Thank God for Books...

So in a world that seems to be falling apart, and where people are drawing themselves further and further away from each other from the help of technology, it's good to know that one universal love that most people have for books still exists. I swear if the future ever becomes a place where all the fundamentalist end up burning all the books or censoring them, it would be a world I would quickly remove myself from by any means possible. And I mean VERY quickly. Because I honestly couldn't live without books. They are my escape and my connection to the minds of some very brilliant people. If I could only write half as well as my favorite writers I would be truly happy..

But anyway, this year I have read several wonderful books. Of course I've always loved reading, but after Olivia was born it kind of took a backseat, but now that she is older I am trying to consume as much literature as I possibly can. So I'm trying to set a goal this year (a small one) to read at least 40 of the classics (and some newer ones if they strike my fancy) by the end of the year. I'm sure I can exceed that but it's just a minimum I've set. Plus there are like a million more books I want to list but I'll just start with this for now. Now when I was in college I read a ton of the classics (mostly the Greek stuff) but because of what I've done to my brain over the years I've forgotten most of the details and want to re-read all of them. So I've made of list of the books I plan to read along with my own personal favorite books that I believe everyone should read before they expire to the big library in the sky..

Goal Books (to read and re-read):
1. The Divine Comedies by Dante Alighieri
2. Agamemnon, The Libation-Bearers, The Furies & Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus
Oedipus the King & Antigone of Sophocles
Hippolytus & The Bacchæ of Euripides
The Frogs of Aristophanes
3. Æneid, by Vergil
4. Don Quixote, Part 1, by Cervantes
5. Stories from the Thousand and One Nights
6. The Odyssey by Homer
7. Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
9. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
10. In Cold Blood by Truman Copete
11. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
12. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
13. The Communist Manifesto by Carl Marx
14. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
15. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
16. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
17. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
18. To Kill a Mockinbird by Harper Lee
19. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
20. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
21. The Woman in White by
Wilkie Collins
22. The Sun Also Rises by Earnest Hemmingway
23. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
24. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
25. Jane Eyre by
Charlotte Brontë
26. The Picture of Dorain Grey by Oscar Wilde
27. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
28. The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
29. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
30.Take it or Leave it by
Raymond Federman
31. Going Native by Stephen Wright
32. Under the Volcano by Malcom Lowery
33. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
34.Crash by J. G Ballard
35. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
36. Native Son by Richard Wright
37. Memoirs of A Geisha by Arthur Golden
38. Go Ask Alice by Annonymous
39. Kite Runner by
Khaled Hossein
40. Lady Chatterly's Lover by D.H. Lawrence

My Personal "must-reads" that I love:

1. The Dark Tower #1-7 by Stephen King
2. Night by Elie Weisel
3. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
4. The Bell Jar by Silvia Plath
5. Poems by Dorathy Parker
6. The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills by Charles Buckowski
7. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
8. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
9. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
10. Naked Lunch by William Burrows
11. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
12. The Haindmaid's Tale by Margerate Attwood
13. Beasts by Joyce Carol Oats
14. The Story of O by Pauline Reage (for mature audiences only....very mature)
15. Justine by the Marquise De Sade (again for very mature audiences)
16. Metamorphasis by Franz Kafka
17. 1984 by George Orwell
18. Poems by Edger Allen Poe
19. Short stories by Raymon Carver
20. Dracula by Bram Stoker
21. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
22. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
23. The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum (most effed up book i've ever read in my life)
24. The Danish Girl by
David Ebershoff
25. Disco Bloodbath by James St. James
26. The Art of Racing in the Rain my Garth Stein
27. Les Miserable by Victor Hugo
28. The Golden Compass Trilogy by Phillipe Pullman
29. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Sallanger
30. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
31. The Witch and Vampire Books by Anne Rice

Now I know there are SO MANY more but right now I cannot think of them! *frustrating*

Well I hope I meet my goal. I really can't wait to read them all. I'm the type of person who gets super super excited when I'm about to start a new book. Seriously, when Paul comes home with new books from the library for me, nothing can make me happier!


You never know Part II

So as mentioned in my previous post I had become friends with two of my favorite comic book artists by a chance meeting. What happened next was something I never in a million years would expect.
There is a major comic book convention every year called Comic-Con, and it's in San Diego. Fans, artists, and collectors all gather to do comic book related stuff such as buy issues, check out up coming creations, and most importantly meet artists. Now, I have been a fan of The Misfits since I was a kid basically. I am absolutely obsessed with Glenn Danzig and everything about him. And I honestly believe he is a legend of rock and roll and needs to be acknowledged as such. He has the most amazing voice on earth, an incredible imagination. and I just could go on and on about why I love him so I'll stop there. Importantly though, is that Mr. Glenn Danzig is and always has been a comic book nerd too. Which I find fascinating and beautiful since he's got this whole Satan Worshipping persona going on and he sings about the "dark side" and all that, and yet you can find him reading an issue of Wolverine quietly backstage before a performance instead of getting wasted and banging groupies.
But anyway, back before I had actually gotten to know Jim and Holly I remember seeing a picture in the back of a Tarot issue where Holly is sitting with Glenn Danzig at comic con. I also had seen similar pictures on her myspace, and I would always proclaim my jealousy to her and Jim for getting the chance to meet him. Even in the issue in which I appear Jim had made mention of my love for Danzig. So, they knew my obsession. I had even planned on going to comic con knowing he would be there so I could meet him.
Of course motherhood sometimes prevents us from doing the things that we would love to do no matter how inconvenient and expensive it may be, and thus I wasn't able to go to Comic Con this year. I jokingly told Holly to get me Danzig's autograph, and to my surprise she told me "She already had it in mind". My god! How awesome would that be, and how incredibly cool are these people who I've never even met in real life to even try to do something like that for me? I kept my fingers crossed and I prayed.
And what do you know? Several days after comic con Holly sends me this picture I have posted here of my hero, my idol, and my dream lover. And he is holding up MY picture in the comic book with his autograph across it. I literally almost died and threw up and peed my pants at the same time. I had so much joy in me I started to cry. Anyone who knows me will understand how utterly awesome and incredible this gift is to me. I've vowed that I wouldn't die until I had either his autograph or had met him in person. I honestly still can't believe it as I currently stare at it framed on my wall right now as I type this.
I didn't just cry cause I was so excited and happy to have this treasure of mine. I was crying cause of the mere fact that Jim and Holly would do something so incredibly kind for little old me. I mean it's not like Danzig is this bored celebrity with nothing to do. He is a freaking god in the punk rock world. And they went out of their way to find him, tell him about me, and get him to sign my picture. Love just overflowed in my heart. And I honestly hope I can one day make someone else as happy as they did me from doing an act of kindness.
And it just goes to show that you never know what is going to connect you to one thing from another. Or what random meeting can change your future outcome. By chance, I had come across that comic book one afternoon, talked to Holly on myspace, and appeared in an issue. Which all lead to me getting something that I have wanted more then any other physical object in the entire world. Now I can finally say that I have a "most prized possession".


You never know..

It's always interesting to me how certain things can happen that you never expected just cause of one random act or one random meeting of someone new. And I have the perfect example of how funny fate can be sometimes.
I've always been a comic book nerd. I was into anything from Spiderman to Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. And I also used to love drawing things I saw in comics as well. Never in my life could I draw something from my own mind, but I can basically draw almost any type of cartoonish/comic style picture you set in front of me. It's something both me and my sister can do. So I was always on the look out for cool art to basically copy for my own enjoyment of the hobby of drawing.
So one day I'm in the comic book store and I come across this comic book that had the most amazing drawings of these women characters I had ever seen. The art was absolutely amazing, and the coloring was so vivid and beautiful. It was called Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose. I had never heard of this book that was apparently created by one of the legends of Comic Books, Jim Balent. But I instantly fell in love with it. After a couple years of collecting the book and searching all around town and on ebay for hard to find back issues I came across Jim Balent's wife, Holly Golightly's myspace page. Holly is also his colorist and business partner, as well as an amazing artist herself. They have a pretty huge fan base for an independent comic, and are actually one of the most popular comics out there, with back issues being hard to find as well as their worth growing with every passing day. So when I messaged her on myspace to say I was a fan I didn't think she would respond. But she surprisingly did, and even wrote me a little comment back.
Months passed and to my surprise and happiness I recieved an e-mail from Jim Balent himself asking me if I wanted to appear in his comic-book as a drawn in character. I've seen him do this with random friends and fans and always thought, in the back of my head, how awesome it would be to be drawn into a book like that. Apparently, he was doing a special issue where a bunch of fans were going to be included in the story line. I was psyched! My sister Jesso took various pictures of my in fighting poses and I sent it to Jim.
When the issue finally came out it was soooooo awesome to see myself drawn fighting alongside to the main character of the book and a bunch of other awesome women who were fans. The issue was called The Witch Key, and we were The Witch Key girls! From that I ended up meeting and talking with all kinds of interesting girls who appeared in the comic. Girls from all over the country who were each unique in their own different ways. To this day I am still in awe when I stare at my poster and see a comic book character with such striking resemblance to myself!
And since then I have considered Holly and Jim to be great friends of mine. Now, from that another story evolves on how the chance of meeting one person can lead to so many other great and unecpected things to happen. To be continued......


First Post!

OK so this is my first official posting! Guess I should update, for those who come across this, how my life has been going. Well, most importantly I have a 19 month old daughter named Olivia Christina. She is the most interesting, wonderful, smart, creative, and beautiful creature ever made. And when I look at her I'm still in awe that Paul and I could have created such a fascinating creature. I know it sounds corny, but it's the truth. As hard as it's been to take care of a baby when I mostly still feel like a baby myself, this period in her life makes it all worth it. This age is so much fun to witness. Seeing her curiosity, her understanding of the things around her, and how she is now starting to copy things that we do, makes all the hardships worth it. Every night that me, Paul, and Olivia sit on the floor and laugh and play brings me more happiness then anything ever could. I was going through some really incredibly hard and horrendous things before Olivia came along, and I wasn't living my life in any type of respectable way. But she has changed that. And everyday she pushes me to do better. I'm definitely not a perfect mom, as I'm sure you'll see from future posts. But she is happy, loved, and healthy; and that is all that matters!
Paul and I just celebrated our first marriage anniversary yesterday, which was pretty cool. Before we got married we had been living together for about 6 years, so getting married didn't feel much different. In fact, if it weren't for the fact that I needed his insurance benefits we wouldn't have gotten married at all. I honestly wanted to wait until ALL human beings have the right to marriage before I did it myself.
Well that is all for now since Olivia is screaming "Boobies! pleeeeeese!",which is my cue to go. More on that one in a future post to come!