Sunday, November 29, 2015

Day 29 - One More Day

That made me think of this Les Mis parody song, which came across my timeline in Facebook last year and made me howl. (I realize celiac is a real disease and people actually need to abstain from gluten. I have nothing against people on strict diets. It's just a funny song).

In my note to myself for what to write about today, I have written "p. 92 Songbook". It's not that I have forgotten what this means - it means I was going to include a quote from page 92 of Nick Hornby's Songbook, because it made me giggle helplessly for a while earlier today. It's that I'm too lazy to go upstairs and stumble around my dark, husband-occupied bedroom looking for it.

Still loving it, though. It has made me smile, well up with tears and laugh out loud, which made one guy at physio comment that it must be a good book and then go on to overshare considerably, causing me to regret my imprudent display of amusement - fortunately his appointment was almost over. I've downloaded several of the songs discussed: Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (Wilko Johnson, because I like many Bob Dylan songs, I can't actually stand hearing Bob Dylan sing them - sorry), One Man Guy (Rufus Wainwright's voice - delicious), and probably some others but once again, too lazy to check.

I was noodling around on Goodreads doing that dumbass thing where I'm actively looking for books to add to my ridiculously unmanageable to-read list. To backtrack, last year or the year before I read The Husband's Secret, which was kind of an It Book, which I usually avoid, and sort of seemed chick lit-like, which I also avoid, but whatever. And I really liked it. It wasn't Proust or anything, but it was well-written, the plot was genius and she dealt with some heavy subjects with a light touch. I've read two more of her books and enjoyed them both.

A few months ago I read A Corner of White (which I found by noodling around on Goodreads, which is why I keep doing it even though it's kind of like trying to catch rain in a teacup when you live in a spring-fed lake) and it cracked my head open and poured awesomeness inside and I was wondering why I'd never heard of the author before, so I looked her up and oh, she's Australian, maybe that's why... wait.... Jaclyn Moriarty, Liane Moriarty... holy crap, they're sisters!

Then I went through this whole complicated little exercise where I tried to imagine what it was like when the first sister became successful as a writer, and then the second sister got into the act later but now she's had this breakout book and is probably making a ton of money, but it's kind of okay because both their books are really excellent examples of their chosen genres, which are completely separate from each other and not really comparable (young adult fantasy and women's lit/mystery).

THEN I was on Goodreads the other day (oh shut up, I don't drink or smoke, except for drinking a little), and I was reading a synopsis of a book that sounded interesting and SONOFBITCH, there's another goddamned sister.

I need to read one of her books. But I'm kind of scared to - I'm now way overidentified with this family's sibling politics.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Day 28

Thirteen minutes to post.

We saw The last Hunger Games movie tonight. It was good. It felt like a satisfying ending.

I tried to order some books from Indigo and ship them to Matt's mom and her husband last night. I couldn't find the gift wrap option. There was an item in the total saying zero charge for gift wrap, and the help screen told me how to choose the gift wrap option but it wasn't there. I spent about ten minutes going back to the beginning of the process and trying it again, thinking I must be missing something.

I finally emailed customer service. Today I got an email back saying the gift wrap option was disabled for the Black Friday Week-end promotions. Sorry that this wasn't stated on our website, they said, so you didn't waste time looking for it.

Expletive. Angry gesture. Futile wish that I could truthfully declare that I was going somewhere else in protest. But we all know I'm going to wait until Tuesday and ship the gift-wrapped books then.

What's it like to have principles? Anyone?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Day 27 - Revenge of the Nerds, Sort of

Okay, so this is what I was going to post about yesterday. I've been reading a bunch of anthologies lately - this one, this one and this one, among others. They all came up in my library holds queue at once, and aside from the slight feeling of scatteredness that reading a bunch of short stories at once gives me, I've been quite enjoying most of them. I also just finished Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, which "covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers." 

Most of the stories were really good - some quite sweet and funny, some with a very loose interpretation of the term 'geek' I thought, and a couple utterly forgettable. There was one about a popular cheerleader trying to learn more about geekdom for her football player boyfriend who kind of likes Star Wars, so she asks a few of the school geeks to help her out, and ends up forming a bond with them and outgrowing the meathead boyfriend - I loved that one. Weirdly, I didn't love the John Green story. "Quiz Bowl Antichrist" by David Levithan was probably my favourite - it was the most subtle and bittersweet snapshot of a moment of insight in a teenage boy's life that I'd read in a while.

Then there was The Truth About Dino Girl by Barry Lyga. It starts out well, with a main character who eats, sleeps and breathes dinosaurs. She's also in love with a popular guy who seems cool because he doesn't rag on her for being smart and seems to find it silly when others do. Unfortunately, he has a beautiful, popular girlfriend. The main character tries to convince herself that the girlfriend is nice because she must be to be with the guy, but it turns out she's a classic mean girl. So the main character (sorry, I can never remember the main characters' names) and her best friend sneak into the girls' locker room when mean girl is half-naked after cheerleading practice, take pictures of her and then photoshop it to look like she's in a cheap motel. Then they post the pictures all over the school of the mean girl, with her boobs showing, saying that she sleeps around, and getting her ostracized by her boyfriend and everyone else in school.

Like.... WTF? It's clear that we the readers are supposed to be complicit in and approving of this completely disproportionate revenge. Like yay, child porn, slut shaming, probably ruination of the girl's life? Is this what passes for out-mean-girling the mean girl in the author's mind?

I had to go search the reviews on Goodreads to make sure I wasn't the only one shaking my head over this one. I found a few readers who said the same thing I was thinking, although fewer than I'd expected. I'm not sure if it should, but it does kind of make a difference to me that the author is male - it puts an extra-creepy spin on the whole thing.

Then I wondered if I was just being too sensitive-new-agey about the concept of revenge. I remember watching the movie version of A Little Princess, and when Sara's father returns and she has a chance to get back at the mean headmistress who treated her like a slave, I expected her to show mercy, being too big a person for petty revenge. I don't think I've actually read the book but in the movie, I was totally wrong - the mean headmistress was now treated just as badly as she'd treated Sara.

I'm not against the concept of revenge per se. I just think the punishment has to fit the crime and it's no good if the act of revenge drags someone lower than the antagonist. It's kind of like how if I'm writing an angry letter to complain about poor customer service or if I get into an argument on the internet, I find it more satisfying if I can be calm and cutting, as opposed to losing my temper and stringing together expletives and insults. Is this just loser thinking? Is Barry Lyga out-feministing me by proving that a girl can be merciless in the pursuit of revenge? Do I have some milk-toast politically correct concept of vengeance that would get me laughed out of the Justice League?

What do you think? 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Day 26 - Crawling Towards the Finish Line

I feel like I'm just inflicting posts on anyone still left here, rather than sharing them. I've really got nothing tonight. Well, I've got something, but I noodled around doing Christmas shopping and Freecycling stuff for so long that now I'm too tired to do that something today. I'll probably do it tomorrow. Woo-hoo, I have something for tomorrow.

Right. We're still on today.

There's a little box in the bottom right of my screen that says Complain to Blogger. I get that it means if you have a Blogger problem, but every time it catches my eye I have the urge to click it and then type "my ass is bigger than I'd like and my kitchen is messy" or something.

Matt just found out he has to go to California from Monday to Thursday. Then he comes home for two days, and leaves again on Saturday for a week in China.

I can't remember if I talked here about the 12-year-old doctor filling in for my family doctor calling me to tell me my iron levels are lower than Atlantis. So at least I have a cause to address before deciding that I'm dying of some exotic tiredness disease. He told me I could either get one kind of iron supplement that's really hard on the stomach, or another kind that's easier on the gut but more expensive. I got the more expensive kind because I figured Matt would rather pay more and hear me bitch less.


I know! Let's see what was going on last year on November 26th. Oh look, I was talking about Freecycling then too. Wow, I was funny last year.

Okay, I've got nothing. Here's a cute (?) picture of Eve from my first year blogging, which kind of encapsulates how I feel right now.

Good night.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Day 25

Oh God. That means today is November 25. Exactly... one.... month.... *keels over*.

So, a local pub has been running a trivia night the past few months. Last month I couldn't make it, but the team my husband and friends were on actually won - they all got Sobey's gift cards (free ice cream, woo-hoo). Yesterday someone else couldn't make it so I went, even though I just found out my iron levels are scary low and my head has been aching all week and I'm so tired all the time I just want to cry. It was really fun, although we slipped from first place to third.

In every quiz, there's one word you have to spell. Tonight it was cantaloupe. I wrote it down, and three other people disagreed with me - they thought the second 'a' should be an 'e'. I was suddenly seized with self-doubt. Then I looked at my husband and he was looking at everyone else like they were insane. "Are you the least bit serious?" he said "There's NO WAY she's wrong."

We went with the others. I was totally right. We got the question wrong.

But man - sometimes he pisses me off, and sometimes he totally has my back. Which is nice, even when it's for the weirdest reasons.

I don't even like cantaloupe.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Day 24 - Clothes Make the Woman - NOT

I know I've been phoning it in a lot this month. It's a sort of Catch-22 where having to post every day makes me post something, but I don't feel like I have time to do anything really thoughtful or substantial, especially because November has been busier than usual. But before November, the lack of deadline and motivation meant I didn't have the drive to do anything really thoughtful or substantial then either. 

The cute-as-a-button Ukrainian sales girl that seduced me into buying the magical eye serum in Barrie threw in a facial scrub for free that she said I had to use once a week. She said (in an adorable accent): "Tell me you won't be too busy or too lazy." Sorry, darling, it appears I'm either one or the other ALL THE FREAKING TIME. 

One of the things I've been meaning to post about, back when there was another public furor about school dress codes and how they're fairly discriminatory towards girls. There was also a post on Facebook by a teen-aged or young adult woman (or someone pretending to be one), talking about how she was wearing jeans and a midriff-baring shirt, and how this was the outfit she wore while doing her job and making a baby laugh, while talking with her friends, and then when overhearing a mother tell her child that she was going to get what was coming to her because she obviously didn't respect herself enough to dress like a lady.

Yesterday there was another comment about how women should "respect themselves" on a blog post talking about how women generally deal with either flat-out misogyny and sexism or smaller micro-aggressions related to the same thing every day.

I'm still not taking the time to assemble the post I meant to write about this. I'm just going with what I can think of right now. In the first place, I hear a lot of people (some of them my friends) saying: "What's wrong with modesty?" Well, nothing is inherently wrong with modesty. If modesty is a part of your religious beliefs, or just your general philosophy, then by all means, practice it. But you don't get to make other people adhere to that belief, just like you don't get to make them take Communion or give ten percent of their earnings to the church.

A body is just a body. Every single thing you ascribe to a female body is just that - something YOU ascribe to it. Boobs are just boobs. We have them because we might be able to feed a child with them, assuming we choose to have one. They weren't put there for your gratification, and whether you like seeing them or find them offensive, that's not our issue - it's yours.

One of my friends said she has a male teacher friend who feels uncomfortable when girls in his class show too much skin. Suck it up, I say. He has the same right everyone has - to not be made to feel uncomfortable by someone else's actions or behaviour. If the girls are acting inappropriately towards him, they should be disciplined. If he's uncomfortable because of the very fact of a non-shapeless-garment-draped female body? That is SO not the girls' problem. Go have an argument with the goddamned rape culture that has existed since culture itself became a thing, and probably beforehand.

Now on to that fucking ridiculous empty-of-any-usable-content statement, "respect yourself". Apparently if I respect myself, that will prevent men from perpetrating a host of indignities on me, from paying me less for equivalent work to raping me. Right. All I have to do is respect myself. Good to know it's so easy. Oh, and respecting myself means I should make sure I'm covered up so no one can see "everything I have". Because everything I have extends solely to my boobs and ass.

Yeah, fuck that. If you ever see someone wearing a t-shirt saying "I don't respect myself", THEN you can base your opinion of their self-respect on their clothing. Actually, not even then - maybe they just spilled something on their other shirt and had to borrow that one.

Okay. So that's done. Now I'm going to go scrub my face, because she was seriously SO cute, and I promised.