timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
It turns out that my alter ego--or one of them--is an Oscar Wilde character. Why is nobody surprised?

September is over and I've been writing not enough, but taking in vast amounts of media. I've become addicted to Welcome to Night Vale and Elementary, watched most of Coffee House at long last, and attended the theatre. Of Sam Shepard's Buried Child, I say:

...an intriguing and infuriating work, in which contradictions casually occupy the same space and horror and comedy obscenely intertwine. Shepard's brilliant dialog serves less to convey information than to underscore what is not said. Perpendicular to the central mysteries is a disturbing gender and generational dynamic, in which the female characters exist either as plot points or as objects upon which the male characters enact the full force of their outrageousness. The text invites not analysis but speculation; the audience must reconcile itself to non-reconcilliation as the play's hideous absurdities both repel and fascinate.

I've also been blogging less opaque reviews at Clarissa's Bookshelf. And gardening (the arugula is spectacular) and attempting to better my piano skills and entertaining the cat Copernicus. I found a marvelous Ted Hughes poem the other day, but I'm saving it for winter.

And now I'm going to go procrastinate by reading Diana Wynne Jones, and you can't stop me.
timeripple: (Default)
I must be a grown-up. Today I actually thought, Kids. They know a little bit, maybe they know a lot, and they think they know everything.

Allow me to explain. (And please keep in mind that this is partly in response to a lot of ugliness about feminism I’ve been seeing around Tumblr, and partly in response to trying to marshal my thoughts on the new David Levithan novel, Two Boys Kissing. It is not a reasoned, quotable essay; it is a record of my own thoughts and feelings. It may veer into the tactlessly bitter.)

This afternoon, a couple of teenagers (not a teenage couple) came in and immediately started talking about the books, loudly and with the kind of indubitable, indignant authority sometimes displayed by the whip-smart young (and by the insecure intellectual male of any age). Well, the girl was doing the talking, anyway. She was clearly an authority on LGBTQ lit and declared herself the guy's Sassy Gay Friend.

Of The Song of Achilles: “The Greeks were way into homosexuality.” Of a number of YA books: “Stonewall” (that’s a British LGBTQ award). Of Cinder: “It was okay.” Of The Princess Bride: “That is the greatest book ever, and if you disagree, you are wrong.” On Teen Wolf: “If you are a lesbian, you will die! ‘Don’t be like this; you will die in a thousand horrible ways.’”

(This is a valid criticism: Danny is openly gay and the whole school’s darling, but the only lesbians were the Victim Couple at the beginning of Season 3, one of whom died horribly. It should be pointed out, though, that the role of Victim Couple is usually played by a straight pair, such as on Every Episode of Supernatural Ever. And the Victim Lesbians were adorable, right up until one of them got ritually murdered. Why did you have to murder one of the Adorable Victim Lesbians, show? They were so adorable.)

The girl approved of Will Grayson, Will Grayson and went into passionate, worshipful ecstasies on the subject of John Green. And, listening, I wanted to ask her: Have you liked any YA LGBTQ books by women? Any at all? How about Ash, Huntress, Pink, Parrotfish, Luna, If You Could Be Mine, Sister Mischief, Silhouette of a Sparrow?

Her companion said, mildly, “I’m a marketing guy” and bought The Fault in Our Stars, Ready Player One, and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.

And I thought, just a little bit, Teenagers. They get to know a little, and suddenly they think know everything.

But I also thought, They’re so much smarter about this stuff than we were at that age (“we” being the teenage peer group I grew up with in rural Northern California, myself included). And I think that’s partly because they have a literature we didn’t: a readily available literature that discusses sexuality and gender and race with teens as the focal point, teen experiences as the central narrative. They have a critical vocabulary and a hundred ways and places to talk about it that we didn’t have.

Don’t stop thinking. Don’t stop talking. Think more, talk more, listen more too.

(Ask yourself why all the authors you’re worshipping are men.

(Ask your Marketing Guy friend.)
timeripple: (i said nothing)
I don’t understand how the year can have got to the end of June without my noticing, but I blame it on my housemate’s cat, Copernicus. He is an enormous ginger tabby, and most distracting, though a good companion. He likes to listen to me fiddling and serenading the neighbors with increasingly bizarre versions of Bach minuets on the fancy electronic keyboard. (This is not all that impressive, since two and a half Bach minuets and a very short Mozart thingy are all I actually know how to play.) He also likes to chase (but not eat) hair ties, and to crouch in his crinkly tunnel, only to spring out at a bit of plumy feather at the end of a string tied to a stick. He stomps across the floor if he thinks you’re not paying him enough attention.

In other news, I’ve been settling into my new home, figuring out my commute to work, watching Supernatural (it’s so bad, and yet so amazing), being polite to people with bizarre book requests, running events, filling in for our children’s buyer, reading ARCs at top speed, and totally failing to work on any of my own writing. Though I did rescue the new Penguin Classics De Profundis and Other Prison Writings by Oscar Wilde from the give-away shelf, and have started reading it. (It’s not directly relevant to my work, but it does have to do with applying Greek philosophical writings to Victorian life, so.)

Berkeley is so weird. It’s a lot like Cambridge, only more so. And I keep finding that people are very, very invested in promoting and maintaining a binary gender dichotomy. Is it because mostly I interact with fairly affluent parents while at work? And yet other people, who I might expect to be less invested, are equally so. Do they not realize they live in Berkeley? Does "Berkeley" not mean what I thought it means? I have to say, this is not what I thought the biggest cultural difference from the East Coast would entail. (Well, this and food service.) I didn’t think people would be surprised whenever I go around muttering “Gender is a social construct!” under my breath.

I miss you all so. I woke up this morning fiercely homesick for Wellesley. I’ve been thinking a lot about its rhetoric lately, I suppose; though what I miss is not the rhetoric but my people, both those I met there and later, elsewhere.

Also chai. I’ve found two good places near work, but so far everything in North Berkeley is complete swill, or worse. (Seriously. Last week I had a very nice cup of spiced hot water and mint that tasted like it had never seen tea. I could do better myself with a Lipton bag and no cinnamon.) Happily, the muffins remain excellent. As Oscar Wilde no doubt knew, it is important not to underestimate the importance of a good muffin.
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
Have been meaning up update for weeks but too tired. Figures it would take an actual sick-day-worthy cold to give me time and energy to do anything other than run myself ragged at work.

But today I am bedridden, except for a brief trip to the library and grocery store and laundry. Am hunkered up watching Cranford at long last.

O HAI THAR, DOCTOR OCTAVIAN CAESAR! Hee.
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
Have been meaning up update for weeks but too tired. Figures it would take an actual sick-day-worthy cold to give me time and energy to do anything other than run myself ragged at work.

But today I am bedridden, except for a brief trip to the library and grocery store and laundry. Am hunkered up watching Cranford at long last.

O HAI THAR, DOCTOR OCTAVIAN CAESAR! Hee.
timeripple: (i said nothing)
Look, a second post in as many weeks! Admittedly it is not very substantive, but that is because I have been busy doing things and not writing about them and also being exhausted by my job. Er. My life is a SOCIAL WHIRL, I tell you!

The weekend before last I acquired an [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie for a day, and she made me watch much hilarious and interesting television of the Vampire Diaries and Revenge variety, and we ate crepes and mac'n'cheese and went through all my free books. Then last weekend [livejournal.com profile] mousapelli visited our fair shores (or rather, crashed upon them, the fair shores being my floor) and I made her read a Roman steampunk oracle machine story and we watched a ton of Big Time Rush and listened to music and giggled a lot.

I have also gotten some reading done! THE FOLDED WORLD by [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna was everything I hoped and expected it would be. Also recently finished: STEAMPUNK!, a short story collection edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant. Sometimes automatons (automata?) are just automatons (a?), but sometimes they are not! Also, "dirigible" is my second favorite new word. I am now halfway through an advance copy of TEAM HUMAN, the collaboration between [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales and Justine Larbalestier. I really need to make a separate post about Phillip Reeve's FEVER CRUMB and sequel, A WEB OF AIR, because I have many things to say about them, not least about the awesomely awkward teen engineer heroine. Namely: "awesomely awkward teen engineer heroine" are words that need to appear together more often!

My very favorite new word is one I found in a biography of Charlotte Mary Yonge, and it is "squarson". As far as I can tell this is a portmanteau of "squire" + "parson", as in, "The Yonges themselves produced squarsons." You guys. SQUARSONS! ;alskdjfl;ajdfaslkjfa;lkjfdsa;kldf Oh you wacky Victorians. ♥
timeripple: (i said nothing)
Look, a second post in as many weeks! Admittedly it is not very substantive, but that is because I have been busy doing things and not writing about them and also being exhausted by my job. Er. My life is a SOCIAL WHIRL, I tell you!

The weekend before last I acquired an [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie for a day, and she made me watch much hilarious and interesting television of the Vampire Diaries and Revenge variety, and we ate crepes and mac'n'cheese and went through all my free books. Then last weekend [livejournal.com profile] mousapelli visited our fair shores (or rather, crashed upon them, the fair shores being my floor) and I made her read a Roman steampunk oracle machine story and we watched a ton of Big Time Rush and listened to music and giggled a lot.

I have also gotten some reading done! THE FOLDED WORLD by [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna was everything I hoped and expected it would be. Also recently finished: STEAMPUNK!, a short story collection edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant. Sometimes automatons (automata?) are just automatons (a?), but sometimes they are not! Also, "dirigible" is my second favorite new word. I am now halfway through an advance copy of TEAM HUMAN, the collaboration between [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales and Justine Larbalestier. I really need to make a separate post about Phillip Reeve's FEVER CRUMB and sequel, A WEB OF AIR, because I have many things to say about them, not least about the awesomely awkward teen engineer heroine. Namely: "awesomely awkward teen engineer heroine" are words that need to appear together more often!

My very favorite new word is one I found in a biography of Charlotte Mary Yonge, and it is "squarson". As far as I can tell this is a portmanteau of "squire" + "parson", as in, "The Yonges themselves produced squarsons." You guys. SQUARSONS! ;alskdjfl;ajdfaslkjfa;lkjfdsa;kldf Oh you wacky Victorians. ♥
timeripple: (nyc summer)
I've kind of been failing to update regularly, even with Ovid fixed and with his webcam mysteriously working again. You know how it is. You intend to write thoughtful, entertaining posts, and then you get distracted by your co-workers lending you Dr Who and gay romance novels about demons and cops who fight crime together (adorably) and the next thing you know, that Wizard Rock Smackdown was two weeks ago, wtf.

The Wizard Rock Smackdown was at night in Harvard Hogwarts Square. I went to see the final movie that afternoon to get in the proper mood, and sobbed through most of it (though what actually set me off was the trailer for War Horse. I started crying and kind of just... didn’t stop).

Ahem.

HARRY AND THE POTTERS! DRACO AND THE MALFOYS! Some guy calling himself MC KREACHER who rapped about cleanliness and intruders in the house. “DON’T TOUCH THAT!” XD I insisted on dragging one or two of my co-workers along. I bought a “Save Ginny” t-shirt, and the rain held off until the very end of the Harry and the Potters set (they were last). The stage was set up right on Brattle Street, and it was such fun being utter, utter dorks with everyone. I remember Harry and the Potters from The Witching Hour (how was that FIVE YEARS AGO?) but had never seen Draco and the Malfoys before, though I have one of their CDs. I was most pleased that they sang “99 Death Eaters”. The lead singer/guitarist was super into the whole rock thing... and the drummer was the cutest, flailiest little glasses-wearing dude you could wish for. XD And of course Harry and the Potters had everyone jumping around and singing along.

All in all it was a wonderful evening of unabashed dorkery. I promptly felt terribly nostalgic and consumed most of the third book while on reg the next evening (shhh don't tell!).

I also enjoyed horrifying my non-Potterhead co-workers with my new t-shirt the next day. XD
timeripple: (nyc summer)
I've kind of been failing to update regularly, even with Ovid fixed and with his webcam mysteriously working again. You know how it is. You intend to write thoughtful, entertaining posts, and then you get distracted by your co-workers lending you Dr Who and gay romance novels about demons and cops who fight crime together (adorably) and the next thing you know, that Wizard Rock Smackdown was two weeks ago, wtf.

The Wizard Rock Smackdown was at night in Harvard Hogwarts Square. I went to see the final movie that afternoon to get in the proper mood, and sobbed through most of it (though what actually set me off was the trailer for War Horse. I started crying and kind of just... didn’t stop).

Ahem.

HARRY AND THE POTTERS! DRACO AND THE MALFOYS! Some guy calling himself MC KREACHER who rapped about cleanliness and intruders in the house. “DON’T TOUCH THAT!” XD I insisted on dragging one or two of my co-workers along. I bought a “Save Ginny” t-shirt, and the rain held off until the very end of the Harry and the Potters set (they were last). The stage was set up right on Brattle Street, and it was such fun being utter, utter dorks with everyone. I remember Harry and the Potters from The Witching Hour (how was that FIVE YEARS AGO?) but had never seen Draco and the Malfoys before, though I have one of their CDs. I was most pleased that they sang “99 Death Eaters”. The lead singer/guitarist was super into the whole rock thing... and the drummer was the cutest, flailiest little glasses-wearing dude you could wish for. XD And of course Harry and the Potters had everyone jumping around and singing along.

All in all it was a wonderful evening of unabashed dorkery. I promptly felt terribly nostalgic and consumed most of the third book while on reg the next evening (shhh don't tell!).

I also enjoyed horrifying my non-Potterhead co-workers with my new t-shirt the next day. XD

no tea

Nov. 1st, 2010 10:55 pm
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
Tomorrow I will be voting in person for the first time! I've always voted by absentee ballot, so this will be a new experience. I'm excited.

Democracy's pretty awesome, really.

It doesn't hurt that my polling place is sort of near the supermarket. POST-HALLOWEEN CANDY SALES Y/Y?

Meanwhile, I think I will check out the Gormenghast DVD I got from the library, because I think I did that the day after Halloween a few years back and it was pretty great.

I will also be re-watching the TJ & the Revo music video [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl linked to a while back, because that is pretty great too.

no tea

Nov. 1st, 2010 10:55 pm
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
Tomorrow I will be voting in person for the first time! I've always voted by absentee ballot, so this will be a new experience. I'm excited.

Democracy's pretty awesome, really.

It doesn't hurt that my polling place is sort of near the supermarket. POST-HALLOWEEN CANDY SALES Y/Y?

Meanwhile, I think I will check out the Gormenghast DVD I got from the library, because I think I did that the day after Halloween a few years back and it was pretty great.

I will also be re-watching the TJ & the Revo music video [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl linked to a while back, because that is pretty great too.
timeripple: (attir'd with stars)
Apparently having a job sucks out all my will to flail around on LJ, but last time I managed to compare the Hunger Games trilogy to shoujo manga, and I feel that a little bit of organized crazy goes a long way.

But the job is going okay, mostly, and sometimes funny things happen. And this happened a few weeks ago:

ADORABLY GAY GUY: *buys Clockwork Angel*
ME: Oooh, I read that recently.
ADORABLY GAY GUY: Yeah? How was it?
ME: It’s... well, it’s Cassandra Clare does Victorian London.
ADORABLY GAY GUY: I think I am okay with that!
ME: I think I am also okay with that!
ME: Come back some time! I desperately need people to talk to! Hardly anyone around here will admit to even knowing what fandom is!

I've been really tired lately, and then the night before last I came down with a cold and spent yesterday lying around with a tissue box handy. It wasn't so bad, though, because somehow my lumpy futon and blanket took me back to the last time I was sick, in Kyoto of the wondrous futons. I feel all warm just thinking about it. And today I started reading Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto, and it starts in a traditional inn, and it takes me back there so clearly. The futons. The tiny crunching sounds of the pillows. The yukata. *tears up*

Anyway, you don't need to read about me going all sentimental. I also got lots of drama-watching done, because what else was I going to do stuck in bed all day? I'm almost done with the first season of Merlin and seriously considering giving the Vampire Diaries another shot. I caught up on Sungkyunkwan Scandal, and it is SO GOOD. I really shouldn't frontload my currently-airing list with Monday-Tuesday dramas, though, because now I have to wait the whole rest of the week for my fusion shenanigans and my JOKER fix. *pouts* GIVE ME MY JOKER FINALE, I NEED IT!

And then I completely over-analyzed the ending of Disney's Mulan, just because I could.
timeripple: (attir'd with stars)
Apparently having a job sucks out all my will to flail around on LJ, but last time I managed to compare the Hunger Games trilogy to shoujo manga, and I feel that a little bit of organized crazy goes a long way.

But the job is going okay, mostly, and sometimes funny things happen. And this happened a few weeks ago:

ADORABLY GAY GUY: *buys Clockwork Angel*
ME: Oooh, I read that recently.
ADORABLY GAY GUY: Yeah? How was it?
ME: It’s... well, it’s Cassandra Clare does Victorian London.
ADORABLY GAY GUY: I think I am okay with that!
ME: I think I am also okay with that!
ME: Come back some time! I desperately need people to talk to! Hardly anyone around here will admit to even knowing what fandom is!

I've been really tired lately, and then the night before last I came down with a cold and spent yesterday lying around with a tissue box handy. It wasn't so bad, though, because somehow my lumpy futon and blanket took me back to the last time I was sick, in Kyoto of the wondrous futons. I feel all warm just thinking about it. And today I started reading Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto, and it starts in a traditional inn, and it takes me back there so clearly. The futons. The tiny crunching sounds of the pillows. The yukata. *tears up*

Anyway, you don't need to read about me going all sentimental. I also got lots of drama-watching done, because what else was I going to do stuck in bed all day? I'm almost done with the first season of Merlin and seriously considering giving the Vampire Diaries another shot. I caught up on Sungkyunkwan Scandal, and it is SO GOOD. I really shouldn't frontload my currently-airing list with Monday-Tuesday dramas, though, because now I have to wait the whole rest of the week for my fusion shenanigans and my JOKER fix. *pouts* GIVE ME MY JOKER FINALE, I NEED IT!

And then I completely over-analyzed the ending of Disney's Mulan, just because I could.
timeripple: (i said nothing)
Well well well, once again I have totally failed to post anything in almost two weeks. I've been kind of worn out by work and the weather and things. Last week I met up with some dear friends for a picnic followed by Shakespeare on the Common's production of Othello, which was mostly very good except when it was unintentionally funny. I found Iago a lot cooler than in previous productions. I am tempted to blame this, like so many other things, on kdramas. Or jdramas.

Speaking of things with infuriatingly vague endings, how about that Veronica Mars series finale, eh? I finally finished season 3 and was left gaping. What kind of an ending is that? (P.S. Oh Logan, what are we going to do with you?)

I've been doing a lot of reading lately--Robin McKinley's forthcoming book, Tony DiTerlizzi's novel, and so forth. And what I feel building up in my brain is a rant on evolutionary biology, comma, textual misuse of. Anybody interested?
timeripple: (i said nothing)
Well well well, once again I have totally failed to post anything in almost two weeks. I've been kind of worn out by work and the weather and things. Last week I met up with some dear friends for a picnic followed by Shakespeare on the Common's production of Othello, which was mostly very good except when it was unintentionally funny. I found Iago a lot cooler than in previous productions. I am tempted to blame this, like so many other things, on kdramas. Or jdramas.

Speaking of things with infuriatingly vague endings, how about that Veronica Mars series finale, eh? I finally finished season 3 and was left gaping. What kind of an ending is that? (P.S. Oh Logan, what are we going to do with you?)

I've been doing a lot of reading lately--Robin McKinley's forthcoming book, Tony DiTerlizzi's novel, and so forth. And what I feel building up in my brain is a rant on evolutionary biology, comma, textual misuse of. Anybody interested?
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
Since People (namely [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie) have been bugging me to watch Glee, and I’ve been in an Asian drama slump since Tamra the Island *sob*, I decided to give it a try.

It's pretty addictive, though sometimes plot points get dropped for entire episodes at a time (I guess you can afford to do that when you have more than nine or eleven or sixteen episodes).

guess who my favorite character is. no, guess! )

eta: OH WAIT! As of episode 10, we're back on track with the creepy stalking, and possibly heading into twdrama territory subtext with Finn and Kurt. I feel so much better now!
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
Since People (namely [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie) have been bugging me to watch Glee, and I’ve been in an Asian drama slump since Tamra the Island *sob*, I decided to give it a try.

It's pretty addictive, though sometimes plot points get dropped for entire episodes at a time (I guess you can afford to do that when you have more than nine or eleven or sixteen episodes).

guess who my favorite character is. no, guess! )

eta: OH WAIT! As of episode 10, we're back on track with the creepy stalking, and possibly heading into twdrama territory subtext with Finn and Kurt. I feel so much better now!
timeripple: (nyc summer)
LJ! I did not mean to abandon you for weeks on end while I gallivanted in foreign parts! Honest. It's just that gallivanting around New York and then Washington, DC was so much easier without having a computer along for the ride.

But I'm back now.

fondue. and books. and fondue. and books. but mostly fondue, and ALA Annual )

So now I'm back and slowly getting acclimated to being an employed member of society. [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl has left to celebrate the Fourth with her excellent family, and I'm in something of a jdrama/kdrama slump lately, so I think I'll just sit around and watch Veronica Mars Season 3.

Also, for the record, it turns out you can't live on instant chocolate pudding, actually.
timeripple: (nyc summer)
LJ! I did not mean to abandon you for weeks on end while I gallivanted in foreign parts! Honest. It's just that gallivanting around New York and then Washington, DC was so much easier without having a computer along for the ride.

But I'm back now.

fondue. and books. and fondue. and books. but mostly fondue, and ALA Annual )

So now I'm back and slowly getting acclimated to being an employed member of society. [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl has left to celebrate the Fourth with her excellent family, and I'm in something of a jdrama/kdrama slump lately, so I think I'll just sit around and watch Veronica Mars Season 3.

Also, for the record, it turns out you can't live on instant chocolate pudding, actually.
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
[livejournal.com profile] mousapelli got me a Stuffy Puppy V-Gift! THANK YOU MOUSI! ♥♥♥♥

Drizzly rainy day. Going to bake bread in a bit, I think, and try to compose a poem about why I can’t stand Dr. Seuss.

Let's do this post old-school, where a bunch of stuff happens and I do a diary-style entry!

well we went down the road, got soaked in moonlight )

Apparently April is Poetry Month? So I guess I’d better keep posting poems, then. Here, have a dark rainy day poem I’m thinking of putting in my anthology project:

Like wolf--and black bull or goblin hound,
Or come in guise of spirit
With wings and long wet waving hair
And at the fire its locks will dry,
Which will be a certain sign
That one beneath the roof must die
Before the year’s decline
Forget not now what I have said,
Sit there till we return.
The hearth is hot—watch well the bread
Lest haply it may burn.

(by Charlotte Brontë, found in Victorian Women Poets, ed. Angela Leighton & Margaret Reynolds. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1995. p. 161)

I’d better go get started on that bread, then. And keep a close eye on it.

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