the redemption.

I haven’t been posting much because I haven’t been that in love with anything I’ve come across on the internet recently. That changed about two minutes ago.

I have become more sentimental over the past few years, but I like to think the fact that I didn’t cry over a movie or book or song or poem or whatever until I was in college means I have some sort of emotional bar. Right now, however, I’m struggling to keep from crying happy tears. If you haven’t seen this yet, PLEASE go watch Caine’s Arcade. I rarely watch/suggest online videos because I find them very tedious to sit through, but this one is worth it. Your heart will swell.

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the so funny.

I’m feeling a little wonky after a 3 day dash across the Atlantic, but this site is boosting my mood big time. What Should We Call Me takes everyday occurrences and adds an animated image that captures the feeling. The situations range from “When your friend crops you out of their Facebook picture” to “When your boss walks into your office at 5 p.m. on Friday and asks you to do something for them” to “When people have reptiles for pets.” Each one is hilarious. Click the link and check it out– you will not be disappointed.

the joy squared.

Oh look! Oh Joy! (posted about here) and Joy the Baker (posted about here) got together to talk desserts. Clearly, they both have excellent taste. To read the interview, click here. *(Image)

*I think something might have gotten messed up with the formatting of this post? Joy the Baker doesn’t seem to be answering the question Oh Joy! first asked. But I still like hearing about things being drenched in ketchup, so it’s fine by me.

the heartfelt.

This letter has made the blog/facebook status/tweet circuit, but in case it slipped through the cracks for you, I’m posting it again. I think it’s so very touching, and little parts of it have stuck with me since reading.

John Steinbeck wrote this letter to his oldest son Thom after the boy wrote to tell his parents he was in love with a girl named Susan from his school. Steinbeck replied to his son that very same day with this beautiful letter. If only Grapes of Wrath/Of Mice and Men/East of Eden were as pleasant to read…

“New York
November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First—if you are in love—that’s a good thing—that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second—There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply—of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it—and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone—there is no possible harm in saying so—only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another—but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

Love,

Fa”

This adjective grosses me out a bit, but the letter is so tender that it makes me teary. Apart from that last section, I think I most love his admiring references to his wife Elaine. He seems like the right kind of guy from whom to take love advice.

To read more  about the collection of Steinbeck letters, click here.

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the what not to do.

So there’s this:  (really, just watch. It’s 25 seconds, and I am NOT one to recommend many youtube videos, so I promise it’s not a bad use of your valuable time). (Side note, how sad was this movie? It and Homeward Bound made 8 year old me choke up every time).

And there’s this:

But still…there’s got to be a place for constructive criticism, right? Katie at Sweet Tater posted her list of 12 Blogger Bad Habits, and she’s got ‘em down. Here are a few of my favorites:

“3. Calling your significant other anything but his/her given name. I’m serious with this. Just stop it.”

Yes, especially with a definite article in front of it. I find reading about “the boyfriend” or “the husband”  or “hubby” (seriously the worst) SO grating. If your significant other’s name is the one thing that you want to keep private on the space that you broadcast all the details about your life to the world, at least give him/her an initial.

4Instagramming everything on Earth. I realize the hip fade makes your skin look flawless and your pumpkin spice latte look like a work of fine art, but please just take it down one notch.”

Yes! Thank you! Especially cool it on the foamy milk on top of coffees. And stop talking about pumpkin spice lattes/Starbucks red cups all together. Not interesting anymore.

9. Calling yourself a writer. I’m sorry but… you’re just probably not. Eep. I said it. I’m ok with joggers calling themselves runners, but I’m not ok with casual gym goers calling themselves athletes. Do you see the difference? Someone who enjoys cooking is a cook, not a chef. Following? I’m ok with you calling yourself a blogger or even a freelancer or saying that you write as a verb, but you are not a writer. It’s a fine, blurry line, I realize. Respect it.”

Yes. I cringe when a blogger writes a touchy feel-y post about being a writer. I could list about 12 bloggers off the top of my head who do this with regularity, but I’m going to remember that they’re fighting a hard battle, and I”ll follow Thumper’s advice.

I’ll add to the list bloggers who use the world “amazeballs,” and any mention of losing one’s sanity in the blogging cause. Seriously, just typing that made me shiver.

Anything that grates on you?

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the so-attractive-it-is-painful.

The worst class in my 18 years of formal education took place my last semester of grad school. I guess some higher power wanted to cure me of any allusions of continuing on in academia. In Postcolonial Theory, the class that made every Wednesday at 3:15 the best moment of the week because I knew I was as far away from the next meeting as I’d be all week, we read heavily footnoted article after heavily footnoted article like this:

“The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relationships in relatively homologous way ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical object to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.” Homi Bhaba 

Keep in mind that the clarity of these articles was not enhanced by the fact that they were often printed on shoddily scanned pages, or if it was my responsibility to print them out, in about size 6 font with 12 pages shrunk down to fit on 1 page because no way was I going to spend anything but the bare minimum on that junk. I sent some friends the passage above once, and this girl’s response was:

“Well one thing can be certain, Homi whatever must be ugly or anti-social. He has spent too many Friday nights with his nose in books. And Saturday mornings, and afternoons, and evenings.”

While she’s normally right about just about everything, there’s one feminist theorist who breaks the mold. And that’s number 1 on my top 5 for hotness: Ryan Gosling.

Apparently the one cool girl in all of English graduate studies ever (sorry Erin) started this blog, Feminist Ryan Gosling, as a way to keep track of the theorists she was studying. She takes pictures where Ryan looks particularly dreamy and posts a theorist’s ideas below, and it’s really, really funny. Laughing at these jokes *almost* makes struggling through Postcolonial Theory worth it.

I had to present on Chandra Mohanty– one of the more painful/shameful 75 minutes of my life.

If you’re more the artsy type, you might enjoy Handmade Ryan Gosling. Here’s a sampling:

There are tons of Ryan Tumblrs out there (lucky me!), but these are two that really doing it for me lately. Enjoy!

(Images from here and here)