Gray skies are gonna clear up, Put on a happy face
As a self-proclaimed Pollyanna, I will be the first to admit that I would want to punch you in the f...moreGray skies are gonna clear up, Put on a happy face
As a self-proclaimed Pollyanna, I will be the first to admit that I would want to punch you in the face if you said this to me. What the hell is wrong with a little rain? Huh? You can't be happy if it rains? Fuck you.
You can have your gangnum style and complain about never ever ever ever getting back together again and umm... okay, that's my extent of youth culture... you guys like furbies again, right?
Happy face is old school teen angst. There are no vampires or faeries or dystopian threats... hell... HIGH SCHOOL is a dystopian threat. It is the absolute clear definition of dystopia: "an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives." Can't get much realer than this.
Brush off the clouds and cheer up, Put on a happy face.
Seriously. Fuck you.
Happy face is special in that it gives you the out. It tells you how to beat this. It's all right there in front of you. Believe it or not, the song has it right....
Take off the gloomy mask of tragedy, It's not your style; You'll look so good that you'll be glad Ya' decide to smile!
See? I just told you. DO NOT BE YOURSELF. You will be ridiculed, you will get beat up, you will be lonely and want to die.
You see, I was this thing. I was a miserable a=loaded-gun-won't-set-you-free-so-you-say sixteen year old who wore my Undead t-shirt proudly and played my 1987 UK second issue 3-track 12" vinyl single, also including How Soon Is Now? & Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want, Billie Whitelaw image picture sleeve with light blue die cut and I was totally into IT. Where did it get me? Being spit on at Pep Rallys, my friend... do not follow my example.
So, I decided to stick out my noble chin... I decided to wipe off that 'full of doubt' look. I decided to... no offense to the hair colored challenged... go blonde. Literally. I got rid of the Siouxsie Sioux hair color and cut my bangs and found the bleach beat my hair into submission. I even went further.. I found saddle shoes and letterman sweaters and poodle skirts and listened to rockabilly and man DID I EVER SMILE. I slapped on that happy grin! And spread sunshine all over the place, goddammit. And guess what?
People actually bought it. They totally liked the new me. It depressed the hell out of me. Didn't they understand the mockery?
And then... I bought into it. I said, hell... if this is what it takes, then this is what I will be. And I bounced and I giggled and I hello kittied my way through my senior year.
So, I can relate with Happy Face. He gets it. If you are pathetic in your old life, then create a new one. Yes, eventually this will lead to some sort of dissociative identity disorder and you may need sleep hygiene therapy, but maybe by then you will be out of high school and finding a new "society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding."
We can only hope.
And if you're feeling cross and bitterish Don't sit and whine Think of banana split and licorice And you'll feel fine
I remember the first time I read Self-Help and when I picked up Lust and Other Stories. There was this intimidation, this contempt, this other sadness...more I remember the first time I read Self-Help and when I picked up Lust and Other Stories. There was this intimidation, this contempt, this other sadness. I wanted to be this good. I wanted to crawl, to burrow into the reader and make myself known.
Gaitskill's collection creeps in like that... at first I was kind of bored. I wasn't impressed with the beginning stories.. it was what I had been experiencing this entire year with the books that I've chosen to read. Meh. But, with Mirror Ball I began to feel that clenching, that annoying jealousy. With an opening line "He took her soul--though, being a secular-minded person, he didn't think of it that way." I was right back at that growling, mewling MINE stage.
Seriously, this sucks.
I am not a good person, I want to applaud these women, I want to feel some sisterly bonding with them, but I know that if I had the chance, I would so pull their hair and scratch at their eyes.
I am the effaced soul on the musician's floor, I am the agonized face, I am the monsters, the demons, the Alzheimer's, the malaria ridden day laborer, the stupid trysts.
Once again, I am reminded of how lucky I am that I shuffled off this dysfunctional family coil. There are times, I admit, that I feel I might have den...more Once again, I am reminded of how lucky I am that I shuffled off this dysfunctional family coil. There are times, I admit, that I feel I might have denied my children the opportunity of Rockwellian holidays but then I presently slap myself in the face and say ‘Right… Griswoldian, if I’m fucking lucky, would be more appropriate.
“Tragedy rewritten as farce” is a phrase that Franzen uses within the story. Yes, this is so. I found myself giggling and then wanting to flog myself because ‘it’s not funny’ not if this is your family. I was spared/robbed/spared of dealing with my parents as an adult. I don’t even want to think about what kind of relationship I would have had with them… I can’t see myself being very patient with their ignorance or blindness or wondering why I left New Hampshire (seriously? You ask have to ask?)
On the whole, I like The Lamberts. I like Alfred and the kids, Gary, Chipper, and Denise. Enid. Yeah, well… not so much. Until she is loaded up on illegal meds, then I can tolerate her. Franzen’s depictions are solid. Their stories are just shy of incredible that they have to be believable. The writing, oh the writing… I almost wanted to use my Gen X defensiveness and call him a ‘hipster’ but when someone can say this: He turned to the doorway where she’d appeared. He began a sentence: “I am---“ but when he was taken by surprise, every sentence became an adventure in the woods; as soon as he could no longer see the light of the clearing from which he’d entered, he would realize that the crumbs he’d dropped for bearings had been eaten by birds, silent deft darting things which he couldn’t quite see in the darkness but which were so numerous and swarming in their hunger that it seemed as if they were the darkness, as if the darkness weren’t uniform, weren’t an absence of light but a teeming and corpuscular thing, and indeed when as a studios teenager he’d encountered the word ‘crepuscular’ in McKay’s Treasury of English Verse, the corpuscles of biology had bled into his understanding of the words, so that for his entire adult life he’d seen in twilight a corpuscularity, as of the graininess of the high-speed film necessary for photography under conditions of low ambient light, as of a kind of sinister decay,; and hence the panic of a man betrayed deep in the woods whose darkness was the darkness of starlings blotting out the sunset or black ants storming a dead opossum, a darkness that didn’t just exist but actively consumed the bearings that he’d sensible established for himself, lest he be lost; but in the instant of realizing he was lost, time became marvelously slow and he discovered hitherto unguessed eternities in the space between one word and the next, or rather he became trapped in that space between words and could only stand and watch as time sped on without him, the thoughtless boyish part of him crashing on out of sight blindly through the woods while he, trapped, the grownup Al, watched in oddly impersonal suspense to see if the panic-stricken little boy might, despite no longer knowing where he was or at what point he’d entered the woods of this sentence, still manage to blunder into the clearing where Enid was waiting for him, unaware of any woods---“packing my suitcase,’ he heard himself say. This sounded right. Verb, possessive, noun. Here was as suitcase in front of him, an important confirmation. He betrayed nothing.
Fuck. Hate him.
And that… that… was describing the onset of Parkinson’s….. holy shit. I really wanted to hate him. I wanted to take his Shopenhauer references and stick them in Al’s phantasmagorian growth. Hellz yeah, I be jealous. Tots.
Franzen’s care in giving just enough illumination of each of the children to relate back to their parentage is incredible. How Chip’s distrust and disgust for capitalism and the corporate world’s hold on the average joe’s superego leads him to sleep with an underage student… a ‘trust fund product of hippies’ that leads to his demise and decision to write bogus economic advertisements to mislead Americans to send money to Lithuania for the opportunity to have streets named after them. All normal.
Gary’s story… Gary’s concern with being labeled ‘depressed’ is my favorite. Gary is the oldest, the one that is supposed to succeed… supposed to be the carbon copy of what the next generation does…and drink himself into that belief.
“he estimated that his levels of Neurofactor 3 (i.e.; serotonins: a very very important factor) were posting seven day or even thirty day highs, that his Factor 2 and Factor 7 levels were likewise outperforming expectations, and that his factor 1 had rebounded from an early-morning slump related to the glass of Armagnac he’d drunk at bedtime. He had a spring in his step, an agreeable awareness of his above-average height and his late-summer suntan. His resentment of his wife, Caroline, was moderate and well contained. Declines led advances in key indices of paranoia (e.g.; his persistent suspicion that Caroline and his two older sons were mocking him), and his seasonally adjusted assessment of life’s futility and brevity was consistent with the overall robustness of his mental economy. He was not the least bit clinically depressed.”
Denise, the youngest, the most guilt ridden of the three, is also quite interesting. Her motivation in life seems to be centered on the fact that she was beautiful, talented, want-for-nothing, and hated herself for it. Her never-ending unknowing quest to destroy herself by sleeping with people who she feels would never otherwise have what she has leads her down paths near lunacy… all the while holding herself up as a world renowned chef and all around nice girl.
I can’t do these descriptions justice. I’ve read so much Franzen that words are stringing themselves together on their own and not nearly at the fluency or perspicacity that he can give us.
Enid… now Enid, I can tell you I despise… I have read and seen too many Enids in my time (read more than seen since I am a booknerd). She is manipulative, she sees herself blameless, she concocts stories to impress neighbors, she has that tone.. that tone of vindictiveness that makes me want to wrap my hands around her oil of O’lay laden neck and squash.
“To Enid, at this moment came a vision of rain. She saw herself in a house with no walls; to keep the weather out, all she had was tissue. And here came the rain from the east, and she tacked up a tissue version of Chip and his exciting new job as a reporter. Here it came from the west and the tissue was how handsome and intelligent Gary’s boys were and how much she loved them. The wind shifted, and she ran to the north side of the house with such shreds of tissue as Denise afforded: how she’d married too young but was older and wiser now and enjoying great success as a restaurateur and hoping to meet the right your man! And then the rain cam blasting up from the south, the tissue disintegrating even as she insisted that Al’s impairments were very mild and he’d be find if he’d just work on his attitude and get his drugs adjusted, and it rained harder and harder and she was so tired,, and all she had was tissue----“
Maybe I’m afraid that I will become Enid. That I will hold my regrets and hostilities in until I feel justified in making others carry it. God, I really hope not. I don’t want to be Alfred either, with his woods and his hallucinations and just out of reach is since sense of what is right and wrong. Yes, this book made me afraid. If my kids grow up feeling that immediate family is the ONLY family, I will understand. Because, I’m sure at about that time, my Enid like alter ego will be making an appearance and that middle school CDC education will regurgitate out and my poor poor grandchildren will suffer. No way, Jose… keep them away.
“I leave it to your discretion” was Alfred’s go to sentence and I will use it here. I leave it to you to delve into this maladjusted family. Beware of the self-insight that follows, the neurosis, the sense of failing, the relief, the combustion of tears, the guffaws.
I have to admit. I was hesitant. I found this on one of the circle twirly tables in the library that sucks you in with its passive aggressive suggesti...more I have to admit. I was hesitant. I found this on one of the circle twirly tables in the library that sucks you in with its passive aggressive suggestions. It was shiny. It had a neat cover. It was new, no binding creases or sticky residue. Okay.
Craig Ferguson? Isn’t he that pervy boss from that Drew Carey show from the 90s? He has a talk show now right? I’m old and haven’t watched late night since Letterman was funny. Ever more hesitant.
Okay, now this is downright just… is he making fun of me? I mean, you write a book and you get Mitch Albom and Lawrence Block to write the bookjacket testimonials? Really? And you expect self respecting booknerds to read it? This has to be some sort of underhanded snarkyness on Craig’s part. He’s testing me. Fine.
What I found: He can write. He really can. He’s like a good Christopher Moore with an acute case of ADD.
He starts off with an ‘apologia’: “This story is true. Of course, there are many lies therein and most of it did not happen, but it’s all true. In that sense it is deeply religious, perhaps even biblical.”
He defines time as: “ is only linear for engineers and referees.”
He says about science: “The laws of physics states that given the mass-to-wingspan ratio of a bumblebee, it is impossible for the creature to fly. But it does.”
And, this is just the first page.
I loved his rants, his innuendos, his observations. I thought his characters were human to a fault or many faults. His view of American culture is dead on. His acerbic wit puts me squarely in my humbled American pie Lazy-Boy.
Give this guy a shot. He might surprise you. Interestingly enough, this was written in 2006. What took so long for it to end up on my circle table??? (less)
Some girls are weak, some girls are conniving, some girls are wretched, vile, petty, reprehensible, fucktards, beastly, browbeaters, evil, injurious,...more Some girls are weak, some girls are conniving, some girls are wretched, vile, petty, reprehensible, fucktards, beastly, browbeaters, evil, injurious, dreadful, loathsome, tormentors, insolent, spiteful, and just fucking mean. Some girls are twats.
Let me take a second to pop my eighth vitamin C drop and blow my nose on my ‘face wipes’ because my place of employment do not believe in tissues. I will also take this moment to let you know that this damn summer cold thing has greatly altered my perceptions and the ‘all people have good in them somewhere if we give them a chance’ crap is out. Weg. Wamekwenda. Outta heahhhh
We’ve seen this before... many times, a YA book about bullying? It’s like old school, we know have YA books about crank and cutting and mad cow disease and sex and sex with animals and sex with teachers and..... (cough*gasp*wheeze*) Anyway, GR’s top 5 YA books as voted by all of you involve a boy wizard, a dystopian battle to the death, a clutzy vampire lover, a demigod with daddy issues, and a poor boy chosen to carry on the memories, sins, history of his people. (Really? You guys gave The Giver the #4 spot? Good on ya!)
I did not become attached to this book. I read it as I would a magazine article. Hey look there, huh. I didn’t care enough about the characters to put much into them. Why? They wouldn’t give me the time of day. I know this lot. I know how they work. I was ‘bullied’ but I was lucky. Mine was pre social media and really just took inane cheerleaders who had nothing else to do but torment me. I fucking still can’t stand them, Susan Deblois and Tricia (Twissa) Paradis. They didn’t do much.. a giggle there, an eyeroll here, they weren’t even the ones that spit on me... those I hold no real grudge about... But Sue and Twissa... you guys are pathetic.
My children get bullied... and now this is a bit more serious... since, if you look up my town on Wiki you will see that we have the honor of being mentioned for “in 2003, as a result of the nationally publicized suicide of an Essex Junction teenager, Vermont, and other states, passed legislation against cyber-bullying.” Yay.
My kids are pretty resilient, I hope. It’s what I see… at least in my two oldest… But, I think they hold a lot back. They have more gusto than their mom, probably got that from the dad, but they do hurt. Like the day that Izzy came home because she heard a couple of girls talking about a rumor that Izzy threw up before lunch so no one should go near her. ??? Or Satchel being bullied by two nasty little twin girls in pre-school that was soon fixed by my ever loving bff Michelle ‘Booby’ Metro when she suggested that “Like when Miss Ashley (his teacher) isn’t looking, you squat down in front of the girls and you tell them that if they ever touch your son again you’ll drive them out into the woods where nobody will see them until spring when their wolf-ravaged carcasses are found sticking out of the melting snow.” I need my own Booby for times like this… But, for the most part… I’m not seeing it so much… But, to think that I could be as blind as the mom in this book--that frightens me.
I don’t care about Regina. I don’t care that Regina is pretty much one big ball of acidic gasses. She deserves it. She can try to repent all she wants, she can try to undo all she wants, she can fucking martyr herself. I don’t care. She shouldn’t have ever been attracted to that Heathers Crowd. First of all, wearing the same outfits every day? Hello? First clue? Then, being the alpha bitch’s bitch? Really? You think so low of yourself that you cannot figure this out? How important is all this to you? I don’t get it. I just never have. Popularity seems equivalent to being stupid. I would never strive for such. I wouldn’t lower myself to the shit that Regina does for that posse. It’s so sad to watch. Yet, I know… I know… that there are girls out there doing this. Christ. Where is the fun? Is drama your main motivation? Ruining the high school years of girls who are already dealing with the high school fears and not trusting their true self and all that garbage that every After school special drilled into us the parents? Where are the parents of these monsters? Watching babies in tiaras or desperate housewives. Yes, this goes much deeper than a humbled, shy, ill, 40 something with her own self worth issues.
Yes, Regina… suck that antacid and deal. Spend the rest of your life wondering what made you decide that this was the path that you needed to follow. That it was better to do this than to be alone at lunch. And fuck you for getting the cute, dysfunctional writer boy in the end. (oops spoiler) because you don’t deserve it. You deserve to be in your mid 40s sitting in some bar discussing the ‘merits’ of Christian Grey and how hot that is because if you really believe that then you have just totally vindicated every smart bullied girl my age (yeah, directed at you Sue and Twissa… I hope he rocks your worlds because sex must really really suck IRL)
And the whole ‘don’t hate the playah, hate the game’ attitude? Screw that? The game is bullshit and the players are twats. Please get a life. (less)
"Everything popular is wrong” so writes Oscar Wilde, and why wouldn’t he? The snarky bastard. He was in a mood, of course. He wanted to be adored, rig...more "Everything popular is wrong” so writes Oscar Wilde, and why wouldn’t he? The snarky bastard. He was in a mood, of course. He wanted to be adored, right? Who doesn’t really? Isn’t that the angst of it all? Who hates me? Will I be the freak du jour today? Oh shit, the head cheerleader is talking to me, what the hell?
High school was not the best time for me… believe it or not. I was shy and therefore considered a bitch because I stared at the ground, hiding behind my 7 inch bangs and never making eye contact. I wore black, spoke softly and read a lot of books. I had a group of friends and we were the outcasts, listening to Joy Division and Minor Threat and The Smiths and The Dead Kennedys…our view was skewed, yes.. but after getting spit on at pep rallies or tripped in hallways we needed to be skewed… whatever.. it’s high school.. get over it. (I can say this 25 odd years later but now I have two kids in middle school and my stomach turns every day at the thought of what they have to endure… kids are fucking mean).
This book is no different than other coming of age stories. There is a protagonist who has to find out who he truly wants to be. There are peer pressure issues; there are judgments and misconstrued intentions. Except in this story it’s not Cinderelly getting her slipper on, it’s Charming wanting to be Quasimodo.
Liam is the son of Cindy Crawford and Bill Gates… or the fictionalized versions of them. He lives in Westchester… he looks like his mom… he grew up on Paris runways and New York Fashion weeks… We should hate him, right? He’s beautiful, he’s rich, he’s… beautiful and rich. Um… and popular. Yes, he is popular. But, remember…this book is called King of the Screwups… there’s some meat in here.
Liam considers himself the ultimate fuck up. He can’t say the right thing, he barely squeaks by in his classes, he is constantly finding himself in exactly the wrong spot (like lying on your father’s desk with the president of the national honor society half naked on top of you and being so drunk that you hurl all over his office). Yes, Liam is to blame.. he doesn’t get off that easy… he made these choices… he accepts that he’s a screw up and therefore he feels worthless.
I think that this is where we can all relate. Who doesn’t ever feel worthless? I mean how many of us are THAT well adjusted to say that they have never had that feeling? If you’ve listened to The Smiths, that automatically disqualifies you… put your hand down now.
Liam gets shipped off to live with his cross dressing Auncle Pete in a trailer park in buttfuck county. He feels lucky to be here, this or with his militant grandparents, well.. take the plastic flamingos any day, right? Here he decides that he will not screw up… He will be UNpopular. Yeah, that’s an insult to all us freaks, right? C’mon… like we haven’t already judged this hot, well coiffed rich boy..and now he wants to be LIKE U S? Riiiiight… keep walkin’ boy…
I would have thought that, except this kid is so damn SINCERE. I mean… there are times I just want to slap his perfectly sculpted cheekbones and un-tousle his bronze copper colored hair (yeah, that’s a 50 shades reference right there).
Liam tries so hard to be uncool… he wants to be considered studious and most of all he wants to impress his dad.. which is what the whole gist of this story is… the nature vs nurture argument… Liam is a product of his mother… he gets fashion, he gets how to get your point across by just looking a certain way. His dad thinks he is useless and doesn’t mince words telling him so. As we get to know Liam, we see that everything that drives this poor kid is only to please his bastard of a father.
Been there, tried that. Except, my dad was nowhere near anything that should be impressible. I was a fool and Liam is too. He is scarred by this overwhelming need to be something he’s not. Man, that sucks. I feel for the kid.
“You can’t create love, you just have to take it where you can find it.”
I normally don’t read books more than once; same for movies. I just feel like I’ve been there.. etc. For me to actually revisit a book or movie, it wo...more I normally don’t read books more than once; same for movies. I just feel like I’ve been there.. etc. For me to actually revisit a book or movie, it would have to alarm me.
Whoa. Now hold on. I know what you’re thinking.. ‘Kim! Must you be so dramatic? Alarm?’ Now, now..relax... this can be a good thing. Alarm is a perfectly good (band) word to use ; it’s my call to arms. You see, recently, I was referred to as a sociopath.
Hush, hush, it’s okay. I’m cool. I’m good. It was a positive experience and I will expound more on that later. Right now, I just want to say that this book is definitely worth a re-read. It’s got that Usual Suspects type of mojo.. one that you want to decipher later on. Plus, I’m reading it for my book club and I figure if said comment about me being a sociopath is true, maybe I should use my words here instead of there because you know… I live with these people. IRL.
So, yeah… second read. I remember back oh… September 2012, when I read this the first time. It was the ninth month of a leap year, the Duchess of Cambridge had some topless shots published, REM was battling Time Warner ceasing and desisting the use of ‘Losing My Religion’ at the DNC… I had bigger concerns than my own sociopathic tendencies.
But now, I want to talk about Cool Girl. “Being a cool girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers in her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry, they only smile in a chagrined loving manner and their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.”
I do believe in Cool Girl. I have often wanted to be Cool Girl, but I come in the bespectacled nerd who likes books version. I try to be witty (duh), I try to have references, I don’t fit in with the school moms, I read Twilight, I admit which ‘Team’ I am on (Team Edward, Team Gale, Team Four, Team Alex). I am that girl… but without being hot or a size two or football. And, you know what? I like me. I mean, “I” really like this version of me. It’s not a role, like it was for Amy (who, by the way.. um capital 'S' Sociopath), although Amy probably benefits from the role more than I do ( I am often downgraded to girl who hot guy talks to about hot girl). I’m not bitter though.
Enough about me (!!). Amy and Nick. Wow.. Did you know that this book won an award called ‘Romantic Times Review’s Choice’? How fucked up are we as a society to do that? It also won the Shirley Jackson award, which makes more sense because we all know how THAT story goes. (The woman gets stoned.. like with stones, in case you haven’t read it yet…)
Nick and Amy. I was really rooting for Nick the first time around and I felt like I betrayed my woman brethren by falling for the guy. I mean, I knew Scott Patterson killed his wife and OJ and all that… but Nick.. Nick seemed like a cool guy. Then, I felt bad for Amy… until you know… then I was just ‘holy fuck, what the hell is this?’ so I went and read another Gillian Flynn book, Dark Places, and I thought.. this woman needs to be my BFF. But, I didn’t stalk her or anything. Maybe an email or two.. but you know.. she lives in the Midwest (Chicago) and well, I’m a New England girl… and I think her husband (Brett) and her cat (Roy) may not like it if I camped out on their stoop.
See, I’m being witty. I’m not sociopathic in the least bit. You love me, right?
So, second time around.. knowing what I know, I still liked Nick, even if he is a cheating chump, ("it was that line that caught me, he simplicity of it. The idea that I could do something and it would make a woman happy and it would be easy. Whatever you give me, I’ll Like. I felt an overwhelming wave of relief") but I focused more on Amy… and I thought.. she could have done better. I mean, really. She is flawed. She is so caught up in herself that she can’t even do a proper unraveling. Her diary entries are too perky, her Ozark vacation was too sloppy (Seriously, you need that much self-gratification?), her resurrection, too needy. She was soooooo good at planning, soooo great with the clues. I loved it… but, what the hell, bitch? You are that starved for love that you trap the lunkhead? That’s not the Cool Girl move, that’s the Desperate Girl move.
I still will up the book to Five stars though. For lines like this:
“I can’t recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn’t immediately reference to a movie or a TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé’. SEEEN it. I’ve literally seen it all and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can’t anymore. I don’t know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say, when a loved one dies, we know the words to say, if we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.” (ed. note: Ain’t that the truth!)
“So you suffer through the night with the perfect-on-paper man---the stutter of jokes misunderstood, the witty remarks lobbed and missed. Or maybe he understand that you’ve made a witty remark but, unsure of what to do with it, he holds it in his hand like some bit of conversational phlegm he will wipe away later. You spend another hour trying to find each other, to recognize each other, and you drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, That was fine. And your life is a long line of fine.” (ed. note: I despise the word ‘Fine’…it curdles something in me)
“He took away chunks of me with blasé swipes: my independence, my pride, my esteem. I gave, and he took and took. He Giving Treed me out of existence.” (ed note: Holy Reference!)
“It was kind of romantic. Catastrophically romantic” (ed. Note: SIX syllable FIST BUMP, that’s like the Twilight equivalent to ‘He’s like a drug for you, Bella.’)
Okaay.. so I’m going to wrap up this rant and find more sociopathic females to adore. Any suggestions? (less)
Now I lay me down to sleep. I hope to hell my soul keeps. Because, if I shake off this mortal coil before I wake, I’m going to be mighty pissed that t...moreNow I lay me down to sleep. I hope to hell my soul keeps. Because, if I shake off this mortal coil before I wake, I’m going to be mighty pissed that this was the last book that I freaking finished. This is not my legacy.
I can play all Britney and Oops-I-did-it-again, I could use the old adage ‘Fool me once, shame on you….’ Or I could let my horribly low self worth tell you that yes, I am an idiot and could be classified with all those soccer moms wanting an escape with shiny vampires and fallen angels. You choose.
BUT. I will admit… fully admit… that this book sucked donkey balls. Seriously.
Character Profiles: Christian: He’s uber rich, he’s got unruly dark copper-colored hair and intense bright gray eyes. Trust me on this, she mentions it about every 3 pages. He’s also really freaking hot. (her words) He’s also long fingered. I think that comes in handy (heh) later on. He’s got a wounded past that he will not share, he doesn’t like to be touched and he’s extremely jealous. (YAWN) oh. And “Michelangelo’s David has nothing on him.”
Anastasia: (Please, Anastasia? Barf.) She thinks she’s a Plain Jane but she’s gorgeous, she’s never been kissed or anything else and she’s like 22, she is clearly psychotic as she has an ‘inner goddess’ and a ‘subconscious’ that flit around and judge and cower and personally I would like to beat with any of Christian’s implements of pain. She’s a book nerd (I take offense to this) who reads the classics and Tess of the D’Urbervilles is her favorite book (surprise surprise) Her muscles deliciously clench a lot too, she should have that looked at. I think she is even more annoying than Bella. Yes, I did indeed say that.
Usually I can lose myself in the plot and ignore the horrible writing, oh no no, not this time. Maybe because um… IT’S THE SAME LINES from all those previously hyped books! Ok, maybe a tweak here or there, but c’mon… how DUMB desperate do you really think we are?
“Anastasia, you should steer clear of me. I’m not the man for you,” he whispers.
“It’s wrong. It’s not safe. I’m dangerous, Bella — please, grasp that.” Edward Cullen, Twilight, Chapter 9, p.190
“You know it’s really not fair.” I glace down at the formica tabletop, tracing a pattern on it with my index finger, trying to sound nonchalant. “What’s not fair?” “How you disarm people. Women. Me.” “Do I disarm you?” I snort. “All the time.” (Page 458: Location 9546)
“You really shouldn't do that to people," I criticized. "It's hardly fair." "Do what?" "Dazzle them like that - She's probably hyperventilating in the kitchen right now." He seemed confused. "Oh, come on," I said dubiously." You have to know the effect you have on people." He tilted his head to one side, his eyes were curious. " I dazzle people?" "You haven't noticed? Do you think everybody gets their way so easily?" He ignored my questions. " Do I dazzle you?" "Frequently," I admitted.”
Yeah, I don’t normally do images, but:
I will also point out that Ms. James is BFF with Thesaurus.com: Profligate, mercurial, epistle, verbose, loquacious, castigate, conscupiscent, largesse, frisson… ay yi yi… yet she has lines like this: “I have never felt as alive as I do now. It’s a thrill to be sitting here beside him. He’s so unpredictable, sexy, smart, and funny. But his moods… oh—and he wants to hurt me.”
“He’s got right under my skin….literally. He smiles and his eyes light up.”
“I melt against him, and my breathing stops as my insides unfurl with longing.”
“My scalp prickles as adrenaline and fury lance through my body, all my worst fears realized.”
“I gape at him, thinking about his tongue on his palate. Hmm, his expert tongue.”
“Anticipation runs bubbling like soda through my veins.”
No, I am not making this up. If this is really what women of my generation are turning to then I need to start some kick ass bitch slapping. If you need BDSM, read the The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. If you need romance, read Outlander or The Bronze Horseman But, please… for the sake of books everywhere. Stop.
What is love? The song suggests that ‘oh baby don’t hurt me’ so does that mean is love about pain? I think that this is probably not the impression yo...more What is love? The song suggests that ‘oh baby don’t hurt me’ so does that mean is love about pain? I think that this is probably not the impression you want to give… unless you are into that sort of thing, which most women 15-65 seem to be if this is so popular.
Well, when I was young, I used to think that this represented love.
I’m not sure that that is so healthy either, but I had a ton of them.. they were my ‘go to’ I guess…
When I google ‘Love is’ I get this comic strip… which I know that I’ve run into before but always brushed off for hokeyness. Now, are we so disillusioned by love that we need to reconstruct love into something like this?
Daniel Handler (a.k.a Lemony Snicket, but don’t think of him as Lemony when you read this because it will throw you off kilter) has written a love story. It has 17 parts to it all described with adverbs. You can love immediately, obviously, arguably, particularly, briefly, soundly, frigidly, collectively, symbolically, clearly, naturally, wrongly, truly, not particularly, often, barely and judgmentally. I could have done with maybe 13 or 14 but the reason this didn’t rate higher for me was that by 15 I was ready to be done with love. I didn’t care about love being often, bare or judgmental.
The stories seem like separate entities until you start to notice characters drifting in and out and then you try to place them in the timeline, which is also something I don’t recommend doing because it will give you a headache. Just go with it. Take the ranting, the stream of consciousness, half-truths, and off the wall declarations. Take them and digest them and maybe follow it up with a Tanqueray and tonic because after some of these, you may need it.
“They say when you’re really in love, the world becomes gossamer and gorgeous, but in my experience---the world gets grimy, and the love object is in stark relief from the surroundings. This is love, a pretty thing on an ugly street, and why wouldn’t you pick it up if it appeared in a cab?”
“A butter bird is, butter shaped into the shape of a decorative bird, but the point is, why is there cruelty? Why do people ask other people to do impossible things? Why behave this way? Why is there mean, when there are better things than mean, love particularly?”
“This is love, to sit with someone you’ve known forever in a place you’ve been meaning to go, and watching as their life happens to them until you stand up and it’s time to go. You don’t care about yours. Why should it change, the love you feel, no matter how death goes?”
“This is love, the plain truth once you get inside. Like a peacock, we all show off with the plumage. Come in and watch us make it! But then it’s just the same story, sugar and spice all spun up. We’re all mostly salt water. Love is candy from a stranger, but it’s candy you’ve had before and it probably won’t kill you.”
“Love is keeping that symbolic focus, each kiss crucial, each step a landmark. I could have read down a list of every important landmark in America and told you what they all stood for symbolically, what it meant if they were to be destroyed.”
“You love once and then maybe not again. Not on a day like this. The rain, the rain, the rain. You can’t even hear it outside the window but still it’s a sad thing. Rain, the grade school teachers say, makes the trees and flowers grow, but we’re not trees and flowers, and so many grade school teachers are single.”
So, this is love… and if I had to choose, I would say I like loving soundly, wrongly, and obviously best. And I love this.
Whoa whoa whoa, oooh oooh Whoa whoa whoa, oooh oooh Oh baby, don't hurt me Don't hurt me no more (oooh, oooh)
If I were to say, break loose of my handlers, (those people who feel, however warranted it may seem, that I need constant overseeing less I make some...moreIf I were to say, break loose of my handlers, (those people who feel, however warranted it may seem, that I need constant overseeing less I make some terrible life altering decision that they don’t approve of) and I were to create a what are they called---post? Entry? Ad? on Craig’s List for a ‘mate’, it might read something like this: Wanted: Emotionally damaged man-boy, preferably in early 40s so that my clever references are not wasted; must have a sordid drug history and be totally crippled from it, most likely will be a musician as well as a dick, because, yeah, really… that’s the ‘type’, who needs a severely lacking self-esteem woman/mother/enabler/caretaker/housekeeper to keep up the appearances that they are participating in a functional, albeit, lacking in quality life.
Thankfully, said handlers have most likely hacked my email and my brain and have put the kibosh on such destructive activity.
But, they can’t stop me from reading a book about it.
I am absolutely in love with Mike Doughty. This statement will not be a surprise to anyone who knows me and who knows how easily I fall in love with people. Especially broken whiny alternadude guitar wielding songwriters. Oh, I just want to wrap them in my snuggie and let them suckle from my teat. I will support you, I will put up with you sleeping with other girls, I will buy you that $10,000 guitar you’ve been eyeing. Because, I am a Loser.
That’s the first lesson I learned from this book. I am a pathetic loser who crushes on guys that would treat me like ass and then break up with me because why on earth would someone want to be with someone like them? They must be fucked up. And, it hurt. It hurt a lot. I mean, really, c’mon… I should have learned this lesson like 25 years ago, but I held out hope. Like a big ol’ dummy.
Mike Doughty is 5 months and 11 days older than me. He is an addict, he screwed a lot of people, he was screwed by a lot of people, he didn’t believe in the clichés (I mean, who does, right?) We lived in NYC at roughly the same time. He used to score at the same spot that my husband used to score at around the same time. They probably passed each other on the street as they hot footed it home to nirvana. Mike got clean, stopped being screwed over by people and ventured out on his own, creating his own nirvana, one 12 step meeting at a time. Then he wrote a memoir and here we are.
His sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll memoir is matter of fact. I think you learn that in the ‘rooms’ (12 step meetings) Do not glorify anything. Do not use adjectives or adverbs or any of that crazy stuff Schoolhouse Rock taught you. Say it like it is. “I’m telling my memories with scrupulous precision, while scared that the mind is unreliable.”
But, because I love M. Doughty for all the reasons that my Craig List ad states… I also love that he came out of it and he showed that you don’t have to stay broken. That you can still feel broken and still feel like a lump of shit but that those days come and go and if you concentrate on the little things in living… the daily function of living… that beautiful things can happen.
Ok, roll your eyes; say that he is just a whiny alternadude rocker writing the same 4 songs over and over again… he’ll most likely agree with you. But, when he writes lines like ‘I will prevail for you. Behind the mic I’m burning to.’ I just become a puddle. I big dumb loser puddle. I’ve seen him perform twice in my little borough of Burlington, VT. He’s coming back in May and I am schoolgirl giddy and I will sit in the 3rd row and not look at him and lip sync every song and wish that I could be… oh nectarine you’re the one who coax the darkness out of me oh nectarine you’re the one that shows the ghost to me don't gaslight me
oh nectarine lets run away from life and pass the can cash on demand oh nectarine let's burn and build and burn without a plan let's ditch the van
happiness is coming for you happiness is coming for you when you sleep when your dreaming on your face what your feeling
oh nectarine are you free to lay the daylight out of me relentlessly oh yes i am I truly am a true and trusted man and we're on the lamb
You know, one of those, ‘she doesn’t have to have her fresh young fellows tape back, but there’s not a long of th...moreI have never experienced a break up.
You know, one of those, ‘she doesn’t have to have her fresh young fellows tape back, but there’s not a long of things that she’ll take back’ kind of break up or the ‘And I’m here to remind you of the mess you left when you went away-It’s not fair to deny me of the cross I bear that you gave to me’ angsty throw yourself across the room break up. Or the pathetic ‘It’s been seven hours and 15 days / since you took your love away’- no… can’t say that I have… unless you count being widowed but that wouldn’t be fair, right? No, the only thing close is losing my virginity to a guy who I had been ‘dating’ (I guess I thought that was what it was) and then having him not call me for like 2 weeks and me not calling him and then him going off and ending up with some slutty girl that wrote a famous blog turned book and discussed having sex with him in weird ass places…and he wasn’t even that good!
Nope, I am one of those that never really tried so never really had to deal with the whole dramarama of break up. My god, if any of you know me, I can’t even handle it when Leonardo finds Claire Danes in that ruined church! I break down when people mention Treat Williams dying in Hair instead of John Savage! I am a pussy. I know this…
So, what do I do? I read books. I read books that break my heart, that make me wistful for that time when time goes by so fast when you're with the one and when girls sit in their rooms staring out their window for months waiting for their shiny vampire to remember her. I read books that detail breakups through music and death and stupid high school crap reasons. And, I love them. I really really do. I must really hate myself.
Why we Broke Up. I should have known, right? But, there’s a great illustration of a coffee cup on the cover and I love coffee and angst, so…. Min is writing Ed a letter… that’s what this book is… a break up letter. Wow, I’ve always imagined being the scorned one who wrote clever, hurtful things to a boy that broke my heart. In fact, I did do this with my husband who was not yet my husband. I did it like 5 times…. Finally he just started lying and said he didn’t get the letters, it must have gotten lost in the mail, what was I talking about? Yeah… smart one, that guy. But, those letters were awesome…. They don’t compare to this letter though. This letter comes with a treasure box of collected memories and illustrations of items in that box. This letter is like if Griffin and Sabine were to call it quits. (did they? Never got that far.) Min is everything that I wish or thought or wished I thought I was in high school. She’s different. She’s in love with old movies and lives her life through scenes that make Catherine driving Jim off a cliff leaving Jules to raise Sabine look like Meatballs II. I can relate to Min, I can appreciate her innocence and her blindness and her pain. I can want to kick Ed in the balls and cut off his hands so he never plays basketball again. I would do this for Min. Because, as her friend Al says ‘What’s the use of friendship?’ if you can’t dismember people for people you love.
I won’t quote from this book because it’s one long high school lament that should be read in full. I can tell you that pages 336, 337 and 338 is my new mantra. It will take me awhile to get that down but it will be worth it. I will also tell you about this website… and I will quote from one of the posts because I hate myself for not writing this and I encourage you to write your own and let me know… because I’m a sucker for a good break up story.
Do not read this break up story. Close your eyes. Turn off your laptop. Do not read this particularly miserable break up story. Hug a skunk that has lost a battle with the semi whose driver was too busy eating a ham sandwich he picked up from the tiny diner with the one light above the day old donuts that were flickering exactly in tune with the polka music playing quietly from the radio belonging to the man in the corner smoking a pipe for some unhygienic reason. Hug that poor, dead skunk because it will be more pleasurable than reading this dreadful, tired breakup story. Turn around now. You still have time. Pretend your eyes never fell upon these words and leave your home right now to talk to your local government representative about pulling all military funding to turn public buses in to ice cream trucks. Ask him to abolish marriage for group hugs. Suggest all textbooks smell like fresh cookies. Buy a kitten on your way home, take him to dinner and pretend you never laid eyes on this break up story. You still have time. I warned you.
I wasn’t dead. Now you are.
Now, to lighten the mood... here's an awkward family photo. Happy Dating.