i've been hard at work on the last THUNDERTOME of 2010 (it's december in my head), but it's been a rough one; i finished mary karr's lit more than a month ago, and (spoiler) i didn't have all that much to say about it at the time. if you initiate a gladiatorial book review series on your blog, internets, know that inertia hits like a novelty sock full of buffalo nickels when you fall behind on your battles. i've also been wooing an icelandic tattoo studio (it's march in my head), closing a spring issue at the office (it's april in my head), and, like, learning the finer points of beekeeping ("the point of beekeeping is keeping the bees in the box"). know that i am coming for you, mary karr, and that i'm calling you out for uncute peek-a-boo name-dropping.* in the interim, non-karr passages i've enjoyed:
Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential—as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.

(bill watterson, via sarah brown)

Call it “squinting”—you will have your own term. You’ve chosen a favorite musician, probably in your teen years, and the relationship grows through awkward phases—nautical dress, orchestral arrangements, dodgy collections of poems. Along the way, you find yourself squinting to keep seeing what made you fall in love; you will need to pretend that the accordion and the Balkan song cycles are something else. (Fans of Bob Dylan have unusually deep creases.)

(sasha frere-jones, "gut check")

With the success of last summer's Shakespeare in the Park productions of The Merchant of Venice and The Winter's Tale, the 2011 Shakespeare in the Park summer season will once again present two Shakespeare plays in repertory, giving audiences eight straight weeks of free Shakespeare at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

Daniel Sullivan, who recently directed Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice in the Park, will direct All's Well That Ends Well and David Esbjornson, who directed Much Ado About Nothing in the Park, will direct Measure for Measure.

"Last year's Shakespeare rep was a thrilling success; the current run of The Merchant of Venice on Broadway is a wonderful reminder of what made last summer so magical," says Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "This year, two of Shakespeare's richest and most rewarding plays make up our season. We are delighted that once again an American Shakespeare company will light up New York's summer."

(the public, via my inbox)

who has two thumbs and gets to see two productions of measure for measure in less than a year? that's jealousy you're feeling. oh, but it is.

imaginary reading group discussion questions

01 how do you keep the bees in the box?

02 for whom do you squint?

03 measure for measure: how many times would you be willing to see it?

04 on viewing, how's the oscar movie death race going? we finally saw the king's speech this past weekend; mostly great acting, questionable history.

05 if you were going to make vegetarian chili for a super bowl gathering and chili festival ("cookoff is so adversarial"), what would you simmer?

06 you'd let me know if i got too commercial, right?

*"Three weeks after the lamest stab in suicide's history, I sit typing in the sunlit hall of that asylum so famous one Ivy-League poet later suggests I include my time there on a resume."


esb said...

IT'S A MOVIE, for fuck's sake.

esb said...

Also: I would see Measure for Measure quite a few times. I like Measure for Measure.

g said...

01 string, glue, the honey-soaked corpses of my enemies.

02 hrm.  dunno.

03 twelve.

04 i have seen very few.  not sure why.

05 spicy italian sausage.

06 i've been meaning to talk to you about that juicy tattoo...

kidchamp said...

you should see exit through the gift shop with us (got it via netflix). you already saw the social network, right?

kidchamp said...

true, cookies, but it's a movie about history. it's not, like, a farce in which the main character bumps past someone at a cocktail party with an anachronistic campaign button on their lapel. fudging stuff about neville chamberlain and winston churchill is kind of a big deal.   
that said, will you be my date for M4M?

jacob said...

01 in first or second grade, i tried to bring a box of ladybugs (purchased from a gardening store) to show-and-tell, but left it on the bus. perhaps you can track down my old bus driver and ask her how she handled the insects?

02 belle and sebastian, though i've pretty much given up on their current AM radio stylings.

03 let's say once since i've never seen it; we'll go from there.

04 megan and i left the house sans eleanor last weekend to see true grit. social network is coming out soon on netflix, right? and there are some other netflixed movies that we'll try to get around to. 

maggie said...

yeah, that Mary Karr quote deserves a call-out.  for heaven's sake.

rachel (heart of light) said...

1. we don't, apparently. i had gotten all geared up for honey and it isn't happening.
2. everclear. although i still feel that world of noise doesn't require any squinting.
3. have not read it in so long, so seeing it would be especially great.
4. also had issues with churchill. it was a bit distracting, but otherwise i loved it.
5. i'm looking at a recipe that includes THREE POUNDS of beef, so you probably don't want my advice right now.
6. the possibility is so remote that i won't waste time thinking about it.

also, that first quote is making me happy. i can't tell you how often i try to explain this concept to people, and how pityingly i get looked at.

kidchamp said...

it comes out on the 8th; i'm hoping to distract fellow e-queuers (typing that made me dizzy and got me like 72 scrabble points) with a banner-ad-related internet hoax that day. 

i once put one of my sisters in charge of carrying a styrofoam cooler full of water snakes i'd spent a very long time catching. she tripped as we were crossing the road; alas!

kidchamp said...

if it's any consolation, rachel, our bee guy told us that the first year of hive-tending isn't honey-bearing anyway; because you have to supplement the bees with simple syrup as they're establishing themselves in the new space, their output isn't especially palatable to begin with. that said, stick with those volunteer hives! i bet you could suit up and transfer one with some luck. 

hol. said...

1.  step one: put said bees (whilst in box) in a large commercial size freezer. step two: once they're deep in a chilly nap tie a string around their bellies and secure to box. step three: let thaw and rejoice at your macys day parade of bees

2. i'd say rather recently "a day to remember". it literally makes bf squint after he had facial reconstruction from a bad mosh experience at one of their shows...

3. no more

4. not so well

5. does your idea of vegetarian include invertebrates? if so, three beans of your choice, steamed campari tomatoes, tenderized conch, and a few snips of a ghost pepper

6. probably, no.

Milkmaid's dumb friend said...

01: Relentlessly faxed requests transiently postponing inexorable failure for me. 02: Uffie.  From “You just out of Sunday school it’s time for your *favorite* class” to Pop the Bleck (or Insufficient Preparation to Uff). 03: All day, every day, no problem. 04: I think I’d sooner see the producers that brought you the Saw franchise tackle the Arturo Gatti story than watch The Fighter- I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do it. 05: For chili sin carne? Whatever tastes good poured on corn chips. 06: How might Kidchamp get too commercial sounds like a rad dirty dozen.  Anyway, get commercial; I’ll buy whatever you say.

Milkmaid's dumb friend said...

0?: He understood my helplessness.  He came back through the traffic to me and then—like a moorhen leading its chicks across the swift current of a stream—he lead me through dangers that at every moment seemed about to sweep me away.  He led me by the hand; and, just as the moorhen places herself a little downstream from the chick, breaking the force of the current which would otherwise sweep the little thing away forever, so Behzad kept me in his lee, walking a little ahead of me and a little to one side, so that he would have been hit first.  And when we were across the road he said, “You must always give your hand to me.”  It was, in effect, what I had already begun to do.-V.S. Naipaul ATB

kidchamp said...

could you have a blog? i frequently find myself needing to go there.

kidchamp said...

alas, no animals for me. that said, i'm in favor of adding ghost pepper to everything.

on bee parades, g and i have a friend who wanted to breed her moth; she tied a string around her and left her, as i recall, in her yard, where she was neglected by suitors and delectable to a bird. 

kidchamp said...

goodwill squandered, karr.

enjelani said...

I too was perplexed by the remix of prime minister history—the truth would've made for better cinema (Churchill besotted with a Nazi-sympathizer prince! Who knew?). I can understand the concessions made to the royal family in exchange for permission to embarrass them (mildly) on film, but I'm not sure where the Churchill estate got involved.

Amid Privilege said...

01 Like everything else. The old fashion way. I earn it.
02 For love. And only for love.
03 I do not know.
04 Haven't seen a one.
05 Chipotles.
06 No. I'd assume it was just part of the overall hallucination.

Amid Privilege said...

More trouble than babies.

Amanda said...

01 I sing to them.  
02 I squint for no man.  
03 Twelve.  
04 It isn't.  
05 Lotsa beans.  
06 Probably not.

Amanda said...

Maybe he'll listen to YOU. Since he's clearly stopped listening to ME.