“Music videos often reduce women to a series of body parts. Nicki shows us her body, but makes damn well sure you’re going to know it’s connected to a face, a heart, and a mind. Her body is not her soul, but the two are indivisible. The last setup involves Nicki giving Drake a lap dance and walking away after presumably giving him a boner, making this Drake’s second most embarrassing public erection after Jimmy’s classroom boner in Degrassi. Drake, of all people — stripper-fetishizing emo prince Drake — is the sexual object in “Anaconda.” And with that final inversion, Nicki more or less flips the whole twerking issue onto its stomach, where it can continue to hump the ground forever.”—
My mom just had a round of shots for her treatment today at U of M. She told me that when she goes to U of M, they draw her blood and make her eye drops out of it while she gets her shots. (One of the side effects of the issues my mom has is severely dry eyes.) Apparently, when they make this particular prescription out of your own blood it stings much less.
My mom texted me on the way home, and said that she was just feeling okay from getting all of the shots.
I always get sad when I think about my mom going through this stuff without me there. So I texted her back to say that I was proud of her.
Not missing a beat she replies: “Yep, we’re driving home with little vials of my vampire tears.”
The delightful postscriptpages tagged me to do this ages ago, so now I am finally doing it. I also cheated and provided TWO answers to each question because I am a Grade A renegade.
1. Who is your literary alter ego?
This is shockingly hard to answer. I had to go look through my shelves to see how I could answer this. I’m torn between Luna Lovegood (deal with it) and Alma from The History of Love. Luna because she is loving and loved, and she is who she is and won’t apologize for it. And to top it all off, she is a steadfast friend. (I guess I’d like to think that these things are true about myself.) The other person I thought of was Alma from The History of Love, just because she is so shy and curious. I don’t relate as much with the melancholy of her character, but I related to her so intensely while reading that book that I feel I must answer that way.
2. What book would you give your 14-year-old self?
This is a lot easier to answer than the first one. I wish I would have had The Little Prince and Haroun and the Sea of Stories as a 14 year old. I didn’t read either of those until I was 20, and it blew me away to think of this books really trying to understand what being a kid was like, and that they had real thoughts and feelings that crossed into the adult spectrum. When I was 14 I spent a lot of time reading what I thought were “grown up” books since that was mainly what we were being assigned in the classroom. I totally missed almost the entirety of YA, because I was too busy thinking that now that I was in middle school I’d only be reading things like Mark Twain and Nathaniel Hawthorne for the rest of my life.
You find yourself a fucking taco, or a fucking beer, or a fucking taco and a beer, then you eat the fucking taco or drink the fucking beer or eat and drink both the fucking taco and the beer, and then you donate some money to an abortion fund. You fucking film yourself doing this shit and then you send us the fucking video and we put it on the fucking internet.
"BUT BUT BUT WAAAAHHHHH I DON’T KNOW ANY ABORTION FUNDS"
“The unprofessional email address: This is an age where we can all get as many email addresses as we want for free. Using the email address of “firstname.lastname@example.org” is maybe not the right one to use to submit job applications.”—
We just hired a new person at our office, and that meant that I got to read a lot of job applications. I saw some pretty questionable things going on in some of those apps, so I wrote this piece to hopefully help. Some of these things might seem obvious, but these are all inspired by real things that we saw more than once in the applications. I want all of you guys to get great publishing jobs, so don’t use your high school email address, and don’t forget the change the name of the company from the last place you applied to in the cover letter, guys!
“I’d been thinking about Robin Williams a bit recently. His manager Larry Bresner told me that when Robin was asked by a German journalist on a press junket why the Germans had a reputation for humourlessness that Williams replied, “Because you killed all the funny people.” Robin Williams was exciting to me because he seemed to be sat upon a geyser of comedy. Like he didn’t manufacture it laboriously within but had only to open a valve and it would come bursting through in effervescent jets. He was plugged into the mains of comedy. I was aware too that this burbling and manic man-child that I watched on the box on my Nan’s front room floor with a Mork action figure (I wish I still had that, he came in a plastic egg) struggled with mental illness and addiction. The chaotic clarity that lashed like an electric cable, that razzed and sparked with amoral, puckish wonder was in fact harvested madness. A refinement of an energy that could turn as easily to destruction as creativity. He spoke candidly about his mental illness and addiction, how he felt often on a precipice of self-destruction, whether through substance misuse or some act of more certain finality. I thought that this articulate acknowledgement amounted to a kind of vaccine against the return of such diseased thinking, which has proven to be hopelessly naive. When someone gets to 63 I imagined, hoped, I suppose, that maturity would grant an immunity to adolescent notions of suicide but today I read that suicide isn’t exclusively a young man’s game. Robin Williams at 63 still hadn’t come to terms with being Robin Williams.”—Russell Brand: Robin Williams’ divine madness will no longer disrupt the sadness of the world | Comment is free | The Guardian (via newsweek)
I don’t like the way celeb deaths are handled in general on the Internet. Yet, I read this and it made me think a lot about the weight of being just a human being. Then I imagined that pitted against whatever the weight of being simply extraordinary would be like. So here, I am sharing this, and I do hope you read it if you’re interested.
I think every girl has an outfit or two that they put on and think, “Hmmm, this kind of makes me look pregnant.” I think that the thought usually following that one is “Screw it. It’s comfortable.” At least for me it is.
I have that thought a lot in the morning when I’m getting ready, but mainly because I carry my weight in my belly, so it’s pretty easy for that to happen. Carrying around my weight in my belly is how I’m made, and I generally like the way that I look. So I don’t mind my belly all that much. I’m trying to be healthier, sure, but that’s not what this post is about.
This is about men offering up their seats to me on the train. Before you say, but he could have just been offering to be nice, or that he was chivalrous, please know that this happens to me fairly often, when there are several other women much closer to this person than me. Of course there is no way for me to know exactly why someone would offer me their seat, but I think I can infer a lot here.
Anyway, it’s not that I’m upset about some man offering me his seat if he thinks that I’m actually pregnant. That is very nice and, I think, the right thing for anyone to do. What is not the right thing to do is go on and on, insisting that I take the seat after I have said thank you, and that I’m fine standing.
"No really, I’m fine. Thank you."
"Are you sure? But please, sit! Take my seat. Really."
"I. am. fine. No."
That’s when it gets truly embarrassing for me, turns a into what feels like body shaming to me. I don’t want to give in and just take the seat, because frankly, I don’t need it at all. And stranger, you’re not listening to me. I said I’m fine. I don’t want your fucking seat. I’m just chubby. Leave me alone. I should not have to repeat myself after politely turning down a seat. I have never had a woman offer me her seat at all (perhaps because they understand what a pregnant body actually looks like, or perhaps it’s just a coincidence), and I certainly can’t imagine a woman insisting over and over that I take her seat.
This isn’t me fishing for compliments or reassurance. I don’t need that. What I also don’t need is a stranger inferring things about my body and what’s best for me because of what they’ve decided about me by looking at my body.
"what are you going to do with a degree in english?" *silently fantasizes about solving mysteries using very specific book trivia* *’that’s definitely a reference to salinger,’ i say* *’now we know where to find the diamonds, mr. president’*
Someday, in the car on the way to school, your mother will mention her friend who died. She’ll laugh thinking of a joke he used to tell, or remember a cake that his mother taught her to bake. And you will know, intellectually, that she had a friend who isn’t here anymore. But you won’t grok the reality of it: That she loved him and he’s gone. That he was real to her, with a face she knew just as well as you know the Saturday morning cartoons. That he was a constant for her and that constant was removed, and now she knows what life can do. None of that is real to you; none of that can be real. She doesn’t seem sad, and so you cannot imagine that she ever was.
There is so much you can’t imagine. You can’t imagine your parents on this weekend, dancing around the kitchen to Motown as they cook a big meal, moving their butts jauntily and leading with their shoulders. Many years later, at your bat mitzvah or your cousin Stephanie’s wedding, the way they dance will make you want to kill yourself. But if you could see them over this weekend, all together, if you trained a camera on them and let them dance back and forth, you would understand: they were young once too, and this is how they learned to dance, and now every time they dance that way they feel young again, even if you’re scowling at them from across the room and wishing they would explode.