Wednesday 27 February 2019

Favourite Childhood Books

I've mentioned before that I was a voracious reader as a child. I know many of you were too. So this post asks the question: what were your favourite books when you were a kid? You know, the ones that blew your socks off, the ones you read over and over, and the ones that had a real or lasting impact on your life?

Here's my list --

1. The Bobbsey Twins series of books by Laura Lee Hope (a pseudonym for a whole string of pulp writers). Anyone else remember these disgustingly wholesome little books? They've gone the way of the dodo bird now and quite rightly so. But I cut my teeth on reading them, so they have a special place in my heart despite their low quality.

2. British writer Enid Blyton's Adventure books -- The River of Adventure, The Castle of Adventure, etc. I believe there were 8 books in this series. I read them all at least 10 times.

3. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Our Grade 3 teacher read us this book in school. It was the first book I ever asked my parents to buy for me. I read it over and over until it fell apart. I never saw the movie until I was an adult.

4. Heidi by Johanna Spyri. Because of my Swiss heritage, it was a "must read" in my childhood. I liked the movie with Shirley Temple too, which I saw on TV.

5. The Little House on the Prairies series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The series is out of fashion now for its questionable views on indigenous people and its wholehearted promotion of the myth of benevolent Western settlement. But I loved these books back in the day and read them many times.

6. The Hardy Boys mysteries by Franklin W. Dixon (a pseudonym for another whole string of pulp writers). I read as many of these as I could get my hands on. I totally identified with the Hardy Boys and shunned the similar line of mysteries "for girls" about little miss prim-n-proper Nancy Drew. But as much as I despised Nancy Drew, I did like her tomboy girl chum, George. Of course, I figured out why much later on.

And as a Canadian kid, I adored the following Canadian children's books. In those days, it was so rare to read anything actually set in our own country --

7. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I had this PEI book practically memorized and used to act out its scenes constantly with one of my first girlhood crushes. I was so smitten with my little tomboy friend that I even let her be Anne. I was content to be her Diana. (One of the first posts I ever wrote for this blog was about her).

8. The Secret World of Og by Pierre Berton, who was one of our most popular and distinguished writers of Canadian history and national affairs. It's the only children's book he ever wrote, a kind of Canadian riff on the Oz books, but set in Ontario.

9. Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat, another serious author later in life who started out by writing charming kids books. Owls was actually set in Saskatchewan -- Saskatchewan, for gawd's sake! A place I knew and had been to! Who could believe it?

Okay, your turn now! What were your favourite childhood books?

Monday 25 February 2019

Oscar Kicked My Ass!

Well, it's a good thing I didn't have any MONEY riding on the Oscars because my predictions SUCKED! Of the ten categories for which I made predictions in my last post, only four (40%) proved to be accurate:

Best Costume Design:
Ruth E. Carter for Black Panther

Best Original Song:
Lady Gaga et al for "Shallow" from A Star is Born.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Charlie Wachtel, Spike Lee et al for BlacKkKlansman

Best Supporting Actress:
Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk

My other six predictions (60%) were horribly wrong!

Best Original Screenplay:
I predicted Adam McKay for Vice, but the winner was Nick Vallelonga et al for Green Book.

Best Actress:
Not Glenn Close for The Wife, but Olivia Colman for The Favourite.

Best Actor:
Sorry, Willem Dafoe for At Eternity's Gate, it was Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody.

Best Supporting Actor:
Get lost, Sam Elliott for A Star is Born, the Academy picked Mahershala Ali for Green Book.

Best Picture:
Green Book again! Too bad, so sad, Bohemian Rhapsody.

Best Director:
I was shocked, SHOCKED, that it was not Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman. Alfonso Cuarón of Roma took the coveted prize.

Oh well, c'est la vie. Some of the world's greatest NEVER win an Oscar.

Sunday 24 February 2019

My Fearless Oscar Predictions!

I only ever watch one awards show per year -- the Academy Awards! It's a leftover tradition from my childhood, back in the days when it was literally the only awards show on TV. Plus I love movies and these golden statuettes are still the most prestigious awards for them.

My general prediction is that this is the year when the Academy is going to recognize actors and directors who, for whatever reasons, have been grossly overlooked in years past. Wrongs will be righted and some old grievances laid to rest. In that spirit and as promised, here are my fearless Oscar predictions for ten big and/or key categories!

Best Costume Design:
Ruth E. Carter for Black Panther

Best Original Song:
"Shallow" from A Star is Born. This is the only Oscar Lady Gaga will get.

Best Original Screenplay:
Adam McKay for Vice. Whether you agree with the film's political analysis or not (and I do), it was very, very cleverly written.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Charlie Wachtel et al for BlacKkKlansman

Best Actress:
Glenn Close for The Wife. This will be her Oscar to make up for all those years of being overlooked. A "career-recognition" Oscar, if you will.

Best Actor:
Willem Dafoe for At Eternity's Gate. Ditto re the career-recognition.

Best Supporting Actress:
Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Supporting Actor:
Sam Elliott for A Star is Born. Another career-recognition Oscar.

Best Picture:
Bohemian Rhapsody. Sorry, Cal, I know you're pulling for Black Panther.

Best Director:
Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman. Again, a career-recognition Oscar for all those years of being unjustly snubbed and overlooked.

So we'll see tonight if I'm right!

Monday 18 February 2019

Thursday 14 February 2019

Most Eclectic Valentines Day Post EVER!

Try as I may, I cannot derive a unified theme from these disparate Valentines memes so you're just going to get a dog's breakfast of a post instead! Happy Valentines Day, everyone!

First off -- some modern Cupids! But even with high-tech weaponry, there's no guarantee that Cupid's aim is any better.

And now, here's a few all-inclusive LGBTQ+ valentines --

How about some superhero valentines in questionable taste?

And finally, for all you lovers of bad poetry and worse puns --

Tuesday 12 February 2019

As Promised -- Dancing Goddesses!

The Divine Feminine loves Valentines Day too -- after all, who knows more about love and fertility than the Mother of All? So these ancient representations of the Goddess are having a big dance party to celebrate!

Shake your booty, Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth!

And you too, Minoan Snake Goddess!

The Goddess of Willendorf loves line dancing.

I'm not sure who these three are,
but smooth moves, ladies!

The Nile Goddess is as elegant as ever.

Hmm, the Great Goddess of Laussel is
hitting the wine pretty hard.

And the Celtic goddess Sheela-na-gig is
being as outrageous as ever, I see.

These Dancing Goddess gifs were created by Nina Paley and are found here and here. Special thanks to Cal of Calvin's Canadian Cave of Cool for letting me know about them!

Sunday 10 February 2019

Pin-Up Gods -- Whaaaaaat?

Since Valentines Day is this week, I thought it would be a fitting time to post this delightful calendar of Pin-Up Gods for your (*ahem*) spiritual development.

Times aren't what they used to be on Mount Olympus and these days the Gods are feeling pretty neglected. Worshippers are few and far between, except for a few stray Pagans here and there. So the Gods have decided that some kind of marketing campaign is in order to get them back to their glory days.

And what sells? Sex sells! Hence, this calendar.

Need I remind you that the Gods of Mount Olympus embody and enjoy every sexual orientation under the sun? So this calendar really is for everybody!

Fittingly, this is February's pin-up boy --

This clever Dionysus one is my fave, LOL --

The artist is Natasha Sweitzer, who posts on DeviantArt as TheEndOfGrey and sells on Etsy as HelloGround (alas, these calendars are now sold out).

Special thanks to Magaly of Magaly Guerrero for sending me this idea!

Tuesday's "Equal Time" Post: Dancing Goddesses!

Thursday 7 February 2019

I Dream of Genie

Happy weekend, everyone!
May all your wishes come true!