12 December 2007

my two geeks...

so my literature geek and my tech geek both sqeeeeed a little when i saw this article about the One Laptop Per Child program and UNICEF teaming up to create a database of oral tradition stories, so as to preserve them... yay for the preservation of culture!

here is the stories database...

03 December 2007

a holiday list...

tacky or not, the holiday wish list is making an appearance - it is by no means a complete list of my desires, and if you feel inspired to get me something not on here, feel free... and if you don't want to give me anything at all that is fine, too... but several people have asked what i want, so here it is in all of its greedy glory...

fun, writer-type stuff:
anything from here, cause they are fun: http://www.ninthmoon.com

kitchen stuff:
le creuset cookware
a digital kitchen thermometer
a mandolin slicer - talk to squid first, though cause she said she might =)

and the ubiquitous book category:
Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich
Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Restaurant Reviews, Articles, Memoir, Fiction and More by Dianne Jacob
The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller
More Great Good Dairy-free Desserts by Fran Costigan
Rejection, Romance and Royalties: The Wacky World of a Working Writer By Laura Resnick
any of the Andrew Lang Fairy Books
this category could go on indefinitely, so i am stopping...

that is more than enough greediness for the year... and really i don't need presents from anyone, but honestly, who doesn't like presents...

my nod to the commercialism of the season has been fulfilled...

30 November 2007

mfa, anyone?

wow ... some bright future prospects with a my degree (kinda - i will have an MA not an MFA - not sure what difference that one letter makes in this case, though)


24 November 2007

politics and literature...

in a publicity-hounding world it is really not that much of a stretch to combine book tours with campaigns, and what a prolific bunch of candidates we have... if you are unfamiliar with the literary politicos, Salon has reviewed the candidates' books
here... some i have seen some i had not heard of... will this supposedly candid look at their lives and their views (the books are all "non-fiction") give you a better insight during the 2008 election, or does it just drive home the lack of good options? by the way, Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You) was not reviewed... =(

14 November 2007

a matter of heart...

so this is a subject that is close to my heart on many levels... it just plain rocks...
Suzanne Brockmann, a bestselling author of romance novels, is donating all the profits of her latest book, All Through The Night, which was released on 30 October, to MassEquality... you can read more about it here... as a note for all my gay friends, who may not normally be interested in such a book, it features a gay wedding, possibly a first for mainstream romance and all the profits go to a great cause...

i have not yet read the book, but i plan on it... and i am going to buy it first, not something i generally do with new authors, as the public library system here rocks... but is supports such a good cause and, well, i love romance, so...

05 November 2007


National Novel Writing Month... read about it here... and then go write...

02 November 2007

referals... reading rules my life...

my life has been subsumed by grad school so here are some other cool places to go read stuff... cause i am not posting here...

cute overload

ironic sans
suicide food
the sneeze

they are in no particular order, but they are all fascinating to me for one reason or another ...
they are all found on PC Magainze's Our Favorite 100 Blogs 2007 though i had seen some of them before...

16 October 2007

so i had to share...

some of you have already seen this i am sure, but it came up again recently in a paper i am writing on conduct books from the middle ages because the similarity really struck me...

from 1406... "She will be overjoyed to see him, and when she is with him she will try hard to say everything that ought to please him, and she will keep a happy expression on her face."

from 1953...
(click to see all of the detail)

eerily similar, no? one might think no progress had been made at all...

15 October 2007

06 October 2007

banned book week - the closer...

so this is the end of banned books week and i thought that i couldn't let it pass without saying something, so...

U.S Airport Screeners Are Watching What You Read
"They are noting people's race and they are writing down what people read"
"The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment."

really the whole article is about the censorship of travel... soon they will decide when and where you are allowed to go... the loss of personal freedom is huge, and when you start with small things like what people are reading and what they are allowed to read - it very quickly leads to bigger things... "Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings."- Heinrich Heine

some links in the fight against censorship...
Delete Censorship
The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000

Banned Book T-shirts
The Forbidden Library
Controversial & Banned Books
some more quotes on censorship...

"Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education."
-- Alfred Whitney Griswold, Essays on Education

"If the human body's obscene, complain to the manufacturer, not me."
-- Larry Flynt

"Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance."
-- Lyndon Baines Johnson, February 11, 1964

and my personal favorite...

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Who will watch the watchers?"
-- Juvenal

so, go read a banned book...

05 October 2007

some funny craziness...

Arabian Formula- a crazy cross cultural marketing incident

Vulva Perfume (NSFW) - this one may have been visited by the flock before- but still vastly disturbing with a bit of amusement thrown in for good measure - what is new to this community is the smell test - now you can find out what men really think of the scent of a woman...

i was gonna find more, but i guess this is enough crazy for today...

enjoy =)

24 September 2007

Harvest Home...

today is the autumnal equinox, the first day of fall astrologically (though if you live in wyoming you have probably noticed the chill in the air before today), second harvest festival and, in contemporary america, Mabon... it is a day of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and the gifts in our lives... considered a time of balance, as the day and the night are equal on this holiday, it is when we stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, studying for tests, or just dealing with the craziness that is everyday life... as with all pagan holidays, it reflects the cycles of nature and personal relationship with the world around us - and on this day we contemplate the seeds we have planted in our lives and see how they are coming to fruition...

20 September 2007


so - i am at times internet retarded, and i mean that in the traditional sense of the word, not the un-PC sense... i am a little slow... along with the five questions i posted, i was supposed to say that if you want to play the game, let me know in the comments and i will make five questions for you... so, if you want to play, let me know in the comments and i will make five questions for you =)

15 September 2007

Five Questions...

1. What is your favorite recipe to make?
biscuits or bread, doughy baked goods, really anything that i get to kneed - there is something so primal and connective in really digging into the creation your food like that...

2. Excellent post on Kitchen Witchery by you. What would you say to someone interested in following a such a path?
research... meditate... know yourself... know your world... know the history of the path... don't be fluffy... blessed be...

3. You are given a year to perfect your skills and knowledge in one cuisine that you are not fluent in, of your choice. Which would you pick, and why?
that is tough, i have so much to learn and there are so many places that cook beautifully, which i am only minimally familiar with - France, Eastern Europe, Iran, Brazil, the many provinces of China... but i think i would go with Thai - it is so completely fabulous and i love the balance of it - spicy/sweet/savory/sour - the delicacy and skill involved in balancing flavors like that is amazing...

4. Define "assmuppet."
that is one of those terms which actual definition is very contextual - it is a term used to refer to an individual who has someone else's hand controlling them, via their anus; however it can be used to refer to someone who is controlled in that manner by an institution, ideal, or other general stupidity, as well... i could put a name here, but you all know who he is anyway...

5. A biscuit traveling at 9.8 meters / second flies off the cookie sheet 2 feet away from the oven door, and 4 feet away from the kitchen table. It lands on page 734 of the Norton Anthology of English Literature, smearing butter into the pages. What velocity has it hit the book, and more importantly what bribery will it take for you to ship some biscuits across country?
as the Norton was on the counter, that is impossible to calculate with the given information, however, i would guess that it has hit with a velocity of "oh s**t..." unless the Norton was open to
Aphra Behn, in which case the velocity was "thank the goddess"... as to bribery, i am so above that =) ... besides, biscuits are better fresh anyway... when are you coming to laramie?

10 September 2007

i have been having a bad blog week... i'll think, "i should blog..." so i open up my post and proceed to go completely blank... it's not as though nothing has happened in my life, i just can't imagine the happenings of my grad class, and my increasing fascination with victorian prose styles, and the latest paranormal romance novel as being of that much interest to anyone but me... so that leaves me with the dilemma of what to blog about... so, the cop-out of bloggers everywhere... ooooh, shiny...

29 August 2007


i may not have had to buy any books for the class, but this is how my grad seminar started...
That emelye, that fairer was to sene
Than is the lylie upon his stalke grene,

And fressher than the may with floures newe --

For with the rose colour stroof hire hewe,

I noot which was the fyner of hem two --

Er it were day, as was hir wone to do,

She was
arisen and al redy dight;
For may wole have no slogardie a-nyght.

The sesoun priketh every gentil herte,

And maketh hym out of his slep to sterte,

And seith arys, and do thyn
This maked emelye have remembraunce

To doon honour to may, and for to ryse.

Yclothed was she fressh, for to devyse:
Hir yelow heer was broyded in a tresse
Bihynde hir bak, a yerde long, I gesse.
And in the gardyn, at the sonne upriste,

She walketh up and doun, and as hire liste

She gadereth floures, party white and rede,
To make a subtil gerland for hire hede;

And as an aungel hevenysshly she
i enjoy middle english, but as a grad student i am going to have to read a lot more closely than i did as an undergrad... so if you wonder what i am up to there is a good chance it is this... or this...

The condition of England, on which many pamphlets are now in the course of publication, and many thoughts unpublished are going on in every reflective head, is justly regarded as one of the most ominous, and withal one of the strangest, ever seen in this world. England is full of wealth, of multifarious produce,supply for human want in every kind; yet England is dying of inanition. With unabated bounty the land of England blooms and grows; waving with yellow harvests; thick-studded with workshops, industrial implements, with fifteen millions of workers, understood to be the strongest, the cunningest and the willingest our Earth ever had; these men are here; the work they have done, the fruit they have realised is here, abundant, exuberant on every hand of us: and behold, some baleful fiat as of Enchantment has gone forth, saying, "Touch it not, ye workers, ye master-workers, ye master-idlers; none of you can touch it, no man of you shall be the better for it; this is enchanted fruit!" On the poor workers such fiat falls first, in its rudest shape; but on the rich masterworkers too it falls; neither can the rich master-idlers, nor any richest or highest man escape, but all are like to be brought low with it, and made 'poor' enough, in the money-sense or a far fataller one. ~Thomas Carlyle
happy reading to all you students, except for art students who have no reading, and thus suck ... =)

23 August 2007

read much?

so i got my books for my classes, those that are available, and while i am still excited to start grad school i am having a bit of an oh-my-good-goddess moment... these are the books for one of my two classes, not counting the additional reading i will have to do for my research project that makes it so i get grad credit for the class...

Apologia Pro Vita Sua by Cardnial John Henry Newman
Autobiography Of John Stuart Mill
The Carlyle Reader

Culture & Anarchy by Matthew Arnold

Father & Son by Edmund Gosse

The Genius Of John Ruskin
Parallel Lives by Phyllis Rose

Past & Present by Thomas Carlyle

Victorian People & Ideas by Richard Altick

this is also not counting the reading i will need to do for my shakespeare/chaucer class, because the teacher(s) have not ordered any books from the bookstore...

still excited, but wow, that is a lot of reading... most of it i will enjoy, but still, wow...

16 August 2007

As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it. ~ Albert Einstein

02 August 2007

some odd facts...

so here are some oddball body facts... don't know if they are in fact true, but they are fascinating... strangely fascinating...
-A full bladder is roughly the size of a soft ball.

- Approximately 75% of human feces is made of water.

- It takes the food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.

- One human hair can support 3kg.

- Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.

- The attachment of human muscles to skin is what causes dimples.

-Your thumb is the same length of your nose.

- A woman's heart beats faster than a man's.

- If the average male never shaved, his beard would be 13 feet long when he died.

- Men without hair on their chests are more likely to get cirrhosis of the liver than men with hair.

- There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.

- Side by side, 2000 cells from the human body could cover about one square inch.

- Women blink twice as much as men.

- The average person's skin weighs twice as much as their brain.

- When you are looking at someone you love, your pupils dilate, they do the same when you are looking at someone you hate.

- It takes twice as long to lose new muscle if you stop working out than it did to gain it.

- You're ears secrete more earwax when you are afraid than when you aren't.

- Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.

- If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.

- The average woman is 5 inches shorter than the average man.

You checked out the length of your thumb.. Didn't ya?


Lughnasadh (August 1) is the time of the first harvest, when the seeds of spring give up their fruits and seeds for us, to feed us through this year and to continue the cycle of life into the future. the feast has many names - Lughnasadh, Lammas, Feast of Bread, Harvest Home, Feast of First Fruits, Loaf-mass... whatever it is called, it is a celebration of the bounty of summer, a thanksgiving for the blessings in our lives, the food on our table... it is a feast celebrated by Christians and pagans alike ... it is a recognition of the passing of summer and the need for death to bring new life... it is the smell of sun-ripened peaches and the explosion of sweetness as you bite into fresh corn... may you never go hungry on this or any day and may we all be brought to greater awareness of the blessings in our lives

Blessed Be...

28 July 2007


some of you may have noticed among my links Booksquare, the premise behind which is"Dissecting the publishing industry with love and skepticism." something i really enjoy and, as a lit geek, i find vastly interesting ... in a recent post they discuss andrew keen and his book, The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy or The Cult of the Amateur: How the Democratization of the Digital World is Assaulting Our Economy, Our Culture, and Our Values (depending on the citation or the country in which it was released). Booksquare's take on his book is yet another reason i really enjoy their site... um, pretentious title aside... is our culture dead? how is the internet responsible for the entirety of economics - rather than say, a decent domestic affairs policy (reaganomics didn't work the first time people!)? and why is it that he feels qualified to discount a huge portion of society and its creative expression by naming them amateurs... i have not read the book(nor will i as stupidity generally makes me want to tear my hair out, and i don't look good bald), and while i will admit the internet has content that i find useless, i do not blame it for the demise of a culture (not convinced that the culture is dead)... the arrogance and elitism inherent here really make me a bit crazy... do they give egos their own time zones? it may be needed here...

06 July 2007

laramie, finally... kinda

so i am back in laramie now... and very pleased to be here... mark and i have a place in riverton and flock hall 2.0 to is starting to come together, though we do have kitchen paraphernalia scattered throughout the living room still... i am settling in quite nicely... until tomorrow, when it is back to elko to sell our car and grab the last of our stuff... then next week a visit home to the family... then back to laramie for laundry... then off to arizona to visit mandyland =) ... all of this i am really excited about, but it will be nice to be able to settle in for a stay that is longer than a week at a time... maybe unpack the rest of my boxes... but the brunt of the moving is over and i must say that it is a relief and i hope that we can stay put for a bit, cause i really hate moving... travel is great, but moving sucks... it's nice to be home

12 June 2007

i am a foodie...

my heroes are people like MFK Fisher, James Beard, Ina Garten, Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain, Giada De Laurentiis. chefs and cooks, authors and entertainers, very different personalities with one thing in common – a deep love of food and its creation… aside from romance novels, one thing that i will always be excited to read is food writing, be it memoir, cookbook or restaurant review… a recent article linked off of Brendon’s blog made mention of a few things that made me wonder about the term foodie (this is a tangent, not a statement about whether wine or beer is better – i say, if they are good, give me both)… it spoke of “the rise of pastoral chic” – as though a return to local, sustainable food sources and a lack of chemicals in our food was, at best, a marketing ploy, if not a figment of the collective imagination. i have to say that i disagree with that thought… while it may not be a mainstream truth in America, it is a growing desire to have good, natural food – if this were not true, the marketing wouldn’t work… the rise in this trend was not brought about by hippies, but by foodies (though a lot of foodies are hippies at heart, just as many are irresponsible over-consumers, as well). and while the health benefits were considered, the main goal behind the call for fresh and chemical-free was, and is, taste – fresh food tastes better and a reliance on local availability calls for a greater creativity, because you have to work with what is there. i do think that this rise in popularity of fresh, organic food has brought about a support of farmers who may have otherwise not been able to maintain business, but i don’t think that the majority of the consumers with a desire for these products went out and bought a farm… they did not even follow the example of the early 19th century poets speaking out against the industrial world in which they lived, and extol the virtues of a pastoral life… they mostly just want their food... like me - mostly, i just want my food... but after watching the way in which food affected my mother’s cancer fight, am also way more concerned about things like antioxidants and vitamin content… lucky for me the taste goes well with the health benefits =)

yay for food!

10 June 2007


i don't know why i have been thinking about getting older so much recently, maybe the frequency of birthdays in my vicinity maybe just random... anyway, when i think of getting old, i think of this poem...

When I Am Old.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me,
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals,
and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired,
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells,
And run my stick along the public railings,
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens,
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat,
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go,
Or only bread and pickle for a week,
And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats
and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
And pay our rent and not swear in the street,
And set a good example for the children.
We will have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me
are not too shocked and surprised,
When suddenly I am old
and start to wear purple!
Jenny Joseph

05 June 2007


Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?

In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird.
Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I
think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes out?"

Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken there? I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta its butt."

Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet

Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii (or Alaska for that matter)?

I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned
that most people die of natural causes.

Garden Rule: When weeding, the best way to make sure
you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

31 May 2007

chaos theory

complex systems are so fascinating... recently, in a book i was reading, a character's not-too-successful pick-up line was chaos theory - the girl was the strange attractor that was disrupting the stability of his system, and he was forced to move towards her - while it may not be the greatest pick-up line, it does in fact speak very aptly to inter-personal relationships, very non-linear dynamical systems... the strange attractor is never the same twice, but is always within a certain range... people act certain ways but never exactly the same as the time before... and then there is the butterfly effect (not the bad movie)...

"The 'Butterfly Effect', or more technically the 'sensitive dependence on initial conditions,' is the essence of chaos." ... but there are patterns within that chaos...

i totally believe that everything is connected - i always have - but it completely fascinates me that a down stroke of a butterfly's wing can cause a hurricane 10 years later on the other side of the planet ... it makes one re-evaluate ones actions a bit, knowing the immense, chaotic effect they could have...

27 May 2007

summer reading...

While we are on the subject of reading i thought i would talk a bit about summer reading... it is that time of year after all... and as i know there are foodies in the small readership that i have here, i thought i would start with a food book... Two for the Road by Jane & Michael Stern is a memoir with a fun look at travel and american food, including: shopping for souvenirs in maximum security prison gift shops ... enrolling in bull-riding school taught by a rodeo champ ... feeling no pain in the drinkingest bar in the West ... ceremonial burial of pants that suddenly don't fit any more ... trying to dispose of the foulest food in the history of travel ... and much more...

If you are looking for something a little more serious
, try God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens... i have not read it, but i plan on getting a copy as soon as the publisher reprints it - it is so popular that the first printing has sold out...

And for those of you who know me, you know that no summer reading list would be complete without a little romance... Nora Roberts' new full-length hardcover, High Noon, comes out July 10th and i can hardly wait... just 'cause i own all her books does not mean i am obsessed, just loyal...

What will you be reading this summer?

17 May 2007

advice to those who live with book lovers...

It is our belief that bookworms are born, not made. You know who we mean. The kid who sneaks in a paragraph when Mom’s back is turned. The child who devises an elaborate under-the-covers flashlight system because when it comes to sleep versus finishing a chapter, well, sleep isn’t all that important. The one who, despite her parents’ vehement arguments to the contrary, believes that reading outside is playing.

True bookworms are rare. If you are unfortunate enough to live with one, we’re sorry. All we can do is assure you that there’s nothing that can be done. There is no twelve-step program to cure reading addiction. You can try to take away the books. It’s a waste of your time and energy, but we won’t stop your fruitless endeavor. You’ll learn. Those stacks of books are a book lover’s security blanket. They are important. (Booksquare)

so you see there is really no advice to be had, just acceptance... love us for who we are =)

04 May 2007

in other news...

so a bit of an update on the grad school front - i have been awarded a full time tuition waiver - this award will make grad school about 90% less stressful as i will not be constantly worried about money, or at least not as worried about money anyway...

on the literature front i have become re-enamored with the snarkiness that is Anthony Bourdain - currently i am loving the nasty bits, a delightfully jaded look at life, travel and food - three of my best things - his voice is fabulous and, well, snarky, and as those who know me will attest, snark is also one of my best things - it is the perfect book for me =)

15 March 2007

Grad School

I am going to grad school... while i am only on the alternate list for assistantships, i did get accepted... so i talked to jim and i will be working in the computer labs at least to start with... though i would love to get a benefited job... we'll see what happens... so this summer i will be moving again... bleh... oh well the end result is i am back in laramie and furthering my education, which will lead to exciting things like higher pay scale and more marketability... but mostly i am just excited to read and chat about lit again, and see my sisters on a regular basis... juggling mark's jobs in nevada and resulting living arrangements might be interesting, but it's what we planned to do if i had gone last fall, and this way we have had a chance to make it all a little more affordable, economically and emotionally... so it's back to school for me...

08 March 2007

pink ...

so i was catching up on my blog reading and one of my favorite authors, Jenny Crusie, had responded to a new york times op/ed piece by Maureen Dowd... not wanting to be onesided, i had to go find the peice and read it...

Heels Over Hemingway
By Maureen Dowd
The New York Times

I was cruising through Borders, looking for a copy of “Nostromo.”

Suddenly I was swimming in pink. I turned frantically from display table to display table, but I couldn’t find a novel without a pink cover. I was accosted by a sisterhood of cartoon women, sexy string beans in minis and stilettos, fashionably dashing about book covers with the requisite urban props — lattes, books, purses, shopping bags, guns and, most critically, a diamond ring.

Was it a Valentine’s Day special?

No, I realized with growing alarm, chick lit was no longer a niche. It had staged a coup of the literature shelves. Hot babes had shimmied into the grizzled old boys’ club, the land of Conrad, Faulkner and Maugham. The store was possessed with the devil spawn of “The Devil Wears Prada.” The blood-red high heel ending in a devil’s pitchfork on the cover of the Lauren Weisberger best seller might as well be driving a stake through the heart of the classics.

I even found Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” with chick-lit pretty-in-pink lettering.

“Penis lit versus Venus lit,” said my friend Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, who was with me. “An unacceptable choice.”

“Looking for Mr. Goodbunny” by Kathleen O’Reilly sits atop George Orwell’s “1984.” “Mine Are Spectacular!” by Janice Kaplan and Lynn Schnurnberger hovers over “Ulysses.” Sophie Kinsella’s “Shopaholic” series cuddles up to Rudyard Kipling.

Even Will Shakespeare is buffeted by rampaging 30-year-old heroines, each one frantically trying to get their guy or figure out if he’s the right guy, or if he meant what he said, or if he should be with them instead of their BFF or cousin, or if he’ll come back, or if she’ll end up stuck home alone eating Häagen-Dazs and watching “CSI” and “Sex and the City” reruns.

Trying to keep up with soap-opera modernity, “Romeo and Juliet” has been reissued with a perky pink cover.

There are subsections of chick lit: black chick lit (“Diva Diaries”), Bollywood chick lit (“Salaam, Paris”), Jewish chick lit (“The J.A.P. Chronicles” and “The Matzo Ball Heiress”) and assistant lit, which has its own subsection of Hollywood-assistant lit (“The Second Assistant”), mystery lit (“Sex, Murder and a Double Latte”), shopping lit (“Retail Therapy”), the self-loathing genre (“This Is Not Chick Lit”) and Brit chick lit (“Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging”).

The narrator of that last, Georgia, begins with a note to her readers: “Hello, American-type chums! (Perhaps you say ‘Howdy’ in America — I don’t know — but then I’m not really sure where Tibet is either, or my lipstick.) ... I hope you like my diary and don’t hold it against me that my great-great-great-grandparents colonized you. (Not just the two of them. ...).”

Giving the books an even more interchangeable feeling is the bachelorette party of log-rolling blurbs by chick-lit authors. Jennifer “Good in Bed” Weiner blurbs Sarah Mlynowski’s “Me vs. Me” and Karen McCullah Lutz’s “The Bachelorette Party.” Lauren Weisberger blurbs Emily “Something Borrowed” Giffin.

I took home three dozen of the working women romances. They can lull you into a hypnotic state with their simple life lessons — one heroine emulated Doris Day, another Audrey Hepburn, one was the spitting image of Carolyn Bessette, another Charlize Theron — but they’re a long way from Becky Sharp and Elizabeth Bennet. They’re all chick and no lit.

Please do not confuse these books with the love-and-marriage of Jane Austen. These are more like multicultural Harlequin romances. They’re Cinderella bodice rippers — Manolo trippers — girls with long legs, long shiny hair and sparkling eyes stumbling through life, eating potato skins loaded with bacon bits and melted swiss, drinking cocktails, looking for the right man and dispensing nuggets of hard-won wisdom, like, “Any guy who can watch you hurl Cheez Doodles is a keeper,” and, “You can’t puke in wicker. It leaks.”

In the 19th century in America, people often linked the reading of novels with women. Women were creatures of sensibility, and men were creatures of action. But now, Leon suggested, American fiction seems to be undergoing a certain re-feminization.

“These books do not seem particularly demanding in the manner of real novels,” Leon said. “And when we’re at war and the country is under threat, they seem a little insular. America’s reading women could do a lot worse than to put down ‘Will Francine Get Her Guy?’ and pick up ‘The Red Badge of Courage.’ ”

The novel was once said to be a mirror of its times. In my local bookstore, it’s more like a makeup mirror.

now, having read the column, i can defintely say that i am offended by her dumbness, and thought a response at this date may seem some what belated i cannot just let it slide, maybe because i am a participant in the so-called "re-feminization" ... although i am not sure you can have a re- without actually having been feminized in the first place, and, as a culture, that did not happen in spite of what second wave feminists may think... i think that this pinking (and i want to go an record as saying i hate the color pink) of the covers is a male marketer's response to books that they don't know how to categorize anymore - they are not traditional romance or memoir - they are written by women and we want women to buy them so let's make them pink - i think that the rant should have been about the poor marketing, rather than a criticism of book she hasn't taken the time to read... the more i hang out on authors' blogs, the more i realize that you can't judge a book by it's cover, because the content isn't how the cover is chosen, marketing is...

apparently the anger genrated by this column was not just on the part of us poor, misguided women readers who have made this state of affairs come to be (by buying and reading books)... of the many letters the times must have recieved in response, they published ones from a sociaology professor, "
So just let us girls read anything we want. Some of these girls may still grow up to be college professors.", an independent bookseller, "People who make the decision to spend their money in the large chain stores instead of in New York's few remaining independent bookstores bring about the much-lamented demise of the culture they claim to want.", and a father supporting his daughter's reading, "Turns out, there are bad pink books. There are good and bad books of every color."... none of the letters seemed to agree with ms. dowd's point of view... some other responses were: Booksquare and Fearless Voices ... others posted the article with no comments, so maybe they agree with what she has to say, but it seems to me that the general consensus is that pink does not, in fact, give you cooties, but sometimes it gives you a good read...

01 March 2007


How evil are you?

I took it twice - same response - i am angelic

so, february

in january, i was really excited, doing well with the blog, posting at least once a week almost thought it was time to talk to linus and see about moving up to the category of "The Redeemed, Who Post Often"... and then it was february...

this february hit me hard with homesickness, uncertainty of the future, testing (stupid GRE), and general blahness... so i burrowed - into books, naps, and general away-ness from everything that was not completely unavoidable... not an uncommon reaction to february, for me at least... i really hate february and i am glad to say that it is almost over...

my february has ended on a nice note, however... i am now employed at a second job here in elko - the bookstore... the people are friendly and the scheduling is flexible and can we say "yay for employee discounts!"... so while february has inflicted its regular damage on the surface of my soul, i have managed to survive and triumph over the blighted month once more...

looking forward to march...

01 February 2007

a little bit nervous

it is official... i have applied to grad school... i sent my stuff... on time... now i have to wait... and i am a little bit nervous... the way the pope is a little bit catholic... the way iraq is a little bit muslim... the way republicans are a little bit greedy... the way democrats are a little bit idealistic... the thing is there are a few bits of my application materials which give me cause to be a little bit nervous... my grades were somewhat less than stellar in some cases, leaving me with a less than ideal gpa... also i have no idea what was said in my letters of rec... i didn't even know that one of them was done until the english department contacted me to tell me what i still needed to turn in... and i won't know until april... i hate waiting... i hate rejection... and i am a little bit nervous... but i sent the application anyway...

31 January 2007


Happy Birthday To Me!!

yes today we celebrate the fact that Tessa was born... we also look back a other important events in history....
1649 - England's Charels I was beheaded by the Cromwellians
1798 - The first brawl in the U.S. House of Representatives was witnessed by legislators. Congressmen Matthew Lyon and Roger Griswold duked it out right there on the House floor.
1882 - FDR was born, as were Anton Checkhov(1860), Vanessa Redgrave(1937), Norma Jean (1938), and Dick Cheney(1941)
1933 - Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany
1948 - Gandhi was assassinated
1958 - Yves Saint Laurent, at age 22, held his first major fashion show in Paris.
1968 - The Tet Offensive began as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese provincial capitals.
1969 - The Beatles last public appearance
1972 - Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland
. British soldiers shot and killed thirteen Roman Catholic civil rights marchers.
1994 - Peter Leko became the world's youngest-ever grand master in chess.
2005 - For the first time in more than 50 years Iraq held free elections. At least 44 people were killed in several attacks on polling stations throughout the country.

overall i have to say there is a lotta bad stuff that went down on this venerable day... some cool stuff, but mostly bad... and i am not sure if sharing a birthday with FDR makes up for sharing one with Cheney...

28 January 2007

a musical love

i have recently discovered a new artist, one with whom i have fallen completely in love... madeleine peyroux can provide the soundtrack for my life indefinitely... her voice and a cup of oolong and my afternoon is perfect... i don't even need a book, and that is saying quite a bit if you know me... it is a musical love

18 January 2007


so i really don't care for new year's resolutions (and if i were to make one it would probably be at a more significant time of the year than the calender new year) but there are a few things about 2007 that i am looking forward to:

~ online writing workshop with one of my favorite writers, jennifer crusie, for free.

~ applying for grad school - and hopefully returning to laramie to attend in the fall.

~ yoga classes (or at least pilates, depending on cost and avalibility)

~ my job as an english tutor.

~ writing (more than i have been)

i hope that these things are as exciting in reality as they are in plan.

what do you hope to do in 2007?