The Geography of Bliss

So I just moved to Portland 5 months ago and am in a very broke place in life.  Every day I apply for jobs but moneys are very low and it’s stressful.  I look forward to the day when I can buy a cup of coffee without thinking of the  financial repercussions.  As a result of my desperate financial state,  I’m always looking for ways to supplement my income.

I saw an ad on craigslist about being paid to take part in a research study about depression.  I have had depression in the past but am actually happy lately in spite of my financial stress.  So I decided to try and fake being depressed.  I made it through the initial screening process and came in for the next appointment where I was asked a series of questions to evaluate my mood.   I tried my best to sound depressed  but after the evaluation, the psychiatrist looked over my answers and said I did not qualify for the study.

So I got kicked out of the study for not actually being depressed.  Oh man, and American psychology is so weird!  He said something like: “Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you’re not depressed.  Just not depressed enough for this study.” Ha ha, oh man!  Even though I was not able to participate in the study and would receive no moneys, I went home and felt happy all day about not being depressed.  It felt like a small victory. Definitely one of the stranger ways I’ve tried to make money! Read the rest of this entry »

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The Graveyard Book

What I love about Neil Gaiman is that the books of his I have read, Coraline and The Graveyard Book, seem to be books for children or young adults but actually have much darker and more complex elements than most books for young people. You may know what I’m talking about if you have seen the movie version of Coraline.  Not exactly kid’s stuff.

Same with The Graveyard Book. A boy’s family is murdered when he is just a baby but the boy manages to escape and crawls away to a graveyard.  He is received by ghosts who name him Nobody or “Bod” for short.  The ghosts decide they will raise him and keep him in the graveyard, safe from the man Jack who killed his family.  Two ghosts, Mr. and Mrs. Owens become his parents while a man called Silas becomes his guardian.  Bod is given the “Freedom of the Graveyard” and learns such skills as Fading, Dreamwalking, and Sliding.  He also learns about different varieties of the dead, such as Hounds of God, ghouls, and night gaunts.  However, he can’t stay in the graveyard forever and eventually must leave his beloved ghosts and join the world of the living.  This book was a lovely read, both enchanting and exciting. Read the rest of this entry »

The Adventuress

Ok, so I’ve read this graphic novel probably more than ten times but I re-read it to my friend who was in town in January and it’s one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors so thought I would include it on this blog.

This graphic novel is strange and wonderful and the only tattoo I have is actually from this book; a picture of two women embracing who are topless but wearing long black skirts and long opera gloves.  The tattoo represents self love, my astrological sign, Gemini, and also represents being an LGBTQ person.

This book reads like a dream and is the story of an alchemist’s daughter and her strange adventures which include fleeing from her husband, wrapping herself in a cocoon and becoming a moth, giving birth to a cat and transcending the tragedy she has left behind.  The prose is sparse but inventive and much of the story is told through aquatint etchings, an elaborate process that is becoming outdated and is explained at the back of this book.  The words and the etchings give the book a unique, antique feel.

Uglies! (January book club book)

Uglies is the book we decided to read for the Adult Young Adult Book Club in January.  We decided on a dystopia theme for January and compared Uglies to The Giver (which I did not get around to).  It’s a young adult book and is the first of a series  known as the Uglies or Pretties series.  It follows Tally Youngblood who lives in a futuristic society where people have an operation to become “pretty” when they turn 16.  Between the ages of 12 and 16 a person lives in a dorm along with other “uglies” while they wait for the operation.

The idea behind the operation is to equalize everyone so there are no more disagreements because people look different.  However, the operation has a side affect that could be very controversial if found out… (I won’t spoil the surprise toward the end of the book!).  Not everyone in this society is so happy about becoming pretty though and some people decide to escape and create their own society away from the cities.  The people who live outside the cities have never had the operation so they actually age and are “ugly.”  The first time Tally travels to this place, she is horrified to see someone who has actually aged and looks 40. The horror! Read the rest of this entry »

And the first book of the New Year… “Lez” classic, “Rubyfruit Jungle”

So the very first book I read this year was Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown. It’s one of those classics of lesbian fiction that I’ve never gotten around to until now.  When I was back home for Christmas my Dad gave me a big box of books that his (formerly) lesbian friend gave him.  As she knows I’m also a queer, she told my Dad there were a bunch of lesbo books in the box that I might like. I went through it but there wasn’t much that struck my fancy except for Rubyfruit Jungle, because I knew it was considered to be one of the classics in regards to books written by lesbians and about lesbians. Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing…

Hello all!

This is going to be a blog about bits and pieces of my life and about my love for books. The blog will mainly be following all the books I read in 2011.  (It’s mid February and I have read 6 books so far…)   I have never had a blog before but anticipate it will be slightly journalistic in both senses of the word meaning that I hope the blog will serve as a kind of personal journal but also intend to report in journalistic fashion my experiences with and thoughts on books. Read the rest of this entry »