Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Modesty Proposal


Without fail, modesty's drug into light around the time the weather turns from bipolar freezing warm, to near perfection and oops you missed it. Here comes the blazing, turkey frying heat of summer. Women, you need to cover yourself up or else all those rabid, chimp brain men who can't control their urges will rape you all because you flashed some ankle. (Maybe we should rethink putting something we believe has less self control than a dog licking its own nads in charge of everything. Just a thought.)


Think again. 

Avert your mind, Daughter

Her mother started saying that from day one, before she even was aware of what boys, or people, or shapes were. There might have been a dangerous opportunity; a woman senator railing against a bill to put her back in the cupboard, a doctor trying to offer the freedom to control her own body, a girl wearing a short skirt and NOT being harassed for leaving the house while carrying a vagina.

Temptation can be found anywhere.

I'm sorry, Daughter.

I'm sorry that for a brief moment you got the idea that you could be a fully actualized human being with your own thoughts, hope, dreams, wants, desires. I'm sorry the enemy wants to convince you you can do and dress however you like. I feel badly that we live in a world giving you such false hopes, and that's ready to compromise a woman's acceptance of being a second class citizen.

It's never been easy - only it's far worse now.

Is there nowhere a young woman can safely go?

Perhaps to a nice Atheist Camp. Lots of people can get together and enjoy a hearty spaghetti dinner of their one flying lord. So out my daughter headed.

Most of the young men there were dressed for enjoying the high summer temps and they ignored the bare arm flesh of the girls on display. Lots of knee length denim. Yikes!

I noticed a handsome boy sitting nearby, respectfully greeting a few girls who'd been reading quietly too themselves, asked if they'd seen a condiment, and moved on without pressuring himself into their conversation. Surely he could have made another choice. Looked down upon the girls as if they were created by god only for his eyes. Refused to make eye contact. Spoken over top every one of their requests to let them get back to reading. Inched ever closer into their personal space before pulling one onto his lap.

If he only understood how hard she's trying to do the right thing. For her sake. For the sake of all women who want to walk in the acceptance that you belong to the men in your life, never yourself, and you never own your own body.

If he only understand that the way he acted meant a good woman could hold her head up. She had to turn away from his vision of her being a full human being with the right to wear what she wanted and not be accused of causing someone else to sin. That she was missing out on the chance to really shine.

Because we teach women to bow their heads. Defer to men who want to own them and decide what is and is not acceptable of her own flesh to bare to the world. But what can we as people determined to maintain the status quo do? We can't leave our daughters stuck in a place where there's nowhere to turn.

Let's choose obedience - obedience that forces a woman's true nature rot on the vine of oppression.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Peace out Bitches,

Monday, June 24, 2013

Zombie Car Wash

This weekend was our second annual Zombie Car Wash, which actually has very little to do with brainless undead driving cars.
It's our clubs main fundraising source to be able to advertise for the dance later in October to raise money for the capital human society. Let a monster wash your car for kitties and puppies.

I decided to pull out my zombie teeth, paint them and take them on an inaugural run.
I left my left side mostly unmakeuped, so when I'd turn my head people'd get an eyefull of my teeth and freak out. One guy shouted "Jesus!" Another girl had her mother tell her, not to be scared when she came out of the bathroom stall and she slid far over to hide under the hand dryer.

A small girl with a yellow daisy pinned into her hair, watched hypnotized as I wiped down a car. So I walked over and smiled and asked her if she wanted to touch my teeth. Her lips never lifted from a most concerned contemplation, but she nodded and pushed her finger to the clay pieces and glanced up to her father.

My husband got mostly blood and bruises:
The problem with having only one person who does Halloween makeup in a family of two means it takes twice as long to get out the door. I never did get the teeth fully glued down. DAMN YOU SPIRIT GUM! I banish thee back to the hell you crawled from.

For those who can't come out to Nebraska but want to know the zombie car wash experience, it begins with a zombie canvasing up and down the road, waving his arm about.
Then the zombie lights up a stogie and sprays the hose with a borrowed power washer. Zombies had to put down zombie credit card, which is actually a flattened rat. Zombie economy difficult to understand.
Now zombies free to really shine. Soap!
And Squeege!
Sometimes zombie surprised by how scary zombie is in side mirror:
Then you give zombie $10 for hard work (we no long accept dead rat as payment) and drive off in sparkling car not covered in blood. Nope. None at all.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Next Week on Iron Halloween Chopped!

As part of our June Halloween Club meeting this year a handful of us rose to a challenge that should sound familiar to anyone else who's ever camped out in front of the Food Network and wondered where their brain stem went.

Each team was given a bag (basket) full of unknown materials and given 90 minutes to create a Halloween prop. There was a community table of stuff; mostly tools, paint and some building materials.

Every team could bring two props from home. We chose a skull and were originally going to bring a rotating motor but replaced that at the last moment with a hot wire, which I never used. Score!
We had to use three of the six objects hidden inside the bag:
  • Clear tubing
  • Toothpicks
  • Cotton balls
  • Plastic Golf balls
  • Rope
  • Foam (a haunter's staple)
We all set about scurrying with our ideas, throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what stuck, then trying to unstick it to glue it to our undead wasp mummy prop. I was in the middle of painting when the twist came, there must always be a twist or else something something.

On top of the three out of six (or 7 of 9 if you brought a Borg to help), we also had to incorporate a set of plastic curlers and an adorable fabric flower with a big smiley face.

I was too busy in the midst of creating to take lots of pictures so everything is "after."

Oddly, there was very little drama™. No one chopped a finger off, no one got into a major fight over the hot glue gun, no one accidentally reanimated a corpse and had it ransack the studio audience (the only watchable episode of Cupcake Wars.) We all laughed, glued, painted, sawed, and sliced through while encouraging everyone and finished before time was called.

But the props.

I may as well begin with our own. I decided to spray paint the skull a red and go full on demon:
For the golf balls, my husband cut them in half (because I'd have sliced my hand right off) and I painted them red, white and black and turned them into some serious skull bug eyes. The toothpicks were wrapped in duct tape, then stuck inside a cotton ball jammed in the rest of the golf balls and all that coated in duct tape.

This created the hands and duct tape newspaper gave the arms.

The horns were shaped from the foam.

The flower I spray painted a dead black and even gave it a joker frowney blood red face (which you can't see because I'm smart like that), we also cut off the end to reinforce the neck so no floppy headed baby demon.

As for the curlers, well I snapped them in half and boom instant demon eyelashes. Maybe she's spawned with it, maybe it's Maybelline.

A few of our other fellow haunters went in different directions entirely:

Spider and eyeball soup.
 Stabbed skull brain dessert.
 A little subdued Dia de los muertos:
 I, uh, still have no idea. Maybe it's upside down.
But this last one, I took one look at and went op that wins. No amount of skill can top light up eyes, sound effects or motions. It's Challenge rules 101.

Of course you don't get much cooler than that without bringing in something that shoots fire (note, next year bring someone that shoots fire), so we lost to the Bride of Funkenstein.

But much fun was had by all and I suspect we can use our little baby female demon somewhere in our home haunt (in the back somewhere), which is all we were hoping for.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Into the Deep End

I'm crazy.

I know, I know, anyone already wandering aimlessly around this asylum's boards is already well aware of that face. I simply wished to use it as theme setting because I'm about to do something extra crazy with fudge AND caramel sauce.

Despite my third book floating untethered in that nebulous endless plain of not-quite-ready-for-publishing, sent-out-for-querying I've had some ideas and plans for a fourth tale. This one would be much less grander in scope (I'm hoping around 125K less grander words at least) and be a genre masher as it'd be fantasy character but in SPAAAAACCCCEEEeee...e.

November is usually my "crack open my brain, pour out what's inside month" but it's also incredibly full of post-Halloween/pre-Christmas stuff. So, I had a wacky idea to try CampNaNo this year. Which means 31 days of novel abandon in July.

I may or may not have also had this idea because a certain video game could have been coming out in November only to see the dreaded phrase "Fall 2014" flash on the screen. DAMN YOU BIOWARE!

But the point, in less than a month, I'll try sticking my head deep into the quivering jell-o mass of cracking that 50K challenge. I learned that it's apparently a proper past time to create covers for books before they are written. It seems a bit like putting the lasagna before the horse, but who am I to turn down a cover challenge with lots of photoshopping:
And if you only come here for my prop making, soon I shall be delving into trying to craft my own Portal Gun.

I assume there will be many tears, laughs, screams, and boiled potatoes. In fact, I already have GLaDOS all hooked up.
How are you doing, because I'm a potato?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

FemShep as Cinderella

Awhile back I discovered that the voice actress for the badass, gun toting reaper killer was also the girl behind the reincarnation of one of the most useless Disney Princesses this side of a pager.

Since then I dreamed what it would be like to actually have a terrifying, do something, Cinderella.

This was the closest I came to a quick mock up.

Tell your friends we're coming for them.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Women are Humans

If you're a Whovian and you haven't been living beneath a particularly thick chunk of rock for the past few weeks, you're aware that Doctor Who is looking towards a 12th regeneration.

This, of course, has led to wild and rampant nerd speculation and battles about who should fill his fez the likes of which you can only get when someone misquotes Star Wars.

Back when Tennant was about to hang up his Converse, there was a small group wondering will the next Doctor be something other than white, and an even smaller asking why can't he become a she? It was silenced as PC crap pretty quickly by those who rather enjoy being incorrect apparently. But this time the small voices, perhaps buoyed by a stronger social media presence, are echoing in far more curious ears. Why can't the Doctor become a woman? After all, Nerd God Neil Gaiman has already canonized it.

Naturally, this challenge -- this threat -- is most vitriolic to those who have spent their entire lives being the norm; the straight white male. It is terrifying to have to see the world through different eyes.

But some guys, those scared shitless about no longer being automatically elevatored to the top, are enough aware to know that they can't talk about how women are less than men, how women aren't strong enough, capable enough, intelligent enough. So they go that benevolent sexism route.

This all came to a gloriously shiny example on my little old facebook feed courtesy of someone I shall now call Hipster Fedora because people like this aren't worth the attention naming names can lead to.

Alas I cannot show a screencap, more on that later, but he posted a long spiel about how the Doctor could never be a woman because he's always portrayed as bumbling (First of all, that's about as wrong as one can get. The Doctor is Sherlock Holmes with a pocket of Jelly Babies, Celery, 3D glasses, or a Bow Tie. Second, you want bumbling look at the companion who is typically...well you know). And it would be sexist for portraying a woman as bumbling.

And therein lies the benevolent sexism, the placing a woman high on a pedestal so she is no longer human; but a marble statue with no voice, no thoughts, no actions and no misdeeds. Simply perfect.

My facebook post was as such:

As you'll probably notice, I was being a bit more general and thinking about female characters in general (I've been on a bit of a bad book kick lately and oh man there are some doozies out there) but Hipster Fedora just HAD to respond:

I like to call this the "Women are another species response." See, trying to picture life through the eyes of a woman; a thinking, feeling, breathing, eating, crying, breaking, laughing, living woman is fucking terrifying for Hipster Fedora because then he has to realize that those he treats as less than are just as human as he is.

I love the assumption too that all women ever care about are breasts. I know I can't go five steps without grabbing my own chest and shouting "BOOBS BOOBS! I HAVE BOOBS!" It's why women only make 77 cents on a man's dollar, we're too distracted by our own racks.

And "I have no problem with a female Doctor" (WARNING WARNING FEMALE ALERT! WOMEN ARE ANOTHER SPECIES) but now let me spend a paragraph saying why I have a problem with a female Doctor.

My response was a quick quip because I was busy watching Beowulf wander around Austin Powers style (with the very necessary help of Rifftrax. Speaking of which, you must watch their Doctor Who Dalek VOD, hilarious enough to make a Cyberman crack their head trying to smile).
 Because at the end of the day that's all this comes down to, writers rooms full of men telling the public how women think, react, feel without bothering to get a woman's opinion. Or worse, they ask one and assume we are all as hive minded as an ant colony and share one life. So because of that token woman, who's too terrified to rock the boat and is easily talked over, they can claim they're progressive about women's issues and all without having to change a single viewpoint.

Hipster Fedora's response was basically exactly that including psychiatrists? because they are (apparently) the bastion of What Women Want.
This was then followed up by walls and walls of text that I see no reason to torment you with. The short story; slash fiction is dangerous (because it might shatter poor women's fragile minds and they'll all suffer the vapors with such degenerate thoughts of two women getting it on, or worse, two men!), putting a woman in charge would somehow make her weak willed because the doctor is always a feeble minded simpleton (again he must have never seen an episode of Doctor Who in his life, or mixes up the Doctor and the companion, or has the attention span of a three year old with a caffeine IV drop. One of those three), some random shit about Ender's Game where I really don't think the ramblings of a serious homophobe are going to back up much of any argument about progressiveness, and then it ends triumphantly with "Well I wouldn't mind it but I'm sure that women would be bothered." Proving once again that he considers himself the arbiter of what women want and not women themselves.

I so love when people prove my point on their own, and all I have to do is hold up a mirror and watch them peck themselves to death on it.

This led to a long random fight for a while between Hipster Fedora and other friends on my wall as Beowulf slipped so far into the uncanny valley I thought I was playing a Shrek video game. By the time I checked back in I just had this to say:

Which is such a serious threat to his manhood and need to place himself above the thoughts and beliefs of every other woman that I received this epic flounce and defriending (which at this point I was too lazy to bother doing myself).

Misandry! I think we all just got MRA Bingo! And all for telling a guy that no, not all women want what he tells us we want.

Now that I'm a misandrist do I get to cat call men and say they're asking for it? Can I talk over them and assume they're a fake geek guy because they don't know the name of Kirk's childhood cat? Do I get to decide if and when men can use birth control?

If so, I could really get behind this misandrist thing.

Oh no, wait, it's when a straight white guy has a tiny corner of his pie taken away and he pitches an epic toddler tantrum and blames everyone else for his failures and dreams of "the good old days."

That's why it's a douchebag that wears a fedora; they want everything to be back to the 50's, when their birthright ensures that they deserve more than those below them and anyone not a white male is less than human.

As for the Doctor situation, personally, with Moffet still sitting in the producer and head writer seat and a writer room with an overabundance of testosterone, I'd rather it not be a woman for 12. In order for it to work you don't change the Doctor, you change the reaction of the world to her.

She's just as brilliant, just as ancient, just as tormented by the decisions in her past; but people mistrust her more, they talk over her often, they treat her as if her opinion is less than and she has no idea what she actually wants.

I'm sure it won't be hard to find a few examples of men doing that to women.

Monday, June 3, 2013


This past weekend was Freak Fest; an excuse for everyone in the Halloween club to get together, eat french toast, wander around on someone else's high heels, and teach each other how to make various horrifying things preferably without killing the neighbors.

I did my zombie teeth appliance, which you can find just about anywhere on this blog. I never shut up about the damn things.

No, what I want to share are kitties!
There were two litters of seven week old kitties running around, getting into mischief and clawing their way into hearts.

In the middle of making a cheesecloth ghost, I got distracted and took to dangling my cheesecloth for one of them.

At one point, I grew a bit frustrated and tossed my ghosts head and body onto the floor; instant kitty toy.

The little gray one I nicknamed Lockheed because he loved crawling up onto my shoulder, took to chasing after his little tail.

 And that was Freak Fest with kitties, because kitties make everything better. Not easier though.