- On Mock Orange. Good poem analysis and comprehensive profile of Louis Gluck.
- Chip Tsao's "nation of servants." Blog post that contains the reactions of some big guns in the Philippines, as well as Tsao's original article itself. Seems like an interesting blog overall, too.
- Maningning Miclat. Details about her death and a brief listing of other authors who died young.
- Recession. Getting the better of it. For the jobless lawyer. Voluntereeism in general. Escapism and the romance-novel industry. Not overtaxing the wealthy.
- If you seek Amy. Get it, get it?
- Publishing. Getting published. And publishing yourself.
- Random. What husbands want. Criminals in med school. And the end pf philosophy.
The internet is my playground of the moment. And here are my toys.
Allow me to introduce Jay Asher. He's my person of the moment because of his job history:
[He] has worked at an independent bookstore, an outlet bookstore, a chain bookstore, and two public libraries. He hopes, someday, to work for a used bookstore.That has got to have been fun. In one of my alternate universes, I know that I am working at random bookstores and libraries and being completely happy doing so.
Oh yeah, Jay came to my attention because his first novel, "Thirteen Reasons Why," is getting lots of attention, both mainstream and not.
I'm adding that book to my ever-growing reading list. Ah, as if I didn't have enough to read already - what with my regular online haunts and my books. But that's okay. It's no fun to aspire to what I can easily achieve.
At the end of the day, though, I don't think I am going to get an e-reader. For one thing, that's a couple hundred dollars that I am not willing to spend. And second, I think that ink and paper are essential parts of the reading experience. I mean, I have read stories online. Here's a good site for a quick lit fix, for example. But for reading and writing, I am very old-fashioned. I blog here, but my journal is written by hand. And I read pages and not screens. Just like the my favorite writers did.
- the universality of p.i.-like insults
- Hamlet as a classic griever
- the internet as the solidifier of identity
- a critique of Obama's stem cell policy
- scientific batugan-ness
Here's the "quote of the article":
William Pannapacker, an associate professor of English at Hope College in Holland, Mich., who writes a column for The Chronicle of Higher Education under the name Thomas Benton, has frequently tried to dissuade undergraduates from pursuing a graduate degree in the humanities. He is convinced that the recession will push universities to trim the number of tenure-track jobs further.
“It’s hard to tell young people that universities recognize that their idealism and energy — and lack of information — are an exploitable resource,” he wrote in a recent column. “If you cannot find a tenure-track position, your university will no longer court you; it will pretend you do not exist and will act as if your unemployability is entirely your fault.”Unless you are independently wealthy or really well connected, don’t apply, he advised.
Bottomline is that money makes the world go round. But imaginations don't cost a thing.
* * *
Speaking of money, get a hold of this: Audrey Niffenegger Receives $5 Million Advance for Second Novel. Mamma Mia! That's a lot of dough. I wouldn't mind having $5 million dollars. Wow.
Anyway, Audrey wrote "The Time Traveler's Wife." I have not actually read that book, but I plan to, eventually. Still working on Francine Prose, but I have plans of adding "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" to the mix. So, anyway, I was quite happy to discover that Audrey is a Chicagoan. Perhaps I have run into her already. Um, probably not.
* * *
I downed two Archie comics (Double Digest) in the past week. I learned to read on Archie's. I like them a lot, but I find it funny that the Riverdal High Schoolers still exhibit a level of sophistication that I, the nine-years-out-of-high-school-real-life-person, clearly do not possess. I'll be Ms. Grundy's peer in a few years, and I bet I'd still feel the same way.
I'm struggling to be coherent, so I think I'll end this and sleep. Or watch TV.
I've got my religious and moral paradigms well in place, and I could answer that question according to those paradigms in a heartbeat. I guess the morality of something like that is so well-accepted that questioning it is insulting, if not trite. What I would like to know is whether there is any good argument as to why prostitution is morally okay.
What makes prostitution different from other jobs or means of livelihood? Working (i.e. laboring for someone else's money) for 70 hours a week is still morally superior to one hour of sex for pay. Why?
It's not the time or the effort or the physical motions. It's the act itself. Is it the fact that sex and acts attendant to it are intimately linked to our conception? And does that give force to the argument that sex should be treated or perceived differently than, say, cleaning a window or watering a plant? I don't know.
An interesting article entitled "Can People Unlearn Their Naked Shame" was kind of getting at that, albeit in the context of clothes. Here's the gist of the article:
With the long immature period of a young human, mum and dad need to form a stable pair bond to do the looking after. But humans are more social than any other primate, living and moving in large social groups.
Psychologist Professor Dan Fessler, of the University of California, Los Angeles, says our gregariousness "poses a challenge... because those groups of course provide a source of temptation. Potentially both sexes can benefit by cheating on their partners."
That's where our shame of nudity comes in. Over thousands of generations, we've learned that showing off a naked body sends out sexual signals that threaten the security of mating pairs. And we've chosen to agree that that is a bad thing.
Interesting, yeah? Going back to the original prostitution question, do IVF and other similar technologies change the analysis?
* * *
I spend most of my time above the ground. My office is 70+ stories up, and my home-for-now is 10+ floors high. I used to love being "on top of the world, looking down on creation." I still like it. But these days, I find ground zero more comforting.
* * *
I have been revisiting my past blog entries, and I cringe a little bit at how revealing some of those entries are. I'm a private person by nature. And that's why my most interesting stories are tucked away in that little black Moleskine that I always keep close.
Needy, aren't you, Slacker? The myriad of people who I haven't interacted with in these past weeks haven't stopped the music. You know why? They're not music players.
Restlessness, my old friend, is once again at my side. I'm sick of his company and wish he'd prey on someone else. But then I like him with me, occasionally, as a reminder that I can never just stop. Once I settle down, I'll forget that "it's not easy to be calm when [I've] found something going on." And the truth is that my dreams will still be here tomorrow, but I may not.
That last phrase right there was meant to be more symbolic than literal, but I suppose its two meanings shine together, one refusing to dim while the other lives (kind of like Harry Potter and Voldemort). Body and soul, that kind of thing.
Speaking of body and soul, was really sad to hear that Francis Magallona passed away. Just sad is what that is. He was only 44.
I'm 26 years old. That's too old to be restless and too young to settle down. But I did make a commitment, and I will honor it. It's a fight to the death with the monster on my screen. And when I have emerged victorious, as I know I will, perhaps the world will still want to play.
I suppose I owe you, my faithful readers, a brief explanation of where I am now and what I am doing. If my supposition is correct, I guess I'll just dispute the debt or otherwise ignore it ... for now. I am such an interesting topic, so we really must hear my thoughts on myself some time.
For now, though, I'd like to turn your attention to my favorite person of the moment: Michiko Kakutani. I have been checking out the Arts section of the NY Times daily since fairly recently, and one of her reviews caught my attention. Specifically, I thought her opening paragraph was a winner:
Nearly all the characters in Zoë Heller’s ambitious new novel, “The Believers,” are true believers. Though each chooses a different vehicle of worship — socialism, liberal humanism, orthodox Judaism or the New Age gospel of self-improvement — they are all in thrall to their own certainty, self-righteous about their own beliefs and contemptuous of anyone dimwitted enough to disagree. They are also believers in their own mythologies: the roles in which they have been cast by their parents or children or followers, the personas they have had thrust upon them and have, over the years, internalized as their own. Zeal is their default setting; sanctimony, their favorite defense.Nice job, Michiko. Despite being an awarded journalist, she's actually pretty controversial - see here and here. I love characters, more so "writing characters", and do resolve to follow her reviews religiously from now on.
On that note, one of my usually reliable authors, Susan Elizabeth Phillips (SEP), has let me down big time with her latest novel, "What I Did for Love." If you haven't read any of her books, then skip to the next paragraph (if there is one), as my disappointment will be incomprehensible to you. One of the things I like about SEP is that she's formulaic (weird situation, guy meets girl, girl falls first, guy falls second and has sucking up to do because he didn't fall first, happy ending) but also original. In her latest novel, she did follow her formula, but her originality flew out the window. The story's a plagiarism of the Pitt-Jolie-Aniston triangle, pretty much. It was definitely not her best work. Here's hoping that the re-issue of Glitter Baby is better.
I won't get to read that book for a while, because thisfunnylittlethingcalledwork is being needy right now and, more importantly, because I'm reading another book that I'm enjoying immensely. And that is Francine Prose's "Reading Like a Writer." I guess you could call it the ultimate textbook for creative writing. It's very informational, and the many excerpts she dissects stop it from being boring. So reading-wise, I'm in a good place.
I am also sleepy. G'night.
Have entered the "hip-hop" phase of musical obsession. When people ask me what kind of music I like, it always takes me a while to answer. I dabble in all genres, see, but my genre of the moment always changes. For example, last summer, I was into 80's songs as my then-boyfriend was. And then I got into country music after my spring break trip to Nashville. And now, I'm into hip-hop. Of particular significance is Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls" and "Me Love." So addictive, seriously. As regards the former, I actually prefer JoJo's version more. But when I tried to download it from the iTunes store, I found that the store didn't carry it. So the ever-reliable youtube will have to do for now.
Am shifting around among five books right now. I love reading, and at any one time, I'm always reading something. I used to finish one book before I turned to the next, but in recent times, I've found that it gets harder for a book to sustain my attention. I don't know if that's because of the glasses I refuse to wear or because I've somehow developed ADD. So I'm going back and forth between these books: Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women," Ron Jeremy's "The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz," Rudyard Kipling's "Just So Stories," Jeanne Birdsall's "The Penderwicks," and D.B. Gilles' "The Screenwriter Within."
Three of the five are children's books, one's an instructional book, and one's a porn star's memoir. I got Ron's book along with "Little Women," believe it or not. I was at an Urban Outfitters nearby, presumably shopping for cute tops but really just basking in the aircon for a bit before I had to walk on home, when I caught sight of their sale table. They were selling "Little Women" and Ron's book for $5. That was 1/3 of their retail price. There was no-way-in-the-hey that I was turning down a deal like that. So I got both. I usually don't like memoirs, but a sale is a sale and a book is a book.
I'm still in the first few chapters of the book, and I have to say it's an interesting read. It's definitely not porn, so if you're getting it just for sex, don't bother. There's more action in romance novels, of which I heartily, heartily recommend Susan Elizabeth Phillips who writes the best dialogue in the genre and whose characters are oh-so-familiar but oh-so-lovable still. Nah; Ron talks about his life. He's definitely led an interesting life, but I'm already started to get bored with him, just as I got bored when reading Gilda Radner's memoir. And I find his habit of doing
this for emphasis very annoying. So I'm probably not going to touch his book for a bit.
Just recently discovered the sundeck in my building. Awesome view. I know where my next hang-out's going to be, then. I hate hate hate that it's Sunday already because that means that Monday is coming soon and I don't feel like I've gotten my weekend's worth. Ah, but the weekend is not over yet. And so I still have both time and opportunity to make something happen.
I've missed blogging. And now I'm back. Tada!
Two units passed a few days ago, btw. Forgot to commemorate that with a post. But as a make-up post, this is surprisingly apt. And I think only one person will get that. All right, back to work now!