You people are GOLD. I have just laughed, cried, nodded my head in agreement and at one point I hugged my monitor. You people are brilliant, and I love showing off your brilliance in this column every week. Keep up the good work!
Winner: Best Conversation that Never Happened
Netfe: (In response to the Lunchtime Poll on superstitions we ran on Monday) well I have few but two that I follow strongly (even though I know it’s bullshit):
1. you don’t give knifes as present. if someone buys you a knife you have to pay them (it can be a cent). otherwise a horrible violence will come on your house.
2. you only congratulate on births not pregnancies. the happy event is the arrival of a baby to the world, as long as it in vitro you only wish good luck to the pregnant woman.now, I know it doesn’t go well with the American shower thing. I am not American, and for me celebrating before birth is a horrid idea. yeah, It’s kind of weird.
both are Jewish superstitions, originate in North Africa (i’m sure about the knife one not sure about the birth one), by the way”¦
Mona Se Queda: So, I got 3 sets of kitchen knives as wedding gifts. What does this mean??!!?!?
Netfe: you must give those people some money! you don’t want the consequence! well maybe if you don’t believe in this bullshit it can’t hurt you? I don’t know.
Mona Se Queda: It might be easier for me to pretend I never read this superstition instead of hunting down the gift givers to give them money. (It was over 3 years ago”¦)
Hear that? This conversation never happened.
Netfe: what conversation? (I’ll play along, don’t worry)
Winners: I Like the Cut of Your Jib
TheMAS: First bracket ever! I picked the teams that sounded cool.
lostinalunchbox: Le sigh. The number of times I’ve gone into a salon and sheepishly admitted that I’d been at it again, and now need to be fixed”¦.and it seems I’ll never learn my lesson. I’d really sworn off the home cut, but now I’m all fired up to get chopping again. Thanks guys.
Hello Kitty: English is the worst language to learn, and thank goodness I learned it as a preschooler. It’s ridiculous to shame foreigners for not mastering this language which is chock full of irregularities, where exceptions to the rule are rampant and random.
As for sounding like native Amurikans or Brits, there is a problem among Asians. In their native lands they study English early, much earlier than American students begin foreign language. However the style of teaching is primarily focused on reading and writing. Speaking is a whole other universe. And the problem is the lack of native speakers in the countries to meet the needs. Don’t like how foreigners sound? Then take the time out to help them, kindly, not in a rude pedantic way. And spend time abroad, or send your college aged kids to teach. Better yet, volunteer with these classes.
Lizzie: I loved Sassy so much. During a time when I felt perpetually awkward, it made me believe I wasn’t a total freak. It was awesome to open a magazine and see a girl who had braces like me. Smiling. With her MOUTH OPEN. The first issue I remember buying had an article on Claire Danes, who was my hero. Also, Sassy always had badass quotes I could cut out and put on my notebooks for school. I don’t know if there is anything like it now.
crazylady: See, I think some people are just racist assholes. In fact, a lot of people are.
The logic in the article is essentially the explanation given for why people victim-blame rape survivors. Essentially, because it could happen to you.
I don’t think that is really it, though. Just like I don’t think people victim-blame rape survivors simply becuase they are afraid of it happening to them, I don’t think that people are blaming Japan because they are afraid of something equally catastrophic happening to them.
Sometimes, people just don’t give a shit about others. They use their racism, sexism, and all sorts of other isms to let us know how much they value other people.
Winners: Bookish and Clever
Anna: Hermione over Luna was really easy for me – I get that Luna has something of a cult following, but I think that’s largely due to the wonderful actress playing her in the movies, because when I try to think about what made her special in the books, I just”¦draw a blank. I remember her seeing creatures that no one else could see? Or maybe it’s been too long since I read Deathly Hallows (except, sorry J.K. Rowling, YOUR BOOKS ARE TOO LONG AND IN NEED OF A GREAT DEAL OF EDITING – much like my Persephone comments).
As for the others, Laura over Anne, and Francie over Jo, though I get the impression that popular opinion will go the other direction on both. I have no real argument for Laura aside from the fact that These Happy Golden Years was the very first chapter book that I ever read all on my own. My dad had been reading it to me chapter by chapter every night before bed, but one day, while he was at work, I decided I didn’t want to wait any longer to find out what would happen with Laura and Alfonso, so I finished it without him.
No doubt there’s something very profound about growing up that could be teased from that moment, but continuing on to Francie Nolan:
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was another first for me: the very first book I checked out from the adult section of my public library. I remember thinking this was a big deal because ohmigod, what if I didn’t give it back in time? I WOULD BE FINED.
I had to borrow it because the paperback my mom owned was missing some pages near the beginning, and the copy I read was one that had rebound with a non-descript hardback cover.
I don’t remember much of the story. I remember that this was the very first book I ever read in which there was any reference made to sexual assault. And I remember that even at 9 (10?), I connected to the pain Francie felt when, in the latter part of the novel, she’s drawn in by the soldier who pretends to love her even though he’s already engaged to be married.
More than anything, I remember that Francie was a real character. That is, I love Jo March as much as the next person, but in my mind, she’s a very archetypical “fiery, independent young woman,” and Little Women is, ultimately, easy reading.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is difficult. It’s modern and sad yet hopeful, and Francie is, in my opinion, a much more realistic and complicated feminist heroine than Jo march has ever been.
marthamydear: I feel exactly the way you describe! In elementary school, I was always the kid huddled in a corner at recess with a book and as such didn’t learn to socialize until I was 12. Books were just so much better than endless running games and prepubescent girly politics. And they still are, for that matter.
I have rows of books three rows deep in my nightstand, double rows on my actual (smallish) bookcase, an ever-changing pile next to my bed, multiple boxes in my parents’ attic and the best Christmas present I EVER got was a set of carousel bookends.
The one book I can read over and over again is definitely To The Lighthouse. I started reading Virginia Woolf in highschool for a project and while I didn’t finish the project, the books have stayed with me.
wealtheow: Listen, I love Alanna The Lioness as much as the next girl, but Meg Murray hated her principal, got into bloody fistfights over her brother’s reputation, and was too good at math for her own good. I love every single thing about her. She is the one character I want every girl growing up to meet”“hers is the one of the only books I recommend to every single person. Alanna is kick-ass and stubborn and awesome, but Meg is too”“and she does it with braces and frizzy hair and a chip on her shoulder.
Winners: BRB, Ugly Laughing
Ailanthus-Altissima: Saucy Fish Pie sounds like a night club with a bad reputation
Kitty Conner: Such a sweet show. I know there’s a lot of comparisons to My Name is Earl. (i.e. sweet-natured lower-class family with rotating cast of crazy townie characters has life-changing experience: lottery ticket vs baby.)
And it is similar, but it seems like Hope is less about laughing AT the characters and more about laughing with.
Also, I wish to start a petition to bring back the original title of Keeping Hope Alive which is funnier and far superior.
Hermione Danger: HOW DID EOWYN LOSE
WHAT IS GOING ON
AM I EVEN ALIVE ANYMORE
Also, sorry, but Jess Darling has my heart, you guys. My whole heart. Except the part that’s dead because EOWYN LOST.
goingquietlymad: International Buffy the Vampire Slayer Day
International Tumblr Wahn and FRAaaayns Day
International Feminists Day
International Nutella & Cunnilingus Day (as suggested by a tumblr, thekingofcupsexpectsapicnic)
sonjamikjail: Oh my gosh, I love cheesy jokes so much, I almost camembert it anymore.
Winner: We Hear You
Kate D: YESSSS A VEGAN FEATURE, FINALLY.
This looks delicious and I can’t wait to make it. Thank you!
Winner: Cutest Guest Star!
As a special bonus, I thought I’d share something that went down in an editorial email thread.
Hattie: We should name our server. I’m partial to the name Meriadoc Brandybuck.
Selena: Meriadoc Brandybuck seems like he should be the star of a Restoration porno, ala “Her Ankles Doth Tempt.”
Sara B.: “The Lady’s Hair Unbound” staring Meriadoc Brandybuck and Araminta Trifle
Selena: “He Stoops to Spear Her Virtue” staring Mariadoc Brandybuck, Araminta Trifle and introducing Chesterfield Himpledown, as Sir Poppincumming, III