The Babadook: The Horrors of Womanhood

The Babadook

Don’t worry. No spoilers.

I’m very easily affected by jump-scare horror movies. But it was a goal of mine to watch more films written and/or directed by women this year, and the buzz around Jennifer Kent’s first feature was hard to ignore. So I took a shot of rum and settled in to watch The Babadook.

Surprisingly, it isn’t that jumpy. The horror element is a sort of trojan horse for the narrative themes, which are arguably more terrifying. So while the monster story falls a bit flat (says the horror wimp), the art direction, cinematography, and editing give the film a signature tone and voice that’s really strong. It’s an impressive first feature for sure.

My primary thought... Read More

Songs for Advent

Mary, Madonna, art, painting,

[image source]

I’ve had the songs below on loop for the past couple weeks. They’re my Advent anthems. And I hesitate to say “my”. These are not my songs. I can’t even begin to contemplate the depth of the experiences behind these words. But I’m in this place where Advent is about listening. Sitting with words and music that express lament, anger, and resilience.

Christena Cleveland writes:

“In post-Ferguson America, now more than ever, we must rescue Advent from its Western cultural captivity. I sigh with relief when I’m reminded that Advent isn’t what so many... Read More

Batman Dance Party – Costume Bash Series Part 3

Batman Dance Party - The Dance Floor, dancing, costumes, Grand Rapids, Pyramid Scheme

Alright, slackers. It’s crunch time. If you’re STILL scrounging for a Halloween costume, I’ve got one more party to share with you, The Batman Dance Party!

For Batman’s 75th Anniversary, local comic shop Vault of Midnight threw a big bash at The Pyramid Scheme. It was also an attempt to break the world record for most Batmans (Batmen?) in one location. The event was a huge success, and a blast to see unfold. Especially with AB providing the soundtrack. Yes, he played Prince.

Batman Dance Party DJ, dancing, dance floor, Grand Rapids, Pyramid SchemeRead More

Harry Potter Party – Costume Bash Series Part 2

wizard duel

Omigosh. Do you have a costume yet? You’re running out of time! Here, try this…

In July, Kaitie threw a Harry Potter bash to celebrate her birthday. She created a ton of fun details for the event. There was a table full of Honeydukes Treats, Quidditch “Pong”, specialty cocktails (Unicorn Blood and Butterbeer), an outdoor movie screen, roman candles for casting spells, and way more that I’m forgetting.

girl dressed as Hermione Granger with her time-turner.

And once again, guest enthusiasm takes the cake. Almost everyone was dressed to the nines, with no duplicate characters! Is... Read More

The Graveyard Shift – A Halloween Playlist

playlist, spotify, halloween, spooky, music, songs, graveyard, cemetery,

Ten days until Halloween! I drove past the cemetery last week on my lunch break. The trees were full of gold leaves, the sky was grey, and the air was dense and foggy. It was impeccably gothic. I almost blew off work to go graveyard wandering. If I didn’t have a project deadline that day, I would have.

That’s the tone I was going for with my Halloween playlist this year. Songs with a bit more of a gothic edge, a little off the beaten path. No Monster Mash here. (If you are looking for something more classic and upbeat, check out the playlists from 2013 and 2012.)

So we’ve got ghosts, cannibals, even a Twin Peaks nod. And... Read More

Junior High Dance Party – Costume Bash Series Part 1

The text, "The Junior High Dance Party" superimposed on the floor above a woman's feet in jelly shoes.

Tis the season for costume inspiration! Since 2014 has been The Year of the Costumed Bash for me, maybe I can help some of you out! Kicking off the series with a doozy.

In June, we threw a Junior High Dance Party for Craig’s birthday, complete with ill-fitting wardrobes, sugar highs, and the ultimate nostalgic playlist. (This idea may have been inspired by a junior-high slow-dancing session in our kitchen.)

A wood-paneled room is decorated with crepe paper and stars for a junior high / middle school dance party.

THE SETUP: We found a super welcoming Polish hall that was willing to let us rent... Read More

Friday Digs: October!

October, Halloween

Oh, happy month! It’s truly one of my favorites. Autumnal color palettes, cozy sweaters, candy bowls, and COSTUMES. I’m planning a little Halloween-y blog series this month. So if any of you are in need of costume ideas, stay tuned. Maybe I can spark your imagination.

Before we get to the good stuff, since these things come up every year, here’s your annual reminder that
a) Pinkwashing and sexual objectification in the name of Breast Cancer “Awareness” is capitalistic malarky
and b) it is possible to simultaneously critique... Read More

The Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival

movie theater, marquee,

On Sunday, September 21st, I was lucky enough to help launch the first ever Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival.

When I heard that the crew from The Bandit Zine was putting this on, I couldn’t think of anything more in my wheelhouse. A local screening of films with feminist themes made by underrepresented filmmakers? Yes, please. Oh, by the way, it’s free.

So I reached out to the organizers to see if there was any way I could lend a hand, particularly with my photo/video skills. They welcomed me with open arms! So, in addition to shooting event photos, I was able to put together some animated title screens and an intro video... Read More

Vintage Feminachos: A Springsteen Kind of Love

Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run

[image source also, if you dig funny shop jobs, I made one of my friends.]

Today is the 39th anniversary of the release of Springsteen’s Born to Run. Have you listened to it yet today? You should. Especially the title track. I know the radio can wear it thin, but just crank that song and really listen to it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

I have a lot of feelings about Bruce. Two years ago, I wrote a bit about how his music echoed my views of love, passion, and equanimity. It’s one of the only things I’ve written that... Read More

Friday Digs: Just the Good Stuff

Guardians of the Galaxy

All the world is going to hell. I don’t need to add more negativity today. Have some feel-good links.

I saw Guardians of the Galaxy this week. It’s just as fun as everyone says. While DC is stuck in the muck of “gritty realism”, Marvel is just screwing around and having a blast. Chris Pratt as Peter Quill is a much needed return to the wisecracking action hero ala Kurt Russell/Harrison Ford.

Due in no small part to screenwriter Nicole Perlman, “The Woman Behind ‘Guardians of the... Read More