This Is Not an Odd Book Discussion: Three Interesting Broads

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Thematically, all I have to tie this post together are X-chromosomes, so, you know, don’t look for much in the way of commonalities. But at the same time, this site is often a sausage festival in terms of discussion. Most of the books I read are by men, most of my commenters are men, most of the people who send me amusing, annoying and frightening e-mails are men, and I feel I need to diversify a bit. So here are three women whose websites I love and whose approach to their craft or lives I find deeply interesting.

Let me begin with Bonnie Strange. Bonnie is a stunningly beautiful and completely insane German model and fashionista. Since fashion for me entails making sure to match my shoes, I did not discover Bonnie because of her fashion contributions. I found her looking for vegetarian recipes. I landed on her recipe for Jesus Fries. The perfect remedy for hangovers, it involves onions, sriracha sauce, bagged fries and so much American cheese I got acid reflux just looking at the picture. But her lunatic sense of humor and hilarious photography sucked me in.

I found especially amusing her entries about her visit to Greece, her disgusting recipe for Caesar Salad (as her “cat” Peter says, “Oh fuck!”), and her short treatise on going out (“DRUNK HUMANS EASILY GET AGRESSIVE”) clad in what appears to be panty hose, granny panties, a half-shirt declaring “SEX” and a blonde side ponytail.

Bonnie is that elusive perfect package – lovely, whimsical, interesting and intelligent while being completely insane. She is so awesome that I imagined my long-time commenter Ted from Romania marrying her, having icy-blue-eyed, completely deranged offspring with her. But alas she has a boyfriend. She also has a FUCKYEAH Tumblr.

The next interesting broad’s, whose name I do not know, is a witch living in Scotland. She refers to herself on her sites as Ms Graveyarddirt so that is what I will call her. I found her because people on a Christian watchdog site I frequent from time to time were bitching about her sitting naked on a roast (I’m too tired to find the picture but if you want I’m sure you can find it). I am unsure how she lost control of her main site, but she did and it hasn’t been updated in months. It gives one of those “this site may be compromised” blurbs when you search for it but I read the entirety of it and I’m fine, but bear that in mind.

While, like most Americans, I am squeamish about menstrual blood and semen in general, let alone when they are used in food, if the people consuming it don’t care, it’s no skin off my back. But that’s where so much of the negative reaction to Ms. Graveyarddirt comes from – a disgust borne from her lack of disgust. She uses her menstrual blood in food, mostly offerings to the gods she worships, especially one she calls Papa. (I don’t begin to understand because, heathen that I am, I have a serious block where such things are concerned, but I can appreciate sincerity when I see it, and this woman is quite sincere.) Ms. Graveyarddirt has a relationship with her body and the natural world that makes tidy Westerners nervous (she is an an American of Ukrainian descent living in Scotland so it’s not like she wasn’t conditioned with the rest of us – she just chose to transcend it). She eats fresh roadkill, she gathers mountains of fresh mushrooms, and she is teaching herself taxidermy, using the less fresh roadkill she finds. She casts spells. She makes elaborate shrines. She works harder than anyone I think I have encountered in cyberspace and it’s a little inspiring to me because though I lack any sort of religious or spiritual conviction beyond a sort of primitive “the universe responds directly and in kind to the way we behave” sense of the world, her genuine endeavor to forge a unique path is in and of itself unique.

She is not a Llewellyn Books kind of witch. She lives her life instinctively, doing what feels right to her, respecting the earth and her beliefs in a way that eschews the dogma that accompanies even witchcraft. She sneers at ideas like the Law of Threes, that what you put out there comes back to you threefold, because her experiences don’t prove it and how can a spiritual tenet come from a dogmatic belief repeated over and over. Christ, Mary and other elements of more “traditional” religion make their way into her belief system. It really is hard to describe, which is why I spent two months reading her main blog. For those worried about her site, she also has a LiveJournal, a Tumblr and a Facebook fan page.

I find her a refreshing change of pace from so many blogs I read. Genuinely interesting people are few and far between. And she’s an accomplished cook and baker – pictures of her bread are genuine food porn (phallic loaves for the win). She may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I really dig her approach to life, her work ethic, and her intellectual honesty. You don’t have to like her or to agree with her to find her work ethic admirable and her mind unique. I hope to buy one of her taxidermy projects one day. She doesn’t have anything up on her ETSY store at the moment but when she does, I will be all over it, I assure you.

The last amazing broad I would like to refer you to today is Sarah Proud and Tall. A humorous writer with a delightful yet trenchant outlook on the political world (and decidedly liberal, so all my con and Libertarian readers may wanna give her a miss if they think a writer posing as a 92-year-old woman in a nursing home for the violently senile will provoke them too much), Sarah came to my attention via Mr. Oddbooks. He sent me a link to her now famous article, “In which the vengeance of God is justly meted out on earth,” which was so funny it gave me a really bad case of the hiccups, I was laughing so hard. The story Sarah tells is of her and a young Gloria Vanderbilt besting Ayn Rand at a Christmas party hosted by Bitsy Trump. Here’s a small sample:

She was never content with just the Pool Room or just the Grill Room, so she always booked the whole place. Whenever she did, she’d pay the staff extra to leave the doors open, and then when people came in to ask for a table they had to say, “Yes, we are open, but there is no table for you. Off you fuck.” It did wonders for that place’s reputation. Two weeks after Bitsy’s first Christmas party, the Four Seasons was shooing the punters off with sticks, and there was a two week waiting list just to be sneered at by the maître d’.

“There is no table for you. Off you fuck!” is what people now see when they are banned from this site. Well, the one person banned saw it and he’s now unbanned so no one sees it but act up and there it’ll be, I promise you.

I would be remiss in not letting you know Sarah also writes for Balloon Juice. There you can read her discussion of viewing the movie based on Ayn Rand’s book, Atlas Shrugged, entitled “By the incompetent at the expense of the stupid.” Again, one of the funniest things ever on the Internet:

Making a movie from the rancid scribblings of that vile and termagant shrew – a woman who never met a circumlocution she didn’t like and whose idea of character development was to have someone rape someone else – was never going to be a great idea.

And then there’s this:

Ayn Rand may have been an evil old ferret with a heart of frozen poison and the morals of a tapeworm – in person, she may have made your palms itch with the urge to strike her and keep on striking her until she fell down – but at least she wasn’t boring.

This movie, on the other hand, is the only experience I have ever had which is more tedious than actually reading Atlas Shrugged. I haven’t been that bored since Andy Warhol asked Joe Dellasandro to hock up a loogie on the ground, filmed it for three hours and then made all of us at the Factory watch it in slow motion.

I’ve been to funerals that had a better script, livelier action and a happier ending.

But don’t think my beloved Sarah is a one-note writer. She spends her days mocking others too. I loved her evisceration of that pantload, Jonah Goldberg. Bonus English usage lesson in that article as well – never say Sarah doesn’t have your back. Sarah is such a deft writer that she managed to lampoon Michele Bachmann and the Catholic Church in one entry.

I adore Sarah. She really is a good old broad.