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I can sum up this post in one sentence: I like to bitch about facial features of story characters even though I have no facial recognition (whaddup Prosopagnosia?).  Really, don’t bother to read this.  It’s confusing and weird and quirky.  Sure, some good pictures along the way, but really now, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking I’m humorous.

I have this super bad habit of trying to figure out what a character in a story looks like so that I can properly read a book and reinact their movements and gestures in my head.  But I also have a lot of trouble with facial recognition and imaging the right face.  This ends with me reusing the same male characters for just about everything or me scouring Google images in order to find something better.  It’s why you can see me reading A Great and Terrible Beauty but also parading Google in order to find better dress/hair styles for the characters or reading Dan Brown books while searching for the perfect picture of Johnny Depp to be my image of Robert Langdon (which Molly ended up finding for me, which was spectacular).

“Angels and Demons would have been a much better movie, had I starred in it.”

But let me sum up my lack of imagination and help I often need when thinking up how a character will look.  No, let me just explain how I reuse characters.  You know Howard Roark from The Fountainhead?  I put a beard on my image of Edward Cullen for that one (my Edward Cullen looked nothing like Cedric Diggory, by the way).  You know Joe Gargery from Great Expectations?  He happens to look identical to Simon in A Great and Terrible Beauty, but again, I added a beard.  And the protagonists from both Fahrenheit 451 and 1984?  Same exact person.  I’m so freaking lazy.

“Um, hi.  I happen to be Missi’s go-to-guy for every baddass character over the age of forty.”

“Hi.  I have a beard, which allows my character to be used even more times.”

But it’s infuriating for me to not picture someone as the character.  It’s easy for me to picture the women, and I can make it be a variety.  But the men?  I have to have them perfect.  Maybe it’s because I want to fawn over the book character, or maybe it’s because I’m just some type of OCD about the men of the story.  I don’t know, but it bothers me when I can’t come up with something right–especially for the guys my age in books.

So, it’s that kind of dilemma that I have hit while reading Great Expectations.  I’ve been able to come up with what every character looks like just fine–except the main character.  Pip.  Oh Pip.  What the hell do you look like?  I could imagine young Pip just fine.  A kid.  Easy.  But handsome Pip around my age?  Shit.  I haven’t a clue.

I could go the easy route and imagine a young Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom or what-have-you.  But you know what?  I keep seeing the same thing over and over in my head.  This:

Why Barnes and Noble?  Why?  Why on earth do you ever put what you think a character looks like on my novel?  Why would you not give me the opportunity to try and figure out what Pip looks like?  Why would you ever give me this weird ginger kid to be Pip?!

I know, I’m obsered.  But imagine that you have a character that looks like this in your head:

And every time you open your book, BAM!  This is what you see:

WHY?!

I have enough trouble as it is imagining characters without the book itself trying to put yet another face into my mind!!

So, that is my dilemma that I have been bitching about in my own head.  Sorry you had to bear witness to it.  Sorry also to those who have seen my copy of Great Expectations and wondered what the weird mass was over the picture.  It happens to be a painting I made out of black paint and nail polish so that I wouldn’t have to see that guys ugly speckled mug any more (wait, Ron Weasley from Potter Puppet Pals?  No!  That would have been a great choice; not this rubbish).

So, there you have it.  I have to have the perfect image in my head of a character, but I have trouble when the books tell me what I should imagine.  GRRR!  FEAR ME, BOOK COVERS!

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard the title Skinny Bitch thrown around once or twice.  Granted, you may not know what Skinny Bitch pertains to, but you’ve most likely heard of it nonetheless.

Skinny Bitch is a health book by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, two former Ford fashion models who have helped counsel models, athletes, and actors using their method of weight loss.  The book stresses that health leads to weight loss and not the other way around, and gives a smart-mouthed approach to getting in shape.  The back cover of the book basically sums it up:

“Stop being a moron and start getting skinny!  If you can’t take one more day of self-loathing, you’re ready to hear the truth: You cannot keep shovelling the same crap into your mouth every day and expect to lose weight.  Authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin are your new smart-mouthed girlfriends who won’t mince words and will finally tell you the truth about what you’re feeding yourself.  And they’ll guide you on making intelligent and educated decisions about food.  They may be bitches, but they are skinny bitches.  And you’ll be one too–after you get with the program and start eating right.”

I first heard about the book around a year ago and immediately bought it.  Unlike dieting books or fad eating habits, it actually pertained to vegetarianism and veganism because of health related issues rather than the usual “don’t eat meat–you kill animals” argument that I kept hearing.  It also had strong arguments for eating organic materials and really thinking about what you were eating and how those chemicals are going to affect you later.

So, I ended up reading the book over the winter and spring, and I must say that it honestly did change my eating habits.   It was direct about eating meat and its consequences, and it encouraged me to start eating only three or so servings of meat per week (a more healthy level when compared to my former three servings per day).  I also enjoyed that it was more about health in choosing to be vegan rather than just the Peta crap.

Though it ended up having a full chapter about animal cruelty while advocating veganism, it was interesting to point out the health concerns associated with animal cruelty.  When animals get scared, they produce more hormones, and upon hearing other animals dying in line, these hormones sky-rocket immediately before slaughter.  These hormones are still in the animals after death, and we end up eating them.  It’s one of the reasons that animal meat can make your heart-rate increase (not to mention the animal fats).

Another interesting thing pointed out was that high levels of protein are actually really bad for you (take that, Atkins).  Americans and Europeans eat several servings of meat per day.  In comparison, the rest of the world usually limits its meat intake to three times per week.  This is much healthier for your body since it decreases the amount of urea in your body.  The big thing about urea is that, when you eat large levels of protein, your body’s digestive process produces nitrogen waste in the form of urea.  Urea itself must be removed the from the body immediately, as it’s toxic.  So, have problems peeing to much?  Maybe you should lay off the meat.  It’s flooding your body with urea, and your body needs to use the restroom because of it.

Skinny Bitch also highlighted statistics of health when comparing meat eaters to vegetarians, how our bodies are not meant to digest meat, and how the government basically doesn’t give a shit about what’s in your food.  It stresses taking eating into your own hands, which we should anyway but rarely do.

Generally, if you are at all interested in losing weight, getting healthy, vegetarianism, veganism, or learning to filter your food, I highly recommend this book.  Just be prepared for some strong language and getting yelled at constantly by the authors.

Hopefully you’ll find this book interesting; I certainly have.  Enjoy.

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