because being a kid sucks, and adults are assholes

I just finished reading (well, listening to the audiobook, which was fantastic) Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I really liked it, overall. Goodreads automatically generated a tweet that I had finished it, as per usual, but unlike the usual going unnoticed, this one actually sparked a bit of conversation with one of my friends.

I know that Neil Gaiman has, like, tons of fangirls and fanboys. I’m not one, not because I don’t think he’s talented, but just because I haven’t read a lot of his work. Whenever it was that Coraline the book came out, I heard about it and needed to read it because it reminded me a lot of a recurring nightmare I had as a kid. Then the Stardust movie was coming out, so I got interested and read the book. And that’s it. Maybe some short stories. It wasn’t that I didn’t like him, just that I hadn’t gotten around to reading the rest of his books. But we bought The Ocean at the End of the Lane this year at work, and a lot of my most trusted student book recommenders loved it, so when I saw it while scanning the audiobooks at the public library, I figured I’d give it a try. Continue reading

on assessing my to-read list

by flickr user wonderlaneI was going to do an audit of the stuff I’ve read so far this year, because I want to see how I’m doing on my summer reading goals and all, but right now, I think what would be more productive in my reading life is to get ahold of my insane to-read list, which comprises a bunch of titles I want to read, plus books I have piled up at home and piled up virtually on my Kindle. I have been having feelings of guilt lately for my good fortune when it comes to getting free books at conferences and having access to tons of libraries and making enough money that I can buy books when I want to.

Every once in awhile I get really good at realizing my limits and accepting my interests, and I go on a blitz on Goodreads, deleting a million titles from my to-read list. Often I can get rid of like 30 titles doing this, which seems like a huge weight off my shoulders, but the number of TBRs still hangs around 600 no matter what I do. There are just too many interesting-sounding books out there.

And yet I read less than I used to. In grad school I had an “excuse” to read: it was homework and professional development. Now it’s professional development, but I’m also a professional, so I have less free time and less energy. I’ve also had to take more time doing things that are Good For Me, like exercising regularly, eating meals that consist of more than just potato chips and goat cheese (oh, that’s what I want for dinner now, damnit), and cleaning my bathroom, so there goes time. Continue reading

#shareyourcher, whitey

So this new thing just came out where you can finally have Cher’s closet from Clueless. !!!!!, amirite?

I don’t know about you, but I have loved that movie since I was about eight years old, pretty much as soon as it came out on video and my sister rented it. I was too young to totally get it, but that didn’t stop me. Like with Grease, you get a new joke or are scandalized by another bit of slang every time you watch it. It’s great.

Anyway. So this company Metail decided to finally make a version of Cher’s amazing closet computer that tells her if her outfit works or not. This has been everyone’s dream since 1995. You give it your measurements and it makes a little model, and you can click on clothes, and it’s just a little Internet paper doll. Then you can take a picture and #ShareYourCher to win a gift card or something. This is excellent, because I LOVED paper dolls when I was younger, and nobody ever wanted to play them with me.

So once I start clicking, I decide I want to customize the “model” so it looks a little bit like me. Body shape it actually got pretty down, I think. So obviously the first thing I click on is “change my skin tone.” And lo and behold, there are three options: three white options, which are so alike they make your average fashion magazine and its seven shades of white people, one shade of anyone J. Lo and darker look positively diverse. Literally, it is three white girls. They have different hair colors. That’s what makes them different. I don’t even want you to think I’m overreacting. Look at this: Continue reading