Well, this is what I did with a pretty generous portion of my life recently!

Daughters are firming up their previously slight lead, though shockingly, sons have made a major play for the win this time around! You go, sons! Female authors also making a major play for the title. Boats have entered the competition. Finally.

There are a ton of new ones, lots of which were sent to me ages ago and were sitting around un-gathered for a long time. If you sent me one that I’ve forgotten to post, please re-send! Thanks to Isley and Other Jessica and Lauren and Brian and Ben and probably a bunch of other people I’m forgetting! Please do keep sending!

AND IN PARTICULAR!! A million years ago, somebody sent me a photo of their grandma or aunt or great-aunt or something holding one of these books out over a kitchen table that had a placemat on it with a bunch of pictures of different kinds of breads. I don’t remember what the book was, but the photo itself was GREAT and I lost it and can’t find it anywhere in my old emails and I don’t know where I saved it. If you’re reading this, can you resend it to me? I miss it! I’ll be more careful this time!

Anywho. Some notes on the Master’s Ladies List:

There are presumably some inconsistencies and errors and it’s possible that my counts don’t actually even all add up correctly? And I think I’ve changed my mind like 8 times about whether, like, a fake book (like The Time-Traveler’s Optometrist) counts as a half-point or as nothing (I think I’m going with half-point), or whether gender-neutral possessors (like The Time-Traveler’s Optometrist) or gender-neutral possesseds (like…The Time-Traveler’s Optometrist) count as a full point or half-point or as some whole separate column (full point for the former, because it’s almost always implied to be male; whole separate for the latter, since it’s so universally almost always female that to see it gender-neutral is rare and notable and surprising). And like apparently I used to note which were memoirs/children’s books/etc, but…I stopped doing that at some point?

I’ve included a few whose titles don’t actually fit the format (no possessive-apostrophe-S, like Son of Rosemary or The Astronaut Wives Club), but only reluctantly and only if there was something else interesting with them or some other reason I wanted to include them, and I tried to note those things on the chart (with those two: because it’s so rare to see a female possessor and a male possessed, much less both in the same title, plus: it’s ROSEMARY, yo!; and because that’s such an interesting grammatical construction, and also because it’s very similar to another title [The Astronaut's Wife], which I thought was fun).

I didn’t go through and google every author’s name to check and make sure that “Barbara” wasn’t a dude, or that people weren’t writing under opposite-gendered pen names. I also didn’t go through and check the plots of these books. So in my “is the possessor a woman” column, I only said yes if the title was something like Madam Bovary’s Daughter, even though it’s entirely possible that the abortionist in The Abortionist’s Daughter might have been a woman. I’m just sexist that way.

The “gender neutral” column refers to the possessed, not the possessor, for the same reason: because it’s almost always easier to tell the gender of the possessed (and I’m lazy and I didn’t want to have read all of these to figure out whether the Senator and the Doctor and the Stranger and the Pirate and the Firemaster were men or women). But also, it is precisely BECAUSE of the sexist nature of this trope that one can generally assume that “human” = “male” and “female human” = “female,” or, in other words, “gender neutral career-haver” = “male” and “female career-haver” = “female.”

Obviously I’m not italicizing appropriately at ALL, which drives me CRAZY, but going through and italicizing everything in html would drive me crazier, so…I’m trying to deal with it.

Also, what the fuck is a Firemaster? What’s the required educational background for something like that? Is that a four-year degree type of thing?

So, uh. TL;DR: It’s possible that I’m maybe taking this all a little bit too seriously.

Check that one up there by Pushkin. Also one by Eudora Welty! I love finding old ones or classic ones or ones written by famous, respectable-type writers.

And, yeah, fine, so that last row and a half or so don’t count. (Or…maybe half-count. I really, really want to be able to count Hemmingway’s Boat. And Yesterday’s Sun! That’s really close!)

I really wanted to read B. F.’s Daughter (third from bottom, on the left), which was sent to me by someone who was all, “Oh, yeah, it was in the dollar bin; I didn’t think you’d want it.” Can I just say? That’s probably why that relationship didn’t last, you know?

This one won a National Book Award! Congrats, Furies Who Belong to a Dude!

Lah dah dahhh. Things continue to be sexist and unimaginative, dum dee dummmm.

Also, a PS which is totally unrelated to that? But I saw this book in the library the other day, and it took me a really really really long time to understand that it did NOT say “Boner Eaters,” and then even when I figured that out, I still had to stare at it for a long time to try to figure out what the heck “Boner Eapers” might be. So OBVIOUSLY of course I was going to take a photo of it to show it to you all, but then my camera was dead!! So I actually CHECKED THIS BOOK OUT just so that I could go home, take a photo of it, and share it with you.

I live to serve.

PPS – Send me more books!!  I’ll be better about updating on time and properly!

PPPS – Aw, no I won’t.  But send them anyway, please!

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OH MY GOD

OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD

What is best in life? This is best in life.

(Was there actually anyone out there who reads my blog but not Isley’s?)

You guyz, I’ve never won anything before! Well, I have, but NOTHING ELSE COMPARES ANYMORE.

Thank you, Isley!!!

EEEEEEEEEPPPPP.

Holy shit, also, that photo was apparently from January, 2008. Oh my god. WE ARE ALL SO OLD, YOU GUYZ.

adorbs

My old high school’s website uses the Unhelpful High School Teacher meme to represent “staff” on their Resources page. I KNOW the web designer knew this. I wonder if anyone who supervises the web designer knows this?

Adorbs.

Before I left my last job, I made a secret page on the website that was only linked to white text on a white background in a corner somewhere, called “blahblah/ohai,” which was just a page with a giant picture of my close-up face staring at you, if you happened to get to it. It stayed up until they redesigned the whole website. I honestly don’t know if that means that they even found it then? Or if it was just thrown out with the bathwater, and no one ever noticed it at all.

Welp, it’s probably been about eleven months since I used my juicer, maybe? Which sounds about right – that’s about how often people use their juicers, after the first heady three months. So…I made juice! A new recipe!  It’s from this super-mega-vegan chick at work.  It doesn’t have a name.

  • Beets! – Buy 3 of them, panic, only clean and chop 2, realize that you could have used all 3 and now you have 1 random beet sitting in your refridgerator and what the fuck are you going to do with that, now, anyway?
  • Carrots! – I dunno, like half a bag or something? Maybe a whole bag. I used more than half a bag?
  • Green apples! – Two. Yeah you heard me.
  • Lemon! – One! And actually, this should have been a lime, and you could probably use two. This thing turns out pretty fucking sweet.
  • Ginger! – A “thumb sized piece,” because isn’t that pretty much ALWAYS what ANY recipe that calls for ginger says you should use? Why IS that?? Also, man, I still CLAIM I don’t like ginger, but…it’s totally necessary in juice. I RELUCTANTLY ACCEPT ginger in Indian food and juice and THAT’S IT.

That’s alllll!  It was great.  And it made me realize that I have literally never not made a green juice before.

Also, out of curiosity, I re-juiced all my used-up pulp. I got this much extra juice by doing so:

I like my juicer! I’m totally going to use it again for like the next 70-85 days!

I try very hard to follow the “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all” rule on OkC. (The furious feminist in me would like to interrupt to point out that this is about 30% politeness/kindness, and 70% trying to avoid being murdered by Elliot Rodger.) But sometimes it’s really really really hard to stick by that rule. Sometimes it slips out. And sometimes, I just rant about douchebags on my blog!

On January 22nd, “Terry” wrote to me:

Just wanted to let you know that I really liked your profile and think we definitely have enough in common to have a fun first date (although we can certainly chat some more if you’d like). How is your week going? What do you think of OkCupid so far? Hope to hear from you soon.
Terry.

This is obviously a copy-and-pasted message, plus, I don’t date dudes named “Terry,” thank you very much, so I didn’t-say-anything-at-all and politely ignored it.

On June 16th, Terry wrote to me:

Just wanted to let you know that I really liked your profile and think we definitely have enough in common to have a fun first date (although we can certainly chat some more if you’d like). How was your weekend? What do you think of OkCupid so far? Hope to hear from you soon.
Terry.

Frankly, I guess I appreciated that he updated the “week” to “weekend” thing, at least. That’s nice attention to detail. But ultimately, this was one where I should have not-said-anything-at-all, but…didn’t. Instead:

On June 17th, I wrote to Terry:

Haaaaa. Did you not notice until right after you sent the second one that you had already sent me the exact same message, word-for-word, five months ago? I guess it’s nice that you at least update the line about “How’s your [part of the week] going?” for each girl.

He replied:

Oh of course I knew I sent you the same message 5 months ago before I sent it. I think there’s like a one month statue of limitations thing on that. Anyway, how’s your night going?

Yeah, but…the problem isn’t that you wrote the same message to ME twice. It’s that it means that you write the same message to EVERYONE, EVERY TIME. Anyway, I didn’t-say-anything-at-all. Then:

On June 23rd, Terry wrote to me:

Hi there,
How was your weekend? Are you still interested in meeting up sometime?
Terry

Which basically sent me into a flying furious rage? Because: TERRY. I WAS NEVER INTERESTED IN MEETING UP. Who told you that? Why did you think that? What was it about the single mocking message that I sent you that made you think I was interested in meeting up?

And you know what else? The Furious Fucking Feminist in me would like to point this out, too, without parenthesis, and without apologizing, and without pretending that she thinks she’s overreacting: That’s how people get raped. Dudes who do not hear or attempt to hear words, dudes who do not recognize that they are interacting with another separate human entity which has ideas which are not the same ideas as the dude’s ideas: that’s how people get raped. Stop thinking that because you think a thing, the thing is. Stop not-interacting. Stop DOING stuff. No one wants to meet up with you. No one wants to meet up with you. No one wants to meet up with you.

Also, dudes: Stop posting profile pictures where you look like you’re about to strangle something with your bare hands. Why do dudes do that? Stop doing that.

So. There.

This is a different guy. This guy probably doesn’t want to rape anyone. But he still sounded VERY bossy:

Hi! Love your picture. I’m Jeff! Always enjoy a good conversation, a big laugh, and great wine!

Quit telling me what to do, Jeff.

Incidentally, and I SWEAR I AM NOT BEING SARCASTIC, the best message I’ve gotten in…I don’t know…ever? Is (in its entirety) this one:

Let’s make out.

He was cute, but he lives in Williamsburg. Way too far to travel to make out.

I bet I’m getting some gross-ass google search hits recently. I’ve been using the word “rape” a lot lately. Hrm. Maybe this is an indication that I need to take an OkC break for a while.

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Today is Erwin’s birthday!

Pretty much Erwin’s favorite food in the whole entire world is canned whipped cream, so he had that for his special birthday dinner.

One of Erwin’s favorite things to do is wear crowns on his head, so he got do that for his special birthday activity.

HE LOVED IT VERY MUCH.

Yayyyy! Happy birthday, to one of my favorite living beings with no real sense of the passage of time or your own mortality or the concept of “celebration!”

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nerdy

I recently bought a stamp that makes little rectangles (because I spend my money wisely). Also, Chris and I went to trivia last night! THESE TWO FACTS COLLIDE, BELOW:

We got second place, by 1.5 points. You got an extra point for wearing a red shirt, which I was, but they did not count that for me! So we RIIIILLY got second place by .5 points. But also, we TOTALLY SHOULD have known the bonus question, so BAAAAASSSICALLY we pretty much won.

What’s the name of that one place I went to once which I think was a bar inside a hotel and which was almost surely in Chelsea and was sort of a weird old fashioned old man cocktail bar and had a maybe akward Asian theme and lots mirrors with red stuff painted on them, maybe peacocks? It’s like basically SUPER IMPORTAMT.

I went to Victoria’s Secret this morning.

(Yeah, yeah; I had a giftcard.) (Yeah, yeah; I found it, okay? It was some promotion thing they were doing on campus. Leave me alone.) (Anyway, I srsly only ever go there to buy the same exact pair of plain cotton underpants over and over, in different shades of dark grey.) (Well…today I also bought a pair which say, across the ass, in pink sparkly bubble letters: “Miss Independence,” because the world is an uncaring machine and we all die alone.)

ANYWAY: One of the girls working there, wandering around and offering shopping bags and asking if she can measure your boobs for you, was wearing a full hijab. Not face-covering or anything, but a plain black full headscarf and a long black robe-y thing. And, like, not to be crass or whatever? But hiring her was SO FUCKING SMART on Victoria’s Secret’s part. People fucking LOVED her. People were lined up WAITING to be helped by her. And it was a very specific kind of people: people who you wouldn’t normally think of as shopping there. Other ladies in hijabs, but also old ladies and mothers with eleven-year-old daughters who were staring at the ground and pretending they were somewhere else. It was awesome. She must be their best salesman, or at least, she is the best at selling to that particular customer.

And now I am sitting in the BPLibrary, having a small dilemma of greed or satisfaction or gratification or something. It’s all very deep and philosophical.

So. I usually idly check the “Jackson” section whenever I go to the library, for both Shirley and Shelly, both of whom I know have written a lot more than I’ve read, but neither of whom I really feel the pressing urge to actually request from the library specifically for some reason. Shelly because…I dunno, she’s a LOT, and I’m sort of never in the mood to seek her out, and Shirley because I love her so much that I usually want to keep her books forever, so I mostly intend to buy them instead of check them out, but…also I check them out sometimes, too, so blah blah, I dunno.

Anyway, whatever: I check that section a lot and usually there is nothing new there. Today, though! For some reason, today there was a whole half-shelf of Shirley Jacksons up there! Including one short-story collection that I guess I haven’t read yet (though I thought I’d read them all!) and two of the novels that I haven’t read yet. I snatched them up and they are sitting here by my wrist right this instant. But…I’m not entirely sure I am actually going to check them out.

There is a limited amount of unread Shirley Jackson left in the world. It is a diminishing resource. When this happens with some of my favorite authors, I tend to like to put off reading what’s left. Space it out and go slow and all. (Though sometimes this is just pure neurotic avoidance, too: I still have not read The Pale King. And remember when that one last recently-found story by J. D. Salinger came out? “Hopworth, 1922,” or whatever? I printed it. And still haven’t read it. I dunno, man.) And also, seriously, I probably should just buy these books. I like to mark good lines and I like to make notes directly in the books, and I do both of those things a lot with Shirley Jackson, so obviously that becomes an object I want to keep, and not have to undo and then return, and then RE-do, once I finally actually buy them.

But! I am also a big proponent of eating your dessert first, because what if you choke to death on dinner and then won’t you be sorry that you were saving the best for last? So…maybe that means I should just go go go and read these NOW so I can have them read in case I choke to death on dinner?

I’m phrasing this all sort of breezily and chattily, but I’m literally sitting here staring in horror at this stack of books, unsure of what I will do with them.

I, uh. Will let you know how it goes.

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Digby’s Book Club continues with…

The Melancholy of Anatomy, by Shirley Jackson
Digby acknowledges that perhaps each of these stories is simply re-telling the same joke over and over and over, but she thought the writing itself was so good – and damnit, that joke was so good – that she was willing to overlook this flaw. Ultimately, a really great book to nap on. (Well – except for the “Phlegm” story, which was just so fucking gross, seriously.)

The New Yorker, “Summer Love” issue
Digby would like to know if Murakami ALWAYS writes like that? Because…that…sucked. A lot. Why do people like that guy? That was kind of awful. “Took a bite of her pizza the size of a postage stamp?” Wtf? It seemed like it might have just been a translation problem, but…still. “The Bad Graft” was great. The one about the Brady Bunch just made her ANGRY, it was such a waste. Everything else Digby thought was just kind of meh. Willing to rest on it briefly, but…none of it really worth a good night’s sleep.

The 4 Step Solution to the Cube, by Gary Lee
Digby doesn’t think this solution is any faster than the traditional solution, but she likes having two different methods available to sit on, so.

Both The Book of Other People, edited by Zadie Smith, and Halloween Horrors, edited by Alan Ryan, at the same time
Oh, what? So Digby isn’t allowed a little pulp now and then? Like you’re so high and mighty? Like you’re over there just rolling around in Dostoevsky all the time? Look, she sits on her brain-food-authors too, okay? Zadie Smith! But sometimes a cat just wants to unwind by napping on top of a little mindless classic mid-1980s horror, okay? So sue her. Jeez. Gaw.

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