Book 1: A Visit From the Goon Squad

Title: A Visit From the Goon Squad

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Author: Jennifer Egan
Publisher: Knopf (Random House)
Number of pages: 274
When and where read: March 2014 on my Kindle app at work
Ratings (scale of 1-10, 10 being THE BEST)
Quality of writing-9
Pace-9
Characters-10
Insight-9
Overall-9

Notes and opinions: This book had GORGEOUS writing. The chapters skip between characters, and all the characters are connected in some way. This could have easily come off really gimmicky and distracting, but I loved it. The book captures beautifully what getting old is like, and all the regrets and challenges that go along with time passing. It also passes back and forth through time,  and there is a lot of insight about how technology changes us and the aging process. Big fan of this book.

Up next: Zombies vs. Unicorns

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I am (tentatively) back again. Again.

Y’all, I have been seriously, seriously busy. I have very little time to do anything for myself these days, and so, inspired by a friend (her blog can be found here), I have decided to read as many books as there are weeks left in the year. That sounds awfully ambitious of me, especially with my schedule, but I find that reading is one of the things I get the most enjoyment out of. Plus, it requires very little effort on my part, which is a huge tick in the positives column for me these days. So, that means I will be aiming to read 40 books for the rest of this year. This week I am reading A Visit From the Goon Squad. I will do my best to post my reactions here as I am reading. Which means, for the foreseeable future, this will be a sort of book review blog. Stay tuned though, maybe I’ll get some of my mojo back and start posting other things. 

I’m baaaaaack

I have missed my little blog! I was busy getting hitched, and then sending my husband back to his home land, and then going to Vegas because I got married on my 21st and then going to Utah to hang out with some rad people. Here are photos of some of those things:

We clean up pretty good.

This is really the only picture we took in Vegas.

 

A nice group shot from Utah.

Anywho, since Peter and I didn’t get legally married, since that would screw up our whole visa thing for when I move to Australia, I was thinking that we should probably sign a pre-nup before it’s too late. I mean, I won’t actually be able to have him sign it, but putting it on the internet is basically the same right? I’m not really sure what all a pre-nup usually entails, so I’m just doing my best to cover all my bases.

1. Peter must stop accusing Emily of being a “bed hog.” She is only small, how much room can she really take up?

2. Peter must stop teasing Emily about being American, but can’t be annoyed when she teases him about talking funny. Her thing can’t be helped, whereas he is clearly being difficult on purpose.

3. Emily must be kept in constant supply of Tim Tams and whatever that cheese from New Zealand is.

4. Peter must accept all kisses from Emily, even if she has been drinking pickle juice.

5. In the event of a divorce, NO DIVORCE.

6, In the event of infants, Peter must help clean up vomit and poop and whatever other nightmare fuel babies produce, even if it makes him gag.

7. All spiders and bits of lint Emily thinks are spiders are to be exterminated immediately.

8. Peter must continue to think it is cute when Emily spills food in the bed and combines things like cake with milk or pickles with peanut butter.

9.  A bed time story must be told on a regular basis, and Emily has to pick out the characters.

10. Peter has to let Emily jump on his organs each morning without complaint.

I think that should do it. I reserve the right to make changes and additions at any point.

I’m not a lawyer or anything, but that’s probably legally binding, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t think I’m Latina enough, guys

At the store the other day, I discovered that Cosmo now has a “Cosmo for Latinas” version of their terrible pile of glossy shit.

I bought it, because I like to get angry, and discovered that Cosmo is doing its very best to make all types of women hate themselves! I made a list of things that made me want to punch people in the taint.

1. Pretty much all the models in all of the advertisements were white. Even the ones in ads that were written in Spanish.

2. ALL THE ADS WERE WRITTEN IN SPANISH.

3. There is an article about what to do when people say you’re not “Latina Enough” for not speaking Spanish, and yet half the damn magazine is in Spanish.

4. Whenever a Spanish word is used by Cosmo, it is italicized, as if to say, “Look! We’re Latina enough! We know Spanish words! That’s what makes us a magazine for Latinas!”

5.  The same useless, sexist nonsense in normal Cosmo is here too, except with a dash of racist stereotypes thrown in. For example, the standard “be more assertive at work” article is there, but it flat out says that Latina women are often martyrs, so they just need to quit that and they will get a promotion. The phrase “mejicana pleaser syndrome” is used. Gross.

6. There was a whole section glorifying/erotisicing cheating on your partner.

7. I don’t think I read the word “woman” once. It was always “mujeres.” I mean, it’s technically the same thing, it just seemed like they were trying too hard to relate to actual Latina women.

8. They abbreviate as CFL, which also what Chick-fil-a abbreviates to.

It wasn’t all bad though.

I found my new life motto.

“The world is your taco.”

You can’t solve mental health issues with fruit, I promise.

I was going to write a whole well thought out post about this, but thinking about it made me froth with rage, so I will just post the conversation Peter and I had after I read a comment someone made about exercise being a better treatment for depression than medication is.

[6/21/2013 1:26:26 AM] Peter: hmmm that’s not really helpful. When you’re all depressed and shit the last thing you want to do is get up and run 4 miles
[6/21/2013 1:26:59 AM] Emily: Even if you did, the rush of hormones you get from exercise is not even nearly consistent enough to battle a major depression. It might help for a bit, and it’s awesome to add on top of medication or counseling or both, but just going out and getting your jog on is not going to fix your shit
[6/21/2013 1:31:22 AM] Peter: Yeah. Though I fucking hated that medicine
[6/21/2013 1:31:50 AM] Emily: I think if you needed to stay on it, trying a different brand would have been helpful. There’s tons of different medications, and they all react to bodies differently. OR ongoing counseling could have been a good option. I just really don’t think “exercise is a better medicine than medicine” is a sentence that anyone should ever be stupid enough to think. The next person that tells me their miracle treatment for a mental disorder is going to get punched in the head so hard, they explode.The other day, I saw something about “Cure your anxiety with watermelon!” WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT? All these years I have been bursting into tears at the thought of spending time with people, I could have just been fucking eating watermelon.

 

Maybe sometime I will be rational enough to talk about this in a more coherent way, but for right now, that sums up my feelings nicely.

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Don’t you feel less anxious already?

Things I Need to Do Before Peter Gets Here

He’ll be here in two weeks, so:

1. Thread my eyebrows. I am starting to look a lot like a wolverine is napping on my face.

2. Clean my room. There really isn’t room to swing a cat in here, let alone store my surly man friend.

3. Vajazzle. (Just kidding.)

4. Stock up on beverages, and then invent some kind of machine to make them colder than freezing, but also still liquid. Peter is quite picky about temperatures, and I don’t think he’ll ever be happy until he gets frostbite on his tongue from a drink.

5. Build a blanket fort and then tear it down, just to get it out of my system.

6. Practice my pouncing skills, so that I can wake him up with my patented Organ Smash. I like to pounce on him while he is asleep, and then crush him and yell, “HAPPY MORNING!” until he whimpers, “Ow, my organs!”

7. Come up with a list of animals for Peter to tell me bedtime stories about. Unlikely animal friendships are my favorite, and he is quite good at the story telling, but not great at choosing the right animals.

I should also probably finish planning our wedding and junk, but animal stories are way more important.

I mean, at least I wasn’t kidnapped…

I was going to write a post today about my vacation, and I’ll get to that eventually, but then I stumbled across something on the internet that mentioned Boolean operators, and it triggered a memory that I decided I wanted to write about. It’s all a little fuzzy, because it was so long ago, but I remember all the alarming parts.

When I was about 12 or 13, my friend Alex and I were going for a walk in her neighborhood. She lived in a kind of sketchy part of town, and it wasn’t out of place to see chickens and goats in people’s yards in that area. Alex is a HUGE animal lover, and so we saw a dog hanging out by the fence, and she went over to pet it. The dog was ginormous but very friendly, and we spent a good amount of time palling around with it.

Out of nowhere, this wild-eyed mountain man comes crashing out of his house to check on his dog, since he could hear us talking to her. We apologized and he was kind about it, and we were going to be on our merry way, when he decided to tell us his life story.

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Like this, but beardier.

He told us all about how he was a product of incest, so he had a dad-uncle and a mom-aunt, and that he was deaf in one ear because his dad used to make him shoot guns without any kind of earplugs and he also seemed to think his father was a moonshine smuggler. Alex was being very polite at this point, but I couldn’t do anything but stare in wide eyed horror.

Then, the Boolean algebra came in. You see, it turns out, this man thought he invented it. I think he tried to explain it to me, but I was a baby and I’ve always been bad at math, and it is possible that he was explaining the mathematical equivalent of Calvinball to me anyway. He then claimed that there was a supercomputer that he should be getting credit for, but somebody stole his idea, which is how he came to live in a run down house in New Mexico, with a giant dog, and nothing to do but chat up preteen girls.

There are many many lessons in that story, but I think the main one is probably don’t have sex with your siblings, but if you do, maybe you’ll accidentally invent computers.

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This sums the whole thing up, really.