As I riffled through posts on Flavorwire this morning, I came across one that features images by Brooke Shaden. The post’s title, “Surreal Photos of Women Dressed in Books, Butterflies, and Paper Planes,” made me curious. What could Flavorwire mean by women dressed in books and paper planes? I clicked on the link and was immediately fascinated by its contents. The post contained amazing photos by Brooke Shaden, an art photographer who’s based in Los Angeles. I fell in love with Shaden’s style as I clicked through the photos. Some are dark and seem to be a still from a scary movie but others I found to be dreamy. Either way, I love her stuff.
This piqued my interest so I googled her and discovered her website. Even more of her work is posted there so I advise all who read this to visit it. Her photos will sweep you away and make you want to visit the places that the women are in. The women seem to exist on a plane that is between reality and the imaginary. According to Shaden’s website, she is a self-portrait artists and “she attempts to place herself within worlds she wishes we could live in, where secrets float out in the open, where the impossible becomes possible.”
The photo above is one of my favorites from the Flavorwire post. It is of a woman in a dress made of books. Visit both websites and enjoy!
Finally, I’ve gotten through season two of Scandal, the T.V. show everyone’s talking about. Scandal first aired in 2012 with my girl Kerry Washington as the star—Olivia Pope. The show is a political thriller and is said to be based on Judy Smith, a crisis manager and former press aide for the George Bush Administration. Olivia Pope, like Smith, is a crisis manager, a.k.a “fixer,” for those who find themselves in deep shit—a scandal. She is also in love with the President of the United States, Fitzgerald Grant, and runs off to have an affair with him every now and then. She too was a press aide and she worked on the President’s election campaign back in the day (that’s when they met).
Scandal is an addictive show that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. At the end of each episode, you anxiously await the next one to air. This is why I had to wait until the end of the season to catch up. I watched the first season on Netflix. It was good and I was interested because it’s based in Washington, D.C., though we hardly see the characters in any credible place in D.C. (The Union Station metro didn’t look like the one in D.C.) We just know it is D.C. because of the snapshot photos used to transition the scenes. I know the photographer has his work cut out. I hope he enjoys it. Though I liked season 1, it wasn’t enough to pull me and make me want to revisit the show for a second season. I wasn’t planning to watch but word-of-mouth (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) bit me in the butt and made me peek at the first episode of season 2. I was hooked.
I decided to try to catch up so I could participate in the conversations flowing on my Facebook TL about the show. Things went great until a few episodes before the end of season 2. I then began to become troubled by the show, or rather viewers’ comments. From the conversations I’ve peeked in on, everyone seemed to revere Olivia Pope even her staff, which blindly follows her for a while. Of course, it’s not entirely the viewers’ fault for revering Pope. She has qualities that many would love to possess—independent, confident, smart, etc. Also, the show does a great job of making the viewer sympathize with Pope and hold her in a positive light no matter what she does; after all, she always seem to have a good reason for her actions. For example, Pope causes a rift in her friend’s (Abby) relationship but that was done for an apparently good reason. Abby could not be with the David Rosen, the district attorney, because she was leaking valuable information that would have ousted the Defiance incident that Pope and her conspirators were trying to keep hidden. Even though this bad act was done to cover another bad act – Defiance – Pope is still casted in a white light because she didn’t want to go ahead with the Defiance incident (which we learn later); PLUS, she saved Lindsay Dwyer (a.k.a. Quinn Perkins) so really, she shouldn’t be blamed.
I wasn’t excited when I first heard that The Great Gatsby was being made into a movie. That was last year. I had no intentions of seeing it and thoughts of re-reading the book was far from my mind. I didn’t even consider listing it on my Classics Challenge book list. That all changed a few weeks ago when I saw Iron Man 3. While waiting for the movie to start, sporting my 3D glasses over my prescribed lenses, I watched a preview of Gatsby. Being in a good mood, I got caught up in the music for the movie and the glimpses of glitz that await those who choose to watch. But what really pulled me in was the party scene. After a brief glimpse of that scene, I decided that I wanted to watch the movie so I could vicariously live through those who attended Gatsby’s massive parties.
I hate watching the movie version of a book prior to reading the book since parts are usually left out and the movie version is usually a poor remake (except The Princess Bride.) So I decided to re-read The Great Gatsby. I loathed doing this at first since I hated the book when I first read it in high school. I did not understand the story, I could not relate to the characters, and I found it hard to believe that anyone could consider it a “Great American Novel.” To my teenage self, The Great Gatsby did not define all that America is or was so it shouldn’t be considered a “Great American Novel.” (I still think so.)
But this time I’m older so maybe, I thought, the book would not be a total bore. And it wasn’t! First of all, I read an old copy of the book. A copy that was published in 1925 (it’s my dad’s friend’s of a friend’s). Anyway, I found this to be totally cool simply because the book is old and falling apart and was published in 1925. Silly, I know, but I was thrilled by these irrelevant details. Old books are always cool except when you find droppings in them or a spider crawls out.
“Lucky people tend to maximize chance opportunities. They are especially adept at creating, noticing, and acting upon these opportunities when they arise. Second, they tend to be very effective at listening to their intuition, and do work (such as meditation) that is designed to boost their intuitive abilities. The third principle is that lucky people tend to expect to be lucky, creating a series of self-fulfilling prophecies because they go into the world anticipating a positive outcome. Last, lucky people have an attitude that allows them to turn bad luck to good. They don’t allow ill fortune to overwhelm them, and they move quickly to take control of the situation when it isn’t going well for them.”
I forgot how I discovered this book (it may have been on Publishing Perspectives but I’m not sure). My dream is to one day, very soon, work in the book publishing industry. You can imagine my excitement when I happened upon this memoir by Sterling Lord, who has worked as an agent in the publishing industry for more than 60 years. He is now 92 years old and still works as an agent at Sterling Lord Literistic. He has represented some of the greats in literature like Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, and Jimmy Breslin. He has played competitive tennis nearly all his life and has attributed some of his success to the qualities that he developed as a tennis player.
Sterling Lord is from a small town in Iowa. After graduating from college, he entered the army and was flown to France where he worked for the army’s newspaper. He soon developed a paper of his own which he operated with a friend until it folded. Soon he married a French woman, flew back to the States, and decided to start his own literary agency. He didn’t know much about book publishing when he started his agency but he learned as he went along.
This one is from io9‘s post “Real-life House That Look Like They Belong in the Shire.” The picture above is of one of my favorite houses in the post. Apparently, it is a low-impact Hobbit house in West Wales. I think it’s the best of all the houses in capturing what the Hobbit house should look like. The inside is great as well and it seems very cozy. Click here to visit i09 to see more Hobbit inspired houses.