Friday, January 25, 2008

One of life's small (but really large) pleasures

Having ahead of you an entire weekend that will include chocolate cake and a party and might include swimming, and sitting inside your warm apartment while a freezing cold thunderstorm makes a racket outside, and singing rainy-day songs very quietly, and covering four new books with contact paper.

In fact that may be the definition of perfect happiness.

A point to consider

If life were like One Tree Hill, then Clinton and Obama would be having a secret affair.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Righteous horror

While I was waiting for that last post to load, I reached into my purse to get something out of my wallet, and do you know what I discovered, DO YOU KNOW?

The snap that snaps my purse closed (the boy side thereof) was cheating on the girl snap! With my wallet's girl snap! I caught them in flagrante delicto, and they didn't even have the grace to act embarrassed!


I completely hate myself

You won't be able to believe what I did. I can hardly believe what I did. If Bonnie had been with me this would never, never, never have happened. I am the stupidest person in the whole world and I have missed out on something beautiful and uplifting, all because of rank cowardice and an ability to be too easily satisfied.

So I was walking back from class, right, and I happened to notice that one of the apartments in my complex had a board game scattered all over the cement in front of the door. I paused and glanced at it, and then I realized there was a sign on the door that said something along the lines of GET A CLUE BITCH (the, uh, the game was Clue), and then underneath that it said some other things including (again, something along the lines of) WHY DO YOU WANT 2 B ON MYSPACE SO BAD? and some other scattered insults.

Things I didn't do that I now really wish I'd done:

1) Take the close-up picture of the sign first, rather than doing the wide shot encompassing door and game first, and
2) Remembered to save the close-up picture after I took it, and
4) Come back straight away with my real camera, not just my cell phone, and taken further pictures, or
5) Not waited for several hours before trying to call Robyn to tell her about it and realizing the close-up of the sign was gone, or
6) Been brave enough when I did go back to say to the girl walking purposefully towards the door, "Hey, you know that sign you're about to tear off your door in disgust? Can I have it?"

Seriously, that sign was beautiful and I would have swiped it and sent it into Found Magazine like damn except that there was some lingering part of me that was like, "Well, hey, maybe the BITCH in question actually really needs to GET A CLUE, and maybe it actually is important that she contemplate the serious question of why she wants 2 b on MySpace so bad", and anyway far be it from me (I thought) to interfere in what is obviously a deeply painful inter-flatmate schism between a BITCH and a COMPLETE LUNATIC, and anyway I have these pictures that I took so I will never forget this sign.

And it didn't work out that way. So now I've learned a valuable lesson: Steal shit. Crime pays.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Striving for authenticity

Okay, look. People are always on my case about exercising and they are always like Oh Jenny don't you know that exercise is good for you and don't you know that exercise will give you endorphins and pull you out of the deep depression you have sunk into upon learning that you are going to be forced to read Moby Dick and Walden again and also a huge bunch of Walt Whitman that you had managed to avoid up until now and don't you know that if you do not exercise you will develop nasty diseases and die?

But what they are FAILING to CONSIDER (because they are not reflective people) is that up until today I haven't had any exercising trousers. Like, I know I can wear big shirts to exercise in, and indeed that is an ideal exercising clothe, but I also have to wear something on my bottom half, and seriously, I had nothing to wear! I had no exercising shorts. I had no exercising trousers. I couldn't exercise. My hands were tied. As you can well imagine, the last thing I would want is to go into the rec center in non-exercising trousers and have everyone turn around from their exercising to say YOU GET OUT OF HERE AT ONCE YOU EXERCISE FRAUD and leap off of their machines and suppress me and tell me never ever never darken their doors again ever.

However, today I purchased some proper exercising trousers. I know they're the appropriate kind of exercising trousers because I have seen other people, exercising people, and they were wearing trousers of this kind. The stretchy kind with a nice solid color and then a white stripe down both sides. That's what exercising people wear. Now I have some too. I am no longer a big fraud.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Things I feel smug about when watching movies

1) People's fake hair. Every time I see people in films with long hair that is obviously a wig or hair extensions, I'm like, Pfft. Please. My hair is naturally long. (I'm sure I'm jinxing myself horrendously by being so smug about it but I can't help it.)

2) Typewriters. Always. Every time someone has a typewriter in a film, inside my brain I am thinking, Ha, ha, ha, ha. My typewriters are much more better than your typewriters. My typewriters are more elegant and my typewriter that is portable is more cute and my typewriter that is old is more old and is indeed an antique. SO. THERE.

(Yes, that's what I was thinking all through Atonement. As soon as the typewriter noises started, I was thinking, Well, we'll just see about that, won't we? And when the typewriter showed up, I was not paying any attention to the dirty words James McAvoy was typing – the old people in the audience all were, however, and whispered urgently to each other – but was in fact thinking, Please. My typewriter is so much better.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What Anthony Lane the famous and prestigious film reviewer says

Everybody knows the old E.M. Forster distinction between story and plot: "The king died and then the queen died" is a story. "The king died and then the queen died of grief" is a plot. Fair enough, but what Forster failed to foresee was the emergence of a third category, the Quentin Tarantino plot, which goes something like this: "The king died while having sex on the hood of a lime-green Corvette, and the queen died of contaminated crack borrowed from the court jester, with whom she was enjoying a conversation about the relative merits of Tab and Diet Pepsi as they sat and surveyed the bleeding remains of the lords and ladies whom she had just blown away with a stolen .45 in a fit of grief." It is hard to know what Forster would have made of Tarantino's new movie Pulp Fiction. I suspect he would have run gibbering into his study, locked the door, and hidden behind the bookshelves. Not just because of the bloodshed – all that brain matter suddenly appearing on the outsides of people's skulls, instead of working quietly within, where it belongs – but because of the equal violence done to narrative form.


And here is his summary of Titanic:

They fall in love, he draws her nude, they make out in the cargo hold, and then the ship, in a touching display of erotic sympathy, rears up on end and goes down.

My great-grandmother remembered the Titanic sinking, incidentally. And my other great-grandmother used to work for Thomas Edison. So.

First impressions

I had three of my four classes today, the fourth being a class I have already taken before in high school and had the professor for it so I know what he's like. Already. But as for the others:

1) My Unpleasant English Class Requirement where, goddammit, I have to read Moby Dick (again!). The professor for that looks like Dustin Hoffman. It's eerie. The more I look at him, the more he looks like Dustin Hoffman. Especially when he smiles. He also has a little bit of a look of David Strathairn, as Robyn pointed out, but mainly he looks exactly like Dustin Hoffman. He thinks it is very funny that Tocqueville made accurate predictions.

2) My Pleasant English Class Requirement where I get to read Jane Eyre! Jane Eyre! Please see my post-script for the thing I just realized about Jane Eyre and its impact upon my life. Well, my professor is very tiny and cheerful and got interviewed for the special features of the Sweeney Todd DVD, and we are reading loads of good things and then watching the movies of them. I'm excited. I am writing a short story adaptation of "The Little Mermaid" (or so I optimistically claim), and then I am thinking I may write my long paper on the development of the Remorseful Vampire and some modern uses of him. Including, if God is kind, my recently-read and amazingly trashy Twilight.

3) My Hopefully-Useful-In-Life elective. Our instructor for this has a face like a little boy, and sort of a little-kid haircut as well, so I keep glancing up and being like, Whoa, what the hell, who's this kid and where's our instructor? before I remember what's going on. Plus she wears kind of baggy clothes, with a big smoking jacket type thing on top, and it makes her look like a little boy dressing up in his parents' clothing. And at the end of her sleeves are two completely normal grown-up-size hands, which is oddly creepy and keeps reminding me of the Swedish chef.

So good things mainly. Hopefully.

P.S. Guess what I just realized about Jane Eyre. I never noticed this before just this second, but OH MY GOD GUESS WHAT. Okay, so my mother gave me a copy of Jane Eyre when I was about nine, I think, and told me that it was really good and moreover the hero called the heroine "Jenny" (which is my name). And I was all, SWEET! MY NAME!, so I read it (though actually he calls her "Janet", so pooh) and I completely loved it, of course. And my mother kept saying "Where are you? Oo, wait until you get to the end! The end is fantastic!" and she said it so much that I started to feel I actually couldn't wait for the end (especially when Jane ran away and took up with that asshole Sinjun whose name I just can't be bothered to spell correctly), so I flipped forward and read the end.

And that is how it all began.

I just realized that. Jane Eyre (and my mother) showed me The Way.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A post no one else cares about but me

However, I need to have this on record somewhere accessible by public interweb, because I am constantly trying to remember all of these things and spending a lot of valuable time, which could be spent doing other things like reading and writing a story and listening to new music and learning the languages on my list, dredging them up out of my unwilling brain.

I often find myself thinking: Neil Gaiman steals all of his ideas from Diana Wynne Jones, and then I can't remember what ideas he has stolen from her. And of course he doesn't steal all his ideas from her, because he is a creative chap and it would be very cool to live inside his head. Seriously, I think that it must be very very cool to be Neil Gaiman and have all those weird ideas in your head. But, he frequently steals ideas from Diana Wynne Jones though undoubtedly with her permission because he goes completely different ways with them and anyway they are BFF and I'm sure she doesn't care.

1) He stole the idea for American Gods from Eight Days of Luke. He said.
2) He stole the idea for MirrorMask from Charmed Life. I think a bit.
3) That's all I can remember but I KNOW THERE IS AT LEAST ONE MORE.

Well, this is why this post is a good idea, because I know that I will remember eventually, and then I will update this post, and then I will remember them forever. Ha.

Edit to add: Oh yes. Stardust and Howl's Moving Castle. It all comes back to me. That John Donne poem.

Thursday, January 10, 2008



For many years now I have been preaching the joyous gospel of my own reading philosophy, which involves knowing the end of a book as early as possible. Books are better when you know the endings. They just are.

But there was this one incident involving the sixth Harry Potter book, which I have mentioned before, where I glanced at the end and received some information I didn't actually want, and even though in some ways it eased my tension (which was nice because I was the only one awake in the house in a shithole city (Frank Harris' home, incidentally) in a foreign country), it really made me rethink my whole policy of reading the ends of books wherein suspense is key.

Which is why I did not read the end of Special Topics in Calamity Physics. Although I wanted to. I frequently and repeatedly wanted to, and I kept telling myself, Jenny, if you want your first time to be really special, you have to save yourself.

Patriarchal bullshit, as I have always suspected.

I finished Special Topics in Calamity Physics with very mixed feelings – the end was brilliantly insane, but the middle sort of bogged down in some ways, but I seriously think that if I had known the end when I was reading the middle, I might have loved it the entire time and come away with a new favorite book. But because I got BRAINWASHED by the BULLSHIT PARTY LINE, I may have really spoiled that elusive brilliant best-thing-in-the-world, The First Time Reading a Good Book. Dammit.

Look at this! LOOK!

"That very morning your mother had talked to me of plans to enroll in a night class, Intro to Moths of North America, so rid yourself of such dour thoughts. Natasha was the victim of one too many butterfly nights." Dad gazed at the floor. "A sort of moth moon madness," he added quietly.

That is genius, genius, and I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW.

Or, oo, that bit where that woman came over and bashed things and it was too awful and I couldn't stand to read it, oh my God, that was not just an unbearable section of book, it was elegant foreshadowing! GODDAMMIT!

If you want to really enjoy this book, my advice to you is this: Read the introduction; then skip ahead and read from Chapter 31 ("Che Guevara Talks to Young People") to the end; then go back and read the rest of the book. My way of reading books has been proven to be best. I only wish I could have been proved right not at the expense of what may be a thoroughly excellent book.

People Who Say A Lot of Goodbye and People Who Don't

In my experience of the world, people divide fairly neatly into two categories of people: those who need to say a lot of goodbye and those who don't. And they don't understand each other in the slightest.

Take me for example, a person who belongs to the former category. If I am planning on going somewhere, then I will say, "I think I'm going to head to the library in a few minutes", and whatver member of my family is around will say "Okay; can you return some stuff for me, all those books on the living room bookshelf?" and I'll fetch the books, and put them in my bookbag, and then I will say "All right, I'm heading out", and my family member will say, "Have a good time!" and then when I am actually walking out of the door I will say "Bye!" and they will say "Bye!" back to me.

That's three goodbyes for an hour-long trip to the library. And if my family member failed to respond to any one of them, I would assume they hadn't heard me and reiterate my farewells until they did respond.

It's much worse when someone's leaving after a visit, or going on a trip. Then there is the goodbye to be said the night before, and the goodbye to be said when they are packing their bags, and the goodbye to be said as a family, and the individual goodbye-and-hug procedure, and then the going out onto the porch to shout goodbye as the person gets into their car, and then the frantic waving until the car is out of sight.

This is how we roll.

My uncle Jim is a person who absolutely does not comprehend this. If we say goodbye to him the night before he leaves because we anticipate we won't be awake/around for his actual departure, he considers the whole thing to be Done. If it turns out we wake up to say goodbye to him again on the day of the departure, you can see him thinking in his brain, I already said goodbye to you. Why are we doing this again?

I seriously don't know why we are doing this again. Just that it has to be done.

People who don't say goodbye a lot have a really hard time with people who do. They think that one goodbye is adequate and there should be no need to say it a dozen more times. If you have said goodbye already, why would you even bother adding "See you tomorrow!" or "Have a good evening"? The GOODBYE has been SAID. WE ARE DONE.

Whereas in my head, the many things there are to say in a farewell situation should ALL be said if possible, and I don't understand when people don't answer EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

Me: I'm leaving!
Them: Bye!
Me: Have a good evening!
Them: Okay!
Me: See you tomorrow!
Them: Okay!
Me: Have fun with your new toy/dress/meal/project!

Oh well. Another instance of the impossibility of human relations. And with that philosophical aside, back to my regularly scheduled reading/sleeping/watching of trashy shows.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What I learned today about Robert Browning

I learn so many things because of work. Every afternoon when I get home I have a list at least five items long of things to investigate further.

Here's my favorite one from today:

I was looking through tax returns today, and someone had given money to an organization in a town today called Pippa Passes, KY. Pippa Passes! although apparently, the residents of Pippa Passes call it "Caney Creek", and seriously, Caney Creek citizens, why, why, why, why would you do that? What a good town name you have! You should use it! Get together a town council, all 300 of you (by the 2000 census), and discuss maybe calling your town by its right name from here on out.

Well, so anyway I couldn't remember what on earth "Pippa Passes" was from, because the first I heard of it was a Rumer Godden book (and not a very good one, I felt at the age of ten), so whatever its actual origin was has never stuck in my brain since then. Turns out it is a poem by Robert Browning. Which pleased me, naturally, because I like Robert Browning as a person (he sounds like a sweet dear), and he was also born on my birthday. Anyway, Wikipedia informed me that "Pippa Passes" is the source of the oft-quoted "God's in his Heaven / All's right with the world", and right below that it quoted this:

But at night, brother Howlet, all over the woods,
Toll the world to thy chantry;
Sing to the bats' sweet sisterhood
Full complines with gallantry:
Then owls and bats, cowls and twats,
Monks and nuns, in a cloister's moods,
Adjourn to the oak-stump pantry!

Teehee. I giggled immaturely. So apparently the OED contacted Robert Browning, who was very fortunately still alive, and were all like, WHAT is the HELL of THIS? and Robert Browning was like, What? It means a nun's habit. YOU BIG CRAZIES, and the OED was like, Um, no, honey, it's a nasty word for a woman's special parts and it has meant that lo these many years, and Robert Browning was like, Nuh-uh, cause look at this pome from 1660, which I read before I wrote this pome and from which I inferred the meaning of twat:

They talkt of his having a Cardinall's Hat
They'd send him as soon an Old Nun's Twat.

And the OED people were like, ....

And so am I.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A compulsive reader

I am compulsive with regard to reading. Now, this seems to imply that I read compulsively; i.e., that I cannot stop myself from reading in the same way that I cannot stop myself from checking my holds at the library twenty times a day to see if they have come in yet (two of them came in today!!), or checking out where my packages have gotten to so far when I order things from the internet. And that's true. But it's also true that I am a person in whom sometimes my reader-self and my compulsive-person-self come together in a glorious alliance to bring out the Crazy that lurks within my soul

Case in point: A few days ago I bought Special Topics in Calamity Physics from Bongs & Noodles, because it looked good and I read a bit of it at the store and it made me smile, and I hear good things, and I love, love, love, love buying new books I have never read. It is very exciting. However, I rarely do it because I can't rely on the books being any good. And I don't want to waste my precious money (in this case, my exceedingly precious Bongs & Noodles gift cards) on books that aren't going to be any good, because there are far too many extremely good books out there that I want to own.

Yet I bought Special Topics in Calamity Physics. The plan was to read it very carefully, so as not to bend the spine, which I am quite good at, and then if it turned out rubbish, I would return it in perfect condition and get something else instead. I don't anticipate it turning out rubbish.

I also did really underestimate my compulsive nature. I read about twenty pages of the book and was swamped with panic that I was going to bend the spine, and it's stressful reading something you absolutely can't do anything bad to OR ELSE – no wonder people never want to borrow books from me! (but that doesn't mean you can do anything bad to my books that you borrow; I still want them back perfect OR ELSE) – so I reserved a copy at the library.

Which I went and picked up today, along with (!!!!) Dark Shadows, 40 episodes from around the time of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy's assassinations.

And when I got through checkout, I glanced at my stack of books and didn't see the cheerful yellow-and-red paperback spine of Special Topics in Calamity Physics, and I threw a small fit because it was gone and that meant I'd left it somewhere lying around the library and I wasn't going to be able to find it even though I really really really wanted to read it, and you'd have thought from my fussing noises that I didn't have a brand new pristine copy at home waiting to be read. I could picture the library copy too – a big paperback just like mine, but with the cover curling up and a small rip in the bottom corner of the front cover, and the sides of the back cover starting to peel and the spine all cracked – and that's how I described it to Anna, who is a good person to have around when you lose something because she always gets a description and asks where you last saw it and then goes and tracks it down.

Actually it turns out that the library copy was hardback and I had it all along and I just hadn't noticed it because the spine is much more dark and sober-looking than the front cover.

However, the image in my head of the paperback library copy is very clear, and it haunted me when I thought I'd put it down somewhere unfindable because I knew that once having seen that image in my mind I would never be able to read my new copy at home, because I would be too chagrined at the notion of doing that to the book and then not being able to return it to the bookshop even if I DESPERATELY wanted to once I finished the book and it turned out to be rubbish or not rubbish but just not good enough to ever want to read again.


I'm not crazy.

Only a small part of my brain was thinking this. The part that peddles a special brand of Crazy in which I occasionally indulge. Most of my brain was thinking, Well, shit, that was dumb. Now I'm either going to have to risk damaging my own copy or wait a few more days to read this book. There was just a small, small section – the Salesman of Crazy section – that viewed this as a major catastrophe.

(A word which incidentally I never write, read, or think without remembering The Trumpet of the Swan.)

I think the sane part of my brain knew perfectly well that I had the book all along, and was just doing this to me as a cautionary measure, to remind me to listen to it and not to the Crazy Salesman. And thanks, sane bits of brain, I guess. I felt really stupid when I noticed I had it all along, though, and you could have told me straight away instead of letting me run around crazy like antelope in rainy season, but, y'know, whatever. I guess I'm glad you're looking out for me.

P.S. I am super duper excited about Dark Shadows. I mean, you just have no idea. Seriously, what is better than a soap opera from the sixties that was getting bad ratings and decided to put paid to that problem by introducing a vampire, who was so popular that the soap opera became a total cult classic and has now been released in its entirety on DVD? A show to which my godmother and Johnny Depp were both devoted, the latter to such an extent that he yearned and yearned and yearned to be Barnabas the Vampire which now that he is rich and famous he can and will arrange to be?

Nothing in the world since the beginning of time has ever been or will ever be better than that. INCLUDING THE CREATION OF MAN. (Sorry, God. You can't fight the truth.)

Oo. Except for cilantro. But NOTHING ELSE.

Most horrific commercial ever

I was watching Guiding Light, right (as I do – it's awesome when little children are the villains, although of course I'd rather have Edmund), and there were commercials which I was watching as I finished eating my popcorn, and this was the commercial that came on:

A little boy comes in the door, looking glum and a little stumbly, and the voiceover says "Your beloved son is a horrorhouse of disgusting germs" (or something to that effect), and the little boy is suddenly all over green and purple squiggly things. He touches the telephone, and the purple and green squigglies get all over the phone and squirm there, and then a sweet innocent cheerful little girl comes to pick up the phone and the squigglies are on her like white on rice until Lysol comes to save the day.

Lysol has to stop picking on people with OCD. That commercial made me shudder, and I'm only a very tiny tiny tiny bit obsessed with cleanliness, and not at all with germs. Squirmy yucky things is unfair. It's hitting below the belt.

Luckily Guiding Light came back shortly thereafter and distracted me. Reva's been framed for murder by an eight-year-old kid, and Josh is On The Trail, and now Cassie's all, "I can't believe you would sacrifice my son for your ex-wife!" With new, dramatic music. Guiding Light rocks my world, except for their new lame theme song. I miss the old one even though I can't remember how it went. You can't sing with the new one.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hanging up posters

I resolved on Saturday that I'd hang up my posters by Sunday evening, and I didn't, so today while I'm waiting to go play, I thought I'd hang up the posters. I've been meaning to do it since I moved in, but my bed is high and there's all this climbing involved and I just couldn't be bothered. Hitherto I have had paper covering my walls, which I wrote on like in England, but my bed is not at a good height for writing the way it was in England (though my bed here is mostly better, and I like sleeping high up because the roaches can't get me if they come in).

There are several posters and some of them are heavy. I wish they were framed and there were hooks on the walls, but such is not the case. And Sticky-Tac is NO GOOD.



The first time I tried to hang up a poster – my Rent one, if you're interested – I spread Sticky-Tac all over the back of it and proceeded to hang it up completely unsuccessfully because every time I secured one area, another area would curl up and fall down. And it kept happening many times, so I screamed lots of curses at it and took it down and threw the Sticky-Tac at the wall to show it what I thought of it.

(It stuck.)

So then I fetched the Sticky-Tac package to find out what the number I could call was to complain about their rubbish useless crap product, but instead I found directions. Which I didn't think I needed because I thought Sticky-Tac worked pretty intuitively; at least it has always done so in the past. But apparently not this kind, because there were instructions, as follows:

1) To activate, pull like taffy until warm.
2) Pull off a suitable piece and gently roll it into a ball.
3) Place the ball between the surfaces you want to fasten and P-R-E-S-S HARD.

To which I answer: It has to be activated? That is bullshit. Also, thank you for spelling "press" for me. In case I get confused.

However, I followed these instructions to the letter, and the pulling-like-taffy part was fun and I pretended like I was the taffy machines in the taffy shop at York Beach in Maine, and it was especially fun because I felt so relieved that I had just been doing it wrong in the first place, when all that was necessary to make it work was that I activate it. So I got all done activating it and I did the rolling into a ball thing and the P-R-E-S-S HARD thing, and do you know, the same result ensued, with the curling and the falling and the screaming, except this time mixed in with the curses there was also "WHY ARE YOU STILL DOING THIS TO ME? I ACTIVATED YOU!" and wild-eyed P-R-E-S-S-I-N-G, which was all to no avail at all, because the poster carried on falling down in spite of the copious amounts of (activated) Sticky-Tac on the back.

Now, as I recall from my reading of Christopher Booker's unreasonably massive The Seven Basic Plots (which I read during a week when I was spending 16 hours being trained as well as 16 hours in class and whatever other homework I had, so I may recall poorly), for this to be a really good story that appeals to readers on a basic human level, it should follow the Rule of Three and have a third episode of poster-sticking-up attempts. But too bad. There was no third attempt. If at first you don't succeed, climb into your chair and write a cranky blog post.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Am I in love with Daniel Craig?

Well, not really. But kinda. A very platonic kind of love.

To me Daniel Craig has always been like Pierce Brosnan and Patrick Dempsey -- everyone has the hugest crush on him and they go on and on about his sexiness, and I just don't find him even the tiniest bit attractive but instead I kind of dislike him.

(Seriously, people, what do you see in Patrick Dempsey?)

Now, in fairness, this may be because I saw him (Daniel Craig) first in a film about Sylvia Plath, and he played Ted Hughes and wasn't awfully nice to Gwyneth Paltrow (surprise, surprise), and it put me off him for life. I really have very unkind feelings toward Ted Unpleasant Wanker Hughes, so if you want me to fall in love with you, don't come to my Halloween party as Ted Hughes. However much you might be tempted to.

For the interested, Ted Hughes ditched Sylvia Plath for Assia Wevill, who was a refugee of Nazi Germany, and then after a while he kept cheating on her too, and she killed herself and their four-year-old daughter, whose name, I swear to God, was Alexandra Tatiana Elise. I could not make that shit up. Ted Hughes was such an unpleasant wanker. I always try and feel sorry for him because I know it must have been sad when his insane lover murdered their daughter, but I just can't make myself even the tiniest bit sorry for him because he was such a jackass.

So of course many of these feelings translated to anger with Daniel Craig and a total inability to find him in any way attractive. And he's old! Isn't he old? Is it just me, or does he look quite old?

But that's irrelevant now, because now Daniel Craig and I can be BFF if we ever meet.

This is what happened today. I was doing some research at work, and a fortunate combination of keywords (this often happens -- I learn so much from the brief excerpts of websites that turn up on Google) produced a page that seemed to suggest that Daniel Craig had proposed a slight break from tradition for the next James Bond film. And when I got home I looked it up on the internet to discover whether I had read it correctly.

And yes! I had! So, announcement:

Daniel Craig is pushing the producers to let James Bond experiment with his sexuality a little bit, and by "experiment with his sexuality", of course I mean HAVE SEX WITH DUDES. Daniel Craig is all, Well why not? I have gay fans too, yo! I'm up for it! Let's go!


The Internet thinks this is a great idea or a disgusting perversion of a classic character and homosexuality is immoral. Which is fair enough. James Bond has always been all about sexual morality, and it would be an awful shame to change that now.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Or, I didn’t know the third Libba Bray book was out already!

Actually, ultimately, I am not that huge a fan of these books; they are just a guilty pleasure: entertaining but I can’t remember a single character’s name except Gemma. I can’t even remember the sexy gypsy boy’s name, just that Gemma was having Totally Shocking Dreams about him the likes of which no nice Victorian girl would repeat to a biographer. So basically I am not going to live or die by what happens in The Sweet Far Thing (not sure about this title), but I will be chagrined if the sexy gypsy and Gemma don’t hook up in the end.

Er, I am not shallow. I do not require happy tidy romantic endings to all of my books. I was really, really glad that I Capture the Castle ended the way it did. I was! And the same for I’m sure many other books and films where the two characters who were having sexual tension did not get together and live happily ever after, but I’m just having a hard time thinking of them right now. All I can think of is things that caused me chagrin, like how Tashi went insane after the end of The Color Purple and Adam had an affair. (Poo.)

Well, this steaming rollercoaster of a novel with some sizzling gypsies thrown in will have to wait, because my library isn’t letting us put holds on it yet on account of its being so new. Perhaps I will pay a visit to Bongs & Noodles and read it there. Which is what I also have been vaguely wanting to do about the last of another YA series I don't think is that great, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, because I just want to know what happens.

(Just looked it up on Wikipedia – the Way, the Truth, and the Light, verily I say unto ye – thereby saving myself the time at Bongs & Noodles, and apparently what happens is sex. Sex, sex, sex. I don’t think these girls are the role models they should be. I am shocked, shocked, at their behavior, and I don’t think the author should be propagating nasty myths like about young girls not even in their twenties having extramarital sex. Unless they are Victorian girls with massive crushes on sexy gypsy boys.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cutest rodent ever

The rare but adorable long-eared jerboa.

The pictures of the little critter are cute, and the video is even cuter. It does these cute little hops all over the place. I am in love with this critter.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN? or, My house is a house of wonders

(And allergens. Achoo! But we are getting rid of the Christmas tree now.)

So, okay, I just just just read this book called Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, during a break I was taking from Forever Amber, and I thought what a good book it was and how I'd have to check out Ms. Adichie's other stuff. And today, I swear to God, when I was cleaning up, I discovered Half of a Yellow Sun, which is by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (what a fantastic name), floating around the house needing to be put away.


HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN? This happens to me all the time. All the time. I will read a book by a new author (new to me, not necessarily to the world), and then shortly thereafter I will find more books by that author floating around my house. Most often these books will appear from nowhere, and nobody in the house will have any idea where they came from or why we own them when no one seems to know anything about them. It is so mysterious. The only explanation I can think of is that my house reads minds. And then produces new books, pop, when they are required and if I have behaved well. In this case I think my house has produced the book by way of apology for making me sneeze and sneeze and sneeze, although I think I may just be allergic to stress rather than something inside my house.

Anyway, as regards books, I got a whole bunch of new ones. I love getting new books. I love it. I got a bunch, and a bunch of movies also, including (hurrah!) Harvey (which I think I haven't seen since I showed it to tim lo these many years ago). I am well pleased. There are never enough books in my life, but I get excited after Christmas is over and I have many more books. I try not to think about what I will do when I go to grad school.