Utterly Confused

April 10, 2018

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This was on Netflix’s home page.  Is Netflix just… buying whole people now?  What does it mean that they’re “all-in”?  Is anyone else thoroughly creeped out by this?!

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A Very Literary Problem

April 10, 2018

I really dislike openly displaying sentiment, or attachment to things, particularly things that a lot of people feel sentimental about, but I can’t really avoid it when I discuss this topic.  Brief disclaimer.

So probably you guys remember almost seven (!) years ago, I stayed at Shakespeare & Company, the famous English language bookstore in Paris.  I danced a drunken jig outside the shop after a Will Self reading, I read Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan late into the night, I had a mystical experience afterward: it was all gravy.

Fast forward to 2016.  The history book on the shop, which I had done the tiniest bit of work on when I was there, came out.  Though it was something like 40 Euros and I had to pay for shipping to London, I splurged and got it for myself.  But then, some very thoughtful people ALSO got it for me.  And now I have two.

I don’t really like to own multiple copies of books (I blame Marie Kondo) but I can’t really bring myself to just give the extra one to Goodwill or put it on my stoop.  I feel like it needs to go to a good Tumbleweed home, but I can’t really find any sort of online group that is like, New York City Tumbleweed alums.  (Not being on Facebook does not help my cause here.)  The only NYC-based person I can find who definitely was a Tumbleweed is Molly Crabapple, but she’s KBD and will probably be like, “Why is this weirdo writing me frantically insisting I take her coffee table book?”  (I know she loved it, because her LitHub essay told me so.)  If she sees this and reaches out, she’s got dibs, but I’m not holding my breath.  So now what?  Help me, Internet!

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(Not Shakespeare & Company.  Just another thing Molly Crabapple and I have in common.)

Very Important Dispatch

April 5, 2018

This man––a firefighter who tended to the 1983 bombing of the Hotel Rajneesh, and who was featured briefly in the Netflix doc Wild, Wild Country––looks a lot like Ron Swanson.    #superrecognizers unite.  End message.

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Trigger Warning

April 2, 2018

TRIGGER WARNING: Beyond this point, there will be mentions of “trigger warnings.”  If the idea of “safe spaces”, prefaces for potentially difficult content, or considering people’s emotions when engaged in academic discourse upsets you, you are advised not to continue reading.

On the Topic of Keith Raniere…

March 30, 2018

KM: Why is it always the lamest looking guys that start a sex cult?  How does that happen?

ID: Good point.  It’s never a dreamboat.  Who is the best looking sex cult leader you can think of?  My vote is David Koresh.

KM: That’s what I was going to say.  In regard to regular cults, I’d say David Miscavige.  Great hair.

ID: He’s kind of WASPy hot in a way.

A Very Brief History of Women Marrying Inanimate Objects

March 29, 2018

Recently I was browsing the web and I saw a news item about two women in Fort Myers, Florida, who married a ficus tree.  Now, this wasn’t (probably) a case of objectophilia, as the women mostly had the wedding in order to prevent the tree from getting chopped down, which the town planned to do as its roots were encroaching on a neighboring property.  Still, it has echoes of object love: an affinity for a thing, a wedding ceremony with white gowns and cakes, and even, somewhat miraculously, an acknowledgment from the public (city officials are now working to save the tree).  It reminds me of how whenever these kinds of stories come up in the news, I always want to write a listicle of sorts, with the above title.

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So, herewith, my favorite ladies marrying things:

Eija-Riita Berliner-Mauer: I’ve written about her before.  Apparently she died in 2015.  Still waiting on someone to translate her documentary for me.  The only information I would like to add to my original piece on her is this quote:

“I find long, slim things with horizontal lines very sexy.  The Great Wall of China’s attractive, but he’s too thick – my husband is sexier.”

And this poem, which she allegedly wrote:

I Dream About You

You beautiful Berlin Wall.
You are so very sexy, my Darling.
I will always be here for you. My love for you is
so strong as the concrete blocks which
holds you standing.
I often think of the times when you in my loneliness
has made me so happy.
My kisses will warm you, when the night comes.
My life begins and ends with you.

Finally you should all know she observes a yahrzeit of sorts on the anniversary of the fall of the wall.

Erika Eiffel: In 2007, Erika Eiffel observed a commitment ceremony with the Eiffel Tower, whose curves she admired.  I’ve always thought the Eiffel Tower to be a bit cliched but I wouldn’t want to yuck someone’s yum, so get it, Erika!  Eiffel says that prior to her union with the Tower, she had an affair with an F-15, with whom she was besotted she ended up becoming an expert on it and earned a $250,000 scholarship to the United States Air Force Academy.

Jodi Rose: Also in France, Jodi Rose married Le Pont du Diable, but I kind of call bullshit because she spoke (for her bridge lover!) and said that “he understands that I love other bridges––and men.”

I found a few others but there isn’t really enough information on them (a woman who fell in love with a metal processor, a woman who married a fairground ride) to make it into my Very Brief History.  And thus we come to my favorite of the bunch: artist Tracey Emin marries a rock!  Emin, the famous wild child of British art, decided to marry a rock in the garden of her summer home in France.  She wore her father’s funeral shroud as her wedding dress.  “Somewhere on a hill facing the sea, there is a very beautiful ancient stone, and it’s not going anywhere,” she told the press, which is just about the gosh darn most romantic thing I’ve ever heard.  More than you can say for many partners, anyway.

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A field of eligible bachelors, in Brittany

 

This Is Strange

March 13, 2018

Guys.

What’s with the disembodied hand trend on the cover of cookbooks?  Two of the most popular cookbooks in recent years feature them; in fact, the covers look suspiciously similar to one another in more ways than just that one.  So, what exactly is happening here?  Why do I find this a little bit… scary?

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This eerie similarity is not enough for me to not want these cookbooks, though, just for the record.

 

Similes

March 6, 2018

So I started an homage to great similes elsewhere (cough cough).  This one below is too long for me to incorporate there, but is still excellent, for so many reasons.

Yeshua’s kingdom apparently exists in ever-changing resemblances. He does not say what it is, only what it is like. It’s like a tiny seed. Like something inside you. Like a pearl you’d give everything to possess. Like wheat growing among weeds. Like the camel climbing through the needle’s eye. Like the way the world looks to children. Like a servant making good use of the master’s money. Like getting a day’s pay for an hour’s work. Like a crooked magistrate, who has fixed the case in your favor. Like a narrow gate, a difficult road, a lamp on a stand. Like a wedding party. Like a wedding party where all the original guests have been disinvited and replaced by random passers-by. Like yeast in dough. Like a treasure, like a harvest, like a door that opens whenever you knock. Or like a door you have to bang on for hours in the middle of the night until a grumpy neighbor wakes up and lends you a loaf. The kingdom is––whatever all those likenesses have in common. The kingdom, he seems to be saying, is something that can only be glimpsed in comparisons, because the world contains no actual example of it. And yet the world glints and winks and shines everywhere with the possibility of it.

~Francis Spufford , Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense

 

Wisdom

February 20, 2018

“Rabbi Baer of Radoshitz once said to his teacher, the ‘Seer’ of Lublin: ‘Show me one general way to the service of God.’

The zaddik replied: ‘It is impossible to tell men what way they should take.  For one way to serve God is through learning, another through prayer, another through fasting, and still another through eating.  Everyone should carefully observe what way his heart draws him to, and then choose this way with all his strength.'”

~Martin Buber, The Way of Man

A Tweet

February 13, 2018

Whenever I am scrolling through Netflix and I see one of their own productions in the “trending now” or “critically acclaimed” sections, I’m like, “Ugh, bragging like that is so unseemly.”