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Showing posts from January, 2017

Lives in Ruins: A Book Review Tempered by the New World Order

A book about archaeologists! ("why does this matter," she said, curled in a ball in the corner) Bop around the world with Marilyn Johnson! ("nothing matters now") See what being an archaeologist in the 21st century is REALLY all about! ("aagghhhhhhhhhh")

Take your everyday-life escapisms where you can get them, my friends. This is our new reality. And it sucks donkeyballs. But here we are. And I read a book I rated 3/5 stars on Goodreads! Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble is by Marilyn Johnson, author of that book you probably saw at the bookstore a few years ago where she talked about how librarians would save the world. WELL WHERE ARE YOU NOW, LIBRARIANS.





Anyway.

Johnson's thing seems to be deciding to find out more about an interesting job and then going around and interviewing people who do that job in a variety of ways. Here she picked archaeology, which is GREAT, because archaeology is the shit.

While she's s…

Fight On Like Our Foremothers and Forefathers

The Women's March was a tremendous day of protest and solidarity, and a worldwide announcement that we will not quietly accede to this unprecedented situation. But it's over. And I'm left with this feeling. You're probably left with this feeling. We're all left with this feeling, and it is just so scary and it makes me want to lie down and not get up.

I've been thinking about what to do and how to make this a livable situation, and the answer I've found is, as always, in the past.

Do you know why movies aren't made about the 19th century women's movement? Or the anti-slavery efforts in 18th century America? There's no triumphant ending. Elizabeth Cady Stanton never voted. Neither did Susan B. Anthony. Or Sojourner Truth. Most abolitionists who labored from 1785 through the early 1800s only saw increased division and rancor in their lifetime concerning the topic dearest to them, something as huge as the recognition of an entire race's humanit…

2017: Everything feels weird and I'm exhausted

How...did previous generations cope with rage fatigue and a constant sense of impending doom? Oh, I know — they just died at like age 35. In the Middle Ages, at least. People in the '60s just did drugs. IT'S ALL MAKING SENSE NOW.




I'm fighting a constant ostrich-like urge to bury my head in the sand and continue going about my normal life, while social media tells me on a non-stop loop that nothing is okay and you have to act now NOW.

We do have to act. But it helps no one if we're all CONSTANTLY feeling bad about not acting all the time. So. I am going to go to the March in Chicago on Saturday, and I'm going to read some news articles and try to be informed on what's really going on, and I'm going to try and stop myself from collapsing into a puddle of despair.

On that note! What have I been reading this month:

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart Ehrman. Someone at my church lent this to me appx 2-3 years ago and I've ne…

Mary Astor's Purple Diary by Edward Sorel: So this is how obsessions look to other people, huh.

I have a lot of thoughts about Mary Astor's Purple Diary, most of which can be summed up in the notes I made on my voice recorder while walking in downtown Chicago, which begins with "You know how you write that story about meeting the person you're obsessed with? And you don't show it to other people? Well, Edward Sorel decided to...like...publish it. And illustrate it."




For those of you who didn't have a lot of alone time with Turner Classic Movies in high school, Mary Astor was a movie star during the Golden Age of Hollywood, more specifically in the 1930s. By the mid-1940s she was playing mom roles, but in the '30s and early '40s she had kickass parts like the wealthy eccentric sister in Preston Sturges's The Palm Beach Story, and that main lady character whose name I don't remember in The Maltese Falcon.
Edward Sorel is apparently "one of America's foremost political satirists." He also happens to have been obsessed with Mar…

2016: The Year Everything Was a Garbage Fire, Including My Reading Stats

Getting a real job that requires, y'know, time and energy and attention, has played havoc with my Goodreads stats, let me tell you. Said job, plus a girlfriend who, while being extremely supportive of my book obsession, also would like me to talk to her sometimes, mean I had an appx 30 book drop in my reading this year, for a grand total of 46 books read.



What themes did we find for this year's reading though! Of this 46, 22 were by women, which is...not quite half. Of my entire reading for the year. I know. Me. My reading. Over half of it by men.



You're probably thinking "hey, wha happened" and I get it. I...get it. Well, Neil Gaiman happened. And Ron Chernow. And David Sedaris and Norman Cantor and John Lewis and Edward Carey and just a LOT of dudes writing books I wanted to read. Because y'know what, it's going to happen, because the publishing world favors them. "That's why you should make an extra effort to read women and POC, Alice." I K…