Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rhonda's Essential Guide to Girl Power (this has nothing to do with the Spice Girls)

This is basically my version of Oprah's Favorite Things. I compiled a list of what my favorite things to read, watch, listen to, wear, and create with were over the past month or so and realized that many of them are quite feminine in nature (which makes sense in the "wear" category, I suppose). So put on a tiara and revel in the girliness!
Memoir- Someday My Prince Will Come (Jerramy Fine)
Subtitled "The True Adventures of a Wannabe Princess," this story is a charming, clever (at the risk of being cliche) modern-day fairy tale. Fine's relentless anglophilia and obsession with royalty, even as an adult, made my childhood fascination with Cinderella and Marie Antoinette, which still surfaces from time to time and I've always felt a bit self-conscious about, seem downright normal.

Psychology- Spinning Straw into Gold (Joan Gould)
Continuing in the fairy tale theme, Gould shows "what fairy tales reveal about the transformations in a woman's life." She discusses just about every fairy tale you've ever heard of, and a few you probably haven't, and explains how the ancient cultures that these stories originated from used them to illuminate the stages of human life (for both genders, but the focus in the book is on female life stages).

Poetry- Sonnets from the Portuguese (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
A collection of forty-four sonnets written to her husband, Robert (yeah, Robert Browning; yes, the Robert Browning), this wasn't originally written in Portuguese. It's a clever title, though, isn't it? Sonnets contains one of the most famous poems in the English language: "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..."

Novel- Rebecca (Daphne Du Maurier)
Alfred Hitchcock directed the film version of this 1938 novel, which was the perfect choice for the suspenseful psychological drama. The narrator is never given a first name, but it is mentioned that her name is "lovely and unusual," so, while I haven't done the research to know if there is a real scholarly debate about it, I've decided the narrator's name must be Daphne.

Magazine- April 2009 Marie Claire
There's a feature in the latest issue titled "We'll Show You Who's Funny" that's about women in comedy. Associate editor Yael Kohen interviewed a bevy of female comedy greats and a couple of up-and-comers, including Joan Rivers, Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore, Janeane Garofalo, Suzanne Somers, Lisa Kudrow, and, my favorite, Kristen Wiig from SNL (plus there were a few that I'm not the biggest fan of, like Margaret Cho and Roseanne Barr, but, hey, they're doing their thing).

Pop/Rock- Wild Hope (Mandy Moore)
Britney? Christina? Jessica? Who? This is Moore's first grown-up album, with more of a singer-songwriter/indie feel than her bubblegum debut ten years ago. It's legit. And I have to admit that a good portion of my love for this album belongs to the gorgeous cover art, with its warm lighting, outdoor settings and vintage-bohemian style.

Pop/R&B- Rockferry (Duffy)
The big hit from this album was last summer's "Mercy," a funk-infused, infectious pop song. The rest of the record is a little different, a little mellower, a little more soulful, and really fun to sing with, belting it at the top of your lungs!

Classic blues- Billie's Best (Billie Holiday)
Billie was the best. Even though it's hard not to imagine her singing the Oscar Meyer Bologna song since reading David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day, her voice and her songs still hold up.

Podcast- "Twilight Series Theories" (Kallie and Kassie)
An addictive podcast in which a Texan sister duo discusses Stephenie Meyer's addictive book series. I "tried out" several Twilight-focused podcasts before I narrowed it down to this one. Maybe because they're sisters, or maybe because their personalities are so clearly different from each other's, or both, the hosts have a dynamic that just works. Plus, they're very listener-oriented; most of the show is dedicated to reading and discussing listener feedback to the question of the week. Did I mention it's addictive? (To read my thoughts on Twilight, click here .)

Reality series- Running in Heels (Style Network)
This is kind of like a smarter, less annoying and vapid version of The City. It follows three editing interns at Marie Claire magazine. There have only been two episodes so far, but I've already been sucked in.

Classic musical- My Fair Lady (1964)
Audrey Hepburn couldn't sing worth beans, but she's so delightful!

"Teen" mystery series- Veronica Mars (UPN/CW)
I own all three seasons of this brilliant show on DVD, and lately my roommate has been watching them for the first time. If I, you know, just happen to be in the living room or something and she's watching that great episode with the 80s dance where Veronica dresses like Madonna and Meg wears that horrid dress from Pretty in Pink, or the one where the dead guy washes up on the beach and he has Veronica's name written on his hand (creepy!), or any of the episodes with Alyson Hannigan (love her!), I might just casually sink down onto the futon and watch for awhile.

Essential female buddy comedy- Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion (1997)
Me too! Now, ordinarily when you make glue you need to thermoset your resin. And then, you add in a poxide, which is really just a fancy-schmancy word for any simple unoxygenated adhesive, right? Well, I thought, maybe, just maybe, you could increase the viscocity by adding a carbon derviative during the emulsification process. It turns out, I was right.

Nail polish- "Broadway Burgundy" Long-wearing Nail Enamel (New York Color)
Scent- "Sheer Freesia" Body Splash (Bath & Body Works)
Sunglasses- Over-size Cat Eyes (Forever 21)
Bag- "Polka Dots" Messenger Bag (Olive N Figs)
Sneakers- Low-top Chuck Taylor All-Stars (Converse)

Software- Celtx
Notebook- Leather Cover Ruled Reporter (Moleskine)
Decor- Peel-and-Stick Wall Decals (WallPops)
Pencils- Ticonderoga No. 2 Soft Pencils (Dixon)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Become My Fan on Facebook!

Here is a link to my "celebrity" Facebook page. (Click the title of this post.) Now, I know what you're thinking: "But Rhonda, you're not a celebrity. You don't even have your own reality show on E! or a crazy-rich geezer husband with possible ties to the Mafia." This is true, but I am trying to get more people to read my writing. This seemed like a good way to do it. So just click the link, would ya? If you're already logged in to Facebook it will take you right to my page. If you're not, it will take you to the log in page, and then to my writer profile. Click "Become a fan" and write something on my wall! Thanks!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Random Updates

So, it's been awhile since I posted anything. I'm not feeling particularly creative at the moment, but I do have three topics of interest, completely unrelated to one another, that I will address.

(1) I've been listening to
No Line on the Horizon pretty much nonstop since my C
D copy came yesterday. I wanted it in CD format because I want to stick it to iTunes, and I'm kind of an old-fashioned girl. My favorite songs right now are "Magnificent" and "Unknown Caller." "Magnificent" has an awesome bass line, comparable to any from War (which has the best bass lines: "New Year's Day," "Sunday Bloody Sunday," etc.), in my opinion. And that guitar solo on "Unknown Caller"? There are no words.

(2) I wrote a sonnet for an assignment in my poetry class. The
point of the assignment was to show us how hard it is to write iambic pentameter, or some such nonsense. Not to brag or anything, but I got a perfect score. Here it is:

I need the consolation of poetry,
For when I am distressed I lack the words

To render true my sensibility;

My efforts at such times effect absurd.

Though I do often wonder whether art

Is more disposed to famish than to feed

That growing flow'r of goodness in the heart

That drinks its fill of words, so lacks the need.

And when my mind cannot attune the two,

This virtue and this creativity,

I cannot help but wonder what I'd do

If either quality belonged to me!

But when the two are joined, a wonder's wrought,

For then a poem is born, the bloom long-sought.

(3) I have another article being printed in the Ellensburg Daily Record. I don't know exactly what day they're running it, but it will be before Tuesday. I'll check it every day and see. It's a story on this artist named David Garibaldi who's coming to Central to do this show where he paints six-foot portraits in just a few minutes, right there on stage. I actually got to interview him over the phone a couple days ago for the article. For any of my readers that are interested I'll try to get a copy of the paper (that'll be, what, three copies?).

Here's a link to the press release (which I also wrote) on the Daily Record's website.

This is just the press release, not the actual story.The story is much more interesting.

So that's the biggest news in my life right now. Until next time, over.