Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Internet Lovelies

Forget Random Internet Quotes Thursday. I'll just post whenever I have reasonable amount saved up.

"Trash" and "fluff" are not insults. "Overrated" is.


Criticism is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It can call attention to an unhealthy state of things.

@RiceBunny, Link

It is a mistake to say that freedom is a gift bestowed by a rifle.

comment by rk, Link

I have a 200 game Nintendo collection. By Nintendo, I mean Nintendo Entertainment System. From the 1980’s. It’s pretty sad, but there really is nothing better than drinking highballs while playing Ducktales on an old, shitty television.

comment by Salvatore Pane, Link

People are passionate about a lot of stupid things. It's not a great mantra. Meaning, I think, comes from doing a full accounting of your limitations and assets, your passions and your weaknesses, your belief system and your fears, and then rubbing up against the things that cause you to panic, like an allergy skin scratch test, and find out what your reactions are. Once you figure out how you can contribute to the greater good, once you're able even to define that, you take that information and pour yourself into one direction. Regardless of discomfort or regrets or what-ifs. (And then doing that over and over again, until death.) That does not fit on a T-shirt. That to me is more important than bliss, which would really just lead me back into bed, maybe with a bowl of corn flakes... one is going to drop a meaningful life into your lap. You fight for it over and over again.

Jessa Crispin, Link

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sandy Cheeks

I’m staring out at the ocean from the porch of my rental beach house, wishing I were a writer so I could type something romantic and profound. But a writer I am not. So instead I must quote other talented individuals’ romantic and profound musings.

Finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It was a perfect beach read, and I was completely absorbed in it (while absorbing the sun) for two days. What a gorgeous book. It had its cliché moments, and I could see the ending from a mile away (what a cliché thing for me to say!), but it was great storytelling. And every now and then, you really crave a good story. And the characters were wonderful. The kind of people you wish actually existed (or wish you yourself could be), but only exist within the pages of a novel. Alas.

Here are some passages. Most of them are random and may not make much sense out of context. But I found them hilarious/meaningful, so bear with me.

"I’m not certain that my scruples could withstand the sight of handmade shoes. If I ever do meet him, I’ll take care not to look at his feet—or I’ll lash myself to a flagpole first and then peek, like Odysseus."

"I don’t believe that after reading such a fine writer as Emily Bronte, I will be happy to read again Miss Amanda Gillyflower’s Ill-Used by Candelight. Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books."

"I’m going to step into the meadow of wildflowers right outside my door and run to the cliff as fast as I can. Then I’m going to fall down and look at the sky, which is shimmering like a pearl this afternoon, and breathe in the warm scent of grass and pretend that Markham V. Reynolds doesn’t exist.

I’ve just come back indoors. It’s hours later—the setting sun has rimmed the clouds in blazing gold and the sea is moaning at the bottom of the cliffs. Mark Reynolds? Who’s he?"

"This obsession with dignity can ruin your life if you let it."

"Friends, show me a man who hates himself, and I’ll show you a man who hates his neighbors more! He’d have to—you’d not grant anyone else something you can’t have for yourself—no love, no kindness, no respect!"

No respect! No respect at all! /dangerfield

Now I have moved on to Tracy Chevalier’s Remarkable Creatures, which is about fossil hunting on the beach. This seems appropriate considering my environment. Chevalier’s book is one of many I recently picked up at bookstores near the beach. Just to show how much of a nerd I am, the first thing I do when planning a trip is scout for every indie bookstore within 50 miles of my destination. (NERD!). Oddly enough, none of them had cats roaming the shelves. But the majority stocked various cat memorabilia (I wonder what they’re trying to say? Hmmm).

My favorite find was a 1949 copy of The Painted Veil by the early mass market publisher Pocket Book.

The cover is so inappropriate and wonderful. I love that Maugham has been pulp-fictionalized.

But here are all the titles I bought:

Does zombie lit and a vegan cupcake cookbook clash? Oh well.

And here are the stores I visited who had websites:

Okay, one more thing. I also read the first in the series of Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim graphic novels, and one part in particular made me guffaw:

A DuckTales reference!? Absolutely brilliant.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Random Internet Quotes Thursday!

Including random internet picture, too!

Hey, know what? I have never, ever met a boring insomniac, not one. Ever.

@Snowblood_G, Link

I know that international poets are often the victims of persecution -- of death threats and death sentences, or censorship, of forced exile. And then, among the healthy and privileged writers in my own country -- the ones who, to paraphrase Primo Levi, live “safe in their warm houses” -- the world-rotting, Hollywood idea of a production team as co-authors has taken root, so that everything is written and rewritten and rewritten until it turns more uniform, until it loses its jagged edges and its radioactivity and its electricity. I have the fantasy that maybe things are better in, say, Europe, where a book is a book, and nobody’s scrambling to define it as poetry or prose, memoir or fiction, experimental or not.

Elizabeth Bachner, Link

Laws and commandments guide whomever they're supposed to guide. I could probably use some kind of guidance right now, actually. I'm sinking and pulpy like a paper anchor. I'm sitting on a nest of hot white eggs, waiting for them to hatch, waiting for the fruits of my labor to peer around and cry because it's finally summer. I'm looking for something to hold on to, maybe a doctrine, scripture, amendment, maybe a footnote, gospel, article. Right now, I can fold up the Constitution and use it as a bookmark in the Bible, carrying it around like the pound of messy matter that it is, which blurs in and out of focus. I can get down to business and touch my toes back to the ground. There's always an extremely tempting urge to jump into one of those clock puddles and spread time all over the ground to disperse it a bit but, knowing me, I don't think that compulsion will ever change.

Caroline Lazar, Link

Monday, May 3, 2010

Reading for Inspiration?

This is fascinating.

It's a list of the most heavily highlighted passages from Amazon Kindle users. Reading through them I learned two things:

1. Only 5 books exist.
2. People like inspirational quotes.

Browsing the list, it is apparent that we are a despressed nation, desperately grasping for bumper sticker quotes to make us feel better. Is this a reflection of what contemporary readers are looking for in their reading material? Are we reading more for personal fulfillment than for entertainment? I was a little concerned that there weren't more artful passages highlighted (actually, I couldn't find ANY until #75, the heavily quoted first line from Pride & Prejudice). Or even humorous passages. I'd hate to think humanity is reading entirely for self-help purposes, while everything aesthetic is deemed "filler."

I know I'm guilty of doing this, too. I love passages that provide a momentary zen feeling. So I'm making a conscious decision to post more blurbs that are notable for their literary merit, not just their "oh hey, I can really relate to that" factor.