Everything is The Worst. [PINNED POST]

August 17th, 2017 4:06 pm by Kelly Garbato

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2017-12-17

December 18th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @IWriteAllDay_: As promised, I am back to discuss how calling Valkyrie "male-coded" is not only racist, but queerphobic as it erases que… ->
  • RT @Amy_Siskind: Week 57 has 124 not normal items.
    See what you missed in this week’s chaos! https://t.co/Z3WRuWiulw ->
  • RT @crampell: "There's no way I could have known that the awful tax bill I now support benefits me because I still haven't read it" is not… ->
  • RT @TheRealSook: Y’all just gotta make the movie live action at this point or you’re wasting the mans whole ass face https://t.co/5HevbKpLnJ ->
  • RT @LillianJClark: Passing this lovely along!
    RT + follow by midnight 12/21 for a chance to win my arc of THE CRUEL PRINCE 👑 🖤🗡
    (US & PR on… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2017-12-16

December 17th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • 4 of 5 stars to Elsewhere, Vol. 1 by Jay Faerber https://t.co/9ZleiOF5RD ->
  • RT @Alyssa_Milano: I have been a victim of each component of the sexual assault spectrum of which you speak. They all hurt. And they are al… ->
  • RT @cshannonpdx: @IsaLeeWolf @realzwigoff Robert Rodriguez wrote Grindhouse and cast Rose McGowan in the lead to spite Harvey Weinstein. Th… ->
  • RT @MiraSorvino: Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying. There it is, confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, so… ->
  • RT @queer_queenie: GamerGate was always a hate group
    GamerGate was always a hate group
    GamerGate was always a hate group
    GamerGate was alwa… ->
  • RT @Alyssa_Milano: Holy. Shit.

    Trump administration is prohibiting officials at nation's top public health agency (CDC) from using these s… ->

  • RT @yashar: Heather Heyer’s Mom: I Have to Hide Her Grave From Neo-Nazis https://t.co/fTjQcOurHL ->
  • Click To Give at The Animal Rescue Site https://t.co/azqH1dZ2Xa via @po_st ->

tweets for 2017-12-15

December 16th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @Skyemachine: 6 yr old girl @ work: Im marrying (name of another girl in her class) when I grow up
    me: nice, do you love her
    girl: yeah… ->
  • RT @rcs_fresno: Nine more women say judge subjected them to inappropriate behavior, including 4 who say he touched or kissed them – https:/… ->
  • RT @terrycrews: What’s ridiculous is people think that just because something bad happened 20, 30 , even 40 years ago— it should be forgott… ->
  • RT @jules_su: Hi guys, it’s 2017 and Mario Batali just apologized for sexual harassment AND gave a recipe for Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls al… ->
  • RT @OriginalFunko: RT & follow @OriginalFunko for the chance to win a Chewbacca and Porg Pop! prize pack! #TheLastJedi https://t.co/g8jGSx1… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

Book Review: Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story by Debbie Tung (2017)

December 15th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

I could have used this book twenty-five years ago.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World is a memoir in graphic novel format. Author/illustrator Debbie Tung explores the growing pains of adulthood … made all the more agonizing and confusing by her introversion. As she struggles to maintain a proper level of sociability – first as a graduate student, then as a member of the workforce – Tung wonders what the heck is wrong with her? When she stumbles upon a personality test online one day, it all clicks: she’s not broken, just different.

I have social anxiety; I’m probably an introvert, too. I wasn’t exactly sure how much I’d relate to Tung’s life but, as it turns out, it’s like looking in a mirror. Whether it’s celebrating the cancellation of a much-dreaded get together, lying awake obsessing over an embarrassing episode that transpired years ago, or spending the remainder of the day napping to recuperate from an hour-long appointment, many of these could be scenes from my own life.

Yet these are pretty common manifestations of social discomfort and malaise, especially in the modern era, where technology often circumvents face-to-face interactions. It’s when Tung’s more specific weird quirks hit home that my mind was well and truly blown.

Humiliating parent-teacher meetings about your shyness? Check.

(My sixth-grade teacher actually set me up with another girl, on account of we were both so quiet and friendless. Like can you imagine?)

Fantasizing about eloping in order to avoid the public spectacle of a wedding? Check.

(My husband and I did elope, in Las Vegas. The only witness? The secular priest. My mom tried to send some family along and was super-pissed when I begged off.)

Not being able to make a phone call around other people? Yup, I’m afraid so.

Honestly, it just got freaky deaky after a while. It’s like she cracked my skull open and was crawling around inside my mess of a brain.

The artwork is sweet and complements the story nicely; the color scheme is a muted grey, which suits the story’s melancholy feeling. Topics like this can get real dark, real fast (seriously, just read my journal. Or don’t!), and there are some rather depressing panels, but overall it’s pretty gentle and forgiving. It’s clear that Tung has found a place of acceptance and self-love (or at least understanding), which lends the book a hopeful vibe.

Along with Hyperbole and a Half and the Sarah’s Scribbles collections, this is a book that I’ll keep on my bedside table and return to in the future, whenever life feels like it’s just too much. A must read for introverts, the terminally shy, those with social anxiety – and the people who love them.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2017-12-14

December 15th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-12-13

December 14th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @jonrog1: 1/ Okay, you racist hack, apparently I have to do this every time. Like all conspiracy theories, this falls apart as soon as o… ->
  • RT @catreynoldsnyc: MALE REINDEER LOSE THEIR ANTLERS IN WINTER AND FEMALES DON'T THEREFORE SANTA'S SLEIGH IS ACTUALLY PULLED BY A TEAM OF S… ->
  • RT @KateHarding: This right here. These are women who reject feminism because their god (i.e., men speaking on his behalf) tells them they… ->
  • RT @OriginalFunko: RT & follow @OriginalFunko for your chance to WIN a @Target exclusive variant #HULK Pop! #ThorRagnarok
    📦 Reminder: Reser… ->
  • RT @iamstephbeatz: Thank you @salmahayek for speaking you very painful truth. It is incredibly brave of you to share and push past your own… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2017-12-12

December 13th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: Helium by Rudy Francisco (2017)

December 12th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Reflections on race, gender, mental illness — and love, naturally!

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Goodreads.)

Your God stole my God’s identity.
So next time you bend your knees,
next time you bow your head
I want you to tell your God
that my God is looking for him.
(“To the Man Standing on the Corner Holding the Sign That Said ‘God Hates Gays'”)

Once, a friend of a friend asked me
why there aren’t more black people in the X Games
and I said, “You don’t get it.”
Being black is one of the most extreme sports in America.
(“Adrenaline Rush”)

Some days I forget that my skin
is not a panic room.
(“My Honest Poem”)

###

The first poem in Helium, “Water,” took my breath away – and more or less set the tone for the entire volume.

I have a terrible time reviewing poetry; I can’t tell you whether a poem is “good,” technically speaking, only if I liked it. Even then I fear I’m a poor barometer, since I’m as likely to understand it as not.

But Rudy Francisco’s poetry is accessible AF. Also daring, insightful, passionate, and unfiltered. I especially adore the poems that tackle mental illness – which is no surprise, as I struggle with anxiety and depression myself, and thus find this genre incredibly relatable and applicable to my own life.

Many of these pieces appear in Parts I and II; but it’s those poems centered on social justice issues (Part III) that really stunned me speechless. “Adrenaline Rush,” “Rifle II,” “To the Man Standing on the Corner Holding the Sign That Said ‘God Hates Gays'” — these poems will stick with me long after Helium claims its permanent home on my bookshelves. Not that it will stay there indefinitely: this is a book I’m likely to revisit again in the future.

Though Francisco is at his best when writing about social justice issues – toxic masculinity, misogyny, religious intolerance, art as resistance, police brutality, etc. – I cared less for his love poems. Though I suppose it could just be the jaded, 39-year-old widow in me silently screaming, “Please don’t be a love poet!”

I also actively disliked “Complainers” (to paraphrase: if you’ve never had to saw your own arm off with a rusty butterknife, stfu!), which is kind of a bummer: the second-to-last poem in the book, it left a bitter taste in my mouth.

I rarely read physical books anymore – I’m more an ebook kind of gal – but I found the font a little on the small side, and unnecessarily so, since many of the pages are dominated by white space. Borderline hard-to-read for my nearly middle-aged eyes.

These are all fairly minor complaints, though, given the sheer genius and raw emotion embodied in Helium.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2017-12-11

December 12th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-12-10

December 11th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-12-09

December 10th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-12-08

December 9th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-12-07

December 8th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-12-06

December 7th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-12-05

December 6th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: 30 Days to Joy: A One-Month Creative Journal by Waterbrook (2017)

December 5th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Would make a nice gift for Christians.

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Blogging for Books.)

I have a bit of an addiction to journals, even though I don’t write nearly as often as I should/mean to. That said, 30 Days to Joy isn’t something I’d normally buy for myself, since it’s explicitly geared towards Christians. So, grain of salt.

As the title implies, 30 Days to Joy is unusual, as far as journals go, in that it’s meant to be completed in a month (although there’s nothing stopping you from taking as long as you want; while each exercise is labeled “Day 1,” “Day 2,” and so on, you could just as easily pencil in the date next to it, if you prefer). Each day features a different prompt that encourages you to reflect on the topic of “joy,” whatever that means to you.

Examples of this include:

* How is joy different from happiness?

* In pencil, write those things that most frequently steal your joy. Next, in a colorful pen or marker, write ways you can choose joy in those situations.

* If joy were a person in your life, who would it be and why?

* Write down and illustrate a quote or Bible verse that brings you joy.

As you can see, the exercises featured are a mix of secular and Christian prompts, with the majority skewed secular. However, most of the quotes peppered throughout the book are explicitly Christian, including a fair number of Bible verses. For this reason, I wouldn’t even assign the more general “New Age” or “spiritual” labels to this book; it’s really just meant for Christians, which is kind of shame, because we could all use more joy in these dark times, don’t you think?

Aesthetically, the book is pleasing to the eye; the interior color theme is red and white, making this a great Christmas gift. The cover has a rich, textured feel, which is undercut a bit by the large white sticker containing copy placed on the back cover.

The dimensions of the book are small, which normally bugs the heck out of me – but the book is thin enough that it’s easy to write in. There’s enough room to respond to each prompt, too.

Great idea, though the execution isn’t for everyone.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2017-12-04

December 5th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-12-03

December 4th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @iamlaurenp: This is so sad. https://t.co/5TwDQjm1zr ->
  • RT @EdimaInwang: Guys, I need a favor again.
    This belongs to a friend of mine who is struggling with insecurity.
    How many RTs can she get… ->
  • RT @JoyAnnReid: And 18 years later, the Nixon administration sued your father and your company for housing discrimination for having applic… ->
  • RT @joffeorama: A Christmas Carol is good because it recognizes that rich people suck and will only change their ways if they are made to f… ->
  • RT @TheDweck: Congrats to Ted Cruz on killing more people than the Zodiac ->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2017-12-02

December 3rd, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-12-01

December 2nd, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @south_sab: My friend was refused service at a McDonalds today in London because she was wearing a Hijab. When she started recording the… ->
  • RT @IEarths: #ChimichangaTime! We're giving away a #Marvel #Gwenpool #Pop figure! RT & Follow for a chance to win! Winner DM'd in 30 days!… ->
  • RT @SethHanlon: UPDATE: We just got a copy of what I think is the last-minute amendment to the bill. It's 479 pages long. An unsearchable… ->
  • RT @mic: A descendant of Pocahontas reveals the disturbing truth about this storied figure — and it's something all Americans need to hear.… ->
  • RT @Amy_Siskind: It's going to take years if not decades to unbury all the hidden ways lobbyists for the far-right inserted lines to hurt w… ->
  • (More below the fold…)