book appreciation post

One of the reasons why the 2016 adaptation of Dirk Gently works so well is that, like the books, Dirk isn’t actually the main character. He’s the titular character and one of the major protagonists and an overall driving force, but hell. I’m rereading the first book on my Kindle and Dirk isn’t mentioned until 16% of the way in, and doesn’t appear until 34% of the way in. That’s huge.

I love the psychic bean dearly but as far as I’m concerned, season one is the story of Farah Black’s quest to save Lydia, assisted by two weirdos with nice jackets and a distinct lack of boundaries. She’s introduced to the audience in a position of complete hopelessness, caught up in a situation she had no hand in creating, with glaring personal flaws that she needs to come to terms with and a “sin” that she feels that she needs to atone for (Patrick’s death and Lydia’s kidnapping).

The story ends with her killing the villain, being personally validated and financially rewarded by the person she saved, and (importantly!) being left with A New Quest™ for season two (working with two chronically ill siblings and a smol anarchist vampire while coordinating Operation Save The Psychic Murder Children).

can we just talk about the fact nic rouleau has played elder price for over FIVE years??? and can we also discuss the fact he has played the role not only on broadway but also the west end and for the tour!!! lets just take a moment to appreciate that lil bean because he has been so dedicated to this role for so long and tbh the day he announces he is leaving the show i will probably cry my eyes out because he is such an awesome kevin and i’ll miss him a lot okay im done

Libraries are Magic!

Around age 10/11 I was diagnosed with ADHD. As long as I took my meds, I could focus in school and could continue my reading habits. But I was only on meds for a few years. I’m not really sure why the meds stopped, maybe my new GP didn’t agree with pumping a young child full of stimulants? I honestly have NO recollection of why my treatment stopped. But it did. So around age 14, I stopped reading regularly.

I would read the mandatory novels for school (maybe, mostly I used Spark Notes) and I would read one or two novels a YEAR for recreation. This continued into adulthood. The problem was, with untreated ADHD I had such a hard time following a book that I would just give up reading anything longer than a short story. It was SO frustrating as someone who had always loved reading.

The only way I could read a novel would be if I set aside the time to read it front to back in one sitting. Otherwise, if I read a chapter here and a chapter there, I would totally forget what was happening. This lead to re-reading the previous chapters over and over, which is not only time consuming but so infuriating. Reading became hyperfocus/all at once or zero focus/none at all.

Because of this, if I feel the urge to read I just re-read the same few books over and over time and again because I’m familiar enough with them that I can follow them if I read them over a longer period of time. (It’s like putting on your favorite movie in the background that you don’t actually have to pay attention to in order to enjoy)

Okay, enough of the tragic backstory. Let’s get to the plot…

Libraries are Magic.

A few days ago I needed to print some stuff and my flat mate’s printer stopped working. Rather than trekking into town to go to the office supply store (where I usually do my printing), I decided to wonder down the street to the library…

Before this week, I could count the number of times I’ve been in a public library in the past twenty years on one hand. I haven’t had a library card since I was 9 years old. This was back when you had to look through the card catalog to find a book, it was a LONG time ago. 

Because of my reading difficulties, I’ve had no use for public libraries. They give me anxiety. I haven’t actually finished a book in over FIVE years. I’ve started a few, but I never finish them. This is not something I am proud of. I feel shame for not being able to read and enjoy novels like I used to when I was a kid. I was always ahead in reading comprehension compared to other kids my age but I feel like now, I still have the reading comprehension of a 12 year old.

Now, Christchurch has a lot of libraries. The Christchurch City Library network consists of 22 libraries for a city with a population of 375,000.  I mean, maybe other cities have this many? But I wouldn’t really know since I’ve never paid attention to them. That just seems like A LOT of libraries in one city!? And the thing is, they are AMAZING libraries. 

I had previously been in about three of them around the city and they are all very modern looking. I remember thinking they seemed pretty nice but I was usually just there to use the computer for 5 minutes, so I never actually explored. 

Last week I read [this post] about libraries and I realized how long it had been since I had REALLY explored a library. Libraries I remembered didn’t have any of these modern wonders people were writing about. I was pretty inspired by that post and so I decided to overcome my anxiety this week and get back into the library. Instead of just running in and out of the library to print what I needed, I decided to get a library card. 

When I walked in, I timidly asked a woman at the help desk for assistance. I told her I wanted to get a library card and she took me over to another desk. Because of my anxiety regarding libraries, I had done extensive research on what I needed to get a library card – so I was already prepared with my ID and proof of address.

She had me fill out the membership form and she opened a drawer and asked me what colour I wanted. You get to pick a colour of library card! (I obviously got pink, seeing as it is the best colour) She registered my card in the system and wrote my name on it and handed it to me. 

I guess she registered that I looked like a lost puppy because she asked if I knew about all the things my brand new card entitled me to. I admitted I hadn’t had a library card in nearly twenty years and she looked as if that was her absolute favorite thing to hear.

She pulled up the CCL website and walked me through EVERY part. I mean EVERY part. She showed me how to search the entire city catalog online, how to places holds (if you want a book from a different branch they will transport it to your favorite branch and keep it on hold for you for only $3!! OR if you have disabilities which limit your access to the library it’s FREE!!), how to create reading lists, how to see what I have checked out and when they’re due back, if I have late fees, basically everything you need when you want books or media. 

THEN she showed me the eLibrary!! With my library card, I have access to over 47,000 ebooks and audio books to download FOR FREE. Including everything from major literary works to cookbooks to scholarly articles to resources on how to learn new hobbies. Basically anything you want is available to you digitally now. Click of a button. 

There are also all sorts of community events and classes you can go to that are all sponsored through the library. 

At this point, I am blown away. I am actually crying at the idea of all of this knowledge and all of these resources being readily available to me FOR FREE

This woman looks at me, sees I’m crying and just smiles the most genuine and loving smile any stranger has ever given me. (I suspect most adults don’t usually have this reaction to getting a library card. But I’m not most adults.) I imagine it must have been pretty satisfying to her to get a REAL reaction to how MAGICAL the library is. Look Claudine (I asked her name), I am 100% here for you taking me on this incredible journey from my faded memories of cranky old librarians and dusty books and jettisoning me into the 21st century. THANK. YOU.

Once she releases me to browse on my own, it is like I have landed in some uncharted territory that is full of spectacular things to experience. 

Our library is complete with self service checkout and return stations, computer areas, flat screen tvs, cozy reading areas, huge media libraries, free wi-fi, some apparently have cafes, others have Xbox360 or PS4 to play, and of course…thousands upon thousands of books. 

I eagerly approached the catalog computer and type in the title of a book our midwife recommended. Bam. Not only does it show me all copies available within the 22 libraries, it shows availability, holds, wait lists etc. I click on the title and navigate to the page that shows it’s available at that branch and where to find it. It was as if I just became my own librarian! 

I’ve always been a fan of numbers so the dewy decimal system is a fave of mine. I have absolutely NO trouble finding the book on the shelf. I traced my fingers over the library sticker and thumb threw the pages and clutched it close to my chest. It was my first library book in twenty years and I was emotional.

I wandered around every section, mind racing with what I should read. I sort of ended up psyching myself out about the fact just because I had access to the library didn’t actually cure my ADHD and reading issues. So I decided to just go print what I had originally come in for and check out the pregnancy book. 

During my two hour visit, I had to ask for help about five times. But after my experience with Claudine, I didn’t feel ashamed to have to ask questions that were probably common sense. The workers helped me every time and never made me feel judged, even when I asked where the kids chapter books were. Or how do I log in to the computer now that I have a card. Or how do I check stuff out.

When I scanned my card at the checkout computer, it felt like that beep was the indication of a whole new exciting part of my adult life. I cannot even describe how happy I was to check out a book. 

I now have the CCL app on my phone, a list of books to check out and a plan to go back this weekend. I even applied to be a book shelver at one of the nearby branches AND I started reading a new novel today!!

I am really obsessed with the idea that these great big, amazingly accessible, places of adventure exist and it’s FREE. I feel like I’m a kid all over again.I cannot wait to see where this rekindled passion leads me.

TL;DR:

LIBRARIES ARE MAGICAL! AND FREE! AND EVEN IF YOU HAVE DISABILITIES PEOPLE ARE (PROBABLY) GOING TO BE NICE TO YOU AND HELP YOU FIND WHATEVER YOU NEED!

So go to your local library, check it out. PLEASE! I bet it will blow your mind. 

17-yo Yuzuru’s thought about figure skating and jumps

This is so precious as he also thought about Pyeongchang laready. Wow, I can never get enough of how deep a thinker Yuzu is. This is excerpt from an interview he did in January 2012 when he just turned 17 (from Aoi Hono 1)

“Quad era, I have thought about how far it’s going to. From Gachinski, there are many young skaters that can do quads, I wonder how high level would the quad era become by the time of Pyeongchang Olympics. Other than quad toe-loop, I think it’s really cool to see Brandon Mroz (USA) jump quad lutz in competition. In Japan, because Honda Takeshi succeeded jumping the lutz in practice, so I do feel like catching up with them. I also have pride as an athlete, so I do want to show things like “ I can jump this well”. But in competition… I don’t think we  need to jump that many types of quad at this point yet. Of course, if we can have a program with a quad lutz in the beginning, a quad toe in the second half, putting in 2 triple axels…, if we can do that, then we would get many points. But right now, is it necessary to have so many jumps? Though it is true that it is an era where having quad is normal, rather than doing many different types of quads, it’s mostly about toe-loop and salchow now. Actually, having just toe loop is fine if you jump properly, and the skating and the whole program is perfect. Because after all, jumps aren’t everything, that’s figure skating.”

Wow, how much I love this paragraph!!! I love how he has always tried to deliver a complete program as much as he can since young age and his mindset about figure skating. 

And wow, since he mentioned a powerful program in 2012 with “with a quad lutz in the beginning, a quad toe in the second half, putting in 2 triple axels”, he’s doing it for real next season I guess.


For anyone who wants to read it in Japanese: (and I really recommend buying the 2 autobiographies, it’s worth it, even if you’re learning Japanese I swear!!!)

So I got a text from a wrong number the other day and I decided to mess with them because I'm a terrible person...

I figured that they’d eventually text cancel, but they never did

Then I decided to change things up a bit

I don’t even know who this girl is, but she apparently thinks Cap’s birthday is kool

I figured, why not add another Avenger to the mix?

Then I said, what the heck, I’ll just send stuff about all of them

At that point, I knew this person was great (and I’m guessing she probably has a tumblr) but I wasn’t expecting them to respond at all, let alone in those amazing one word responses. 

6

If Good and Evil can’t find a way to work together, neither side will survive.

Can we all just take a minute

And appreciate the majestic beauty that is Maria Posada:

The Book of Life was a masterpiece in and of itself, but Maria was definitely something special.

First of all, she was a beauty and she knew it.

She had a pet pig

Not to mention that she regularly challenged the stereotype of what women should be like in the time the story takes place

Plus she was not only a total bad-a

But she also inspired the people around her to be confident in themselves as well

And she also made sure that the men around her (who were obviously attracted to her) knew that she was not a prize, but a person who should be respected.

And although she had plans to marry for love, upon the death of Manolo she knew her responsibilities to the town were a top priority.  It was only then that she decided to marry Joaquin.

And finally, I don’t think I need to remind  you all that she is, as far as I can recall, the first wonderfully portrayed animated Latina woman in modern media.  She’s fairly tanned, she has huge and long dark curls, gorgeous brown eyes, and for the first time in a long time I’m beginning to see those features as beautiful again.

This whole movie was beautiful, but I could never describe exactly how happy seeing Maria portrayed the way she was made me.

This post was late in coming, but seeing all these different people finally get representation, I’m happy I have a part in media somewhere.

I am Latina, and I’m slowly beginning to appreciate my features again.



Images aren’t mine

2

Scan - George Harrison and Bob Dylan playing tennis, Isle of Wight, 1969, from George’s camera.

Scanned from Living in the Material World

Photo © The Harrison Family

“I really like George.” - Bob Dylan to Chris O’Dell, 1975; Miss O’Dell: Hard Days and Long Nights with The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton
 
“George got stuck with being the Beatle that had to fight to get songs on records because of Lennon and McCartney. Well, who wouldn’t get stuck?”

“If George had had his own group and was writing his own songs back then, he’d have been probably just as big as anybody.” - Bob Dylan, NME, 2007

“[George] was also Bob Dylan’s biggest fan. He could quote the lyrics to practically any Dylan song you could come up with.” - Jim Keltner, Rolling Stone, 2002

“George quoted Bob like people quote Scripture. Bob really adored George, too. George used to hang over the balcony videoing Bob while Bob wasn’t aware of it. Bob would be sitting at the piano playing, and George would tape it and listen to it all night.”
Q: “So George had his own private Dylan bootlegs?”
TP: “Yeah. One day George was hiding in the hedge at the house where we were recording. As everybody flew off, George would rise up out of the bushes with his video going. And he did that with Bob.” - Tom Petty, Rolling Stone, 2002 [x]

“He’s fantastic, you know. There’s not a lot of people in the world who I see from a historical point of view. Five hundred years grom now, looking back in history, I think he will still be the man, Bob, he just takes the cake.” - George Harrison, 1987 [x]

“I’ve always liked the way George Harrison plays guitar - restrained and good.” - Bob Dylan

“They had a soul connection.” - Olivia Harrison on George and Bob, Rolling Stone, 2011

“He was a giant, a great, great soul, with all the humanity, all the wit and humor, all the wisdom, the spirituality, the commen sense of a man and compassion for people. He inspired love and had the strength of a hundred men.
He was like the sun, the flowers and the moon, and we will miss him enormously. The world is a profoundly emptier place without him.” - Bob Dylan on George Harrison, Rolling Stone, 2002 [x]

Dostoevsky Moodboard Challenge ( 2 / infinite ) : Crime and Punishment

“And what if I am wrong,” he cried suddenly after a moment’s thought. “What if man is not really a scoundrel, man in general, I mean, the whole race of mankind—then all the rest is prejudice, simply artificial terrors and there are no barriers and it’s all as it should be." 


“In my opinion, if, as the result of certain combinations, Kepler’s or Newton’s discoveries could become known to people in no other way than by sacrificing the lives of one, or ten, or a hundred or more people who were hindering the discovery, or standing as an obstacle in its path, then Newton would have the right, and it would even be his duty… to remove those ten or a hundred people, in order to make his discoveries known to mankind. It by no means follows from this, incidentally, that Newton should have the right to kill anyone he pleases, whomever happens along, or to steal from the market every day. Further, I recall developing in my article the idea that all… well, let’s say, the lawgivers and founders of mankind, starting from the most ancient and going on to the Lycurguses, the Solons, the Muhammads, the Napoleons, and so forth, that all of them to a man were criminals, from the fact alone that in giving a new law, they thereby violated the old one, held sacred by society and passed down from their fathers, and they certainly did not stop at shedding blood either, if it happened that blood (sometimes quite innocent and shed valiantly for the ancient law) could help them.”

4

MD: Seeing all these concepts of Asami’s outfit together really reminds me how important a character’s costume is and how it helps illustrate his or her personality and role in the story. I love the final version, which is a nice balance of formal business attire and fashion-forward elegance. Asami concepts and designs by Lauren Montgomery, Christie Tseng, and Bryan Konietzko. Color by Sylvia Filcak-Blackwolf and Bryan Konietzko. [x]