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Greg Bottoms: Angelhead [17 Nov 2005|05:12pm]
I like books. I think we should re-examine the utility of this forum! (Though I somewhat doubt that anyone is listening)

Angelhead is a disasterously intelligent and intreguing book; a "true" story about the author's older brother's schizophrenia and how the disease affects his family. I say that it is a "true" story because Bottoms often elaborates on the inner-workings of his brother's mind. If anyone has a right to do that, I think it must be a brother, but it is still an interesting thing to consider.

It's also really short.

So read it. And then we can all talk!
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Que hay otra voz Tino Villanueva [14 Dec 2003|02:49pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

God prepares those who have to

suffer and take punishment.

Otherwise, how could we exist?

          TIME, July 4, 1969

...que hay otra voz que quiere hablar;

que hay un perfil de tez bronceada

que de rodillas
arrastrándose camina por los
Coton-fields de El Campo y Lubbock, Texas.

--¿A dónde voy?--, pregunta.

¿A los cucumber patches de Joliet,

a las vineyards de Colorado?

Hay ciertas incertidumbres cietras:

lo amargo de piscar naranjas

lo lloroso de cortar cebollas.

Horarios inalterables:

la madrugada mecánicamente despierta el

reloj de timbre (¿de qué tamaño es el tiempo?)

Viene el desayuno: huevos ranceros,

tortillas de harina,

un cafecito.

¿Y entrale otra vez con la frescura!

Entrale a los surcos adridulces más largos que la bida misma:

plums   beans

grapes   cotton

betabel   pepinos

pruning   leafing

 potatoes   apricots

 chopping   plucking

; soybeans   

no importa,

hay que comer, hacer pagos, sacar la ropa

del Lay-Away; '55 Chevy engine tune-up;

los niños en seventh-grade piden lápices

con futuro. Hay otra voz que quiere hablar.



  cómotellamas, mexicano, latino, Meskin,

  skin, Mex-guy, Mex-Am, Latin-American,



  de los ojos tibios como el color de la


  de las sudadas coyunturas hachas sal por

  el solazo degraciado,


  de las manos diestras, y la espalda

  empapada desda que cruzó tu abuelo el Río,


  de la tostada rabadilla por donde

  resbala el sol con tu peidérmico sudor,


  con ubérrimos terrones en los puños,

  en los calcetines y zapatos,


  de los blue-jeans nuevos


  retoñar cada año como fuerza elemental,

  temporal--arraigado entre el ser y el estar

  de un itinerario. Eres ganapán,

          estás aquí de paso.

El aplastante verano se ha quedado en

los ayeres: el perenne azadón se recuesta,

sediento, en la topografía de tu memoria;

las amollas hoy son callos.

Es el golpe helado del Panhande que

penetra ahora

          tu chaqueta desteñida

          tu injuriada sangre

          tus rodilleras desgastadas.

Las mañanas llegan a tiempo aquí también,

cubiertas de escalofrío y escarcha.

tus sienes te pesa haber nacido; pesas

tu saco en algodón-- cien libras

que en los sábados se convierten en pesos


Pero en los sábados de noche

te enomingas con corbata, y con la

luna en la frente cadenciosamente zapateas

polcas del Top-Ten:

  --¡Aiéntate otra Isidro López!

     ¡Que toquen rock n' roll Alfonso Ramos!

porque mañana es otro día y no lo es.


En la ida y vuelta de tus pensamientos


Central Texas.

Enraisado estás en ver de nuevo


(a la parentela y camaradas hasta en día


Los escolares regresan a las estereotipadas

aulas; desde atrás contestan que no saben la

respuesta. Maestros que ni ven, ni oyen,

que hay otra voz que quiere hablar.


Las estaciones siguen en su madura marcha
de generación en generación, de mapa en mapa,

de patrón en patrón, de surco en surco.

Surcos, viñas,

de donde ha brotado el grito audaz:

las huelgas siembran un día nuevo.

El boycott es religión,

y la múltiple existencia se confirma en celdas.

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Morons [15 Nov 2003|05:14pm]
[ mood | grumpy ]

Mrs. X of the Nanny Diaries is a complete fool and I can't stand it. I really don't like thinking about the fact that people who are completely inane and believe they can have an do whatever they want actually exist in a world I am forced to live in. It's like reading Pride and Prejudice, but at least the nasty stupid aunt gets bitched out at the end. (I was so happy.) Here, she's just bossing Nanny around the whole time and it's becoming impossible to read.

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Lemony Snickett Review [15 Nov 2003|03:57pm]
[ mood | pensive ]

Hello ladies!
This review was posted in the Cornell Daily Sun (www.cornellsun.com). I thought I would put it on our lovely literary community. I am almost done with Don Delillo's White Noise, less than 100 pages left...maybe less than that. It's not really about anything in particular...maybe that's what makes it good. It's realistic. If it were made into a movie, I think it would be a lot like Lost in Translation (beautiful film, you guys need to go see it). Well anywho, here is the review. The students on the Cornell paper are pretty good writers from what I have read of the paper so far this semester. On Friday, they had a great opinion column on the stupid filibustering a level down to which our government has stooped. The guy that wrote it references a lot to the Simpsons. I thought it was a hoot, check it out: http://www.cornellsun.com/articles/10059/

On with the review!
Open Media
Book Review: Lemony Snicket


Murder, kidnapping, arson, secret societies, raw toast: these crucial elements make up Lemony Snicket's new novel The Slippery Slope. In this, the tenth installment in A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Baudelaire orphans Violet, Klaus, and Sunny must once again attempt to outwit the evil Count Olaf and his less-than-friendly henchmen. In this highly rated juvenile series, the Baudelaires have spent most of their time trying to bring Count Olaf to justice while he picks off their appointed guardians. As you may be able to infer from the topics both this book and the entire series covers, this is not your typical book for youngsters, and that is what makes these books both incredibly interesting and wonderfully special.

When author Lemony Snicket (sometimes operating through representative Daniel Handler) was first approached about writing a book for kids, he was a little less than excited about the prospect since he thought that most kids books were absolute rubbish. However, when it soon became clear that his kids book could be about whatever material he desired, Snicket got to writing and has been churning out marvelously morose tales ever since. In fact, he writes two or three books a year, a wonderful boon to his fans who can't wait to get their hands on the next installment in the lives of the Baudelaire orphans. Not that his writing has suffered in any way from his prodigious output; on the contrary, his books are as full of barbed and crackling prose as ever, and still immensely entertaining, as exemplified by The Slippery Slope.

At the beginning of the book, we find Violet and Klaus trapped on a runaway camper previously inhabited by circus freaks from the Caligari Carnival. If they don't stop the camper, the poor kids will fly right off one of the edges of the dangerous Mortmain Mountains and become so much orphan jam at the bottom. Thankfully, these kids aren't pushovers: they stop the camper, climb out, and continue on their adventures from there, finding a little happiness and a lot of sorrow on the way.

Now, anyone who has ever read anything about poetry is familiar with the name of Baudelaire, the French poet who was famous for both his shocking subject matter (ever had a rotting corpse turn you on?) and his amazing skill as a poet. This might seem to be a strange poet to emulate in a children's book, but it's really rather ingenious. Snicket gets to pay homage to a poet he obviously adores, kids reading the book get a cool name that doesn't mean anything in particular to them, and adults reading the book get a kick out of having it mean something. Obviously, Mr. Snicket is a well-read and well-cultured person, slipping in literary references. These continue with a snippet of Algernon Charles Swinburne's poem The Garden of Proserpine used in the book as a clue to the last safe place the orphans can go, which turns out to be the Hotel Dénouement. Swinburne was a famous English poet, and dénouement means ending in French. Also, there's a famous silent German film called The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari in which murder is unearthed at a creepy carnival, much like what the Baudelaire orphans found when they investigated the Caligari Carnival back in Book the Ninth of the series.

Sometimes a book is sold not by the fantastic writing of the author, but by the gripping plot that keeps you turning the page, desperate to know what's going to happen next. Other times a book is popular not because of the story, but because the writing is just so invigorating and appealing that you want to show everyone each sentence so they too can enjoy the way these words have been strung together. It's a rare and beautiful thing when these two types of books merge and meld inside one book, and that's exactly what Snicket has managed to do once again in The Slippery Slope.

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The Nanny Diaries [14 Nov 2003|08:30am]
One of the seniors in my Socialization of the Child class, Tresan, loaned me this book today. I brought it home and I've been reading it for the past four hours. It so funny, so good, so what I need right now. A step into the New York lifestyle. A get-away. Some time to relax in my appreciation for other people's hecktic lives. I certainly reccomend it. Not that anyone actually reads this anymore.
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Japanese Schools [13 Nov 2003|08:37pm]
[ mood | sleepy ]

Ok. We read the coolest book in Socialization of the child. It's heck of a text book, so it's not like I can suggest you all go to your local library (I don't think you'll find it), but I have to talk about it anyway. It's called Educating Hearts and Minds and it's about the Japanese preschool and elementary school systems. If any of you know about Japanese schools, it's way different at the beginning (which I find odd) than it is in highschool etc. Basically, teachers let the kids run the class (even as young as 5 years old) and let them play most of the day early on. They do not inforce any rules (the peers are supposed to do that) and try to focus on a "friendship" goal as opposed to the american goal of "learning". Parents have little to no involvement in what actually goes on at school but they are expected to follow whatever their child's teacher/pricipal says. For example, one school made an announcement to all the teachers that they should not put things in their kids' lunches that not all of the parents could afford. They were not to give their children watermelon in particular until it was really in season and reached a reasonable price. On a side note, produce in Japan is crazy expensive. My friend Katie is part Japanese and so goes back there etc. She says that a cantaloup costs $20 and watermelon is more expensive than that. So their ideas of affordable are... interesting to say the least. Also, parents are expected to decorate their child's lunchbox and the author, who lived in Japan for a while to do this research commented that one of her friends got a call from her child's teacher that basically said she was very disappointed because the woman had used sticky paper to cover the box, rather than actual fabric and glue like the other teachers and that it was a sign to the child that she didn't care.
The children are organized into groups of about 4 or 5 children and expected to work in these groups at least 2 months, but up to 2 years at the younger ages. They break off into groups in order to discuss not only problems that the teacher has posed (such as "how can we know which glass - the short stout one or the tall thin one has more water"), but also to reflect on the day and how the group is accompishing it's personal goals and working together. I think this system is fucking rad, personally. There's no tracking either, which I can't decide about. My instincts say that that would be good for the dumb kids but detrimental to the smart kids, but my prof Jennifer says she's not convinced (evidence doesn't show it). So who knows.

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Beloved [31 Oct 2003|01:08pm]
So I've started rereading Beloved. Just for the hell of it. Most people I talk to didn't like it, but I do. I always did. It was one of the very few books I read for school that I actually enjoyed. Rereading it now, I think I'll probably get a lot more out of it than I did four years ago. Funny how one changes so much. Thanks to Millikan, I appreciate literature a lot and find it quite enthraling.

I heard a funny story yesterday. Louis was talking about how one of his profs had completely digressed in class and told this story:
First off, it's good to know that Louis is a History major. My worst nightmare but, you know, whatever works.
So what happened was this. This guy at Columbia was getting his PhD in History and (of course) had to turn in a thesis. So he did. He turned it in and his prof loved it. He loved it so much that he showed it off to all of his collegues. Everyone thought it was an incredible piece of work. Innovative, wonderful. So, they were going to get it published. It was in the process of being printed for peer review when one of the profs decided, on a whim, to check one of the guy's sources. So he looks up the paper, looks up the page and is confused when he finds that the page had nothing to do with what he had supposedly been referencing. So he checked another source, which also had no relevence. He got together with a bunch of his collegues and decided to fly out to the library of congress to check the archival sources. None of them existed. The guy had fabricated the entire thing. Had made up a person, had put him into history, had fooled the entire history department at Columbia and had almost gotten away with it. The didn't give him a PhD. They told him, this is not history, it's genious.
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Lemony Snickett comes to SR [24 Sep 2003|03:53pm]
[ mood | lethargic ]


Lemony Snickett is doing a reading and book signing at SRHS! If you buy his new book you get a free ticket otherwise they're $12. Kinda steep in my mind, but I just thought I'd pass on the info.
Monday, September 29, 2003 7:00 PM
Lemony Snicket: The Slippery Slope
Location: SANTA ROSA HIGH SCHOOL, 1235 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa

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[15 Sep 2003|05:33pm]

[ mood | bored ]

i finally got the body artist. and started reading it. it's pretty cool. yep.
and i got a wheelbarrow of books at a garage sale (see my regular journal).

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[08 Sep 2003|10:45pm]

[ mood | sleepy ]

while i was shelving at the library i came across a really cool children's book.
it's snow-white and the seven dwarves, the original brothers grimm story, translated by randall jarrell and illustrated by nancy ekholm burkert.
the illustrations are wondrous and the storytelling is really nice too.
just thought i'd recommend it. i heart picture books!!

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Another Dune gone and another Dune gone... [02 Sep 2003|08:49am]
[ mood | excited ]

Yup. Finished Dune yesterday. Plus, we got book shelves. Three eight-foot planks of wood and 11 cinder blocks. It covers one wall (the longest one of course) in the smaller upstairs room. And all of our books (that we have so far!) are on it. When I have some more time, I get to organize it. I'm excited. We're currently debating whether it's a good idea to put them in the closet directly across from the wall it's currently on. Because then we'd have more space and be able to put more than one desk in there. The problem is then you're not showing off the books. This way you see them as soon as you come up the stairs. And, of course, storage space is a limitid comodity in this house. Plus I'm fine with my desk being the big comfy chair upstirs.

I'm going to start reading the Makimura book. It's short and he had an interesting but "quick read" style in Dance Dance Dance, so I'm thinking it's probably a good book to start with while I'm getting back into the swing of work.

Speaking of, school starts today. I'm excited big. I got my school books yesterday ($255 mother fucking... and that's not even including spanish which I'm still hoping to get into). Four for intro Jud, one monster text for Intro (psych) and three for the Socialization of the Child. Fun Fun Fun.

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Finishing up Dune [01 Sep 2003|09:42am]
Yar I love Dune so much.

And speaking of books. ha. Jacob's parents loaned me (I think) a copy of the I Ching which rocks my pants off. Crazy chinese mysicism and shit. So ya.

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Beautiful [31 Aug 2003|12:27am]
[ mood | sore ]

Almost done with The Body Artist! I only have about 20 pages left. I got your lovely post card yesterday Kendra. I am glad to hear you're having a good time. Everything sounds delicious.
Life has been a bit crazy lately. My grandparents moved into a retirement home (looong story) and the whole fam has been forced into doing all their moving. Every muscle in my body hates me and is berating me now for eternity.

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[21 Aug 2003|03:46pm]


i just finished steppenwolf.
it was pretty crazy.
now i'm reading mossflower.
y'all remember that book?
and i guess i have to get.. oh i forget the name.. is it the body artist?
anyway i'll prolly get it from the library tomorrow.
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Kafka [21 Aug 2003|12:48pm]
Someone please read something. Please. I understand we're not all here, but come on. :(
hm. rar.
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Don DeLillo, The Body Artist [13 Aug 2003|02:33pm]
Ok. so wow. I know basically no one is here to hear me rant about this and stuff like that, but I have to do this anyway. I absolutely loved that book and there's no way I can go a day without telling someone they have to read it. It's just so powerfully and poetically written. I love it. It drew me in within the first few lines. The opening sequence was wonderful and the entire book just got better and better.

Someone please read it so that I can converse with you....
3 comments|post comment

original gangsta [01 Aug 2003|10:44pm]

this is the book club.
my name is jami and i will be your administrator.
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