Friday, September 26, 2008

The top 75 books by women, as decided by Jezebel.

I'm all about this list. I'm a top 10 maniac. I used to buy every year-end review and top 10 of the year magazines on the newstands (until I got a job and realized I couldn't afford it). One of my mini-goals in life is to find and agree with a definitive book and/or movie list and make my way through it. So here is yet another "best of" list but this one is about books written by women (mostly) and decided by the editors and readers of Jezebel. It's an awesome list. I have a few books on my reading list right now but once I'm done, I'm tackling this list. Suggestions on where to start? (My thoughts in italics.)

  • The Lottery (and Other Stories), Shirley Jackson read it in high school
  • To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf own it but have refused to read it for some reason
  • The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton one of my favorite books evah!
  • White Teeth, Zadie Smith
  • The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
  • Excellent Women, Barbara Pym
  • The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath seriously? I'm not into slitting my wrists right now...
  • Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys
  • The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri saw the movie
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison read it, got totally caught up in it, and felt really, really weird for awhile afterwards
  • Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert amazing
  • Like Life, Lorrie Moore
  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen are you kidding? my favorite book of all time.
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë read it. eh.
  • The Delta of Venus, Anais Nin I'm scared of Anais Nin. Should I be?
  • A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley
  • A Good Man Is Hard To Find (and Other Stories), Flannery O'Connor read it in high school but can't remember it
  • The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx
  • You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down, Alice Walker
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • Fear of Flying, Erica Jong
  • Earthly Paradise, Colette
  • Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt
  • Property, Valerie Martin
  • Middlemarch, George Eliot own it but am scared of the tiny print.
  • Annie John, Jamaica Kincaid
  • The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
  • Runaway, Alice Munro B gave me this one. I've read about half of the stories. They're really good.
  • The Heart is A Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
  • The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston
  • Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë like movie versions better.
  • You Must Remember This, Joyce Carol Oates
  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott *sob* Beth!
  • Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
  • The Liars' Club, Mary Karr
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou amazing book of poetry. practically the only one I own.
  • A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith read this in junior high or elementary school thinking it was a young adult book. it's not and i think i've blocked it out.
  • And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie
  • Bastard out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison
  • The Secret History, Donna Tartt
  • The Little Disturbances of Man, Grace Paley
  • The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker this reminds me of Gilmore Girls.
  • The Group, Mary McCarthy
  • Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
  • The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
  • The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank does the play count?
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley I once got in a disagreement over the meaning of the word sublime because of this book. I was right.
  • Against Interpretation, Susan Sontag
  • In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez
  • The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck high school again. horribly depressing.
  • Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
  • Three Junes, Julia Glass
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Sophie's Choice, William Styron
  • Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
  • Love in a Cold Climate, Nancy Mitford it's on my amazon wishlist. does that count?
  • Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell read it multiple times. love it.
  • The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. LeGuin
  • The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera it's on my list - thanks B! - and sitting on my end table by the couch
  • The Face of War, Martha Gellhorn
  • My Antonia, Willa Cather
  • Love In The Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez love marquez even though i haven't read this one.
  • The Harsh Voice, Rebecca West
  • Spending, Mary Gordon
  • The Lover, Marguerite Duras
  • The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
  • Tell Me a Riddle, Tillie Olsen
  • Nightwood, Djuna Barnes
  • Three Lives, Gertrude Stein
  • Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons seen the movie and Kate Beckinsdale has some effed up teeth in it. *shudder*
  • I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith yep. I read it. I don't think it belongs on this list.
  • Possession, A.S. Byatt I feel like I've read this but I can't put my finger on what it's about....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Son, be a dentist. You'll be a success."

Me yesterday at work: "Dentist appt. In late." on Where Are You? Board (preparing for next morning)
Me last evening: double checking calendar for time of appointment.
Me this morning: sleeping a tad late, fun!
Me later this morning: walking in dentist office for appointment approximately 2 minutes early (my goal in all appointments).
Nurse in dentist office: Why are you here, sweetie?
Me: my appointment, duh. I have one on Tuesday the 22nd.
Nurse: This is Tuesday the 23rd. You had one yesterday on Monday the 22nd. You missed it.
Me: Shit.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I Hate Hurricanes.

And I've never approved of Ike as a real name either. While most of my family and my friends and their families came away from Ike with relative minor damage (no electricity, boiling water, minor flood damage, fences knocked down, chimney splits in two, roof peeled up in the corner, roof ripped off, 50+ year-old trees completely gone, cars crushed, etc., etc., etc.), some people got really sucker-punched.

As I've mentioned before I'm natural disaster sensitive. I blame Katrina. Ever since those first dreams of floods, every tornado, earthquake, tsunami, and gentle breeze that got media coverage has made its way into my nightmares. Ike is no exception. I'm declaring today that the nightmares will stop. I will no longer dream about drifting out to sea on a leftover piece of roof, about cats being stranded in trees, and a building crashing in around me while I'm attempting to call my mother (now a recurring nightmare). I'm declaring myself free from these horrors.

While I'm in the dream-demanding mood, I'll take a few more about Brad Pitt, thank you very much.

And yet another casualty of Ike? My dear Astros. May they kick some Pirate ass! (And may the Phillies kick some Marlin ass (two birds and all), the Braves some Mets ass, and the Reds some Brewers ass. Whew. That's a lot of teams to count on at one time...

Friday, September 12, 2008

*sniffle* I'm the biggest sports nerd.

There's a new female attorney in my office who plays fantasy football. That fact aside, I like her a lot. (I'm opposed to all fantasy sport leagues. I think it takes away from the team aspect of the game although I'm very familiar with the pros, so don't lecture me.)

We were at a work conference this week and one of my male co-workers (whom I've wrote about in the past, ahem, pesos jackass) described the her as "probably the girl in the office with the most sports knowledge." I've spoken with this male co-worker (who I'll refer to as Jackass Yankees Fan or JYF) on a few different occasions about baseball. JYF assumes I know nothing because a) I'm a "girl" and b) I'm not a JYF. Um, dude? MY team's 3 games out. Your team is in shambles. Let's talk next season, kay? He's never once brought up the subject of football or basketball or any other sport for that matter. He never even discussed the Olympics with me, which we all know I was all over.

So how does he know the new woman has the most sports know-how? It's obviously an unresearched statement, at best and a downright fabrication at worst.

I know it seems petty to obsess over something so slight but as any woman sports fan can tell you, random baseball and/or football conversations are few and far between, at least as compared to our male counterparts. Of course the bf and I can discuss until we're blue in the face (although his baseball knowledge, which he touted when we first started dating, is seriously lacking - is this what "fraud" means in those weirdo annulments?) but what about the watercooler? I keep up with a lot of the breaking sports news through my online connection to the world (i.e. my computer at work), and I can only call the bf randomly during the day so many times.

It's like JM and S (hello!), two of my very good friends who are dating. Neither JM (the man) nor S (the woman) are seriously into sports but S is very enthusiastic. And JM constantly makes fun of her for getting excited when we watch a sporting event together, which is completely odd to me because why wouldn't you get excited when someone's scoring a touchdown, swimming a race, hitting an ace, or knocking one out of the ballpark? If S were a guy (all oddities in the scenario removed of course), would JM make fun of her/him for being excited about sports even if he/she admitted he/she didn't watch all the time? Of course there's the whole bf/gf dynamic I'm overlooking but I'm trying to illustrate a point.

What this all comes down to is that I want to be the woman in the office (not the girl - I won't even get into the naked misogynist undertones of JYF referring to the new co-worker as a girl) who knows the most about sports. I'm willing to go head-to-head in a little sports trivia with the new co-worker to earn the title, although I'm not sure she'd be willing as she doesn't label herself as a sports afficiando, and hell, I'm willing to go head-to-head with the men in my office too. I bet a million dollars I'd be in the top 10%, especially if the trivia involved actual, present-day strategies, rules, regulations, players, etc. I love the sports trivia person who can name every Heisman trophy winner but can't tell me the ins and outs of small ball play. (I'm looking at you bf.)

On a related note, the 'Stros are 3 games out!! I will admit I had no confidence. I was wrong. Go Astros, Go!*

*I can only hope Ike doesn't ruin their winning streak since they have to postpone at least 2 games against the Cubs (who the swept last series) due to sheer freaks of nature. And for those that care, I doubt my town will even see a drop of rain, much like the great Rita Dustbowl of 2005. Although I am moving my new car in a parking garage tonight, just in case the trees of never-ending falling branches at my house decide to multiply, like they did a few months ago with the old car.

Friday, September 05, 2008


Once again I'm taking the cheap way out and posting something I saw on Jezebel. Too bad. It's damn funny.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I'm offended.

By the moment in Palin's speech where she said that only one candidate has fought for "you." She paused strategically, of course, and then continued to say he was the only candidate who fought for you when the fight meant life and death.*

I'm offended.

I have a public service job and I'm offended by the notion that unless I put on a military uniform, I'm not fighting for the people.

I'm offended.

Obama worked in the trenches of one of the poorest areas in the country and to insinuate that he wasn't "fighting for America" is insulting to his work, those who do similar work, and those who are benefited by someone giving a rat's ass about them. And to further imply that someone in a socio-economically depressed environment isn't living in a life and death situation shows a fundamental disregard for both facts and human suffering, not to mention a complete lack of understanding of anything other than an upper, middle-class world.

I can tolerate a bit of dem/Obama jabbing at the RNC. I expect it. But to personally insult me, not just my candidate, and others like me sends me through the roof. I can assure you that it is not in my economic interest to do the work I do. I can also assure you that I made the decision to work for the public early on in my professional schooling. To insinuate that my contributions don't count, that I'm not "fighting" for my country (and the people within it) is something that goes beyond ignorance. It goes to the essence of understanding the world beyond you and why I'm a democrat without label and without hesitancy. Kindness and understanding are essential to my world view. Knowing that I'm not the only person in this world and that there are people who have much different experiences from me are what make up the basis of my decision to choose a political party that works for the poor, the under-represented, and the "fighters" of the world.

So fuck you, Palin. You may be one Sephora trip away from a pit bull but you're miles away from understanding what it means to be anyone other than yourself.

*I'd like to point out that if not for that comment, I wouldn't have a lot of negative things to say about her speech. I know what I'm getting into when I tune in to rabid Republicans, as they did a week ago.

Tom Ridge is a moron. Or is he?

I've searched and searched and searched and I cannot find any video evidence to document what I'm about to tell you but trust me when I say that I heard him (Tom Ridge) loud and clear.

I was watching the Republican National Convention last night when I saw Joe "I Swear I'm a Democrat Even Though None of Them Will Let Me Be One" Lieberman sell his soul to the devil. On an aside, I can tolerate JLie campaigning for McCain and touting his friend's accomplishments. I cannot tolerate him lying to people about Obama. Keep it to what you know, Joe, McCain's ass. (I tuned in 100% during the JLie speech because my man Gonzo lost to Roddick in the Open. It was over quite quickly and pathetically. Gonzo still looked good though. I be Chilean men really know how to woo American, slightly stalkerish, women.)

One of the MSNBC reporters, I think Andrea Mitchell, interviewed Tom Ridge after all the speeches were done. She was asking him about his take on Palin. I can't quote directly without a source, as I'm not that smart, but he basically said that Hillary voters, aka women, will vote for Palin because vaginas will vote for vaginas, regardless of policies.

I think this is what my friend B was trying to tell me when I was still in a sleep-deprived stupor Monday evening. Did McCain really pick Palin because he assumed we would all vote with our lady parts as opposed to our lady brains? I don't think many women who supported Hillary would support an anti-choice woman, regardless of her genitalia. Not to mention the fact that HRC was all about the semi-socialized healthcare and I have yet to meet a Republican who would support such things. (I'm sure they exist, I just don't know them.)

Back to my thesis: Is Tom Ridge a moron? Or is he a truth-teller? Or thirdly, does he have a case of sour grapes over not being chosen as the VP choice and attempting sabotage?

I guess only time will tell...

Monday, September 01, 2008

Sarah, Palin and Tall

Just a few, quick thoughts (keen insight to follow once my brain has recovered and I've become re-hydrated):

How hilarious is it that the "rumor" about this crazy christian, gun-toting ex-beauty queen is that her most recent kid is actually her 17 year-old daughter's kid and she's pretending it's hers? How very V.C. Andrews. How even more hilarious that she counters this rumor by saying her daughter is 5 months pregnant as we speak? As if that makes the likelihood of the above rumor lessened? But even if it's not true (and really the kid has Down's, which is much more likely to occur in older parents), how awesomely did the rumor mill work is terrible, black magic? "You will admit your failings as a parent Mrs. Palin, oh yes, you will." (so sayeth the black magic)

Brief text message conversation with my Repub friend at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning went something like this:

Me - NBC confirms the alaskan beauty queen.
Her - Woohoo! Change we can believe in.
Me - Change you can hang your tiara on.
Her - Not a beauty contest, a scholarship opportunity.

I later saw footage of Palin shooting an AK 47. I wonder what her talent was...