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Tag Archives: watching

Tonight’s the night! Season 5 of Mad Men premieres on AMC at 9:00! Two hours!

While I haven’t had to wait as long as other fans (I only just started watching seasons 1-4 in November), I am still very excited to see what’s happening to my favorite characters!

So, today I will be gearing up for the premiere by watching some of my favorite episodes from the past seasons (all previous seasons are streaming on Netflix). These favorite episodes include:

-Warning: Don’t Click on These if You Haven’t Watched the Show–Synopses Contain Spoilers!-

“A Night to Remember” Season 2: Episode 8

“Six-Month Leave” Season 2: Episode 9

“Meditations in an Emergency” Season 2: Episode 13

“Out of Town”: Season 3: Episode 1

“My Old Kentucky Home”: Season 3: Episode 3

“The Grown-Ups”: Season 3: Episode 12

“Shut the Door. Have a Seat.” Season 3: Episode 13

And most, if not all, of Season 4 (definitely my all-time favorite episode “The Suitcase” and the finale).

Other Mad Men Links That Have Me All Worked Up!

While watching the last two episodes of The Walking Dead (also on AMC), I loved these Mad Men trailers that link up my two favorite shows! Check ’em out!

and my personal favorite

“and drinks like Hershel used to…” my favorite line!

Book Riot has posted a couple of bookish posts on Mad Men. First, there’s “Recommended Books for the Characters of MAD MEN”. Then, there’s also “Nonfiction for the Life and Times of MAD MEN“.

There’s a lot of reading being done on Mad Men. Flavorwire has compiled “The Definitive ‘Mad Men’ Reading List” for any fans who want to read along. Also, they’ve pulled together a 1966 playlist to act as soundtrack for this season. Check it out!

Then, for those of us planning to really celebrate the return of Mad Men, there’s tips and recipes for throwing a Mad Men premiere party. I think I might try out Joanie’s famous Ginger Snap and Roger Sterling’s Party Nuts!

Can you tell how excited I am? So excited! Just wait until you see how excited I am for the premiere of Game of ThronesI’m gonna be nuts!


Wow, this week went by slowly!

It’s finally the weekend, and it couldn’t have come any slower. This was one of those weeks where it went by so slowly that I almost feel that it should be next week by now.

But, the week is over now, and I have a lot of bookish things on my radar that I wanted to share.

Currently, I am still reading The Waste Lands by Stephen King. While it’s hard to put down when I’m reading it, in the last couple of days, I haven’t been able to squeeze in time to read! So, I’m hoping that I can get some reading done this weekend, although it’s unlikely that it will happen because I’m gearing up for…

Mad Men! The two-hour season premiere airs tomorrow and I can’t wait! I will be writing about all things Mad Men tomorrow, and will probably re-watch most of season 4 on Netflix all day before the premiere. I am in love with this show–I consider it to be the most consistent, well-developed series on television to date. I can’t wait to see what’s going on with my favorite characters in this new season! How many of you are as excited as I am?!

Also, I mentioned it earlier this week, but now it’s official–Dewey’s Readathon is back! Sign-ups are here! I have officially signed up to read for 24 hours on April 21st, and I hope you will too. I know my buddy Kyle at A Reader’s Pensieve is doing it, but I’m urging the rest of you to set aside the day to do it as well! And, YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO FOR THE FULL 24 HOURS! (I’m looking at you SJ) Just sign up and read for however long you can go! It’s about all of us setting aside a bit of time to read as a community. We can update our reading progress on our blogs or over on Twitter and root each other on. I enjoyed reading alongside Jillian, of A Room of One’s Own, during the last readathon–we checked in with other through the wee hours, and at the witching hour of 3:00 a.m., when you’re reading a super-creepy book like The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, it’s really nice to know someone else is out there still reading as well.  It’s just a very cozy feeling, knowing that you’re reading alongside (virtually) with the rest of your community. Just consider it, please?!

Another bookish event on my radar is Suvudu’s Cage Match 2012 event. Basically, characters from some of the best science fiction and fantasy titles are pitted against each other in a fight to the finish. Participants for this event have included Tyrion Lannister, Zaphod Beeblebrox, The Wicked Witch, Lady Jessica, Bast, and Mr. Wednesday (to name only a few). Check out the round 3 bracket here. The event is almost over (I found out about it on Wednesday, but it’s been going on all month!), but I’m enjoying reading the recaps of the past matches. So far, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Anomander Rake, Moiraine Damodred, Kelsier, Mr. Wednesday, Granny Weatherwax, Kylar Stern, and Erevis Cale are still in it. I’m only familiar with Zaphod and Wednesday, but the cool thing about this event is that it provides me with exposure to characters whom I might want to read about in their respective sci-fi and fantasy titles. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun for fans. I recommend you all check it out!

Finally, I signed up a few weeks ago, but the event has officially started, so I’ll announce now that I am going to take part in The Sarah Addison Allen Challenge hosted by Quirky Girls Read. For those of you who don’t know who Allen is, she writes lovely magical realism novels that always take place in North Carolina and always have something to do with delicious food. When I was in a reading rut last year, I picked up a copy of Allen’s Garden Spells simply for the lovely book cover, and I was surprised to find that I loved it. Her imagery and tone is like drinking an ice-cold Arnold Palmer on a hot summer day. So, for this challenge, I will read all four of Allen’s books in April, and, on the weekend, I will cook or bake something inspired by the story I read. For example, for The Girl Who Chased the Moon, I will bake Hummingbird Cake, as that’s one of the main character’s specialties. I believe that Allen even provides a recipe on her website. It’s gonna be delicious!

This will be my last week of teaching before a month-long Spring Break. So, if I’m not consistent in posting this week, just know that I’ll be a constant presence in April! I can’t wait!


Free air conditioning--all year long!

It’s another cold, wet, blustery day here in San Diego! One of the perks of being in San Diego is that there really isn’t any reason to have a high energy bill. The weather typically is moderate, so no need for AC in the summer and no need for heat in the winter. However, on days and nights like this, with a house full of wide door jambs and such, it’s not too different from camping. You can feel the wind blowing in right through the cracks of the walls! That makes for a chilly house (but great on a hot, windy summer day)! So, I’m all bundled up in the house in my robe, scarf, long johns, wool socks and sweater. We San Diegans can be wusses about temperature changes, I know! But, it would be ridiculous to try to heat up this old, drafty house with no insulation whatsoever. So, we bundle up!

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

So, the fanfare may commence…I finished The Wise Man’s Fear relatively early (9:00 p.m.) last night! It was so good! If you missed them, I wrote readathon posts on Friday and Saturday, each with reading updates and reflection (and silly videos). Today, I will write my review (to post tomorrow) and begin reading The Waste Lands in continuance of The Dark Tower Reading Challenge (and The Stephen King project). I also need to read a classic for March still, and while I was planning on reading The Forsyte Saga for this month, it’s a hefty book and March is almost over! So, I’m going to push that off until I have a lot of free reading time (Spring Break in April or summer vacation in August). Instead, I think my classic will be A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. My sister has urged me to read it, and the little bits I’ve skimmed while flipping through have shown it to be a very interesting book. So, I’m excited to start that up this week! I hope it counts for some of my challenges…

What else has been going on? Well, I’ve been having an internal debate on whether or not I should accept books for review. I’ve been getting approaches by authors about reading and reviewing their books, and I am skeptical to say the least. I don’t like being given something to read. It’s like someone throwing themself at you. I’m all about the chase. I want to find the perfect book for right now, and read it on my own time. Plus, I’m a horrible snob when it comes to what I read. It sounds pretentious, but I don’t read bad books. I just don’t. Or, if I do, I’m doing it on purpose. I can be in the mood for fluffy crap, but, even then, I seek it out. I seek my crap carefully. Plus, there’s the whole problem with my dislike of contemporary fiction. It’s a struggle for me to even read the Pulitzer winners for the Insatiable Booksluts’ Award-Winning Challenge, and those are award-winners!

So, after careful consideration, and the seeking out of advice from two book bloggers I greatly admire, and finally, after reading this article from the Los Angeles Review of Books, I have decided that I am not accepting books for review at this time. I will place this in my Contact page to avoid further consideration. I’ve just got too many good books of my own choosing to read, and I read enough sucky writing from my students–I don’t need to read potentially sucky books in my free time! So, if you’re looking for reviews of the newest upcoming novels, Adventures in Borkdom isn’t the place! Sorry!

Some really good news…Dewey’s Readathon is returning in April! I participated in my first Dewey back in October, and I had a blast! I read for the full 24 hours, ripped through 4.5 books, and participated in the challenges! If you’re looking for a good time, I urge you to sign up when the official linky becomes available (I’ll let you know when it does)! It could be a like a big fun sleepover, where we are all reading together and blogging and tweeting and rooting each other on! It could be so fun!!! It’ll take place April 21st, the third Saturday in April. Please, friends, set aside the date and sign up! IT COULD BE SO MUCH FUN!!!

Finally, I’ll be tuning in to tonight’s season finale of The Walking Dead! I was very happy when Shane died in the last episode (though, I wish it had been Carl who shot him. He could’ve done that when he was creeping around and saw Shane pointing a gun at his Dad. That would’ve been a huge turning point for Carl’s character! Of course, I’m assuming Carl was there to see the scene between Shane and Rick.), and I’m hoping to see some of Hershel’s red-shirt kids bite the big one tonight. And, if they’re not going to give T-Dog any sort of purpose, he could die too. If we played a drinking game where we drank everytime T-Dog appeared in an episode, we would be negative-drunk. He needs a purpose if he’s going to take up a valuable space on our survivor squad–there are too many stronger characters who could take his place! I’m crossing my fingers that one of those awesome characters will appear in tonight’s finale and set up an awesome new season in the Fall!

A rare sighting of T-Dog...

So, that’s what I’m up to. How ’bout you?


Paging Miss Personality! There she is, smiling, waving, talking, and entertaining anyone in her orbit. Your baby is also ready to explore a bit more, so beware her impulse to touch (and taste) everything and anything within her reach (including dog biscuits and poop!). She’s probably able to bear weight on her legs when you hold her upright and may even be ready to hit the road, albeit at a crawl.

WhatToExpect.com

Well, somehow this milestone passed me by last Saturday, but Adventures in Borkdom turned six months old last week!

I don’t know about “Miss Personality”, but I do feel that I have grown more in my blogging and am ready to explore a bit. When I started blogging in August, I had no idea what I wanted to do, I just knew that I wanted to be writing regularly and that I loved books and wanted to meet other people who loved books as much as I do. That goal was certainly met, and now I have found that blogging is as important to me as teaching. I feel a real need to write and publish posts regularly.

Since I started, I have taken part in a few reading events (R.I.P.,Charles Dickens Month, and Dewey’s Readathon), signed up for A LOT of reading challenges (just check out the side bar to the right! and I just signed up for another!), and have pulled away from all the memes that constituted my blog at the beginning (except for Top Ten Tuesday, my favorite!). I’ve also made some amazing friends here–I really wasn’t expecting the level of camaraderie I feel for my fellow bloggers and I am thrilled that I am still meeting new people every week.

In short, I am so glad that I started blogging in August, and I am so glad that I have joined this amazing community of book lovers. I am honored to be a part of this group of passionate and intelligent readers and writers and I hope that I am contributing as much as I am taking in. Thank you Tris Hussey for writing your book on blogging, as that inspired it all, and now, here I am! And, of course, thanks to all of YOU for reading my blog and making this hobby so very, very rewarding.

Speaking of Rewarding…

Achievement Unlocked

My newest blogging/reading buddy SJ of Snobbery has given Adventures in Borkdom its first blogging award! Yes! Achievement unlocked!

So, I have been given the Liebster Award, a Circle of Excellence award for blogs with less than 200 followers. SJ was ultra-flattering in considering that I might have over 200 followers (I wish!) and yet gave it to me anyways. She also said some very nice things about my book reviews and their influence upon her reading interests.

Thanks so much SJ! I am flattered and honored if I have any influence on anyone’s reading interests.

So, now, I shall pass on this Liebster Award to a couple of other amazing blogs that may or may not have fewer than 200 followers (I have the same problem, SJ–I’m not sure who has less than 200!).

Coffee and a Book Chick: Seriously, I don’t know how many followers Natalie has (it could be a gazillion), but I know that I love reading her blog. She is really sinking her teeth into Stephen King this year (even going as far as hosting a challenge, which I am participating in) and I am enjoying reading her reviews on King’s masterpieces. She has also recently discovered a love for audiobooks, so I actively take note of her favorites, as I am trying to fit more audiobooks into my life. Finally, I enjoy her feature “A Walk About Town”, which features pictures and descriptions of where she lives. Hopefully, I will soon be posting my own “Walk About” featuring San Diego. You’re awesome, Natalie!

A Reader’s Pensieve: Kyle is a lovely young teacher from Michigan who reads and writes a lot! If you’re trying to find the next best young adult book, Kyle is your lady, as it seems that she has read and reviewed them all! Also, she has started a new feature on her blog titled “Former Favorites” which features a book or series that she loved when she was younger. I love these trips down memory lane as I am way into nostalgia! Finally, Kyle is just awesome, someone whom I love to engage with on Twitter and even send the occasional, extremely long, ranting email to. She’s one of my first blogging friends and I am so very grateful to know her.

Shhh… Mommy’s Blogging: I love when I get a new post from Jessica in my Google Reader because I’m never quite sure what I’m going to get, but I know I’m going to love it. Jessica has such an engaging voice in her writing that her posts feel as if I am sitting at a coffee shop with her, discussing whatever is on her mind. That could be a lot of things, from a wide array of current reads (young adult to contemporary to science to fantasy to science fiction…she’s all over the place in her reading!), to her 30 before 30 goals, to her disgust at common grammar mistakes (one of my all-time favorite posts!). Jessica is also pretty special to me because she is always rooting me on in my reading–when I was reading (and, at times, struggling with) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, she kept up with me and encouraged me to keep going, through the entire experience. I’m so glad she did, as now I am reading The Wise Man’s Fear (book 2 in the series) and am loving it! And she is, of course, there with me now, rooting me on in my reading!

Tabula Rasa: I am very biased towards Priya because she has almost identical tastes in reading. She loves Harry Potter. She loves Stephen King. She loves Neil Gaiman. She loves Buffy the Vampire Slayer (not a book, but it says so much). Yet, recently, she’s been reading a lot of books that I’ve never even heard or thought of… a lot of German literature for German Literature Month. Going by her similar tastes, I’m guessing that I’ll have to check out some of these German titles simply if she recommends them. I’m pretty sure that I’ll enjoy them as well. It should also be mentioned that Priya was the first bookish friend I ever made here in the blogging world, and it’s been a while since I sung her praises. Priya, I still think you are just as wonderful as I did way back in September. Please keep up with your writing… I love it!

Cummings and Goings: Here is the obligatory non-book blog that is deserving of the Liebster. This isn’t the first time that Pat has been inducted into a Circle of Excellence, but it is the first time his writing has gotten some recognition. Book bloggers, meet Pat, a friend of mine who recently traveled around the world and wrote all about it on his blog. To say Pat is quirky is an understatement–as he traipsed across Morocco, France, Italy, India, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Australia, he got into some major hijinks and was brutally and seriously (I mean it’s all here, folks) honest in his writing. It should be noted that Pat is a huge fan of science fiction, Hall & Oates, and Jim Jams. If you’re looking for a high-flying adventure and exceptional writing that documents it, I recommend this blog. Come on guys–we’re readers, and Pat has a really good story to tell. But, you have to start at the beginning, as it is a story! I highly recommend this blog, and award it the Liebster for its story-telling excellence!

A Quick “What’s Going on with Me” Closure:

Lately, I’ve been a very good reader, devoting at least an hour a day to my reading of The Wise Man’s Fear. This book is highly addictive, and I definitely recommend the series. I’m thinking that I might write a character feature post on Kvothe (the main character) at some point this week.

Today, I will be watching a few episodes of Mad Men with my sister (we’re gearing up for the March 25 premiere of season 5) and then, later this evening, I will be tuning in for tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead. Shane’s gotta die soon, that’s all I’m going to say about that!

Have a wonderful week! Hopefully, I won’t be too sporadic in my posts here, and ideally I’ll have some sort of review to write later this week. Meanwhile, I will be announcing a giveaway today, so be on the lookout for that!


I Want My MTV

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum

• Hardcover: 572 pages

• Publisher: Dutton Adult, 2011

• ISBN: 0525952306

• Genre: Nonfiction- Music/Pop Culture

• Recommended For: Fans of early MTV; any pop culture/nostalgia junkie; anyone with a fond memory of or interest in the ’80s and its pop music.

Quick Review: This is a fun book for any fan of MTV and 80’s pop culture. It helps to have a computer handy when reading it so that you can watch the videos as you read about them. It tends to get repetitive at points, but it is fun for nostalgia enthusiasts.

How I Got Here: I’m a trivia and a pop culture buff (although, I think I’ve gotten rusty…I’m just not so interested anymore. I must be getting old.), and very nostalgic for all things related to my childhood. Therefore, my father-in-law made a good choice when he got this for me as a Christmas present. I read this as my “light read” in February.

The Book: Goodreads’ Synopsis

Remember the first time you saw Michael Jackson dance with zombies in “Thriller”? Diamond Dave karate kick with Van Halen in “Jump”? Tawny Kitaen turning cartwheels on a Jaguar to Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again”? The Beastie Boys spray beer in “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)”? Axl Rose step off the bus in “Welcome to the Jungle”?

Remember When All You Wanted Was Your MTV?

It was a pretty radical idea-a channel for teenagers, showing nothing but music videos. It was such a radical idea that almost no one thought it would actually succeed, much less become a force in the worlds of music, television, film, fashion, sports, and even politics. But it did work. MTV became more than anyone had ever imagined.

I Want My MTV tells the story of the first decade of MTV, the golden era when MTV’s programming was all videos, all the time, and kids watched religiously to see their favorite bands, learn about new music, and have something to talk about at parties. From its start in 1981 with a small cache of videos by mostly unknown British new wave acts to the launch of the reality-television craze with The Real World in 1992, MTV grew into a tastemaker, a career maker, and a mammoth business.

Featuring interviews with nearly four hundred artists, directors, VJs, and television and music executives, I Want My MTV is a testament to the channel that changed popular culture forever.

My Analysis and Critique:

This book was fun, mainly because of what I brought to the table as I read it. I have a very good memory, and a very long memory. Actually, my long memory tends to be better than my short memory. I can’t remember right away what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I can remember December, 1985, looking out the car window, driving away from Tucson to Virginia, listening to Toto’s “Africa”. It was sunset, and I was going to miss my friends from my first grade class.

As I can remember details like these, I can easily follow the interviews relayed throughout this book. It features musicians, MTV VJs, music execs, TV execs, actors, managers, etc. discussing their reactions to MTV and all things MTV.

It also helped that almost all videos are available for viewing on YouTube or other video sites. While reading about a certain video or performance, I would switch to my IPad and watch the video on the internet, observing the same details discussed in the book. This interactive experience made the book much more enjoyable.

In some parts,  the book was very repetitive, and a lot of the information was old news for me. I was an MTV junkie for nearly 20 years (pretty much stopped watching around 2000), so I know a lot of the vignettes in this book. Other chapters I simply scanned. I really wasn’t interested in how much partying the MTV execs were doing.

But, overall, this book was a lot of fun.

Some interesting and fun tidbits I got out of this book were:

– I never realized just how much of a monopoly MTV had with music of the ’80s. If a band wasn’t on MTV, they weren’t popular. Period. Kind of makes me think that music has it pretty good these days. With the internet, everyone has almost the same odds at making it in the business. No one goes to MTV anymore, and I’m not sure how influential radio is anymore. If you’re good at manipulating the internet, it seems that you should find success.

“Total Eclipse of the Heart” was a WEIRD video. I really liked it!

– Billy Squier’s video for his song “Rock Me Tonite” is considered to be the worst video of all time and essentially ruined his career. It is pretty bad–check it out!

– David Fincher (director of The Social Network and Fight Club) and Michael Bay (director of overblown action movies) were MTV Video Director Gods at one time.

– Michael Jackson created the nickname “King of Pop” and insisted that MTV refer to him as such at least twice per week in 1991. Michael Jackson (and Madonna and Guns N’ Roses) OWNED MTV.

– Speaking of Guns N’ Roses, I finally get the dolphins in the video “Estranged”. The last new video by GNR that I ever watched was “November Rain” (which MTV, as always, seriously overplayed) and that was because I saw a promotion for their “World Premiere of ‘Estranged'”, saw Axl swimming with a bunch of dolphins, and decided that was seriously uncool. According to the director of the video, Axl had just split with Stephanie Seymour, and never wanted to put a girl in a video again. “I’d rather go out with a dolphin,” he said. So, the director just put dolphins all over the place. Pretty stupid!

Links:

Goodreads Reviews


It's a chilly morning in San Diego...

So, February is just flying by! It’s the last Sunday of the month, and I thought I might write a little about what I’m up to/been up to lately.

Today:

• On the Blog– I think I might change up the theme on the blog and add some copyright info, as well as my affiliate listing disclaimer (I’m simply going to imitate what I see on some other blogs). I’ll also update my Reviews page and Challenges page so that they’re all caught up with where I am.

The Wise Man's Fear

• Reading– I am back in the world of Kvothe, fully engaged in my reading of The Wise Man’s Fear. This book has picked up right where the last one left off (Duh, Mandy, it’s book 2 in a series.) and I am enjoying being back at Kvothe’s University, watching him expertly play his lute on the stage for his adoring audience at the Eolian, and waiting to see what hijinks he’s going to get into. Right now, his nemesis has poisoned him with a drug that turns off his “inappropriate” filter–he doesn’t know what he shouldn’t say or do. Thus, he told a female friend of his that he would like nothing better than to see her with her clothes off and he had to be coaxed out of murdering another student. It’s a lot of fun to see Kvothe letting loose, even if it’s under the influence.

• Watching– Tonight, I will be watching The Walking Dead (unfortunately, no more Downton Abbey until next year). In Walking Dead news, one of the top theories about The Governor has been disproven via the announcement that The Governor has been cast. For those of you who haven’t read the graphic novels, be prepared for the introduction of one of the most interesting and disturbing bad guys to the show. He’s definitely one of my all-time favorite villains! I, along with many other internet theorists, had guessed that Darryl’s brother Merle would make his return on the show as The Governor. Apparently, Merle is dead, or up to some other mischief. Fine by me!

The Governor Walking Dead

Drive Ryan Gosling – Also, it should be noted that I watched Drive last night and loved it. The acting was perfect, the story was solid, and I need to download the soundtrack right now, as I loved the music throughout. It’s weird how I haven’t noticed the absence of a score in most movies until I watched this movie, which uses music perfectly to set the tone. I think movie directors are really forgetting what a useful tool music can be to add to the story of their films. Hitchcock knew it, and Bernard Herrman’s scores for his films always added a great deal to his films. Would the shower scene in Psycho really have hit us without Hermann’s screeching violins? I don’t think so!

• Writing– I am planning on writing at least two of my posts for this week in advance. This week you can expect to see a review of I Want My MTV and a fun post that is tentatively titled “Punk Rock and Classic Literature”.

• Other Stuff– Might as well share that I will also be grading about 60 persuasive essays and doing some laundry today as well.

Winner of A Discovery of Witches!

Yesterday was the last day to enter to win A Discovery of Witches, and a winner has been selected! With the use of a random number generator, SJ of Snobbery has been selected! I will mail out her copy of A Discovery of Witches this week! Meanwhile, a new book giveaway should be announced at some point later today. I’m thinking that it will be a signed copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. Keep your eye out for the announcement!

2012 So Far: January and February

• Number of Books Read: 10

• Number of Reviews: 7

Mrs. Warren’s Profession

Locke & Key, vol. 1-3

The Drawing of the Three

The Gunslinger

Bleak House

Charles Dickens: A Life (not really a review, but a reflection)

A Discovery of Witches

• Number of Pages Read: 4, 226

• Favorite Book of 2012: Bleak House

• Challenges Completed: 1 (Charles Dickens Month)


Locke and Key vol. 1 by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Things are still a little off with me. I’m no longer in a funk, I’ve returned to the gym, and my house is finally clean, but I’m still not all there. Now, it seems, I have a bit of blogger’s block. I sit down at my computer to write a post, and nothing comes to me. What I do write feels like crap. Yesterday morning, I struggled with writing my review for Locke and Key. It’s still unfinished, and I’m not quite sure how I want to write it, as the review covers three books. I think I need to outline.

So, to deal with my writing constipation, I’ve returned to my most comfortable and favorite writing medium–good ol’ pen and paper. It does seem to help, as I’m not struggling with writing right now. I guess that I’ll keep at it until I feel like my old self again.

At least, through all of this offness, I have been reading. Maybe too many books. Perhaps my divided attention is affecting my blogging focus. But, I am reading. Here’s what I’ve finished reading, am still reading, and just started reading.

Mrs. Warren’s Profession– I finished this play by George Bernard Shaw last night, finally! I really enjoyed it, but, for some reason, was struggling with the drama format. Maybe, I’m out of practice. The themes were very interesting as the story dealt with prostitution in the Victorian era and gender inequalities. The play also featured one of my new favorite female characters–a young intellectual woman with a penchant for mathematics, working hard, and being independent. My kind of gal!

I Want My MTV– This one is taking a while because I’m always stopping my reading to watch the videos on YouTube. It’s a lot of fun, and while the commentary on various videos, musicians, VJs, and events from the ’80s is interesting, a lot of the context of this book is old news for me. I was a huge MTV fan growing up, so this is more like a walk down memory lane. I tend to skim the chapters on the MTV corporate execs though. I’m not interested in how much coke those guys snorted.

The Portable Dorothy ParkerThe Portable Dorothy Parker- This one I will be working through slowly. It is a collection of Parker’s short stories, poetry, and essays. Mainly, I read this one before bed, averaging a short story per day. I am loving her short stories! Actually, I am just loving Parker period–she just seems to be my literary soul mate. I really connect with her writing. She even provided the perfect quote for my title today, which sums up my issue with writing right now, as well as my issues with just about anything that I want to do, but can’t seem to do (I hate the gym, but I love having gone to the gym. I hate work, but I love having worked. I hate cleaning, but I love having cleaned the house. You get my drift…).

So far, I’ve read the following stories:

“The Lovely Leave”- Gah! I so related to this sad story of a woman who eagerly prepares for her husband, an officer away at war, to return home on leave. She has such high hopes for the 24 hours they get together, you just know that it won’t turn out well. Parker’s depiction of the woman’s insecurities and reactions to her husband’s life away from her are so relatable, I could easily put myself in her shoes, and I cringed often. This one really resonated with me.

Arrangement in Black and White by Dorothy Parker

Illustration by Seth

“Arrangement in Black and White”- Ugh. A very short piece following a ditzy moron of a woman at a party who is eager to meet an African American musician who is the guest of honor. She falls all over herself for being so forward-thinking by calling him “Mister” and enjoys the novelty of the moment. This story reminded me of people I knew in college- rich kids who would “slum it” in San Diego for the novelty.

The Sexes by Dorothy Parker

Illustration by Seth

“The Sexes”- A cute, short dialogue between a young woman punishing a young man suitor for paying attention to another woman at a party. Their conversation felt so true, and I know I’ve had this conversation before. Oh ladies–why are we so neurotic at times?

The History of English Literature by Perry Keenlyside and read by Derek Jacobi: I needed something to listen to in the car, so I went to the library and found this. It’s not too bad, kind of like having Derek Jacobi as your lecturer during a six-hour English Lit class. Snippets of literature are read, juxtaposed with the history behind it. I really liked listening to Chaucer read aloud- perhaps that’s how I’ll do The Canterbury Tales this year.

Also, today is Sunday, so tonight is television night! Why are all of my favorite shows on Sunday? I don’t know, but it’s good stuff.

Season Finale of Downton Abbey: What’s going to happen to Bates? Will Mary and Mathew get together? Wasn’t I asking these same questions before the finale of season 1?

Yes, and I’m so glad that the same high drama is still happening. I can’t wait to tune in, and this is why.

The Walking Dead: Finally, it seems that the living will be the bad guys on the show. Let’s face it- humans and human nature are way scarier than zombies.

Rick Grimes Graphic Novel Walking Dead

I wonder when and if Shane is going to bite the bullet. As long as he’s alive, it seems that Rick won’t get his somewhat anti-heroic status that he maintains in the graphic novels. I love the actor who plays Shane, but I want to see Rick screw up more and be more tormented by his conscience. One of the major and most important themes of the story is what this apocalyptic world forces good people to do, and Rick is at the center of this theme, and I just don’t see it happening so fully with Shane being alive. It seems that the show has split the graphic novel character of Rick in half, with his good side going to TV show Rick and his tough decision-making side going to Shane. I want Rick to shoot some humans, so that he can start really dealing with morality issues. I also want the survivor crew to move on and away from the farm. There’s a lot more going on in the outside world than simply zombies…they need to start interacting with it!

So, that’s what’s going on with me right now. This is a pretty long post, and it wasn’t too hard to write on paper. I think this long-hand drafting might work out. Now, back to the Locke and Key review…