Wednesday, September 30, 2009
(This is by no means a list of favorite books. In fact, at least one of them I loathed. However, these are honestly the books that most stick in my mind. Some of them stick more because of the time in my life they represent for me, or because of the wonderful teachers/people who inspired or required me to read them.)
1.Curse of Chalion~ Lois McMaster Bujold
2. The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear~ Don and Audrey Wood
3. American Gods~ Neil Gaiman
4. Moby Dick~ Herman Melville (I will never forget the pain and frustration. That fucking albatross...thanks a ton Beerman/Chaplar! ;P I should probably read it again now, as an adult, in light of the fact that I rather liked The Confidence Man)
5. Gulliver's Travels/ "A Modest Proposal"~ Jonathan Swift (Thank you so very much, Chris Juzwiak. I love you.)
6. Anything and everything Shakespeare wrote (don't make me pick one. I won't do it. Although I should probably say R&J, despite the fact that it is by no means my favorite, simply because the damn Nurse is so inextricably tied to my life)
7. Guards! Guards!~ Terry Pratchett (really any book in the Guards set within the Discworld series, but Guards! Guards! stands out because it contains THE ABSOLUTE BEST character introduction EVER)
8. Pride & Prejudice~ Jane Austin
9. Watchmen~ Alan Moore
10. Agnes and the Hitman~ Jennifer Crusie (I never knew a mob hit could be hot, but this book proves it definitively can)
11. The Picture of Dorian Gray~ Oscar Wilde
12. Fables~ Bill Willingham
13. The Eyre Affair~ Jasper Fforde
14. No Exit~ Jean-Paul Sartre
15. "Sight Unseen"~ Donald Margulies ( And thank you, Ken. This was one of my favorite scenes to perform ever. You always pick such excellent material)
Friday, September 4, 2009
Anyway. I like to get creative with my cussin'... some of my favorites include douche nozzle, asshat, cum-monkey, fuckwit, fucktard, fuck-wit (really, hyphenate anything with fuck and it becomes grade A profane awesomesauce. It’s true. Try it. Fuck-butter. Fuck-bread, fuck-goat, fuck-bulb, fuck-knob, fuck-purple-monkey-dishwasher. See? All excellent and original profanities. Oh the possibilities... I *squee* a little for the varied and wondrous panoply of possible swear words that can be created in this way. But I digress...). Recently, I've been using "shit, balls, monkey mother-fucker." That exact phrase. I'm not sure what it means. But it sure is fun to say.
Now, all that being said, it is really, really, REALLY a bad idea to ask me not to cuss. Really. Don't misunderstand me. I'm fully capable of controlling my swearing. I can get through the day without any deliberate use or inadvertent slips. I know when it is inappropriate to swear, and I am completely able to control it. But in general, casual conversation? Yeah. Ask me not to swear, and I will hit the gas on the swear bus and run you over with fuck-puppets and shit-balls. And then I will back up and roll over your shattered spine with a couple of merdes for good measure (that’s totally French shit. Cuz I'm multi-culti like that.) Just don't do it.
Why, you may wonder, do I love swearing so much? Because it is fun. And one of the few areas of language in which you can be creative with the meanings of the words themselves, and still be clearly understood. Because flouting taboos and challenging social norms can be fun, and healthy. And because I think it is patently ridiculous to get your panties in a twist over the arbitrary labels we’ve assigned to biological functions. If I can talk about corpses and cancer, then I can talk about crap. (It is perhaps unsurprising that I also find it ridiculous to be embarrassed by discussing sex in public, friendly discourse).
And now for something completely different! One of the greatest pleasures in human existence is the ability to sing along, at top volume, in the privacy of your own car, to your favorite songs. I personally cannot help but sing along, loud, long, and without precision, when I drive. One of my absolute favorite sing-alongs is "Skullcrusher Mountain" by Jonathan Coulton. Good Lord, that song is fun.
I desperately long to perform the damn thing as a monologue, because this song, this song I not only sing, but perform. It is the frustrated actor child in me, I know. It’s been FOREVER since I got to perform anything, and “”Skullcrusher Mountain” speaks to the part of me which used to have to fish around performance material for student showcases and the like. I performed Tool’s “Cries of the Carrots” bonus track (I’ve no idea if that’s the proper, official name, but that’s bloody well what I call it in my own head) on two different occasions for such a showcase. Skullcrusher Mountain would be PERFECT FOR THIS. Alas, the downside: like most of my favorite monologues, the speaker in “Skullcrusher” is male. Boo. I can’t do Aaron from Titus Andronicus, or this, because I lack a penis. To which I say BALLS.
One final and completely unrelated third point: in my writing about literature class (which could be an entry on its own. It is surreal to be taking this kind of course at this stage of my college career. It’s like going back to freshman year of high school and relearning the elements of fiction ALL OVER AGAIN) the professor referenced Romance novels. Now, anyone who is even vaguely aware of the romance community knows to expect one of two things from this scenario. Support or venom, with venom heavily favored. Naturally, my prof takes the usual; romance is porn, stereotype the genre route. Of course. We were covering structuralism, and she gave the examples of the set formulas of books like The DaVinci Code and romance novels. And then she gives a brief sketch of her idea of the formula of romance novels: 1) Within 3 chapters, a kiss. 2) Within 10, a nice, healthy rape.
Wait what!?! Right. Rape. Because ALL romance novels, especially those written after 1987, contain rapes.
Now, I’m not going to lie. Rape is one of the old school conventions of romance novels. It is unfortunate, rape is never right or good, and it is problematic how it is often portrayed in old school romances (if the villain rapes the heroine, it’s bad. If the hero does it, it is because he is so in love, all unknowing, that he cannot control his cock around the heroine. Epic fail.) I could wax on and on about why this device came into the genre, the role it played, etc., but really, for my immediate purposes, suffice to say that the rape trope is MUCH reviled in the modern romance community, and that shit does not fly. Rape in romance is MUCH less common now, and its role is much more appropriate and realistic. And really, as a reader of the genre, and a fan of several of the writers, it really twists my tail when I hear this shit being smugly bandied about. I am annoyed by the smug superiority and condescension of these portrayals, and I’m annoyed to face it in my writing class. Shame. I was beginning to like this prof…
And now I am home and bone weary (text books weren't so heavy in MY day *shakes fist in impotent rage*) waiting for the ex to come pick up the Little.
On the plus side, my witch hat pants are pretty sweet.