Look.  I don’t usually get all political on the world wide internets.  I used to (back in my 20’s before I realized the futility of political arguments on the internet, doi), but nowadays I’d rather post pictures of my cats.  You know, like an adult.

However, the news today that Sony is pulling The Interview is such infuriating, shitty news, that I almost can’t believe it’s real and I can’t not say something about it.  It seems like a headline from The Onion or something: “Major studio scared into canceling (probably shitty) film because of threats from anon hackers” – about which, might I add, The Department of Homeland Security has told multiple news outlets that it has “no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters” in the U.S.  I get that people are scared – we’re a nation of people who like to sue gun makers in response to some psychotic idiot killing people with a weapon that they produced – I get it.  But, shouldn’t we have the right to choose?  Shouldn’t each individual have the right to make the choice FOR THEMSELVES whether they think those threats are real?  And if they do make that choice, it’s one that they should believe in.  Instead, as usual, we’re being ‘protected’ by corporations and our government who think we’re too stupid to make up our own minds about things.  And who are too scared of us to do what they actually might think is RIGHT in this situation.

It’s awful and disheartening and sets an incredibly, incredibly, incredibly terrible precedent for the future of freedom of speech and press in our country.

Here’s a suggestion (that I have to credit to my father) — Why doesn’t Sony release the film on Christmas Day – FOR FREE – on every major internet steaming outlet possible.  Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, etc.  Let us ALL see it, in the safety and comfort of our own homes, whenever we want.  Obviously, since they’re scared chicken shits, this probably won’t happen, but for god’s sake.  DO SOMETHING rather than just pulling it completely.

I think Rob Lowe really said it best:

If Sony ran WW2, Hitler would have won.

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You guys – we are actually FLOATING in SPACE

This is the shit that confounds me.  I know, it’s easy to forget that we’re literally on a tiny planet that’s in a tiny solar system, that’s actually in a fairly (I think?  I love science but I would never claim to be an expert, so please correct me if I’m wrong) tiny galaxy, but STILL.  We ARE LITERALLY FLOATING IN SPACE and like, we don’t even know if there are other planets with other life on them, even though we think we’re so f’ing cool and sophisticated because we can FaceTime with people across the globe from us (granted, it’s pretty f’ing cool to me too, but at the same time, I don’t even think about the magic of it half the time, even though I just started to be able to do this a few years ago, I just take it for granted.  Which is perhaps why there are so many books and movies about the apocalypse right now – because we really think – we REALLY think – that, in about a generation, we’re going to lose track of the fact that we couldn’t just call up someone and SEE THEIR FACES in real time, which is terrible, because I feel like that’s going to just make the human race in general more and more navel gazing- esque) (longest parenthetical ever).

Anyway, my basic point is – what is wrong with us!?!??  Really.  I mean, we’re on a planet.  We don’t even know if we’re the only humans in the entire f’ing observable universe, and, you know, we might be – we really might – but still we think that something as insanely asinine as the color or someone’s skin or the way that they talk or the religion that they pray is enough to judge them as enemies.

There is nothing in my (known) universe that makes less sense to me than this.

Look.

Here’s something.

I’m about to try to overcome my intense … displeasure … with regards to me actually posting something serious.  Or: Something.Serious.  I can’t decide which (and probably the fact that I can’t decide which, but at the same time, the fact that I’m having an Issue deciding between those two grammatical responses says a LOOOOOT about me.  Mostly that I’m a gigantic nerd.)

Anyway.

That wasn’t the actual purpose of me posting twice in LESS.  THAN.  A.  WEEK On My Blog!  (applause, etc).

The purpose was (is?) something that I’ve known for a loooong time, but maybe never looked at because, like, who wants to look at things that are potentially disgusting (at least, in LA; in most areas of our fine country, I think the answer would be: lots.)

Anyway.  Here we (actually) go.

I realized tonight.  That my wedding rings make me feel entirely less uncomfortable around men.

This is inclusive of:

Both.

A) the guy who tries to pick me (read: my friends) up in a bar, and then regrets the fact that he tried to pick me up and pretends it never happened (has this ever happened?  Unsure.  Probably not.)

B) any guy who looks at me but, like, looks somewhat disgusted.  Because, you know, in LA it’s totally sacrilegious to weigh more than an 18 on your BMI scale.  All ll i need to do is flash a ring to feel, like, “I don’t need your approval.”  It’s perfect.  It’s also TOTALLY healthy because you know what a woman needs more than anything?  The ability to flash a piece of jewelry to make her feel better about herself.

Totally.

And.

My thoughts about walking home on an empty street?  It makes me feel safer when I’m wearing my rings.  It’s horrible.  It’s sad.  It’s like: how did this happen to me and my extremities?  I never changed my last name.  I’m not sure if I plan to.  But, walking down the street in LA at the dead of night, my ring makes me feel more in control (please note this “street” is basically in the safest neighborhood that you can imagine and also tonight I live approx .5 miles from my starting point).

This doesn’t make me feel good – that this makes me feel safe.  This doesn’t make me feel like I’m a part of something that’s changing for the better.

I want to feel like this w/out my ring.  I want to outweigh my thoughts with the basic premise that people are good.  And, because I’ve been so, so lucky in my life, I almost can.

I almost can.

As terrible as I am at math, which is pretty terrible, I cannot – just cannot – stop thinking about numbers.  Numbers like:

I thought at the age of 20 I’d be sane.  Like, totally and rationally sane.  Like, no more angsty-ness; no more teenage-ness.  No more things that brought me down down down and kept me up up up and that there would be a place in between that would suddenly open up to me that I’d find, like it was some secret of adulthood.  Like only people who had left their teens could find it.  Like it was some magic palace of a place, emotionally speaking, and if I could just reach it… If I could.  Then.  Safety.

I thought at the age of 30 I’d have stopped biting my nails.  Like, literally.  I thought, somehow, that at that precise moment, when I turned 30, at like, 2/2/10 (yeah I’m old), I’d all of a sudden be like “WOW I no longer have the desire to bite my nails.  Hallelujah unto Jesus” or whatever.  That, like an exorcized demon, I would no longer be tempted by it.

Again.  God knows where I got this idea.  I think maybe I’d heard my dad say that his sister, at some point, had similarly bitten her nails, and stopped when she turned 30.  So, in my crazed magical thinking, I thought… ME TOO!

I think about, all the time, the fact that I’ll be 35 soon.  That I’ll be 35, and I don’t have a child yet, and I’d really, really, REALLY, like my child to be friends with and know my parents, beyond simple face recognition.  I’d like them to bond.  I’d like my children to learn from them.  My parents are my best friends, and this drives me mad.  Like, up the wall mad.  Like, keeping me awake at night and doing math – which, as I may have mentioned, I’m not good at – mad.  Thinking things like “well I’ll be 35 and the baby will be zero and my dad will be 67 and by the time the kid is 20…”

Well you can do the (heartbreaking) math there.

And it’s not fair.  It’s just.  Not.  Fucking.  Fair.  And yeah, I might sound like spoiled white kid who’s never had to deal with real problems other than biological ones, like aging.  SO SUE ME.  I’m sorry but this is a real, serious, issue in my head.  This is something that isn’t okay.  This is something that drives me mad.  That makes me sad.  That makes my heart beat faster and harder and into my ears.

It’s not fair.  I want a life that goes on forever.  Where moments that can be captured by my head and then relived, again and again.  Where things can remain the same, for the most part, but with some changes, like babies being born and growing up, and maybe me being able to be born and grow up again, all at once.

Where time is a mutable, living thing.

We’re trapped in time.

And it’s just not fair.

Book book books

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I read this many books in a week (sadly, this is true)

 

You know when you’re little and your parents yell at you to stop watching TV/playing video games/playing with your friends outside and GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK (insert expletive if you had really rude parents).  And you’re like “But I hatttte reading mom lemme play wah wah whine.”  

Well, this is a story about how that never happened to me, because I am an enormous dork, whose parents literally had to limit the time I was allowed to READ on school nights so I’d do other things like have friends (socializing with other people is just gross) and do my math homework (WHO LIKES MATH!?  I mean, ew).  I read a lot.  I read all the Wrinkle in Time books, but didn’t stop there – I read pretty much every book by Madeleine L’engle there is.  I read Anne of Green Gables, but didn’t stop there – I read every book by L. M. Montgomery known to man.  I basically grew up in the 19th century, because now that I think about it, all the books that I read that involved love stories were published like before the turn of the century, and that’s weird and maaay have somehow warped my views on love, but whatever that’s neither here nor there, and obviously a topic for a) my psychiatrist and b) another post.

Anyway, so I get asked a lot these days for book recommendations, by friends (yes, I have friends – my parents evil plan to socialize me apparently worked) who are like “I finished reading Gone Girl, are there any other books out there?”  (Note: this is not a diss on Gone Girl – I read it.  I liked it a lot.)  But, yes, there are other books out there that didn’t make the NYTimes best seller list, and I’m here to help you find them.  

Presenting: I’m Not A Witch’s Top 14 Books of 2013 

(Disclaimer: These were not all published in 2013, probably, just ones I read last year, deal with it)

12. The Last Policeman: Ben H. Winters

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If you’re still into end-of-the-world books, but are a littttttle bit tired of the same overwrought YA fiction that has interchangeable female protagonists (not that I dont appreciate the fact that so many YA books DO have kick-ass female protagonists, but like could we try to at least make them a little different from one another?!  Divergent, I’m looking at you) – this is the book for you.  There’s a meteor heading toward Earth – one big enough that will likely wipe out a significant portion of the world’s population and do massive damage to civilization as we know it.  This book deals with the minute (how people go about their every day lives in the face of imminent disaster) as well as a broader world view (the politics) while its narrator tries to pretend nothing has changed and goes about his daily job as a policeman, solving a murder.  Hopefully that explanation wasn’t too convoluted, because it’s a great book (and the first of a series of three).

11. The Interestings: Meg Wolitzer

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I always love books that span the lives of characters – and this one starts with an intriguing premise – a handful of kids at a gifted art camp, and where life takes them.  Interesting to read their journeys, and Meg Wolitzer is, as always, superb.

10.  The 5th Wave: Rick Yancey 

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Fine, so maybe I still like YA dystopian fiction with female protagonists, no matter what I may have claimed in #12.  At least, I loved this book, the first of a series of three, maybe because you have no idea who can be trusted apart from the book’s protagonist, because the aliens who have attacked earth have taken the form of other humans.  It’s dark and twisted.  Read it.

#9.  Visitation Street: Ivy Pochoda

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I’m weirdly obsess with Red Hook in Brooklyn, and this book takes place there.  It’s also does a great job balancing a mystery (the disappearance of a young girl) against the changing neighborhood and its history.  Red Hook 4 lyfe.

#8. The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells: Andrew Sean Greer

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Look, no matter how much my husband hates stuff that involves time travel (he’s seriously super grumpy about it – always, except for maybe like Terminator) I personally love it.  Sure there are probably some things in this book that don’t make logical sense BUT IT’S ABOUT TIME TRAVEL and as far as I know, no one’s invented time travel yet, so who knows what’s accurate and what’s not accurate and ugh stop being so grumpy about it!!!  (also read this book it’s good)

#7. The Universe Vs. Alex Woods: Gavin Extence

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This book might not be for everyone.  Like, it’s premise is a dude that gets hit by a meteor, which is bizarre and sounds all science-fiction-y, but it’s really not a science fiction book at all, it’s really about a kid trying to make his way in the world but there’s some great philosophical stuff about euthanasia and Kurt Vonnegut and astronomy and the writing is superb.  Maybe this reviewer on goodreads said it best: “this book is that it reminded me of a mixture of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyUpThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and The Fault in Our Stars.”

#6. Reconstructing Amelia: Kimberly McCreight

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Two words: literary thriller.  If you liked the aforementioned Gone Girl, me thinks you’ll love this book.  Check it.

#5. Looking for Alaska: John Green

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Look. This is probably a controversial statement, but I think this book is Green’s best.  Or, at least his most interesting.  I know, I know, but what about A Fault In Our Stars that’s like the best book ever and I cried so much etc.  LOOK MAYBE I JUST DONT LIKE BOOKS WHERE ALL THE CHARACTERS HAVE CANCER.  It’s exhausting to read and I just have issues with books about kids with cancer because I feel manipulated from the beginning.  Yes, I’m a terrible person, but I liked this book better, and I read all his books this year, in a row.

#4. The Rosie Project: Graeme Simsion

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You know when writing teachers talk about VOICE in novels and you’re like “what do you mean by that, that seems silly and how hard is it to write a strong voice I mean I think to myself all the time, and that’s a voice, so that can’t be hard to do.”  THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE IN A STRONG VOICE.  It’s also a totally sweet love story that’s romantic without EVER being cheesy and sweet without EVER being sappy.  Also, Australians are awesome, and books set in Australia are awesome too.

#3. Eleanor & Park: Rainbow Rowell

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Like six months before this book came out (or maybe like six months after, before I admitted to myself that I love YA books, which by the way is odd that I would have denied that considering I am obsessed with anything that relates to teenagers in the tv/film world) — anyway like six months before/after it came out, I read her first book called Attachments and I was like eh it’s pretty good but like not amazing so when this book kept popping up on my radar, I was pretttttty suspicious and didn’t believe the hype BUT THEN I READ IT and it’s awesome and a little precious, sure, but also just so well written and lovely that you get over that quickly.  Yeah it’s YA but as I always try to tell the husband, JUST because something has teenagers in it doesn’t mean it’s vapid and dumb (he doesn’t believe me, even though Friday Night Lights is like one of his favorite shows, which need I point out IS ABOUT TEENAGERS, ugh whatever).  What I’m trying to say is, read this book.  It’s good.

#2. Brilliance – Marcus Sakey

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Yeah it’s similar to X-Men, sorta, but is that a bad thing?  NO!  I love shit about alternate universes and people with special powers (like when I was younger I would read books about girls who got their superpowers at 13 and when I turned 13 I was like DO I HAVE ANY? but i didn’t, and that was f’ing depressing, let me tell you).  This book is being made into a movie (I’m sure it’s not the only one on this list) but read it because as we all know, the film never does the book justice (usually).

#1. Lexicon – Max Barry

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Ahh, this book was so good I wish I could scrub the insides of my brain and forget that I read it, and then read it again.  What you need to like to enjoy this book: linguistics/etymology / sci-fi thrillers / rhetoric.  I’m a fan of all three.  From the publisher: “At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren’t taught history, geography, or mathematics–at least not in the usual ways. Instead, they are taught to persuade.”  I dont want to give away anything more about it.  I loved it.  

 

 

Honeymooners

I plan to photoshop our faces on these penguins and use this photo as a Christmas card

Warning: not changing your last name leads to massive confusion whilst on your honeymoon.  Over the two week period in Africa, my poor, long-suffering husband was called Mr L (my last name) for a solid 5 day period / had his last name switched to his first name (aka his name became His Last Name + My Last Name = his total name / and finally we were called Mr & Mrs K (his last name).  I get it, most people change their last names, it’s traditional, etc.  But honestly I didn’t expect that sort of insanity to happen.  

I’m assuming this is why R’s sister told me that she was basically forced to change her last name in the hospital RIGHT before she gave birth, so they wouldn’t like lose her child once it was born and had her husband’s last name on the birth certificate / they wouldn’t be super confused why some random man was in the room with her whose last name she didn’t share.  

I wouldn’t be surprised if cases of children switched-at-birth happened ONLY to women who kept their maiden names.  

 

oedipal

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Really, this is not okay.

I’m sure I can’t be the first person to realize this, but jesus are the Back to the Future movies SUPER CREEPY with Marty’s relationship to his mother.  

Like.  The first one, where he goes back to the 50’s (1955, duh) and his MOM FALLS IN LOVE WITH HIM, which is super weird and twisted, and then the second one where when he goes to the alt. version of 1985, his mother is like this hooker with her boobs hanging out, and then the third one where THE GUY WHO LOOKS LIKE MARTY (aka played by Michael J Fox) and the WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE LORRAINE (aka the one played by Lea Thompson) are LITERALLY MARRIED TO EACH OTHER.  

I mean.

Twisted.  Really, really twisted.  

I still love the movies, though.