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My Y, Curvy Girl, and books by dead white guys

April 28th, 2011

Here she is. All of us are a little possessive of Y, it’s funny. She is my Y, mine, nooooo mine! She takes amazing photos, go see if you can talk her into selling you one. I love the blogs because many talented women are now… visible. Who needs a book deal? A photo exhibit? We’re going renegade around here, and have been for awhile.

Speaking of books… Mine is going well. I’m at 305 pages now and 88,008 words (nice!). If you’re not impressed with that, then I’m asking you, What the hell is wrong with you? Cuz that’s a lot of words and pages and commas, all put together by moi. You’ll buy an e-copy when it’s done, yes? Yes! (I hope so, anyway.)

And speaking of books, part deux… Classics book group was last night — we read Aristophanes’s play, “The Frogs.” It is from 404 B.C. or something like that, which is apparently a verrrrrrrrrrrry long time ago. Ribbit. I liked it, it was hilarious. Just the fact that the text (different versions of it, who knows which one is the closest to “real”) has survived all these centuries is pretty cool.

Next we’re reading Graham Greene’s “The Quiet American.” I’m already in on the joke — Americans aren’t quiet. The only quiet American is a dead American.

Hmm. We’ll see if I can get through it, here’s hoping. After that we’re reading “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass,” “Robinson Crusoe,” “Heart of Darkness” (which Steve already finished and I have almost finished — Norton’s edition is best, I’ve heard — I’m reading the Penguin Classics version. I’m finding the notes helpful and yes, I do understand where one of my favorite writers of all time, Chinua Achebe, is coming from, in regards to Conrad).

As Beth would say, That sentence is too long, I’ll start over.

We’re reading Joseph Conrad’s “The Secret Sharer,” too. We reading only books by dead white guys. (Typo that I refuse to correct. “We are reading…” make that, for you copy editors out there.) This fractures me, as I managed to avoid most of them in college. Dead white guys, not copy editors. I wrote for the student newspaper and edited the college literary magazine. You couldn’t move two feet without elbowing a copy editor or two, drinking all the coffee and bitching that they would have to return cans if they wanted some beer money.

But now I’m reading the dead white guys for fun — irony, see?

I was an English major. You learn all about irony and how to avoid work as an English major. OK, let’s just ponder that one for a moment and then have a good laugh. Seriously! Here is who I studied in college: Tillie Olsen, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Toni Morrison, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Ntozake Shange, SHAKESPEARE!! (didn’t avoid all of ’em, see?), Chinua Achebe, Zora Neale Hurston… and a bunch of dead white guys. Dreiser, James, Fitzgerald… all good. So when I saw “Moby Dick” on our list… (“Mopey dick!” — Leon on “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) heehee I am looking forward to reading Mopey Dick for our September book. Cuz I would read Raymond Carver all day long, but keep Updike, Cheever, and Mopey Dick the hell away from me. I did enjoy Milton, and Wordsworth and… Donald Barthelme, of all people.

(“OK, now you’re just name-droppin’!” — anon. critic in my head)

No, I’m not! I would start reading Kerouac aloud at 11 at night with a friend and keep reading until we’d finished the book.

(“College is hard, but it ain’t work” — my friend Jim, who I read Kerouac with)

If you asked me, which writers have most influenced your writing, I would have to pick Toni Morrison, Stephen King and Donald Barthelme. And Raymond Carver. OK, that’s a little scary, eh?

I somehow ducked and wove and arranged my own deal, all through college, man my professors were something, y’know? They sized me up and said, It’s gonna take some work, with this one. And they let me go for it.

Thank you, English Department at Portland State University. I love them so much for what they gave me, I might just send them a check. Or maybe just copies of “The Bluest Eye,” “Song of Solomon” and “Beloved” to hand out to some deserving students.

Let’s. All. Read!

Except for me, I have to write for awhile, then clean the house. But tonight? I read. Right after we get the results from “American Idol,” make that. hahaha.

awwwwww… dang it.

April 27th, 2011

one of my favorite singers, Phoebe Snow, is gone. RIP, mama.

true or false?

April 20th, 2011

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Agree or disagree? Please discuss.

and sometimes the universe just slaps you SMACK right across the face

April 17th, 2011

I took my daughter shopping yesterday. At the mall. At the huge, big mall where people cough right in your face and shove in front of you in line and where you suddenly think fifty-eight dollars doesn’t seem at all too expensive for a scrap of fabric made by a little child in a foreign country.

I love my girl. And we needed some clothes. She is growing tall, tall, tall like Mommy and nothing fits. Me, I just need to lose some weight, that would be a splendid idea. I have exactly one pair of jeans and they’re shredded. (Lots of dress slacks, but no damn jeans.) (No, I couldn’t find any jeans that fit, thanks for asking. But I found some other stuff and so did she, mission accomplished. Woo-hoo.)

Number of children I saw folded awkwardly in the compartments under the stroller, while younger siblings jumped around in the stroller above them: 2

Number of jumping kids I saw standing up in strollers, while their parents pushed them around (not same kids as first category, I guess that would add 2 to the total): 3 (or 5)

Number of toddlers I saw take headers down the escalator: 3

Number of them that screamed: 3

Number of parents that aided them: 0

Number of women that snapped “Watch it!” at me after they cut in front of me: 1

Number of Easter Bunnies I saw: 1

Number of grown men wearing bunny ears and taking photos of the Easter Bunny and screaming kids: 1

Number of photog assistants that weren’t forced to wear bunny ears and looked relieved about it: 1

Number of restaurants/kiosks we went to get get coffee, snacks, bottled water, lunch and more coffee: 5

Number of bottles of wine I purchased for home consumption: 2

Number of times my daughter and I told each other, “You’re stressing me out”: Um. 4? Or 6. Or 4.

Conversation I overheard between a grown daughter and her mother (re: 3-year-old granddaughter): “You can’t just leave, Mom! You can’t just take her and leave and then disappear and I don’t know where you are! You tell me, ‘Tina, I’m leaving!’ okay? Then I’ll know you’re gone. You just give me a heart attack when you do this, Mom!”

2nd conversation, this time between same mother and 3-year-old: “I know I said I’d take you to the Disney store, but we’re shopping for me first. Me. It’s my turn!” “No, my turn.” “No, my turn!” (wailing.) “OK, we’re going home now, are you happy?”

Conversation I overheard between a mother and her teenage daughter, who the mom had backed up against a wall: “You wanted the whole shopping experience, didn’t you? So you got it. This is it!” “Mom, everyone is staring at you.” (We were trying not to, I swear to you. I was doing eye-avoidance all day like crazy and so was Wacky Girl.)

We’re thinking online shopping is the way to go. Except when it comes to jeans.

QOTD: Hannah Senesh

April 17th, 2011

“In my life’s chain of events, nothing was accidental.” — Hannah Senesh

thank you, Shei’Meka Newmann

April 15th, 2011

Very interesting.

(Note that Officer Dauchy was also involved in the case of the twelve year old girl who was shot with a beanbag gun on a MAX platform.)

You know what this reminds me of? The time Malcolm X went to the police station to check on Johnson Hinton, that’s what it reminds me of.

Love you, Shei’Meka. Good job. And congrats on the new baby.


Wacky Family

qotd: Barthes

April 15th, 2011

“Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.” — Roland Barthes

because why sleep…

April 14th, 2011

…when you can stay up watching American Idol and crap like this with the kids?

“devil knows you’re dead” — delta spirit

April 13th, 2011

QOTD: Brown

April 13th, 2011

“Think of a word as a pendulum instead of a fixed entity. A word can sweep by your ear and by its very sound suggest hidden meanings, preconscious associations. Listen to these words: blood, tranquil, democracy. You know what they mean literally but you have associations with those words that are cultural, as well as your own personal associations.” — Rita Mae Brown

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