Wednesday, May 25, 2005
1. Total number of books owned: Umm, a lot? But not anywhere near as many as Jesse. In my room here in Illinois I have about 97 books, not counting library books or zines, and I have a crapload more that I left in Arizona. Maybe between 3 and 4 hundred total, I'd guess.
2. The last book I bought: Probably Male Impersonator: Men Performing Masculinity by Mark Simpson, for my gender class. Not a huge fan of this book, actually; I felt kind of ambivalent about a lot of his analysis, although I was hugely amused by his painstaking descriptions of all things masculine. An example from a description of the film Masters of the Universe: "...the baddy [Skeletor] is coded as a queer threat to He-Man's heterosexual virility: 'I'll have He-Man kneeling at my feet!' he vows, and plots to steal his gigantic sword... the key, it might be added, to control the universe. He-Man wins the day and thrusts his sword into the air, shouting 'I have the power!' as white lightning squirts out of its tip. This was kids' entertainment in the 1980's (26)."
3. The last book I read: Midnight Hour Encores, by Bruce Brooks, for relaxation in between other more serious things. It's a story about a self-sufficient (kind of) 17-year-old prodigy cellist, and her contentious relationships with her dad and her mom, who left her with her father when she was a day old. It's all about her trying to learn about hippies from her dad so she can understand her mom (who she's about to meet for the first time), and about playing the cello. My mom and I both read this books when I was maybe 13, and we've been arguing ever since about whether the main character is a bitch or just trying to keep her own best interests in mind. I love this book, as silly as it sometimes is, because every time I read it it gives me new ways of looking at the main character, which I think reflects on the ways I myself change in between readings. Plus some of the descriptions of classical music make me want to be a musician all over again.
4. Five books that mean a lot to me:
Number 1: In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens by Alice Walker. When the war in Iraq started, I had a period of total freakout brought on by the tensions between the pro-and-anti war people, the fact of war happening even when we tried so hard to stop it, and the fear that everybody I knew was going to wrongfully end up in jail. I read this book, and even though much of it isn't terribly happy it made me feel like everything was going to be okay. I love Alice Walker, she always brings me a sort of peace that I don't quite get any other way.
Number 2: Cunt: a declaration of independance by Inga Muscio. Damn, this book made me look at a lot of things in a whole new way. It inspired my first zine, and it made me respect my period and my body. It also has some very helpful reference lists in the back.
Number 3: Contact by Carl Sagan. This is another book I read when I feel like I'm losing faith in humanity, although I'm not entirely sure why. It's a kind of adventure novel mixed with the idea that there is a purpose to the universe. Some days, I need to think about that, I guess.
Number 4: Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. My parents introduced me to The Monkey Wrench Gang sometime in high school, and I didn't much care for it. Then I read this book, and it just made me understand so many things that the other book left out or took for granted. I learned to love the desert very vicariously, through Abbey and Kingsolver and other people, before I learned to love it in person, and this was really influential in that process. I stole my parents' copy and bring it with me whenever I move.
Number 5: Waltzing the Cat by Pam Houston. The first story in this collection, "The Best Girlfriend You Never Had," is probably my all time favorite short story right now. Pam Houston makes me want to laugh and cry and throw up my arms and dance all at the same time. She's another person who made me love the outside world, and damn she's done a lot of hardcore stuff. She is a beautiful, beautiful writer.
5. Tag 5 people and have them fill this out in their journals: Umm, everybody I know with journals has already been lsited by Jesse. I guess if Lauren in California wants to do it, she can. Erica is, as Jesse noted, in Alaska, and thus exempt unless she feels like it and has a lot of internet time one day. I guess I pass on this one.
Yay for books! I love reading, I wish I could do it all the time. When I was in second grade, actually, I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a profession that would just pay me to read all day long. Thank you Jesse, for passing this quiz on.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
- Anna will be here on Thursday to do job interviews/help me move/hang out. Yay!!! There's going to be a fetish-themed drag show on Friday, which we will certainly be attending.
- I picked a topic for my gender final paper! I'm going to discuss several iconic-type men who presented a somewhat unorthodox masculinity (Elvis and John Travolta for sure, and someone else not yet picked) and then examine drag performers of those men and what that entails.
- Every friend I made here this year (all two of them, when you define friend as "someone I regularly schedule into my life and hang out with in some non-school capacity") is moving away and won't be here next year. :-(
- The last time I got my period, I counted six weeks ahead and made a prediction of when I thought I would get it again, and I was on to the very day. I don't know if my mind could prevent my body from having it until I wanted it to or something, but I was really amazed by that.
- I went to an exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry called "Body Worlds" that was basically a bunch of cadavers treated with plastic and displayed to show off various organ systems and things like that. Somewhat disturbing (some things really grossed me out, like the man holding his own skin), mostly I just felt really bothered by the way things were displayed. There was some weirdness in the different portrayals of men and women, and I just felt odd looking at these sometimes-humorous corpses, like it was voyeuristic and not serving the purpose that perhaps the makers intended. This is the website, if you want to know more: http://www.bodyworlds.com/en/pages/home.asp
- I picked out my recital program and approximate time for next year! For anyone who cares, this is what I'll be playing: the Eccles Sonata (baroque-ish), the Stravinsky Elegy, Brahms E-flat Sonata, Schumann's Fairytales, and La Campanella by Paganini. Whew, all from memory, that will be a trip. I'm planning on the end of February, as that is basically my month off from Civic orchestra.
Basically, things have been good, just busy and sometimes stressful, which I guess is the nature of school. Many things are kind of ending in the next few days, and then Anna will be here an it'll be a whole different kind of craziness. But good, and I'll make it through this to the summer.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Monday, May 09, 2005
Friday, May 06, 2005
-Sherman Alexie, Red Blues
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Monday, May 02, 2005
Sunday, May 01, 2005
"The penis, far from being an impenetrable knight in armor, in fact wears its heart on its sleeve."
She also notes earlier that Pat Califia (a lesbian theorist) suggests that men experience "dildo envy" more than women experience penis envy. I like taking classes where I get to read things like this.