Monday, September 1, 2014
Sunday, August 31, 2014
She came looking for me. Most people stay arm's length away. A patchy murmur on the tip-line, Back in ’95 I saw, no name, click if you ask. A letter printed out and posted from the wrong town, paper and envelope dusted clean. If we want them, we have to go hunting. But her: she was the one who came for me.Awww yeah that's good old French right into the vein, slide it in nice and slow....suddenly my day is brighter than ten thousand fucking suns. SMELL YOU LATER.
10% in: Moran: aww! Bit of a cautious lad. I like him. (But not like RICHIE, OMG, RICHIE, WHERE DID YOU GO. Broken Harbour fucken BROKE me.) And Holly! what a tough cookie. Daddy's girl indeed.
ANTOINETTE CONWAY JE T'ADORE. YOU BETTER NOT FUCK HER OVER, TANA.
....omg who am I kidding, it's a Tana French novel, everyone is going to get fucked over.
ETA: 35% in: Tana, if you partner up Moran and Antoinette the way you did Scorcher and Richie, and then shatter them apart the way you did Scorcher and Richie, I will never ever forgive you, I don't care how much of a kickarse writer you are. MY HEART CAN'T TAKE THAT AGAIN.
//reads on with enjoyable dread
40% in: all you people bitching about the "supernatural" element and how it's not supposed to be in a police procedural (including the "top" reviewer at GoodReads, who is a fucking idiot): you don't know how to read. It's always been there. It was there most strongly in the first book, In the Woods, yes, but, yes, it was also just there, in the last book, Broken Harbour. It's part of what French does. So if you're slagging off her for including that because it seems so unbelievable or uncharacteristic or out of key -- you're missing a lot.
(I had several paragraphs about Tana French on Goodreads and how she uses the supernatural -- I thought it was in a review of In the Woods -- but apparently not. argh. I really need to cut and paste all my GR reviews over here. And delete them there.)
MOI: Is he going to talk like that for the entire fucking movie?
T: When he's Batman, yeah.
(As usual coffeeandink said it best way back when: "(It) ends up endorsing politics I find viscerally repugnant and outright dangerous. I'm not even sure it meant to--there are some gestures towards undercutting the fascism and paternalism of the main storyline--but they're just gestures, and in the end the movie comes down in favor of the Great Man Theory of History and vigilantism and lying to people for their own good and making decisions for other people and good people being good enough to be trusted with supreme power and violating privacy being okay if your heart is pure and your cause is true and the dehumanization/demonization of opponents who deserve to be put down because they're just that crazy/unreachable.
"Some of this is par for the course for superhero movies, but the movie foregrounds it instead of making it background wish-fulfillment power fantasy, which makes it hard to ignore.")
Friday, August 29, 2014
(Let's not even talk about the horrific noise levels. Which included three guys shadily drilling a two-inch hole through a concrete wall for the new fucking gym next door at THREE IN THE MORNING. Yes really, THREE IN THE MORNING. Did the cops come? Was the builder fined? Were the workers fired? This is Seattle! To hell with a couple hundred tenants and their peace of mind, what really matters is the six-story mixed-use rabbit hutches with no parking to cram the Amazon coders into.)
//queues up mysteries with female leads on e-reader
Thursday, August 28, 2014
In fact, so thoroughly was I baffled as to the real identity of the thief that, at the end of the first act, I regarded all the members of the cast, the leader of the orchestra, the hat-room boy, and the ordnance officer in the right-hand stage box, with equal suspicion.
It grieves me deeply to find out how frequently and how violently wrong I can be -- it doesn't seem reasonable, somehow.
....Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband -- invariably spoken of as "The Ideal Husband" by the same group of intellectuals who always refer to "The Doll's House."**....Somehow, no matter how well done an Oscar Wilde play may be, I always am far more absorbed in the audience than in the drama. There is something about them that never fails to enthrall me. They have a conscious exquisiteness, a deep appreciation of their own culture. They exude an atmosphere of The New Republic -- a sort of Crolier-than-thou air.(That one nearly made me choke on my coffee. You don't even really need to know exactly who Herbert Croly is ((I didn't)). But once you do, it's even funnier.)
*The glasses one. You know.
**I actually once saw a Final Jeopardy contestant lose because they wrote "The Doll's House" instead of "A Doll's House." True story.
Did anyone lose a Wilco CD in the shrubbery in front of Oola Distillery?— Erin Boudreau (@Erin_Boudreau) August 28, 2014
Girls & boys, this is an Amorphophallus Titanum (Corpse Flower) at Volunteer Park Conservatory. Blooms in about 2 wks pic.twitter.com/pfo4iin1XV— JamesWhetzel (@JamesWhetzel) August 27, 2014
“Chronic” drummer who reportedly plays his drums daily in a Capitol Hill park has started earlier than usual this morning #scanner— jseattle (@jseattle) August 27, 2014
Kickstarter to rebuild Broadway Jack in the Box & cylindrical public restrooms time 2 re-freak Capitol Hill— i'm in a lot of debt (@periodjokes420) August 27, 2014
Just reading the words "Pumpkin Spice Latte" on a 90° day in Seattle makes me want to vomit.— Terry Miller (@fakedanshusband) August 26, 2014
When all is said and done, summer of 2014 likely to be Seattle's warmest since 1967.— Seattle Weather Blog (@KSeattleWeather) August 27, 2014
Why is Catfish Corner closing? Rent. Court ruled business owed $18k for unpaid rent http://t.co/XpaS01fjoq— jseattle (@jseattle) August 26, 2014
A peak of what eastlake to capitol hill looked like before I-5 pic.twitter.com/YzFhcQpc6t— The Urbanist (@UrbanistOrg) August 28, 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
yyyyyyyeah. //sighs, leechblocks it again (one friend dubbed me, years and years ago, "Queen of Extremes." She was not wrong. Binge-Purge Girl, that's me -- but without the eating disorder)
"'It's like emo manchester orchestra' Manchester Orchestra is like emo Manchester Orchestra"
Monday, August 25, 2014
- Edna St. Vincent Millay, July 27 1944 letter to her publisher (quoted in Savage Beauty) (which is really rather awful)
18 August 2014
Friday, August 22, 2014
and then she starts talking about obsessive thoughts (which I have, in spades, and have almost never talked to anyone about ever, including any shrink, because they make me feel INSANE) and I nearly start crying. God fucking bless you, Maria.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
- via (h/t aerialiste)
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
- Mark Twain's Other Woman: The Hidden Story of His Final Years, Laura Skandera Trombley
(....sewing machines? -- One opportunity for ad copy was lost: Twain's secretary bought him an Arnold electric vibrator for massage, but first tried it out with her future husband: "We had a most lovely evening." Trombley comments wryly: "Twain loved his slightly used Arnold electric vibrator.....(and) subsequently purchased a second vibrator that ran on batteries.")
ETA: In her endnotes, the author links to this website with pictures of some truly terrifying Mark Twain memorabilia (that DOLL). But still, no sewing machines.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
- Naomi S. Baron
- Mary Ruefle
Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks, ed John Curran
A Free Man of Color (Benjamin January, Book 1), Barbara Hambly
Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Love, Sex, Death and Words, John Sutherland
Codex, Lev Grossman
My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante
She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders, Jennifer Finney Boylan
The Sea, John Banville
The Compass Rose, Ursula K. Le Guin (beloved book, time for a reread)
Irish Fairy and Folk Tales, ed William Butler Yeats
Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, Julia Serano
The Last Days of Dorothy Parker, Marion Meade
Lincoln's Melancholy, Joshua Wolf Shenk
American Eve, Paula Uruburu
WHAT I AM ACTUALLY READING: rereading The Secret Diary of and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole. Again. (Period brain.) God she was just so funny.
Monday, August 18, 2014
I worry that we’re confusing the small, sorry details—the ones that we post and read every day—for the work of memoir itself. I can’t tell you how many times people have thanked me for “sharing my story,” as if the books I’ve written are not chiseled and honed out of the hard and unforgiving material of a life but, rather, have been dashed off, as if a status update, a response to the question at the top of every Facebook feed: “What’s on your mind?” I haven’t shared my story, I want to tell them. I haven’t unburdened myself, or softly and earnestly confessed. Quite the opposite. In order to write a memoir, I’ve sat still inside the swirling vortex of my own complicated history like a piece of old driftwood, battered by the sea. I’ve waited—sometimes patiently, sometimes in despair—for the story under pressure of concealment to reveal itself to me. I’ve been doing this work long enough to know that our feelings—that vast range of fear, joy, grief, sorrow, rage, you name it—are incoherent in the immediacy of the moment. It is only with distance that we are able to turn our powers of observation on ourselves, thus fashioning stories in which we are characters. There is no immediate gratification in this. No great digital crowd is “liking” what we do. We don’t experience the Pavlovian, addictive click and response of posting something that momentarily relieves the pressure inside of us, then being showered with emoticons.
- Dani Shapiro
Sunday, August 17, 2014
The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar, Terri Cheney
A Lethal Inheritance: Three Generations of Mental Illness, Victoria Costello
A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal, Ben MacIntyre
November of the Soul: The Enigma of Suicide, George Howe Colt
Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite, William Deresiewicz
Mudhouse Sabbath, Lauren F. Winner
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, ed Richard Lancelyn Green
Virgin Time: In Search of the Contemplative Life, Patricia Hampl
Myths about Suicide, Thomas Joiner
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas
Unexplained Fevers, Jeannine Hall Gailey
She Returns to the Floating World, Jeannine Hall Gailey
Becoming the Villainess, Jeannine Hall Gailey
The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, Jeannine Hall Gailey
How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America, Otis Webb Brawley
Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience, ed Shaun Usher (HARDBACK)
Life after Life, Kate Atkinson (HARDBACK: it was really difficult reading this as an ebook, being unable to flip back and forth even just a few pages)
What We See When We Read, Peter Mendelsund (HARDBACK)
Miriam's Kitchen, Elizabeth Ehrlich
Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, ed Martha Nell Smith
The Sabbath, Abraham Joshua Heschel
Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman
Nightmare Alley, William Lindsay Gresham
Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis, Douglas Gresham
Surprised By Love: The Life of Joy Davidman, Lyle Dorsett
The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life, Andy Miller
How to Be Well Read, John Sutherland
Kill or Cure: An Illustrated History of Medicine, Steve Parker (HARDBACK)
Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph, Jan Swofford (HARDBACK)
Bonus wish CD: Acoustic Classics, Richard Thompson
Dear Lauren Eggert-Crowe, excuse me while I slap you down with the ENTIRE COLLECTION of the works of JUDY FUCKING BLUME. I realize these books were published before you were born, unlike those cultural touchstones Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, but I assure you, they existed and young women actually read them! You could possibly walk into a bookstore and find a copy of one right now! There was in fact this HUGE FUCKING GENRE of YA "problem novels" which pretty much kicked off the "Young Adult genre," you know, that thing that existed before Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, and that's even before books like The Bell Jar and To Kill a Mockingbird and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Emily of New Moon and The Long Secret, all of which I read AS a girl, despite the terrible handicap of being alive in the Dark Ages before Rowling and Collins. And I got that list by getting up from my desk, going into the hallway and looking at a bookshelf. It was not that hard.
("She has written essays, book reviews, interviews, and cultural reportage for Salon, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Nervous Breakdown, Midnight Breakfast, and L.A. Review of Books." God help us all, she wants to be Laura Miller. Well, she's well on her way to being as ignorant as same.)
(Bonus gratuitous slap at older books: "Little Women these books were not." Ah yes, the horribleness of Little Women! Which was only about stuff like young women writing and an all-female household and the domestic front and even, dare I say, sneaking out! Why the fuck do these "I'm too hip for the Marmee" women writers ((who probably brag about their knitting and quilting "skillz")) all have to go after one of the few established Female Books in the canon? The answer is **INTERNALIZED MISOGYNY** thanks for playing.) ("I'm not like other girls, I don't like Little Women! Let me bore you with how I'm canning my own okra! Betty Friedan who?")
(It amazes me that she NEVER ONCE references Anne Sexton's Transformations, which did everything Block does first backward and in glass high heels, but that would be too much to expect from a....woman poet who's published a couple of books? Okay then. Writers are part of a culture! Nobody works in a vacuum! The minute you say some fucking stupid thing like "there was a dearth of" you are very probably WRONG. You should just erase the fucking sentence and move on. Because literature does not work that way.)
But there are pleasures to be had from books beyond being lightly entertained. There is the pleasure of being challenged; the pleasure of feeling one’s range and capacities expanding; the pleasure of entering into an unfamiliar world, and being led into empathy with a consciousness very different from one’s own; the pleasure of knowing what others have already thought it worth knowing, and entering a larger conversation. Among my catalogue are some books that I am sure I was—to use an expression applied to elementary-school children—decoding rather than reading. Such, I suspect, was the case with “Ulysses,” a book I read at eighteen, without having first read “The Odyssey,” which might have deepened my appreciation of Joyce. Even so—and especially when considering adolescence—we should not underestimate the very real pleasure of being pleased with oneself. What my notebook offers me is a portrait of the reader as a young woman, or at the very least, a sketch. I wanted to read well, but I also wanted to become well read. The notebook is a small record of accomplishment, but it’s also an outline of large aspiration. There’s pleasure in ambition, too.
We have become accustomed to hearing commercial novelists express frustration with the ways in which their books are taken less seriously than ones that are deemed literary: book reviewers don’t pay them enough attention, while publishers give their works safe, predictable cover treatments. In this debate, academic arguments that have been conducted for more than a generation, about the validity or otherwise of a literary canon, meet the marketplace. The debate has its merits, but less discussed has been the converse consequence of the popular-literary distinction: that literary works, especially those not written last year, are placed at the opposite pole to fun.
- Rebecca Mead
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Old Aunt Clarissa Beall (who could whistle like a man, with two fingers in her mouth) suffered under the premonition that she was destined to die on South High Street, because she had been born on South High Street and married on South High Street. Then there was Aunt Sarah Shoaf, who never went to bed at night without the fear that a burglar was going to get in and blow chloroform under her door through a tube. To avert this calamity—for she was in greater dread of anesthetics than of losing her household goods—she always piled her money, silverware, and other valuables in a neat stack just outside her bedroom, with a note reading: “This is all I have. Please take it and do not use your chloroform, as this is all I have.”
Aunt Gracie Shoaf also had a burglar phobia, but she met it with more fortitude. She was confident that burglars had been getting into her house every night for forty years. The fact that she never missed anything was to her no proof to the contrary. She always claimed that she scared them off before they could take anything, by throwing shoes down the hallway. When she went to bed she piled, where she could get at them handily, all the shoes there were about her house. Five minutes after she had turned off the light, she would sit up in bed and say “Hark!” Her husband, who had learned to ignore the whole situation as long ago as 1903, would either be sound asleep or pretend to be sound asleep. In either case he would not respond to her tugging and pulling, so that presently she would arise, tiptoe to the door, open it slightly and heave a shoe down the hall in one direction and its mate down the hall in the other direction. Some nights she threw them all, some nights only a couple of pairs.
This is never not funny and I can't even really tell why. Three things unfailingly always make me happy: An American in Paris, Terry Pratchett's Witches books, and My Life and Hard Times.
(And now, the Adrian Mole books. Four things. //Monty Python)
|Some nights she threw them all.|
Friday, August 15, 2014
(Stuff like this is why people have thought I am dumb/flakey/crazy/putting it on for my entire life. No. No, that is just My Brain. Even when I had an office job for nearly two years, I would amuse/annoy coworkers by saying "See you tomorrow" every Friday at five. Every Friday. I would get lost in the town I grew up in. Frequently. I can get lost in the neighbourhood I have lived in for the past twelve years. ((Less frequently, but this is because I developed agoraphobia and now rarely go outside.)) My mother is the exact same way. I personally think it's the girly "inattentive" flavour of ADD where you can get completely lost in your own head daydreaming out the window and often cannot focus or process for shit. Because again, my mother has been the same way her entire life. Except then later after puberty I got a heaping helping of Oppositional Defiant FUCK YOU, but anyway.)
Staying off Tumblr -- yes! (This was the big one.)
Staying off Twitter -- yes! This is less of a Thing because I dislike Twitter intensely, altho I'm sad because all my friends are either there or on Facebook (which I don't do either). sigh. (Twitter really is just like having ADD. It's distracted by the least little thing, it has no memory, there's no focus and it frequently explodes.)
Reading more -- yes!
Rereading less -- yes! (I love rereading. But if left to my own devices I'll do nothing else, v typically. sigh.)
Blogging more about books -- yes!
Getting up and walking around apartment more instead of sitting for hours -- no, not really. This is No Good. (There's been a heatwave, so I haven't really been exercising at all, also No Good.)
Exercising more -- see above.
More offline activities -- see above. I have been eating a good dinner with T nearly every night, and watching shows and documentaries with him, which is nice (I dunno how "offline" this is since we're streaming from Netflix or Youtube usually). Being able to snuggle up on the couch and bingewatch shows is pretty damn cool, I can see why it's so popular. I don't have basic cable so I don't get trapped in the CNN news cycle or watching endless shitty reruns anymore. It's been that way for about....eight years now? and really feels pretty good.
(Altho "cocooning" loses some of its appeal when it happens because you're agoraphobic, let me tell you.) ("No, no, spending all day in the bathroom with a blanket and a pillow and a bowl of cherries and five books is not a good idea. No, no, making a little nest in the bedroom closet with a blanket and a pillow and a bowl of cherries and five books is not a good idea, either. Making a little nest on the couch?....okay." Mental health means treating yourself like the world's crankiest toddler: patience, calm, much repetition, refusal to take the tantrums seriously, constant distraction. "No, you don't want to die! Look at these envelope poems by Emily Dickinson. Aren't those neat? If you were dead, you wouldn't be able to see them." "BUT I'M GOING TO DIE AND THEN I'LL BE DEAD AND I'LL BE NOTHING AND I WON'T EVEN KNOW -- " "But that is later. You can look at them now." "BUT EMILY IS DEAD TOO AND AND -- " "But you can look at her now! See?" Dealing with a cranky toddler might be less exhausting, because you would occasionally get a break when they fucking slept.)
I do feel like I am slowly reclaiming my brain from the Tumblr emphasis on visuals and nothing but, and the cutesy stunted baby-speak ("feels," "totes," "p rn," could you talk like a fucking adult, please) and one reason why I got disenchanted with Twitter early on was I could feel myself thinking in shorter and shorter bits that would fit more easily into 140 characters. That was kind of horrifying. (Many people would probably argue that I could do with a lot more brevity, but well, how can we put this delicately, fuck you.) (See above about that Oppositional Defiance thing.)
So even though I have not been writing five thousand words every night and cleaning my house madly and reading The Man Without Qualities in the original and running a marathon, I have made some progress! This is not bad! Go me.