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review 2018-08-10 10:51
Big character
The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher

I laughed, and I grimaced, and I ran a gamut of other emotions, from surprise, to disbelief, to pain and sympathy.


I stated to follow a print while listening because at first I did not always catch what Fisher was saying. There was much pausing, and after a while I kept doing it because there are minute differences here and there.


This is a very interesting lady. What astounded me the most is her capacity to write her 19-year-old self, with all the embarrassment and self-doubt. It's powerful enough to make you uncomfortable by proxy.


Back then I was always looking ahead to who I wanted to be versus who I didn’t realize I already was, and the wished-for me was most likely based on who other people seemed to be and the desire to have the same effect on others that they had had on me.


She writes an almost nude picture of herself, the good, the bad, the WTF (and there were many, many instances where I went WTF), the petty, the shy, the self-aware, the painfully young. There is this sense of "I'm at the last part of the slide, and I have little fucks left to give" mixed with the "still want to be liked".


There is a lot about her relationship with the character, a lot mixed feelings that in the end, amount to mostly positive.


“You were my first crush.” I heard it so much I started asking who their second one was. We know what a first crush is to a teenager, but what does it mean to a five-year-old?
“But I thought you were mine! That I had found you—I was the only one who knew how beautiful you were—because you weren’t beautiful in that usual way women in film are, right?”
He realizes that I might take what he’s saying wrong. He doesn’t mean it that way. I reassure him, touch his arm; why not give him an anecdote? “I know what you mean, it’s fine. Go on.”
He checks my face to see if I mean it. I do. He continues, “So my friend, when I tell him about my crush, he goes, ‘Oh yeah, she’s awesome! I have a total crush on her, too. Everyone does.’ I got upset. I coulda punched him.”
“Because you were mine and I wanted to be the one who loved you. Me, maybe even help you . . .” He got embarrassed. “Anyway—I wanted to tell you.” He shrugs, then adds, “Thanks for my childhood,” and walks off. Wow, what a thing to be given credit for, to be thanked for! Because he didn’t mean his whole childhood—he meant the good bits. The parts he escaped to.


It was a weird and nostalgic ride.


If you can find a common language that runs from five to eighty-five, you’ve got yourself something, and Star Wars fans have something.

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review 2018-08-08 16:33
Not as packed with info as I expected
Don't Put That in There!: And 69 Other Sex Myths Debunked - Rachel C. Vreeman,Aaron E. Carroll

I have issues with this book.


On one hand, there is a lot of research and a wealth of studies referenced to support what is proved or debunked. The overall tone is also pretty irreverent and entertaining, the writing easy, and acceptance is the name of the game.


Thing is, there is a lot that is biased, too local or just plain inconclusive in this book.


There are many inconclusive chapters where the bias of authors colour the wrap up. Even when I agree with the bias, it gets irksome. Oh, and I'm unconvinced some of the studies results can be parsed into proving or disproving some myths. There is a lot of talk of "linked" that sounds more like correlation than causation.


I'm not from USA, so the local bent sometimes makes the polling (specially the health ones) not as strong a prop.


Inconclusive chapters make sense where there is not enough data and studies, but it grates to see the myth counted and addressed when the final verdict is a shrug and a cheery opinion.


Still, I left with some curious facts not previously in my radar (though not nearly as much sheer info as I expected). Two come to mind: that the G spot has not been physiologically identified (like, seriously?). That PVH vaccine is to be ideally administered before any sexual activity, but can be gotten whenever (context: there is free vaccination here, and campaigns, but they are aimed at girls under 13, and the notion passed around is that getting vaccinated after certain age is useless, not that you can get vaccinated whenever, it just happens that once you are being sexually active, there is a high chance that you won't finish the rounds before contracting the virus).


All around? A bit superficial, but not bad.

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text 2018-08-08 15:30
Reading progress update: I've read 213 out of 304 pages.
Don't Put That in There!: And 69 Other Sex Myths Debunked - Rachel C. Vreeman,Aaron E. Carroll

I've been slowly perusing this for over a month, but I'm trying to clean up my "Reading" shelf before the game.


I've just finished the chapter on IUD's, and I'm remembering why I'm taking so long: it's low-level irksome. 


More modern devices and studies in more recent years do not appear to show these same rates of infection. They are sometimes higher than we’d like to see, but not nearly as high as in the past. But even those slight differences have been called into question. This is partly a fault with how the studies themselves are designed and conducted. Many of the studies were conducted in other countries in ways which make them difficult to generalize to the United States.


I'm from one of those countries lady.


"So women who use IUDs use them for a relatively long time. If these bleeding concerns were really so overwhelming, it’s likely that more women would abandon the IUD as a method of birth control."


Not mentioned here: the fact that you need outside help to discontinue an IUD, unlike other methods, were you can opt out and then back in whenever on your own (I'm not from a country where you need pill prescription, though). Also, you already submitted yourself to an expensive and invasive procedure. You might be more inclined to tough it longer.

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review 2018-06-20 06:40
Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison

On various fronts. The overarching subject, the sense of hopelessness, helplessness and despair, the long-winded, meandering way the story is told (which is on par with the idea that it is a stream-of-conscience recount), and the purpose way in which this guy's obliviousness is made plain (and cringe-inducing) for the reader (and the teller).


Found it brilliant, at points boring and quite maddening.


Oh, and I leave it with a feeling akin to what Catcher in the Rye left me.

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review 2018-01-19 14:34
Words fail me
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

Alright, there is a lot going on in this little piece of poison dripping, mind-fuck of a story, and I don't know that I'm up to the task.


First of all, because it's the immediate, I call bullshit on that end (I'm talking of the 21th chapter that was cut-out of the USA version; if you've not read it, this paragraph will make little sense). I read the author's introduction and explanation, and I more or less agree that our empathy and sympathy tends to grow as we mature (and we are more or less savages as kids and teens), but having read the book, I don't believe this level of inner cruelty and utter disregard for other people, or the length it was self-indulged and brought out onto the world can be called "a folly of youth" and hand-waived like that. I do not believe that level of monstrosity is something that can be redeemed, worked out, grow bored out of, and the person just go on to be some well adjusted adult.


I also do not know what is to be done with such a person to be honest, even if my knee-jerk reaction if I was the victim would be to kill them. Brain-washing into effectively loosing their free will does not seem to be the answer though.


Next: There is a very strong undercurrent of the battle of the generations going on here. The way money is treated, those articles in the diary, and the mention of day hour and night ours, and whom the street belongs to, and even, who has the power in the first part vs. the second, and what it consist on.


Actually, the three parts are distillate poison on abuse of power: young hooligans for first, then the police and other punishing/correctional institutions for second, politicians in the third. Everyone screws everyone over, and in the end I hated the lot, little Alex, and his little followers, and the police, and the jailers, and the priests, and the doctors, and the politicians, and the social fighters, and even his victims.


Shit, I wouldn't recommend this one, even if I found it oddly compelling *shudder*. It is interesting, and effective, but a vicious way to provoke thought, maybe unnecessarily.


Done. Onto "I am Pusheen the Cat", ice-cream and a helping of crack fics for the soul.

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