Category Archives: Lists

WAYS THAT I KNOW IT IS TIME TO GO TO BED

  • I have accidentally closed Chrome six times in a row trying to get to twitter and I begin to panic because what the hell is this me getting old or am I actually this stupid
  • Taking my boots off takes approximately SEVENTY times as long as it does putting them on
  • I confuse something Calvino said for something Borges said because I don’t know I DON’T KNOW I don’t want to talk about it, it was bad for everybody involved and this is why I don’t discuss “””REAL LITERATURE“”” very much (that looks so sarky but I do love them, I really do)
  • I spend ten minutes comparing photos of Tom Burke and Chris Pine trying to work out who should rank higher on my Shaglist™ (Burke, definitely) (I think) (Hold on) (HOLD ON) (Yes, Burke) (Tom Burke or Aidan Turner though?) (shit) (SHIT)
  • I decide using a chicken leg bone to fish a tea bag out of my tea is a fantastic idea because there’s nothing else nearby and tea is hot, yo (but to be fair this was after so much gin I only remembered doing this a week later) (fine so this doesn’t actually belong on this list but it’s so stupid someone else has to know about it)
  • Getting into my pyjamas involves ten minutes of deciding if I’m in a Thundercats mood or if it’s Batman this evening or if I’m feeling more Final Fantasy VII (fyi THUNDERCATS)
  • I reply to the rude-ass passive aggressive messages I get on OK Cupid in exactly the same rude-ass passive aggressive tone they give me (“I don’t think you’re as geeky as you say you are. Can you back that up?” “I’m secure in my nerdiness and have no need to boast. Your geekiness is unsubstantiated, though.” “Whatever, you probably don’t even NEED those glasses” – actual exchange)
  • I yet again make the massive life decision to find Tom Lehrer and make him my honorary granddad
  • SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET
  • I get ten layers deep into the Friends-Of-Friends-Of-Friends-Of circles of hell on twitter or FB and then I get lost and can’t find my way out because oh my god all these strangers where did all the people come from and how is the world SO BIG but so small 
  • I get hypnotised by the ball-crunchingly ugly dresses on Dorothy Perkins and cannot look away because as soon as you think you’ve hit the worst there’s one that makes you feel like your spleen’s just erupted with nasty, viscous bile and oh my god it’s the gift that keeps on giving
  • Bed time, are you kidding, I’ve just rediscovered Muddy Waters and Cat Power and The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band for the fourth time this month on Spotify and I have to listen the ever-loving hell out of them because doing otherwise would be CRAP
  • I start making lists.
  • OH.
  • I have to change this blog layout. It’s annoying.

 

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Exciting post about EYEBROWS!

So I am a girl with eyebrows. Strong, proud eyebrows that my dad used to refer to as “ferrets”, the kind of eyebrows one does not miss. I didn’t pluck them for years because my mother banned such things on account of once having her eyebrows plucked and they NEVER GREW BACK which is insane, I cannot imagine this, for mine have a life of their own (sometimes I imagine that they are demanding to be FED) and I cannot imagine eyebrows being well-behaved. I have come to like my eyebrows. They are quite useful.  Arching an eyebrow is an invaluable skill when you are as deadpan and sarcastic as I am.  Obviously I jest.  I am a source of contentment and joy for all!

Firstly, a couple of my heroes. (EYES TO THE RIGHT check out Kate’s arched brow, she is excellent at this)

So, the majority of girls pluck their eyebrows. I know this. Everyone knows this. The women on this list have very well-groomed eyebrows but they are also unafraid of sporting some brilliantly unapologetic browage which I totally appreciate.

Kate Winslet, for one, has gone from skinny eyebrow to heavy eyebrow and has settled somewhere between to excellent effect.  When she was in Titanic I was well impressed by her excellent brow topiary but moreso by her hair colour, which is something I am still striving for.

Brow Excellence Achieved.

Brooke Shields! Who could leave Brooke Shields off this list?! She is like the American Eyebrow Goddess. Even now I admit to having a major girlcrush on the youthful Brooke, even to the point where I used to try to copy all sorts of aspects about her look and style to poor effect given that I was a sturdy lass and she was far more waif-like. I tried to copy her for years, but alas – her innocent pre-Raphaelite classic beauty escaped me. Her eyebrows though! Such a bold facet of 80s cool! So fresh and honest and unmessed with! And yet so tidy and elegant. Truly, brows worth modelling one’s look after. Brooke, I wish I could be you.

Going strong.

Later excellent personages like Alexis Bledel have something close to her strong-eyebrow’d innocent look but I don’t think anyone managed it like the mighty Brooke of the 80s. Classic Brooke was quite something.

Also I love this outfit, I wish it was my outfit.

Emma Watson’s eyebrows are far more groomed but I can’t overlook her – she photographs so very well. She also acts with her eyebrows more than anyone, which isn’t the best thing in the world, but she is much improved from how she was as a little ‘un (as are we all).  She’s included through sheer eyebrow mileage – hers are well-deployed. You rock ’em, Watson!

Brow At Large

Nicholas Hoult and Skandar Keynes both rock the ‘brows. No, this isn’t a women-only list, I appreciate a good male brow too. Even moreso, in fact! It lends a solidity to a face. Hoult has plenty of this, but Keynes is a little more pretty (a lot of pretty right here, ain’t gonna lie) but both are examples of pleasing shapes. Hoult’s are less groomed. Which is nice. Very nice. (I have lost Skandar’s photo somewhere. These things are sent to try us. I am uncowed! I blog on.)

There should probably be a sexual health warning on this one.

Zachary “Sylar Spock” Quinto’s eyebrows need not be questioned for they are more valid than most internet arguments. Look at these brows: they are POWERBROWS™. He could level cities with one arched brow! No wonder he was cast as Spock, these eyebrows are a work of art and genius and he rocked it as Spock, it absolutely cannot be denied. These are also versatile eyebrows, being both dark, stormy and villainous (Heroes!) as well as very interesting and thoroughly heroic (Star Trek!). He is a very attractive bloke, really. Before someone says “omg he’s gay” I am not expecting to bear his children, so that’s absolutely fine (Matt Smith however (I FORGOT MATT SMITH) would not be fine, for we would have huge leggy children). I appreciate his eyebrows and I believe his eyebrows do a lot of good for the world like all the other excellent brows on this list and beyond. His stubble too, yes. Totally does sterling humanitarian work, that stubble.

And lest we forget, the Spock Brow is just legendary in and of itself.

OH NO GUYS I FORGOT ABOUT CHRIS PINE'S EYEBROWS.

And then we have the luminous and insanely excellent Eva Green.

She's brilliant. We share a name, you know. We're like TWINS.

To leave her out would be unforgivable. There are a thousand things to love about Eva Green (her name’s damned cool, she’s easily one of the best actresses of our generation, she is unafraid to Helena Bonham Carter it up a red carpet, she can speak LANGUAGES!) and her eyebrows are effectively the tip of the iceberg – but she uses them perfectly. Watch anything with her in. Wait for the sultry seductive look. It’s a killer!

COME HITHER OR WHAT.

See? See?!I know, I know. The lady is just too awesome for words. She could probably seduce a wall. She may have been sodding around on Camelot of late but I am holding out hope that she’ll end up on Game of Thrones doing that awesome scene-chewing scene-stealing vamped-up thing that she does. Is it acting? It’s more than acting. She is a sorceress of the silver screen. And yes, look, her eyebrows are smokin’. And yes we share a name. It is an excellent name.

Cary Grant. His eyebrows need no introduction because he is KING. Everything about this man is something worth emulating.

Pure class.

Audrey Hepburn. Of course. Are you kidding?! Like I could leave THIS brilliant lady of brilliance off such a list! You must be mad.

Audrey.

You can totally suggest other Eyebrow Icons.

LIKE JENNIFER CONNELLY. DAMNIT. Another teen icon of mine. DAMNIT!

Quick Recommendations List!

I’ve fallen behind in this blogging lark due to being too ADD to function, and now I’ve hurt my hand in a deeply mysterious esoteric fashion that makes everything either achy or MASSIVELY PAINFUL. So I’m not blogging, no. I have lots to talk about – Cherie Priest’s Dreadnought, some thoughts on girls and action and adventure in YA, and a report on this weekend’s MCM Expo as well as a fantastic tour around the British Library’s Out Of This World exhibition – but I’ll get to all that when I’m fitted with my bionic arm.*

I promised a friend a list of Things To Read, which I have taken the liberty of expanding from general fantasy/sci-fi/horror/genre funky stuff to include YA, graphic novels, web comics and things that may blur the lines a tad. It is definitely not comprehensive. If I ever post a comprehensive list we’d be here for DAYS and everyone has too much life to live so I will not inflict such dread upon you fine souls.

So this isn’t blogging. This is just me posting a list.

This list begins with the assumption that the reader has read George RR Martin‘s ongoing ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series, the first book of which – A Game of Thrones – has been turned into a tv drama currently showing on HBO. It is amazing. If you want to watch the tv series before reading the book, do so for it is expertly executed, but do not get spoiled. The books are tremendous feats of world-building and character development (Sansa Stark, love, I am looking at you) and take the usual fantasy tropes and feed them to dragons for breakfast. Shocking and touching and brilliant in a way few books have managed since GoT first came out. I envy anyone who gets to read them for the first time.

Guy Gavriel Kay – Tigana, Under Heaven, The Lions of Al-Rassan
Fantasy based on real events in history (Lions is based on El Cid, for example) with incredibly beautiful writing and heart-wrenching storylines, with romance that never gets soppy and characters that resonate with everyone. Wonderful, beautiful, epic storytelling in the truest sense. GGK is also a poet; you can feel it in every part of his writing.

Scott Lynch – The Lies of Locke Lamora
The best thief in the world, and then some. Locke Lamora is an amazing invention (Iwanttomarryhim), and the world is so well-realized and brilliantly written it’s a jarring experience to put the book down and continue with your day. Exciting, violent, funny, ingenious, addictive. It’s swashbuckling with cunning and intellect; witty and entertaining one minute, dramatic and engrossing the next. Easily one of my top 5 favourite books of the past ten years.

Joe Abercrombie – The First Law trilogy
Heroic fantasy without the heroes. A balance of harsh brutality – a fantasy world as it would be, darker and even gritter than George RR Martin (far more body parts littered about for one) – and crippling hilarity. Inspector Glokta is one of my favourite characters ever, and Abercrombie is yet another writer who can pull the literary rug from beneath your feet while cracking a joke and making a wry aside about the state of modern fantasy. Best for those who’ve read some classic fantasy works (ie, Feist).

Jacqueline Carey – Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy
Sex, religion, espionage, betrayal, romance, murder. You have to have an open mind to deal with Phedre’s exotic tastes in the bedroom but these three books are Carey’s best work to date, and feature a female main character unafraid of her sexuality as well as a brilliant alternative Earth with countries descended from angels and mysterious sea monsters and a very alternative take on religion. Even if you’re not sure about the sex scenes, or her “Love as thou wilt” take on Christianity, Carey’s sumptuous world and resonant writing are well worth picking up these books. It is very easy to fall in love with Phedre, Joscelin, Hyacinthe and the rest – Carey has a warmth to her writing it’s hard to find elsewhere.

Bryan Lee O’Malley – Scott Pilgrim
If you liked the film, the six graphic novels do the same thing but crank it up to 11. If you didn’t like the film so much, the graphic novels go into more detail and fills in the characters a bit more. If you read these and see the film and still don’t like any of it, I genuinely do not understand you.

Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant
Twelve-year-old Stephanie’s beloved eccentric writer uncle dies in mysterious circumstances. The type of mysterious circumstances that introduce her to Skulduggery, a skeletal detective. Has an actual skull as a head. Marvellous, marvellous adventure with jokes for adults as well as children, with a main character that appeals to girls AND boys as well as the dashing Skulduggery who I admit I love even though he’s a skeleton because what can you do? He’s hilarious. Influenced by Lovecraft, Landy has a superb adventure with dark touches and incredibly funny moments sprinkled liberally throughout, and Stephanie is exactly the sort of heroine YA needs more of.

Margaret Mahy – The Changeover
Sod Twilight. This is what YA romance should be. Yes, it should have witches! Exactly! No. The supernatural/fantasy elements are almost incidental to the characters and the menace – this is a book about the weirdness of being a teenage girl on the cusp, of those first deep pangs of romance (no, not fangs of romance, none of that please (unless you’re Richelle Mead)) and the responsibilities as well as power inherent in becoming a woman. I wish I’d read this as a teen.

Elizabeth Marie Pope – The Perilous Gard
Another book I wish I’d read as a teen. Fairies, abductions, darkness, a monstrous love interest and here words fail me because I can’t really say too much about it other than it’s so wonderful and relevant and I was very sad to see the author didn’t write much more. It’s a lyrical, ethereal novel with relationships and romances that feel completely genuine in a way that few popular YAs manage these days – it was one of those books where you finish, close the book, and miss everyone in it immediately.

John Allison – Scary Go Round/Bad Machinery/Giant Days
People have tried to get me to read SGR for years, but Liam got me reading Bad Machinery and from thereon in, my friends, it was CRAZY, the snowball that triggered the avalanche or whatever the analogy is. I’ve read Bad Machinery for a while but I spent two days re-reading the entire seven-year run of SGR in the run up to meeting the man himself at MCM Expo – it’s imaginative, witty and dangerously compulsive reading. Set in the fictional Tackleford in West Yorkshire, where much supernatural weirdness abounds, SGR is the rather more anarchic storyline set around the lives of twenty-somethings where BR is a more tightly plotted series about two groups of schoolchildren solving mysteries and being utterly awesome. The art is marvellous, there’s much hilarity and many touching moments with quality character development making it worth the time it takes to read the SGR archives and catch up with BR. It’s excellent work and should be more widely recognized, and BR is more than suitable for younger readers.

My wrist is now HELLACHEY and I should probably end this and go rock in a corner cradling my hand and sobbing like a child until I can type without wincing. I have so many more I want to mention – Lackadaisy is amazing, anyone who isn’t reading Kate Beaton is insane, Yuko and Ananth at Johnny Wander are wonderful, etc etc etc MY LIST IS EPIC GUYS.

I have provided you with much goodness for the eyes here. Go, revel in this haute cuisine menu of visual deliciousness, and tell me how awesome my taste is.

This is longer than I intended. Oh dear.

*I will not be fitted with a bionic arm.