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Showing posts from March, 2012

Ich Liebe Rammstein: Ollie

Ollie Riedel
Ollie is responsible for Rammstein's sexy bass lines and delicate fretwork on softer songs and is also, I suspect, the band member most likely to be behind the band's online profiles, as he is rumored to be the most computer literate of the bunch. Ollie is the baby of the band at 41 years old and also the tallest at 6'7".

He is a father of two with a shy, quiet demeanor. He looms in the background of Rammstein's live shows and videos like a gentle giant, standing a whole foot taller than his shortest bandmate, Paul Landers. Ollie has little to say in the band's interviews and "making of" videos, though he is a bit animated in "The Making of Keine Lust."

Ollie is a physical man who loves board sports and gets a kick out of the corporeal transformations the band undergoes with costumes and visual effects. Ollie is the one who came up with the idea for the dominatrix Snow White video for "Sonne," which allowed him and hi…

A Rally of Writers: April 14 in Lansing

I'm going on a writing retreat next month!

It will begin on April 14 with A Rally of Writers, a full-day conference held annually right in my neighborhood, sponsored by Lansing Community College (one of the best community colleges in the United States, ahem!). I've attended once a few years ago, pre-baby and pre-pregnancy, and it was a very cool and inspiring experience. However, I was (I believe) the second youngest writer at the whole event; most of the authors and aspiring authors there had waited until RETIREMENT to finally write their novels. There were less than five other women under 40, and the average attendee was probably 65.

I vowed not to let that happen to me--I mean, writing books after retirement is awesome, don't get me wrong, but I don't want to wait that long to get started.

This year, it appears that the Rally is refreshed and updated with workshops on the new bookselling markets and other information helpful for those of us trying to jump start a r…

Postpartum Belly Dance: One year after birth

My abs are so excited! And I need not live in fear of Writer's Butt. While visiting a new fitness center for physical therapy, Mr. G discovered a belly dance teacher giving a wide variety of classes not far from where we live! She has been a little difficult to contact by phone or email, but it looks like she has a class starting tonight. I'm totally going to crash and see if I can get in the class--if not, I'll find out how to register for the next session.

Because, dear friends, I am pleased to announce that I am completing my "DIY graduate" program in YouTube Belly Dance, and I am ready to move on to a real, in-person class with a real, live instructor.

Following is my dissertation-equivalent in two videos. In them you can see the child my body produced with the help of YouTube belly dance fitness "courses" as well as a set of rockstar abs that can be achieved with even the most amateur and awkward of belly dancing drills.

I'd like to note that …

The Persian Slave and the Powder Puff Bitches

My latest short story, "The Persian Slave and the Powder Puff Bitches," will be published in the Literary Lab's upcoming anthology Variations on a Theme in a couple of weeks! But you don't have to wait--I'm also posting it below as a free sample of the book, which will be for sale shortly. (See for details.)

Our assignment was to read two short stories (both modern fairy tales), one by Anton Chekhov and one by Hans Christian Andersen, and write something inspired by one or both stories. I noticed right away that both stories involved gender and power dynamics, but Chekhov's was about those dynamics whereas Andersen's seemed to assume them without much analysis. This made me curious about the personal lives of the authors. Unsurprisingly, I quickly discovered through Wiki-led internet searches that Chekhov was a brilliant ladies' man with precocious skills in the ways of love, whereas Andersen was a pathetically lonely man unl…