Fashion Friday :: summer’s kiss to electric wire

12 Oct

But [she’ll] never die. In my heart, anyway.

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There is literally no way that the cancellation of Iron Fist (!!!) cannot be setting up for a Daughters of the Dragon series, and to celebrate that, I present to you… some Nymeria. With a photo from season 5 because she is good and I don’t care and I love her.

sweetness

Oh my god this screams her. I just feel it in my heart. Sweetness and Sass Short Sleeve Sweater, Collectif x MC at ModCloth.

profesh

Okay so like, normally I don’t want to put sweaters under stuff (it’s just a thing of mine, I don’t know, it feels wrong) but this is barely under stuff and somehow the look just strikes me as exactly right. Profesh Appeal Wide-Leg Trousers, Collectif at ModCloth.

corralled

I don’t know I love this too. Corralled Cutouts Heeled Bootie in Brown, ModCloth.

newfangled

Yes, yellow. Sure. Newfangled Bangle Bracelet, ModCloth.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Fashion Friday :: oh pirate queen.

21 Sep

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They announced today that they’re making a Funko Pop of Yara Greyjoy, finally. (They’re also making a Rock Candy figure of actual legitimate redheaded Sansa, which is exciting because it means that maybe a Pop will follow. Finally.) So in honor of that, here’s some Yara. Sorry I’m riffing on literally the same outfit, again, because she doesn’t change and I don’t want to riff on like, sadness clothes.

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Today, based on this excellent item I just found, we’re doing Yara Greyjoy: Wilderness Butch. Because one thing that season 7 did right was remind us, again, that Yara is a queer woman. That was nice. Would have been nicer if they didn’t immediately fuck it all the way up, but hey! Yara Greyjoy: Wilderness Butch. Thanks for Cabin Me Plaid Shawl in Navy, ModCloth.

endless

Underneath! Because layers, because outside. Endless Possibilities Long Sleeve Top, ModCloth.

berkeley

Ugh there’s just. No brown pants that I like for this, so here. The Berkeley Pant in Grey, ModCloth.

(Super fun sidenote, based on years of watching Project Runway: I actually 100% hate calling the clothing item “a pant.” Like, pants are two pants. You don’t wear just one pant, unless I guess you only have one leg and have your clothes tailor-made to reflect that in which case, go ahead, wear your pant. I understand this is a refined clothing term, but pants are a plural item pretty much by definition. Anyway.)

a kindred

Anyway! These are very outdoorsy. They’re distressed. And unlike the other ones I found tonight that were outrageously distressed and beautiful, they don’t have heels so high they’re unusable for an Outdoor Butch. A Kindred Stroll Boot, ModCloth.

flirty

Outdoor Butch also buys otherwise-girly thigh-high socks a couple sizes too big so she can wear them under her boots but over her pants so people see that they exist. Expect these to be halfway shredded by the end of her camping trip, or whatever. She won’t stop wearing them, though. Flirty Footwork Thigh Highs in Taupe, ModCloth.

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I also think she has a completely non-functional ring of a mermaid showing her titties. That seems right. Of Wondrous Waters Ring, ModCloth.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Spoiler Alert Sunday :: her thoughts on Searching

16 Sep

Because, while we saw this together and I wholeheartedly agree with her commentary, the points to be made are really ones that she is better-equipped to make than I am.

Go see this movie.

Really. Don’t look up anything about it. Maybe watch one trailer, but that’s it. Don’t read any reviews or interviews, don’t look at any movie sites, don’t do anything that might accidentally spoil you. Just go watch it. It’s one of the best movies of the year, and if John Cho doesn’t get any recognition for it, that will be a tragedy.

I really don’t want to spoil this movie for you. But I also haven’t seen that many people talking about what I really want to talk about, and I can’t do that without spoiling the movie. So, first, please please please go watch it, and then come back and read this.

Content warnings for: a parent searching his teenage child’s social media and browsing history, brief references to suspicions of incest, references to underage prostitution, brief graphic description of a sexual assault, offscreen (overheard) suicide by gunshot, referenced drug use.

Okay, from this point on…here be spoilers.

MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS FOR SEARCHING (2018) BELOW

First of all, this movie is remarkable because it is directed by Aneesh Chaganty, an Indian-American man in his mid-20s who had previously directed several dozen short films. Searching is his first feature-length project, and he and his co-writer, Sev Ohanian, haven’t kept it a secret that they always wanted John Cho to star in the film. There are various interviews where they describe that process, and I’d encourage you to check that out – it’s really interesting. Chaganty has been firm in stating that he wanted to show an Asian-American family because he grew up seeing little to no representation for himself or his friends. I don’t just think, I know the film would not have the impact it has had if it were just about a white family. Making the missing girl an Asian girl, and her father an Asian man, underscores the final twist with subtle but breathtaking commentary on racism and whiteness.

The opening scene of the film introduces us to the Kim family, David (Cho), Pamela (Sara Sohn), and Margot (Michelle La), as they set up accounts on their new computer. (The entire film takes place on the computer, which could become tiresome, but personally I found only found it straining credibility in one or two scenes.) We watch as Margot grows older, and see things like piano recital scheduling, first days of school, and then, heartbreakingly, Pamela’s struggle with cancer, remission, and then relapse and passing. I have seen this compared to the opening scene of Up, which seems fairly accurate. I heard a woman sitting near me in the theater sobbing. Margot and David muddle along together, until finally Margot is in high school and communicating with David throughout the day on iMessage and FaceTime. Until one morning, when Margot doesn’t text him back all day.

From then on it’s a harrowing journey, as David pursues every single lead, no matter how trivial. He is supported by Detective Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing), who connects with him early on with stories about her teenage son Robert. One of her stories is about how a neighbor knocked on Vick’s door and demanded the $20 that Robert had stolen from her, and how it turned out that Robert had gone door-to-door begging for money for his mother’s pro-police charity…which didn’t exist. This is brushed off in the film as an insignificant moment, just Vick sympathizing with David in how little one can know their own child.

The film also went out of its way to communicate to the audience how dedicated Vick is to her job, showing David watching a brief clip of her earning commendation as an officer as well as a news article about her work with a rehabilitation program for ex-cons. Again, this is a quick moment, meant to show David that his case is in good hands. Even when Vick removes David from the case after he loses his cool and assaults a suspect, we (the audience) are meant to trust her judgment. She is David’s ally throughout, even when he begins to suspect the worst of everyone around him.

But then. A random incidental clue leads David down a rabbit hole that leads…straight to Vick. And it’s only then that we get the full story: Margot has not run away, been suicidal, or been assaulted by an ex-con, the way the clues would have everyone believe. Instead, Vick’s son Robert had been posing as a teenage girl on social media, in order to get close to Margot. He fabricated an identity that Margot would be sympathetic to: a girl whose mother was sick and who was considering dropping out of school to work full-time and pay her medical bills. Margot had begun secretly saving money and sent $2500 to fish_n_chips to help “her,” at which point Robert panicked and decided to confess. He followed her to a remote spot by the lake, where she went to smoke weed and relax, and after he confessed, she panicked and tried to flee. He also panicked and, as Vick explains, accidentally pushed her into a deep ravine. Vick came to his rescue and covered it up for him. Vick then goes on to say something like “he’s very sensitive” and make excuses for why she fabricated evidence (including a fake ID Margot had supposedly ordered) to make it appear as if Margot had first intended to run away, then been assaulted and murdered by a random drug addict. She dumped Margot’s car in the lake, then drugged up an ex-con she knew and made him confess on camera before murdering him. All this, to cover up Robert’s actions. She looks right at the camera and explains simply, “He’s my son.”

Do I need to state that Vick and Robert are white? And this is the beauty of the film: it had previously alluded to how white men fetishize and sexualize Asian women, particularly on the internet, with a false lead of a white college boy who left disturbing comments on her social media, as well as the ex-con who confessed to her assault and murder (also white). With this twist, however, it not only reminds the audience of how dangerous it can be for women when men place their own desires over the women’s autonomy, but of how specifically racial these dangers can be when white men target women of color. Robert was too afraid to speak to Margot, so he posed as a non-threatening, neutral (white) girl in order to grow closer to her. Then, when she rebuffed his advances and tried to flee, he reacted violently, even if it was an “accident,” and nearly caused her death. (She does, incredibly, survive.)

Perhaps even more important is the film’s refusal to shy away from something that has become all too apparent in the wake of the 2016 election and #MeToo: white women will protect white men at all costs if they deem “their men” more important than the men’s victims. One of the movie’s main themes is parenthood, and specifically, what parents will do for their children. In Vick’s case, she will do anything to protect her son…even at the potential cost of a girl’s life. It’s so important to point out that Robert’s victim is an Asian girl, and that Vick is willing to leave Margot for dead in order to protect him. The film demands that the audience recognize that this white woman, whom we have spent most of the movie with and probably grown to like or at least somewhat trust, went to great lengths to ruin the lives of the Kim family in order to save her son’s. I sat in the theater absolutely gobsmacked that we were seeing a movie directly calling out this tendency for specifically white women to defend their male politicians, family members, or other “upstanding” community members when they are accused of abusing other women. I don’t feel quite right about bringing up Get Out, because I feel like everyone brings that movie up when we talk about movies that don’t shy away from discussing racism, but Vick reminded me most of Allison Williams’ character Rose. Both are designed specifically to surprise and disquiet the white audience members, and remind them: you might know this woman, or you might be her.

A small disclaimer: we both noticed something odd in the way that Vick talks about Robert, calling him “sensitive” and saying that “a boy like that won’t last long in prison.” It is, like so much of the film’s characterization, very subtle, but we both have experience with neurotypical parents of autistic or otherwise neurodivergent children and how they speak about them. We obviously can’t verify this, but it is possible that the filmmakers intended this as a vague reference to Robert being autistic/neurodivergent. In this case, it would be…not great that he is one of the film’s antagonists, since autistic representation in media is frustratingly rare and this would fall into the tropes of “socially awkward autistic white boy who can’t talk to girls and becomes physically violent when provoked.” Vick did come off as kind of an “autism mom,” and if this was the filmmaker’s intentions, it would be kind of a great subtle commentary on “autism moms” and their views and behaviors regarding their children. But it may also come across as ableist and problematic to some. I don’t think we have enough evidence to say conclusively how it was meant, but it’s something to keep in mind about the film.

All in all, though, the movie is a tense, engaging thriller that absolutely deserves the buzz it’s gotten, and should honestly be getting more (again, I haven’t seen anyone discussing the big twist or what it means). I’ll definitely be watching Chaganty’s future efforts.

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Sundry Sunday :: Rose City 2018

9 Sep

Rose City is nice because it’s not quite as insane as Emerald City. It’s a bit smaller, a bit less sprawling, a bit less overwhelming, a bit less crowded. It’s still the latter two things, because most conventions are, but it feels a little more manageable sometimes, and manageable is nice.

We did, as per usual, a fair amount of seeing people. Our first stop was Catherine Tate from Doctor Who, which I’ve still not yet seen but drift partner has nostalgia for; her character Donna’s unfortunate fate was one of the things that she explained to me on our first date, which we told her and which she cheekily said “you’re welcome” for.

We popped in at Chelsea Cain’s booth because she was actually there in an official capacity this year so I could bug her to sign things, and I came prepared because yesterday I was doing, essentially, casual Friday Bobbi Morse.

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Dissect it thus: that’s a Star Wars t-shirt, the likes of which Bobbi wore in 2.06; those are practice batons; those are red(dish) glasses, the likes of which Bobbi wore in 3.06 and I don’t care that those were for undercover and had sneaky spy lenses, they were definitely glasses that Bobbi in fact already owned because Bobbi is nearsighted (comics-canonical fact). Anyway literally nobody got it but when it was hurriedly explained to Chelsea Cain she appreciated the hell out of it (and later appreciated it again on Instagram, which made me giddy). She was also promoting her new series, Maneaters, and we picked up a copy of the first issue as well as filling out clever applications to join the Ministry of Trouble. She and her people are delightful and everything I aspire to.

Today we went to Caity Lotz, who plays Sara Lance in the DCTV continuity. Sara Lance is a bisexual hero badass babe, and Caity Lotz is a total sweetheart who was very supportive of our very queer fangirling over her. We popped in on Kristin Bauer, my beloved Pam De Beaufort (y’all remember I met her before, but drift partner hadn’t, and neither had my mom, who was around for a few hours), and chatted with her a bit. We also went to say hello to local treasure Kelly Sue DeConnick, who complimented the costumes my mother made! The theme today was “coats by my mother.”

I was wearing my now-trusty Scarlet Witch, because I love it. Red wig, though, because in Infinity War her hair was red.

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Drift partner requested a circa-At World’s End Elizabeth Swann, Pirate Queen. Which my mom pulled off like whoa: note the hand-painted designs, the multitude of decorations (largely hand-painted by my mother and in the case of the clay also hand-crafted), the elaborate piecing. This is rock star stuff.

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In the most exciting news, both of us were stopped by separate youths (mine an early-teens kid cosplaying a Weasley, hers a veritable toddler) for photographs and accolades. That stuff is really what all worth it.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Fashion Friday :: ride or die.

31 Aug

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I think at this point, Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) is mine in this show. Like, Dany’s my queen and my love, and I adore Sansa to pieces, and all of my dead girls, etc. etc., but Missandei… I dunno, man, I will go after you if you go after Missandei. She’s everything. She’s also, like everyone else this season, really leaning into the edgy dominatrix look.

slicker

Like, that is a Look. That just is. So bear with me while I attempt to come near it. First step, a jumpsuit. Slicker Than Your Average Jumpsuit, ModCloth.

edgy

The arrangement of what’s leather where obviously can’t be the same. Normal clothing websites don’t really sell beautiful chest harness things. So I’m just leaning into the vibe and hoping it works. Edgy When You Are Studded Moto Jacket, ModCloth.

turn

She’s still a beachy girl at heart. Lighter-weight shoes suit her. She was probably wearing boots in canon but there aren’t any I like on the website right now, and this is spiritually something I feel. Turn Back Prime Vegan Flat in Black, ModCloth.

sterling

We can’t really do a pin with a studded jacket, so here, have a necklace! Sterling silver hammered necklace, JewellrybyJoBristol at Etsy.

–your fangirl heroine.

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Spoiler Alert Sunday :: our thoughts on Crazy Rich Asians

26 Aug

You don’t have to be East Asian to enjoy Crazy Rich Asians, or have read the book, but I think it probably helps.

I (drift partner – I, original heroine, will mostly be sitting this review out since it’s drift partner’s thing to talk about, but stand assured that I agree and am very in favor of this film) read the book beforehand, because I always try to do that when it’s a story I actually care about. And I will say that I think the movie cut a lot of stuff that I really liked from the book – Astrid (Gemma Chan) has an entire backstory that’s been cut, presumably for time, but then (spoiler?) in the last scene of the movie, she and her first love, Charlie Wu (Harry Shum Jr.), reconnect unexpectedly. This is very sweet in the book – and comes pretty much out of nowhere for the audience members who haven’t read the book. I would have at least left in a line. I also was a bit heartbroken that my favorite scene was cut: the male lead’s parents hire a pastor to help them purge the “demonic evil” from their home, and she barges through each room declaring this or that decoration to be “from Satan” and needing to be destroyed. The aunties run through the house just ahead of her, stashing various ancient Buddhist artifacts in their purses and shopping bags and trying to make a hasty retreat before she can catch them. It is comedy gold and I feel a bit cheated that it was cut. Anyway, the book is a different animal than the movie; I would say that the movie is a more straightforward romcom, while the book focuses a bit more on the family drama aspects and the culture of the wealthy Singaporean Chinese families. They are both worthwhile stories and it would be interesting to see someone compare them.

I definitely see why Jon M. Chu went with a more standard romcom approach for the movie. I’m seeing a lot of people say that this could help usher in a new era of romcoms, and while I think this is maybe a bit dramatic, I do hope that this will help greenlight more romcoms featuring characters of color that are marketed to all audiences. The story is simple: economics professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) is dating Nick Young (Henry Golding), and he suggests that they go visit his family in Singapore during spring break so she can meet them and they can attend the wedding of his best friend Colin (Chris Pang). She agrees, thinking it will be fun. Little does she know that not only is his family judgmental of her, an Asian-American woman who was raised by a single mother and whose father is out of the picture, but he has also kept a massive secret: they are, in fact, crazy rich. She flounders, not sure how to handle this, especially after a cold reception from Nick’s mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh). The only member of the family who seems to accept her is Astrid (Gemma Chan), who is dealing with her own personal issues – she has discovered her husband is having an affair. Rachel must try to figure out how to get Nick’s family to accept her while not sacrificing herself in the process.

My family isn’t from Singapore, and my dad is third- or fourth-generation, so some of what plays out onscreen, I’m pretty removed from. I recognize the gossipy, two-faced nature of the aunties – my PoPo, my grandmother, slips into these tendencies occasionally and I know that her generation of women in the family engage in this behavior a lot – and I can appreciate the cavalier attitude the family has toward money. There’s a conversation in the book that Nick and Rachel have where he explains that he was taught that it is extremely rude to talk about money or bring it up, which is basically how I was raised. But the dumpling scene, where the mothers and their adult children are making dumplings, was a lovely scene but not one I could relate to at all (my mother is white). Still, I definitely appreciated the all-East Asian cast, since that’s a decidedly rare thing in mainstream Hollywood. This is the first big budget US film with an entirely East Asian cast since The Joy Luck Club in 1993. That’s really, really exciting. I loved seeing so many faces that remind me of my dad and other family members (there’s one dude in the background of the wedding reception that’s a dead ringer for my Uncle Tim, it’s uncanny). And I like so many of these characters that it was a real joy to get to see them portrayed so well onscreen. Shoutout to Gemma Chan especially; Astrid was my favorite in the book and even though she only had a few scenes, she was absolutely perfect. (Original heroine here jumping in to briefly echo this sentiment: yes, Gemma Chan was lovely. Like lovely.)

Of course, the movie isn’t perfect. There’s been a lot of criticism of the way Awkwafina’s character, Peik Lin, was reworked from the book to be closer to the actress’ rapper schtick, which is…well…pretty racist, actually. Here’s a pretty good article about why this new form of performative “blackface” is damaging to black culture and inappropriate to include in this film. Here’s a twitter thread by the same writer about Awkwafina’s role specifically. I’m sure there are other articles on the internet, and I’d encourage you to look into it yourself. It’s not a complete indictment of the film, but it’s important to be aware of the issue, especially since there is pervasive anti-blackness in a lot of Asian communities. On a similar note, the only darker-skinned and/or South Asian characters are two guards who glare menacingly at Peik Lin and Rachel’s car before letting them into the Youngs’ estate. South Asians also routinely get ignored as legitimate members of the Asian/Asian-American community, and colorism is a real issue for Asians as well as black people. Again, it’s important to note this, and to be supportive of stories by and about South Asians. (Sandhya Menon wrote one of my favorite YA novels last year, When Dimple Met Rishi, and followed it up with her second book, From Twinkle with Love, this year. I would really recommend them both.)

But this movie is doing very well at the box office, as it should be. I think it’s a really enjoyable story and it absolutely deserves to be seen, not just by Asian-Americans, but by anyone who likes good storytelling.

–your fangirl heroines.

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Fashion Friday :: the best.

24 Aug

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Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) is all things that should be. She neither takes nor gives (a) shit, and she’s just a classy lady. I had POUR ONE OUT FOR OLENNA written on our in-home chalkboard for about three months after her death scene, to put it in perspective.

sheer

I sort of have a plan here. The excellent black/gold dresses are currently running too low, so I’m working with it. Sheer and Now Button-Up Top, ModCloth.

mod

See, get it? It’s like the mod 60s because Diana Rigg was famous in the mod 60s. Mod Thoughts Mini Skirt, Banned at ModCloth.

layer

Ah, the old standards .Layer It On Tights in Black, ModCloth.

sophistication

These are also quite 60s, actually, in their way. Sophistication Showcase Tassel Loafer, ModCloth.

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And of course this is the week ModCloth decides to be low on bee jewelry. Bees, get it? Because bees like flowers but also bees sting and Olenna stings too.  Big Bee Heart Necklace, CosmicFirefly at Etsy.

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