Time To Get Personal: Day Job

I’ve dreamed of being a professional full time writer since I was about 7 or 8 when I saw the 1994 version of Little Women starring Winona Rider. (That movie quite genuinely changed and shaped so much of who I am.) (I still haven’t watched the new BBC mini series.) (I’ve heard it’s good.)

Other fictional and real life depictions of it have made he hunger dearly for that. It’s still a big someday for me, but I seriously long for the kind of mid day lounging with a laptop and big cup of tea that I assume my life will be when I can stop grinding at a 9 to 5 and magically turn into Norah Ephron or whatever.

It’s a fantasy largely, and one that I’m starting to make moves to make a reality but is a long way off.

So instead, I have a day job. One that I’m quite good at, and like a quite a bit, though I often say, “Oh we don’t have to talk about work, my work is boring to talk about.”

It is by the way, especially compared to my history in retail costumer service where there were people flowing in and out all the time, and fun stories and conversations, and I was in the city and young, and drunk a lot more.

There’s just not a lot to say about what I do now if you’re not also in the field. I’m an analyst and expediter for a mid size hardware company in suburban New Jersey. My main focus is inventory management and import administration.

On a day to day basis, I email people in China for shipdates, and move through no less than three spreadsheets containing stock status and determine when and if shipments need to be moved, orders need to be placed and then I put those recommendations on YET ANOTHER spreadsheet, and other people react to it.

The thing is…I like this work. Again, I’m pretty good at it, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I get something done, the pay’s good, and I think I’ve finally found a company that doesn’t make me feel like no one appreciates my skill set.

All that rocks.

But please God, don’t make me talk about my work socially. I’ll talk about writing, or art, or books, or movies, or TV, or music or hell even politics, (I also hate discussing politics except with people I know and trust, even if I disagree with them.) but dear lord don’t ask me to explain what my job is to you at a party, or on a date. It’s so so boring and it’s such a tiny part of who I am. I’ll tell you about my siblings, and friends, and Disney World, and my fantasy of turning into the lady version of Kevin Smith without the weed or movie making. (Just the part where he goes around talking to people about nerd shit on stage.)

Just not my day job please, anything but my day job.

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The Twins

Guess who’s gonna show up today? Annalise isn’t going to know what hit her!

The Marina Chronicle

It was early when I headed out to the orchard. I knew I should either stay in the manor and make sure things were set for Olivia, or go to see Mastero Anselm, but I really didn’t care to do either. So instead I went to the lemon orchard with a book.

Being a princess means I get to be selfish that way sometimes.

I found my favorite tree and climbed up. I opened the book and started reading a fairytale about a princess who was hidden away to live with fairies until she turns sixteen, when she’s supposed to be returned to the world but then gets put under a sleeping curse for one hundred years until a prince comes and kisses her.

Wasn’t she the lucky one? I bet her parents weren’t even murdered by her psychopathic relatives or anything and all she had to do was be…

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36 Books in 2018 #27: How Not To Be A Dick by Meghan Doherty

I love reading a light silly etiquette guide, and while this one was hardly revelatory or difficult to read (I read it in about two hours on Monday afternoon, actually…) I enjoyed the general style of it.

Written in the style of old fashioned Fun With Dick And Jane books, this quick manners guide offers fun, sometimes silly scripts for get through day to day interactions. While for me it was kind of a “meh” choice, it would be a fun thing to give as a housewarming or grad gift to someone.

I liked the writing style which was breezy and cheerful, and some of the running jokes. (Dick is portrayed as a cheese log enthusiast throughout, he also pursues a rather brilliant idea of having his dog run for president.) But overall, the whole book was fun, and a nice little diversion, if not like, totally life changing, especially since I’ve been reading etiquette guides and advice columns for years, and I’m always happy to check in with new ones.

Plus, it was only $6 at Barnes and Noble, so…you know, there’s that.

Up next is The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak, the first book in a steampunk vampire series I bought from an independent press at a comic con.

We shall see how this goes.

36 Books In 2018 #26: Lincoln In The Bardo By George Saunders

There’s a kind of human melancholy to ghost stories that doesn’t exist in other genres, that I’ve always loved. The questions of the afterlife is so deeply ingrained into our society that the idea that perhaps it’s existing beside us, that those who’ve died are still among us, still preoccupied by the troubles of the living world is really bleak when you consider outside of the provenance of the spooky.

Which is why I wasn’t overly shocked, but still moved by the incredible beauty and sadness of Lincoln In The Bardo, which features a cacophony of ghostly voices inhabiting a limbo in a Georgetown cemetary, where young Willie Lincoln, the young son of our most honored Commander In Cheif has recently been interred. Each ghost has a tale, that as his father comes to visit Willie, they try to impart to the boy.

The ghosts don’t know they’re dead for the most part. They know they’re someplace else, in waiting, either to move on, or for a path back to their former world. They fret over their “sick boxes” and their final moments. To stay they have to express their stories, get them out.

We should all be heard, I think is at least part of the point. The other part is that while alive we often don’t share those stories, or don’t notice them. I thought of Our Town a lot while I was reading. The idea of slowing down and seeing our world while we’re still in it, while we can, is ever present in tales like this.

Of course Lincoln In The Bardo also bears the weight of a crux moment in history, illustrated most powerfully in the spirits of slaves tossed into a mass grave, one of whom follows Mr. Lincoln out of the cemetary, mingling his soul with that of the president.

While obviously, the idea that Emancipation occurred because the ghost of a dead house slave, mostly content with his comfortable life, but still struggling against bondage possessed Lincoln, is ridiculous when taken literally, when taken symbolically, it’s beautiful. It’s about awareness, and feeling and connection. About something larger overcoming everything to bring about a great good.

The human condition is somewhat absurd no matter how you slice it. But it’s made beautiful by love, transcendent, deep and beautiful love that lasts beyond all other things.

Up next is How Not To Be A Dick: An Everyday Etiquette Guide by Meghan Doherty, because, hey! Etiquette! Also lightness.

36 Books In 2018 #25: China Rich Girlfriend By Kevin Kwan

I loved Crazy Rich Asians so much I’m still babbling about it to anyone who I think might  be vaguely interested. It’s 100% my favorite book I’ve read this year so far, complete with an apparently awesome film adaptation coming down the pike in August, so I couldn’t wait to finally get to a point in my TBR where reading the follow up China Rich Girlfriend made sense.

The book lacks the bitchy hilarity of the first installment, but more than makes up for it in soap opera-like shenangins so it’s forgiven. Mainly, Rachel and Nick find themselves caught up in the wild, party kid lifestyle of Rachel’s newly found half-brother Carlton.

Yes, it turns out that Rachel’s birth father (last  heard of helping smuggle her mother and her out of the China and away from her mother’s abusive husband, when Rachel was just a baby) is also a member of the Chinese superrich circles that Nick’s been a part of his whole life. Carter’s sort of girlfriend, Collette, unoffically adopts Rachel and it’s the jet set from there.

I gobbled up the book and I’ve kind of already decided that Rich People Problems, the third book is going to be my light at the end of the Ulysses tunnel in a few weeks. (So that’ll be fun.)

Anyway, back to China Rich Girlfriends, to be fair, it’s completely wasted on me, any kind of critical nuance for this kind of book, it’s the kind of shit I love unconditionally. And the fact that Kwan makes multiple allusions to Game Of Thrones and The OC throughout the thing, just makes everything even better.

But mostly, I just love Rachel. I love how she decides to go along for the ride while keeping her feet firmly planted on the ground. I love that she and Nick are comitted to one another thoroughly and laugh and support one another on their adventures.

I also love Astrid, Nick’s cousin, who’s marital problems largely make up the B story of these books and are incredible from a frothy soap perspective and honestly my favorite fashion aspects of both books so far.

Just overall, I love this series and can’t believe it took me so long to find it, but I’m so glad I have, because it just makes me happy.

Up next is Lincoln In The Bardo by George Saunders, because for once I’m only going to be a year behind on the “books you’re supposed to read” thing. FOR ONCE. Also, gonna rev my serious literature brain back up for Joyce.

 

 

36 Books In 2018 #24: The Trials Of Apollo: The Burning Maze By Rick Riordan

A funny thing happens when I read a Rick Riordan book. I fall under a kind of spell. From the moment I first started The Lightening Theif nearly eight years ago to yesterday when I finished The Burning Maze, I find myself lost Riordan’s world of monsters, magic and gods.

Sure I have books I prefer to others. (The Last Olympian is good, The Lost Hero, ehhh) But I’m always happy to hang out at Camp Halfblood.

The Trials Of Apollo has proved to be my favorite series so far. I like be Apollo as a narrator and twenty or so books in everything is so rich and full of backstory, just the tantalizing sentence of Apollo and Grover enter the labyrinth to fight Caligula and Medea (with assists from Piper and Jason) is enough to burst my little fangirl heart.

The Burning Maze has great action, moments of hilarity and devastating losses and mired as it all is in history is kind of wonderful. I have my complaints.

My girl Rachel Dare was nowhere to be found which really? I get that Percy is currently helping on the Norse side of things, but his absence is always a negative, and too much of the narrative hinges on Jason who’s my least favorite of Riordan’s mains.

But it’s a worthy entry into this series that I’ve loved for so long!

Up next is China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan. HOORAY! More Crazy Rich Asians!

Everything You’ve Heard About Me Is True

Solo

There’s a hundred different reasons that I genuinely enjoyed myself while watching Solo: A Star Wars Story last night, but the main one, the one that I think matters the most, is goddamn is that movie fun.

The chases, the fight scenes, the interactions between the characters and last minute reveal that made me audibly gasp, all of it really feels absolutely perfect. And oddly, I think it’s weird Frankenstein production added to that. Somehow, the loose comedy feel of Chris Miller and Phil Lord, combines all alchemy like with Ron Howard’s earnest competence to make something beautiful.

I’m all in on this movie. I’m in on Alden Einhrich (Baby Han), I’m in on Quira (Space Khalessi), I’m in on Tobias Beckett (Woody MOTHER FUCKING HARRELSON) and of course I’m in on Lando. (Duh)

Seriously, this is a fan service movie, but most of the fan service is clever enough, and also I’m a fan and I like to be serviced occasionally.

It’s fun heist adventure, tightly paced and adorably performed. Plus there’s a delightful twist end cameo

You ready:

Darth Maul is back. I think this means we’re clearly on the road to Ahsoka. (IF WE’RE PULLING CLONE WARS AND REBELS SHIT INTO THE MOVIES WHY IS SHE NOT THERE???) (I realize I’ve become like those Star Wars weirdos who go around whining about how Mara Jade isn’t a thing anymore and why that sucks.) (AHSOKA LIVES!)

Anyway, Solo, is good dirty heisty fun that has Space ships.

So you go in with that as a baseline. It’s not a deep movie but it’s got lots of whizz bangs and great quips and super fun.

Rankings:

  1. Solo: A Star Wars Story
  2. Deadpool 2
  3. Avengers: Infinity War

Trailers: