollhouse at night and stumbled on an article about the Dollhouse alum making a movie titled Lust for Love. I’m going to have to track this one down, Victor is one of my all time favorite male characters and I’ve been meaning to track down the actor and see some of his other work. The trailer made me laugh out loud. Headbuttee FTW! http://youtu.be/w_fy3efQCaE

Watch “How Frozen Should Have Ended” on YouTube

This is amazing. I thought the same thing as the troll through the whole movie!