Thoughts on the book Sleeping Beauties

15 02 2018

sleeping_beauties

Concepts from the book Sleeping Beauties reviewed

*Spoilers Ahead*
I spent the last ten days of my life reading Steven King and Owen King’s co-authored book Sleeping Beauties, all 700 pages. As someone who has read all 700 pages I’ll let you know right now that you could skip from about 530 to 650 and be just fine.

The premise of the book is pretty simple. Women fall asleep and as they sleep a cocoon wraps around them, if any dude tries to cut the cocoon off, the women violently attack them. Men freak out. Basically fuck up the planet even more. While the women sleep, they’re transported to a different world where they can start the whole thing over from scratch.

The men battle over the one woman who has all these magic powers and can wake back up after falling asleep. If they choose the right course of action, the women in the other world have the chance to vote on whether or not they want to come back to the world of men or start anew.

Okay, maybe the premise isn’t that simple.

But I must say I was quite disappointed by the end of the book.

*Spoilers Ahead*

Maybe because I have no husband or sons but I found it rather odd that every woman chose to go back to the land of men. There wasn’t one woman in the entire new world that wanted to argue to stay, wanted to make a new world that had less violence and pain in it. I get that the authors were trying to show that women as a whole have more empathy, patience, strength. I get that a child-less woman would understand why another woman would want to go back to a world where her male children were.

Yet, women are also known to make sacrifices for the greater good. One could argue that the greater good of the planet would be to start over fresh. It was strange that not one woman would at least bring up the option. It was almost as if the authors got tired by the end of it and gave up.

What if women had to start over without men?

Would new patterns of behavior emerge? Would old ones quickly return? Is this a nature v. nurture debate? This was almost a Herland in reverse, where there once was an island of only women, then men came along and ruined everything.

It’s mostly annoying though, that there is still so much of a divide. Like, do we really need to pit women against men? Can’t traits like empathy, confidence, assertiveness, be traits on their own without assuming they’re gendered? Can we imagine a future where people are generally decent regardless of their sex? I know that’s a hard one.

It was an interesting concept for these authors to take on, considering. Of course it’s a trendy topic, but at least it’s finally trending. It’s good to get people thinking about these ideas who maybe have never before, though admittedly, 700 pages was a bit much, particularly for such an anti-climatic ending.

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Thoughts on Solitude Sundays Vol. 2

24 01 2018

Being Alone Doesn’t Mean You’re Lonely…

and other likeminded cliches on Solitude

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January 21st marked my third Solitude Sunday of the year. Inspired by The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Tale of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel I’ve been attempting alone-time at least once a week since finishing the book.

The main point of the exercise in solitude is to turn off my phone and computer for an entire day and try to turn inward instead.

In other words, I am Krystal, unplugged.

I have yet to experience a true day of solitude though as I live with roommates and also have woken up to another person in my bed on more than one Sunday morning.

So, I’ve had to redefine these Sundays of Solitude since I am not be able to be truly alone unless some rich person asked me to house-sit for them while they’re away for a weekend or I went out and camped in the middle of nowhere by myself (which I won’t do until the spring due to the fact that I enjoy feeling warmth in my fingers and toes).

What I’ve learned though is that the addiction is real.

Separating myself from my phone has been painful.

I can’t count the times I have looked for it while in one room or the other only to remember I had shut it off and hid it in a drawer.

I haven’t lost track of time during any of these Sundays of Solitude, but instead I often have had no idea what time it was at all.  It turns out that most homes, including ours, have a lot less working clocks in them these days.

I tell time by looking out my window. It gets dark and I think “finally I can go to bed,” then I walk into the kitchen and the one working clock that’s on our oven informs me it’s only 5.30 p.m. Could this be right? I have often found myself saying outloud to no one. This oven clock was accurate yesterday, so why wouldn’t it be today? It’s at that moment that I experience the crushing realization that I have an entire night ahead of entertaining myself.

I believe that was the biggest revelation this last Sunday.

When you disconnect from the outside world and have to focus instead of what’s around you, it feels as though you gain time.

Of course that’s not necessarily how time works; we don’t gain or lose it, time just is. Though I will say that without constantly scrolling through newsfeeds or texting friends all day, it often feels like I’m getting time back; I can recognize it moving at a pace that seems reasonable, seems like it used to seem back in the days of my youth when I lived out in the country in the middle of nowhere Kansas, prior to having access to the internet (it still barely works out there to this day).

Of course, this can feel boring at the same time that it feels refreshing. It can feel lonely at the same time as it feels liberating. It’s not for everyone. I’m not sure if I’d even recommend it.

What it’s done for me though is force me to slow down.

It’s allowed me to catch up.

Solitude Sunday has reminded me that interesting things are happening within just as much as they’re happening without. It’s made my return to technology feel less important. That scrolling through Instagram and Facebook aren’t necessarily wastes of time, but that I could do it less and it still mean just as much.

solitude_sunday_4

I’d like to explore something that could be equally interesting in the future, that is, I’d like to unplug with another person. I know that there’s still plenty to understand and dive into deeper with my own internal landscape, but I also am liking the idea of two people disconnecting from everyone else and instead taking the time to get to know each other without the distraction of our individual networks–because there is more to us than who we follow.

If you’re down to unplug with me some upcoming Sunday (and in Denver), send me a message (I get the humor in using technology to disconnect from technology in the future, but sometimes it’s the best way to get where we need to be).





9 Random Thoughts: New Year, Same Me

11 01 2018

Random Thoughts Are Back, You Are Welcome!

1.
Part of my New Year’s Resolution was to get shit done even if I have a hangover. Now, as I’m getting shit done with a hangover I wonder if I’m possibly not so great at making new year’s resolutions and resolve to make better ones next year, like resolving to take more naps.
2.
Turned on the news and they keep yammering on and on about some lost secret spy missile. It’s like the media doesn’t understand what ‘secret’ mean; sort of like how Trump doesn’t understand what “genius” means.
3.
So, I’ve watched the first two episodes of the new season of Black Mirror. I’ve read a lot of commentary that says this season is dull. I don’t find it dull, but I do find the stories thus far to have things occurring in them that I’ve either read or seen in other forms. For example, some of the elements felt very George Saunder-ish and it made me realize how few satirical television shows exist. That’s something that would be great to see, someone capable of pulling off the humor of satire without making it too dark or too slap-stickish.
4.
There’s been this dead squirrel on the sidewalk along the path that I run for at least a month now. I have witnessed it withering away day after day, as I too slowly shed pound after pound helping to prevent my entire withering away a little while longer, at least that’s the point, right? In any event, the squirrel barely resembles a squirrel anymore whereas I thankfully still resemble myself.

squirrel
5.
Remember when you were a kid and you’d ask a parent how to spell a word and they’d yell “look it up!” So you’d get the dictionary out but then couldn’t find the word because you didn’t know how to spell it? Yeah. I bet that doesn’t happen anymore because, technology.
6.
Speaking of technology, what I love most about watching Seinfeld now is how they seemed to all survive without cell phones just fine. In fact, a many good episodes were created out of the lack of this connection. It would not / could not ever be like that now.
7.
Yada yada yada.
8.
The best part of a hangover is the following day when you are no longer hungover and you feel more alive than ever before, I can’t wait until tomorrow.
9.
It’s amazing how few thoughts go through your head when you’re specifically trying to think about random thoughts. Just try it. It could be the new way to “meditate,” because the mind goes completely blank. It’s quite amazing actually. I now know what to do when I need to clear my head.





My Favorite Books from 2017

3 01 2018

Short Reviews of My Top 3 Books of 2017

In 2016 I read 21 books, including the dense and quite long Infinite Jest (which is worth it, even in its intensity. I suggest going to Infinite Summer for tips on making it through). In 2017 I upped my total slightly and read 28 books– that’s an average of 24 pages a day.

The way I’ve managed to get this much reading done and still excessively binge television shows and have a social life and do the whole work thing is by waking up an hour earlier in the day and reading before I do anything else.

When I do this I get invested in the book and am then able to get my page count done in a timely manner on the regular. Of course, some days I read more pages than others, but the system seems to be working.

My friend has made the resolution to read a book a week this year and I plan to steal this same idea because reading takes me to much better places than most of my other daily activities seem to do. Sometimes it’s better to replace one habit with another one instead of trying to remove the old habit altogether.

Here are my top 3 favorite books from 2017, if you’re looking for something to fall into this year.

1. Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

homesickforanotherworld

Ever feel like a terrible human being? Never fear, you are probably not as terrible as the characters in this collection of short stories. Moshfegh has the ability to succinctly capture the essence of a person (the good, bad, and ugly of a person) always leaving you wanting more, but happy to have experienced the little bit that you did get.

I also read her novel Eileen, which was good but felt more drawn to the collection, as it was able to show glimpses of the humanity in all its fucked-up-ness that we often rarely get to see in creative form (which is a much more pleasant place to experience it than in reality).

 

2. Theft By Finding Diaries 1997-2002 by David Sedaris

theftbyfinding-cover

Even in his own diaries, Sedaris knows how to reveal the humor in the mundanity of everyday life. There were moments while reading where I literally spit out my drink because I was laughing so hard. Right when you think the moment can’t get any funnier he hits you with an even stronger punchline. If you can’t laugh at your own life, start with someone else’s, I suggest his, because humor is the best medicine for getting through the bullshit.

3. The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

strangerinthewoodsbook

Ever have the desire to desert everything and everyone you know and go live alone in the middle of nowhere? Well, one guy actually did that, not just for a day, not just for a month, but for 27 years. If he hadn’t been a thief, he probably could have gotten away with it until he died, yet, that is not quite what happened.

As someone who is pretty introverted, what I found most fascinating about the book was the exploration of solitude–the attempt to understand why someone would not want to be around any other people.

Something happened during this book, something that caused me to suddenly finally feel okay for a day. Okay that I don’t have to want to be around people. Okay that sometimes I’d rather hide and not talk to anyone. Okay that I don’t have to like all the things other people like. Through his extreme outlier lifestyle, it helped me to see the facades of our daily existence and to look at solitude as a positive solution to the noise aka nausea of modern society.





10 Randoms: I Will Dildoddle Your Caboddle.

26 10 2012

1.) Things are breaking all around me. More importantly I am breaking things all around me. Mostly little things but some of those things are going to be quite a pain in the ass to replace, like the mega-lid that covered my mega-pan that I use to cook with all the time. Bummerville. I’m wondering if all this breaking is a sign that I need to re-focus, slow down, pay more attention to my surroundings, quit being such an anxiety-ridden quack. It’s hard to tell at this point, it could just be the alignment of the moon (I really need to quit blaming the alignment of the moon for things.)

2.) I bought my winter boyfriend yesterday. I’ve been eyeing him for months. He’s called Tiger  from the company Fun Factory.  Medical grade silicone. Rechargeable. 2 year-warranty. I think he’ll be my longest latest least stressful relationship. I should probably name him something other than Tiger. I’ll wait until we have a date or two before I decide on a proper one.

3. Speaking of toys. Since I have +10 now I’ve decided I need to invent a caboodle for toys, but of course I want to call it a dildoodle. Isn’t that kind of brilliant. DON’T STEAL MY IDEA OR I’LL MURDER YOU (you can guess how I’d do it too I’m sure.) So, it will be like a trunk or a chest, but it will have compartments in that are lined with material that doesn’t cause those little fabric stickys and is also waterproof. And duh, it will have a removable top shelf and the bottom will be vast so a person could put all their larger items (double dongs, whips, squirtsheets, etc.) in it. I should probably talk to the Liberator company about this. I really should not have made this idea public.

4.) I got a new haircut. The platinum is gone. Goodbye summer, hello winter. I think my roommate is the best stylist I’ve ever had. I’d recommend her to everyone, but she’s very selective and will only cut the coolest people’s hair.

5.) That song, “I will do anything for love,” is playing at the bookstore I’m at. I’ve never really understood this song. Because it’s so vague. WHAT WON’T HE DO?!! It’s so confusing. How could he say he’d do anything and then take it back? It’s like Rose from Titanic saying she will never let go and then she basically pushes Jack into the ocean to die.

6.) All of my Halloween plans have now fallen through. It sort of depresses me. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, but this year it’s been rather blah. I hope it changes. I have a panda to dress up as (And Mia Wallace and Jane from Daria and maybe a Juggalette and who knows what else!)

7.) Why would any woman want to be a Juggalette? In real life. During dress-up time I can understand. But I cannot understand it in reality.

8.) Sometimes when I’m not at work but I’m close to a door and I see someone youngish walk in I wonder, “why is no one id-ing them!” then I realize that most places are not 18+ older. It’s awkward because I always look at them funny.

9.) I’m meeting another vegan in like 20 minutes. Let’s hope it’s not like the last vegan I met who was hung-over and insisted on talking about sports almost the entire time even though I specifically said at the beginning of our conversation that I hated sports and didn’t want to talk about them. The only good thing I found in that is the fact that the vegan community is now becoming quite diverse. It used to be when someone said they were vegan and you were vegan you’d have more in common than just that—now that’s not necessarily true.

10.) Sometimes bookstores can be overwhelming because I realize how many other people write books, how many books I have not read and how many books of mine are not on the shelf. But, one day, one day there will be at least one of mine in here. At least one.





Look Who’s Talking.

12 10 2012

Talk is hard.  Not small talk. Not even gossip or philosophical talk. But “feelings” talk. My family and I have never been the best at communicating how we feel. If someone upset us, we’d just keep it bottled in, holding small grudges until they exploded into, on occasion, family feuds. And more often than not, resentment.

The whole, “I feel ____” is actually difficult for me to say out loud. It has taken a lot of practice on my part, but I try to do it. I’m trying to do it. Because though it often makes me feel anxious, I know when it’s over I’m going to feel much better that whatever is going on between me and another person is clear. Clarity and honesty. Boundaries. Understanding. It’s very nice to have that between people, though it is more often never discussed out loud.

Why is talking about this stuff so difficult? Is it because we become vulnerable when we tell another person what we want/need? Is it because we’re afraid we’ll hurt someone else’s feelings?

If a situation happened and I pissed someone off and they didn’t express their anger to me but then a year later when I did something else that upset them they just burst out a long laundry list of everything I’ve ever done that’s irritated them, I’d think I’m be more hurt by that then if they just said right away, “Krystal, I feel frustrated when _____.” Because if I’m doing something wrong I’d want to fix it. I think most people feel this way right?

But still, I think that this type of communicating has to be made into a habit. It has to be practiced. Just like every other healthy way of living.

Okay, why am I blabbering about this today? Last night this guy I’ve been kind of seeing off and on for the last monthish and I “Friend-Zoned,” each other and I think we both came out of it just fine. It wasn’t awkward. We simply discussed it. We didn’t stop texting each other or simply avoiding one another. And now we can continue to hang out and it not be weird. Well, it might be weird, but only because both of us are weird, not that being around each other would be weird for either of us.

And yeah, with the new friend-zone, it’s back to the dating board. How thrilling for the world! I think I just need to meet a nice Jewish boy.  Or a sugar daddy. Or both!

Yeah, my friend was right about writing an encyclopedia on dating instead of just a book. But I’m thinking maybe I could do a tetralogy series, a book for each season of the year! It’s the new trilogy! It will be like 50 Shades + Twilight  + Harry Potter + Game of Thrones all mixed into one. But nothing like those at all! Sign up now for an advanced-copy!

 

 

(How does that make you feel?)





Single Them Out and Find Me a Blind Date Love Connection.

21 03 2012

Was there ever a dating show where other people selected dates for the contestant? I mean, the classic Love Connection voted on the 3 but had no real say. Singled Out at least narrowed it down a bit. Blind Date…sssooo gggooooddd. Pretty sure a girl from my high school was on that once. It was set in California so almost everyone was a “struggling actress” of some kind. I am not an actress; I am struggling though, so there’s that.

I want someone to log into my OKC account and pick me a winner. I am serious.

If done right this would be an amazing dating show. Best friend’s Choice.

Oh, I remember now there was a show on MTV awhile ago where a parent went on the date with the couple. That was awkward. I’d let my mom pick out a guy (which she has and that didn’t go over well–not her fault, the guy was just crazy) but I would never go out with a person AND my mom at the same time. Now, if she wanted to go on the first date for me and I wouldn’t even have to be there, I’d totally let her do that. I’d let anyone go on the first date for me. I find those introductory conversations mundane. I don’t care to talk about myself. And they’re usually very surface. Which is why other people could take over for me and it wouldn’t even matter. The person would probably even want to go on a second date if I wasn’t actually on the first one. ha.

Don’t worry people, this is not taking over my life again, though it’s really difficult for me not to write back snarky comments, particularly when they say things like, “hey wanna watch me skype;” why the fuck would I want to do that?

I finally found my book in my word docs and I’m going to re-read it and start fixing it THIS VERY DAY. It’s time. It’s calling for me.

But yeah, anyway, back to my point, who better to pick a good date than a good friend. They probably know better anyway. I currently have four options, so if any of you reading this right now want to help make my selection for the week, let me know!

(some entertainment for you. . .I wish she had a fetish for cowboy boots that would have made the date so much better)