It’s jeans season again, folks! Here’s a rumination on clothing.
There is a special place in fashion heaven reserved for the countless belt loops I ripped off ill-fitting jeans between the ages of probably 12 and 23, or so. These flimsy strips of fabric detached from the top of my jeans seemingly without effort, unable to withstand the force of my desperate tugging on denim that wouldn’t give. I would feel the waistband sliding down my back, dangerously close to revealing an ass crack, slipping under the fat roll that hangs over my belly button, whether I was standing in the lunch line or sitting at my desk at work. I loved fall but dreaded the change of clothes, giving up too-tight shorts—sure, I had a camel toe, but I looked cute from behind, right?—for unforgiving clingy pants fabric.
I expected to love Tori Telfer’s Lady Killers. I was not disappointed.
Illustrated with Dame Darcy portraits of the murderesses portrayed in the fourteen stories Telfer tells, Lady Killers relates the tales of a select group of female serial killers from history, ranging from the rumored hundreds of murders carried out by Elizabeth Bathory in sixteenth century Hungary to the poisonings carried out by Nannie Doss in the 1950s. The vintage stories give readers some distance, and Telfer relates each tale with plenty of detail and just a bit of feminist editorializing. (I’m not complaining.)Continue reading Stay sexy, read about murder
It seems to me that there must be something in the water in the great state of Ohio. Despite being home to a few major US cities, assorted professional sports teams, a renowned college football program, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, most people seem to forget about Ohio until some kind of (fictional) catastrophe puts it back on the map.
And boy, is it prone to catastrophe! From murderous teens to an alien invasion, the seventeenth state has seen it all. Upon my (admittedly narrow and short) survey of pop culture, I’ve come to the conclusion that whenever something awful happens, it happens in the Buckeye State. I’m not sure if the Hollywood elite just uses “Ohio” as a placeholder and then continually forgets to replace it with another state, or if there’s something about the state’s mystique that draws creative interest, or if maybe writers just really hate Ohio; regardless, here’s a (by no means definitive) list of fictional Ohio towns and the awful, awful things that have happened therein.Continue reading What’s the deal with Ohio?
There will be mild spoilers below for assorted horror movies of the last 40 or so years—namely, revealing the names of the “final girls” of said movies. Read on at your own risk.
Until I was 13 or 14 years old, I hated horror movies. I had always hated Halloween because there were nothing but men in scary masks hacking up teenagers on TV (and because I hated seeing teenagers in those same masks running around the neighborhood) and I didn’t like being scared. Life can be awful enough; why subject yourself to extra torture?
But it was the middle of a weekend day, probably on AMC’s Halloween marathon, when my mom (who also largely disliked scary movies) and I ended up engrossed in 1998’s teen slasher, Urban Legend. That moment will live in infamy in my life, as that was the movie that spawned my concurrent love affairs with late 90s teen slasher flicks, Joshua Jackson, and final girls.
This past summer, my friend Brittney and I went to Montauk for a long weekend. We spent one of our vacation days in East Hampton, where we made an appointment to get our nails done and have a fancy lady day. We had an hour or two to kill until our appointments, so we (of course) went to Book Hampton, where, after much discussion of how we had somehow missed out on reading it, we both bought a copy of Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train.
We finished that book over the course of that day, spending our time getting our nails painted wishing we could be reading and then returning to Montauk to sit outside at a cafe in complete silence and just read. For me, personally, the last 40-50 pages got a bit too melodramatic, but by then, I was hooked, and I needed to know how it ended. Continue reading Slip beneath the surface with INTO THE WATER
This is part of my 2017 reading challenge, Cloak and Dagger, for which I’ve pledged to read all the spy books I have stacked up in my room. Read along!
I was incredibly excited to dive into Queen of Spies, because I really wanted to learn about Daphne Park. To be honest, I knew nothing about her heading into this book; I really just wanted to read a book about a woman who also just so happened to be a spy. But perhaps a year or so ago, I had a friend who worked at the company that would be publishing Paddy Hayes’s book on Park and I got her to sneak me a galley.
I only just now got around to reading it, and I’ll admit that this one was a bit of a let-down. This book is dense, and packed with details that will surely fascinate those who are already fairly familiar with SIS history (or British history, at least) and the ins and outs of international relations during the Cold War. The subtitle of Queen of Spies is “Daphne Park, Britain’s Cold War Spy Queen,” and though the book opens on an harrowing moment of Park in Moscow in the 50s and then dives into her childhood in Africa, Daphne Park is sometimes very difficult to find on the pages of a book supposedly about her.