Over at The Toast, we’re talking about hazy memories of books we read as kids, and crowdsourcing to figure out authors and titles! It’s a lot of fun, and maybe you could help? Here’s my three mystery books:
1. It’s a girl whose mom is dead, and she has, like, a book of leaves that her mom had pressed, and she and her dad move to a new house, and I think her dad marries a new wife with a kid, and the kid destroys the book of leaves.
2. Dystopian underground society, boy is trained from birth to remember strings of numbers, eventually has to, like, use this ability to activate/deactive a weapon? Chilly father figure.
3. This one is NOT Half Magic. It’s a kid who gets sent back to Arthurian times during a field trip, or some such thing, and his mom is too, and she keeps waiting for the cream tea she was promised in the brochure. This one is making me really nuts, so please help.
Reblogging encouraged, because I’m beginning to think I just dreamt up #3.
From "My Female Students Don't Seem As Impressed With Me As They Used To"
HANK: “It’s getting harder and harder to awe these inexperienced female teenagers these days, Smitty.”
SMITTY: “Tell me about it, Hank.”
HANK: “Just yesterday, in one of my intro classes, I used the word ‘problematic’ in a sentence — real casual, just to let them know I’m one of the good guys — and not one of them stayed after the lecture to ask me just what I meant by that or to see if they could borrow the conspicuously dog-eared copy of Pedagogy of the Oppressed I like to leave on my desk in case any female students want to borrow it.”
SMITTY passes the bottle back to HANK.
SMITTY: “Things are bad all over.”
HANK: “You know, it’s very important to me that I be thought of as down.”
HANK: “That copy has my phone number in it. You know, the old ‘write your phone number on the front page of a copy you lend to female students only under the “IF LOST PLEASE RETURN TO” bubble’ gag?”
There’s a big, boring problem in the world of slash pairings, and the answer starts with Mellie/Olivia.
The first of Mallory’s weekly Femslash Friday posts: in which Mellie and Olivia wear tiaras and rock each other’s sexual worlds. Tumblr, make it happen. You know about the gifs and things, right? Next week is already slated for Brienne/Sansa.
Every woman must decide how not to sleep with Jonathan Franzen in her own way. I learned from my grandmother, a wise woman who lived in the forest and only very rarely slept with Jonathan Franzen. She told me once, on a frosty winter night, how best to escape his sexual clutches if I ever encountered him on the path that led to the nearest market town.
“You will know him,” she said, “for he shall be riding on a white steed, and his right hand will bear no glove. When you see him, you must rush at him, and throw your kirtle over him, and hold fast to him, no matter what form he may take as he struggles against you.”
“What forms will he take?” I said. She leaned in close to me and stoked up the fire.
From "The Most English Details of the Upcoming English “Badger Slaughter,” In Order of Englishness"
9. “Meles meles, the European badger, is indigenous to the United Kingdom, lives in an underground labyrinth of tunnels called a sett, and feeds on worms and grubs. There are about 300,000 badgers in England.”
At least 30 of them live in Salamandastron (near Dover), the legendary seat of the Badger Lords and their fighting force of hare-warriors. The Lords of Salamandastron have struck a deal with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and have been promised that their ancestral lands will not be affected by the culling.
"Nobody who was secretly a witch-hunter or a wizard prince or a werepanther or a thousand years old or half-demon took special notice of her, either. Which isn’t to say they disliked her. They just didn’t have much in common. She was a regular sixteen-year-old girl, which meant she spent a lot of time at soccer practice and a little bit of time reading manga and the rest of her time listening to music, and they were really more into esoteric magic shit."
“My last DUI, please Jesus, knock on wood, was in the late summer of 1998. I was driving a white 1968 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, Randy’s “project car” at the time, home from the Dead Mule Social Club of downtown Chapel Hill, where we’d been putting back the Maker’s. Randy himself was sunk in a wordless bubble of booze in the tiger-print covered passenger seat next to me.”
“This is the freedom that I want, too. I want that freedom more than I even want a gun. Which is why I’ll buy a gun. Buying a gun and then never using it isn’t totally “crazy,” as Stevie suggested. People do it all the time. For instance, I still have a driver’s license, left over from my non-blind days (though it’s simpler to just call them my “worrying about peoples’ facial expressions” days), and I don’t drive. Who says I can’t have a gun and not shoot it?”—The Toast’s blind correspondent on why he should have the same right to own a gun you do.
It’s not all just pointing at the horizon and walking next to Africans. Sometimes I sit in a Jeep with no roof as a storm approaches. It’s standing and looking at mountains. It’s sometimes saying how important water is near a magazine reporter. Are you a magazine reporter?
Water is still very important, even if you are not from a magazine. Even in Africa, people like water almost every day.
REPORTER: And the second episode of the first season, which really cemented the show’s popularity, for which you took “The Red-Headed League” as your inspiration…is it true that you scrapped what had been originally planned to run in its stead? A crimson-lit blur of Asian drug smugglers and organized crime which inexplicably represented a significant departure in quality from the rest of the series?
BENEDICT: We spent a LOT of time discussing Orientalism together. We spent an entire weekend in Yorkshire, chastely sharing a crofter’s cottage, making thoughtful and informed creative choices, and decided to fire that writer and write our own script.
REPORTER: So, you were not yet lovers.
BENEDICT AND NICOLE: (staring intently at each other) Not yet, no.
NICOLE: I thought he was pretty freaky-looking for the whole first season, to be honest.
BENEDICT: That’s pretty common, because I have such a weird-looking face and very little muscle tone.
NICOLE: And, of course, I was devoted to the memory of my late husband.
REPORTER: Yes, how long had he been dead at this point?
NICOLE: (firmly) Thirty years.
REPORTER: Such a long time for you to have been devoted to his memory, especially considering you are now only twenty-eight years old yourself.
BENEDICT: Although I was in love with her instantly–helplessly and passionately in love–and texted her constantly to ask about her day or to compliment her on her writing or to share great lines she already knew from 30 Rock, I knew she was so loyal to the memory of her late husband and focused on the show that there was little chance we could be together.
“In the beginning, half a bottle of wine or maybe three beers would get me through the night. Then the whole bottle or the entire six-pack. Finally, I had to have at least two bottles of wine stashed away to feel secure, occasionally dipping into the giant jug of cheap red wine my roommate bought every three months. Once, I hid a large bottle of vodka in the back of the freezer; the fact that it only lasted 3 days filled me with shame. It got me too drunk, too quickly. “Drinking problem” and “alcoholism” were words that I would not even allow to enter my conscious thoughts. Instead, I thought to myself, “you are a bad person.”—Sydney’s story.
Wild Palms came somehow into the world in the post-Twin Peaks days of 1993. It was based on a cyberpunk comic strip serial by Bruce Wagner previously published in Details magazine. It told of a dystopic near-future in Los Angeles where corporate interests have seized power in America and threaten to further control the population via the medium of living hologram, able to invade people’s homes through their televisions. There are guerrillas opposing the Government (the Friends vs the Fathers), an influential television series of dubious repute (‘Church Windows’), a murder, a child star, substances with made-up names, a very transparent stab at Scientology in the ‘Church of Synthiotics’, a terrorist plot and a great deal of recurring dream imagery featuring a pool, a rhino and a woman covered in tattoos of palm trees.
“At times I even thanked my lucky stars for my early-onset blindness – no kidding. Think about it: for starters, you suddenly have an excuse to ignore the uncomfortable looks of the world. People don’t get offended if you don’t remember them from the week before. And after getting over the anxiety of not knowing whether or not you’re accidentally snubbing someone you know, you can conclude that hey, if they didn’t come say hi, they’re probably not right for you anyway, or maybe they were just in a hurry.”—I learned a lot about things from Will Butler’s "In Blind Judgment."
Pip Pip what are you doing right now I’m at work what’s up did you know that my name would have been Mrs. Compeyson if I’d married my fiancé Mr. Compeyson really but I never did marry him right because as you recall I was abandoned on my wedding day by my fiancé (Mr. Compeyson) and have never never never recovered
No, honey, Pound Town is off the 46 out near Buttonwillow. This is Boneville. You need to get back on the 5 and take the onramp east if you want to get to Pound Town. Right past Make-Out Village. Can’t miss it.
Sweet pea, I lived in Boneville all my life. I know the difference between Boneville and Pound Town and I can tell you that you are not in Pound Town right now. It’s all right. Don’t get so upset. I’ve been to Pound Town plenty of times. I’ll help you get back on your way.
But if you’re more retiring and less talented, you may have a particular image in your mind. Mine goes back and forth, but it’s always a duet. I either want to be the chick in “Paradise By the Dashboard Lights” (STFU with your judgment) or, as discussed, Kirsty MacColl in “Fairytale of New York.” I’m sure that means something really significant about my psyche, that I want to be a sidekick and not a soloist, but there we are. It’s how I feel. But what is it, really, about karaoke, that reveals your true self? Are you a diva? A woo-woo girl? Do you harmonize, or do you take it to the next level? Do people clap for your part, or are you bulking out the ensemble?
From Our Column on Brilliant Things People Have Said to You
When asked why, despite the hassle and boredom and resource-suck of parenting, you never really blame your kid for it:
“Does your brain complain when you spend money on your foot?”
Wow. I am very unromantic about parenting, I would say, versus the popular conception of MOTHERING, but this sat me down in its truth. Parenting is a huge pain in the ass, and on the worst day, you might say, wtf am I doing this for? but, truthfully, it’s never occured to me to be annoyed at my daughter about it. Because she’s my foot. If my foot needed bunion surgery, it wouldn’t be something to get mad about, other than to an unhelpful insurance representative. She’s part of my body. If I didn’t look after her, my body would suffer. That’s it. That’s parenting, for me. It’s selfish. Your child is like your foot. It’s not even some mystical perfect love you might or might not feel: your child is an extension of your physical body.
Imagine a world without espresso-based drinks and desserts. How would white dudes even describe women’s skin? They would stumble about openmouthed and speechless, unable to cobble together even the simplest of metaphors.
Instead of skin like mocha: “Her skin was like the largest organ in her body, like the soft outer covering found on all vertebrates that protects them from pathogens and water loss, as well as providing insulation, temperature regulation, sensation, and the production of Vitamin D folates.”
"The rest of us LOVE it when they go off Hengeing. It’s fucking amazing. The altar-stone is finally free, so we can sacrifice whenever we want. Literally anything. We call it Stonehengeötterdämmerung, we get so excited when they finally leave town and give us a week’s peace. The Circle of Gathering is fucking deserted. You don’t even need reservations. It’s incredible. Last year I went just to sit and enjoy the silence; I didn’t even have any ancestors I wanted the sibyl to awaken for me. I chatted for a while with Skethral the Mutilated, but we didn’t really talk about anything in particular. Just because we could, you know?"
Game of Thrones: Cersei and Sansa ride horses and confer authoritatively with their quartermasters, while back at King’s Landing Jaime and Tyrion get drunk and undermine each other sexually. Later that night, Sansa climbs into Joffrey’s bedchambers and whispers horrific threats into his ears, promising to personally slice off his nipples and eat them in front of him unless he marries Margaery Tyrell. North of the Wall, Sam and the rest of the Night’s Watchman discover an ancient and ramshackle cabin full of incredibly vicious pregnant virgins. Walder Frey is once again bullied by his numerous wives and daughters into putting on a Spring Fling ball for the entire Riverrun region, where Brienne of Tarth is voted Queen of the Fling. Tywin Lannister leaves early and cries in an alley after overhearing two bodyguards calling him “the ugliest man…at the dance.”