Anthony Lane, Ferocious as Usual

From Lane’s review of “Lawless,” in the Sept. 3, 2012 issue of The New Yorker:

I have struggled, through fifty-seven varieties of “Transformers,” to feel the magic of Shia LaBeouf, who has the expression of a panicking puppy and a name like an Islamic steak house.

From Lane’s review of “The Expendables 2” (in the same issue of The New Yorker):

Anyone who soldiered through “The Expendables,” two years ago, will be touched, and a little surprised, to learn that there is more to expend.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Jane Kramer, The New Yorker (23 July 2012)

From Personal History:  “A Reporter at Odds”

The fact remains that, given the choice between a vacation without a notebook and a revolution with one, most of us would pass on the yellow sundress or the cargo pants and buy a flak jacket.  The advantage is that I can pack in a half hour for any work trip, as long as I have a daily supply of pens, a stack of my favorite interview pads —  six by nine, lined, spiral on top —  and a couple of clean black turtlenecks and jeans.  But how do you pack for a vacation?  Who would willingly exchange license and anonymity for the role of gawker in a sundress?

I did.  For three weeks in January, I became a tourist.  No notebooks, no Bic twelve-packs.  No interviews at all —  an exercise in self-restraint triggered by the news that years of frequent-flier miles, racked up in the pursuit of stories, were going to expire in February.  After four days spent attempting communication with the “reward specialists” at a United phone bank near Mumbai, I managed to nail two round-trip reservations for Bangkok, which was as far as my miles would take us.  That settled, the question became:  What would I do for three weeks in Southeast Asia if I wasn’t working?  What would my husband, an anthropologist between semesters with his own notebook (spiral on the left), do?

Self is so glad to know that even Jane Kramer of The New Yorker experiences frequent flier discombobulation.  And to think self had the temerity to think, while on hold after placing her nth call to United Mileage Plus:  Is this really the best possible use of my life for the next four hours?

Here’s the deal, dear blog readers:  The reason self doesn’t have to teach so much, and the reason she flies here there and everywhere, is that she has come into her inheritance.  What a loaded word.  It is true.  Your dear blog mistress hit the Stakes-of-Life jackpot and decided to see if she could balance the quiet anonymity of Redwood City, California with the rest of the world.  Now life is such a dizzying mess that she gardens with rollers in her hair.  Seriously.  This morning, she spent an hour on her knees planting celosia in between the lamb’s ears.  When she finally straightened up to brush some stray bangs off her hot, sweaty forehead, she encountered the unmistakable feel of plastic.  Lest you think that self routinely walks around with her (short, and getting ever shorter) hair in curlers, let’s just say that today was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.  And when she tells cousins her stories, they always respond with, “IF that’s true . . . ”

You think India and Claremont (California) and Bacolod and Scotland and Amsterdam and Paris were the extent of self’s travels for this year?  Ixnay!  There are at least three more trips on the horizon.  That means a whole mountain of adventures.  And more grumpiness from The Man.  But, c’est la vie, c’est la vie, c’est la vie . . .

Self Confesses an Addiction to

Self confesses an addiction to her daily dose of literary excellence from Eunoia Review (You know how you can browse tags on WordPress, and click on a tag and all the posts that use that tag appear on your screen?  It’s always, on self’s screen, these four:  her own blog, and Eunoia Review, and Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, and Sakurasnow.)

She’s an e-mail subscriber to Eunoia Review.  She looks forward to having a piece delivered to her “In” box, every day.

On the magazine’s home page, you can see four categories and how many posts fall into each:

The most-used tag is Poetry (778 posts)

The next most-used is Fiction (257 posts)

There’s a category called Reprint (25 posts)

And finally, there’s Creative Non-fiction (15 posts) —  Somehow, self completely missed this category.  She didn’t realize (until now) that Eunoia Review considers creative non-fiction.

After this post, self fully expects dear blog readers to rush over to Eunoia Review, so it’s a little bit redundant to share an excerpt from the current post.  But self particularly enjoyed this paragraph, in the story by Katelyn Snyder (who is a sophomore at Seton Hill University):

The man attempted the tricks of the late-great-American novelists.  He added a glass of scotch to his writing table.  He considered suicide via an oven or a double-barreled shotgun, but he changed his mind.  That method, while canonized, was only successful after the writing was done.  He married women and divorced them.  Occasionally he even blamed them for his struggles . . .  for spilling tea on his winning manuscript and forcing him to start again.  He had passionate affairs, searching for a muse, but the novelty wore off, at least for the ladies, when he would suddenly leave the boudoir muttering about exposition and character development.

The last sentence, especially, caused self to burst into loud guffaws of recognition.

(In other developments, self was really really sad to learn today that Dark Sky Magazine is going silent.  How many times has she come across similar announcements, in her years of living on the web?  She still hasn’t gotten over the demise of Pindeldyboz)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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