Dear Amy: When we were dating, my wife was the sweetest woman in the world. She didn’t make a move without asking me. We had a few kids. She stayed home and raised them while I worked. The kids grew up and went off on their own. The wife got a part-time job to keep herself busy. Then she got promoted. Now she works full time, goes to business lunches and dinners, meetings and training sessions. She comes home, cooks and cleans. She doesn’t ask me what I’d like for dinner but makes whatever she feels like. Our plan was for me to retire when I turned 62 (she’s 57), buy an RV and travel the country. Well, we bought the RV, but she can only go on weekend trips. Vacations are saved for when the kids come home. She traded in the car I bought her to tote the kids around for a sports car that I can barely fit in. Now she’s talking about getting a smaller house because she doesn’t have time to clean “a big empty house.” I keep telling her we will have grandkids one day and she will be glad we have all the space. She’s changed so much in 37 years that I don’t even recognize her, and I’m afraid one day I will wake up to a “for sale” sign in my front yard. How do I convince her she is just going through “the change” and in a few years she will be back to normal again? — Mystified Mike
Dear Mystified Mike,
Boy howdy, the ole’ ball and chain sure has pulled a fast one on you! Time was nice ladies like ole’ wifey knew their place. (Slightly behind you but never out of sight, holding a dishrag.)
But here you are today, seeing your wife bring in an income and cook and clean your home while you pine away for an RV you can’t use unless she’s in it—I mean, it’s not like it’s going to clean itself during a trip to Flagstaff, is it?
When you married your wife, she had a lifetime obligation to stay the same person she was on your wedding day. That’s what long-term partnership is about: wives graciously taking orders from their husbands for their entire lives, until they drop dead on the ironing board. You understand this, but your wife clearly doesn’t—and for that, you can definitely blame menopause, the only possible cause of your wife’s desire to be an independent human being with her own interests.
Nothing besides a totally natural hormonal change could possibly have compelled her to seek out new occupations and hobbies after the make-up of her life shifted away from the daily tasks involved in raising your children for you—certainly not the prospect of living under the thumb of a man who takes offense to the purchase of a sports car for the rest of her god-forsaken days.
What, are you supposed to cook dinner? Mop a floor? Have an open and honest discussion with your wife about household purchases and meal planning? No man should ever deign to engage in such offensive activities with his helpmeet. Nevertheless, you may have to gently suggest to her that she’s getting a little uppity these days, and has she talked to her doctor about her bizarre and offensive interest in acting like an autonomous human?
This is the most underwhelming book ever. Let’s break down the blurb (taken from LKH’s website):
Merry Gentry, ex–private detective, now full-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses, but when she learned she was about to have triplets, she began to understand what that might mean.
How can she not know what it means already? It means she’s super-fertile. It’s not a fucking mystery.
Infertility has plagued the high ranks of faerie for centuries. Now nobles of both courts of faerie are coming to court Merry and her men, at their home in exile in the Western Lands of Los Angeles, because they will do anything to have babies of their own.
Except we don’t see any of that. We see Trancer and Fenella in one scene in one boring chapter, where Rhys pretty much just tells them they want to have babies, and that’s it.
Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, is a more dangerous problem. He tried to seduce Merry and, failing that, raped her. He’s using the human courts to sue for visitation rights, claiming that one of the babies is his. And though Merry knows she was already pregnant when he took her, she can’t prove it.
Yes she can, she can have a DNA test. Oh, wait, she does! Except it’s totally irrelevant to the plot because we never see her get the results and by the end of the book the babies have manifested enough power for it to be clear who the fathers are on that basis alone.
To save herself and her babies from Taranis she will use the most dangerous powers in all of faerie: a god of death, a warrior known as the Darkness, the Killing Frost, and a king of nightmares.
And use them she does! To…do…uh…they…talk about maybe killing Taranis a lot? And they hold hands and cry a lot? And talk about who loves Merry the most a lot? That’s it, that’s really all the do. I hope Taranis’s greatest weakness is being talked about behind his back.
They are her lovers, and her dearest loves, and they will face down the might of the high courts of faerie—
No they won’t. I mean, unless you count having snippy conversations with Andais via a magic mirror as “facing down the might of faerie.” Or wringing their hands uselessly after Taranis invades one of Merry’s dreams.
while trying to keep the war from spreading to innocent humans in Los Angeles, who are in danger of becoming collateral damage.
WTF? Nothing like this even comes close to happening! The bulk of the action in this book is Merry wandering around Maeve’s mansion in a perpetual shower of rose petals. Unless the humans of Los Angeles all have deathly-bad hayfever, I think they can cope.
You know what happens in this book? People cry and people talk and people lay around in hospital. Sholto’s assassination isn’t even mentioned in the epilogue. It should have been a moment of intense drama, but instead it was executed so shoddily I didn’t even realise it had happened until Merry mentioned the bullet wound.
Taranis is a big threat? He shows up in a couple of Merry’s dreams, fails to bespell her because of True Love or the goddess or whatever, and then is dethroned and imprisoned off-page without ever physically appearing in the story. We’re told in a throwaway paragraph in the last chapter that Aishling is king of the Seelie now and yay, everyone is rejoicing.
Sholto has been avenged, but there’s no mention made of whether Merry is still Queen of the Sluagh or not.
A new sithen has manifested somewhere in downtown LA, but that’s not important.
And the bulk of the book is made up of repetition. People’s appearances, people’s clothes, people’s hair, people’s sexual preferences, people’s psychological insecurities. People sit around telling each other things they already know and then they repeat it back to each other just in case someone in the room was spontaneously struck deaf.
In short, nothing happens in this book and I cannot believe anyone thought this was an acceptable piece of work from a bestselling author, especially after five years of waiting.
A wondrous assortment of silk slips, scented baths, handcrafted cocktails, glaces composées, dreamy meals, and equally dreamy lovers, all set in bustling 1920s Australia, makes up the lively, colorful world of lady detective extraordinaire, Phryne Fisher.
I keep hearing good things about Phryne Fisher, so I threw a couple on the TBR. I ought to read them.
And then I saw that Melissa Fumero had been cast as Amy Santiago on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and I felt my guts roll up into my throat and try to escape out of my mouth. Omgomgomgomg that’s it then. There’s no way in hell a major network is gonna cast two Latina actresses in such a tight ensemble show I AM SCREWED.
And then next day my agents called and told me I’d booked it.
I couldn’t believe it. I had been saying to my boyfriend the night before how there was JUST NO WAY. Normally, The Latina is a singular element of the ensemble she is working in. She’s there to provide contrast, or sexuality, or humor. Or she’s there to clean the floors and/or steal your man. There are some serious stereotypes very much alive in film and TV today, and The Latina is one of them.
Here’s the thing though. The world is changing. Slowly but surely, television is changing. The character stereotypes are changing, or being turned inside out by some fantastic writers and actors (I’m looking at you, Orange is the New Black, Scandal, and The Mindy Project). People of color are on TV playing roles that are fleshed out, complex, human. And yes, some of those characters are maids. Some are sexy heartbreakers there to steal your man. Some own BBQ joints, while some are Chiefs of Staff. Some are prisoners, and some are cops. All are real people with hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears, and all the other vast human emotions and desires…
…This is important. Because young women are watching TV, and they are getting messages about who they are in the world, who the world will allow them to be. And in big important steps, television is showing a reflection back to those young women that YOU CAN BE WHATEVER THE HELL YOU DAMN WELL PLEASE, and that two Latinas on one show is NORMAL. I think that’s a win for everybody.
“But what happens when you have people in a book club for different reasons? This, in my opinion, is where the real strife of book clubs is. Not when some love the book and others hate it, but when some read the books religiously and others never finish a book, or even worse: when someone flat out decrees that they aren’t going to read a book club pick because it doesn’t interest them.”—from On Reading Your Book Club Book When You’re Not Interested in Your Book Club Book by Swapna Krishna (via bookriot)
“And when you find that coveted book, the one that has prompted countless trips to the bookstore, hoping someone cleaning out their collection has dropped off the one thing you’ve been search one, the feeling is joyous. You want to raise it to the heavens, a la Rafiki with baby Simba, letting the clouds part so your discovery can bask in the sunshine. Yeah, it’s like that.”—from The Thriller of the (Used Bookstore) Hunt by Amanda Diehl (via bookriot)
Thanks to sustained pressure from the families of shooting victims, Wisconsin has passed a law requiring deaths in police custody to be investigated by outside organizations. It is the first of its kind in the nation.
This law requires that deaths involving police force be investigated by third parties, to avoid the legal system covering its own ass like it often does, and to ensure that officers who abuse their power are punished appropriately.
10 years ago, in Kenosha WI, there was a case where a 21 year old named Michael Bell was shot by the police after he was pulled over in front of his house for drunk driving. All police tapes of the in-car cameras and audio show the police unnecessarily roughhousing him. When one of the officers falsely shouted to the other that Bell took his gun, the other officer shot him fatally.
This happened in 2004. I remember all of these details because my dad was the one to clean up the footage and audio. Since then, the Bell family had been pushing for this very law. More incidents like this followed, local radio DJ’s gave our city the unnofficial motto “If the plows don’t kill you, the cops will.” Abuse of police force became a desensitized part of society around here.
It wasn’t until recently, now that floods of this same kind of story are being brought to light all over the country, especially in ferguson, that this law finally got passed.
I can’t say I’m proud of our state government for taking this fucking long to do this, but at least we’re the first toward some significant progress in this field.
Check out this great listen on Audible.com. A BBC Radio six-part adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s best-selling novel, starring James McAvoy as Richard and Natalie Dormer as Door. Beneath the streets of London there is another London. …
The BBC full cast Neverwhere is $1.95 today at Audible. You should not miss this deal.
“Let’s start there: Yes, women can be funny. I’m assuming you know this because you live in the world. Also, men can be unfunny. And women can be unfunny and men can be drowsy and dogs can be tan-colored. These are description words. People who apply description words to an entire group based only on one shared characteristic—sexuality, race, gender, etc.—shouldn’t be allowed to use even a plastic knife. Those are spoon-only people.”—Carmen Esposito
July 30 marks the 79th anniversary of a mass-market paperback revolution. On this date in 1934, publisher Allen Lane was supposedly struck by a fantastic epiphany while suffering from boredom at a British train station. The idea? To make good literature accessible to everyone.
Popular lore is that Lane, after visiting Agatha Christie, was waiting for a train home and looking to buy a novel. He found nothing likeable among the magazines and pulp fiction, but a business opportunity soon emerged from his disappointment. He saw the need for cheap books, small in size and lightweight. He knew that the soft-covered stories of the time — “dime novels,” “yellowbacks” and “penny dreadfuls” — were stigmatized as trashy, poorly written and sensationalized to appeal to young, working-class male readers. In addition to Lane’s dislike of the gaudy art used on those paperback covers, he was displeased that the quality novels he worked on at The Bodley Head publishing house were often too expensive for average readers to buy regularly.
First Penguin Books edition of A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
By the end of his trip, Lane started to put into motion a plan that would eventually give birth to Penguin Books, distributor of quality paperback titles. In 1935, the first 10 Penguin books hit the market, including reprints of A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway and The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie.
Penguin books were perfect companions for harried readers, from travelers like Lane to soldiers hunkered in the trenches of World War II several years later. (The paperbacks were so small and light that soldiers could carry manuals and civilian-donated books in their uniforms.) Once Penguin launched their series for children, Puffin Picture Books, young readers could also easily move with their literature.
You would think that Andrew Jackson was giving you his undivided attention, and then you would glance over and notice that he had devoted the last several minutes to making a laborious sketch of an alligator.
“Mr. President!” you would gasp, indignantly.
“I have a bullet lodged inside my body,” he would say. “From killing a man in a duel. A better man than you.” He would resume drawing the alligator.
Earlier this year, director Edgar Wright decided to quit working on a certain comic book movie that we don’t want to talk about anymore. Though Wright probably deserves some time to mope around, eat ice cream, and maybe get desperate enough to consider doing another season of Spaced, he’s too proud
If you kill a person, you’re a murderer. If you steal, no one would hesitate to call you a thief. But in America, when you force yourself on someone sexually, some people will jump through flaming hoops not to call you a rapist.
As reported by Al Jazeera America, colleges across the country are replacing the word “rape” in their sexual assault policies with “non-consensual sex” because schools don’t want label students “rapists”.