ship of theseusOh, “S.”  I wanted to love you.  And I did love you.  In some ways.  In other ways, you left me numb, and a little bit confused.  In yet other ways, I hated you with a passion that I’m not quite sure where it came from, or why, but it is there, and it is undeniable.  So make of that what you will. Continue reading

Before Midnight- Movie Notes

before midnight(The other two I’ve done in stream-of-consciousness/movie note form; I guess there’s no reason to deviate now).

We all lie to our children.  A lot.  At some point, remembering all those lies is going to become a challenge.  We are going to slip up.  And our then adult children will remember those lies as the only truth they know/knew.  That will undoubtedly prove awkward. Continue reading

The Braindead Megaphone

braindead megaphoneGeorge Saunders is predominantly known for his short stories.  And make no mistake, he is the master.  But he is also exceptional at shorter non-fiction stuff, and his collection The Braindead Megaphone is a shining example.  For me, this is because the qualities that make him a good fiction writer carry over into his nonfiction.  Because, for me, all good writing is about the human perspective, and the ability to see and convey perceptions in a unique but still relatable way.  Saunders is one of those talented writers who could make any topic fascinating. Continue reading

In Persuasion Nation

Who are your heroes?  And how do you feel about meeting them?  I saw George Saunders at a reading a couple of months ago, and immediately went on a crazy Saunders kick.  (I’m sure  he would cringe at the “hero” reference.  He strikes me as a happy but really easygoing and unassuming guy.  But what do I know?  I only saw him for about an hour addressing a room of about 400 other people).  I have been a fan for a while now, but seeing him in person inspired me.  In Persuasion Nation was first on my list. Continue reading

We Are What We Pretend To Be

kurt vonnegutWhat feels like a very long time ago (does anyone remember 2011?), I reviewed a book called Record Collecting for Girls, by Courtney Smith.  In that book, she talks about what it means to be a true fan of a particular band.  Everyone has bands they like, and many of us have multiple CDs (or itune equivalents, for you new techno hipsters) from a particular group or artist.  But Courtney said that the true sign of a true fan is someone who has every recording of everything the group has ever recorded ever.  EVER.  Like obscure before-they-were-famous albums.  And live recordings from concerts in like Budapest in 2003.  VHS copies of live performances on The Tonight Show (and if, hypothetically, you ever obtained a scratchy bootleg from a guy in a dark alley on the way home from a concert, she would probably include that as well).  If you have made it your quest to have at least one copy (and sometimes multiple copies, just to be safe) of literally everything, then you are a true devotee. Continue reading