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I live in England now. And I have done for just over two months. In case anybody was left wondering.

You Have No Idea

I have conversed at length with several atheists from the Middle East. And you want to whine about how oppressive and challenging it is to be a Christian in the United States? Pfft, yeah, you're breaking my heart.

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Good night, Deah, Yusor, and Razan. You deserved a better legacy--it breaks my heart that this literally is the least we can do.


Here's what I'm taking away from the Chapel Hill shootings, and frankly, it should be obvious to anyone who doesn't consider 'Murrica the centre of the known universe: to faith or not to faith is the lesser issue, compared with living in a society that glorifies violence, vendettas, vengeance, and good old boot-in-the-ass aggression, while scoffing off compromise and compassion as the wuss' way out.

Make no mistake, here: I hate most religions pretty much equally. Loathe them. Detest them. I may or may not reserve extra contempt for the Abrahamic triad, what with all their emphasis on second-class citizenship, and may or may not find certain aspects of Eastern mysticism charming for their childlike lack of guile.

The point is, people are still people. Islam and Muslims, for example, are two different nouns. An abstract idea and its concrete subscribers. And while I have absolute zero interest in practising Islam (or Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc.) itself, I'm always ready to sit down and rap with a Muslim in search of the common ground I value more than conflict.

All the blame should be placed on the ideology and the SPECIFIC extremist crusaders using it to promote fascism--who, it goes without saying, should be clearly identified before they're pursued. Any rational person can put an individual ahead of their systemic beliefs or rejection thereof; any rational person can simultaneously harbour respect for human life and distaste for thoughtschools they find detrimental to society. But common sense is known to hit a wall when your culture is stuck on a destruction narrative, if only because it's so much quicker and easier than creation.

Another thing: I don't want to spend much time on this tip, but it's really frustrating that when a Muslim or an atheist goes on a killing spree in the States, half their respective communities have to step forward with disclaimers...whereas when something like Eric Rudolph or Timothy McVeigh happens, it goes without saying that Christians are innocent. They never have to face the court of public opinion the way the rest of us do.

(But to hear FoxNews talk, it's open season on Christians. Of course it is. Pull the other leg while you're at it; I could use the extra height.)

I'm Gonna Make it After All

Noticing a pattern with this idiocy in my body (aka. fibromyalgia). Of course it takes me a little longer than usual to fight my way out of bed, but then I run at normal speed once I've had some coffee and spun an '80s playlist or two. Then comes the midmorning energy spurt, which I usually squander applying makeup, running errands, networking a bit, whatever needs doing. Right after noon--depending on when I eat lunch--I crash like Flight 815. Takes roundabout two hours to coax myself back from the brink of sleep, but I don't fully regroup until 5-6PM, when another manic (by comparison) blast hits. I'm glad this is starting to reveal itself, because once I get on top of the sequence, I can dominate it instead of the other way round.

Feb. 5th, 2015

Just dropping this off here until MakeupAlley stops acting a punk.

REVIEW: Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette

This may not be the most universal palette of its kind, but it's definitely the most cohesive I've seen so far. Compared to contour palettes from Anastasia, Tarte, Ulta, and It Cosmetics--lovely as all those are in their way--not one colour in Shade + Light had me thinking, "What in all time and space am I supposed to do with THIS?" Instead, I immediately assigned each powder to a specific light-manipulating detail.

LUCID: Ivory, to enhance high points of the face

SOMBRE: True taupe, to hollow out cheekbones, reduce forehead space, and sculpt the nose

LYRIC: Pale yellow, to lift darkness and discolouration, esp. around the eyes

SHADOWPLAY: Soft bronze, to warm up facial perimeter

LEVITATION: Peach, for a social lubricant between the darker and lighter shades

SUBCONSCIOUS: Neutral brown, for extra definition--or showing an obnoxious double chin who's boss

One thing I didn't expect to like so much about this palette is the semi-matte finish of the highlight shades--but now that I've put it into practice, I absolutely ADORE it. There's a lot to be said for using similar textures to offset one another, bringing some features forward and receding others, then targeting just a few specific areas (crest of the cheekbone, nose bridge, cupid's bow) with shimmer.

Money well spent. We have a keeper.

Manifesto Time

"JE SUIS CHARLIE" says the marquee at Asheville Pizza & Brewing company. And I had to read it out loud in solidarity. Parce que oui, je suis Charlie.


I'm Nigeria, too. And Palestine. And Tibet. And the World Trade Center. And Flight 93. And the Oklahoma Federal Building. And Olympic Park in Atlanta. And Matthew Shepard. I'm everyone who's ever taken a bullet, a beating, or a bomb for someone else's ideology...if not prejudice. And if an atheist commits an act of terrorism in the future, I'll stand with the victims then, too. Human rights before personal beliefs, always.

Homemade Brain Candy

Say what you will about acupuncture, but it often ends up being a psychological purge as well as a pain treatment. Today, through no intention of my own, the subject of my fantasies came up: I'm not a person who hosts an entire brain channel overtly sexual fantasies. I'm really not. Obviously I enjoy that aspect of my relationship with Paul, and I think about it a lot, but not to the point where it becomes a mental Penthouse Forum letter to myself. And if there's, for example, an interlude in the Seventh Wave saga where I feel like Wedge and Simone Antilles should be making love, or Luke Skywalker and Xanadu Bloodshy need another night together, I have no trouble getting to that place.

But most of my FANTASIES, as in recurring hypothetical scenarios I use to entertain myself, aren't about sex. What they are about, since I did notice a common thread during our session, is DOMINATION.

There's the rock star fantasy (that's manifested in a number of my writing projects)...the fantasy where I emerge victorious in hand-to-hand combat against multiple opponents (ditto)...and the Houdini fantasy, where I escape all sorts of confinements and deathtraps (not yet). Maybe, as a woman, I consider sexual dominance too obvious and would rather achieve it by infiltrating one boys' club or another...I don't know. But it's always nice to talk about these things with someone who doesn't do shock.

We also discussed how space--the cosmos--represents freedom to me, whereas nothing makes me feel more threatened than going around in circles. I never liked the Tilt-a-Whirl, at all. At least a ferris wheel gives you a nice view while it spins.

On a Separate Note...

My doctors think I have fibromyalgia. Confirmation/ diagnostic process to begin next month. Physical therapy twice a week in the meantime. Wedge, give me strength.

Departure Vector

(Something I wrote after the last election. Enjoy.)

Time to break it down and--hopefully--keep it down. So there was a post I ran across the other day that brought my blood to a nice, high, rolling boil. I'm not going to name names because the original author and the sharer are people I know and respect, despite featuring no common ground in the political sphere with me. This is not about them, it's about the terminology used...because it contained a lot of lingo the right-wing community likes to display like flashcards when debates are afoot. Specifically, what they see as the "liberal agenda". But each accusation is so fragile, so quickly and easily demolished, that even a professional eyeshadow-swiper/ lipstick-wielder like me can make rubble out of them. So let's pop in a few quarters and press Start, shall we?

"High Taxes"
So what you're saying is, you don't want to pay it forward. You have no interest in sustaining the society that sustains you; you'd rather just pig out on whatever you can get from it, and then give it the finger. Where I come from, that's called being a parasite, and--since most of you won't shut up about being wingmen of Christ--it's effectively the polar opposite of WWJD. Granted, I'm no fan of taxes being siphoned up by war machines and corporate bailouts, but if I were offered proof that the same mandatory percentage were contributing to a stronger infrastructure, education system, medical/ scientific community...even just incentives for veterans, battered partners, or the impoverished to pursue a higher quality of life...you wouldn't get a snarl out of me. And no, it's absolutely not fair to slice the same percentage from all stops along the economic continuum. Throw "punishing the rich for being successful" at me like it's some kind of unhittable curveball, and I'll line-drive "punishing the poor for lacking the means to buy more toys" right back at you, so don't even get me in that batter's box. (Of course, we could narrow the wage gap and that would resolve a lot of this, but never mind, this is America; we don't go in for rational solutions.) Maybe it's time to start looking at your country as an immediate family member, and forge a "personal relationship" (if you see what I did there) based on symbiosis, teamwork, and quid pro quo. It's there for you, you're there for it, and things just might stabilise after all.

"Reverse Discrimination"
Otherwise known, in most cases, as "not appreciating it when someone flips the script on your prejudice(s) and makes a fool out of you". Tsk, tsk, tsk. Well, allow me to spell out the fine print you've been ignoring: no-one has the right to call you out for merely being white, or male, or straight, or moneyed, or Christian, or whatever conservative criteria you typify. There's no shame in being any of those things, even all of them at once. But if you stand on those attributes while being a joik to someone who can't or won't join your club, all bets are off.

"Murder of Children"
Sigh. Because all abortions are brutal late-term numbers performed on promiscuous, low-income slatterns (smack tracks optional) by mua-ha-haing sadists (clown masks optional) with disastrous and often fatal results (exploding vagina optional). Get serious. Of course, when I think "murder of children" I think of something like the Sandy Hook massacre, but potato/ potahto, tomato/ tomahto, amirite? The killer used a Second Amendment toolkit to wipe out a bunch of post-natals, so it doesn't count. I regret to inform you (no, really) there will never be a foolproof way to stop abortions from ever happening again, but we could bring down the numbers with a one-two punch of comprehensive sex education and affordable birth control...ah, bugger, there I go again with the rational solutions.

"Mass Dependency"
You wanna talk mass (and woefully misplaced) dependency, what about our energy companies ripping up the planet for finite quantities of power sources while thwarting our attempts to implement cleaner, more accessible options...because it'll mean less green wallpaper for their offshore bank accounts? As I said before, we could revive the "made in the USA" label and treat our workers like autonomous human beings worthy of living wages, healthcare, and time off in the process...but, no, it's their own bloody fault they can't pony up enough money for education, safety nets, or the white-collar American Dream, so let 'em eat cake. (Maybe if they prayed harder and paid their tithes, God would give them a leg up.)

"Lack of Personal Responsibility"
Oh, for Wedge's sake. I can't touch this one without using the word "hypocrisy" or its synonyms about a baker's dozen times, so I won't.

"Moral Decline"
Hang on...you mean...the mind-boggling notion...the Straight Outta Bizarro World concept...that homosexuals, freethinkers, free spirits, and people (ie. women) who enjoy sex for its own sake...are NOT moral or social liabilities? That people's choices, beliefs, and lifestyles don't have to be Xerox copies of your own in order to be viable or functional? That my gay friend Marcelo isn't out to HIV-bomb your children any more than I'm out to convert them into little fuchsia-haired, pottymouthed, polysyllable-dropping atheists? Oh, snap, there goes your entire life's mission. Seriously, you fail at being the hero in the choose-your-own-adventure plot of your life, because you want to create an enemy using people who shouldn't get more than a cameo in a mob scene, even if they do tend to stand out a little more than the people on either side of them. If you're truly offended by someone's behaviour and want to tattle on them to your God, knock yourself out. But until someone takes/ threatens lives, causes injury, makes off with personal property, or destroys more than they create...stop worrying about how they screw in their lightbulbs and mind your own beeswax, if you have any.

Done and done. Accepting high-fives, death threats, or whatever else you've got.

Because We're Creepy Like That

Numerous retaliations later, it seems that Mrs. Kimberly Hall (FYI: If You're a Teenage Girl) has pearl-clutched her way into the slut-shaming Hall of Fame.

Wedge be praised.

When the original article first blighted my Facebook newsfeed (courtesy of several right-wing Southern neo-Christians), and curiosity had its way with me, I reached the last sentence and...I'm hard to shame as far as human sexuality goes; I consider it a waste of time and a slap in biology's face. But for the most uncharacteristic moment, I felt dirty. Dirty for ever walking with a little extra sway in my hips, dirty for ever writing graphic sex scenes with a little too much relish, dirty for ever choosing a bang-pow red lip over a discreet nude, dirty for ever leaving my house in anything more revealing than, for instance, a body bag.

Surely, I thought once I regained my mental footing, I can't be the only one thinking, if her saintly boyspawn can't see a braless girl (And how many of us wear a tit harness under our peejays?) without reducing her to a monodimensional phallus receptacle, doesn't that say more about THEM than HER?

Surely we're all within our rights to proudly display whatever character trait has the floor at a given time, be it desirability, intellect, compassion, nerdiness, or modesty?

Surely "moral purity" is a case-by-case concept, and to the extent that no-one is killed, injured, or otherwise screwed over, no side of your personality is worth more basic respect, courtesy, and self-control than the others?

What a relief to know I'm not alone in this. After all, while my handsome, sexy, brilliant, witty fiancé has an obvious fetish for the junk in my trunk, it doesn't prevent him from acknowledging the contents of my brain or heart just as often.

Danielle's Faith in Humanity: Commanding Lead
Kimberly Hall's Self-Righteous Outrage: Goose Egg

Born on the Wrong Side of the Pond

These photos from my summer holiday/ tour of my future home [York, UK, with a bonus week in Cornwall] are set to public view, so hopefully y'all can see them.

Glamoursnipe Takes Great Britian

Union Jill

Just got back from one rockin' romantic adventure in the UK. Raise your hand if you'd like to know more.

A: No leaving the bed until I've racked up at least six hours of sleep.

B: Coffee can't wait. Especially when it's chasing a fistful of Midol.

C: Avoid the news in all formats, including satirical. Read Carl Sagan instead. Get caught up in the infinite.

D: Spend a minimum of five minutes cuddling and/ or playing with each dog.

E: Try to keep a lid on any snide remarks about why America doesn't deserve a "birthday" celebration this year. Might as well soak up our freedom while some vestige thereof remains the law of the land.

F: If all else fails, bear in mind that I've only a week's wait to get my Union Jill on with the love of my life.

Real-Time Visibility

Sorry I vanished without a trace for so long. That's what happens when your life starts making demands: a marriage to plan, a UK holiday to book, a career to pursue. The latter begins today--look below if you want a hint--and when I get home, I'll answer the comments I've been neglecting and check in with the rest of you.

So, this is it. Wedge, give me strength.

TAG: Confidence, Bullying, Inner Beauty

Does your confidence ever suffer? Why?

Not as much as it used to; lack of confidence is no longer something that permeates my life and personal identity, but we all have our structural damage, and mine always seems to strike in the form of selling myself short. I set high standards for other people, but nearly impossible ones for myself, and why? Because I’m vain, insecure, a perfectionist, I fluctuate between inferiority and superiority complexes, and I feed on validation. Because I want to be impressive, and no-one’s harder to impress than me. Because I’m too human for my own good.

Do you lose confidence when you don’t feel attractive?
Of course, because I’m quite visually oriented, but again, it has more to do with meeting my own standards than society’s. Maybe that’s a warped upside, but it is what it is. Most of the time, though, I’m cool with my physical appearance, in that it rarely factors into my sense of self-worth—it used to, particularly after I moved up north and put on so much weight and just went around feeling trapped in my own body. I still don’t love my body, but enough work has gone into improving it that I’ve achieved a point of, “You’re not ideal, but you’ll do. For now.” But I lose ten times more confidence from writer’s block or creative ennui than I do from my premenstrual zits. Surely that counts for something.

What makes you feel confident about yourself?
My individuality, more than anything, then my humanism, then how passionately I can give a damn about something or someone, once I do. My determination to be and express myself has cost me a lot of alleged friends, but at the same time, it’s rewarded me with Paul, ie. the best thing that’s ever happened to me, so it’s impossible to underrate the positive.

Have you ever been bullied?

Ouch. Guess it's time for some full disclosure about my school experience. Kindergarten through fourth grade, apart from a certain teacher who should be receiving my therapy bills any time now, weren’t so bad. I wasn’t the best or most popular student, but I wasn’t exactly suffering…most of the kids, and the teachers, probably saw me as an eccentric loner who rocked at reading and science but sucked at math and sports, dismissing me accordingly. No problem, except when my inner attention junkie had the floor. Fifth grade was pretty brutal, my first taste of full-on bullying…I don’t know what was going on; I think one or two of the popular boys just singled me out for their own reasons and, being as well-liked as they were, more kids jumped on board than didn’t. Lots of crying myself to sleep when I was ten. In grade six things leveled out again, but I’d changed somewhere along the line; my trust and work ethic were a shambles, so I spent every day in every class with my guard up, completely spaced out, carrying a grudge from the year before, and waiting for the worst-case scenario. Seventh grade on was where the excrement hit the air-cooling device, and it was set on a loop. The whole school was a booby trap of abuse, attacks, standoffs, and threats, and the only way to avoid it was to hide or ditch. Which I did. Often. Once for so many consecutive days that a rumour got started wherein I’d offed myself. Actually, I think that was when I had pneumonia, but still…I hated school with a pitch-black passion, and if I didn’t have a legitimate reason to stay home, I’d fake one.

Have you ever bullied anyone?
You know, I suspect I have, because I’m a naturally abrasive person, I don’t always use a filter between entertaining thoughts and expressing them, and when you’re in a situation like mine, you take your revenge where you can get it. But I don’t remember any incidents in detail, so bullying must not have much going for it, at least not for me. I do know that I’ve said some horrible things about Andrews, North Carolina (the setting for all this) that weren’t entirely called for. Obviously Andrews was the wrong place for me—I belong somewhere more metropolitan, bohemian, freethinking, and conducive to my interests—but that never licensed me to look down on people who could be happy in a down-home rural atmosphere. Finally, something that does in fact require an apology from me.

How did bullying or being bullied make you feel?
Being the bully, as I said, didn’t have much impact on me, other than making me feel like a douche in retrospect. If I felt anything positive in connection with it at the time, it was most likely gratitude that I wasn’t the target, for a change, and human emotion doesn’t get much cheaper than that. As for being the target…you feel, or I felt, either invisible or way too prominent in all the wrong ways. It was just an inescapable sense of worthlessness, or inability to do anything right…because even when I tried to fight back, in my total ineptitude, I was accused of egging it on or bringing it on myself. So, yeah: damned if you do, damned if you don’t. To give credit where it’s due, it did inspire me to fully embrace being an outcast. At first, I tried to conform and fit in and dress like everyone else and like the same things they did, then an epiphany point-blank asked me, “Why bother? Has it stopped them from making hell out of your life? No. Consider this your license to cut loose and be yourself…or at least find out who that is.” Most significant, though, is the reality block it created…while it was going on, and for years after, I had no use for the real world. In this case, I am totally at fault, but it explains why my grades were such a bastion of suck: at home, instead of studying or doing my assigments, I’d read, write, watch movies, blast my stereo and act out scenes from all those things, anything to disconnect or dissociate myself from who I was at school. It was, I knew even then, an effort to become someone else—still me, but from a different point of view, where I was appreciated, if not admired. What if I were a rock star, a futuristic action heroine, part of the in-crowd; what if I lived in a city where I could walk by the water during the day and under neon lights at night; what if there was a guy who openly and proudly considered me—as in, me—the love of his life? It was also a way out, the only viable way I had. I couldn't work up the guts to run away, and suicide was too no-going-back, too uncertain. So escapism won because it was the most gratifying, not to mention the most fun. It was good for my creativity, but bad for my social skills…even now, once in a while, I struggle to get out of my head and do things, rather than just imagine them. Luckily, I have more incentive than ever before.

How do you deal with bullying?
At this point, I don’t bother with it; I don’t engage them, I don’t accept their game invite at all. My instinct when someone starts giving me static, especially online (which seems to bring out the asshole in a lot of people), is to leave the situation, treat myself to a little catharsis about how some of us need to go home and rethink our lives, then it’s water off a duck’s back from there. As for how others should deal with it…your guess is as good as mine. I learned the hard way that whatever you do will most likely make the situation escalate before it improves; one thing that does give me some relief is the fact that it’s become such a hot-button issue now. What I’ve noticed is that it’s comparable to rape, though, in that you see a lot of victim-shaming going on—they asked for it because of their style, or because they’re gay, or they’re overweight—so I think the first step is to start putting the blame where it belongs.

Do nicer or more interesting people seem more attractive to you?

Yes, because when looks are all a person has to offer, and their entire life is consumed by maintaining them, then it’s like trying to get full on the smell of a five-course gourmet meal. For me, it’s the Kim Kardashian effect: I would gladly do her makeup for a photo shoot, but would I want to get coffee or a beer with her after? I doubt it. Shallowness, I can forgive in non-excessive doses; we’re all shallow to a point…hollowness is a dealbreaker. Though I do appreciate physical beauty, I’m not threatened by it for its own sake, nor do I think it automatically cancels out any virtues or enjoyable/ useful attributes available from the same person. But appearance is an empty container; it’s made to hold something, preferably something besides (or at least in addition to) vanity, malice, hypocrisy, nihilism, etc.

(I didn’t answer the next two questions, because they struck me as rephrases from the CONFIDENCE section.)


Your Brain is 47% Female, 53% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female

You are both sensitive and savvy

Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed

But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

Thoughts on The Hunger Games Trilogy

So why Team Peeta? In addition to feeling like he had more to offer Katniss on several fronts, expanding and challenging her narrow existence as the Man of the House—Gale, being in the same exact position, couldn’t give her that—he’s also the type of person who doesn’t reveal himself all at once, but in small doses and only as needed. Those are the characters, in and out of fiction, that I eat up…I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t part of my initial attraction to Paul. I honestly feel that if Peeta had let it all hang out during his private scoring session, he would’ve walked away with a higher number than eight…maybe not even with Katniss, but sharing a ten with Cato, Clove and Thresh, at least. But that’s not how he rolls. Surely he was smart enough to understand that while Katniss’ eleven was a coup for attracting sponsors and great for the District 12 prep team’s morale, it was also a trap, that the moment they were in the arena, the Careers were going to be all over her like black on a crow. Katniss was a threat to more than the other tributes, the Gamemakers wanted her dead, and Peeta (among others, there aren’t a lot of fools in this series) knew it. But I digress. It’s also crystal that his feelings for Katniss are the real thing, whereas I think that Gale’s out-of-nowhere desire was more reactionary, triggered by jealousy and possessiveness. Not the headfucking Twilight kind, per se—Gale has too much honour for that rubbish—but for years Katniss had been his partner in crime, literally, and now that he perceives a threat, he responds by making the same gestures of affection in private that Peeta and Katniss share in the public eye. But do I feel that Gale and Katniss were, at one point, good for each other, and would have stayed that way if they'd left their hormones out of it, [spoilerspoilerspoiler]. I honestly never saw them as a couple, even from the very first page/ frame they occupied together. They’re Alpha Twins, they’re that perfect male-female bromance non-archetype that I used for Xanadu and Kyle, and it's too bad they had to lose it because it’s just so rare. Also, it’s Peeta’s plain simple good-guy persona, more than anything else, that draws me to him: a garden-variety personality trait gone exotic in a society where goodness is overridden by power trips or survival mode.

Two characters I don’t envy, despite their ostensibly cushy little lives, are Effie and Haymitch. In fact, the two of them damn near break my heart. Imagine doing what they do every year, collecting somebody’s son and somebody else’s daughter, trucking them off to the Capitol and giving them a week of luxury, advice, and training, making an effort to get to know them as individuals as well as competitors in the interest of keeping them alive, only to watch as they’re impaled or decapitated or bludgeoned or poisoned on a live television feed. That’s almost—not quite, but a big almost—as brutal as what they do to those poor kids. If I were in Haymitch’s shoes, with the added double whammy of PTSD and getting stabbed in the back for his rule-bending victory, I’d probably be a blistering lush, too. Plus I’m inclined to think that Effie’s Clueless Ditz act is the result of needing most of her brain cells to fend off some kind of psychological breakdown.

Cinna, the stylist, is probably my favourite character, and the one I feel I’d most likely inhabit in this universe. I could see myself being an espionage mastermind through a seemingly superficial and harmless medium of fashion and face paint. In a way, he’s a style geek’s dream come true. Cinna was always welcome on the page and screen, even when all he had to offer was a record-scratch WTF moment. What character doesn’t, or on that note, shouldn’t? (I’ve even taken to giving Cinna some love via my makeup once in a while—his only concession to flamboyant Capitol style is a streak of gold eyeliner, so I ran with the concept, substituting silver because my colouring likes it better.)

I think that Thresh, the ill-fated male tribute from District 10, is the other character I most identify with. He wasn’t in it to win; he was in it to survive, if that makes sense. But he was sane enough to take his chances alone, rather than join a cabal of bloodthirsty maniacs. Apart from Katniss, Peeta and Rue, I don’t think that anyone in the arena had more soul than he did, as further evidenced by his reaction to Clove taunting Katniss about Rue’s murder. I admit, the first time I read the book was at the Westfield (Massachusetts) Athenaeum—library, to all us plebs—and I’m surprised I didn’t get thrown out for barking “Yes!” when Clove got dealt with.

There is a Biblical undertone to the Games themselves, as well as the relationship between the (almighty godlike) Capitol and its (lowly human) surrounding districts. I’m not surprised that the soundtrack opens with a song called “Abraham’s Daughter”, because it really is like the story of Abraham’s test of faith on a nationwide scale: prove your devotion to your ruler by sacrificing your children. Only no one steps in at the last minute to call the whole thing off, because unlike God—whom I merely regard as a narcissistic sadist for coming up with the whole Isaac thing, a dick move for the ages—the Capitol couldn’t define “mercy” via multiple choice question. Panem makes no effort to hide who the real monsters are. If anything, the Capitol flaunts it right up in your face. Because they know that if someone else gets their hands on the throttle they’ve built by siphoning the rest of the nation’s resources, their round-the-clock fancy costume party is over.

Elbow Sex! Elbow Sex!

If you'd like to venture a guess as to why I currently have confetti in my hair, rice and toast crumbs in my bra, toilet paper in my purse and a sprained pelvis...you're go.

Rockin' the Reject Stamp

"Sometimes I suffer from chronic inability to relate to other people. And sometimes I celebrate it as evidence of how hard I rock." ~Me


I've lost count of how many message boards, communities, and other miscellaneous web pages I've defected from because I was dumb enough to think, "Oh, cool, finally, someplace I'll fit in." And walked right into a cabal of haters.

What amazes me is how warm, welcoming and supportive, by contrast, the beauty community has been--so much for women boiling down to claw-popping, hair-pulling stereotypes who only want to catfight each other into submission; guess that's not unless they're after the same man or pair of Louboutins. (Rimshot! Please, don't call the acolytes of the political inquisition to lynch me for that one.)

So have the fan communities. I've never had a legitimate reason to regret my fangirling. Question it, rethink it, reformulate and reprioritise it, sure. But no regrets.

But I regret almost every other group I've tried to belong to, entering intrigued and exiting dejected, wondering all over again what's so wrong with, so objectional about, me.


That's when Paul comes along and promises that he and I will always be a clique of two...that I'm Danielle Ophelia Southcott, his beautiful, sexy, brilliant wife, and the most amazing person he's ever known...that even when my character is charged with a felony, even when something falls way short of my hopes, even when I feel like the stupidest, most reviled person in the world...he'll still open his arms.

"Where there is desire there is gonna be a flame/ Where there is a flame someone's bound to get burned/ But just because it burns doesn't mean you're gonna die..."

Because I have too much to live for. No matter what happens, I'll always be half of Love's Most Unstoppable Force.

Go to Zero

You Are Powerful

You naturally take a dominant role in life. You take charge of situations, get things done, and make things happen.

You get impatient when things aren't moving along quickly. You value your time, and you don't like for it to be wasted.

You question the status quo, and you don't agree with people just to make things easy. You have no problem stating your opinion.

You love a good challenge, even (especially) if there's a good chance you'll fail. It's better than being stuck in a rut.

You can thrive in any environment, and you've been known to switch things up just for the heck of it. You can be productive anywhere and with anyone.

You can lead a group, but you prefer to work on your own or with a few people you trust. You don't deal well with dead weight of any kind.

The description fits, but I don't know that I'd call it power. Compulsive rebelliousness, maybe.


Maxed out my icon limit again. Pleased with myself.


Not much else going on; just fighting off a cold that I brought home specifically to infect as many people as possible. At least, that's my brother's version of the story and he'll stick to it--I don't know. Maybe he figures if he lies enough, he'll get Pinocchio Syndrome in his shorts.


Admit It. I've Never Looked Lovelier. :p

Flawless Victory

Typical cyberbullies. Talk all the shit in the world, then go suspiciously silent when one-upped.

Put it down as the latest in a long line of effortless wins for me.

Not This Shit Again...


If one more waste of blood from the Tea Party uses the term “Real America/ Americans” to describe small, conservative-leaning rural towns and the populace thereof, I am going to kick them through a jet engine. Forgive me for reviving a phrase that went out with whalebone corsets and the minuet, but how DARE you?

Listen up, motherfuckers: I’ve lived in Bible-Beating Backwoods North Carolina and I’ve lived in Neo-Commie Collegeville Massachusetts. One state, two state, red state, blue state. And since neither place is located in the Matrix, or Bizarro World, it’s safe to say that neither has the market cornered on American Reality. But no, you can’t accept that, because it would throw off your agenda of invalidating anyone whose mindset is inconsistent with your own.

Brace yourselves, but when I think of the States, my brain doesn’t stick on the image of a rural hick town. It’s part of the equation, but so is Times Square, the Seattle Space Needle, Fenway Park, a farm in Indiana, lava from Mauna Loa dissolving into the Pacific, St. Augustine, Joshua Tree, Mardi Gras, roadside produce stands, music festivals, universities… this is what happens when you expand the clearance area of your brain, instead of narrowing it down.

We all know your “traditional moral values” racket, how you fob it off through your patented a la’ carte approach to Christianity and the Constitution, and that nothing makes you happier than seeing a progressive outnumbered or hearing one of your kids parrot your outrageous social claims, but has it ever crossed your mind that it’s not enough to hate something or want it erased from the cultural landscape? Or are you just under the impression that covering your eyes like a kid in a scary movie and chanting “You’re not real, I don’t believe in you, you’re not real,” will make the so-called Diversity Monster go away?


Complete Absence of Shock

You are an outcast learning to cope and understand the ways of those around you. Your blunt honesty and intellectual capacity cause others to mistake you for egotistical...when really, you ARE just smarter than everyone else.

Take the Star Trek Quiz
STARRING DANIELLE (aka. me), NATALIE (a friend), AND PAUL (my fiance')

DANIELLE: One thing that really aggravates me about fandoms--ANY fandom--is the pointless quest to milk every relationship between two characters--be it respectful, hostile, protective, or parasitic--for sexual tension. Desperate much? Not every feeling is a precursor to sex. When you play like all bonds lead to the sack, you're basically writing them off as a means to the cheapest possible end...and I'm speaking as someone who thinks that sex rocks. Regardless of how much you love it, it's not always necessary.

NATALIE: Total truth. You see it in every single fandom in existence, though. Now, I will be the first to say there are a few shows out there that absolutely play with their slash audience, totally intentionally and are blatantly feeding them--but not every relationship that is deep translates to a sexual relationship, IMO. And I think a lot of members of fandoms are really screwing their own heads reading them that way. Is that what you think love looks like? Really? Kind of along the same lines, people thinking every bad guy is "redeemable" just because he's hot--folks out there willing to forgive any number of depraved acts by putting the character on some kind of pedestal "oh, but really he's just hurting, etc". Slippery slope, man--would you forgive those kinds of actions in your life?

DANIELLE: Could not have said it better. Seriously. Yes, there are characters that lend themselves to ships and slashing. Kimber and Stormer from Jem!, my girl-girl OTP, come to mind. But this practice of throwing two people together at random simply because they both send your libido into a tailspin...I just don't have that gene. It's submental, in a way, not to mention dismissive of how people's feelings work. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, for example--I know that's a huge thing among the fangirls, including some people I consider friends. Which, more power to them, but beyond their First Amendment rights, all I can think is, "WHY?!" And don't get me started on Han/ Luke slashers. I just want to rip out a major artery with my teeth.

NATALIE: Never, ever, EVER got Harry/Draco. Likewise with Harry/Snape. There was definitely more to their relationship, but it sure as hell wasn't sexual. Makes no sense to me. I love the derivative nature of fanfic and I think it's brilliant as a social experiment and a growing art form. BUT, as a reader, if I don't see something in the canon material to support reasoning for the relationship, outside of basic attraction to both characters in a pairing, then I simply can't get on board with it. YES yes yes, dismissive of how feelings work, and how romance/relationships work. Dude, I'm not interested in a smutty romance that makes no sense--if I wanted that I'd read a friggin' Harlequin. Each to their own and everything, and I don't want to crap on other people's OTP, but I agree that the desperation factor of sifting through every little glance and turning it into something it isn't reeks of a basic lack of understanding of human nature. Han/ Luke slashers, just...no. Not saying every fan pairing has to be canon to have validity--not by a long shot. But interpreting ANY form of tension, as sexual tension, does a great disservice to the quality of the writing on the show you love.

DANIELLE: Han Solo would no more sleep with another man than he'd impregnante Chewbacca. (And you can bet your ass some sick douchebag out there has written a fic about that.) That's the part of it that gets to me, the complete refusal to align a character's actions with their personality. Luke...I don't know. His sexuality is pretty ambiguous, so he's more flexible. Similarly, there's quite a bit of Luke/ Wedge out there, more than you'd think, and I don't have a problem with it because Wedge is such a reserved character, it's not a stretch to picture him being full of surprises. It's not my favourite thing to imagine, but it doesn't make me roll my eyes hard enough to see my brain, either.

NATALIE: Agreed. There is a huge portion of fandom that reads any staunch heterosexual as closeted. I think that's a very slippery slope too. Like you, I can't fathom Han ever climbing in bed with another man. Like the picture [of Katniss and Cinna] you posted, I'm sorry, but [the relationship Greg House and James Wilson] just flatly isn't sexual tension, unresolved or otherwise. While [other pairings from shows such as Torchwood] blatantly are.

DANIELLE: I was so anti-Hilson in the beginning, and for the most part I still am, but toward the end, it was like, "Ah, screw it. They're such perfect soul mates, NOTHING is going to cheapen what they've got. Have at it."

PAUL: This is why fandoms are bad--they are inherently full of internet perverts. Just read the book, watch the TV series and move on.

DANIELLE: Perverts--yes, and I admit, I can be one of them. But I'm a discriminating pervert.

NATALIE: Paul, true, but perverts need friends, too. Danielle, I loved the relationship between House and Wilson, but never, ever saw it as sexual. Likewise with Sam/Dean on Supernatural--I am the first to say their relationship is deep, and that they are soulmates is absolutely canon because they shared a Heaven, but at the same time I still can't see them screwing. Haha.

DANIELLE: I've actually considered writing a Hunger Games fic--but it wouldn't have anything to do with sex, or a pairing. It would centre on District 11's reaping, when Thresh and Rue are called. I have some interesting theories on how Thresh became a tribute, and told from Rue's POV, the whole thing would be pretty devastating.

NATALIE: I'd read it. I've seen The Hunger Games but haven't read the book, and read none of the fanfic. Rue was my favourite character though and I would definitely be more interested in backstory from her district. (I'm sure there was more in the books).

DANIELLE: Rue's death absolutely gutted me, in the book and the movie, and Thresh was the tribute I related to the most. So they're both hard characters to shake. And District 11 has probably the most draconian authority practices, which is where some of my personal ideas come from. If you get a chance, definitely read the books. They may be marketed toward young girls, but that's some deep stuff in there.

NATALIE: Will do. Let me know if you write the fic, would like to read it.

DANIELLE: I will for sure. Like I said, right now I'm just sort of jotting down ideas and theories.

On Fire

(And yeah, I've added another fandom--complete with OTP, icons, and at least one possible short fic in the making--to my small but cherished list. The only difference is, I'm not giving one the boot to make room for another, as I did last time. Everyone still gets to play.)
Brain, I love you. No, really. We've had our battles: you're really good at sabotaging my sleep and really bad at navigating writer's block. And I know that you and my heart can only communicate through a neutral mediator. But--since the subject of movie scores came up yesterday--if I could dedicate a song to you right now, it would be the Superman theme. Just because you're such a superior model to the majority of others I encounter day after day after night after day, I'm half-convinced you're some kind of mutation. If so, I worship the gamma rays or toxic waste that came in contact with you.

Drive Like a German

This is so my song. It didn't used to be--but I've become that person who goes screaming by everybody on the highway, while they're asking each other, "What is wrong with that maniac?"


Sorry. This fucker logged out without my go-ahead and I couldn't remember my password. It took Paul to remind me, when I finally told him what was up. Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays.

Hit 'Em Up

Of all conceivable reactions to the Sandy Hook massacre, guns flying off the shelves like Cabbage Patch Kids circa 1983 was not what I had in mind. You disappoint, disgust and depress me, America. But what else is new these days? #PartoftheRebelAlliance&aTraitor

Pairing Wine With Crow

"So what're your plans for this apocalypse, Danielle?"
"Same thing I do every apocalypse, Dad. Make fun of the world."

For the sake of full disclosure, you'll all be pleased to know that said world did not end today because several of my friends and I busted our asses constructing a shield of sarcastic logic that would withstand and repel the arrival of any doomsday prophecy scheduled by ancient or modern man. You're welcome.

Let Tartar Sauce Handle This

I swear, even their gynecologists aren't as obsessed with the reproductive output of female celebrities as the fucking press is.

Waltz of the Fartblossoms

There is not, nor ought there be, a greater fashion eyesore than a getup that combines nylon gym shorts with Uggs.

PAUL: How about the above plus leather chaps?
ME: Put it this way--I'd be learning to read in Braille right about now.

One recurring question this time of year is, "What do you get the [girl] who has everything?" Which never applied to me one way or another until I had to modify it to, "What do you ask for when you're the [girl] who has everything?"

Besides the obvious, ie. a plane ticket to Manchester, UK.

Not much else; right now I've got The Nutcracker Suite on (my holiday soundtrack of choice)--I'm determined to enjoy the season, for a change. Cynicism's been done to death. Get over yourselves and make something the fuck else fashionable.

What's this about dubstep/ electrohouse versions of the Sugarplum Fairy's Dance? And do my reasons for wanting to check them out...well, check out? More as this develops...


Biltmore House two days in a row? Honey, that's what season passes are all about. BLASTED and BELTED "Karma Chameleon" on the way home from work--the irony is, when I sing, I sound like a bigger tranny than Boy George.

My brother was complaining that one of our Hallmark ornaments--a family of foxes playing around a stump--had nothing to do with Christmas. But evidently, a Death Star and a Stardestroyer are classic holiday iconography. Forget that tired old Santa Claus; I'm gonna commission a tree topper that says, "Vader is the Reason for the Season."

Speaking of Star Wars, this morning I was thinking about how I was born the year A New Hope was released, and my fiance', chelseascum, was born in the year of The Empire Strikes Back. Coincidence? Well, duh...but one that makes me smile.

And speaking of mass media...Angus T. Jones, the kid from Two and a Half Men? Tsk-tsk-tsk. Just what we need, another Kirk Cameron on our hands. "Don't watch my show anymore, because you're filling your head with filth." Um, you're just now realising this? Though I don't consider it "filth" as in perverted and immoral--relative terms, those--but "filth" as in lowest common denominator brain sewage that has nothing to offer society but cheap laughs and a self-evident breeding ground for looney tunes. Surprise, kiddo: not everyone needs God to help them identify a POS.

Over and out.

Don't be a Turkey

Take a moment during your Thanksgiving prayers to give credit where it's due: praise be to those who fund and prepare these magnificent feasts of divine proportions, and to the inventors and scientists who, in their finite but crucial wisdom, blessed humanity with stuff like electricity, cooking apparel, and flatware. And spare a thought to the vastness of the universe, because--you never know--another civilization, whether primitive or advanced beyond our wildest dreams, could be observing a tradition of its own as we speak.

Now, let's get stuffed.


Some makeup looks I did recently. What freaks me out is that I'm smiling in half these pictures; what hath Wedge wrought around here?

ALL OCCASION LOOK I: Parisienne Passerby

ALL OCCASION LOOK II: Deconstructed London Mod

ALL OCCASION LOOK III: Queen of the Amsterdamned

"Happy Hunger Games blahblahblah ever in your favour and all that shit."

Cricket Calls

TODAY'S EPIPHANY: My specific style of humour is pretty much useless. Otherwise, I wouldn't be the only one laughing.

And yeah, this has damaged my ego a little bit. There, I said it.


I want a new drug

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