rainbow bookwheel

2012: a list of books and movies

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In the case of books, the date given is the date I finished reading the book. It shouldn't be taken to indicate that I read the entire book in one day.

Graphic novels count as books. Magazines, zines, and single issues of comics don't. Online content counts as a "book" only if it's specifically presented as such.

Short films and made for TV movies count as movies. Episodes of TV shows don't.

* indicates that it was a re-read or repeat viewing. Books read twice (or more) in the same calendar year and movies watched twice (or more) in the same calendar year won't appear twice (or more) on the list.

DNF indicates that I read/watched a substantial amount of the book/movie but not all of it, for whatever reason.
moon in the window

we build a wall to keep us free, that's why we build the wall, we build the wall to keep us free

You know what's amazing?

Hadestown! It's a folk-rock opera/concept album based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and set in a combination of the southern United States during the Great Depression and a dream-like post-societal-collapse future dystopia. Hadestown is an underground city of relative wealth that's extremely hard to get into or out of; Orpheus is a starving musician; Hermes is a train-hopping hobo; Persephone makes bootleg liquor and presides over a speakeasy beneath the earth, etc.

Carrie, you will love this. (The guy who sings the part of Hades sounds pretty much the way I think Dream would sound.)  Everybody else, I encourage you to take a listen, too.
evil together

and if you want to burn yourself, remember that I love you

1. Man, nobody has to like Valentine's Day, and I get a lot of the reasons why people don't (consumerism, the erasure of spiritual and religious aspects from what was once a holy festival, general tackiness), but I enjoy many aspects of it! And I am, wait for it, dating a woman! Even though I am also a woman!  And we are into the tackiness, let me tell you.

It's as heteronormative as you make it, people. I mean, okay, I'll just come out and say it: Carrie, 95% of the culture I encounter is heteronormative. I live in a heteronormative world. If I pissed on everything that was heteronormative, or even everything that was only egregiously heteronormative, it would be, um, a huge waste of urine. Holidays, I would argue, are actually not "egregious" in that way because of the room they tend to leave for personal interpretation w/r/t how one chooses to celebrate them, if at all.

I usually refrain from bitching about Christmas and Thanksgiving too much because I figure, what good would it do and why do I need to Grinch all over something that a lot of important people in my life derive a lot of genuine happiness from? So, y'know, let me have this. I like having a brief, low-key minor holiday respite from the soul-crushing grayness of February and I like pink and red and baking people stuff and I like lace and flowers (real or fake) and I like being reminded that I'm loved and reminding people that I love them, whether that's filial love, friend-love, crush-love, romantic-relationship-love, general-affection-for-all-mankind-love, whatever.

(hey, I love you.)

2. I visited Delta with Hilary B. today for Wassail! Gary has a beard now! All the teenagers look so young! The English Honors Society ("Wilde Things") was doing singing Valentines, and we got to hear their off-key rendition of Katy Perry's "Firework" before we left! I saw a girl with awesome glasses that looked kind of like the mask that Sailor V wears and we looked at each other and were both like "Oh, man, nice outfit" at the same time! People kept asking me whether I had a job or was still in school and it was awkward!
trina schart hyman

love, love, love is gonna take you by the hand...

Well, it's been a month! I'm sorry; I haven't felt up to writing much of anything substantial.

...If I'm honest, I still don't. Oh, well. I keep having attacks of really acute self-loathing at odd times and for odd reasons; this is a normal state for me, though. I also have, for some reason, recently happened to read several opinion articles to the tune that a "culture of self-esteem" has been wrecking the youth (or at least the more materially privileged, Caucasian youth) of my generation, turning us all into shallow narcissists. A running theme in these articles is this idea that feeling crappy about oneself can actually be a good and useful thing, and isn't necessarily a sign of pathology. While I think that's kind of true-- I definitely think that being able to understand one's own weaknesses and character flaws is more valuable than being able to feel 100% good about oneself in all ways all the time, and also that the state of "being human and having a conscience" invariably leads to occasional moments of fury, disgust, and disappointment at one's own behavior--, and definitely worth bringing up in certain discussions, I'm not sure that my weird fits are anything except stupid and counterproductive. I also feel as though I get off kind of easily; I seem to know a lot of people who hate themselves even more and even more constantly than I do. It might even be the defining malady among people I know, at least people I know who are around my age (say, 19-26-year-olds). Why is that?

I wish I were better at understanding the world.

I also, as always, wish that I were legitimately interested in things that weren't totally, laughably frivolous or childish or twee or...well, I've been posting my clothes on tumblr this month, so clearly it isn't all that fervent of a wish. Sometimes I think I should completely, finally let go of apologizing for reasonably innocuous tastes and quirks on the grounds that I think somebody somewhere might find them irritating and just like the stuff I like. I know plenty of excellent people who manage to have admirable, grown-up personalities and traits in spite of...also being weird or goofy or uninterested in being really bombastic about-- like, okay, basically I have this truly incredibly, perhaps even abnormally,  strong desire to BE A GOOD, FAIR, RESPONSIBLE, NICE PERSON, but I have no productive anger or ACTIVIST OPINIONS seething from my heart and mouth and keyboard (I guess I do have some strong opinions w/r/t ethics, etc., but they're at about the same level of heart-shaped cheesiness and philosophical un-sophistication as, like, Sailor Moon), and I know admirable human beings who are the former and do not possess the latter, so why is this a problem for me? I'm having thoughts here, but I've no idea how to write them out in an eloquent way. As usual!

Anyway, Valentine's Day is coming up! Happy Valentine's Day! I know a lot of people hate it, and I'm not a huge fan, but I think it helps to do things for the people you care about whether you're "in a relationship" or not. Make food, decorate with dying plants, dress up as pink robots and dance The Robot in public (like I saw two college students do one year, back when I was in high school), whatever. I guess my big Valentine's Day epiphany, which I know others have had before me, was that it didn't have to be all about either going out with/buying fluffy glittery shit for your Significant Other or moping around fishing squashed roses out of trash cans and wishing you had a Significant Other. It could be a more general celebration of the importance of love and human connection in all its forms. It could be an excuse to make brownies.
two suns: pearl

useless (21st century black-dressed emily)

I went to one class and it was okay.

I went to the other one and I almost immediately wanted to turn around and go home. I was breathing funny.

Nobody has contacted me about a job.

I just don't know what I'm going to do.

I just don't know.

There are things that I know I can do, and things that I like doing, and things that I don't mind, but they are not things that will give me a place in the world. Maybe my place is living in my childhood bedroom, or my parents' basement. Maybe that's just what I can do, all I can do; because it's difficult to interpret tone on the internet, I feel I must note that, while the sentiment is slightly depressing, this is not an exceedingly disagreeable situation for me; my family can afford to keep me, at least for now, and they're nice people who are mostly pretty accepting and tolerant of my general weirdness & difficult patches. We'll see, I suppose.
badass girl

I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me.

Unlike my friend spacklegeek, I think New Year's Resolutions are a pretty good idea. The way I think of it is, no matter what other goals, aspirations, or wouldn't-it-be-nice-ifs I have for the upcoming year, the NYR is the one thing-- or several things-- that I am going to do in the twelve-month period, come hell or high water.

I don't want to publicly state a couple of my resolutions, but the general-audience-appropriate, non-alarming ones are:

- Clean my room and keep it clean. A little bit of clutter on shelves and in the closet is okay, but things can't start looking even slightly Hoarders-esque. If I start having so much stuff that there isn't room for all of it unless I put some of it in big boxes on the floor, that means I've gotta toss the excess material.

- Be very, very frugal with money. Save a little. I'm not normally a huge spendthrift, but I buy a lot of stuff I don't actually need, especially when I'm gloomy and/or intoxicated and/or not intoxicated and really feeling like that's a negative thing at the moment. This may have just become an especially important resolution to try to uphold.

- Make at least two more issues of my zine during the calendar year (I've already made two in the space of about two months, but there's no way I could or would ever want to maintain that pace).

- Complete the local library's "Read 25 books between January 3 and March 31" challenge and win the mysterious prize.

- Take two literature courses at the local university and get at least a B- in both of them.
frida kahlo

I like (much more than just these things)

-Wearing high heels (surreptitious toe-walking FTW! I don't like/can't wear narrow-toed shoes at all, so that can be a problem, but the lift at the heel, even when quite steep or high, rarely bothers me.)
-When my dad asks me what I would call all the different colors in a sunset ("Now, is that more of a 'dusty rose,' Julia, or...?")
-Extremely detailed, specific "how-to" guides
-Aquariums and terrariums made out of television sets and computer monitors
-Gluing things to manila envelopes
-Fiction anthologies
-Making other people happy
-Learning strange fact(oid)s
-Things colored silver; silver jewelery, silver spray paint, silver sugar spoons, etc.
- Cool-looking/shiny silverware
-Sporks that are not made of plastic and are actually effective eating utensils
- People with radical politics who are also reasonable, generally polite (or not aggressive/intentionally rude without good cause), and not super arrogant and self-aggrandizing and smug about how "enlightened" or "outside of the mainstream" or whatever they think they are
- My sister's new (asymmetrical, super-short) haircut
-When someone I like turns out to like poetry and also to actually have some taste in it
-Well-written memoirs
-The sound of rain on a roof
-My shoulders/clavicle area
-Knowing that I will see you again
-Safety pins
-Deep sleep
-Really smooth floors
-Hot caffeine
-Listening to music in the car
cracking up

I dislike (a partial list)

- The fetishization and glamorization of suffering as ennobling and brave
- The fetishization and glamorization of violence as empowering and brave
- The idea that survival means anything about a person's character
- The idea that it's cowardly to kill oneself
-The idea that brave acts are always right/good and cowardly ones are always wrong/bad
- The idea that it isn't brave to seek help when you need it, with anything
-The idea that all outcomes are clear successes or failures, with little or no middle ground
- The idea that compromise is weak
-The idea that compromise is the answer to all disagreements
- When people forget or seem to have never learned that punching people in the face may also hurt one's fist
- Arbitrary rules of fashion ("Choose the right hat for your face shape!")
- When people think they get to mandate what is objectively aesthetically appealing on a universal scale
- The idea that my sexual preferences, or anyone's, are inherently political, radical, or subversive
- The idea that if they're not, then they should be
-Stores not carrying bras in my size (30 C-ish)
- Not being able to help everybody
- Great distances
- Flashing/strobing lights that occur without warning
- Having to wait for a very long time
- Bell peppers
-When I am feeling as though I look quite good so I allow someone else to take a picture of me and they're like, "aww, you're rather cute here!" so I'm like, "let me see!" and then I see the picture and then I'm like, "...ew. Never getting photographed on your phone again, thanks."
yellow flowers


My P.O. box! It LIVES! I can get mail and everything. And now I get to sit under a light that shines like a prosthetic summertime, which makes me feel rather like a certain Robin McKinley protagonist. The real sun is setting early now, and the sky is striped in pale hues of blue and gray and gold outside my window, the colors broken into long rectangles by my open blinds.

This looks like it might be the best cheesy romance novel ever written.

Today my sister said, w/r/t a new lighter: "I cannot get the safety bit off this thing! It's impossible; you have to, like, get something to use as a lever and jack it off super-hard...oh. Oh, crap. That's not what I meant."
another red dress


I am so hopeless sometimes. One thing makes me happy and then another makes me feel like shit; my problem is that I compare myself to other people, and it's kind of funny in a bleak way because I'll berate myself for the ways in which I fall short of who they are and what they've done, but also for the ways in which I'm more positively exceptional compared to some group of others. Shining too much. Any kind of sticking out. Or not sticking out: why do I have to half-ass everything? Why am I so boring? I can't even commit to self-destruction. I can't even do that well; I'm such a fuckup that even my fucking up is mediocre. I feel all wrong. But then I think about how there are a lot of things I might want to do and learn, and how it's a lie that if you're over twenty and you aren't on a clear, straight path yet it's too late to make your life a daring and bold adventure an ambitious one. And how it's a lie that it's not worth bothering with games you cannot win, or skills you cannot master; I mean, swallowing that one the whole way down is probably part of why a lot of people want to kill themselves, because what else is living? And how it's okay if I don't hit the "right" milestones at the "right" ages, and how it's all right if some things take a very long time.

ANYWAY, what I should've done is, I should've updated yesterday, which was a wonderful day that had put me in a wonderful mood. Today, I'm suddenly doing this whole stupid self-berating thing for some particularly stupid reasons.

While I go slap some sense into myself, have a fun conspiracy theory: the phantom time hypothesis (whooooo-ooooo-oooo)! Carrie, you'll like this one.