Those Little Black Boxes

RIP Kate Spade.

My heart is a little bit broken over this one. Not just because hearing someone successful and brilliant committed suicide and just how awful that is, but because personally, Ms. Spade’s work meant a lot to me.

My love for designer fashion began with Kate Spade’s bags. Those perfect little black boxes, lined in some pop of color, that were everywhere when I was a teenager. My first knock off was Kate Spade, and then my first real designer bag as well. (A darling brown houndstooth clutch with a purple satin lining that Uncle Mark gave me for Christmas one year.)

I carried a bright pink Kate Spade diaper bag in the iconic square shape as my book bag for college. And my favorite bag I’ve ever owned is an incredible purple PVC bucket with silver trim, that was carried on trains and subways for most of my years commuting into NYC. It carried the Twilight series, and Percy Jackson And The Olympians and Batman: Knightfall and All Star Superman, many many chicken sandwiches from Pret A Manger, and the notebooks that first gave birth to Annalise and Marina.

I have a thing about designer bags. As someone who loves fashion but struggles with weight, bags are my way to feel like I can participate in high fashion without feeling terrible about my body (That’s a whole other host of issues.) And that all started with Kate Spade.

But there was also something about her designs. They were fun, and colorful and bright and functional and feminine and million other things that just felt right to me. I’ve always said that if I ever get married half my registry will be Kate Spade, because the brand she built is just that in line with my aesthetic.

I hope that when she was well, Ms. Spade knew how many people she brought joy and light to. How she made the functional colorful and fun, and that the world is better for that. I switched over to yet another one of her bags this morning.Navy blue leather hobo, with cream polka dot lining. I can think of no better way to honor her than that.

If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts PLEASE get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255RIP

I know.: RIP Carrie Fisher

A lot of people died in 2016. A lot of them were really famous and inspiring, but two of them were my great aunt and grandmother, so that’s keeping the celebrity deaths in perspective. (Seriously, the angel of death seemed really cruel this year.)

But I guess we couldn’t be left very well alone in the last 4 days of the years, because now Carrie Fisher is among them.

Back in the early, early days of starting this blog, I wrote about Princess Leia, and the blurry lines between second and third wave feminism as I saw it then. (I’ve grown a lot in the past five years.) Leia has meant a lot to me as a writer, a fan, a critic and a woman. Carrie Fisher’s writing means more. (I’ve got kind of a thing about acerbic troubled ladies from that generation. I’m also deeply into Norah Ephron, who is also gone. Well, SHIT.) I’ve spent a lot of time in the past decade trying to decide what kind of writer I wanted to be, and it was in finding memoir that it all finally clicked, and Wishful Drinking was a huge part of that.

I didn’t read the book but I watched the one woman show and was blown away by it’s bizarre mix of depressing self disclosure and hilarious self deprication. It was one large step towards the realization that “This is what I want to do.” I still had far to go, and I wound up a good deal less confessional, but my life is also a whole lot less interesting than hers was.

Her fearlessness in the face of aging and mental illness and addiction was remarkable and her wit and strength was incredible.

I’m writing this while watching When Harry Met Sally, because I want to remember that this woman, this indomitable woman was so much more than the one character who defined her. But I do want to talk about Princess Leia Organa, General Organa, the icon the light in every nerd girls life. Yes, we’ve dealt with fridging and Gamergate and being Smurfettes and damsels, but we had Leia. We had this beacon of strength and fire and fight and compassion and joy and love. Leia the Hutt slayer, Leia the princess, Leia the senator, Leia the general.

Every time I write a female character I make sure that she lives up to Leia. Not in the same ways, but she has to have at least as much agency, plot impact and personality. Otherwise, what’s the point?

2016 wasn’t the worst year of my life, but it wasn’t great. I fought through a baseline of depression, a job that I hated and the loss of two of the women who’d inspired me my whole life, right in my own small world. And now the world at large has lost yet another shining light that had meant so much to so many of us.

Yesterday I wrote the following: May the Force Be With You. We Know.

“I know” symbolizes “I love you” second only to “As You Wish” in my book. So that’s what I’m going with to say goodbye to Carrie Fisher, We Know. We love you. Thank you for all of it.

Rest in Peace, drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra.

Nowhere Special…I always wanted to go there

gene-wilder-blazing-saddlesGod, 2016 sucks for celebrity death, huh?

So, now we’ve lost Gene Wilder as well. I could go on about his work more than just about any of the others. Seriously.

But I just keep coming back to Blazing Saddles, a movie that, no matter what’s happening in my life, is going to make me laugh my ass off.

A lot of people are going to talk about Wonka today. (And they should, he’s spectacular there), but I just want to leave you with an image of The Waco Kid.

Thanks for the laughs, Mr. Wilder. Hope you’re finally nowhere special!

 

Always.

AlanRickmanPictures.jpg

Most people in my position are going to talk about Alan Rickman today and they’re going to talk about Professor Snape, or Hans Gruber and how this really unique actor touched their lives.

And he meant a lot to me. I loved his Professor Snape. Die Hard is a perfect action movie and he’s a perfect villain in it.

But that’s not how I think of him when I think of Alan Rickman. When I think of Alan Rickman, I don’t want to turn to page 394.

All I can think of is simply, “Oh really, what are you going to do? Hit me with that fish?”

To me, in spite of the countless times I loved this man’s performances, the one that’s always stayed with me, is his portrayal of The Metatron, the voice of God in Kevin Smith’s Dogma.

I was twelve when I first saw that movie and his performance gripped me. Snape came not long after, and in college I discovered the adaptation of Sense & Sensibility where he played Colonel Brandon (It’s probably my favorite straight Austen adaptation, with all apologies to Mr. Firth.)

In particular the actors who were a part of Harry Potter series are going to leave a massive hole in the world. Because as I’ve said before, Harry Potter is such a different animal than anything that came before or after it.

But Rickman and the films he’s been a part of have touched me in such a real, huge way, even outside of that collection of beloved performances. He was the Angel who spoke to my insecurities about my faith. He was the teacher that I hated. He was the gentle and kind friend I wished for. He was the nerd icon I often deserved. He was the cheating husband I hated.

It’s weird to think that we lost these two titans this week, and I feel off my axis about it. Yesterday on facebook, I was more eloquent about it, but I wanted to feel this out a bit more, so thank you all for your patience on this.

Anyway, thank you, Mr. Rickman for all of it. You will be remembered. Always.

 

Dance The Magic Dance

DAVID BOWIE AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL - 1983

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Young/REX (100574d) David Bowie DAVID BOWIE AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL – 1983

I was going to get up early and write about the Golden Globes but then I woke up and logged into facebook and saw that David Bowie died.

I was stunned.

Just on Friday, Mary and I were wondering if he would tour for his new album. (We guessed probably not, but hoped so. Now um, obviously we have an answer, I guess.)

My brother, my sister and I were weird kids. Not in the way that you think of weird kids. We weren’t outwardly weird. We weren’t goths, or punks, or socially awkward and withdrawn. (I mean, I was a little but only in comparison to my hyper social family.) We were just weird.

Or incongruous I guess. My brother was a showtune singing lineman. My sister was a straight edge emo kid. I was a preppy nerd.

And David Bowie is the patron saint of weird kids. Because he reinvented himself so much, because he was himself and nothing less, because his music was idiosyncratic and unique and so it spoke to weird kids.

Bowie is lay on a carpet close your eyes and listen kind of music, and it’s something I haven’t done in a while. (Though will probably do with Changes tonight, as it’s my favorite album) (Oh, don’t act shocked. Everything about me points towards that being my favorite Bowie album)

Anyway, all that said, that David Bowie was a singular artist and he will be deeply missed

LLAP

vulcan_salute

So Leonard Nimoy died on Friday. I didn’t spend a lot of time Eulogizing him, but last night, as I sat with my family (at our Tuesday night getting dinner with my family and drinking a lot of wine, because that’s what we do night) and I asked what I should write about for today and we decided I should write about this.

So I’m going to talk about Leonard Nimoy and Star Trek and how it has effected my life even though, as I’ve outlined many times I’m very much not a Trekkie.

There are icons, and there are icons. As a Star Wars and Batman: The Animated Series fan, I revere Mark Hamill, but I don’t expect people who aren’t fans to mourn him. But there are nerds who aren’t into that who still consider William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei and Nichellle Nichols who still understand that these are the people who invented fandom. So nerds everywhere were mourning Mr. Nimoy when he passed away, because that’s how important Star Trek and Trekkie fandom is to nerd fandom is general.

So much of who I am I owe to Leonard Nimoy, to Spock and to the world that Star Trek and Trekkies have created.

I’m grateful for that world, because without that world, I don’t know what my life would look like. So I’m grateful for Leonard Nimoy.

The other day, a friend of mine, Scott said, “To explain this, I just have to say, it’s like every geek you know just lost their favorite grandparent.”

A podcaster I know referred to him as “a real mensch.”

It’s just a very strange thing to contemplate.

Anyway, Mr. Nimoy lived long, and he prospered, and we’ve all benefited from it.

But to the rest of you, Live Long, and Prosper.

We all get to do what we do here because of this man. Let’s honor that.