Oh. This was good. This knew right where to burrow its pincers and plant that seedling. If that even works that way.
Ten letter word for incorporeal,...more Oh. This was good. This knew right where to burrow its pincers and plant that seedling. If that even works that way.
Ten letter word for incorporeal, evanescent, imponderable, unsure.
This weed that is growing is deep in my nethers. It hurts. It reminds me that something is missing, something/one that is far away, evasive. That what I consider is true love. True: “You choose your truth and then you build your life around it.”Love: “Greater love has no man than this: to lay down his life for his friends---JOHN 15:13”
This is the true love of friendship. The one that is supposed to be there for you always and forever. Not the gooey lust thing we sometimes mistake for love, but that feeling that no matter what you do, how you do it, if you are banished for doing it, if you become a pariah for doing it, you still have that one person you know has your back. And, they will hold your hair while you puke into a dumpster.. True Love.
Here we have Hannah (“Grace”) and Zoe (“Life”).
Hannah: “You’re a half glass empty kind of girl, aren’t you? No, not really, I just like surprises, so I keep my expectations low.”
Zoe: “We hate labels, but the doctors like to call it a thing that rhymes with hi-molar schmisdorder or zanic oppression. I just think she’s more alive than the rest of us.”
Intangible Things. These are the gifts that Zoe gives Hannah and the belief in the intangible is what she gets in return. Ultimate Trust, even when you have to trust the impossible.
That is the great theme in this book, the intangible.
Zoe’s brother, Noah (“Comfort”): “Zoe’s eight-year old little brother, Noah, has some kind of Aspergery thing. He could read when he was two. He understands Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. He’s read all of Stephen Hawking’s books. He is obsessed with the cosmos and talks about it constantly without ever noticing if you’re listening to him. And yet he cannot process anything at all irrational or intangible. Emotions are elusive to him. Dreaming and imagination, foreign. To help him, and since he loves museums, Zoe created the Museum of Intangible things, for which she creates a new installation in her basement every month. September’s project was “Pride.” In the corner, Zoe created a puffed-out human chest with papier-mache and peach tempers paint. A marionette peacock walked back and forth over a gay pride rainbow, while a video montage streamed footage of a mother watching her son graduate from college, a swimmer winning a gold medal, and an actress receiving an Academy Award. She covered the walls with white paper and asked me to write about when I feel proud."
"Zoe explains that ‘Sloth-Laziness-Depression” will consist of Barbie and Ken in gray felt outfits installed in a shoebox also covered in gray felt. She found an old flowered couch with the foam bulging from the rips of the cushions and on top of it, she flopped her mannequin dressed in a Snuggie. An old TV/VCR will stream infomercials and Zoe will scatter potato chips and empty soda cans around the couch, which will also be sprinkled with cat hair.. For the interactive part of the exhibit, she filled the pockets of an old fishing vest with rocks and will ask Noah to try it on. Behind a screen in the corner of the basement, to distinguish between sloth and sadness-slash-despair, Zoe created a beating heart impaled by a kitchen knife."
"Won’t that scare him? I ask."
“Um. Duh. He doesn’t understand fear.”.
This weed… it needs to be yanked. I need to fill this space with that sort of devotion, give and take. This book reminds me of that. Acceptance...that is intangible as well. (less)
I want to be the filling in a Rachel Cohn/David Levithan sandwich. I want to be BFFx3 with them. I want to swim in their words and dance between their...more I want to be the filling in a Rachel Cohn/David Levithan sandwich. I want to be BFFx3 with them. I want to swim in their words and dance between their snarky sparring. Oh, how I wish.
This is so my kind of book. This is so my kind of thing. I have totally done this. I am this. I use my words (always use your words) because my social skills are so lacking. The written word is my vehicle. I may babble, I may be self-absorbed, I may tangent (I’m using that as a verb, just so you know) but this is the most real me that you will ever see.
My confidence is like the Vegas Strip. It’s all ‘Look here!’ ‘No, look here!’ ‘Hey, buddy! Yo!’ when I write. Here is where I thrive. But… put me in a room with people and I shrivel. I stumble and I make really bad choices. I wish I could just email people or have my own reverse Speak and Spell, custom-made for my brand of communication. We’d have to let it loose to make up words and there would have to be a ‘no grammar bullying’ allowed.
Example: I tried online dating. Yes. I admit that. And my description is rambling and filled with quotes and pop culture references and the book section is like a mile long and any of the takers that could actually get through that and not ‘hey baby’ me and mention something that relates to my essay then I will respond. This is rare. I did, however, get one taker and we had amazing spar sessions, like blow your mind kind of repertoire. Then we met, and I must have somehow related my dufus self because ‘the end’.
There, that was a mighty big confession. I can do this in writing!! I can show you my scars and scrapes and I am okay because I have Lily:
“I don’t really know how to talk to boys. In person. Which is probably why I’ve become dependent on a notebook for creative expression of a potentially romantic nature.”
So, what I’m trying to say is, I get Dash and I get Lily. I love the idea of a treasure hunt in The Strand. I love the Strand. I love the curmudgeony hipster works, I love that I sneeze a lot because of the dusty shelves, I love walking down the stairs into the basement and seeing all the colored spines of the children books.(That's where it was when I lived there... can't say for sure now..) I am so jealous.
“I was spending time in the Strand, that bastion of titillating erudition, not so much a bookstore as the collision of a hundred different bookstores with literary wreckage strewn over eighteen miles of shelves. All the clerks there saunter-slouch around distractedly in their skinny jeans and their thrift-store button downs, like older siblings who will never, ever be bothered to talk to you or care about you or even acknowledge your existence if their friends are around…which they always are.”
Yes. Absolutely yes.
This whole story is filled with quotables. I am super jealous. I wanted to be the one to write these words. I wanted to be the one to say:
“I’ve always resented Hermione, because I wanted to be her so badly and she never seemed to appreciate as much as I thought she should that she got to be her. She got to live at Hogwarts and be friends with Harry and kiss Ron, which was supposed to happen to me.”
I want to cry. These are my people. This is my world. So, why am I here? I’m pathetic. I can’t grow up. I mean, look:
“At the end of the book, when Zooey calls Franny pretending to be their brother Buddy, trying to cheer her up, there’s a line where he talks about Franny going to the phone and becoming ‘younger with each step’ as she walked, because she’s making it to the other side. She’s going to be okay. At least that’s’ what I took it to mean. I want that. The getting younger with each step, because of anticipation, in hope and belief.”
So, here’s where I want to rant and rave. I come from a generation so disillusioned, so snarly, so underwhelmed. So, why do we have such high expectations? That’s what gets us in the end, the being let down. The anti-anticipation. I hate that. Maybe it’s because we crave hope. We have to think that something better has to be out there just to get through the day. We’ve even made happiness science a thing. So sad really.
“The world was too full of wastrels and waifs, sycophants and spies—all of whom put words to the wrong use, who made everything that was said or written suspect.”
“It’s that leap, that understanding, that leads to meaning. And a lot of the time in life, we’re still just sounding things out. We know the sentences and how to say them. We know the ideas and how to present them. We know the prayers and which words to say in what order. But that’s only spelling.”
Seriously… Rachel, David… please let me in.
Do I suggest that you read this? I think that I have a few requests. 1. You can’t have lost all hope 2. Put the cynicism aside, don’t worry, it will be right where you left it. 3. Accept the words. How they are presented to you how they extract, paint, bleed, sound, whatever…because this is a gift.
One last quote:
“We are reading the story of our lives. As though we were in it. As though we had written it.” (less)
Kit’s Wilderness I wonder how many times I’ve seen this title and assumed it was an American Girl book. Truly a shame… This has been out for 15 years…...more Kit’s Wilderness I wonder how many times I’ve seen this title and assumed it was an American Girl book. Truly a shame… This has been out for 15 years… 15 years that I could have carried Kit and his story with me.
It almost eluded me once again, when I noticed the author, David Almond, I knew that name. A sudden surge, like a warm fuzzie or a premenopausal hot flash overcame me. Skellig. Yes. Now, I remember.
David Almond has this incredible talent. His voice. He rambles, he doesn’t use paragraphs, his dialogues runs into each other, he’s got that British slang thing and he must say “Eh? Eh?” a hundred times which just reminds me of Eh? Eh!. Then I lose my train of thought and some random facebook picture of one of Eh’s dinners pop up and then I’m hungry and I have to focus focus focus.
His voice. It’s gentle, it lulls you.
“This is our world, he used to say. “Aye, there’s more than enough of darkness in it. But over everthing there’s all this joy, Kit. There’s all this lovely lovely light.”
The story is of two boys, Kit and John, aged thirteen. Living in Stoneygate, built over an old mine that holds a power of the boys, the ghosts of children who perished down there, the fascination with death, the escape of grandfathers suffering from dementia or drunk abusive fathers… something draws them together, a story that they need to tell in order to heal.
Or something like that.
What I know is that Mr. Almond was able to lure me into a story of two pubescent boys living in a bleak town in England and hold me there, tightly, until he decided he was done with me. Cast me off into the tunnels below Stoneygate. And now I feel hollow and I’m meandering, trying to catch Silky’s eye. (You have to be in the know) (less)
The worst thing in the world would be to pretend t know the people whose lives I step through. They cannot be homes to me. They must be hotel rooms.
Le...moreThe worst thing in the world would be to pretend t know the people whose lives I step through. They cannot be homes to me. They must be hotel rooms.
Levithan is revisiting A, the character he introduced us to in Every Day. I suppose this is a prequel that needs to be read as a sequel so you understand A, you can see, be, the six different people that A has chosen you to glimpse.
Again, such beauty. One day does not ever seem enough and to stay detached, to try to not disrupt, to always have to be thinking of the person you are squatting in and not yourself... I don't envy A.
"It's the secret smile you get from knowing that, somewhere, there is someone who is yours. Not in the sense that you own her, or control her. She is yours because you can say anything to her."
Too often we realize this too late.
"The desire to be heard is as deepply seeded as the desire to be loved. So much of the technology we spend our time on is geared toward this. For some people, it doesn't matter who's on the other end."
I want to hug David Levithan. I have since I met A, Nick, Nora... and now I want to meet all of his creations. I may even go back and find which Baby Sitter's Club books he wrote.
I'm a geek.. I'm nerd... I have no life.. but if not living means I can throw myself in a Levithan world, then I'm okay with that. I feel lighter after one of his reads.
I hate this book. I hate it with..with…HATE. It’s visceral, I mean literally VISCERAL, like affecting me internally. My arms are humming and my legs a...more I hate this book. I hate it with..with…HATE. It’s visceral, I mean literally VISCERAL, like affecting me internally. My arms are humming and my legs are pounding and my throat has closed and my fingers shake and such hate from the bowels of depth or depth of bowels or whatever you think is right because I can’t think I’m so filled with….
Want. Need. Loss. Despair.
This is a love story. It’s a story of two young people falling in love.
“Romeo and Juliet are just two rich kids who’ve always gotten every little thing they want. And now, they think they want each other.” “They’re in love..” Mr. Stessman said, clutching his heart. “They don’t even know each other,” she said. “It was love at first sight.” “It was ‘Oh my God, he’s so cute’ at first sight. If Shakespeare wanted you to believe they were in love, he wouldn’t tell you in almost the very first scene that Romeo was hung up on Rosaline… It’s Shakespeare making fun of love.” She said. “They why has it survived?”….”Tell us, why has Romeo and Julie survived four hundred years?” Park hated talking in class. Eleanor frowned at him, then looked away. He felt himself blush. “Because…” he said quietly, looking at his desk, “Because people want to remember what it’s like to be young? And in love?”
See? Rainbow Rowell is making fun of us. We should all be storming her door with torches and yard rakes.
It’s not like books haven’t done this to me before, but maybe just maybe I’m wiser now.. maybe I’ve gained some distance from that ‘When he touched Eleanor’s hand, he recognized her. He knew. Eleanor: Disintegrated. ….. If you’ve ever wondered what that feels like, it’s a lot like melting—but more violent.”
Or maybe not.
Because this isn’t REAL. It doesn’t LAST. You can’t NEED a person like that forever. It FADES, it withers and dies and if it doesn’t outwardly die, it limps along begrudgingly muttering bits of snarkyness under its halitosis laden breath.
And that is why I hate it so much, it stirred up all that stale oxytocin that is mixing with my gastric juices and flung it around right back into circulation... visceral and made me feel weak, made me cry. Made me wish for that.
But, it only happens in books. I have to keep reminding myself of that. The good never lasts. And it’s never the big dramatic orchestra laden climax that does it. It’s just life. And the memories are there and they sting and a glimmer of hope of having that again rises up until you put down the book and know that there really isn’t an Eleanor or a Park and it’s the end of Say Anything all over again when Lloyd and Diane are on the plane and they look at each and you know… you just know that they’re not going to last.
Maybe you cry for that old self. Or maybe you let the bitterness eat at you. All’s Fair..
“Perhaps it is only human nature to inflict suffering on anything that will endure suffering, whether by reason of its genuine humility, or indifferen...more“Perhaps it is only human nature to inflict suffering on anything that will endure suffering, whether by reason of its genuine humility, or indifference, or sheer helplessness.” ― Honoré de Balzac
Some article some where said that this was one of those 'must read' young adult books. I didn't really read into it to see why. The title sort of piqued my interest. Who didn't have a hate list? Right?
My 25th high school reunion was 2 days ago. I found this out because a couple of friends from middle school had facebooked me and I saw a few posts about partying it up with the class of 1988. I admit, I was interested. I looked at their photos. I looked at some of the profiles of people that made my life hell. (I have that stalker thing going on.) I have that need to see if these people are miserable. I still ( still) want them to be miserable. I guess I haven't grown, much.
I recently finished Margaret Atwood's beautifully written book dealing with bullying, Cat's Eye, and found myself too wound up to actually write a review. Too emotional, too full. I then read karen'sreview and thought that she summed it up pretty well. There is a hollow that comes from those scars.. it changes you even when you are not sure how or why.
Now I find that I can't escape this topic. I have a daughter in middle school. I see her suffer from those hateful little beasts day in and day out. I want to shield her, I want to pummel them. I want to tell her it will be okay, but I know that it will not, because here I am, living proof, that it is not.
Do you really ever get over bullying? Does the Hate List ever get dismissed?
It's been 25 years since I left the hell of high school social life and I still have the scar tissue.. tender even.... I finished this book within 24 hours and while I read the words, the images that formed were not of Val and Nick and Jessica and Christy, but of my own demons. Of the Twissas, and Dereks, and Sues that I see posing in photo booth pictures at the reunion acting like this was such a great time in their lives. Sure, maybe it was. Maybe they've blocked out the horrible things that they did, the horrible people that they were and chocked it up to youth. Fuck them, I say. I'm not ready to get over it.
This book wasn't outstanding, but it did have some interesting messages.... How the media represents the 'healing process' of the schools after such a massacre. How very Columbine it was (although we've experienced too many such massacres since, Columbine is the one that always comes to my mind) How schools come together after a tragedy. Right. Sure it does.
"People hate. That's our reality. People hate and are hated and carry grudges and want punishments.
The news tells us that hate is no longer our reality.
I don't know if it's possible to take hate away from people. Not even people like us, who've seen firsthand what hate can do. We're all hurting. We're all going to be hurting for a long time. And we, probably more than anyone else out there, will be searching for a new reality every day. A better one."
The cynical part of me says 'Good luck with that.' I can't see a better reality for people who carry that grudge. I can tell you that I am not a good enough person to say that after 25 years I didn't see all the same faces as I read through this book, that I didn't sympathize with the killer. Maybe it was the reunion that brought that out in me... but I didn't feel anything but the old resentments surface.
I'm afraid to face my 12 year old today. I'm afraid that I'm going to have to lie and tell her that it goes away. My words will sound hollow and will drift (much like this review has). This makes me sadder than you will ever know. (less)
"We're not the first, I hope we're not the last. 'Cause I know we're all heading for that adult crash. The time is so little, the time belongs to us....more"We're not the first, I hope we're not the last. 'Cause I know we're all heading for that adult crash. The time is so little, the time belongs to us. Why is everybody in such a fucking rush? Make do with what you have. Take what you can get. Pay no mind to us. We're just a minor threat. We're just a minor threat.
Ahh.. sweet memories of stomping around my room raging (as loud as a 15 year old can rage in suburbia without upsetting the ‘rents) Good times. Good times.
Joe Meno has got it down. He’s in the zone. Angst, derived from the german word angst or the dutch word angst. Wiki says:” the word angst is not a loanword as it is in English, but has been in existence long, and is used regularly to express fear.”
In long existence. No shit. Hairstyles of the Damned is centered in Chicago, circa 1991. Anthony, you remember that, right? Brian, the protagonist is around sixteen/seventeen..that normal, hormonal, acne-laden, erection-erupting mess of self doubt. We all remember that..right?
Brian’s scene is the punk/metal crowd. More metal than punk so it was easier for me to distance myself from him, no literary crushes happening here, and that is what made this book more than your average angst story to me. I lived in that crowd.
We took the greyhound to Boston every Sunday to attend all ages punk shows. I was 15, these shows were at 1pm, it all worked out.. catering to the youth. That time is such a staple for who I am now.. so so many bands, so much moshing, so much drama.
Meno gets it right, we were worse than the jocks/cheerleaders.. we were much harsher on each other.. ‘Your uniqueness is not cool enough for us’. There was one group of punks that always caught my eye. They were definitely part of the cool crowd. The hung outside the club in their leather jackets and torn fishnets, with just the right hair and makeup. The boy was beautiful.. blonde, dreadlocked, pale.. I always looked forward to seeing them and sort of mulling around their coolness. Well, this one weekend, we were staying at a friend’s dorm and didn’t have to worry about curfew or anything, after the show, Robyn met up with this cool crowd outside. SHE KNEW THEM! I was so freaking nervous, I hid behind my bangs while she talked to them… Next thing, we’re going to hang with them. No. Freaking. Way. We followed through the streets of Cambridge at one point cutting through a office building, I’m not sure the point of this.. but they wanted to take the elevator.. just to do it, I suppose.. so, there we are, waiting. The doors open and they jump in and block the entrance for me and my friend. ‘Only people wearing leather can ride in this elevator’.
Huh? Wait. Um… what about the unity, the common hatred for the bland? Meno gets it: “We were the lucky ones we had it all figured out. We had somehow managed to avoid being brainwashed by reckless corporations and it was our right-our destiny-to help by eliminating every bad cassette in the mall parking lot, tape by tape, car by car, day by day.”
My thickly black eyelinered eyes were opened. We were mall rats who liked to dress up and think we were better than everyone else. We spent hours, and hundreds of cans of Aquanet, making sure our hair stood just right. We spent our allowance on the new Misfits album, or the new Dead Kennedys.. we danced and roared and understood none of it. God, I hate my punk rock self.
“I think a lot of these punk kids we know are fucking poseurs,” I said. “I think most of them, they just do whatever, you know, to fit in. It’s like a totally mindless act. Like Kim, it’s all about fucking fashion.”
"What the fuck are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about how you two guys are like the most close-minded people I know, I said “you don’t even know what punk is about, you know? You just dress like it because you were like a loser and it, like, gave you someone to be after junior high, something to belong to, you know?”
Wow. Slap in the face. This is so sad.. I want to hit my 15 year old self with my black light but she’d probably like it and like write a poem about it.
I wasn’t lying when I said that this time in my life formed who I am. Those shows… watching Kevin Seconds make the moshing pit push back so a little punk girl wasn’t crushed against the stage.. seeing Ian Makaye yell at a bunch of assholes who were cheering during “Suggestion”.
I learned a lot about myself and what I wanted my life to be about. These bands gave me inspiration and made me study events or movements that mattered to them.. that should matter to all. I wouldn’t change it.. even the ‘x’s that I shaved into the sides of my head to announce my straight edged-ness.
The reason that I only gave this book 3 stars (should really be like 3.8) is that I felt that Meno was getting all Breakfast Clubby up in my face. I need no moral tale; I just liked the re-visitation of that slice of life.
He does mention this one scene when Brian is watching Night of the Living Dead and he’s describing the scene:
“ There was this one scene where the hero, this young black dude, and the heroine, this kind of high-strng white girl, are like hiding out in this old farmhouse trying to avoid being strangled by hundreds of zombies, right , and it turns out that in the cellar or basement of the farmhouse, well there are all these other people, white people, and they were hiding down there and they knew what the fuck was going on upstairs but they didn’t help the back guy and white chick, and so the black guy starts yelling at this dude who is kind of middle-aged and blue collar, the leader of the white people who were all chicken-shit, and the whit dude says something like “We were in a safe place. Are you telling me we were supposed to leave our safe place just to help someone out?”
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