Category Archives: Literature

I’m pretty sure this post doesn’t have a topic.

I was going to post some long winded explanation of where I’ve been these past weeks, but then I realized that it really doesn’t matter where I’ve been because nobody has really missed me.

I’m not saying that to be self-pitying or anything.   I just don’t have enough of a following to be missed.  It’s all good guys.  Because  I’m totally okay with only having two followers.  And I will never really abandon you.  Promise.

I have been working on my New Year’s Resolution, though.  You know, the one about reading 25 new books?  It will probably go down in history as the only resolution I could ever keep.  I think I’m going to make this resolution every year, because it exposes me to so much stuff.  I’m serious, guys.  I’m reading authors I never knew existed and loving every second of it.  I may even pick up a horror novel this year and then take up insomnia as a hobby because I’ll be too afraid of my own shadow to ever sleep again.

See?  Best resolution ever.

Right now  I’m halfway through Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, an autobiography of sorts.  STOP.  STOP IT RIGHT NOW.   I know I said “autobiography.”  But that doesn’t mean you get to tune out.  Listen, I hate autobiographies.  With a passion.  But this one is different.

This one is written by the same wonderfully broken person who writes The Bloggess, a ridiculously popular blog.  Go ahead.  Click the link.  Sample her work.

Now tell me: Does she seem like a boring person to you?

While reading her book, I have laughed so hard I cried.  Twice.  And I’m only halfway though.

I’ve been telling everyone about the book.  Everyone.  Except for people who are sensitive about cursing (Jenny is a very colorful individual).  I don’t tell them anything because I’m afraid they’ll go out and read the book and then judge me for liking it so much.

This morning I was telling my co-worker/supervisor all about it, and I lost her at the dreaded b-word.  You know, that same word that made you tune out a few seconds ago.  I probably don’t even have your attention now.  But that’s fine, because it just means that you don’t deserve to read such an awesome book.

Anyway, I was telling her about the book and she completely lost focus.  She couldn’t understand why I was so excited about reading a biography.  She asked why she should care about someone else’s life.   I faltered, my smile fading.  In a small voice I said, “but, it’s funny.  She’s a satire writer.  She makes fun of her own life to make people smile.”

I got a blank stare in return.

And that’s when I realized.  My co-worker wasn’t in the club.  She couldn’t possibly understand why I was so excited about this, because she had never been a misfit.

Misfits are a special type of people who are slightly different from the rest of society.  We don’t fit in well, because we think outside of the box–and sometimes we like some really strange things, or have really bizarre life circumstances.  Jenny Lawson has given us an excuse to come together to form some sort of tribe–centered on her knack for getting in hilarious situations.

My favorite writers and storytellers are all people who, after having been lonely for years, find themselves suddenly surrounded by people who celebrate all the differences that distanced others.

The reason that I love their work so much is because it gives me so much hope that humanity can be made of awesomesauce.   It also gives me hope for myself. Hope that one day, I’ll get to do something I love while being surrounded by people who love me.

Advertisements

Hatefully Addicted: George R.R. Martin

Yes.  I hate you, George R.R. Martin.

You write the longest damn novels I have ever seen.  Novels that are filled with more death, destruction, and despair than I have ever cared to expose myself to.  There is no hope to be found.  Anywhere.  You kill off my favorite characters with wild abandon like it’s your most favorite thing in the world to do.  Your writing is borderline pornographic in places; and if I have to read one more sentence about a glistening manhood, I am going to have to gouge my eyes out with a comb just like Oedipus Rex.

But I don’t hate you for any of those reasons.

I hate you because I am masochistically addicted to your porn-filled-despairing-death novels.   And because you have somehow brainwashed half the country into encouraging me to read and finish your terribly long book series.

Tell me something.  How does one write a seven-volume series comprised of 1000+ page novels?  Moreover, how does one publish three 1000+ novels in four years?* Your dedication, it is crazy.

Reading your novels is like climbing Mt. Everest barefoot, wearing a swimsuit, and carrying a rabid squirrel: impossibly long, difficult, torturous, and frustrating.

But I will continue to do so until this series ends.   Because sometimes I finish what I start.  And because I enjoy commiserating with my literary-minded friends who have also read the books.

That’s your legacy, Mr. Martin.  You’ve made a series that brings people together to talk about how frustrated they are with you.  You’ve taken the phrase “rock bottom” to new lows.  It’s nearly admirable how you lavish your characters with misfortune.

Are you brilliant? Absolutely.  You’ve weaving a complicated story with a ton of characters.  Dedicated?  Yes.   Hardworking? Obviously.

But I just cannot like your books.   Which is a problem because I am honor bound to finish them.   And I have to find out what happens to Arya Stark.

Probably death at the jaws of her own direwolf.  That seems like something that would happen.

*Martin published the first three novels of the A Song of Ice and Fire series in 1996, 1999, and 2000.  I don’t even know how he published two of them in two years.  He must have lived off of coffee beans and distilled caffeine to have the time to write that much.

How I Inadvertently Gained Job Experience

I’m gaining job experience as we speak.  This is ridiculously wonderful.

I found out today that many publishing companies and other literary places like that consider blogging to be a form of job experience.  My world has been rocked.

This means I have years of experience.  Sure, most of it is crap, and it’s spread out over a few blogs, but still!  There has to be some gems in here somewhere.  Maybe not diamonds, though.  Something cheap, but still sparkly enough to attract some sort of attention.  Maybe agates or quartz or something.  Cubic Zirconium.

Anyway, I’m seriously considering applying for some stay-at-home writing or copy-editing jobs.  It would be part-time, something easily doable in tandem with my full time gig.  And it would be in my major to boot.

I mean…I love my job, but I don’t want to be a secretary forever.

I’m just really excited that something I’ve already been doing counts in “the real world.”  Here I was thinking I was just goofing off on the internet and I’ve actually been somewhat productive.

Now if only I can get my novel-reading hobby to count as experience, I’ll be set.  “Applicants must have read over two hundred books in their lifetimes.”

Somehow, I don’t think they’ll go for that.

New Year’s Resolution: Progress! (and Failure)

Okay.  I had three major resolutions.  I wanted to read 25 new books this year, try to do Meatless Mondays, and lose some weight to boot.

On the weight loss front, I am losing.  Badly.  I’m pretty sure it’s stress-related.  Seems I gave up on my exercise/diet after the great month of catastrophe that most common folks just called “March.”   In that month I wrecked my car, got a very hyperactive destructo-puppy (who is also very adorable), my brother wrecked his car, I bit the bullet and financed a used car, and then there was a host of work-related issues that aren’t anyone’s fault really.

Each of those things is causing me a great deal of stress, which I have allowed to ruin my good intentions in a fit of total emotional meltdown (I kind of feel like an emotional lava lamp right now–a mix of strange emotional colors and unpredictable highs and lows).  I keep saying that one day all this will be hilarious.  I haven’t found it funny yet.

So weight loss isn’t happening.  Yet.  I’m still determined to get back on schedule somehow.

Meatless Mondays also bit the dust…mostly because I forgot about them entirely.  Oops.

But there is a silver lining!  There is!  Because I have read so many books.  New books, as specified in my resolution. Eleven, in fact.

Now, I know that might not seem like that many to you.  “Only eleven books?  I read that many in a day!”  Well, none of the books I read were less than 200 pages long.  Two of them (Game of Thrones, Clash of Kings) were near or over 1000 pages each and so darn depressing that I wondered if I was going to ever finish them at all.

And I’ve read about four or five books that can’t be counted because they’re old books I’ve read before.  Because sometimes you just get in a mood for a certain book.  Like re-reading The Hunger Games before I went to see the movie.  Or reading Ready Player One again because it might just be my new favorite book ever.

I’m pleased with my eleven.  I need to just keep making book-related resolutions from now on.  Seems like they’re the one kind of resolution I can actually keep.

I Am Not the Grammar Police

I’m normally really chill about grammar.  It’s a tough thing to learn, and my grammar’s not perfect (I like comma splices.  A lot.  And sentence fragments.), but there are still some things that really bug me.  But there is one that bothers me above all others.

Irregardless

….guys, this one is just ridiculous.  If something is “regardless,” it is without regard, i.e., it doesn’t matter.  Here’s how I remember it: regard-less.  Less than regard.

If something is “irregardless” it is without less than regard.  Ir is a prefix that means “without” or “not.”  “Irregardless” does not mean “regardless,” and they are not interchangeable.  Does that mean “irregardless” has regard?  Can “ir” before “regardless” be constituted as a double negative that somehow makes “irregardless” mean that you care a whole, whole lot?

“Irregardless” is redundant.  And it frustrates me.  Can we stop using it? Please?  It’s wrong, and it makes me want to become the grammar police, and that’s not my job.

Regardless (see what I did there), I might just have to learn to deal with it.

But if you use “irregardless,” and you’re just an acquaintance, I won’t correct you.  I will silently judge you from my place atop my grammar high-horse.

Or, if you use it enough, I might throw an angry cat at your face.

Just kidding.  Maybe.

UPDATE:  I figured it out.

Why you guys like “irregardless” so much.  It’s because of “irrelevant.”  It’s got to be.   “Irrelevant” is a correct “ir” prefix attached to the root word “relevant.”  “Relevant” means “to be important, to matter.”   “Irrelevant” means “to be unimportant.”

The two words “relevant” and “regardless” sound sort of similar, I guess?  And since the “ir” rule works with one, I figure that language intuition (which is a thing that happens with native speakers–you get to a place where you can basically just feel your way around grammar and be mostly correct) says that you can use “ir” with regardless, too.

The problem with that is that you already have a suffix (“less”) with “regardless” that negates the root word “regard.”  So the “ir” is unnecessary.  But that apparently doesn’t always register.

“Irregardless” is still wrong, and I will probably still have to throw angry cats, but….at least I know why it’s so blatantly used?