19 October 2011

Writer, You Are Far Too Effective

I was just on Goodreads' Listopia, which is crack for a tech-savvy bookworm btw, and was playing on the list about books you've read at least twice. That got me thinking about another kind of book: The book that was absolutely amazing, searing, a true literary achievement...and which you will never read again, because it was just too damned traumatizing. Truthfully, you don't even want to think about it. Here's mine. Please tell me yours.

1984 - George Orwell
We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver
Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
Bastard Out of Carolina - Dorothy Allison
Carrie - Stephen King (this is when I made the decision not to read any Stephen King that is strictly horror. I can read The Eyes of the Dragon or Dolores Claiborne, but not The Shining.)

I am sure there are others, but it is possible they have been blocked out.

Literary Drive-By #00002: Mr. Woodhouse

Am I alone in finding Mr. Woodhouse, Emma's father, one of the most annoying characters in literature? Not amusing like Mrs. Bennet or Mrs. Dashwood, but just...I wish I could just scream, Shut up and eat your frickin' gruel! Well, I supposed I could scream that, but I don't think he would hear me, and if he did he'd probably just faint, which come to think about it, would shut him up. But it's a moo point.*

I'd rather hang out with Marianne and Elinor's sister-in-law than Mr. Woodhouse. But I don't suppose Miss Austen would care much for my opinion. It is the first time in my reading of Austen that I wished she'd cut some words. Feels sacrilegious, like criticizing Oprah.

*I prefer the usage of "moo" to "moot," from future classic sitcom Friends, in which dim bulb Joey says, "It's like a cow's opinion. It just doesn't matter. It's moo."

18 October 2011

Random Musings of the Enceinte #0001: On Being Cissexual

I am convinced that this child is a girl. I am so convinced that I am afraid that if it is, in fact, a boy, I am at this moment transgendering it with my belief. Not to be overly cissexual-normative, but being transgendered  seems really difficult, and dangerous....so sue me if I'd rather have a cissexual child. If you are transgendered and you are still reading this, I think you ought to give me points for knowing the word "cissexual." But I know you won't because that would be like me giving you points for knowing the word "African-American." No...that's not right. For knowing the word....damn it! I can't think of a sufficiently esoteric and politically-charged word to describe myself. I am soooo cissexual.


OMG! I have followers! Is a follower anything like a minion? I've always wanted minions. Hmmm. Maybe that's why I'm starting a family...I can minionize the children and they won't even realize what's happening. I've tried to minionize my husband and it has turned out quite poorly. He keeps grumbling something about autonomous beings. What a drag.

Literary Drive-By #00001: I'm Going to Die! One Day.

LDB No. 1: I had this dream of writing detailed, in-depth literary reviews for this blog. But that's just not me. I can do it every now and then, but not every day. So, now I have another dream: The Literary Drive-By. Since a single day can find me reading anywhere from one to, say, four or five books, and my brain operates more like a hopped-up gangsta than a patient, disciplined sniper assassin, the drive-by is a good model for sharing my literary life.

No further ado.

I'm going to die! This is what His Holiness the Dalai Lama told me yesterday in the audio book, Becoming Enlightened, and I swear it's the best news I've heard in some time (other than the whole enceinte thing of course). I was just as surprised as you that it had this effect on me. As I was kind of half-sleeping (very comfortably) in bed last night, I kept having the thought: I'm going to die! Me, yours truly, citygirl, is going to die one day! Let me tell you something: it was, and is, intensely joyful and liberating. Now before you chalk me up as some foggy depressive (sometimes true) with suicidal tendencies (not at all true), let me give you a little context. HHtDL says that our problems come from viewing this life as permanent and told me in no uncertain terms yesterday as I was driving that I, indeed, was going to exit this life at some point. No matter how much I ignored this fact it was not going to go away. It is inevitable. Therefore, he suggested that I face my own mortality. Now, of course, I was aware, before I heard this, of a rumor going around that human beings, every single one, is born, lives, and then...dies, vampire lore notwithstanding. And I gave this rumor a lot of credence. In my experience, several people that I have known personally have, in fact, died. But the much larger majority of my acquaintance is still living, so it is not a proven fact, just a likely theory. And, vaguely, I was aware that most intelligent people would agree that I, citygirl, would probably die some time in the future, and I guess I also subscribed to this theory, but truthfully, I'd avoided thinking too much about it. Don't we all? I mean, other people die and are going to die, but not us. Right? It's really kind of inconceivable. But yesterday, I learned, with certainty that I am going to die...one day.

The relief was, and is, intense. My whole perspective shifted, for the better. Now that I know that I am going to die, I am soooo excited about living! Like right now, I am at work, and I could be playing addictive, smart-making Asian logic games (you have got to try Hashi) or fondling my virtual books on their virtual bookshelves (LibraryThing and Goodreads) as a way of avoiding the paper debris on my desk, but no, I am WRITING! The thing I am usually miserable about not doing, and I am doing it. Why? Because I am going to die one day, so if I'm going to get any writing in, I had better do it while I'm alive. I mean, I don't know how Tupac does it, but I think posthumous creative activity is beyond my abilities.

So have a great day! And, if you want to feel good, try contemplating your mortality. Mazel tov.