Wednesday, January 22

Jen's deadliest sins

In the world according to me, burning your sister's book is apparently a sin far worse than say … shivving your father with a lightsaber. Okay, not really, but I have to admit, I came close to almost forgiving Kylo Ren by the end of The Rise of Skywalker. I'm not sure why, since I'm generally not a fan of Adam Driver (it's been hard to take him seriously as a villain since I saw him first in Girls). Maybe it was because Rey believed in him? Maybe it was just because Amy is so much worse. She would have never betrayed the Dark Side!

Episode IX was pretty decent, on the whole. There could have been a bit more judicious editing, but they took the story where it needed to go, plus lots of fun bonus crying for every scene with Carrie Fisher. Actually, to be brutally honest, I started crying as soon as the scroll did. I've been watching these movies my whole life, and it's weird finally getting to the end. I mean, sure, there will likely be more movies, because Disney never met a franchise it didn't like, but it won't be the same. And, unlike Little Women, I still like these stories, even as an adult.

Sunday, January 19

Short stack

My stack of book gifts was a bit smaller this year, but I've got a couple gift cards burning a hole in my pocket, so I'm sure it will grow. 

Friday, January 17

Still not over it

I remember really liking Little Women when I was younger. I remember enjoying Christian Bale immensely as Laurie. But I had no desire to see the latest remake because I'm coming to the realization that Little Women is not really a great book. Or at least, I no longer like it. Amy is trash. Jo foolishly turns down Laurie (which I think I would be okay with if she became a spinster author or ended up in a nice Wellesley marriage, but she marries that horrible German professor guy. So gross). And did I mention Amy is the worst? The. Worst. She burns Jo's book. There's no redemption from that, people. I warn you now: If I ever write a book, and you destroy my only copy of it, I will not forgive you. I probably wouldn't forgive you even if it weren't my only copy. And I may cause you serious bodily harm.

Nonetheless, my friend Leigh convinced me to go see it. And sure, it was a lovely adaptation, regardless of whether or not they played with some shit that was not in the book. (Not. In. The. Book.) Sure, I cried my way through most of the second half, because I'm not a monster, and Beth dies, all tragic and beautiful and shit. Timothee Chalamet did a nice job as Laurie, but still … there's something inherently flawed about the story that I can't quite put my finger on. I think the real reason I liked it as a kid was because I was so eager to see depictions of female writers. That's definitely part of the reason behind my love for the Little House series. Also, Manly. Sigh.

Monday, December 16

Just your usual semideranged partiality

When all else fails, read.
"The truth is, my granddad's a pretty biased man. He thinks I'm this astonishing, talented, wonderful person, in spite of all available evidence to the contrary. But that's sort of what love is, I guess. A perpetual state of semideranged partiality."
-- For Real, by Alexis Hall

Thursday, December 12

You just don't understand how funny I am

The scene: Nightime in the Garrett/Hughson house.
Me: Babe, that’s your phone.
JR: Fuck, it’s a page.
[Phone typing ensues. Deep sighs follow. Computer is retrieved from bag and loud typing commences.]
Me: Are you fixing it?
JR: No, I’m providing judgement.
[I begin to cackle helplessly.]
JR: What? No, not like that.
Me: [more laughter]
JR: You’re going to tweet this, aren’t you?
Tweet it and blog it and Facebook it and Instagram it, if I can figure out how. Are there other social media platforms I can join to share this with the world?

Tuesday, December 10

Movies I always stop and watch (Robert Redford edition)

For whatever reason, whenever certain movies cross my screen, I must watch them. Is that Say Anything? I am now busy for the next two hours. Most of my other must-watch list would not be surprising to any reader of this blog (Some Kind of Wonderful, Reality Bites, Gone With the Wind, Working Girl -- the classics, people). But for some reason, I cannot not watch Three Days of the Condor. Is this the best Robert Redford movie ever? No. (Probably The Way We Were wins my vote for acting and Ordinary People for best Redford movie without an actual appearance by Bobby (and also wins as one of the saddest movies I absolutely fucking love). Sure, you bitches are going to be all, "But what about All the President's Men? Or The Sting? Or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? To which I will reply: Babs. And also, have you even seen This Property Is Condemned? And you didn't mention it? Shut it.) The point is this: I have no rational reason for loving Three Days of the Condor, and yet I do. It's eminently watchable. Is it Redford playing an out-of-his-league spy? Faye Dunaway being the weird photographer who is weirdly (not weirdly! Hello, he is Robert. Redford.) drawn to the Condor? I don't know. It just works, people. It just works.

Wednesday, February 6

Thursday, March 1

On writing

I ask myself all the time why I write for a living, because my process goes something like this:

Me: Sweet, I've got the interview all lined up. It's going to be awesome talking to her, she's so smart and talented. Shit, wait, she's so smart and talented, and she's going to think I'm an idiot. My questions are stupid. She's heard these a million times before. Her utter disdain will come arcing across the phone lines, and I will be paralyzed and stuttering with fear. Dammit.

[Interview happens.]

Me: Oh, man, that was awesome. She was so smart and talented, and I'm totally in awe of what she's done and what she's doing. She's killing it.

Me, slightly later: She's killing it, and I am a total loser. I can't write this. I can't do her justice. I'm the worst writer ever to commit words to the page. I should go hide in a cave.

Me, even later: Why am I a writer? I am not a writer, I am a sad, sad example of a human being, just waiting to be exposed as the awful, sorry excuse for a writer that I am.

[Writes the article.]

Me: I think that works! I'm only 200 words long. I am a writer!

[Waits for editorial feedback]

Me: I suck. I will never work again.

[Editorial feedback does not include the words "suck" or "utter embarrassment."]

Me: Slid that one by them!

[Assignment comes in.]

Me: I'd love to write that! It sounds fascinating.

Me, later: Why did I do this again?

Thursday, January 11

I'd rather be reading

While it is true that I'd pretty much always rather be reading, 2017 wasn't the greatest reading year for me. I hit my goal of 65 books, but that's all I did. Not one book over. I read a fair amount of my usual mystery and romance, but added in some young adult books and graphic novels for good measure. I'd say my favorite/best book read last year was The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud.

I'm sticking with 65 as a goal again this year, but I freely admit that I hope to surpass it. I've got a decent stack to start, but I think I'm going to need more books.

Thursday, August 24

Problems of the binge-watching era

Switching between the world of Luke Cage and the world of The Crown is a little strange. And I kind of wish the corgis would show up in Harlem, but that's probably not in the foreseeable future. Plus, I would worry about them getting caught in the crossfire. (In other news, both are great and everyone else has already watched them.)