words kill, words give life

an education

Posted in books and stories, Uncategorized by Kaitlin on March 16, 2010

lynn barber, an education, book, cover, american, us, inspiration, adaptation, memoir, nonfictionLynn Barber’s memoir is a quick read – I read it in an afternoon.  I’ll admit, the only reason I bought this was because I had heard good things about the movie, but Barber’s voice makes it a must. She is succinct, but knows when to dab an extra bit of description.

The movie, “An Education,” is based on an article published in “Granta,” which Barber later expanded into the book. Her memoir starts with her earliest memories and continues into 2009. She has led a fascinating life.

Barber worked for “Penthouse” and published the revolutionary book “How to Improve Your Man in Bed.” She also worked for “Vanity Fair” and wrote “The Heyday of Natural History” chronicling how Darwinism affected Victorian natural history books. Barber is a dryly witty Scheherazade, an incredibly versatile new journalist and all this young writer could ever hope to be. lynn barber, smoking, author, photo, writer, black and white, woman, interviewer, journalist, an education, bookGay Talese step aside, this writing major has a new idol.


movies i want to see

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on March 13, 2010

From repossessed organs to vampiric Shakespeare, from dark comedies to tearjerker dramas, these are the movies I’m excited to see this spring:

Repo Men March 19

The Greatest April 2

The Joneses April 16

Kick Ass April 16

The Good Heart April 30

I Love You Philip Morris April 30

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead May 21

twitter + literature = ?

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 11, 2010

twitter, literature, twitterature, twiterature, author, writer, university of chicago, alexander aciman, alex, alexandre, alesander, aceman, acimen, acemen, akimen, akiman, akemen, akeman, emmet rensin, emmett, emett, emet resin, rensen, nineteen, college students, book, cover

twitter, literature, twitterature, twiterature, author, writer, university of chicago, alexander aciman, alex, alexandre, alesander, aceman, acimen, acemen, akimen, akiman, akemen, akeman, emmet rensin, emmett, emett, emet resin, rensen, nineteen, college students, book, cover

“Twitterature” is a new book by nineteen-year-old University of Chicago students Alexander Aciman (left) and Emmett Rensin (right) with the goal of reducing more than eighty pieces of literature into less than twenty tweets, “to its purest, pithiest essence.”

You may doubt the purity of its abridgments, but “Twitterature” is undeniably pithy. My only complaint is that I didn’t think of it first.

white collar – a season finale

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on March 10, 2010

neal caffrey, matt bomer, white collar, out of the box, hat,    turtleneck, manThe USA show ended it’s season last night with the FBI’s resident con, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) discovering the location of a music box he can to trade to free his hostage girlfriend. No spoilers here, but I will say the last 90 seconds are a guaranteed surprise. You can catch the last episode now on hulu.

Even if you don’t regularly watch the show, this episode is a must for Matt Bomer fans (think skinny dipping and shirtless sculpting). If this episode leaves you all hot and bothered, don’t worry. “White Collar” will return this summer.

the boy who couldn’t sleep and never had to

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 8, 2010

I’m uber-excited that I got this book in the mail. Watch the author, D. C. Pierson, explain his writing tips, and you’ll want to read it too.


who do you think you are?

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on March 6, 2010

sarah jessica parker, who do you think you are, reality show, family tree, records, library, courthouse, pearls, reading, real life, history, nbc, screen shotNBC’s celebrity genealogy show premiered Friday at 8. This “Who do you think you are?” is the latest incarnation of the British original (versions  air in eight different countries).

The American pilot features “Sex in the City” alum Sarah Jessica Parker as the first of “seven of the world’s most beloved celebrities” — Brooke Shields, Emmet Smith, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Broderick, Lisa Kudrow, Spike Lee and SJP.

Not exactly my most beloved celebrities, but I can see the desire to expand the list past deep-eyed Jew boys and  manic pixie dream girls.

My favorite part of the show was SJP’s dramatic overacting. After “buckets of questions” she discovered the family she assumed were boring  German immigrants (“no way they let our ancestors on the Mayflower”) actually traced back to the gold rush (Oh, no — I’m a relative of a dreamer; I’m a relative of a fool”), Salem witch trials (“I can’t imagine the courage it would take to be accused, to have everyone around pointing at you.”) and 1630s Connecticut (“I know I have now historical roots; I have family, ancestral roots here”).

Her conclusion: “I believed in America. I believed in, you know, the things I loved about being American. But I never felt that I was really American. What I’ve learned is that I have real stock in this country and real roots. I have belonging. I have, you know, I’m an American, I’m actually an American.”

Because she wasn’t American if her family immigrated after the 1700s. As SJP said, “Oh. My. God. Un-be-lievable. It’s absolutely crazy. It’s crazy time.”

the beginnings of an as yet untitled fiction

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 5, 2010

by yours truly:

Something tickles my nose. Unwilling to open my eyes, I twitch a nostril. Then, I hear a faint buzzing as it moves to rest on my cheek. A fly. I softly blow and it leaves. It’s the time of evening when everything monochrome. A breeze brings the sound of the river and I reach for my sweater.

It’s wet and sticky. The ground must be muddy. Standing, I shrug my arms through the clotted cashmere. I tug it down before folding the throw I was lying on. It’s sticky, too. Oh well, I need to do laundry anyway.

I head for home through the trees and gathering dark. Hopping up the two steps, I pull out the key. When I push on the knob, the door opens. Did I forget to lock it? A chill runs across my back despite my sweater.

My hand slides up the wall finding the light switch. The lamp lies on its side light spilling across the floor. Two streaks of red pass over the threshold leading to a slumped form in the middle of the room. My landlord.

“Mr. Petersen?”

I drop the throw and step into the room.

“Mr. Petersen, are you alright?”

Red covers the front of his shirt.

“Oh, my God, are you bleeding?”

He sits legs splayed like an abandoned baby doll, red-splotched shirt in place of a bib. Two steps bring me to him. I slowly kneel beside him.

“We’ll go to the hospital, OK?”

I reach two fingers towards his neck to check his pulse. Not meeting the resistance I expect, my fingers squish as my knuckles pass his skin.

I scream and jerk back my blood-soaked hand.

The motion knocks his head back. His throat opens to the bone, and in the middle of his windpipe, sits the mouthpiece to my clarinet.

“he’s a stud, she’s a slut…

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 4, 2010

and 49 other double standards every woman should know” is a book by Jessica Valenti, author of “The Purity Myth” and founder of feministing.com.  It’s a hilariously detailing of stereotypes and a helpful look at how to fight them.

On stud vs. slut, Valenti states, “If you have a vagina, chances are someone has called you a slut at least once in your life.” And some of the double standards she chronicles are equal-opportunity offenders.

The chapter “he’s tough, she’s a tomboy” details her accepted childhood love of sports, while the boys who avoided sports were called girls. “You see, it was understandable for me to want to be a tomboy and do ‘boy’ things–because men are better, after all.”

If I Can Dream

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on March 3, 2010

if i can dream, berlin, press tour, giglianne, ben, amanda, kara, cara, justin, gigliani, giglianni, benjamin, reality, tv, television, show, facebook, elliot, gastonFive aspiring performers star in “If I Can Dream,” a new show by Idol creator Simon Fuller different from other reality shows.

You won’t find “If I Can Dream” on TV. Hulu posts new 30 minute episodes every Tuesday. Another first? You can watch any camera in the house live 24/7.

I tuned and found them responding to twitter. On demand, Justin riffed on Johnny Cash, Kara rapped about Jack Sparrow and they all played “Never Have I Ever.”

if i can dream, tv, show, reality, television, amanda, ben,  benjamin, giglianne, kara, cara, gigliani, giglianni, hulu, press, tour

Judging by first impressions (left to right in the right photo) – Amanda is an OCD neat freak, Justin carries his guitar everywhere like it’s his security blanket, Giglianne is way to quiet/boring for a reality show, Ben is a wannabe RPattz and Kara’s the crazy chick you hang out with because she’s hot.

Writing women back into history…

Posted in diary by Kaitlin on March 2, 2010

votes for women, suffrage, california women, 1911, 2011, national  women's history month, national women's history project, poster,  centenniel, centenial, betha boyeis the theme of 2010s National Women’s History Month. Maybe I’ve been hiding under a rock of dumb, but I just discovered this 30-year-old celebration existed. (Does that count as strange?)

To bring more attention to this month, AAUW (formerly American Association of University Women) employees are posting YouTube videos discussing who they’re honoring for National Women’s History Month:

They’re also launching flickr, twitter and facebook campaigns. Learn more about AAUW’s efforts  and how to help on their blog.