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Showing posts from June, 2012

Monkey-People and the Old West

I was doing my morning round of internet linkage, and I stumbled across this: Human ancestor ate bark like a chimp.
Now that's just embarrassing.
But maybe it was just that one hominid. Like, everyone else was like "WHAT ARE YOU DOING -- ARE YOU EATING *BARK*?" And he was like "I DO WHAT I WANT." And then the other monkey-people shunned him, and that's why he died alone, with bark stuck in his teeth. Or MAYBE he hilariously ran into a tree while chasing after a prehistoric roadrunner, and that's how bark got there. Way to make sweeping assumptions, SCIENTISTS.
I'm not having our ancestors disgraced by that one idiot. That'd be like super-advanced people millions of years from now finding a dude clutching Kim Kardashian's book and being like "Well, looks like the people from five million years ago were assholes." And HOW DO WE DEFEND OURSELVES? WE CAN'T.
...ok, after reading the article more carefully, it looks like they think at …

"Wait, that's not how you spell 'dumbening.'"

Can we PLEASE all read Vampire Academy and get way invested in the various relationships/characters and talk about how Rose's love for Dimitri will conquer all despite the various barriers to their epic romance?
There're six books total, people. And a spin-off series in the works. But SIX SHORT BOOKS. WE CAN DO THIS. Sure, it's hideously titled and probably a general embarrassment to be reading but IT IS SO GRIPPING.
So as we all remember, Rose Hathaway is a teenage dhampir/vampire-protector-lady-in-training. And the vampire she wants to protect is her best friend Lissa. Also they have a weird bond and OH HOW TO EXPLAIN IT (it gets explained) and why is Dimitri so mysterious and HOLD ON WAIT A MINUTE if dhampirs can't reproduce with each other, but can only have more dhampir babies with a vampire, what happens when a dhampir has a kid with a regular human? Is that possible? Is the kid just a human or is it like half-dhampir? I HAVE QUESTIONS.
I feel as unconnected to teen…

Jurassic Park and the Exploration of America

Oh, summer. Time of Jurassic Park cosplay and pride parades. What? Why, yes, I have a picture.


And behold, Ye Bookish People, I have a Tale of Caution for thee. Because here was yesterday: Wake up very thirsty indeed due to perpetually blowing fan in room, do not drink water, go to friend's, drink lemonade + champagne, eat cupcake, go stand in sun for two hours while cheering for mostly-naked-men-in-colorful-underpants. Followed by going home, falling asleep, and then feeling pukey and headachey for the rest of the night. EAT THINGS AND DRINK WATER. AND DO NOT ONLY EAT CUPCAKES. This is my advice unto you.
In my gross-feeling state, the only thing that didn't seem terrible to watch on Instant was a National Geographic special on Lewis & Clark's expedition. And yeah, I teared up when they had a shot of a bunch of buffalo. BECAUSE THEY ARE MOSTLY GONE. Ah, America, you and your innocent ways, before we despoiled you with our delicious french fry eateries. Anyway, long stor…

Guest Post: 'Wuthering Heights,' Or How Emily Bronte Made Me Grow a Vagina and then Kicked Me in It

As promised, here is Doug's Wuthering Heights post. It's pretty special. Basically he told me he'd read any book I gave him (which was quite stupid of him, really), and this is obviously what I picked. I know guest posts are normally met with mental cries of "WHAT? I DIDN'T SIGN UP FOR THIS. I'M FOLLOWING YOU, NOT YOUR FRIEND, DAMN YOUR EYES."
But. This is awesome and after reading it your life will be better. So enjoy, or skip it and suffer the pain of unread hilariousness. IT IS YOUR CHOICE.
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I'm not quite sure how to describe in words what it was like reading Wuthering Heights from beginning to end. Luckily, this kid found a way to sum it up perfectly...

Thank you, boy! Your hilarious suffering is not in vain. Hi, I'm Doug Wilkinson... Wait, what kind of Internet contributor name is that?

Hi, I'm DeathStarBlowJob69, and I would have rather been God-punched in the dick with a meteorite than have ever read th…

Wuthering Heights Tomorrow and Sexy Teenage Vampires Today

Tomorrow is going to be a very exciting day, because my friend Doug from work (whom I quote quite often on twitter) is going to be posting about Wuthering Heights, which I made him read. I've read the post, and oh man, you guys. Oh man. If there were like, a blog post jousting tournament, Doug would knock me from my noble steed and this blog would be his by right. But fortunately I refuse to partake in such a tourney (well, not so fortunately for you all). So this will be merely a one-day thing. LOOK FORWARD.

I'm really excited about like three books right now, but let's focus on the most embarrassing one, because that's the most fun.
VAMPIRE ACADEMY. Ok, look, I checked this out as a library eBook because I was like "HAH, Vampire Academy. This is gonna be so stupid. People and their dumb teenage vampire obsession. 'Look at me, I'm a hot teenage vampire who gets into all sorts of faux-dark, sexy situations with other hot teenage vampires and maybe -- MAYBE -…

Wilkie and Lingering Movie Title Confusion (They Are Unrelated)

You guys you guys you guys. Laura at Devouring Texts posted about Wilkie Collins's Armadale today, and LET'S DO ANOTHER WILKIE READALONG. I know I said we should do The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis, and THAT IS STILL A GOOD IDEA, but I totally think we should read The Moonstone instead. For now. Monk later, Moonstone now.

OH HOW EXCITING.
Otherly, I'm working on The Price of Salt, which Sue Perkins said was great, and thus far is basically: young poor girl living in NYC in the ('50s? '60s?) isn't so into her boyfriend and huh, she doesn't quite get why, and also she works at a department store, and ONE DAY a lady comes in to buy a doll and this girl is all 'I WANT TO NUZZLE YOUR NECK, HOW ODD' and then she sends this lady a Christmas card and the lady invites her to her house to hang out, because that's normal.
That's how far I am right now. There's still a lot left. I was trying to read it in Toronto, but I was pretty drunk in Toronto. T…

Dads and Authors and Happy Father's Day

This is my dad. He is super-awesome.
I posted about him somewhat recently, mentioning him being a professor of Aerospace Engineering and a sci-fi nerd dating back to the '50s. He is adorable and I love him.
My mother is the much more dramatic of my parents (she was an actress), so she has been proclaiming her love of literature my whole life, encouraging me to read things that "weren't shitty" and taking me and my brothers to bookstores for as long as I can remember.
My dad is quiet about his reading, but he does a lot of it, which is something I've only realized in recent years. I knew he read a bunch of this as a teenager, because we have a billion back issues in our basement:

I asked him who his favorite authors are, and they're markedly different from everyone else's in the family (although I should state that my mom and I are maybe the only ones in our six-person family with any kind of overlap). He loves Kurt Vonnegut ("Cat's Cradle is the best…

Leviticus Is So Leviticusy

Hey, you know in Leviticus when Moses's brother Aaron's sons, the priests of the Ark of the Covenant (you TOTALLY know what I'm talking about -- EVERYONE knows about Nadab and Abihu) defiled the sacred place around the Ark through some Jewish law I'm unclear on and then it says God killed them with fire and then Moses said:
"This is what the LORD spoke of when he said: 'Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.'"
So basically that they should have known better. Remember that? Do you know what immediately follows it?
"Aaron remained silent."
Some scribe like four thousand years ago chose to include that, which is amazing.
I mean, because this is the Bible and crazy-old and part of a long-distant culture, who knows if this meant something else. Maybe when your sons died in godly fire you were SUPPOSED to say nothing when your brother did a shitty job comforting you. But if we're terri…

Cinderella Ate My Daughter and Why Is This a Problem

You know how some weeks, you're like "But do I have anything VALUABLE to contribute to the blogging community?", and then you decide you don't and then you sit and listen to Gotye's 'Somebody That I Used to Know' 43 times while eating chocolate chip granola? And then you realize that it's your blog and really it doesn't have to be valuable, and if you want to post this, you can:

I got like a quarter of the way through Peggy Orenstein's Cinderella Ate My Daughter before the library's eBook system stole it back, and part of the reason it was taking so long is IT IS THOUGHT-PROVOKING. Because while I might disagree with some of her conclusions, she's bringing up some good things to ponder. Kind of like Jessica Valenti's The Purity Myth, which was kind of like "Yeah, well, we shouldn't put such an emphasis on virginity and what is it really and dudes are unfair about it," ALL OF WHICH ARE VALID, but I was expecting somethi…

Giant Cartoon Bees and Agoraphobia

Video games are great. What else could make you yell "FUCK YOU BEEEEEEEEE!"? Unless you were watching the first X-Files movie, amirite X-Files fans? Or I guess if you were stung by a bee. There's really a large assortment of potential bee problems. But my point here is that a large bee in Donkey Kong Country kept killing me (or rather, kept killing Donkey and Diddy Kong).
So that was my weekend, along with visiting my parents, who were sitting on the front porch with me while I dealt with Bumble B. Rumble.
I read to my mom from Sara Benincasa's Agorafabulous, which is about her battle with agoraphobia ("fear of the marketplace"). I've been following Sara since her Palin videos in 2008, and I was pretty psyched to see she was writing a book. What I somehow did NOT expect is how well it would be written. I knew she was smart, and I knew she was funny, but this was honestly one of those moments where, after reading a bunch of mediocre-type books, you open on…

A Lack of Armchair BEA, and Lord Peter Wimsey is Delightful

What? Ask people for blogging advice? I think I've officially given up on Armchair BEA (if my last post being on Tuesday didn't clue y'in). But it was fun while it lasted, right, folks! And by "while it lasted" I mean "Before my internet ADD kicked in and I wanted to do something else."
I arrived at my workplace today to find a mountain of suitcases sitting in the reception area (have I mentioned I receptionize?). We have a bunch of guests in for a meeting, and when the coat closet filled up, rather than take them with them, they decided to just dump their bags out in the open. So one of the assistants and I had to scuttle them into an empty conference room, because THE RECEPTION AREA IS THE FACE OF THE COMPANY. As am I. My face = company face. Man, this could be one of those metonymy things. Or synecdoche or something. THOSE ARE BOTH WORDS, SPELLCHECK, STOP UNDERLINING THEM.
Due to Christina's post over at Reading Thru the Night, I'm gonna update…

Austenian Adaptations on Film and Whether They Suck or Not

I'm totally begging off from today's Armchair post, because do you guys need to read three posts in a row about BEA topics? No. Not from me, anyway. Because even though it's supposed to be about networking, I'd probably somehow be all "READ THE SISTERS BROTHERS" again.
Austen adaptations? Austen adaptations. 
I don't talk about Austen much on here, because OMG ARE WE NOT DONE WITH HER YET? (no we are not, because she is awesome) It began in 1995, and since then this Austen revival has just been coming and coming. I think it might be dying down now. Maybe. But her stuff is still making a shitload of money, so....maybe not. Anyway. Here're some film adaptations of her works:

Pride & PrejudiceOh, hi, Adaptation Never to Be Equaled. What do you say about this? It's five hours. It's amazing. It has Helena Bonham Carter's brother in it. Nothing this awesome will ever be made again. And now I want to watch it again, but that feels like something…

Best of 2012, You Say?

So we're supposed to discuss the best books of this year, and since it's a BEA topic, one thinks "Oh....PUBLISHED this year?" but I don't think I can do that, so best books read this year? Yes indeed.
BUT FIRST. I need to mention that yesterday I met Aarti from BookLust and she's totally charming and awesome and this was my FIRST book blogger I've met IRL, so you all benefit from this by me assuming you're not going to be socially awkward because she wasn't and obviously everyone is the same.
We met at Open Books, and if you haven't gone there when passing through Chicago, c'mon people. We've been over this. Open Books is the best and the awesomest. And the proceeds go to literacy programs. DON'T YOU WANT THE CHILDREN TO READ?
Ok, best I've read this year.




Do I need to go over The Sisters Brothers again? It was a transcendent experience of mirth and an exploration of the deepest fathoms of the soul. Ok, not so much maybe, because I…

Armchair BEA: FEEL the Excitement of Those Left Behind

Well. I hope everyone's having fun at BEA. I'm just gonna sit here and fill out this survey at my computer in Illinois.



Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

I AM ALICE. Also Reading Rambo, although my actual reading is not so much Rambo-y as generally spazzy. I've been blogging for a year? Because super-awesome people had book blogs and I was like 'LO, I CAN TRY THIS.'

What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

Or? I SHALL SAY BOTH. I'm currently reading Girl Walks Into a Bar by Rachel Dratch, How the Irish Saved Civilization, An Evening of Long Goodbyes, and Inside Scientology. Oh, and some book about Celtic women. Hurray for Celtic women!

As for favorite from 2012, that is HIGHLY DIFFICULT, because I've read some kickass books this year. It probably comes down to Sisters Brothers and Fun Home, which are tremendously different. (a…

It's Like the Lesson The Incredibles Taught Us, But Terrible

I finished The Bloggess's book Let's Pretend This Never Happened, and it was hilarious and magical.
When I was thinking about it later, I was like 'Hah, living in the country messes you up...wait, I lived in the country. Shit.'

Because then all these memories came flooding back, like my brother banging his shoes on the kitchen table so the cockroaches would crawl out, and us being late for school because there was a loose horse running around our backyard (not loose like he was a horse who slept around, although maybe that was the case, but no, loose like he'd jumped over the pasture fence into our backyard and had to be lured with some oats).
And when you get older, you idealize your living-in-the-country existence, much like Jenny Lawson apparently does, because she and her husband moved back there for her kid (and then dealt with scorpions, foxes and black mold). And I totally have whitewashed memories of playing in a creek and riding my bike to "hidden" …