Book Review: Weird Girl and What’s His Name, Meagan Brothers (2015)

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Mulder, it’s me.

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received an electronic ARC for review though Edelweiss. Trigger warning for rape.)

Sometimes you can’t see how the stuff you do spirals out, like octopus arms, destroying everything in its path and … okay, that’s a crappy metaphor. Octopuses don’t really destroy anything. I had to do a report on octopuses once. Octopi. Anyway, they’re actually really smart, loving animals, even if they do look like blobs. I’m no octopus. I’m more like a … like a big dumb puppy. Whipping around with its tail and its giant paws, making a mess, destroying everything without even meaning to, just trying to jump on everybody’s lap and see who loves me best.

“You’ve seen one unrequited white hetero love story, you’ve seen ’em all.”

Tallulah “Lula” Monroe and Theodore “Rory” Callahan have been best friends for as long as they can (or care to) remember. Fellow misfits at Hawthorne High – she’s the “weird girl” to his “what’s-his-name?” – they bond over their absentee fathers, mediocre mothers, shared appreciation for the male form, general bookishness, and – of course – their unadulterated love of The X-Files, which originally aired when they were just toddlers. Every Friday night at 9PM, they get together at Lula’s grandparents’ retirement condo to watch exactly one episode – their best effort to replicate the original viewing experience – and then dissect it on their shared blog, SpookyKid and BloomOrphan’s Incomplete Guide to The X-Files.

Their seemingly rock-solid friendship is upended, however, when Lula discovers that Rory’s been having an “affair” with his boss, the much-older (and still mostly-closeted) Andy Barnett. Scare quotes because Rory is seventeen and the relationship is described multiple times as statutory rape. Angry that her best friend has been keeping secrets from her (and maybe a little in love with Rory herself), Lula confronts him…only to go missing the next day.

(More below the fold…)

Book Review: X-Files/30 Days of Night, Steve Niles et al. (2011)

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Don’t MAKE him say the v-word, Scully!

four out of five stars

When the grisly remains of some sixteen truck drivers are discovered by plow driver Henry-Lee “Patches” Brown, Mulder and Scully are called out to Wainwright, Alaska to investigate. Decapitated, drained of blood, and hung atop a 40-foot pole, these clearly aren’t the victims of an ordinary serial killer – despite what their colleagues at the FBI believe. Mulder and Scully’s investigation leads them to an abandoned 19th century ship, a limbless old man, an ancient artifact, and a young girl covered in third-degree burns (and then…not). All the while, they must contend with the 24-hour darkness that has enveloped wintry Wainwright.

A fan of the 2007 film 30 Days of Night, I was researching the comic book series by Steve Niles, trying to decide whether I should give it a try, when I stumbled upon this crossover series. Whereas the 30 Days of Night comics generally have poor to fair reviews, this one came highly recommended. But hey, they had me at “The X-Files“!

Steve Niles and Adam Jones (of Tool fame) expertly capture the tone and spirit of the show in this adaptation: the wry humor, the amiable-yet-sometimes-exasperated banter, the sense of camaraderie between our favorite two federal agents. The writers nail the characters of Mulder and Scully (and Skinner!), even if the art isn’t always spot-on. As I read, I could easily envision this story on the small screen. (Or large. Someone make this happen please! Given the comic’s final panel, it would make an excellent sequel to the 30 Days of Night film!)

The story wasn’t quite as long as I would have liked, but then I’d rather the writers leave me wanting more rather than wishing for less.

Whether you count yourself a member of the X-Files or 30 Days fandom, X-Files/30 Days of Night belongs in your book pile.

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

I thought you were a bitch.

Friday, June 8th, 2012

2011-09-21 - Mags is a BITCH! - 0011

On the season finale of 30 Rock, Kenneth Parcell redefined the term “bitch” in a way that tickled my vegan feminist funny bone. (Yes, vegans and feminists have funny bones too!)

“And to think I thought Hazel was a bitch. Friendly and loyal, like a well-trained female dog. She isn’t a bitch. She’s a meanie pants.”

30 Rock, “What Will Happen to the Gang Next Year?” (Season 6, episode 22)

The part about being “well-trained” aside – ambitious and outspoken, bitches are anything but – I’d say that this is pretty spot on. Given that the observation comes from the “backward hick” character – famous for his nonsensical, fundamentalist Christian / quaint agrarian brand of “wisdom” – I’m not sure whether the audience is supposed agree. Whatever. Some of my best friends are bitches. Exhibit A: Mags, above, sunbathing on a copy of Bitch magazine.

On related note, this little tidbit from Texts from Last Night – re-purposed for Texts from the X-Files – also made me smile.

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For those who can’t view the image, it’s still of Dana Scully speaking to another woman; her back is turned to the camera, so I can’t identify her, but she’s a tallish brunette. The texts reads, “(716): I’d call her a cunt, but she doesn’t seem to have the depth or warmth.”

The moral of the story? Bitches and cunts are awesome.