2020/10/15

A New Favorite

Da Goddess @ 09:46

I couldn’t love this site more if they paid me!

My two favorite stories thus far are from Henry Herz and Kathleen Jowitt. I think Jowitt’s piece is especially gorgeous.

2020/08/07

Waiting for Doggo

Da Goddess @ 12:59

Mark B. Mills wrote the most perfect story. I laughed, I cried, I wanted so much more. I’m Waiting for Doggo to make another appearance because it is simply so captivating.

I have to say I hated that it was such a quick read, but I loved it, too, for the same reason.

Everything about the improbable love story fell upon my heart wonderfully and it’s a book I’ll return to whenever I need a little pick-me-up.

2020/08/05

I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

Da Goddess @ 09:04

I just finished I Hold a Wolf by the Ears by Laura van den Berg. A collection of short stories, it’s absolutely delicious!

Each tale is perfect on its own, but as a set: magnificent. At turns intriguing and heartbreaking and as simple and complicated as humans are, the characters are given a chance to speak for themselves, to recount their own stories in their own way.

Every protagonist is someone recognizable and familiar as if made up of the parts of ourselves and our known world. They’re us, or a part of us, and this is the common thread tying the stories together (although a couple do happen within the same immediate vicinity).

I found myself returning to the beginning and starting over again, compelled to find new clues within and perhaps discover the secret to slipping into the stories myself, getting lost in the fog alongside my new friends, holding them when they need it the most.

Deftly crafted, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears is my newest and strongest recommendation to anyone who loves to read and appreciates finely told tales.

2020/05/08

Da Goddess @ 00:49

I’d like to take this moment to say, “fuck you, Lucy Ellmann. Fuck you very much.” This is the first time it’s ever taken me a week to read 42 pages of a book I don’t actively loathe.

Ducks, Newburyport is 998 pages long and I’m only on page 49. It’s taken me a week – a W.E.E.K. – to get that far in. And I’m a speedy reader. Not Evelyn Wood fast, but pretty damn fast. And this is an excruciatingly slow fucking read. 98% of the book is one long run on sentence, which stops being a clever storytelling device about 1.5 pages in. Rather, it becomes a tedious method for driving the reader mad with unnecessary nonsense in the middle of what seems to be a decent story. Instead of allowing the readers to easily keep track of characters and plot, we’re forced to assemble the pertinent details from an overworked stream of consciousness blather that truly detracts from the essence of the tale.

I’ve stopped all other reading, set aside puzzle books, kept Netflix off, just to focus on forty-fucking-nine pages. And I’m made about it. Angry. ANGRY. It makes me wonder how the book was shortlisted for the Booker prize.

You know those comedians who run with any irritating joke to the point where it becomes painful and then keep on with it until it becomes kind of funny? That isn’t happening here in book form. Knowing I still have 949 pages left of this only makes me want to waterboard the author. If your story doesn’t allow the reader to come up for a breath of fresh air, you’re going to have bodies strewn across the country – nay, the WORLD – from asphyxia and your readership is going to dwindle. To the publisher, I must say this, “you made a big mistake. HUUUGE.”

Honestly, if not for the fact that I’ve invested actual hard-earned money on this book, I’d have chucked it into a fire or offered to sell it for toilet paper.

And here’s another thing: if your story isn’t strong enough to stand on its own, without this exhausting nonsense with which to prop it, then perhaps the author and publisher ought to take a step back and examine their entire lives and ask themselves where they went so very wrong. What led them to thinking this was a good choice? And what led the Booker prize committee to shortlist this work of drudgery? Is the fact that this massive run on sentence of a book really that innovative? Did they actually enjoy the read? I can’t believe they found this enjoyable.

As I previously mentioned, the bit of the story I’ve “extruded” (that was a deliberate jab at the author, dear reader) hasn’t been bad, just exhausting. I feel I deserve better than this. If I hadn’t splashed out the cash for it, I’d have quit reading and made a fortune selling the pages for toilet paper. Really, I would have. Still might if I finish before the quarantine is over. I guess I just found my motivation.

2020/04/21

Better to Laugh

Da Goddess @ 23:55

My frustration level has peaked. I have so many things I’d like to do, so many people I’d like to see, and many places I’d like to visit. Since none of that’s possible, it comes down to lots of tweeting, reading, TV, and movies.

Of course, now is exactly when shit hits the fan. My landlords have moved off the property and out of state. I have missed them a great deal when they drove up to Oregon to be with family. I miss their daughter’s little voice and adorable giggles. I miss hearing the baby fuss and then coo. It’s just so weird without them here.

And I now have to set up my own internet and cable. That was one of my favorite things about renting here: those were included in the rent. Now, they’re reducing my rent to make up for not providing it. But I’d rather just keep it the way it’s always been. I’m THAT horrified by having to figure it out for myself. When manlord was down to pack up the house, I got him to extend the service until they have someone move into the main house. Except, here’s the thing, internet works and cable doesn’t. I’m watching Netflix until they get it figured out.

And I’m reading a lot. Right now, my favorite site is McSweeney’s because I end up laughing for hours. Current favorite article is Frasier & Niles Tell Their Dad to Stay Home. Go read. You’ll like it.

Ta for now. I have to go look for ants. I had three extremely tiny ones show up earlier and I’m obsessed with killing any others that may exist.

2020/03/31

Two-fer Tuesday: Something Beautiful for You (Quarantine Playlist)

Da Goddess @ 03:26

This is for you. Yes, you. You deserve this.

And you deserve this. Yes, I’m still talking to you! Quit acting so surprised.

Hang in there, my friends. We can do this.

2020/03/26

Must Watch: Alternatives, Part 1

Da Goddess @ 09:06

I’ve found myself seeking out shows that aren’t available via regular TV channels in the U.S.

First up: Portrait Artist of the Year. This is a fantastic British production. You can find the entire current season on the YouTubes. Here’s a link to the first episode. It’s really a wonderful program. All but the final episode for this show are available through the account I’ve linked to.

Also on the tubes of you, The Great Pottery Throw Down. Listen, you don’t need to be a potter to enjoy this show. The artistic value of the craft is exceedingly entertaining and you’ll come away with a greater appreciation for how cups, plates, teapots, vases, etc., are made. There are three seasons available and I’ll get you started with season one, episode one. I think you’ll find yourself yelling at the contestants when they take crazy chances with their designs, when they forget an important step, and/or when they don’t manage their time well. You’ll also yell at the judges when they send home someone who, while they missed the mark on this one challenge, has shown such amazing work throughout the season. It’s truly a delightful show. And don’t worry about the crying judge. It happens frequently enough that you’ll simply accept it by the time you get through a few episodes.

I can only find the most recent season of Master of Photography on YouTube. I watched an early season a couple years ago on Ovation or some other channel I no longer have access to. Anyhow, this is a very good program in that it offers great lessons on composition and the value of critiques from experts. There are some interesting images and equally interesting photographers. It’s given me a lot of inspiration and motivation for future projects, but mostly I just enjoy picking out the contestants’ missed shots/opportunities. I do a fair amount of commentary throughout each episode.

On Netflix, check out Blown Away. It’s all about glassblowing and it’s fascinating! There’s one season. Episodes are only about a half hour, so you can get through them quickly. I would have liked longer episodes, but you get what you get and you don’t get upset. Or you do. But it’s totally worth your time.

I’ll post more shows next week. These should keep you busy until then.

Bonus: Upright. An Australian show that’s funny, beautiful, touching, and so many other super superlatives. It’s brilliant! IMTV has it available to those of us who live in the States. You’ll have to create an account to watch (when you get to the options of NA or EUR, choose NA (North America, natch). If you can’t watch every episode free of charge, let me know. I’ll see if I can find you another option.

Now, go get busy watching TV and forget about our current situation. We won’t always have a pandemic to justify our viewing habits, so make the most of the NOW of it.

2020/03/13

Leaving L.A.

Da Goddess @ 17:11

Tim Minchin is a fucking genius. Don’t let anyone (especially him) tell you otherwise.

His new song and video are exceptional. After I heard a brief clip a few days ago (or a week or? I dunno. The days all blend together anymore), I had the tune stuck in my head. And now I have the entire song running on repeat in my brain. I love it! I hope you enjoy.

2020/02/17

Anything but Love?

Da Goddess @ 21:13

I love J.D. Souther. My favorite of which is Anything But Love.

If we had never met,
And the world got on without us,
Just as if we were never there at all.
We’d be searching yet
For the next big thing that ever happened
Trying not to fall …
Anything but love will do
Anything but hearts that beat like thunder,
Anything but love would be enough
For anyone but you.

The too-shortly-lived sitcom only used the version with lyrics briefly, which was a shame because it was beautiful and had the potential for reducing me to tears on the regular. Still does. “Trying not to fall…Anything but love…” that’s my favorite bit. And the rest of it. But mostly that part. Though the rest is wonderful. But seriously, mostly that particular portion of the song.

He’s going to be in town very soon. Do I go?

2020/02/09

Pretty Circus Poodles

Da Goddess @ 23:46

Ugh.

I didn’t mind the whole Academy Awards red carpet parade of pretty people. I enjoy entertainment as much as anyone else. But, when I see certain celebrities, I heave and fight to keep my finger off the mute button.

Muting did come in handy when a certain late night chat show host from another country appeared, I had to do something just to not hear his voice. Sadly, Rebel Wilson was also silenced (and I enjoy her). I also couldn’t look at the guy in question because he really irks me THAT MUCH. Thankfully, their bit was short and I could resume watching and listening to the show.

Everything was going fine until Joaquin Phoenix rambled on about giving people second chances, being kind to the earth, and all the other sentiments that were in no way related to winning an award (except for his mea culpa about having been “difficult” in the past) and he went long over his 45 seconds of speech time. While what he said wasn’t awful in any way, shape, or form, it was just out of nowhere jibber-jabber. Okay, fine. Good for him. Awkward moment passed.

Then, ol’ squinty won for her portrayal of Judy Garland. And she rambled. I can’t listen to or look at her for any length of time (much like the man who made a bad adaptation of a certain movie about felines even worse with his very presence). She’s nails on a chalkboard to me. And she fucking rambled. No one cut her off at 45 seconds.

Those two circus poodles were indulged by the producers. None of us wanted that. None of us needed to listen to their nonsense. Thank the people who helped and get off the stage. But, no. That didn’t happen.

Worse, still, was when Parasite won best picture and theeeen someone in the control booth decided to dim lights and try to rush the makers of the film offstage. The audience rebelled! It was a thing of beauty to hear the audience boo the control booth and then chant for letting Parasite‘s creators get their due. And it happened.

In a very ridiculously white- and male-dominated awards season, something wonderful and unexpected happened: a South Korean movie took top honors. The cast, the crew, the creators…it was an amazing moment and they deserved the time to celebrate and be celebrated and say what they wanted to say without being rushed. Joaquin and Reneé had more than their fair share of time, it seems only right to allow a large group — winning the biggest award of the night — extra time. They got it, but only because the people in attendance demanded it. It was just stunning to watch.

In case you don’t know anything about the movie, here’s a quick take:

The lives of two families — one wealthy, one struggling — intersect in “Parasite,” with a young man masquerading as a college-educated tutor for a rich family in Seoul, South Korea. As the story unfolds, much of what is on the surface isn’t exactly what it seems.

Bong Joon-ho and Sin-ae Kwak deserved their time in the spotlight having achieved so much, including the first foreign language film to win an Oscar for best picture. The message of the film, especially in this insane current timeline of ours, is something most of us can relate to. It is and isn’t “just” a South Korean film. It’s a film for all of us that just happens to have come from South Korea, by South Koreans.

For once, I’m glad Hollywood stood up and demanded fair treatment for these filmmakers and artists. It made my heart sing!

I don’t know about you, but I love seeing the longshot make it. I love seeing the joy on their faces and feeling the true sense of gratitude they express.

After all was said and done, the Oscars closed with a victory that felt good and right and helped ease the painful overindulgence by those who didn’t seem to know when to just say thank you and move on.

P.S. I want to add: if the producers really want to trim some time, why not simply name a nominee, show their clip, and go on to the next one instead of showing a mishmash of clips and THEN announcing the names. They could also trim the opening number. Or not. But they could definitely cut some of the awkward “banter” between presenters. Most of the jokes don’t land (rarely do they land). And finally, they could try having the presenters run from backstage to the microphone and then have everyone run offstage once the speechifying is done. Granted, some of the outfits and shoes aren’t conducive to such speed, but it would be infinitely more fun than listening to awkward and forced jocularity between people who quite often have no connection other than them both being in the movie industry.

P.P.S. I didn’t say anything last year, but best actor went to Rami Malek. It was an Oscar really meant for the late Freddie Mercury. Let’s face it: Bohemian Rhapsody wasn’t that great a movie. The only reason so many people saw it was because they loved Freddie and Queen. Rami wasn’t Freddie until the last little bit of the movie. In fact, the movie wasn’t very much a movie until the last little bit of the movie. Unfortunately, this is often how it goes with awards shows: the best don’t often win.

P.P.P.S. I’m done now. I’m getting over a stomach bug and this little bit of mild ranting has knocked me out. Congrats to Bong Joon-ho, Sin-ae Kwak, and everyone involved with Parasite for a well-deserved win!

2019/12/25

On the 12th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:01

2019/12/24

On the 11th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:01

2019/12/23

On the 10th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:07

Tim’s song always brings me to tears when he gets to the part about his daughter. All. The. Feels. ALL OF THEM.

So, to follow that overwhelming heart-filling emotion, I have to listen to something else. This year, America (with Andrew Gold).

2019/12/22

On the 9th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:03

2019/12/21

On the 8th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:01

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