Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Smart Chicks Kick It Tour!

So I had the privelage of attending the Smart Chicks Kick It Book Tour yesterday. The Smart Chick Tour is a tour of Young Adult authors, mainly of the supernatural genre, getting together and talking shop and readers trying to squeeze precious information out of our favorite authors! On the leg of the tour that I attended tonight the lovely Melissa Marr (The Wicked Lovelies series), Holly Black (White Cat; Geektastic), Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld series; Darkest Powers series), Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instrument series), Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Lexicon series), Alyson Noel (The Immortals series), and Kami Garcia and Margret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness)!!!

I of course was most excited to see Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, but the other wonderful ladies have swayed me into loving them and making me want to spend my next paycheck on all of their books!!

The panel was great and crazy exciting with swag flying every where at one moment and Holly Black running around the room with a mic for lighting round Q&A the next! The best part for me was the signing! I've never really have done a signing before unless you count the last time the wonderful Rachel Caine, author of the Morganville Vampire series, and I felt so bad because I haven't really read anything of hers except something in a Charlaine Harris anthology. But she was a gracious person and her signing was so much fun! She, by the way, will join the Smart Chicks later in the tour! But I digress, when it came to the signing I had my little poster for the girls to sign and my Cassie Clare books in tow. She was at the end of the line so I had to wait patiently while my lovely friend Cari (check out her blog she's has awesome giveaways and reviews!! It's really cool!) had the second half of her like twenty million books signed! The girls were here the night before in the Woodlands which is on the outskirts of Houston so Cari went there and then to the one tonight. So there she was, now I have been a HUGE fan of Cassie before the Mortal Instruments series from her fanfiction days, so I was psyched to meet her in person. She was great and fun to talk with and I actually got to fangirl about Simon with her! It was this fangirls' craziest dream come true! I loved it and how layed back she was. It was awesome and just fun all around! I can't wait for these ladies to come through town again!

To check out the site click here and see if they're gonna stop anywhere near you! The line up changes a little per city but the three constants are Kelley, Melissa, and Alyson. It's totally worth going to!!

I have pictures and as soon as I find a way to get them off my phone I will totally post them ASAP!!!


P.S: Links to these authors are in the side bar!! Check out their sites and read their books! They're awesome! Trust me! =D

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bechdel Test

One of the coolest things I have gotten to do at my University is take a class in Graphic Novels. One of those novels was called "Fun Home" by Alison Bechdel, which portrayed a young girl coming to terms with her father's sexuality and her own. Many in my class snickered at the drawings portraying lesbianism, some even felt extremely uncomfortable or made jokes to "lighten the mood," but I found it to be unique and insightful.

Then, as I was beginning to write my final paper in the class, I started Googling authors of these novels for more background information and came across the Bechdel Test's website. This "test" is a movie rating system that deals with feminism and goes against what we consider "gender norms." The rules are as follows:
1. The movie must have two (named) women
2. that talk to each other
3. about something other than a man, finding a man, marriage to a man, etc.
What I find intriguing is not only the very small list of movies that fit this criteria, but how focusing on these three aspects can open up a whole new world for young(er) women who want to watch a movie that isn't all about love/marriage/etc. Most of my favorite movies don't meet this criteria at all (namely because most of my favorite movies have male leads).

I'm wondering if this rule, or test, could be used with literature as well? How many of my favorite novels would be considered "unfit" by this rule? It's an eye-opener on how gendered and biased our culture still is and how women are still being told to conform into the stereotypical gender roles. Just something to make you think about how our society has "evolved" to where we now sit.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Choosing Sides" and other news from Kansas State University

As some who read this might know, I'm from Kansas and attend Kansas State University (KSU). Here in Manhattan, the community is predominately conservative and/or Roman Catholic, and so many associate us with rural bible-thumpers or something close to it. However, what many don't realize is that we have some of the most liberal groups within our KSU community that do all sorts of wonderful things for our community and the people that belong to it. Normally, I wouldn't even glance at our school newspaper. It's definitely not something that I would consider "top-notch" reading material (I prefer bigger newspapers), but today the front page caught my attention.
I have heard, as most people have who pay attention to the news, of the Westboro Baptist church and Fred Phelps and his followers who protest against any and all things that have to do with homosexuality, the military and so on. Being from Kansas and having to share the beautiful state with a hate-group makes me angry, but also makes me inspired to become involved in a group or organization that proves that equality is the best way to go. Having this opportunity at hand, reading the collegian (our school's newspaper) about those who went out and protested against Fred Phelps' followers renewed my faith in our student body and the staff that went and supported them. The students and staff were protesting for the equal rights in the work force (because, unfortunately, Manhattan does not have anything enacted that allows for the non-discrimination based on sexual orientation). Today, I'm proud to be a Wildcat.
On the topic of homosexuality was another story in the collegian about a professor here at K-State who is an English and American ethnic studies professor who is currently writing a book about the two-spirited-ness of American Indians. I've never heard of the term before today, and so I was surprised to learn that two-spirited basically means (and I'm summarizing here) that the American Indian considers themselves gay or lesbian.
I've been fortunate enough to have this professor as one of my own professors last semester and she was fantastic. I'm looking forward to this book, not only to read about American Indians (as my heritage is a part of that ethnicity) but also to learn about how American Indians have viewed homosexuality throughout their existence. That is one area that I have never heard about until now, but have often wondered about.

Click here for the article on the non-violent protest against Fred Phelps' clan.

Click here for the article on two-spirited literature.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why Gay Marriage is Bad -- Just wanna let you know, this is PRO gay marriage.

I know it's a "chain-mail" thing, but I couldn't help myself.

10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong

01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

Re-post this if you believe love makes a marriage.


Monday, September 6, 2010

The Fine Bros. and 50 Book Spoilers in 4 mins!



Thursday, September 2, 2010

And this is why John Green is one of my heroes....

If you know Andi and I, you know that we LOVE the brothers Green (John and Hank). One writes awesome books and the other blogs about awesome green technology and all things green. So they have had this YouTube thing going on for like almost FOUR YEARS!! (can't believe I've been watching it that long!) So our beloved John was punished by his younger brother this week and this is what it was:

There's a link to the rest of their videos and more about John and Hank in the sidebar for you to check out!