Nothing. That's right, nada.
I've been in a bit of a depressive funk lately, due to RL issues and other little factors. While I'm not Mary Sunshine at the moment, I am a trifle bit better.
I saw LotR again last Thursday with my friend Papa Frita (obviously a nickname). It's my third time, the second was with nariya and gatorjen when we went on our Fantastic New York Vacation. He hadn't seen it yet and since I've hardly spent any time with him (damn school!), it was very, very nice.
I also got contacts. They're...very different. I'm not quite used to them. My right one is messed up, so when I get my replacements this week, I'll probably have to use a new pair right away. It's strange though, I'm not quite used to not having glasses on. You never realize how much you've become accustomed to them until you move your hands to adjust ghost-glasses that aren't there.
The Puerto Rico Trip is on for autumn and once again, may I say "yay"? Because I will. Yay!
I've been wanting to do a book list of the books I've read, I did one last summer on my blog and I enjoyed it. I'm thinking of dividing it by the four seasons.
So, my very special reading list (note: if you think my taste is crap, it probably is and I'm not reccing things I read over and over again, as that's boring and most of that stuff was written at least 100 years ago or more. [hugs Riverside Shakespeare]).
Live From New York (Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller)
What can I say? From start to the summer of the 2001-2002 season, LFNY is fascinating portrayal of all the backstage drama behind SNL. It's sex, drugs, psychosis and rock 'n roll. Told through the recollections of the people who were there (with brief introductions of each section by Shales and Miller), it's raw, brutal, and a delicious read. Learn who's an ass, who had the biggest ego (coughChevycough), who was crying in dressing rooms, and who was doing whom.
Chevy Chase: You have no idea what my life was like as a kid, you have no sense of that at all. You're probably looking into books and saying, "Hey, he went to a private school," as if that somehow is an explanation for my personality." You have no sense at all - nor would I share with you what my childhood was like.
Anne Beatts: Chevy was the Waspy golden by that neither Michael nor Lorne would ever be."
Stardust (Neil Gaiman)
My first love is still American Gods, but Stardust is a whimsical and magical tale and a rather quick read. It's a fairytale with clever characters and sharp writing that knows it's a fairytale. Even though the ending is a bit bittersweet, the sweet is a joy.
They kissed for the first time then in the cold spring rain, though neither one of them now knew that it was raining.
Nickel and Dimed (Barbara Ehreneich)
It's more a series of essays strung together to form an thesis, but it's a very strong point of view of living on minimum wages and all that entails: housing, living paycheck to paycheck, difficult jobs that not only take a toll psychically but also emotionally. I don't agree with all of her observations, but it's rare to hear anything honest about the conditions the "poor" must survive in order to have some semblance of the "American dream" and this book certainly has plenty to say on the subject.
Good in Bed (Jennifer Weiner)
Um. Well. Disappointed after all the hype from a few friends pimping the book. Badly edited (if *I* can make out grammatical errors then that's a real problem), and just...not that interesting. The message is nice but the narrative isn't, the characters aren't complex - and I wasn't impressed. Bland, relying on trite clichés, and lacking emotional depth (though the last third of the book is better even at its most melodramatic points), Good in Bed will need a lot of work if HBO is turning it into a series. Maybe there's potential, but it rates an "Eh."
The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
Was rendered a weepy mess whilst reading. It was also possibly the first time I've had to put down a book because I was crying so hard. Painful, honest, and oh so wonderfully written, the story cast a spell over me and the last line is haunting.
I wish you all a long and happy life.
Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett)
It's the end of the world! And it's in England! Fun and fantastic, even though it bashes Americans (but it's *funny*). Clever and witty, I find myself re-reading it and enjoying it over and over again.
The Hours (Michael Cunningham)
Having read "Mrs. Dalloway" and loving Woolf's wonderful prose style, I was impressed by Cunningham's ability to replicate it while also bringing forth his own delicious story and fascinating character studies. The language is poetic and simple at the same time and while I was often lost in a long paragraph, drowning in the clear prose, it was worth it.
"Tell me a story, all right?"
"What kind of story?"
"Something from your day. From today. It could be the most ordinary thing. This would be better actually. The most ordinary event you can think of."
Dreamcatcher (Stephen King)
I liked it. Gory, nasty, and a lot of death, it's also a fast paced (even for its long length) invasion story, although a bit more violent and descriptive than I'm used to. But it's totally worth it to hear "five by five" used outside BtVS/AtS. Or any of the "Beaver-isms."
Caramelo (Sandra Cisneros)
First of, she is a poet. Lyrical, rhythmic storytelling, brilliant use of perspective and a truly harrowing tale of a Mexican family throughout generations. I'd say more, but her writing is where the beauty lies and also "lies":
"Cuèntame algo, aunque sea una mentira. - Tell me a story, even if it's a lie."
I'm not here. They've forgotten about me when the photographer walking along the beach proposes a portrait, un recuerdo, a remembrance literally. No one notices I'm off by myself building sand houses. They won't realize I'm missing until the photographer delivers the portrait to Catita's house, and I look at it for the first time and ask, - When was this taken? Where?
Then everyone realizes the portrait is incomplete. It's as if I didn't exist. It's as if I'm the photographer walking along the beach with the tripod camera on my shoulder asking - Un recuerdo? A souvenir? A memory?"