morrigirl: (Lila Black)
2012-01-31 01:17 pm


Thanks, Metal Evolution. Now I can't get this fucking song out of my head.

morrigirl: (Vinnie)
2011-11-06 01:35 am

Our Favorite Curmudgeon

Andrew Aiken Rooney

January 14, 1919 - November 4, 2011

morrigirl: (TaraWillow)
2011-06-24 01:43 pm

For Once, a Happy

I turned 32 last Monday, and it was the culmination of an all-weekend birthday celebration.

On Friday Greg visited NYU-Poly’s Brooklyn campus for the very first time. He got to meet all of my co-workers, and they were, of course, delighted to meet him. They asked him all about the Long Island campus that none of us have ever even seen. Greg purposely wore his RPI shirt (just to let everyone know where his true allegiance lies), and the first thing Jennifer said when she saw him was, “I’m making you change!” She headed straight for our official swag closet, pulled out an NYU-Poly shirt that said “Alumni in Training” on the front, and handed it to him.

I took him on a tour of the library, and then we walked around MetroTech Center so he could take pictures of all the weird installation art. I took him past the dorms, and he took pictures of the outdated signage, (the Othner dorms still carry the Polytechnic University logo.) Then we went poking around in the main building, sticking our heads into classrooms and gawking at all the chemical and civil engineering equipment.

Afterwards we went up to my mom’s place, and me, Greg, mom, and Mike went out to dinner at this Greek and Italian restaurant that I’ve been meaning to take Greg to for a while. I got some great presents. Mike gave me the new Beastie Boys CD, and mom got me tickets to see Book of Mormon! I am glad I got to spend some time with them. I know mom really wanted to do something with me for my birthday, and at first I was so swamped at work I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do anything at all. But, luckily it all worked out and I was able to hang out with my mom and my brother and shoot the shit and have fun.

On Saturday, Greg drove me to Barnes & Noble and I picked out two books for him to give me for my birthday :-) Then, at my request, he drove an hour up to Bronxville so we could have dinner at the Italian restaurant we used to eat at on a weekly basis back when I was living in the Bronx. Bronxville has changed a lot since I left. Stores that were there the entire time I worked at SLC were closed. As we were walking around after dinner I said, “Look what happens; I move out of the area and everything goes to shit.”

The following day was Father’s Day so Greg and I went over to his parents place and had a joint father’s day/birthday celebration. Greg’s parents gave me a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble, and his mom baked me a chocolate cake with white icing, yummy, yumminess. For Father’s Day Greg gave his dad a couple compilations of Rolling Stones bluegrass covers, because his dad loves bluegrass and classic rock, so what could be better, right? We listened to them after dinner and they were pretty good. Of course, it takes a lot of effort to fuck up the Stones (though Vanessa Carlton managed to quite well with that God awful cover of Paint It Black off her first album.)

I took the actual day of my birth off from work, and spent my time watching TV and cleaning the house. When Greg came home from work he took me out for dinner yet again, because he said I couldn’t spend my entire birthday locked in the house. So when all was said and done I didn’t have to cook or pay for a single meal all weekend. Sweet!

And I returned to work on Tuesday to find a banner with the words “Happy Birthday” draped across the wall of my cubicle, and two birthday cards on my desk, one from the Director of Development and one from the rest of the development staff. The one from the staff was in the shape of a library due date card, and each staff member signed a line. It was so cute! And Jennifer brought in gourmet cupcakes for us all to share in celebration of my birth.

It was all lovely, a definite improvement over last year. For once I actually had a happy birthday :-)
morrigirl: (TaraWillow)
2011-04-24 01:00 am

Beau Sia

So I was reading Bum Rush the Page this afternoon and came across this awesome poem called "Give Me a Chance" by this poet I'd never heard of named Beau Sia. Here, check it out:

And that kick ass poem lead me to this other kick ass poem called "Asian Invasion."

I think I'm in love :-)
morrigirl: (TaraWillow)
2011-01-03 02:41 pm

Fun with my Brother

After listening to the "Dirt" album by Alice in Chains for the hundredth time, I turned to Michael and said, "I just realized that all the lyrics written by Layne Staley are about drugs and all the lyrics written by Jerry Cantrell are about death."

"Yup. And we know who won that face-off," he said.

I nodded. Beat. Then we said in unison, "Death."


Over the holidays Michael and I were flipping channels one day and came across "Attack of the Clones" on television. It sparked a good-natured debate on the merits of the first three episodes of the Star Wars epic. Michael conceded that George Lucas should not have directed any of them, he should have handed directorial duty over to someone like Spielberg. THAT lead us to conjure up a list of directors who, although completely wrong for the job, might have produced a more interesting, if not necessarily better Star Wars trilogy. Some highlights:

Woody Allen
Martin Scorsese
Pedro Almodovar
John Carpenter
Michael Bay
Clint Eastwood
Penny Marshall

and my personal favorite...

Spike Lee
morrigirl: (TaraWillow)
2010-09-28 09:31 pm

Alice in Chains

Let me tell you a little something about Alice in Chains: they are LOUD. Not "Oh God, my ears are bleeding! Make it stop!" loud. More of a big, smiley "If I'm going to lose all my hearing this is the way to do it!" loud. Within minutes of taking the stage at Madison Square Garden last Friday night they managed to usurp Rage Against the Machine as the loudest musical act I've ever seen live. After the Rage concert back in 1999 my ears rang for somewhere between six and twelve hours. (I wish I could be more specific than that, but it was eleven years ago and my memory isn't what it used to be.) Alice in Chains made my ears ring for a full twenty-four hours afterward. My hearing was still muffled when I went out to dinner with my Dad the following evening.

Which is to say that the Alice in Chains show was fan-fucking-tastic! They came out with guns blazing and blew the fucking roof off of the Garden. I wish I could give you a play by play, recount each and every detail of the evening, but as with most experiences in which sensory overload plays a key role, all I remember are flashes and fragments; disconnected moments that packed enough of an emotional punch to imprint themselves on my brain. So that's what I'll give you, those flashes.

Videos and Commentary )
morrigirl: (TaraWillow)
2010-09-02 07:26 pm

Cherub Rock

Last month my brother Michael was invited to write and read a narrative piece for the Soundtrack Series. The Soundtrack Series "is a live monthly reading/storytelling event where six writers tell the memories, stories, or tirades triggered every time they hear a particular song of their choosing." All the performances are recorded and later uploaded to the Soundtrack Series website as individual podcasts. I had wanted to go and see Michael read, but I had a scheduling conflict and couldn't attend. So I've been waiting for his podcast to get posted.

His piece went up on the website today. I just finished listening to it; laughed my ass off the whole time. The minute I heard him say the words "angsty break up story" I knew exactly what story he was going to tell. I was fourteen the year it happened, and he didn't get over it until after I turned twenty!

Really, you all have got to hear this. The piece is fifteen minutes long, but it's worth every second.

Here's The Soundtrack Series – Featuring Michael Criscuolo

As a postscript I would like to add that this is the song Michael had playing on repeat in his CD player for eight months following those events:

And, just in case I haven't mentioned it lately, I love my brother :-)
morrigirl: (TaraWillow)
2010-08-26 01:46 am

The Seattle Sound

I've been on a Singles kick for the last two weeks. Woke up with a hankering to listen to the soundtrack one morning and it hasn't left my discman since. A lot of good music on that album - Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Mother Love Bone, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, and the ever fantastic Paul Westerberg.

It brought back one of the three or so good memories I have of my trip to Seattle. There was one fleeting day right after we arrived during which I felt physically okay. Greg and I spent the afternoon visiting celebrity grave sites. First we went to see Bruce and Brandon Lee, then we paid a visit to Mr. Jimi Hendrix, and got caught in rush hour traffic on our way back into the city.

But that morning before we headed out, I went for a walk. I'd only brought three books on the trip with me, all of which I'd plowed through on the three day, cross country train ride so I needed something new to read. There was a Barnes a Noble about a mile away from our hotel so I decided to walk over.

I think I brought something like six or eight CDs with me to Seattle. One of the things I really wanted to do while I was there was take a walk through the city while listening to classic grunge rock on my discman. The obvious choice would have been Nevermind by Nirvana. Unfortunately, I do not own a copy of Nevermind on CD, so that was out. I didn't own any Pearl Jam or Alice in Chains albums at the time. All I had was the soundtrack to Singles, a soundtrack that I absolutely adore and listened to all the time when I was in high school. So that would be the emblematic grunge rock album I listened to as I walked the streets of Seattle.

It was a great day. The sky was clear, the sun was shining, and there was a nice breeze blowing. I walked along the water until I reached the Pike Place Market. It was early and the place was still waking up. No fish were flying just yet, and I stopped in a used music shop to browse their cassette offerings. After leaving the Market I went a block over to Pine Street, then walked five or six blocks north to Barnes and Noble.

I don't remember which books I bought that day even though I still remember exactly how many books I read during the trip. (Nine, in case you're wondering. I could list them all alphabetically by author if you'd like.) All I remember is listening to "side" one of the Singles soundtrack on my way to the store, and "side" two on my way back.

And even though Google Maps says that was a two mile, round trip walk it didn't feel like it. It felt easy and pleasant. And I remember walking back on 2nd Avenue listening to "State of Love and Trust" by Pearl Jam, and thinking "Well, now I can say I have walked the streets of Seattle while listening to Singles." That seemed like a really important experience to have had. And considering that I fell ill the very next day and spent a week holed up in the hotel room feeling so terrible I was certain God had abandoned me, I guess it kind of was.

This week I've had "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns" by Mother Love Bone playing on repeat.

(Digression: I'm realizing that the music culture of 1990's was a lot like that of the 1960's in that all the seminal musicians of the day up and died. In fact, you can probably track the rise and fall of 90's alternative rock through the deaths of its key musicians. I think the story of grunge would go a little something like this: Andrew Wood, Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley. The End.)

Anyway, I found a clip on YouTube of Pearl Jam doing "Crown of Thorns" live, and I am completely in love with it. I'm surprised at how little the emotional push of the song changes with Eddie Vedder on vocals. Kudos to him for being awesome like that. Here, have a listen.

morrigirl: (Default)
2010-08-08 09:03 pm

Derby Review

Greg and I went to the roller derby last night. Greg enjoyed it, but I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. In fact, I found the whole thing down right boring.

The game is split into two thirty minute halves, and each half contains an unspecified numbers of Jams. A Jam is a two minute play during which each team's Jammer (point scorer) tries to lap as many members of the opposite team as possible. They receive one point for each member of the opposite team they pass. There's more to it than that, but that's the gist.

Between each Jam the teams rotate players and are given thirty seconds to set up for the next Jam. Changing players every two minutes, sometimes less, kept the game from building any momentum. Just as I was getting excited about what was going on, the Jam would end and thirty seconds of shuffling would commence. Lame.

I also found the scoring system really hinky. I felt it gave an unfair advantage to whichever team was in the lead and prevented the trailing team from catching up. There were times when I was certain that one team or the other had scored, but when I looked at the scoreboard, discovered they hadn't. I had no clue what was going on even with the rule sheet sitting in my lap the whole time.

Finally, I didn't really like the crowd which was made almost entirely of hipsters from Williamsburg. They were all white, tattooed, pierced, and obviously well off. They seemed almost offended they had to sit in cramped, smelly, college court bleachers to watch the game.

While I'm glad we went, and I'm glad Greg had fun, it's not something I'd ever want to do again.
morrigirl: (TakeOffThatTie)
2010-07-18 01:21 am

The Day I Went Missing

This story is all over the news. On June 22nd, twelve year old Nicole Suriel, a seventh grade student at the Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science, and Engineering, went with the rest of her class on a trip to Long Beach. While playing in the water she got caught in the undertow and drowned. It was later discovered that not only had the teacher failed to obtain the required parental permission slips to take the class to the beach, but she allowed the children, many of whom did not know how to swim, to go in the water even though there were no lifeguards on duty and signs telling swimmers not to go in the water.

I wish I could say I was shocked, but the truth of the matter is New York City public schools often suck at keeping tabs on students during class trips, and many times staff do not plan for, or even really consider, all the things that could go wrong. I know from first hand experience. During a class trip back in seventh grade, I was Nicole Suriel for a few hours.

Read more... )
morrigirl: (TakeOffThatTie)
2010-07-07 03:32 pm

My Night in Hell

Last night was horrific. The temperture got up to 106 during the day, and when I arrived home at six the thermometer said it was 99 degrees in my apartment. I started the AC immediately and made sure it was set to the coolest setting, 60 degrees. For hilarity's sake, I spent the next eight hours documenting my AC's progress through Facebook status updates. Here is the basic run down:

I started the AC at 6:00 PM and the temperature was 99 degrees.

By 8:00 PM the AC had been running for two hours and the temperature in my apartment was still 99 degrees.

The sun finally set around 8:30 or 9:00 PM. No more sun shining directly into my westerly facing window.

By midnight the temp had dropped to 90. Progress, finally.

By 2:00 AM it had gone down to 88 and I went to bed.

I spent another hour tossing an turning, too uncomfortable to sleep. I'd spent most of the evening prior to that laying naked and motionless on my bed with the air vents blowing directly on me, and even then the sweat was running down my back, my stomach, my sides, my thighs. Hell no longer frightens me because now I've been there and I know what to expect.

But, this is what happens when you live in an attic apartment, though in the five years I've lived there it has never gotten so hot that the AC simply could not cool the place down. A lot of people have asked if there is something wrong with my AC, and as far as I can tell there isn't. It works fine on days when it's not 106 outside!

I'm going to spend the rest of the week camped out on my mother's couch.
morrigirl: (Ripper)
2010-06-28 10:57 pm

A Word About Titles

I've gotten into the habit of browsing the romance section over on PaperBack Swap, not because I'm looking for something to read, but because I get a huge kick out of some of those book titles. Romance novels, category romances in particular, have some of the most ridiculous titles. We're talking titles that tell you the entire story in four words so you don't actually have to buy or read the book, and yet...people do!

Here are a few examples. I assure you these are, in fact, real titles of actual romance novels.

*clears throat*

The Multi-Millionaire's Virgin Mistress (Wait...isn't "virgin mistress" an oxymoron?)

The Prince's Royal Concubine (Wait...didn't we just discuss this one?)

Argentinian Playboy, Unexpected Love-Child (Because what's hotter than an unplanned pregnancy?)

Bedded for Passion, Purchased for Pregnancy (Because the only thing sexier than an unplanned pregnancy is the fantasy of becoming a brood mare.)

And, my personal favorite...

My Sister, Myself (I'm betting this one was released exclusively in West Virginia.)

Why do women buy this stuff by the truckload, and why can't I make money writing it? Oh, right, because I'm a cynic who derives pleasure from unhappy endings because she finds their realism refreshing. Yeah, I could never write romance, not even the schlocky variety. I'd probably make the playboy force his mistress to abort the love-child, and have the virgin leave the millionaire after he lost all his money in a freak "economic downturn." But...I'd have the brother and sister live happily ever after :-)
morrigirl: (Lila Black)
2010-06-11 11:23 am

Carla Can't Stop Yapping About Urban Fantasy

After finishing The Raw Shark Texts yesterday, (good book; kind of like "Momento," "The Matrix," House of Leaves, and "Jaws" all rolled into one), I picked up the copy of Dead Until Dark that has been sitting on the office book swap shelf for ages. I read three pages, and put it back.

I have an aversion to characters who tell me how drop dead gorgeous they are on the first page. A start like that tells me a lot about what is important within the narrative: beauty, sexiness, romance, and sex. They usually come hand in hand with cliches, unrealistic relationship development, shoddy writing, and cringe-worthy sex scenes. None of that interests me. I don't like reading about pretty people, particularly pretty people who bitch and moan about how they can't get a date. Three pages of Sookie Stackhouse was all I could take.

Having abandoned Charlaine Harris, I turned to one of the urban fantasy books I acquire through PaperBack Swap - Guilty Pleasures, the first book in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. Like the Southern Vampire Mysteries, I've never had any strong desire to read the Anita Blake books, but was willing to give them a go because 1) everyone loves them so much, and 2) they are basically considered urban fantasy "canon."

Laurell K. Hamilton pretty much invented contemporary urban fantasy. Guilty Pleasures was first published in 1993 when epic fantasy was still the industry norm. It came out four years before Buffy the Vampire Slayer hit television, and roughly ten years before urban fantasy became a driving force in fantasy literature.

I'm up to page fifty, and though I'm not impressed, now I know where every urban fantasy cliche originated: the generic, sassy, opinionated heroine; the sexy, yet sensitive and overly protective vampire lover; the ridiculous, comedic side-kicks. They're all there. Hamilton's writing is serviceable, but that's about it. Nothing dazzles on the page. Anita herself has virtually no personality. Fifty pages in all I know about her is what she does for a living and that she hates vampires. She has no interests, hobbies, quirks, or defining characteristics. She's a blank slate.

I think the urban fantasy novelists who have taken Hamilton's formula and run with it over the last ten years have improved upon it greatly. Writer's like Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, and Richelle Mead give their characters actual personalities! They give their romantic subp-lots time to development in a realistic fashion. They come up with fleshed out secondary characters who are just as charming as the protagonists. They bring an improved awareness of craft and technique to their books. They have zeroed in on the problem areas of the urban fantasy formula and fixed them. So it's kind of sad that new urban fantasy writers still try to imitate Hamilton when they could be trying to imitate her successors, or better yet, coming up with something totally new.

Problems aside, I do plan to finish reading Guilty Pleasures. It's good enough and short enough, and it's not as off-putting as Dead Until Dark. But it's going to have to get A LOT better for me to move on the second book.

Thanks to PaperBack Swap I've accumulated a small library of urban fantasy books I was never interested in spending money on but am perfectly willing to sample for free. I've got the first book in Kim Harrison's Hollows series, Jenna Black's Morgan Kinglesy series, Vicki Pettersson's Sign of the Zodiac series, and Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series. To be perfectly honest, I'm not optimistic about the quality of these books, but feel I should at least give them a chance because I'm fond of the genre. And, you know, I have been wrong in the past. I wasn't optimistic about the Georgina Kincaid books either and they turned out to be freaking awesome! So, who knows?
morrigirl: (Default)
2010-06-08 01:09 pm

Last Day on Earth

Last night Michael had his play writing debut - a ten minute one act play called "Last Day on Earth."

A few months back a woman he knows through the indie theatre scene sent out a submissions call for ten minute one acts. The eight best would be produced as part of a one night fundraiser for her theatre company, and would also serve as a memorial for a friend of hers who died last year. All submissions had to revolve around the theme "Last Day on Earth." Michael decided to submit. He wrote a funny little play, and out of a grand total of eighty submissions his was one of the eight chosen to be performed :-)

Mom, Sara, and me went to the show. Michael's was a comedy centered around two friends sitting around, drinking, and talking about how they would spend their last day on Earth. It opened with a speech about the film Deep Impact, and there was an underlying Battlestar Galactica thread that ran through the whole piece. We liked it :-) As for the rest of the plays, we all agreed we liked the comedies better than the dramatic ones. There was a great one about Death coming to collect the soul of a young man, and the young man convincing Death to hold off until he can get laid one last time. All in all, a fine way to spend twenty bucks and an evening.

Mom got two nuggets of bad news from Pensacola this week. First, oil globs have started washing up on Pensacola Beach. When she told me about it she said, "It breaks my heart to think of oil washing up on that beautiful white breach."

It's been at least twenty years since I've been anywhere near Pensacola Beach. Mom used to take me there as a kid, but I don't remember anything about it. One year, back when I was still in high school, I remember watching mom pack for a week long visit to Pensacola. She was going on and on about how she couldn't wait to see the white sand, and I told her I didn't remember there being white sand on Pensacola Beach. She said, "I'll bring some back for you. You'll see." And, true to her word, the following week she returned with a Ziploc bag full of pure, white sand. We put it in a jar and placed decorative seashells on the surface. It's still over at my mom's house, and I keep thinking, "Well, at least she has a small portion of Pensacola Beach that can't be sullied."

She also got word that an old friend of our family's, Ray Hillyer, passed away unexpectedly on Memorial Day. Ray used to design all the costumes for my grandmother's ballet recitals. He lived with his brother Henry in this huge mansion that was supposedly haunted by a man who was murdered there years ago. When mom and I used to go down to Pensacola during the summers we always went over to Ray and Henry's for dinner at least once during our stay, and they would tell us about their numerous run-ins with the ghost.

I had my first and, to date, only ghostly experience in that house. I must have been seven or eight at the time. Ray and Henry were hosting a big dinner party, and all the guests had brought their children with them. My cousin Talia was there, as was this boy and girl who were both around our age. I don't remember their names.

Ray and Henry had an indoor pool so the four of us spent the afternoon swimming around and goofing off. Eventually we got out, dried, off, and ate dinner. We were allowed to excuse ourselves from the table as soon as we were done because the adults knew we didn't want to sit around listening to them talk. We retreated to the living room, sat on the couch, and just talked. The pool room was right off of the living room. During a lull in conversation I heard a very loud, clear splash as if someone had just cannon balled into the pool. We all exchanged glances. The boy said, "Did you hear that?" We all said "Yes" at the same time, and then we booked it back into the dining room.

We caused such a ruckus as we barreled back in. "Ray!" we screamed. "Henry! We heard a splash! We heard a splash in the pool!" They both smiled, and got up to investigate. We tagged along at their heels, and when they turned on the lights in the pool room, there was nothing. The room was empty, and the water was completely still without so much as a ripple moving over the surface.

"But, we heard it!" We were all very insistent on that point.

Ray just smiled and said, "Oh, it was probably just the ghost."

On the drive home mom said we must have just been hearing things because everybody knew the ghost only haunted the stairwell!

Even though I'm not much of a believer in the supernatural these days, I still can't explain that incident. I heard the splash clear as day, but if anyone had actually been in the pool the water should not have been still when we went to check on it. The only explanation that makes any sense to me is that it really was the ghost going for a swim. Who says the dead don't want in on the fun, too?

Anyway, I was sad to hear that Ray died. I have a lot of fond memories of him. He will be sorely missed.
morrigirl: (Ripper)
2010-05-28 12:49 pm

Talkin' 'Bout my Generation

There was a time when I didn't hesitate to write journal entries about nothing. Check out any random post from 2002 and you'll see what I mean. Of course, back then I was still new to online journaling, still kind of awestruck by all it could do, all it allowed me to do, like be totally candid and anonymous at the same time, (even though I was never really anonymous). I hadn't yet learned about the many benefits of discretion or the limitations of honesty. Back then entries were just whatever brain vomit I could hurl at the screen. And, since I'm running low on contemplative, analytical brain food at the moment, I think I'll just try saying nothing, and maybe someone will say nothing back.

I am loving PaperBack Swap. I've already unloaded thirteen books, many of which had been sitting around on chancexchange for YEARS without a single person ever requesting them. My primary beef with chancexchange is that since it's so small and so few people use it you end up sending all your books to a very small circle of users. Most of the book requests I got were from the same person, Karen from Missouri. And though I'm sure she's a nice lady, I don't want to send all my books to Karen in Missouri. If you're going to end up sending all your swappable books to one person what's the point of even offering them up to begin with? Might as well just cut out the middle man, dump 'em all in a cardboard box and send them straight to their house.

PaperBack Swap has tons of users. All of my books have gone out to different people in different states. They've gone to California, Oregon, Arizona, Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Georgia, Colorado. And more users means a greater selection of available books. I've already requested four - mainly books I've been wanting to read but not badly enough to actually spend money on them - and I can't wait for them to arrive. Now that my "to read" pile has become a little more manageable I'm allowed to acquire new books once again.

Oh, and speaking of books, this week I finally got around to reading The GenX Reader that [ profile] gender_euphoric sent me last October. Now I understand why so little of it held his interest. All in all it was pretty dull. Most of the essays lacked direction, and by trying to showcase the diversity of Gen X social, political, and philosophical thought the editor came up with a hodge podge of musings with no unifying theme. Pieces were pulled from zines (remember those?), computer forums, and now out-of-print books. Most of the essays and excerpts, taken out of context, didn't really go anywhere. They meander about looking for a central concept to latch on to, and never really find one. If these are the best voices of my generation (and you could make the case that they aren't the voice of my generation depending on how you define the tern generation x) no wonder the boomers thought (think?) we're fucking idiots!

I gotta admit though a lot of it was amusing in a "when I was your age" kind of way. Hugh Gallagher's "Seven Days and Seven Nights Alone With MTV" is delightfully dated. He rambles on about how the crowd on The Grind are the best looking clubbers he's ever seen, and how Yo! MTV Raps "could kick the whole channel's ass if a full-out broken-bottle brawl busted out." (And, sure enough, rap did exactly that when it came to dominate air play in the late 90's.)

There's an interview with Ice Cube from a 1994 issue of The Source in which Ice goes on about how hardcore he is and how he'll never lose his edge. Very funny considering an entire generation has grown up associating him with family friendly comedies rather than gangsta rap.

Generation X's distrust of the media is summed up in "Seize the Media" where Greg Ruggiero and Stuart Sahulka advocate public seizure of the mainstream media by creating "public production libraries where we can each and all produce cultural print, radio, television, and radio broadcast materials in library studios equipped with desktop publishing facilities, graphics technology, multi-track audio recorders, film and video cameras, and editing equipment." It sounds kind of silly until you realize that through the power of the internet and the wonders of social media, the public has seized it. Most of the people I know get their news from individual bloggers rather than the mass media these days. Seeing how media has evolved over the last sixteen years I wonder at Ruggiero's and Sahulka's optimism. They seemed to think a public run media would automatically be fair and unbiased, which we all know is bullshit. Individuals have agendas just like corporations and political parties. And I wonder what they think about the way social media has become a self-marketing tool as oppose to a way to disseminate objective information.

Though the GenX Reader felt very fragmentary it did convey, however inefficiently, a few of the defining characteristics of Generation X: distrust of the media, advertising, and government, disinterest in politics, faith in realism as oppose to idealism, a deep love of pop-culture, and a healthy respect for sarcasm and irony.

Still, much of it sounded like your run of the mill youthful self-absorption: "We don't believe in labels," "Adults don't understand us," "Institutional anything is BAD, "Damn the man! Save the empire!" The authors, most of whom would probably hate me for saying this, sounded like the boomers in their youth, mouthing off against corrupt government, social and economic inequality, and demanding that adults give them the respect they "deserve." In retrospect, gen xers weren't nearly as original or revolutionary as we thought we were.

The same night I finished the book I stumbled across this blog post in which Maddie Grant poses the question "Has Generation X sold out?" The comments are kind of hilarious, full of gen xers trying to prove they haven't "sold out" by taking comfortable jobs and starting families. Though, a point that gets brought up again and again is that "selling out" isn't so much about choosing to live a conventional life but failing to stay true to yourself. Another good point brought up in the comments is that we define each phase of our lives differently, and what was true of us as young adults isn't necessarily going to be true of us during midlife. To evolve from rebellious youths into responsible adults is a natural shift. The boomers did it, gen x is doing it, the millenials will do it. There's no avoiding it. We are all destined to end up in rocking chairs with the television volume cranked to eleven complaining about "these kids today."

Moving on, it's been a while since I last posted poetry by anyone other than myself, so here are two really awesome poems that recently won my heart. A couple weeks ago I finally read "Unmentionables," Beth Ann Fennelly's third full length book of poetry. It was okay; I still think "Open House" is her strongest collection. Even so, "Unmentionables" contains some really great work. My personal favorite is the first poem, "First Warm Day in a College Town." As I read it all I could think was "Oh my God, this is exactly how I feel." Check it out.

And a couple months ago I stumbled onto "The Seven Deadly Sins of Marriage" by Sherman Alexie while reading a back issue of Slow Train. The line "We'd have sex with our books, if only we could" had me in stitches. I think that pretty much sums up the whole writer mentality. You can read it here. It's the second poem down on the page.

*looks up at all she has written*


I guess I had more to say than I thought I did.
morrigirl: (TaraWillow)
2010-05-24 05:22 pm

Bronte Power!

This is just too awesome to not share.

morrigirl: (Vinnie)
2010-05-19 02:11 pm


Six weeks ago there were twenty-two books in my "to read" pile. Now, there are only ten :-) I aimed to reduce the size by one-third and wound up cutting it in half. I am very proud of myself. Sure, most of the books I read fell somewhere between "eh" and "please shoot me now" on the enjoyablity scale, but I accomplished what I set out to do so, really, who cares?

The best book from the pile: A Mercy by Toni Morrison
The worst book from the pile: The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Shadow Souls by L.J. Smith

Now I have a small mountain of books I need to get rid of. I only have enough shelf space in my apartment to accomadate about five hundred. That may seem like a lot, but for a voracious reader like myself that's tiny. Since I can only afford to keep the books I really, really, REALLY love, I'm constantly weeding my collection, tossing books that have failed to leave a lasting impression on me. The current batch mainly consists of romance novels left over from my exploration of the genre, and old new age books I no longer want. I'd post a book grab entry like I used to in the old days but most of these books are so bad there is no way I'd pawn them off on people I like. So, I'm joining all the various book swap websites and seeing if I can pawn them off on strangers. I've been a member of chancexchange for years, and last night I joined Paperback Swap. If I can't move all my books through those channels I'll join Book Mooch and Bookins. And, if all else fails, there is always ReLITNY.

Changing topics, I realized something today. Of the forty-six people on my LJ friends list only thirteen of them still update on a regular basis. The rest have either stopped journaling or they only update, like, once a year. I used to get at least five comments for every entry I posted. These days I'm lucky to get one or two. That is partially my fault. Having filtered and privatized most of my entries I'm not generating much public content, and to most passing visitors it probably looks like my journal has gone dead. I can't generate interest if I'm not posting anything. Not that I plan on changing my posting habits. I'm just saying.

But I miss the community of friends I used to have out here. I miss the conversation. I wish they'd return, but I suppose they've outgrown LJ. It no longer serves their needs. I started keeping on online journal so I'd have a reason to write everyday. I hoped that having an audience would encourage me to do so, and it did. But now, more often than not, I find myself talking to myself out here. And even though there are times when that's exactly what I want to do, there are other times when I want interaction. How do you sustain a public writing practice when you have no audience?
morrigirl: (Default)
2010-03-10 10:55 am

Dude, I had such a crush on you when I was eight. What did you do to yourself?

Corey Ian Haim

December 23, 1971 - March 10, 2010

morrigirl: (TakeOffThatTie)
2010-03-02 03:17 pm

Oh, How You Sucked

Yesterday sucked big, fat, low-hanging cow balls. Here is why:

1) I was running on about three hours of sleep.

2) When I got home from work I discovered there had been a water main break on my block and the water in my building had been turned off.

3) When I turned on my computer I discovered it had somehow become infected with malicious spyware that I then had to spend all night trying to get remove of even though all I wanted to do was fall down and sleep.

Thankfully though, I DID end up getting seven and a half hours of sleep, the water came back on at midnight, and I think I finally wiped out that spyware this morning. Tonight I need to back up all my computer files and see if I can update some of my anti-virus, malware, and spyware programs.

Oh, and I need to do laundry. Tonight is all about the bed linens.