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A Shiver down your spine
By Michelle Labbé
In discussing Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, comparisons to Twilight are inevitable. There's a market out there for unfulfilled Team Jacob-ites who prefer fur to fangs, and Stiefvater, whether consciously or not, has tapped into that with her latest novel, about a teenaged girl who falls for a werewolf. (A sequel to Shiver, entitled Linger, is forthcoming in July 2010.) But the comparison to Stephenie Meyer's saga is a favorable one; Shiver follows the now-familiar story arc of girl meets supernatural boy, but it does so smartly, without short-changing its characters or its readers.
Shiver's heroine, Grace, is made from stronger stuff than Bella Swan, and if werewolf Sam is a bit obsessed with her, at least he tries to control his feelings, aware that obsession and clinginess make for unhealthy relationships. (Sample quote: “I struggled to find something to say that wouldn't sound like the greeting of an interspecies stalker.”) The jab here at a certain Mr. Cullen is almost certainly intentional.
Melancholic Landmark in City's Epicenter
By Josephine Stone
By RP Piper
I had never been to Cincinnati until Labor Day weekend 2011 because I'd previously never had a reason to go. I am sure "Visiting all 50 states" lies somewhere mid-way down my bucket list, but I am also sure that Ohio was not toward the top of those 50. A friend's wedding sent my husband and me with a rideshare friend-of-a- friend driving 10 hours northwest of Richmond. We frequented rest stops, ate fried food and rotated turns picking albums on the iPod.
What is there to see in Cincinnati? The home of the Reds, the Bengals and Skyline chili? With minimal knowledge and expectations of our destination, this long distance river city was a blank canvas in our minds. It was clear, however, after riding our exit ramp past the illuminated skyline that this trip would not disappoint.
Most aspects of the city were similar to other large cities--towering buildings, hundreds of people out and about, an art district, neighborhoods in boroughs, and glorious public transit. But there was something dark about this city we wouldn't discover until later.
Put Some Lace on Those Talons
By Jade Miller
By Christine Stoddard
With Halloween just around the corner and Christmas hovering just behind that, a gothic girl on the go has places to go and people to see with no end to the parties in sight. With a stellar outfit already planned and hair and make-up to die for, sometimes the only thing missing from a perfect ensemble is a statement nail. With these 3 tutorials, it is easy to achieve the final piece in the overall look.
For some great nail polish, check out ChinaGlaze.com and Opi.com. Both have beautiful grays, bright reds, deep purples, metallics and a classic black. They also both feature a version of a crackling nail polish, “Crackle” for China Glaze and “Shatter” for OPI. It’s also good to invest in an excellent base coat, like Essie Protein Base Coat, which is only $3.99 on Amazon, to extend the life of your manicure as well as protecting your nails. Amazon also has Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, another great asset.
Shading the Naughty Bits
By Paisley Hibou
It's a given. One of the most unnecessarily awkward conversations you will have in your life takes place between the ages of twelve and sixteen. This sweat-inducing, one-way talk will occur on an unassuming afternoon or early evening. You will have just cleaned your plate of that last liver slab and have but one question on your mind: Where does Mom keep the extra minty toothpaste?
But approximately 0.03 seconds after you've excused yourself from the table, Dad will clear his throat and start fidgeting with his sleeves. Mom will motion toward Dad. That's when your father, normally a harmless, likeable fellow, will say, “Your mother and I want to talk to you.” Did they know you lied about finishing your chemistry homework? No. But they do know you've been wildly misinformed about The Birds & the Bees—and they're about to bash every sex myth you ever learned in the schoolyard.
After Mom and Dad's polite, clinical explanations, you will flee to your room, ashamed yet still curious. There are two questions they failed to answer: 1) What the hell is a pastie?, and 2) What the hell is a merkin?
Illustration by Rachel Jones
Yet these are not questions any sane person asks his mother or father. These questions are best asked of bored, slightly perverted magazine writers. Thus, though it has been many a year since your bar mitzvah or quinceañera, you will at long last learn the truth about pasties and merkins.
Born a Quail Bell(e)
By Luna Lark
She was destined to live in an old house and sing to the moonrise. Mornings brought her glee as she peered into her closet, surveying the rainbow of hangers that bore leather and lace. Breakfast meant sugary indulgences and reading the local paper. Before her last sip of milk and tea, she would've read, and possibly memorized, a poem, too.
Day after day was never the same, and yet they were all reminiscent of the others. She earned her living pursuing whatever her passion was at the time, whether writing or painting or knitting 'til her fingers turned blue. Unlike so many ladies in this modern age, she boasted a potluck of strangely antiquated skills. As a child, her grandfather had trained her on a letterpress and her mother had taught her the art of quilting. Even fencing had been a part of her life growing up. As a young woman, she practiced each of these as she pleased. She filled countless other hours popping in and out of vintage shops, theaters, libraries, museums, galleries, cinemas, and ballrooms. Occasionally, she sat on a bench by the water—whether the river or the sea—and remained there for hours, just dreaming.
In the evening, she took her bath and curled her hair. While she waited for her locks to dry, she'd sing lullabies in ancient tongues and tidy up the house. Then she'd slip into bed with a novel until her Madonna eyes heaved their final sigh and closed.
'Tis true she was born a Quail Bell(e).
Tips & Tricks for a Great Depression Wedding
By Christine Stoddard
Elegant modesty. Admirable frugality. Vast imagination. These are the traits of a wedding theme none of your bridesmaids will dare rival come their 'special day': The Great Depression Wedding. Any nostalgic lady will agree that the past was simply better. That includes a past famous for malnutrition, lost family fortunes, and obsessive canning of even the most worm-eaten fruits.
Honor history by helping your wedding guests relive the tantalizing terror of the world's best-known stock market crash. As soon as your guests step through the church door, have the flower girl and ring bearer strip them of their furs and pearls. Even the biggest twit knows that a wife beater and suspenders are best for such an occasion, anyway. You don't want the broads competing with your bridal glory, either. Teach them that in a time of immense economic need, frivolity just won't be tolerated. You have gangsters on either side of the altar, and each one wants his moll to look like Greta Garbo. Any Joe or dame who resists gets a Chicago overcoat, pronto. They need to learn what the next ten years are going to be all about.
Now that the Roaring Twenties have skidded to a halt, direct your guests to the giggle juice. The days of sly speakeasies are over and, besides, nobody wants to think about the holes in their pockets. Best yet, the incognito coppers, gumshoes, and gold-diggers will repay you later if you get every guest swigging moonshine before the ceremony. You like Lincolns and Sawbucks, right? So do the goons bruising your groom.
Why Your Ancestors Opened Their Mouths
By Sandra Scholes
We read a story to children at night so they can sleep safe and sound, but these stories we tell are part of an older tradition that goes back to our cave-dwelling ancestors. These tales were a mix of oral and animated gestures, whose exaggerated movements brought stories to life. Early tales were also a way of conveying religious rites to younger generations. As these children became adults, they would perform these rites to continue the cycle. Many cultures incorporated dance and arts elements into their rituals when telling religious stories, as well.
In their oral versions, stories were first memorized and then told to others. Later on, stories were written in books, useful because they could be read and recounted to others when needed. Stories have also been found carved on stone, pottery, parchment, vellum, and silk.
Mention traditional storytelling to most people, and you will discover just how many of them have read Homer's oral epics, Aesop's Fables, and the works of Hans Christian Andersen. The Vikings had their own way of storytelling by embellishing their conquests at sea. These tales turned into sagas that were mostly about the adventures of their gods and goddesses. These tales then developed into mythology, acting as history, commentary, and evidence of personal experience.