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Showing posts from November, 2012

Book hoarding is the new...something.

I just had a moment of panic for my desk/vanity. I've had this large, cumbersome piece of furniture since I was a teenager and wanted to decorate my room in the style of the 1940s (yeah, I was one of those cool kids who did that sort of thing). So I begged my parents for this desk, which we saw at an antique store, and they bought it for me, and I carted it off to Chicago when I moved up here. But my room is appx 8 x 9, and in that I have my tiny bed, a keyboard and its stand, a floor lamp, and my giant desk/chair.

So for Christmas I requested a much lighter desk. My dad informed me today they got it, and I have to pick it up downtown. Which means I have to get rid of my giant heavy wooden desk, which is causing me anxiety because the PICTURES shoved in the mirror during high school, and the endless packs of hair ties in its drawers (those I'm probably less attached to, but still). What's going to happen to it after it leaves my apartment? MEMORIES.


I'm a low-level hoard…

people might like calling themselves perfectionists, but perfectionists get nothing done

I've been taking piano for a few months now. My teacher is a girl about my age who goes to my church and mostly teaches six-year-olds. This is particularly evident when I do a shitty job on something like Yankee Doodle and she claps and says "You hit almost all the right notes!" She's very encouraging is what I'm saying. This is especially helpful when I sit in front of The Little Drummer Boy and my brain panics and won't hit the keys because WHAT IF I HIT THE WRONG ONE.

 My mother really likes telling a story related to this about when I was five and she came into my room, and rather than being in bed, I was sitting on the ground with those giant dotted sheets of paper they give you in grade school for learning to write your letters strewn about me, and an intense look of concentration on my face. "Alice, why aren't you asleep?" my mom asked. In a furious tone, I responded "I HAVE TO GET MY T's RIGHT."

 This carries into reading for…

"You know what I reeeeeally think of you, Sand?" she slurred

I know. It's been almost a week. But the Americans will understand there was NO TIME. Because you have Wednesday when you get drunk, Thursday when you travel and eat a lot, Friday when you go shopping, and you don't update on the weekend.

Which brings us to today. Also to the fact that CAN I SAY, my headcanon of Charlotte Bronte loving Whitney Houston has become so real to me that when I eventually time travel and bring 16-year-old her to this time and play 'The Greatest Love of All' for her, if she doesn't like it, my world will fall apart. And not just because bringing her forward in time might create some weirdo paradox thingy.

I need coffee. Saturday I did a spin class for the first time, which bruised me in some unfortunate places, and yesterday I ran three blocks for the bus which almost killed me.

Haven't unslumped myself. Still barely reading. It's reeeeeal sad.



You know who should get drunk together? George Eliot and George Sand. Because they've …

Stalled reading plus shipping and do we know what that is?

People seem to be in a reading rut right now (I cite Meg's post "Reading Rut, I am in you"), and I am the biggest no-exception. I've started a truly extraordinary number of books and finished none. And then I had that whole watch-too-many-episodes-of-that-unnamed-show thing. 

SO. Just to explain why this hasn't been too updatey. But I'm sure you all have just been in a veritable WHIRLWIND of holiday activity, and are barely even reading blogs, so I could really post or not post whatever and it would all just zoom down into the blogging void. I don't need to explain what the blogging void is, because this is already in it and NO CAN READ THINGS THERE.

...my tumblr's been like this lately as well.


If I can go in a fiction-related but not necessarily solely book-related direction, do we all know what shipping is?

When I use this


do you all think I'm talking about an actual boat? Hopefully not. Okay, so "shipping" is short for "relations…

I'd totally get murdered in the woods

I got Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. It's pretty spiffy so far, but he hasn't actually set out into the woods yet. He's kinda just talking about all the ridiculous equipment you need to not be eaten alive by raccoons. Something that's on page one hooked me:

"Who could say the words 'Great Smoky Mountains' or 'Shenandoah Valley' and not feel an urge, as the naturalist John Muir once put it, to 'throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence'?"
Yes. That thing right there. Because HIKING. I love it so much. Some weird combination of my hatred of staying still, my liking of nature and general love of being in a location where contemporary civilization isn't obnoxiously present and I can say 'I AM LEWIS AND CLARK'S UNMENTIONED THIRD PERSON.'

So yes, kind of a cliche, but hiking is the greatest. The day I get actual hiking boots will be a banner one for the Alice/Shaan household (my…

happy books are my only hope

Four hours of The L Word last night, mostly involving me wrapped in a blanket weeping on my couch.


Bette? Half of the couple I love with an all-consuming-since-Sunday devotion? Yeah, so there's a character named Alice on the show, and half of the couple I love and who made me cry like four times last night ACTUALLY SAID: "Fuck you, Alice."

THANKS SHOW.


What are some hilarious books, guys? Because I'm currently reading The Book Thief and Cloud Atlas, and neither is imbuing me with merriment. And I will need this, because I'm only on season two out of six of this demonspawn show, and determined to finish before I go to New York in early December (Alley, you better not back out on me for lunch/dinner/coffeetimes when I visit).

I can handle only so much sadness at one time. Mostly because I'm the most impressionable ever, so if I'm surrounded by sadness, I get totally pulled down into it. This is also a problem when I hear debates, because each side goes and I ke…

Lesbian TV and the Holocaust? What are you doing, self.

So I spent yesterday watching 12 episodes of The L Word after resisting it for years because I thought it was going to be trashy, but have now discovered it is the BEST. From my hours and hours of watching I have culled the best scene, namely when Tina and Bette -- who are having a baby -- have an intervention done for them because they're becoming too boring.


The show reminds me of Alison Bechdel's long-running comic Dykes to Watch Out For, which I am a billion percent positive it's been compared to. That's the comic that created the Bechdel Test and was generally ahead of its time. Or maybe current with its time. But at any rate, Alison Bechdel was one of the first people to do something like it. She's also the author of Fun Home, which you should all read because it is awesome and one of the only graphic novels/memoirs I've ever cared about. My copy is currently absent from my home because all the ladies at church have been passing it around.
It's Monday…

The Fire Chronicle has elves and you should read it

Since I basically slobbered all over The Emerald Atlas in my attempt to make out with it, I was pretty damn thrilled when I discovered book two in the Books of Beginning series was coming out. I pleaded with Random House Kids to let me review it, so be aware that I was pretty sure I was gonna want to marry this book PRE-reading. So I might be a little biased. And also be aware that the people at Random House Kids are wonderful and magical and probably smell really nice. 

Middle books always get the shaft. The beginning of the series is so exciting! The end has all the conclusiony bits! The middle--moves the story along kind of!

No one likes Catching Fire the most. No one loves Prince Caspian more than all the other Chronicles of Narnia. And I don't think anyone is super gung ho about The Two Towers

That being said, John Stephens continues in this book what I loved about The Emerald Atlas. Namely, it's funny, has magic and the main characters are appealing. THAT IS ALL I WANT. T…

Top Almost 50, Because Why Not

People have been all over Book Riot's Top 50 List, and I could go through the same cliched books we've seen on every You Should Read This Before You Die list and say whether I've read them or not, but fuck that, so I made my own list which peters out in the 40s, because that's when I ceased to find books I SUPER-loved on Goodreads.

Basically these are all great.

Auntie Mame, Patrick Dennis
Around the World With Auntie Mame
Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
Maus, Art Spiegelman
Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling
The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
Gone-Away Lake, Elizabeth Enright
Eugene Onegin, Alexander Pushkin
The Lorax, Dr Seuss
How I Became a Famous Novelist, Steve Hely
Good Omens, Pratchett & Gaiman
Roald Dahl. All of Roald Dahl.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
Middlemarch, George Eliot
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Green & Levithan
Gaudy Night, D.L. Sayers
The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis
The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
The Emerald Atlas, John S…

Gothness and Disneyfication

Whenever a person claims they have an overly morbid interest in things, it seems to instantly turn into a contest with those around them.

"Oh man, at least you're not as morbid as I am. I dunno; I'm just drawn to that stuff."

I'm not sure why this is a point of pride with people. Maybe it's the desire to seem different, or at the very least slightly odd -- especially since that's been praised by basically every movie ever over the past few decades. "Oh, you like dark, weird shit? You must be special."
When I was eleven years old, a decent number of people in my circle died within a short period of time. Couple that with a terrible English teacher who taught us that Disney endings were fake, and real stories did not end happily, and I was the kid who doodled pictures of stick figures dying in semi-creative ways and whose historical fiction stories for Social Studies all ended with everyone dying. Because that was "real."
I only noticed t…

The Tale of the Kidney Stone

Where have I been? ENDURING THE UNTOLD AGONY OF A KIDNEY STONE. Let's back it up a sec and think back to Saturday morning. A carefree time, when one could walk down the streets of Hyde Park on the way back from a Gilbert & Sullivan audition, listening to Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA" and think 'Hm, that's a strange feeling in my abdomen.' Cut to eight hours later and there's me and my dad (my parents were up for the weekend) in the aisle of a CVS endeavoring to find something that'll stop the shrieking pain I'm in, and I'm crying and my dad doesn't know what to do because what do you do when your 27-year-old daughter cries in the aisle of a CVS?



We go back to the hotel, and I was trying to fight it out, because my parents are older and I didn't want to put them to too much trouble, but it finally got RIDICULOUSLY bad, so I told my dad I had to go to the emergency room. And he took me there at midnight. And he held my hand …

It's Friday, Friday, etc etc

It's Friday afternoon. This is my blog. I can type ANYTHING I WANT and the internet has to either deal with it or click away to an awesome gif of a sloth hugging something. Well GUESS WHAT INTERNET.


I've realized in years past that I read a lot of lady authors. I don't know if this was a conscious decision on my part, but probs a mixture of conscious and un-. Because lady authors, especially from the 19th century, were rare, and so if their stuff got famous you're kind of like "Oh yeah. They must've been pretty cool maybe probably." So we have the Brontes and George Eliot and George Sand (I HAVE GEORGE SAND FEELINGS) and Edith Wharton and Austen and...other people I'm not thinking of right now. And they're all swell. And then you've got like Dickens and Wilkie and Balzac and Hugo and Scott and Trollope, and I haven't read ANY Scott or Trollope and that's really terrible, but there it is.
I dunno, you want to read about women, and men s…

Shakespeare and Austen are fine. Also, I'm scared of authors.

Halloween was swell. And by 'swell' I mean I sat on my couch and watched Agent Dana Scully kick the ass of a man who was sucking the fat out of women. WITH HIS INCREASED-IN-POTENCY STOMACH ACIDS. Man, that's a good episode. It was also made in like 1995, and warned people of the perils of internet dating. Because that guy you're chatting with could just be suffering from a condition where he has no way of producing fat and needs to absorb yours. THINK ABOUT IT.
It was kind of like watching that early episode of Law & Order: SVU (or as my friend likes to call it, "Pervert Stories") where Detective Benson is talking about the dangers of chat rooms, and you're like "Ahahahahahahaha." Only NOT because then someone probably dies.
You know who're two authors who get a lot of people in a flutter but I'm not really that into? Austen and Shakespeare. Like, ok. They're both great. Reeeeeeal great. And I like some of their stuff a whole lot. …