My Weekly Top 10 :: Week of 4/21

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1. James “Bucky” Barnes

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It has been a long while since I was swept up into a fictional obsession. Perhaps it was time for one again, maybe it is a reflection on what is going on in me, change and stresses and a near constant state of movement that has made me ripe for a dose of escapism. Or, well, it could just very well be a character that got under my skin in a way I’m not ready to shake off yet. Bucky caught me off-guard and hooked me in, deep, drawing me in, and I am okay with that. I am okay with being carried away right now.

It is helping me write, write like mad, and get lost in all of the words and feelings and writing. So much of the sadness, and the hope, that I see in his character, they are vital and in color, and full of blood and fire and muse-sparked motivation. Thank you, Mr. Barnes.

2. Stars :: Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

“Followed your ashes into outer space,
I can’t look out the window,
I can’t look at this place.
I can’t look at the stars,
they make me wonder where you are.”

Stuck in my head, off-and-on all week, sneaking its way into two stories I am writing, slipping into my thoughts and a dream I had last night. Songs do that sometimes, burrow in to my insides and swirl around, leaving their mark, turning into a soundtrack, and a kind of emotional expression. I love this live version best. It gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes.

3. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

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Brian K. Vaughan’s latest comic series. The last of his I read obsessively was Y: The Last Man and Runaways. This one reminds me a little of Firefly, a little of Star Wars, and a little of the Fables series. The story depicts two lovers from long-warring extraterrestrial races, Alana and Marko, fleeing authorities from both sides of a galactic war as they struggle to care for their newborn daughter, Hazel, who occasionally narrates the series. 

4. Felicia Day

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I love her various web series’ on YouTube, her book club, her reoccurring character on Supernatural (we last saw Charlie running off into a time portal with Dorothy from Oz!), and her overarching geek-cool persona. Also, I may just be thinking of cutting my hair like that for the Summer (could happen).

5. Malibu Creek State Park

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A new goal of mine is to find interesting places in and around Los Angeles to go hiking. The first place I plan to go is Malibu Creek State Park, the site where the television show M*A*S*H* was filmed, along with a handful of other films and television series. From discussions with friends who are avid hikers, I know this is a moderate to beginner type of hike, so I think it will be a perfect place to start. Plus, it will allow me to start taking more pictures, something I’ve a) been wanting to do, and b) have been wanting to do better.

6. Road Trips

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The road is calling me, whispering the promises of adventure and music mixes and rolled down windows and roadside attractions, and that feeling of freedom that soothes my gypsy soul. I want to plan a trip this Summer. I have a jar I’ve been tucking dollar bills and dropping loose change into, and I keep thinking of destinations, plotting them in my head, counting my available days off from my pay stubs anxiously. Summer, get here now!

7. Francesca Lia Block 

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Tomorrow afternoon I have the privilege to gather at Francesca Lia Block’s home for a writing workshop she is teaching. This will be my second time taking her workshop, this time bringing 10 pages and an outline of a book I have been seriously working on for the last five months. I am nervous and excited and have a stack of other 10 pages from six other people who will be taking the workshop with me to review. I swore to take a more active role in my writing, and in reaching out to connect with people who motivate me and can help in my endeavor. And, I hope to be able to help others who will be there, too. It is so important to me to create, and to support others who create, too.

Also, the book Francesca is holding in the picture above, Love in the Time of Global Warming, is fantastic!

8. Bastille

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I loved this album the first time I heard it, the first time I reviewed it on its release week, and I love it even more now. Back at the first listen it was Laura Palmer that I was crazy over first, and later, after more listens, it was Pompeii that had me singing and swaying along to. Now, it is the title song, Bad Blood, that has a hard hold of me. Great albums do this, get to me in different ways, with different songs, at different times.

Bad Blood (live)
I love this live version!

9. Gallery 1988

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I am a fan, and a supporter, of local artists and Gallery 1988 is one of my favorite galleries in Los Angeles. Located on Melrose Avenue, the gallery features rotating artists taking on various pop-culture themes. Sometimes they take on television shows (recently Adventure Time, and before that, Breaking Bad), sometimes comic books (see Batman example above), currently they are celebrating their 10-year Anniversary with a looser theme of “The Subtle Art of Pop Culture.”

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10. “Crimes of Carelessness”
courtesy of Charles 

A parody of ’50’s Educational films, at least I hope it is a “parody”. My favorite is the warning to “your ghost” to not trip and fall down the stairs. We need to keep our ghosts safe everyone!

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