Friday, March 20, 2009

This is Your Brain in a Bookstore

Updated 2009 Reading List: already read or reading, on my shelf, still at bookstore (or Miranda's)

cunt - Inga Muscio
Spin Sisters - Myrna Blyth
Spook - Mary Roach
The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Red Azalea - Anchee Min
The Small Rain - Madeleine L'Engle
Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
He's a Stud, She's a Slut - Jessica Valentini
Purity Myth - Jessica Valentini
Self-Made Man - Norah Vincent
Opening Up - Tristan Taormino
Open - Jenny Block
Look at Me - Jennifer Egan

New Books and why I spent $17 on them collectively:

Age of Innocence - One of those classics I've never read. I've scanned the back a dozen times at the bookstore, it was never the right time. Plus after my last two heavy reads, some good old-fashioned parlor intrigue sounded nice.

To Kill a Mockingbird - It's one of the best books ever written, I haven't read it in maybe ten years. Girlyear seems as good a time as any to revisit old faves.

Red Azalea - Anchee Min wrote Becoming Madame Mao which I read a while back and really enjoyed. I always want to read stories out of China (and I am always wanting to go back there). Red Azaleo got more praise that Becoming Madame Mao, its Min's personal account of China under Mao. I'm interested to see how her style differs telling her own story than a semi-fictional accounting of Madame Mao's life.

Mrs. Dalloway - Believe it or not, I've never read anything by Virginia Woolf. I know! I was surprised too!

The Small Rain - L'Engle was my favorite writer in my pre-teen years (well, at least top 3). I've read a dozen of her books for young adults and A Wrinkle in Time is still one of my favorite books. Yet, I've never tackled her work as an adult. Saw this one and grabbed it hoping the magic between L'Engle and I is still there.

Afterthought, is this really a post for UBC? I almost put it there and then thought better of it. This is an accounting of my mental state during a shopping trip, its not really about literature. These books could easily be shoes or nail polish or groceries. But since they are in fact books, I thought Miranda might find my mental state interesting.

p.s. I need a new sign-off. "Vote Obama 2012" seems a bit premature.

The good life

It is a beautiful, beautiful day in Alabama. At 4:38pm I've been to the bank, bought a new (giant, green) purse and two matching scarves, picked up 5 book by female authors for $17.95 at a used book store, listened to my Curtis Peoples cd while tooling about H'ville with the windows down, and eaten cheesecake for lunch while sitting outside in the sun. Proper amounts of sunscreen were applied for a 45min sit in the sun. Quite productive for first Saturday*.

I'm a little over half-way through Spin Sisters, and I'm going to try to power through it by Sunday because I'm not enjoying it that much and I want to move on. I'll post up the whys on UBC when I'm done.

In other news, I picked up some Wal*Mart bargain bin movies and among them was the Dead Like Me movie which I'd never seen. I loved the show (watched it earlier this year via Netflix) and had sort of forgotten that I meant to watch the movie. I'm glad I coughed up the $5.50 to buy it. Its quite good, I think the writing and directing did a super job pushing the plot and character development forward 5 years and still preserving the spirit of the show. There was definitely a heavier serving of emotion in the film, but it was basically a whole season's worth of emotion paired with maybe 2-3 episodes worth of reaping.

I did not like the new Daisy (played by Sarah Wynter). Aside from being way less pretty than original Daisy (Laura Harris) - which was partly her hair & makeup, she's prettier in life than she was in the film - she didn't have that same proper Southern belle arrogance that I loved in Daisy. Sure, Daisy was the kind of woman that slept her way to the top, but there was an amusing, old-fashioned romance to her affairs and an innocence to her. New Daisy just seemed slutty and gold-digging. And it ruined her chemistry with Mason. There was only one scene that resurrected Mason's devotion to Daisy and in the context of his film character it didn't really make sense.

The other thing that didn't make sense to me was the scene where the new boss, Cameron, kisses George. In the special features they mention that the kiss turned out way creepier and more menacing than how it was written, but even so it seems quite out of place. Other than causelessly referring to George as sweetheart (presumably as a counterpoint to the fatherly Rube calling her "Peanut") Cameron never has any relationship built with George, the scene with the kiss is essentially the second time Cameron and George interact. I don't know, it felt strange that it never got resolved. Cameron is chopped to bits by the next time George sees him.

Okay enough of this fantastically long post.

*First Saturday- Fridays for Abby now that she works four-tens. Thursday, as the last day of the work week, is the new Friday, hence her department's "7am Friday morning meeting" is held in the conference room at 7:05am every Thursday. Also, her boss has mandated that 7:05 is the new 7:00 because he is never late, but always shows up for 7:00am at 7:05. Anyway, if Thursday is Friday, Friday can't be Friday, but neither can it be Saturday because Saturday is still Saturday (what with the morning cartoons and preceding Sunday and everything) so Friday is now first-Saturday much in the enjoyable spirit of first breakfast and second breakfast for Hobbits. Sunday is still Sunday because everything is still closed until unreasonably late in afternoon here in the South.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


As I posted yesterday at UBC, I'm undertaking an experiment in Feminism. For one year (or possibly just for the remainder of 2009), I'll be reading only books by female authors. I'm toying with the idea of limiting all my reading material, but I will have a serious news-intake issue. My favorite website is 538 written by three dudes. All regular news outlets on the web are dominated by male authors.

Anyway, to hype myself up for this experiment I'm going to make a little reading list. I want to put in at least 25 books (my yearly reading goal of which I'm about 4 books behind already this year). Then I need a "post-poned" list of books to read when the experiment ends. I have several already purchased books that will be waiting.

2009 - Girl Year
cunt - Inga Muscio
Spin Sisters - Myrna Blyth
Spook - Mary Roach
Opening Up - Tristan Taormino
Open - Jenny Block
Look at Me - Jennifer Egan

Omerta - Mario Puzo
The Sicilian - Mario Puzo
A Long Way Down - Nick Hornby
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austen and Seth

Okay, I'll add as I find all the other unread books in my apartment. Open to suggestions, and especially lends.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mmmmm... Humidity.

Here's something to love about living in the south. The sun doesn't shine for 3 days straight and your overnight temperatures are still too warm for jackets.

Opinion: It's never good to be drenched and not be sure if it's from the rain or the sweat. Ew.

btw, heard some brilliance on the radio this morning, recorded it on Quoted Quotables.

Vote Obama.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Brand New Car!

I didn't win it, I had to buy it, but it is still sweet. Check out the Malibu.

Now all I need to do is decorate it Clemson style like this guy did his Auburn style. I'd be his rival, but note the bumper stickers on the bumper. Excellent.

Friday, August 15, 2008

And that's the Truthiness

Apparently, appearing on the Colbert Report actually results in the Colbert Bump. You know I'm thrilled. So is Stephan. On my desktop he says-

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Obviously the ruthlessness helps.

My new favorite phrase ripped out of an article by Ralph Peters explaining why Vladimir Putin is the most effective leader in the world today and 'a genius'.

I read the article here at The Swamp Politics.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Prague Anecdotes

While in Prague...

One night we're on the bus on our way back home (the bus, not the train as usual, as it is so late at night) and it's quite full, so most of the members of our party are standing. I can't recall everyone who was there (did I mention the hour, and all the beers consumed before that hour?) but I know that Kerry and I and Ann and Josh were there. In the two seats nearest the door was this couple. You could tell they were a couple because their tongues were in each another's mouths. They were all over each other. We're on this bus like 15 minutes and they never come up for air. The crowded, well-lit bus doesn't seem to slow them down at all. In no time the girl is crawling into the guy's lap and their hands are roaming and so are their lips. So we're all basically staring because, well, there's not much else to do. We get off the bus and someone lements that if we'd stayed on one, two more stops we probably could've seen them get to third base. I feel that every bus ride I take for the rest of my life will be a disappointment if I don't see someone headed for third.

Bowling allies have changed forever too. The bowling alley we visited had only like 6 lanes and more floor space was dedicated to the bar portion. While we were watching a bunch of European collegiates bowl for the first time, a guy dressed in camo comes in and drags a girl from another group up onto a karaoke-esque stage. Someone cranks up some music and he strips.
"Was he totally naked?"
"Well, he was wearing a camo bandana."
He proceeded to molest every girl in the party (even the ones who seemed decidedly against it), kept a careful eye on the clock and when his 20 minutes were up he gathered up his clothes and walked out. The party that hired him looked to be 6 or 7 girls. His audience was over 50 people, many of whom were young economists and political scientists far from home and snapping photos.