memories

Superstitions | Buttercup of Doom ep 13

13bod-superstitions300Available FREE on: Project iRadioiTunesStitcherAndroidTune-In

Because this is the 13th episode, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss Superstitions, and because I promised last week, Urban Legends. From Bloody Mary to the Hook Hand, from black cats to pop rocks, from the truth to internet hoaxes, we cover campfire frights and facebook fallacies… I ask a couple questions (join conversation/answer here), I offer up some readings and links, and I request something of YOU this time. I hope you had a great Halloween, now come enjoy your sugar hangover with the Buttercup of Doom!

Sponsors: The God Beneath My Garden, by Robert Ford | Shroud #10, Halloween 2010

factcheckSuggestions/Requests from: not this week (to suggest/request, use the form here)

Mentions/Shoutouts: Bloody Mary Snopes | Halloween-Website • Try Guys facebook | youtube • Kevin Lucia • Steven Gilberts • Danny Evarts • werewolf cat • Urban Legends Onlinesnopes

Robert Ford’s video readings on facebook — Georgie | Early Harvest | Samson & Denial (teaser) | Racing the Milk

This Week’s Rating: PG13

And don’t forget — for advertising inquiries, contact me at buttercup@kelliowen.com

Hashtag Hell: #robertford #bobford #amazon #bloodymary #snopes #urbanlegends #superstitions #tryguys #costumes #trickortreat #hallosmile #blackcat #werewolfcat #shroudmagazine

 

Costumes | Buttercup of Doom ep 11

BODep11-costumes300Now Available at Project iRadio!

In this episode, Buttercup loses her mind a bit regarding the costumes offered during Halloween season… from how it affects your writing in the 101 Kiddie Pool, into her (yearly) Rant, and out with the Wisdom, costumes are all over this episode. From the sizes to the styles, from Disney to the Kardashians, she picks, pokes, whines, pisses and moans about costumes… and the funny for the week is a bunch of boys doing the same thing!

Sponsors: The Horror Show with Brian Keene | Maelstrom set #6

Funny: The Try Guys: Sexy Costume Videoofficial FB pageyoutube

sexytamponSuggestions/Requests: the image of “anything sexy” costumes is courtesy of Matt Blazi (posted to my wall this year, thank you). (to suggest/request, use the form here)

Mentions/Shoutouts: Brian Keene • Dave Thomas (aka Meteornotes) • Geoff Cooper • Thunderstorm Books • Manifesto of Kindness3 Guys with Beards • The Walking Dead • Fear of the Walking Dead • Kardashians • Disney • Kelli Owen blogProject iRadioiTunesStitcherAndroidTune-In

Hashtag Hell: #thewalkingdead #fearofthewalkingdead #disney #kardashian #nsfw #costumes #halloween #whore #slut #itunes #stitcher #android #tunein #facebook #twitter #clickbait #brideoffrankenstein #chucky #sexychucky #freddykrueger #sexyfreddykrueger #kimdavies #pizzarat #donaldtrump #sarahpalin

mostThis Week’s Rating: R – aka NSFW – LADS

Discussion includes: My own little “glad” system… and a giggle
G – god, or religion in
L – language (s/sh*t, f/f*ck, x/truly tabboo words, g/genitalia mentions)
A – adult themes
D – drugs
S – sex or sexual situations
RR – rock and roll

And don’t forget — for advertising inquiries, contact me at buttercup@kelliowen.com

*note: I know if you go online and order a costume, you can find classics… this rant is regarding what’s offered to the every day shopper in local stores, outlets and temporary halloween stores.

Paper Dolls

paperdollToo much death lately.

First it was my nana. Nana was tough. Is still tough some days. Then we lost a women I once called Ma who’s son I never married but who’s grandchildren I used to plan in swirling hearts on school notebooks—I still don’t know what to call her twenty-five years after her son and I broke up. (What the hell do you call the mother of your first love, whose house you basically lived in for several years? I haven’t even seen her since we unexpectedly buried one of the gang fifteen years ago.) And now…now my aunt Jean.

They come in threes. I can be done now, right?

I told you about Nana. I started a blog about Ma B, but I can’t figure out what to feel, let alone say. My aunt, though? Shock. Tears… followed by the numbness of denial, then on to anger, and back to tears, all happened in the span of the phone call from my mother Saturday. I spent the rest of the day just trying to absorb the reality, bombarded with memories.

As I sit here, in the stillness of insomnia’s hours, I am realizing now how lucky I was to spend as much time with family as I did when I was growing up. I had sleepovers with Aunt Jean much like I did Nana. And the strongest memories of her and Uncle Jim are from those times, not just the visits. While there are many memories, there’s one that seems to jump up and yell for attention, repeatedly haunting me throughout the weekend. The paper dolls.

See, my aunt gave my sister and I paper dolls to play with. For those who don’t remember or just don’t know, these are thin cardboard cut-out figures in underwear with tabbed clothes you hang on the body (see picture). My first attempt to over-analyze why this memory seemed so needy was the innocence of it. We used to actually play with paper. No cell phones, iPads, Xbox or internet. Paper. There’s something about generational innocence there that seems to want to be said, but doesn’t really need to be, because everyone knows it, gets it, sees it. It just is. Times change, entertainment changes, blah blah change. So I let that analysis fade away and went back to the memory itself.

My aunt didn’t just hand them to us and walk away. They weren’t something to occupy us. They were something to do with us, to broaden our imagination, and explore our artistic side. She gave us the dolls and clothes, but then she pulled out paper, and colored pencils (I remember her having to sharpen those over and over with a knife—ah the old days), and sat with us. She showed us how to make our own tabbed wardrobes. We spent hours doing this, on many sleepovers, for several years. I remember thinking how artistic we were for getting to use the colored pencils instead of crayons. I remember tracing the dolls and designing—from clothes to shoes to even the hair, we could dress them up fancy or down to earth, give them blond hair or brunette, hanging down, in a pony or under a hat. We could change their appearance, and with it, the two dimensional illusion of personality, wants, desires, hobbies and habits.

And that’s where the little analyst in my head jumped on board and latched on.

Paper dolls were an introduction to the various masks we would wear throughout our life. We were just learning to put them on something else first, before testing the waters with our own naked selves. As we grow and evolve, our fashion changes, our outward appearance changes, our public attitude and persona change. What we show the world is nothing more than a tabbed piece of paper, lovingly cut out of our imagination and hung precariously from our shoulders. Some outfits we keep until they yellow with age or get torn or lost in the mix of things. Others we try out and shed as quickly as a new divorcee plays dress-up to find herself in the lost pieces of wardrobe. But they’re all just that, outward appearance. The paper doll underneath remains naked, fragile, vulnerable to the elements of time.

I’m going to miss my aunt horribly. For so many reasons. She was the record keeper for our lineage (the last blood gypsy of her generation), the maker of paper dolls and sharpener of colored pencils, and a champion of the arts (she was a rosemaling master, and her eldest an artist). And as is with all who pass on, I will cherish the memories, and take from them the lessons they offer…

Which, in this case, means I need to make new outfits for my paper doll self. I need a knife to sharpen the colored pencils, and with that, maybe a band-aid.

 

Beyond the Sidewalk

sidewalk

There is no quote today. Only me. And I’m not going to lie to you. I’ve had a lot of heavy thoughts lately, as I analyze and over-analyze my life, my decisions, my actions—midlife consideration, as I’m calling it, rather than crisis. As such, the way true consequences work, my blog may or may not be as heavy, clouded, jumbled, deep, or murky as my mind has been, but well, there it is… you’ve been warned.

When I was five years old, I watched King Kong with my friend Billy. Billy, and his sister Trina, lived kitty-corner from us in a quaint little neighborhood filled with tiny one-family homes and brownstone buildings sporting anywhere from two to four families. It was a nice neighborhood—houses lined up like pretty maids all in a row—in a time when the world may not have been much safer than it is now, but we perceived it as such because the news didn’t report on every single atrocity happening around us for the sake of shock value, by career-climbing newsmen who were more ambitious than judicious, hired by the unwieldy number of stations focused only on ratings. My memories are that of a child. I remember pretty little maids, with nice yards, friendly faces, and a feeling of community and safety—where a kid could fall off their bike, get hurt, and stop at any neighbor’s house for help without worrying about being buried in the basement with the other hapless souls who had wandered by.

Inside that child’s memory is Billy. And King Kong. After we watched the movie, we went out to play in the yard—because that’s what kids used to do. And while he had his arms out in front of him ala The Mummy, slowly stalking my sad impersonation of Fay Wray, I was backing up to get away from his supposedly menacing monkey. I tripped on a piece of sidewalk that had broken and buckled, like the one in the picture, and fell straight back onto my head, with a loud crack and an echoing bounce I still remember. Long story short, I cut the back of my head wide open and ended up with several stitches (ask me for the long story sometime at a con, it’s fun and includes gems like blood vs sweat, freaking out babysitters for fun and profit, and ruining mom’s day out with the girls).

Over the years, I’ve thought about Billy and Trina—specifically the day of King Kong for Billy, and an unfortunate tanning experience because of Trina. But this is about King Kong, and that sidewalk… that damn sidewalk.

The sidewalk is a magical thing when you think about it. It’s the first boundary we need to cross as children. When we’re finally allowed to play outside by ourselves, no mommy watching our every move and chasing us away from the dangers of the street, we are told to “stay in the yard.” And we do. Dutifully most of the time. Our initial foray to the sidewalk is the (still present in my life, always) chalk that let us express ourselves in fits of proud glory until the rains washed away our hard work. We didn’t cry when our hard work was erased, because we didn’t see the downside. We saw the clean slate and cheered because we’d get to fill it with the colors of our imagination all over again. Then we used the sidewalk to tackle and master the great and terrible vehicle of doom that would become our lives until sixteen allowed for four wheels instead of two—the almighty bicycle (yeah, banana seats!). Even then we were told to stay on the sidewalk (or driveway if you had one), but absolutely no going into the street. Eventually, we were allowed to roam past it, to go beyond that magical sidewalk. At which point, the sidewalk became a boundary again only when we found ourselves in trouble and were grounded back to the yard. Back within the confines of that cold gray slab which marked our home turf. Our safety zone.

We started with that sidewalk, but as we grew, we strove to go beyond other boundaries. To reach out and stretch our legs, taking strides—sometimes small, sometimes giant—to push on and go forth. To explore and adventure. We left the safety of the neighborhood and went to school. We finished that and moved out to find our own sidewalks. Some stayed close to the unforgiving cement they were comfortable with, others took the chance to run, either chasing their dreams or looking for them. Some left their hometown and found new sidewalks. Some left the state just to see if there were sidewalks elsewhere.

Every time we crossed the sidewalk, real or metaphorical, we experienced life. Good and bad. We saw amazing things, we met new people, we made incredible memories, we survived horrible tragedies—those no one warned us of, as well as those we had to learn for ourselves, even though we’d been warned, repeatedly—and we learned the varying degrees of disappointment as it balanced against achievement. Life is not a smooth piece of glass we walk along. It’s a sidewalk—full of cracked slabs, raised pieces waiting to trip you, and weeds desperately poking through any weaknesses along the way.

They say you can never go home again, and it’s true. Home isn’t the same once you’ve been beyond the sidewalk, but the yearning to return to its safety is very real. When we’re up, we call home and share our excitement. When we’re down, we think of going back and hiding behind the boundaries we knew… but outgrew. We can’t go back. It’s not the same. It may look like it, but it’s not. Not once you look past the fresh paint and new street signs. Not once you walk down that familiar sidewalk to the exact spot that became your first scar only to find the sidewalk isn’t buckled anymore. It’s been replaced. It’s no longer yours. It belongs to a new generation who doesn’t even know your blood was spilled there.

I suppose it’s the mature thing to fully realize the meaning behind “you can’t go home again.” It’s good to be at a point where you understand exactly why, and accept that it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just change. Change happens.

So here I am, not quite awake on my first cup of coffee, listening to the birds chirp as the world wakes up around me. And I find myself sitting on my steps looking out at the sidewalk. I’m thinking back over all the sidewalks I’ve crossed. All the porches and steps I’ve sat on before crossing them, or after. I’m cataloging all the lessons and losses, dreams and disappointments, smiles and scars. And it all becomes a swirl of doubt, leaving me to ponder whether I should have crossed the sidewalk and gone exploring in the first place. It has become a question of whether or not all that wonderment was worth all the wounds.

My older self thinks of the welcoming smells of mom’s kitchen, the safety of her stoop, the fact that I always have and always will sleep best under her roof. But I know, I know, “you can’t go home again.”  I accept that and swim in a little lake of self-pity for a bit, feeling lost as I stare at my coffee. Lately, I feel like I’m floating aimlessly, treading water, unsure if it’s toward shore or away from it. And when I look up to the sidewalk again, I can see the younger me, standing there with her long waves made darker by the streak of blood running down the center of them. And I remember. She didn’t curse the sidewalk that tripped her. She didn’t try and step back inside the boundaries of the grass. She stood up, wiped her face—mixing tears and blood into something that would dry and be labelled determination—and took a brave step forward.

I have a full box of chalk, a handful of band-aids, and a lot more sidewalks to cross. Whether I cross them or not, only time will tell…

 

 

 

Guckles

gucklesMy love of pickles is not a secret (deal with it Nate). I have always loved them. Forever. Period. And as I giggled at my little Raynebow munching on one the other day, my mind went off into a whirlwind of thoughts regarding the little green treasures that excuse cucumbers for their existence.

I have been known to get just a pickle when the work crew orders from the local sandwich shop, and the delivery guy knows exactly who that for and smiles at my child-like joy. When I was a teen, my brother called them guckles (he was a toddler at the time). Not sure why. He could say “p” but in this instance, he preferred his own word for the happy dill treat. And going back even further, when I was six, my mother bribed me with pickles.

Yes, bribed.

And that’s where the whirlwind stopped.

My mother used to stop on the way home from work at some mysterious place and bring home ginormous pickles, individually wrapped just for me by a group of fairies living near the dill tree in the woods. Hmm… I was six. I believed this. She would then show me said pickle and put it in the fridge and tell me I could have it if I would just be a doll and rub her back (and/or feet) for a few minutes. I was the youngest masseuse to ever work without a license! And I had a lot of fairy-wrapped giant pickles Monday through Friday that year.

And looking back now, as an adult, the woman was brilliant! It wasn’t even about the pickles. It had nothing to do with getting tiny masseuse to work on her kinks. Nope. It was her walking in the door and being able to plot on the couch and just be still and quiet and let the day melt off her for 20 minutes. It was mommy time, not pickle time. Brilliant. Kudos to the woman I often refer to, with love, as crazy (what? she is!).

So here’s a fun wayback-machine question for you… thinking back now as an adult, did your parents ever trick you into something for “you” that was really for them? How brilliantly evil were they?

 

Disney, Dreams and Disarray

I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream.
~ Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Sleeping Beauty…my favorite Disney movie. Hands down. Always has been. I’ve watched the movie a million times (most recently, just last week as background noise at work instead of Pandora). I’ve seen the ballet. Know the words, know the songs, have the soundtrack—with and without the words on the Tchaikovsky selection. And with the new Maleficent movie out, my eleven-year-old self, the dreamer of a girl hiding behind that tomboy facade, is all excited. Thus, I’ve been giving this movie a lot of thought.

I used to think I loved this one because the witch was just a witch. Not a wicked step-mother, no real reason for evil, she just was. And she’s always been my favorite Disney villain. Evil for the sake of being evil (like the original Michael Myers, not that watered down give-him-a-reason-and-remove-the-scary version Zombie did). Petty, bitchy, pissy Maleficent who, for all the script tells us, is so angry she wasn’t invited to the baby’s announcement she curses the child to be beautiful and perfect and DIE. Yeah, I’d like to have dinner with Maleficent and find out exactly what happened in her childhood to make her so damn evil.

For a time I thought it was purely for the Tchaikovsky aspect, as I was in dance class and loved the ballet version of the tale. I knew the ballet version of the waltz, and I knew the movie version. (Yes, I’ve danced with invisible owls dressed as princes in my kitchen, don’t judge.)

Or maybe it was for the fairies. I liked them better than most other fairy-type creatures in the other films. And the magic in this one was fun and wicked and all around accepted as normal.

Nope. Turns out it might just be because of prince freaking charming. I hate to admit that.

What Barbie has done for the body dysmorphia this country suffers, Disney has done for female expectations, and websites like match dot com should really pay them some sort of kickback for convincing people prince charming no only exists, but they can find their own for only $39.99 a month. My eleven-year-old self believed in prince charming and happy endings. By twenty those same thoughts would have been followed by yadda yadda yadda, as the adult put childish thoughts aside and was happy just hoping for the best. The dreams Disney insisted on and instilled in the psyche of little girls everywhere were shattered across a whole generation by the harsh reality of dead chivalry, condom vending machines, and impatience preventing the sweet build of friendship first in lieu of one night stands and “digits.”

However, tiny rant aside, this prince was different and I think that’s why I loved this movie. Let’s look at Disney princes for a moment, shall we?

  • Cinderella: one-night stand, but he returns her shoe and gives her a castle. aka Cindy wins the lottery.
  • Snow White: he kisses a sleeping stranger to save her. Or, molesting unconscious and/or dead girl in the woods is okay.
  • Little Mermaid: this tard doesn’t even notice her because she can’t talk? Then he’s completely sidetracked by a witch in disguise as a hot chick and only gets the girl because her dad changed her fins to legs.
  • Aladdin: not even a prince. A lying, deceiving street rat. Yeah, that’s who we want to fall in love with.

Sad, depressing, pathetic. Yes. However…

  • Sleeping Beauty: Phillip—this prince deserved to have his name remembered—did a bit more than average. He fought to escape the dungeon, battled goblins, cut through a forest of thorns, defeated a freaking dragon, beat the witch, broke the curse, and got the girl.

But most importantly, he didn’t even want a princess in the first place, he wanted the girl next door he found in the woods talking to nature and dancing to music only she could hear (aka he was okay with her being a little crazy). And she didn’t want to be a princesses betrothed to someone else, because she had found herself a nice boy just riding his horse through the woods who actually played well with her brand of crazy. Even though they were unknowingly betrothed, they were much more, they were destined and determined. He didn’t come in armor—hell he had to borrow a sword and shield. She didn’t come with a tiara.

I can’t speak for the rest of the females on the planet, but I’ve never been interested in a prince charming with a white horse and shiny armor. Just a guy comfortable in his own skin, with personal demons and dings in his armor, willing to fight the metaphorical dragons and goblins and witches of the world. Thus while the other Disney princes promise “happily ever after” but base it on almost nothing—giving little girls dreams and hopes only to crush them and fill their empty spaces with disappointment and disarray—Phillip actually works through issues and fights for his girl next door. He wins. This movie wins. Even though it was met with horrible box office receipts upon release and caused Disney to avoid fairy tales again until Little Mermaid years and years later. Win.

So, while my eleven-year-old self excitedly awaits the night I slip out to the theater to watch Maleficent, my jaded adult self agrees to let the innocent youth hiding inside to infect her. Just a little. And hum the waltz while dancing with an invisible owl dressed as hope.

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