Tag Archives: rumpus

Newsday Tuesday

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Favorite Tweets:

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Favorite Search Terms:

  • i’ve always imagined heaven to be a kind of library: You and me both, googler.
  • burying book in the wall ai weiwei: This is a history lesson I must google to get…now.
  • johnny depp high school girlfriend: Yep, you got my blog.  OW OW! It’s filled with useless facts like this.

Book News:


Newsday Tuesday

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Favorite Tweets:

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Favorite Search Terms:

  • correct clothes for teaching: This was me for the entire summer of 2012. I hope I had something for you to look at.  Look on Pinterest or the blogosphere.
  • living bamboo maze: I hope this maze can be found somewhere near me so MAU and I can go.
  • poem anis mojgani she covers her body with tea cups: I haven’t heard of this one, but now I’m really interested.

Book News:


Newsday Tuesday

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Favorite Tweets:

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Search Terms:

  • bronte school girls wear uniform in water: I’m not sure how I’m supposed to take this.  I wish I knew more about the Bronte sisters so I appreciate this.  Any Bronte obsessed out there to clue me in?
  • i love reading books because: I would love to see the the google results of this.  I may in fact google it.
  • hark a vagrant hamlet: I’m glad people are googling Shakespeare terms to get to my blog.  I feel like a real teacher.

Book News:


Newsday Tuesday

Favorite Tweets:

Favorite Search Terms:

  • Cassie sparkles Michigan: I’m not sure if you’re trying to find your long lost love via google, or just letting me know that Michigan will crown me and let me wave from a pageant float covered in sparkles and frankincense.  Either way, I’m for this search – I back your stalker ways, and your fourth grade crush on Cassie Sparkle.  I can only imagine what her yearbook picture looks like
  • toddler lawn furniture: This gives me THE BEST mental image, but what am I…Target?
  • free southern belle coloring pages: Ya’ll, send those right over, please and thank you.  (This is me curtsying.  I also own a bonnet).
  • Grammar humor: what is my mind doing today.  All of a sudden two men with pocket watches in the slit of their vests, with spectacles resting at the hook of their nose are drinking tea and har-har-ing. (Har-har, dear, har-har: when used in a sentence).

Book News:


“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…” ― Susan Polis Schutz

Let me preface this review with this: some of the writing was beautiful in Wild and I do adore Cheryl Strayed on The Rumpus as “Dear Sugar.”  I will continue reading that column forever and you should too.  Here is a link after you read my ranting (and literally raving) review.

I’m sure Cheryl Strayed had a reason for waiting twenty years to write this journey.  Or maybe she didn’t try at all until now.  She may have nursed her life back together with tips on coffee and breakfast specials at the diner she inevitably worked at after the trail.   I don’t know what happened in twenty years to make her “write down the bones” but it came out in Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail after two babies and a marriage to the one man we don’t find in the book.  (That wasn’t a sentence filled with judgment, by the way).

Appalachian Trail, Summer 2009

While I don’t normally read Oprah books (ever), and I waited for this on the library loan list for over two months before it finally sat on a shelf with my full name stuffed into the open side, I decided to read it because I’ve hiked a trail before.  Gasp, you thought I sat behind this computer all day and didn’t explore my world.  It’s true, I don’t even own hiking boots anymore (I do own some strappy unwashed mountain girl Chaco’s though) but hiking is at the center of what I dream for myself.

When I imagine myself – by myself – I imagine this rugged, unshaved, heels one day, boots the next kind of gal who goes off exploring territories filled with pine sap, wild horses and nylon tents.  I see myself with one long braid laying against my spine, and mud on my shoulders from where I scratched a mosquito bite too hard.   If there’s anything I like more than writing and reading, it’s being among the trees.

All our wisdom is stored in the trees - Santosh Kalwar

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I believe everything happened in Wild except the conversations.  There’s no way a person remembers conversations word for word after twenty years.  She definitely used some liberty with these direct quotes.  I tend to believe the “wow” words when she met the man she fell in bed with because we always remember those conversations with wild crushes that we never see again. (Usually those conversations don’t quite go our way). They’re welded into our bones or something, repeated day after day, remember that time….

I also tend to believe her conversations with her dying mother because no one can seem to lose those.  I wish I could forget the sound of my grandmother’s “do, do, do” from her new stroke dialect, but I want to forever remember it as one of the only sounds I have from her that still works and beats.

Most of the time during Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, I wanted to shake Cheryl Strayed.

Honestly, I’m pissed at her idea of redemption.

Horn Reviews @ Tumblr – Thanks THERUMPUS.NET as well.

She didn’t open up her wound to the world or fill it back with the wild of nature – she was still Cheryl Strayed who relied heavily on her sexual desire to point her in a direction.  I feel wrong for saying all this like I’ve somehow gone against the entire gender of women.  For some reason, it was in that moment that I felt like Strayed didn’t learn a thing while she was on the trail – she was still impulsive, unreasonable, and couldn’t actually stay alone and fix herself without the touch of a man.

I think part of my big issue is that I’ve trusted Cheryl Strayed in her “Dear Sugar” columns for as long as she’s been writing them.  On the other hand, I’ve watched one of my closest friends sleep with random men until she felt like she was almost whole again only to go into another despairing month, another down spot, another sleep all day, tissues crumpled all over the bed, never shower kind of month.  I watched her give herself away because it’s not true that you can just have sex with someone and not mean it in some deep way (or maybe that’s just my sentimental way of looking at it).  I believe in my little heart, bigger than grinch size, that anytime bodies intwine there is a give and a take.  You are giving something of yourself to the other person (and it’s more than just heat).  Both of these things made it hard for me to read that Cheryl Strayed, in a way, strayed back into her former self.  We’ve all abused something, I sound like such a judging-jerk right now, but I so badly wanted her to just take that time to herself; cherish her body for still walking after her feet were blistered beyond quick repair, cherish herself for being able to do this without someone touching those intimate parts of her. She made a point several times to tell readers that he didn’t even ask her a question about herself.  That upsets me and clearly it upset her too or she wouldn’t have repeated it several times.

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The moments of her mother were the hardest for me.  Lady’s (mother’s horse) death made me want to come home again for the moment when my parents put down the cat I had for 15 years, Puss.  She’s buried, like my grandfather always wanted to be, under the magnolia in our backyard.  Lady’s death was the most profound moment of this entire book for me.  I can imagine myself hiding behind a tree, staring at the shot gun, feeling like the boy in Old Yeller just before he put his eye to the scope and measured the exact line to Yeller’s head, Lady’s white star forehead.  I could cry now just thinking about that yellow dog, and chestnut horse.

It was the trail that ruffled me as well.  I wanted a book that was the diary of her journey.  How does it feel to walk alone in the woods for weeks at a time searching out the sounds of water pouring over smoothed rocks.  How did people smell when you hugged them.  After a walk, my mother always smells like freshly mowed grass.   What did the paper of the letter’s she sent look like, what was on the front of the cards from friends all over the country.  I think a lot of Wild is sensual, and what the eyes can see, but where’s the heart.  Why did a bear only alert a whistle and then we moved on.  FACK, a bear, I would have written nine paragraphs on how scared I was and probably peed down my leg, leaving my mark on the trail.  Wild is certainly a story of the beauty of hiking, but it isn’t a story about the conscience of hiking.  Not once could I picture the image of a mountain range in front of me through Strayed’s writing and believe me I really wanted to see the Three Sisters because that’s the name of one of my favorite bookshops.

Illustration by Daniel Horowitz @ The NY Times

I have one memory from the Appalachian Trail that I will never forget.   I climbed the highest point of a rock face with three of my girl campers.  We were burned, sweating, my hair was matted to my forehead and in a wicked braid where it had stayed for more than four days.  I would undo that hair-tie in two more days with kinks where each strand of hairs folded into the other.  I showered last at the end of the week so I got to look at myself in the mirror; count my extra freckles, the kinks, how I compared to myself before this hike.

We were warriors on that rock face, staring at the sun.  I held my pocket camera snapping photos of them; muddy and gorgeous.  We were laughing so much even though we had only eaten granola for the entire day.  I had pieces stuck deep in the valleys of my teeth and no brush to push them out.

And my blondest girl said, “let’s pretend we’re on America’s Next Top Model and pose up here.”

She was right. We were nothing but beautiful on those mountain ridges.  Maybe nature isn’t about finding what was lost, but about finding the best version of who we are.


Newsday Tuesday

UPDATE:

TODAY ONLY ON AMAZON the author of TOUCHBACK (now a major motion picture) is having a FREE DAY for the book he wrote based on the movie.  BUY IT HERE.  If anyone is interested.  Let me know that you’re reading this book and after I finish it I will email everyone questions about if they liked it, what they liked, what they didn’t like and we can have everyone’s answers up on my blog along with my review so people get more than one opinion and we see how diverse we are as bloggers and readers.

Favorite Tweets:

Favorite Search Terms:

  • Snow White and Sherlock, Thanks http://curiousatekka.wordpress.com for sharing. These images were created by Colombian advertising agency, Lowe/SSP3.

    bookish wedding ideas: How cute are you?  Get on pinterest, ideas will abound.

  • is it rude for females to talk about bowel movements: No. We’ve entered the age when women leave their house, untie the apron strings and discuss poop at the dining room table.  Even your use of “bowel movements” is polite so I assume you’ll need a manual.  I’ll have to do a blog of recommendations for manner manuals.
  • does the book heat have literary merit:  I wonder if you’re searching for a book titled heat, or whether or not the temperature of the book is hot, literally or metaphorically.  I can tell you that metaphorically Nora Roberts and Erica Jong write “steamy” books.  However, the heat of a book when you hold it depends on how it makes you feel inside that soft spot above your ribs.
  • at the age of six, cassie announced that the idea that a man lived in the sky: I wonder if my mother googled this, or someone is growing up to be a writer.  It’s these search terms that I love.
  • ted hughes bra poems: Everyone comes to my blog in search of Ted Hughes.  This is a SYLVIA PLATH sided blog.

Book News:


Newsday Tuesday

Favorite Tweets:

Favorite Search Terms:

  • library bingo card: I’d like to come to this church’s bingo night.  Hoo-ha!
  • spinster chotskies: I just love that someone came to my blog with this.  It almost defines me as a cat lady.
  • how to talk to your mother notes: I love talking to my mother.  In fact this morning, I cried as soon as I woke up over something ridiculous and she was like “why are you crying?” and I said, “it’s too early for this, wah.”
  • picture of 2 girls in petticoats and a boy reading a book with footstool with basket of daisies on it?: this sounds adorable.  You should decorate your child’s room with this.

Book News:


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