Banned Books Week 2017: Drama

drama
Title: Drama
Author: Raina Telgemeier
Challenged in: Mount Pleasant, Texas
Because: includes LGBT characters, sexually explicit, offensive political viewpoint

This graphic novel is about a seventh grade girl named Callie who’s on the stage crew of her middle school drama club. She also has a crush on a cute boy, but he later reveals that he’s gay. She builds a cool cannon that shoots confetti for the show, and attends the 8th grade dance. It’s pretty slice-of-life and even a little bit banal. The illustrations are super cute, though, and I like Callie’s passion for set design. It’s shelved in our teen section because the main character is in 7th grade, but apparently Scholastic recommends it for ages 8 and up, judging from a lot of one star reviews on Amazon about how MY CHILD IS TOO YOUNG TO KNOW ABOUT THIS. I assume they mean kissing since that’s as ~explicit~ as this book gets. I also assume the same parent was scandalized at the end of any fairy tale and tells her kid that sleeping beauty was awoken by the prince clearing his throat loudly.

This is "sexually explicit"?

This is “sexually explicit”?

Plus at least the two or three kisses in this book are consensual. Which is more than you can say for a lot of fairy tales, actually.

Naturally, the real reason this book was challenged is because it posits a middle school where gay people exist and they’re treated like anyone else. What an “offensive political viewpoint”.

Previously: 2017 Banned Books Week
Next: This One Summer

Banned Books Week 2017

Happy Banned Books Week! Here’s the list of books that were most frequently challenged in 2016! I’ll be posting about the ones I haven’t read this week.

1. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
Reasons: LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, sexually explicit with mature themes

2. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: LGBT characters, sexually explicit, and offensive political viewpoint

3. George by Alex Gino
Reasons: transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels”

4. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Reasons: portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints

5. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Reasons: cover has an image of two boys kissing, sexually explicit LGBT content

6. Looking for Alaska by John Green
Reasons: a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation”

7. Big Hard Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction
Reasons: Sexually explicit

8. Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread by Chuck Palahniuk
Reasons: profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive”

9. Little Bill series by Bill Cosby
Reasons: oh you KNOW why

10. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Reason: offensive language

This year, 50% are books for teens and 30% for children. Fifty percent are illustrated in some way (either graphic novels or picture books).

Get pumped for ~illicit reading~

Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting

I’m not a beginner to quilting, exactly, but I’ve only ever done quilting by hand. It takes foreverrrrrr so I decided to take a class at my local quilt shop to see if there was an easier way. Surprise! There is!

It's a quilted journal cover

It’s a quilted journal cover

See all those turquoise stitches? That’s the quilting holding the layers together. And I didn’t have to do them by hand! I did them with THIS:

It's my walking foot!

It’s my walking foot!

It’s basically a heavy-duty version of the normal foot that goes on my machine, so I’m not calling that trying something new. No, to do that we have to take this quilting rave to THE NEXT LEVEL.

FREE MOTION FOOT

FREE MOTION FOOT

That’s a free motion quilting foot, which basically allows you to draw using thread and your machine instead of graphite and a pencil. As you might recall, I’ve always kind of sucked at drawing so this was not easy.

The horror

The horror

It’s especially hard because the machine is doing nothing except moving the needle up and down in this kind of quilting. The length of your stitches as well as their placement depends entirely on how you move the fabric and how hard you press down on the pedal (making the needle go up and down faster or slower). Clearly it takes some serious practice to get anything approaching a non-mess.

A non-mess: not pictured here

A non-mess: not pictured here

Even hearts are hard!

Even hearts are hard!

The class I took was 3 hours, and I was definitely better at the end than at the beginning! I’m not sure how often I will be using this skill in the future, but I’m glad I’ve added it to my quilting arsenal. Maybe I’ll be signing my quilts like this from now on:

But how do you dot the I's?

But how do you dot the I’s?

Previously: Candy Making
Next: POLE DANCING

Beginner’s Guide to Candy Making

For July I decided to tackle candy making in honor of this book I bought from one of my favorite/most trusted bakers:

Sally's Candy Addiction by Sally McKenney

Sally’s Candy Addiction by Sally McKenney

Candy making is more complex than baking and requires a lot more minute attention to temperatures, something I was not always successful at. For instance, here is me failing at making butter rum candies:

Candy thermometer and everything

Candy thermometer and everything

Even though I followed the instructions and was watching the candy thermometer the whole time, they still turned out burned. Maybe my thermometer isn’t accurate or something. Oh well. On to the successes!

Birthday fudge

Birthday fudge

A layer of white chocolate fudge on top of a layer of milk chocolate fudge. With sprinkles!

Homemade Reese's Cups!

Homemade Reese’s Cups!

I only had crunchy peanut butter, but, surprise, that makes them EVEN BETTER!

Chocolate chip cookie bark

Chocolate chip cookie bark

The baby chocolate chip cookies this required were the best part. So cute!

And, my personal favorite:

Strawberry buttercream truffles!

Strawberry buttercream truffles!

These were rad as hell. The strawberry flavor is achieved through crushed freeze-dried strawberries so it really pops. Also Steven helped me perfectly temper the chocolate using the sous vide so, though it took a while, the dipping process was the easiest ever.

Winner!

Winner!

I also made chai tea truffles and lemon pie truffles, but they came out kind of underwhelming so I didn’t take pictures. This was a fun and delicious month!

Previously: Bullet Journaling
Next: Free Motion quilting

2017: Halfway There

The year is half over! But am I halfway done with my goals? Surprisingly, yes

1. Write a Beginners’ Guide Once a Month: 50%

At least there’s that

April: Gardening
May: Make Up
June: Bullet Journaling

Of these, my favorite was definitely bullet journaling, probably because it aligned the most with my interests. Also, I’m sad to report that the basil plant in April’s entry has since died. RIP

2. Sew Something Once a Month: 42%
You caught me, I didn’t sew anything in May. In April I made this bitchin Tuxedo Mask cape for Steven’s birthday:

Tuxedo Kamen-Sama!

Tuxedo Kamen-Sama!

And in June I made this whale mail holder:

These things always look more professional in my head

These things always look more professional in my head

3. Write in my journal once a week: 54%

The bullet journaling goal really made this one easy!

4. Make one new recipe every week: 42%

I skipped 4 different weeks for various reasons, be they travel, being too busy, or sickness. But I have made some awesome recipes despite that, including this amazing bread:

With no need to knead!

With no need to knead!

And this Smores ice box cake:

Thanks, Food Network Magazine!

Thanks, Food Network Magazine!

5. Keep my nails painted for 30 days: 100%

I peaked early this year

6. Finish a coloring book: 100%

THAT’S RIGHT. It’ll probably be the only one I ever finish. I would take a picture for you but I threw it in recycling. I was done coloring it, what do you want

7. Read The Dictionary of Imaginary Places: 52%

Why did I think this was a good idea. Somehow I am on page 377 of 731

8. Be active every day: 30%

lol okay

Total: 59%

See you in September

Previously: Quarter Quell

Beginners’ Guide to Bullet Journaling

As you may remember, I’ve kept a journal regularly since I was 11. So anytime there is news in the exciting world of journals, I take an interest. Bullet journaling is something I’ve been hearing about for a while now, but I’ve always been unsure about trying it for myself. Despite the best intentions, I’ve never written in my journal everyday, but when I do write I go with a narrative style and pretty long entries. The bullet journal is the opposite of that: part planner, part to-do list, part journal. You make entries every day and they should be short and to the point. But, in the spirit of journal science discovery, I was willing to give it a try.

This beginner guide explains things better than I can, and gave me some grounding in how to do things the “right” way. Then I pretty much just took the parts of it I liked and did whatever I wanted. First you’ve got your monthly calendar. Here’s mine for July:

20170711_133902

Other people have really fancy layouts and draw theirs, but my journal had a section of calendar pages at the beginning so I just used that. You can use it to plan out your month and to refer back to etc. After that is my table of contents:

20170711_133916

Surprise! I’m bad at recording things in a table of contents. Oh well. Then you get down to the daily entries. I would usually start the day (or sometimes the night before) writing down everything I needed and wanted to do that day next to open boxes I could fill in when I accomplished it. At the end of the day, any un-filled-in boxes got moved to the next day. I also recorded stuff that happened that day with bullet points:

20170711_134105

Near the bottom of the page I recorded what I ate and what I spent money on too. At the end of the month I could make a chart! Because if you love charts, bullet journaling is all about that. Here’s me recording monthly habits:

20170711_133924

I know, pathetic, but I was sick for a while this month. I haven’t made myself a little chart for July, but if I ever do this again, I want to try to use more fabulous colors. On the other hand, some of the elaborate bullet journal layouts you can find online seem, to me, way more trouble than they’re worth.

Overall, bullet journaling really kept me more organized than I have been, particularly with things like chores that don’t really have deadlines but still need to be done consistently. I still wrote more narrative entries below what I considered my “bullet journal entry” for the day, but not always, and often just short sentences elaborating on my bullet points. I’m not sure I’ll stick to this format, but I’ll probably incorporate some elements of it into my normal journaling. Like charts!

Previously: Make Up
Next: Candy

Beginner’s Guide to Makeup

The main thing I’ve learned this month is that when you tell people “I don’t wear makeup” they hear “I don’t wear MUCH makeup.” Because how inconceivable is it to go around everyday with your normal disgusting face on display?? Ridiculous, I know, but it is how I live my life. I have so far received no complaints (to said disgusting face, anyway). But I decided it might be nice to actually know what this stuff is about in case one day I feel like playing with it. So I made an appointment at Sephora and I spent an hour having little conversations like this:

Sephora Employee: What kind of primer do you usually use?
Me: I don’t wear makeup.
Sephora Employee: Okay, but–
Me: Also what is primer

Sephora Employee: Do you prefer liquid eyeliner or–
Me: I don’t wear makeup

Sephora Employee: Do you normally wear mascara?
Me: I don’t wear makeup
Sephora Employee: Never?
Me: Never
Sephora Employee: What about on your wedding?
Me: I was wearing paperbags

By the end I feel like she was wondering why I was even allowed to walk into the Sephora store and I was wondering why the hell people do this every goddamn day. Because it is a lot of work and also GET THAT POINTY THING AWAY FROM MY EYE. Here is what her tireless work (and my constant eye-watering from trying not to blink) produced:

Appreciate it, because it's never happening again

Appreciate it, because it’s never happening again

So here’s how to makeup:

1. Wash your face, you peasant
I feel like this was the only category where my Sephora employee actually had faith in my abilities as an adult. Since it was the first thing we talked about, it may have lured her into overestimating me, because I am into skin care, friends. I even subscribed to the fabled 10-step Korean skincare regimen briefly before paring it down to this:

1. Wash your gooddamn face (with an oil-based cleanser)
1a) Twice a week exfoliate
2. Toner the shit out of that
3. Moisturizzzzzze

Also sheet masks sometimes mostly because there is a Tony Moly outlet in HMart and I can’t stop myself.

I can only assume that this part is even MORE important if you slather your face with random crap daily.

2. Hide your imperfections with color theory

This is where she lost me. This step involves putting a bunch of stuff all over your face to “even out” your skin tone and hide your pores and whatever. My main problem is redness so I need to put on layers of green (??gold?? I forget now because I wasn’t taking notes. I thought about it, but I was afraid of incurring even more disapproval) in between other layers of things that match my skin tone. They had a special camera machine that they would hold against your cheek to get a SCIENTIFIC BEAUTY MATCH for your skin tone. It felt kind of like being at the doctor. Anyway, this step is like preparing the canvas for the art that is going to happen next:

3. Eyes: This is a form of torture

Stuff happened to my eyes at this point, but I was paying even less attention because of how incredibly uncomfortable it was. Keeping your eyes open while someone wields a pointy thing right up in there?? Nope nope nope.

I asked how soon I would sweat all this off and she seemed confused because apparently Real Ladies don't sweat lolololol

I asked how soon I would sweat all this off and she seemed confused because apparently Real Ladies don’t sweat lolololol

4. Lips: the only part I can kind of do??

Lol jk my ability to put lipstick on is as shitty as all my other non-existent artistic abilities, but at least this part was painless. She tried to teach me some technique about outlining your “cupid’s bow” with an x and then filling in… stuff…

5. Good fucking luck ever getting this stuff off

No wonder you need an intense skin care regimen, is what I’m saying.

So I’m never doing that again. I did buy some lip stuff that I have used a few times on ~special occasions~ without looking like a total clown, so there’s that.

Previously: Gardening
Next: Bullet Journaling

ABC DVD: Arrested Development 3.2

Making a Stand
Michael lets GOB open up a new branch of the banana stand, so he chooses a site directly across from the original, hires his son, Steve Holt, and begins competing. Later they discover it was their dad trying to pit them against each other, so they hire some painters/actors to “teach him a lesson”. It doesn’t work.

bananashack

S.O.B.s
In a very meta episode, the Bluths host a charity dinner to save themselves. Meaningless guest appearances. Andy Richter’s identical quintuplet brothers! Lindsay’s poisonous attempts at cooking.

hothamwater

Fakin It
The family participates in a pilot of the show Mock Trial with J. Reinhold to practice getting ready for court. Buster pretends to be in a coma so he won’t have to testify. Michael wonders who “N. Bluth” on some documents and accounts is. The prosecutor threatens Michael and he gets it on tape.

hungjury

Family Ties
George Sr. wrecks all the Bluth company computers, so they bring out super old ones. Michael finds the name and phone number of a “Nellie” on one whom he thinks might be his long-lost sister. Turns out, she’s actually George Sr.’s prostitute and GOB is her pimp. Michael hires her as a “business consultant” and even though they aren’t actually related she helps the company.

familyties

Exit Strategy
George Michael invites all of Maeby’s “friends” from her address book to her 16th birthday party, outing her as a teen and losing her job at the studio. GOB ends up in an Iraqi prison on a USO tour and Michael and Buster head to Iraq to save him. While there, they visit one of the Bluth model homes and discover a bunch of Saddam look-alikes watching his trial on tv. They also find a fake wmd that was planted there by the US government, making George Sr. actually a patsy like he has always claimed.

saddam

Development Arrested
Michael finds out his mother has been the real cause of all the dirty business. Lindsay finds out she was adopted. Maeby’s old studio wants to make a tv show or a movie about her experiences. George Michael discovers that his ex-girlfriend Ann has been dating GOB. Stan Sitwell buys the Bluth company, Lucille tries to steal the Queen Mary to escape from the SEC (alerted by a long-lost Annyong), and Michael and George Michael escape to Cabo in GOB’s yacht but find George Sr. already there. The end.

finale

Trish’s Review
I’m just glad Annyong came back in the end.
Rating: Four out of five fake wmds
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Marry one of the Saddam look-alikes. Fuck Nellie because everyone is doing it. Kill everyone.

Steven’s Review
So many good things. Mock Trial. Thanks for letting us know William Hung still has a career of some sort. It also brought us the joys of “My Name is Judge.” And poor Maeby, I felt so bad for her the whole time.
Rating: five out of five hot cops
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Fuck Nellie. Marry Annyoung because that’s some loyalty right there. So many choices for Kill… anybody with the name of Bluth.

Previously: Arrested Development: 3.1
Next: Back to the Future I

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