It is Difficult

 As I’ve said before, I enjoy structure in my pleasure writing – haikus, sonnets, whatever – I find them more fun for the challenge of the structure that is necessary.

I also create poems out of spam, lovingly called my Spam Haikus, which is pretty self-explanatory. Here is something a little different – this one started as a haiku, but there were so many cool words that I wanted to incorporate that I had to make it longer, so it’s more like my other versions of spam haikus.

I do this because I enjoy it, and it gives me a little mental exercise that is lacking in my day-to-day work life. It’s nice to get out and stretch every now and again, isn’t it?

It is difficult –
Your desires are vivid,
Little and ambitious.

Your usual delight
is juicy and simple –
Happy to use
a mass of fact for relaxation.

Better off saying “no”,
Sparing time and dreams
that can require
urgent and difficult
thinking.

Literary Desires

Have you ever had one of those moments in books where you get the overwhelming DESIRE to do something described in what you’re reading? I’m not talking about some food that sounds good (although that totally happens – the Turkish Delight from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? Sounds delicious in the book! In real life, it’s basically just nasty covered in powdered sugar, and I am not the only one who feels this way.)

I’m talking about an itching need to do something you read about – something you would never do in real life, but you can imagine yourself doing it in a past life, and crave the feeling again.

Recently I was reading Dorothy Allison’s Bastard out of Carolina, where she describes a whole family of people who drink and chew tobacco and do all sorts of things that you would expect a family of hillbillies to do, and I got the urge to do something that I have never in my life wanted to do: smoke a cigarette.

The way she describes it, it just sounded so comforting and normal,  like it was something you would naturally do (which is true for a lot of people, I guess). I was shocked at my urge to smoke a cigarette, because I come from not only a family of non-smokers, but a family that is heavy into the medical field (I have a lot of nurses in my family). I know that if I ever started smoking, I would get bombarded with factoids, pictures and other paraphernalia that is used to scare smokers into quitting. It’s never really been an option to me, and even at my most rebellious (which, lets face it, was nowhere near rebellious), I would never have even considered starting to smoke.

To me, it is a sign of an excellent writer that they can spark such natural desire in a reader to do something so uncharacteristic.

Your Song for Today

So, there’s this song that I’ve had the insane urge to listen to on repeat for several hours (and I have. Not for hours, but three or four times in a row). I’ve heard it before, but it never really struck me how beautiful it is until the other day.

The song is Measure the Globe, by Astronautalis, and you can listen to it here to understand its awesome:

If you’ve never heard of Astronautalis, he’s an awesome rapper/folk/rock singer guy, and I highly suggest you check out some of his other stuff (you can see it on YouTube, or buy it on iTunes if you’re really into him.)

The Best Way to Change

I look through my spam inbox frequently, which has resulted in Spam Haikus, a series of haiku poems using only words found in spam emails. It’s challenging and wonderful and makes me feel creative while I sit in a cubicle and stare at HTML text.

But since starting a blog, I’ve come across a new kind of spam. You all know the kind; comments that say things like

spam

and

spam

Well, some of these are strangely lovely, and I’ve decided to use their words (combined throughout the weeks) as part of a poem. All I’ve added is a bit of punctuation, and that’s more for my own sanity than anything else.

Here is is.

wishing for blogging
is not merely for safekeeping –
Luck is more advanced than search engines.

Money and freedom is the best way to change
what is so perfect about modern-day democracy
as well as the marketplace of ideas.

And irrespective,
Your perspective… is the best way to change.
i think it will be helpful.

this method climbs into your current kidney
inflicting indication within just a number –
a fastidious one.

Shiny
really does understand gentle generating looks
Nevertheless, confused.

As strange as it is, I’m awfully fond of this. Although, I sincerely believe that it can be summed up in the last line.

 

I Need to Start My Own Book Club…

Have you ever had one of those moments where you really need to talk to someone about something, but you don’t want to ruin it for them? Like, you already watched the next episode of a TV show, and something awesome happens that you want to discuss at length, but the person you want to talk to about it hasn’t seen that episode, so you just have to bite your lip, sit on your hands, and wait?

Game-Of-Thrones-download

Damn you, George R. R. Martin.

I’m in the middle of that, and it’s going to last for several months, I fear.

I’ve been reading the Game of Thrones series for the past few weeks, along with watching the show on HBO with my man-friend. I’m finally at the third book, which is the part of the story that the show is currently at, so I was racing against the show for a while to read what would happen next before the next episode. I succeeded, but now I wish I hadn’t.

I just read something so big in the book, that I just have to talk to my man-friend about it. Unfortunately, he has just started the series, so he hasn’t read that part yet. Even more unfortunately, the show is done for the season, and they did not do THE BIG THING. This means that I will have to wait for him to read all the way through to this book to talk about it, and until then, I have to keep my trap shut every time he says something kind of related to THE BIG THING.

It’s going to be a long summer.

Books You Should Read When You Graduate

High school, college, grad school, whatever – we generally find ourselves with a lot of extra time once school is not an in-your-face priority anymore. Here are some books to help you unwind a bit and remember why you loved reading in the first place.

In the Wilderness1. In the Wilderness – Kim Barnes

A memoir of a girl growing up in a variety of places (many that include the actual wilderness, such as a logger’s camp), Barnes’ writing is just beautiful – it will make you remember why you loved to read in the first place. And the things that she remembers and the grown-up conversations that she deciphered as a child – amazing.

boy still missing

2. Boy Still Missing – John Searles

I discovered this book in high school, and still like to go back and reread it. The story follows a teenager in the 70’s who befriends his father’s pregnant mistress. Subdued hijinks ensue, along with coming of age things and a hostage situation.

Running-with-scissors3. Running with Scissors – Augusten Burroughs

The first of Augusten Burroughs’ memoirs, Running with Scissors follows his life as a ward of his mother’s psychiatrist and his strange family. The best part of this book is the humorous twist that Burroughs puts on events that would make any other person want to curl up in the bath tub and cry.

4. Mariette in Ecstasy – Ron HansenMariette-in-Ecstasy

An interesting story for religious and non-religious folks alike, this short book follows a young woman who joins a nunnery and develops the stigmata, while the other nuns gossip and deny that she is telling the truth.

Cat's_Eye_book_cover5. Cat’s Eye – Margaret Atwood

A great introduction to Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye follows a young woman as she flies through childhood and grows into adulthood. The beautiful language that Atwood uses makes this book just lovely to read. And no, the title is not about a cat, it’s about a marble (and oh, how literary analysts and professors love to interpret that).

6. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawsonlets pretend

If you ever want to feel better about your own strange childhood, read Jenny Lawson’s first memoir (and then check out her blog, because it’s awesome). From taxidermied animals to sticking your arm inside a cow’s vagina, your life will never be this strange.

macbeth7. Macbeth – William Shakespeare

People complain about Shakespeare being difficult to read and even worse to understand, but I guarantee it’s easier when you’re not being forced. Macbeth is a nice one to read because it is a very interesting story, full of witches and curses and prophecies and killing kings and blood all over the place. Seriously, it could be a modern movie, and everyone who didn’t know it was Shakespeare would love it.

8. House of Leaves – Mark Danielewskileaves

This is definitely not one to read if you are buying a new house, but it’s worth the fears any other time in your life. This book follows a couple who find a strange opening in their home, and keeps even the most ADHD reader in check with spiraling text, footnotes, and lots of other strange stuff.

stand9. The Stand – Stephen King

Stephen King is always great to read, because his stories are so interesting (except for Dreamcatcher. Even King will admit that he wrote that one while on an immense amount of painkillers). This one is post apocalyptic and mysterious, and also became a bad TV miniseries (I do not recommend). It may make the apocalypse seem too real, though, so beware.

10. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twainhuck finn

Yeah, you probably had to read Tom Sawyer in high school, but honestly, I don’t know why that one is more popular. Huckleberry Finn has the better adventures, and more poignant tales than that guy. Check out this one.

bastard11. Bastard out of Carolina – Dorothy Allison

This fictional story is actually based on a lot of things that happened in Dorothy Allison’s life, before she found the courage to speak about her white-trash family in a real sense. If you like her as an author, or just want to experiment with something new, I suggest also reading her memoirs, because they are flavorful and quick reads.

12. Grimm’s Fairy Tales – Brother’s Grimmgrimm2

Everyone should know the original fairy tales – the gruesome, giving birth in your sleep, cutting off your heels kind of stories. Because life is not all fairy tales, and these versions will at least make you feel better about not fitting into your sister’s shoes.

0978038531995_500X50013. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

I know I’ve talked about Outlander before, but I can’t help it – it’s an awesome series. It’s got Scottish people, time travel, true love, and lots of authentic history. Pick it up if you feel that you have an overabundance of time on your hands (like when you’re unemployed and living at home).

14. Invisible Monsters – Chuck Palahniukmonster

In true Palahniuk fashion, Invisible Monsters has a unique story that lets you see the world through someone else’s eyes – In this case, the eyes of a former beauty queen who had the lower half of her face shot off.

princess bride15. The Princess Bride – William Goldman

Yes, it is actually a book. Yes, you should still read it. It’s very similar to the movie, but with some differences that make it worth reading (and just so you know, S. Morganstern is not a real person, even though Goldman talks like he is. Sorry to ruin your dreams).

lestat

16. The Vampire Lestat – Anne Rice

A better option than Interview with the Vampire, this book gives you better insight into the character of Lestat, and lets you love him for who he is, not for how others see him. It’s also far less angsty, and a lot like a memoir.

17. Mortified – David Nadelbergmortified

Graduating generally makes people nostalgic, and this book is a great way to get over that. Basically, Mortified is selected diary entries from people who are grown ups now, but were highly dramatic teenagers in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

Lesson on Life from Doctor Who

Taken from this Doctor Who and the Tardis by Craig Hurle facebook page, this is one of my favorite quotes from Doctor Who ever.

Image

 

I just wanted to share it with the world. You’re welcome.