Apples on apples on apples. #pumpkinspicewhat

Apples on apples on apples. #pumpkinspicewhat

Boston bound 🚙🚢🚊 // New London bridge

Boston bound 🚙🚢🚊 // New London bridge

Let Our Books Be Bad, Too

In this week’s installment of  Bookends The New York Times asks the question: Can a book ever change a reader’s life for the worse?

[so I went to hong kong 4 years ago and have all these awesome pictures. this is the tian tan buddha, on lantau island. although the buddha part was pretty touristic, the island is beautiful and fairly remote. think water buffalo wandering the streets, clam digging at the beaches, jungle everywhere.] 

It is a great question. Firstly, because I love anything that advocates the power of books. People talk about social media or movies or video games poisoning the minds of kids today and while yes, reading is an AMAZING hobby, to say that it can’t be bad is to say that it is somehow less influential. 

Part of me fears that as reading becomes, in the eyes of others, more of a hobby for betterment rather than a way to unwind and relax, we might move towards books that only serve purposes: novels with positive plots and outcomes, stories that teach lessons or self-help books. And while I was a huge fan of Aesop’s Fables (the ultimate self-help book), I don’t like the idea of all my reading being positive. Some books have terrible moral values or tragic ends, the hero doesn’t always win. Flaubert’s Madame Bovary comes to mind. And even though that book is a comment on women’s rights and the lack of agency in a woman’s life, Emma Bovary was no peach. By any stretch of the imagination.

So I would say yes. Let our books change us. For better or for worse. bring it on. 

Labor Day dip #SoLi

Labor Day dip #SoLi

Quotes From Ma Shelf

Taking a page (har-har) out of the Strand’s tumblr I am going to start posting quotes from books that I am reading. I have been keeping a quote booklet for the past five years or so, and figure this will keep me curating further. 

First one is from a July read, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz:

image

She was the kind of girlfriend God gives you young, so you’ll know the loss the rest of your life. 

Right up there with Bob Dylan’s Sara lyrics: “So easy to look at, so hard to define.” 

As for the book, I adored it. The weird thing was, I was not expecting to like it at all,  partly because it was SO POPULAR in 2009. I know, I am a snob.

But, after living in the DR I felt like I needed to check out Diaz because he is Dominican-American.  And let me just say, OH EM JEEEE. Not only was The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao compelling from a narrative standpoint, but Diaz wove heavy bits of heavy Dominican history in quite adeptly. Plus, the way he uses slang and switches perspective throughout was top-notch… Bottom line, Diaz is amazing.

Family day in #SoLi. #southernlongisland #strongisland #socalwhat?! #MTK

Family day in #SoLi. #southernlongisland #strongisland #socalwhat?! #MTK

Straight cruising. #EastEndLife

Straight cruising. #EastEndLife

Ooooof. #NYC

Ooooof. #NYC

Nine Signs You Are Moving

    [so sometimes i wonder why i moved.]

1)    Your cat is seriously freaked out.

2)    You have thought about becoming a minimalist and just leaving all of your possessions. Fuck that family heirloom vase and fuck shoes.  Who needs shoes?

3)    You keep moving the “special” spot for your passport. The chair? Great.  No, but what if it falls off?  How about the table? What about in the kitchen?! And on, and on.

4)    The scale is out and you are HOPING none of the luggage weighs in above 50 pounds.  Because you are already planning on wearing your winter boots and winter coat on the plane. In July.  See Number 2.

5)    You’re having a reoccurring dream about having a house in the countryside. With two dogs and a horse. And babies. And no boxes.

6)    You’re allocating hours to pack and then somehow just end up watching Season 6 of Castle again, because you haven’t paid for the internet for the last two days.

7)    Despite pretending that you are not really moving to yourself, you have told houseguests to “Excuse the mess, I am in the middle of a move.”, for the past three weeks.

8)    Friends pop by and ask if there is anything you don’t think you want? Like those speakers? Or what about your iPod?  Seems too bulky to carry on the plane.

9)    The little pile of “things to throw in at the last minute” is now bigger than your suitcase. See number 4. Fuck. 

I wrote a more PC version of this here, where I catch up with a real-life minimalist who, get this, hasn’t had a couch for the past three years. Check it out and share any of your own moving horror stories in the comments below. 

BESOS!

Apparently, the deer love Swiss chard. Only the stalks left.

Apparently, the deer love Swiss chard. Only the stalks left.