Tag Archives: the perks of being a wallflower

Fictional Friday :: 5 f/f ships around me before I started seeking f/f ships.

10 Feb

In chronological order.

5. Carol and Susan (Jane Tibbett and Jessica Hecht, Friends)
So I never really gave these two any actual thought. But Friends was always on when I was a kid, it seemed like, and my parents were never shy about what was going on. In fact, when an acquaintance of the family came out my parents explained it as “you know, like Carol and Susan on Friends.” And I said..

4. Haruka and Michiru (Sailor Moon)
“Yeah, I know, like Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. I read about them on the internet.” I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but I learned how to internet via Sailor Moon fansites (terrible ones, black Times New Roman on white backgrounds, or worse, Angelfire or Geocites pages with pixelated star backgrounds) and I knew all about the lesbians in Sailor Moon before they came to the US. And were “cousins.” “Mom, this is dumb,” I said. “They clearly are not cousins.” And my mom shrugged and nodded. America?

3. Columbia and Magenta (Little Nell and Patricia Quinn, The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
This was a little different, because these two? They were already in relationships. Columbia was sort of in two of them. But yet, there they were playing voyeur (another thing I learned about from this movie) in their jammies and rolling all over on top of each other. And hey, if boys were kissing boys, girls could be kissing girls! Everyone was kissing everyone in that movie. And even though Magenta’s incest brother accidentally lasered Columbia to death at the end of the movie, they were still more fun to write about for me than Columbia and Frank (since he was, you know, an asshole bordering on emotionally abusive to her) or Columbia and Eddie (he was fine, and clearly she liked him, but it was just really hard for me to get into it, for reasons that are now clear to me).

2. Mary Elizabeth and Alice (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Later that same school year as I discovered Rocky Horror, I chanced on a copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Not only did I fall hopelessly in love with its protagonist Charlie, as I’ve before said, I was delighted by the overlap of it including Rocky Horror as a frequent plot point. It never said who played most of the characters in their shadowcast, but I assumed that as the other girls, Mary Elizabeth played Magenta and Alice played Columbia. As a result, I shipped them. I had very little reason to, but I did.

1. Maureen and Joanne (Rent)
And then I saw Rent that following summer, and there were Maureen and Joanne, and they weren’t the happiest all the time but suddenly I was on my way to Officially Starting To Wonder About Myself.

–your fangirl heroine.

i20have20run20out20of20fucks20to20give

Fictional Friday :: the essential me (a list)

10 Oct

A meme on tumblr that was going around this week featured the question “if someone wanted to really understand you, what would they read, watch, and listen to?” and I was reflecting on it and I realized I somehow hadn’t even included Sailor Moon, which meant that this list needed to be condensed into a top ten to include that.  Because I’ve somehow never made this list, and that blows my mind.

Yes, all of these pretty well overlap with my Ultimate Favorites, but it’s more than that.  There’s a lot of my personal history tied up in all of these things.  There are other things I love as intensely, but that aren’t quite as me, or don’t have as much history behind them.  My interest in all of these items predates this blog, which is to say they’ve all been in my life for at least four years minimally and have maintained their importance.

So.

  1. Watch: Sailor Moon.
  2. Listen to (or watch): Spring Awakening.
  3. Watch: Almost Famous.
  4. Read: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
  5. Watch: Kill Bill.
  6. Listen to: Eisley.
  7. Watch: Deadwood.
  8. Listen to (or watch): Rent.
  9. Watch: Dollhouse.
  10. Read: Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

–your fangirl heroine.

heh

Things in Print Thursday :: 10 books I have read very, very many times indeed

21 Feb

Sort of in order of how many times I’ve read each (though I don’t have exact numbers for any).

10. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
I have several Sedaris books.  I don’t think I’ve ever told you guys the story about the time I met David Sedaris, but that’s why my copy of Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim has a jack o’ lantern drawn in it.  (It was the day before Halloween.)  And I’ve read all of the Sedaris books I have many, many times, but Me Talk Pretty One Day was the first one I bought, so I’ve read it the most times.  Somehow it never gets old, either.  But as this list proves, I am one of those insane people who can read something they like over a thousand thousand times and never get tired of it.

9. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
I’ve got all of the books in the series, but by virtue of this one being both the first book in the series and therefore the one I acquired first, I have read it the most times.  Honestly, I’ve only read the ones about her kids a couple of times, being as I acquired them later in childhood and being as I cared less about her kids than I did about Anne herself.  I didn’t not like them, but I have a soft spot for those childhood adventures­­­­ when Anne and her friends were being fanciful and absurd and theatrical, possibly because when we were young, my friends and I tended toward the fanciful and absurd and theatrical.

8. Strange But True by John Searles
I’m not even sure why exactly I’ve read this book so many times.  I remember reading a chapter of it in – I think it must have been Seventeen, but it might have been YM, it was back in the day – and I thought it was interesting enough, so I found the full book.  And the chapter that the magazine contained, while interesting, was very much not indicative of how dark and weird the book was.  It’s timeline-jumpy, it’s dark as hell, it’s got plenty of characters who are in one way or another emotionally grotesque; as per the timeline-jumpiness, parts of it are written in present tense, and despite the fact that I tend to default to writing fiction that way, I don’t read many novels that are that way, so it sort of blew my mind.  I just remember the first time I read one section, where it was describing Melissa, one of the protagonists, in her living room, and started in with “look on the coffee table,” “look in the fridge,” “be careful not to drop it because you’ll wake her.”  I remember that that part sent chills up my spine.  Also I’ve read it so many times because I notice something different each time.

7. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
I’ve discussed this one before, yes.

6. Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman
I mentioned this one too, a really long time ago; how I’ve read it so many times the cover’s fallen off, how it means a lot to me even today (the first time I read it, I was probably about thirteen or fourteen and didn’t yet self-identify as a feminist, but I was on the way, and I’m sure this book helped me get there, whether or not I knew it consciously).  There are parts of the author’s experience that I relate to on a really intense level and parts of it that I am still oblivious to, but I find all of it still quite interesting and refreshing.

5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This is one of my blatantly obvious lists in a lot of ways, though considering how much this book means to me, it’s sort of surprising it’s not higher up on this list: this is because though I’ve read it many, many times, I’ve also leant my copy to so many people so many times that it’s rarely in my own possession.  I don’t even know who has it for sure (I think I know, but) and though I want it back someday to look over all my old high school age scribblings in the margins, I might just buy another copy to make sure I have one.  I wouldn’t mind owning two copies.  It’s that kind of book.

4. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
I’m about due for one of my rereads of this book; I don’t know how many times I’ve read it, but it’s a lot.  And I’m not going to talk much about it right now, because once I’m done with that reread, whenever that may be, I plan on writing a giant post about it.  It really is a lovely book and I love it in a lot of strange, messed up ways that are indicative of my warped sense of humor and also my warped everything else.

3, 2, 1. Little Women, Little Men, and Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott
I’m pretty sure you all could figure this out.  And honestly, if I was putting them individually on this semi-quantitative list, I’d probably put Little Men around the middle and Jo’s Boys toward the end.  This is another one of those chronology-of-acquiring points; this is also because I have reread the original multiple times as an adult, but I haven’t reread the sequels since I was in junior high.  One of the reasons these books top this list is because I have read them all countless times by myself and also read them multiple times with my mother when I was a child.  (If I remember correctly, these and Anne of Green Gables the original were the only ones we read out loud multiple times; we read a lot of books once, but we’d often cycle back to these out of affection.)  And anyway, these will always be some of my favorites.

–your fangirl heroine.

i can geek like a pro

Things in Print Thursday :: in which I am somewhat of a robot regarding literary romance.

14 Feb

I was going to make a list tonight of romantic couples in literature that I’ve had strong emotional reactions to – not just “oh, okay, I’m good with that,” but “oh my gosh I love you guys so so much.”  It’s Valentine’s, after all, and if there’s any time to have those sorts of discussions, it’s probably now.

But then I started making the list.  And got stuck almost immediately.  I could make a list of times I mentally shrieked “no no stop it do not want” easy, I could make a list of times I went “really guys?  Are we doing this now?” easy, I could make a list of times I went “oh, okay, I’m good with that” pretty easily.  I don’t know why it is, but I have an easier time attaching to romantic couples in visual mediums, I think.  I also just don’t have an easy time attaching to romantic couples, period (this is a ridiculous statement, because I offer so many !!! about the romantic couples I do get attached to, but just know that the ones I talk about [a lot] are comparatively fewer when you consider the overall number of couples I’ve witnessed at any point – I can watch entire shows or movies without having romantic feelings about anyone, or only really having “oh, okay, I’m good with that” feelings.  Those just aren’t the ones I discuss).

This could be because some of my favorite books, while featuring romance, are mostly about friendship.

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, definitely: while Charlie likes Sam, it’s not really the main point of the story, and while I do and always have kind of shipped Alice/Mary Elizabeth, it’s definitely not the main point and really more of a peripheral thought than an all-consuming need.  It’s mostly about these guys all being friends and what that spells out.
  • How I Paid for College, well, everyone’s sort of having sexy thoughts about everyone, but mostly the point of the story is their relationships not entirely in a romantic sense?  Like that’s mostly what I’ve taken away from it.
  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics, wherein yes, there is a weird vampire-family vibe amongst the Bluebloods actually, and there is that whole mess between Blue and Charles, and let’s not even talk about the Hannah dynamics, but it’s actually mostly a crazy noir murder mystery wrapped in a story about questionable friendships.

Some of the books from my childhood featured romance, and I reacted emotionally to it, but mostly because I was busy reacting emotionally to everything in the story.

  • Little Women and its sequels, wherein yeah, I probably shipped Jo/Teddy as a kid (I know I didn’t like that he ended up with Amy) but it was never a devastating thing; I reacted super-emotionally to happenings between Meg and John Brooke and between Jo and Professor Bhaer (I just feel weird using his first name) but not necessarily from a purely romantic-reaction standpoint.
  • Anne of Green Gables and its sequels, wherein yeah, I was comfortable with Anne/Gilbert, but it was never an all-consuming “oh my gosh I love you guys so so much.”

I’ve read plenty of other books with romance and been okay with it.  Sometimes I read books with romance and even go “I hope this works out for you.”  But it’s rarely much more than that, and whether this is because I just haven’t read those books that give me those feelings or because I just don’t often feel inclined to have them this strongly with books, this just seems to be the case.

(I’ve basically never had a proper emotional reaction to a romance in even an adaptation of a “great romance,” case in point.)

So I guess I’m just going to be spending the rest of my Valentine’s Day listening to the Light in the Piazza album, because it is the most romantic album I can think of (and also I miss back when I felt comfortable having a crush on Matthew Morrison because he was singing in Italian) and because it’s beautiful.  (I considered a “most romantic musicals in my opinion” list too, but a lot of my favorite musicals, while featuring romance, are somewhat messed up, so it would be a pretty short list too.)

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, the couples on my list were, once I stopped thinking about books from the 1800s that I read in childhood: everyone I also put on a Valentine on Tuesday [though I tend to have fewer romance feelings regarding Dany and Doreah in the books, honestly, and this is mostly because Doreah dies earlier so there’s less time for coy glances; this is also because in the books, you don’t get to see the amazing reaction faces Doreah makes in regards to people reacting to Dany] and also Tonks/Lupin, and that somewhat because my friend and I surprise-called it approximately a book in advance for no real reason and it came true.)

–your fangirl heroine.

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Film Friday :: 2012 in film (2 opinions, 4 predictable favorites, 4 awesome people)

29 Dec

Opinions
2. I don’t care, I’m going to actively promote evil queen Charlize Theron to everyone.
I mean, I liked Snow White and the Hunstman pretty decently well overall, as you may remember.  It’s that kind of ridiculous dark thing I generally appreciate.  But the more I think about it, the more I go: wow, wow, but evil queen Charlize Theron is actually the best thing ever.  I haven’t seen a lot of Charlize Theron movies, or I’ve only halfway seen them, or I wasn’t really paying attention, but wow, maybe it’s just that I sort of dig on evil queens, but I enjoyed the hell out of this particular performance.

1. There were a lot of movies this year that I objectively recognize were good but just… didn’t really care about overall.
The Dark Knight Rises.  Skyfall.  Looper.  Friends With Kids even.  For different reasons each time, but also largely for one overarching reason: I have such a hard time caring about the movie when I don’t care about the characters and/or don’t necessarily appreciate how they were being used.  It’s not that I didn’t like these movies.  To whatever extent, I did. But I wasn’t thinking about them too much afterward, I wasn’t analyzing everything about them happily, I didn’t feel compelled to jump into discussions about them.  I actually kind of fear being asked to join discussions about The Dark Knight Rises, because there really isn’t anything insightful I can say about it.

Predictable favorites
4.
Brave
I just rewatched this movie the other night.  And ugh it makes me so happy.  I don’t really need to repeat myself, but it did so many things right and I adored it for that.

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
See but this would also have been a predictable disappointment, because I do not recall the last time I was this nervous about a movie.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower is such a big part of my adolescence that the film had some monumentally-sized shoes to fill in my eyes.  But not only did it fill those shoes, it was actually a really really good movie that did a lot of the things that I thank Brave (and actually the next two movies I’m about to discuss) for.  Yes, Charlie (Logan Lerman) has a crush on Sam (Emma Watson).  But that is not the point of the movie, the point of the movie is friendship.  It’s a love story, but it’s a platonic love story about these young people who care so deeply for each other, and that makes me so absolutely happy.

2. The Avengers
You can see where this is going, no?  I talked about how this movie was almost immediate fulfillment of a wish I expressed: a movie about platonic relationships.  Because aside from Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) and Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow), there is absolutely no romance in this movie.  (I mean, if you’re too desperate for Avengers romance, you can basically look… anywhere on tumblr or the rest of the internet and find every possible permutation of romantic relationships between every character who has ever appeared for half a scene in the MCU.)  This is a movie about a bunch of people, extraordinary people for whatever reason, who by all rights should not get along, but still manage to forge a beautiful team and do some world-saving.  And this is a movie where the good guys never ever go “oh yeah, and here’s our token lady team member,” they just appreciate her skills like they appreciate (or sometimes don’t appreciate) anyone else’s skills and go about their day.  This is a movie where things felt high-risk and where things felt real even if it was about superheroes and space aliens and where characters were interesting to me.  This is a movie where I actually got invested in really just about everyone.

1. The Cabin in the Woods
This is the height of predictable.  This is also not the only list (or sublist I guess) that this movie will be heading up in the near future.  This movie, though.  This movie has romantic relationships and makeouts and whatnot, Curt (Chris Hemsworth) and Jules (Anna Hutchinson), Dana (Kristen Connolly) and Holden (Jesse Williams), and this is largely because it’s integral to the genre critique and the extreme meta factor.  But you know what I love?  I love the handling of the “Marty and I were sweeties in our freshman hall” bit, insofar as it’s refuted with a “we made out once” and not turned into some source of tension (one of the pieces of Cabin meta I’ve found online talks about this; I don’t remember which one, but one of them, all of which are in my Cabin in the Woods tag so go find it if you’re curious I guess) I love that even while Dana and Marty (Fran Kranz) were running around destroying everything, even while they were clinging to each other and being sweet to each other as the world combusted, they didn’t actually have romantic subplottiness.  It’s so easy to pull that “last boy last girl shove ’em together” stuff, and that has definitely happened in the genre before.  And mind you, I actually do kind of ship Dana and Marty.  But I like that it didn’t have to be made canon.

Awesome people
4. Rooney Mara(The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo)
It almost seems like this movie came out last year, since it was so close to the year’s beginning.  But nope, this was a 2012 movie indeed.  And I just.  I love her.  Between this movie (because while I adore Noomi Rapace’s Lisbeth, I am not in love with her) and the fact that this was the year I finally finished the book trilogy, 2012 was the year I actually fell in love with Lisbeth Salander.  I think she’s great, and I think she’s fascinating.  She’s a badass, she’s a techie savant, she’s unapologetically bisexual, she’s unapologetically everything actually.  She’s just great.

3. Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks)
I really loved this movie.  Probably because of all of its meta.  But I love Zoe Kazan because she’s adorable and I found the evolution of Ruby in the story to be pretty interesting, and I love her because this was her movie.  She came up with it, she wrote it, she made happen what she needed to make happen.  And that’s super-super-cool.

2. Fran Kranz (The Cabin in the Woods)
We’re into the predictable again.  As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, I get inordinately proud when watching this movie with other people and they express fondness for him, be it the couple sitting in front of me  the third time I saw it in theaters talking about how he was the most awesome one in the movie or be it my friend proclaiming that not only was he awesome, he was pretty cute.  I am bordering-on-creepy-proud of my Fran and how well people reacted to him in this movie.  I am so happy that he was the star of everyone’s hearts.

1. Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers)
I definitely mentioned before that I’ve actually always kind of had a Scarlett Johansson thing.  This used to be for reasons that I couldn’t quite articulate, because it wasn’t because of a particular movie or because I’d read something cool with her or anything.  It just sort of was.  But after The Avengers (and her growing real-life fantastic reactions to people talking to her about it) I feel completely justified in this for the first time.  Because I’m sorry, Entertainment Weekly, but Loki being the one character from this movie that you pulled out specially to mention in your end-of-the-year whatnot?  Noooope.  I am ambivalent toward Loki, actually; I don’t hate him, but neither do I fall all over him going “aw poor baby.”  However, Black Widow has become at least to some of my friends one of my real life things, like British accents or cupcakes or dragons.  Because Black Widow is fantastic and wonderful, and I and the world needed a character like her in this (and really any) movie so much.  She is my rational, kickass, imperfect, literal-minded, well-developed darling, and I am so glad she exists.

–your fangirl heroine.

gussy up

Spoiler Alert Saturday :: my thoughts on The Perks of Being a Wallflower

10 Nov

As you guys all know, I was really nervous about this.  And I would be lying if I said I hadn’t procrastinated seeing it somewhat due to those nerves.  But I’ve realized something.  At least for me, this isn’t the kind of story that only mattered at a point in time.  I mean, it mattered at a point in time, it mattered like hell, but — okay.  It still matters.  I took one of my people who hadn’t ever read the book, and just judging by the way it still affected her, it works no matter what.

  • Everyone held up.  I didn’t love Logan Lerman’s Charlie in the same way that I loved the Charlie on the page that I fell for when I was thirteen, but that’s because I’m pretty sure I couldn’t love anyone fictional in that way.  That was the intense pain of first fictional love, and though it’s faded with time, it’s still a certain specific kind of feeling.  But I wasn’t disappointed with Logan Lerman’s Charlie, either.  I found him very appropriate and effective and by the end actually very heartwrenching.
  • This is the refrain I have about… everything.  Heartwrenching.  I’d forgotten, I think, how heartwrenching it could be, which is silly because I remembered what happened.  I just didn’t remember the emotional punch it packed, and maybe this is the point where I should just disclaim for y’all that I cannot be objective about this.  I was either going to walk out perfectly contented with the adaptation or completely outraged, and I am happy to say it was the former.
  • Emma Watson’s Sam was… well, not at all how I imagined Sam when I read it, but it worked.
  • Ezra Miller’s Patrick was actually phenomenal and somewhat how I imagined him to be.
  • Mae Whitman’s Mary Elizabeth was basically perfect.  I’d had my doubts about Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, I’d never registered Ezra Miller, but I knew of Mae Whitman and I was expecting it to work wonderfully.  So in that way, positive expectation reinforced.
  • Johnny Simmons wound up being a much better Brad than I originally thought; I guess since all I had in my head of him was Young Neil, I couldn’t imagine him a football player, but it worked.  It worked much better than if they’d cast a “jocky” looking guy, actually.
  • Erin Wilhelmi as Alice.  A’daww.  Alice was actually always my favorite, probably because we knew the least about her and she never actually wound up with anyone even superficially (I mean, it looked liked she went to the prom with Patrick, buddies-style), and though my Alice-as-Columbia theory was disproved (Mary Elizabeth being Columbia, presumably because they only really showed the Floorshow much) my Alice/Mary Elizabeth theory was proven, or rather revised.  Because maybe this is just how I read… oh, everything, but I was getting some definite “Alice has a secret crush on her best friend, Mary Elizabeth” vibes there.
  • Paul Rudd as Mr. Anderson.  Okay, I’m not complaining.  I like Paul Rudd well enough.
  • Nina Dobrev as Candace.  I honestly don’t remember much about the sister in the book, but it was done well here.
  • Kate Walsh and Dylan McDermott as the parents.  Well, I’m pretty sure I’m never going to be able to trust Dylan McDermott entirely after American Horror Story, but they did fine too.
  • Basically: feelings.  I open myself to your judgment, but I also am unashamed.  Because at the end of the day, yeah, this was a movie that had romance, but it was mostly a movie about friendship and self-journeying, and ugh, I love movies about friendship and self-journeying.

–your fangirl heroine.

Things in Print Thursday :: a play-by-play of the ALA’s top 100 banned/challenged books of the 2000s

14 Jun

I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom to read lately, so this naturally came up.  Italics represent ones I’ve read, bolded italicized are ones I’ve liked, underlined italicized are ones I’ve read for school, *asterisked* ones are ones I’ve seen the movie of.

*Harry Potter* by J.K. Rowling (obviously yes 1000x I love)
*His Dark Materials* series by Phillip Pullman (well, I saw The Golden Compass?)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (as evidenced by every mention of it I ever make, this book owned my heart)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
*The Color Purple* by Alice Walker (I, uhm, saw the stage musical?)
*To Kill a Mockingbird* by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier
*Bridge to Terabithia* by Katherine Paterson
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
*One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest* by Ken Kesey
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (holy crap holy crap I love this book I love Margaret Atwood so much)
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
17 out of 100 read.  7 out of 100 sincerely enjoyed.  9 out of 100 read for school.

Actually, I’m surprised I haven’t read more.

–your fangirl heroine.