Quoted

A wandering ghost is a dangerous kind of entity, because he or she might decide to wander back … herein, of course, lies the very root of our horror of ghosts. They are feared not because of what they are, but because of what they remind us of being. We are frightened of ghosts because we are frightened of dying. That is the first thing to be said about the matter: that ghosts, like corpses, are unwelcome because they are memento mori.

– Roger Grainger The Social Symbolism of Grief and Mourning, 28-9

Reading Watching Listening

Reading…

Nothing. I’m in a serious writing/deadlines/meltdown phase at school and my time for entertaining reading is entirely non-existent.

 

Watching…

While I don’t have a lot of free time, I do like to watch an episode or two of something while I get ready in the morning. Lately it’s been Supergirl, which I’m pretty much watching solely because Jermey Jordan is in it. Man is very very pretty. Now if only they could find an excuse to have him sing…

 

Listening…

I’ve been in a weird music-free work mode lately. But I’ve been super into listening to Lady Gaga’s Joanne while I’m cleaning. I’ve seen mixed reactions to this album, but I think it is damn good.

Read This

I’ve always found that I favour difficult female characters. Honestly, I kind of want to be a difficult female. So you can imagine how much of a “duh” moment it was when I read this BBC article on anti-heroines and realized “I love anti-heroines!” Anti-heroines are not a brand new concept, but they do seem to be popping up with increasing frequency. Carrie Bradshaw, Olivia Pope, Alicia Florrick, Gretchen Cutler, Julia George, Hayes Morrison…these are the kinds of women that fascinate me the most on TV. While this article is by no means exhausted, it does provide an interesting framework to consider them within. It also makes the academic part of my brain really want to do research on this topic. If the idea of anti-heroines interests you even a little bit, I recommend you take a moment to read “These are the anti-heroines we’ve been waiting for“.

Reading Watching Listening

Reading…

The Deep Blue Sea by Terence Rattigan. I went to the NTLive broadcast of this play last week and it has been haunting me ever since. Achingly good.

 

Watching…

Off Camera with Sam Jones. I’ve just been watching this in bits and pieces while getting ready or eating lunch. Jones isn’t necessarily the most articulate interviewer, but there is something about his approach and the format of these interviews that gets subjects to open up in really interesting ways about their professions. I love that Jones kind of circles around similar questions with a lot of his guests. I am really fascinated by the ways artists and performers approach their crafts and how these differ or don’t differ between fields and individuals, and this si something these interviews really get into.

 

Listening…

Angela Hewitt’s newest recording of the Goldberg Variations. Recording a version of this is incredibly impressive. Recording a second version? I’m not sure I have a word for that. Hewitt is a phenomenal talent, and this recording is a total joy.

Read This

It’s been a while since I posted one of these. Though I’m not sure all that many people are reading this blog anyway, so I figure if my screaming into the void is occasionally intermittent, it doesn’t really matter all that much.

This essay by Curtis Sittenfeld is so very well-written. And it is about precisely the kind of friendship that I hold most dear. The kind of friendship that endures across distance. The kind of friendship that greets most things with humour but lapses into gravity when necessary. Take a moment and read “My Friend Sam“. As usual, the first part quoted here. Click the link to go to the full essay.

If you’re trying to tell the story of a friendship, do you start when the two of you met? For Sam and me, that was in the late summer of 1996, after we became co-editors of the arts and entertainment section of our university’s student newspaper.

Do you start with the beginning of your friend’s life? Sam was born in 1976, in São Paulo, Brazil, the younger brother of two sisters, the son of parents who’d left Korea two years earlier and who, in 1991, would resettle in Torrance, California, just south of Los Angeles, and work as garment fusers.

Do you start with your friend’s personality? Sam has always been loyal and generous, neurotic and melodramatic, wickedly but unostentatiously smart, frank and funny and someone who makes the people around him feel funny, too, because he laughs frequently and hard.

Or do you start the story with the day everything changed? Which was in 2014, right around his thirty-eighth birthday, when Sam was given a diagnosis of Stage III-C stomach cancer. For the enviably uninitiated, about nine per cent of people who receive such a diagnosis are alive five years later.

[…KEEP READING…]