Thursday, October 17, 2013

It Chooses You

It Chooses You by Miranda July with photographs by Brigitte Sire 2011
No One Belongs Here More Than You. Stories by Miranda July 2007
Weight: 2 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating

I have packed a small box of books for the move that are kept separate from the rest.  They are the ones I may never get rid of.  It is fair that I keep one box, right?  In that box there is another copy of It Chooses You that was autographed by Miranda July.  "You" is crossed out and "Laura" is written above it.  My dear friend, Liz, bought it for me and mailed in to me in a care package.  I was so delighted and moved to get it in the mail, unexpectedly.  Of course, I was also super jealous that she had the chance to meet Miranda July.  Like adolescent jealousy.  I have been smitten with Miranda July since my other dear friend, Sarah, introduced me to her cds when I was still in high school.  Her work was a large part of my entirely awkward senior thesis in College.  I even recorded my own tapes of me telling my own short stories in July fashion.  I cannot believe I was not institutionalized.  

Another copy of No One Belongs Here More Than You is also in the box.  My creative writing adviser, Dermont, gave it to me as a graduation gift and wrote a wonderful note to me inside of it.  I might be more smitten with Dermont than I am July and so it is one of my most prized possessions. 

Both of the copies I am now passing on came to me from Sarah and were the ones I read before I got the other copies.  I am infinitely grateful to her for introducing me to July and for continuing to nourish it through gift giving.  I am sure these two will find good home--with titles like that who could resist?  I want to believe that both titles say something about who I am in this moment and that is why I decided to get rid of them tonight.  Really, July is just a really good cheerleader via naming things and a really unique writer/artist/filmmaker to boot.

Human Anatomy and Physiology

Human Anatomy and Physiology 4th Ed by John W. Hole, Jr. Prepared by Nancy A Sickles Corbett
Weight: 1.1 lb
Method of Disposal: Donating

Five more days/Four more nights that I must make it through before I see my Beloved again.  I am so excited that I sleep all day and stay up all night, apparently.  There is so much to do to prepare for her arrival.  The house is a true disaster zone with boxes pilled up everywhere and random odds and ends left unboxed in piles here and there.  I have not figured out the bills or the method I will use to move.  I am busy all the time and the one day I had time to do something, I crashed.  Hard.  Sleepiness, depression, missed plans.  The full nine yards.

And yet, somehow I am convinced, that once I can hold her body close to me again everything will fall into place and it will all make sense.  We will get through it together.  Is that true?

Sleepless Nights

Sleepless Nights by Helmut Newton
Weight: 1.4 lbs
Method of Disposal: Sold

Another beloved book sold.  I am sad to see it go, but I am happy to put the money towards buying Ms. Amazing her ring.  I know she is unconcerned with it, but I am so anxious to get it for her.  I love to be another small step closer.  :)


Exegesis by Astro Teller
Weight: 9.9 oz
Method of Disposal: Donating

I bought this book over ten years ago, and I could not stand it the first time I tried to read it.  I was not very interested in computers or computer speak.  Dial-up was available at my father's house, but I lived with my mother, and we did not get it until later.  I did not check e-mail regularly and was not on any social networking sites until college.  I tried to pick this book up a couple times since then and had no interest develop.

Tonight, after I finished Indecent, I went to look for my next book to read and realized I had packed them all for the move, all except this book and a handful of young adult books.  I read it in a couple of hours and enjoyed it.  I knew when I saw it tonight that I had changed a lot since I first bought it and that it was possible to not hate it forever.  Point proven.  Holler.


Indecent: How I Make it and Fake it as a Girl for Hire  by Sarah Katherine Lewis
Weight: 12.8 oz
Method of Disposal: Leaving Somewhere

I loved this book.  It felt so good to be reading something I loved again.  I feel like I have spent far too long just reading books that are okay or worse.  It is funny because I picked it up and put it back on the shelf countless times before I actually read it.  I do have a fascination with the sex industry, which is why I bought it, but I also have a reasonable bad taste in my mouth for books about it.  So often I have picked up a book to learn it was written by someone "undercover" or someone who stripped for a year with the intention of writing a book or someone who has no writing skills what-so-ever or whatever.  The shock value is there so the story can be lacking.  I thought this book would be more of the same.

It wasn't.  Lewis had me hooked when she talked about playing the game Whore as a child and when she worried that she was too chubby for sex work.  So often, I have thought about it and thought I am too fat, too unattractive, too old, too whatever.  I felt an instant connection.  Then she began talking about the confidence it gave her and I was enthralled.  I wished I had done it.  She went from one job to the next with a desire to learn and a strong work ethic.  As the book and her life went on, she seemed to grow increasingly angry and violent minded.  I questioned if I would have ever been strong enough for it.  I did not feel lied to.  I felt comfortable in the place where I could look at sex work as sex work.  She did not class it as a magical kingdom where feminists romp naked and feel wonderful about themselves while raking in the money, but she did not make it out to be the evil of the world that must be purged either.  She talked about things like confidence and fear, feminism and fuckery, with what seemed like a sincerity I could trust.

I did get to the end of the book and feel like somewhat of a customer though.  Was I being the oh-so-dreaded relater?  I would be lying if I acted like I never got turned on while reading it, which is bizarre because there was not a lot to be turned on about.  The book was full of nasty smelling jizz, sticky environments, and deplorable people.  She kept the reader at arms length.  She showed us a lot about the sex industry, but she never let us get close to her outside of her work.  We do not know what she does for fun, anything about her friends who don't do sex work, that she has a brother until the acknowledgements, what she spends her money on, and why should we?  We have come to learn about sex work, after all.  She are reminded throughout the book that she will not give out too much information in order to be safe.  She tells us each time she starts a new job.

Any who, I loved it and I thank her for being bold enough to do it, write about it, and share it with the world.  I think I will seek out this sex and bacon book I am seeing all the reviewers of Indecent rave about.

p.s. Sarah Katherine Lewis, you are right.  Hemmingway does suck.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sociological Debates

Sociological Debates: Thinking about 'The Social' ed. Floya Anthias and Michael P. Kelly
Weight: 1.9 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating

Remember my wonderful mother?  After the divorce she went back to school and worked, while trying to raise two children.  A teenage boy and a bratty little girl.  In those days, she would read Lord of the Flies to me until I fell asleep, but she had her own textbooks to read after I passed out.  I inherited a lot of them and read them, carried them with me, thought about them because I like to learn.  I like to read about almost anything.  I was glad to have them.  I wouldn't have bought them on my own, but I was lucky enough to have them passed on.  This is one of those books.

Rolling Stone: The 70's

Rolling Stone: The 70's
Weight: 3 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating

I never had good taste in music.  I have always had an eclectic taste, but "good" is not the adjective you would use to describe it overall.  I was also born in the eighties.  When I was growing up, people were always talking about the 70's with nostalgia.  We would have days at school where we would wear bell bottoms and peace signs in honor (and also making fun of) the hippies.  We had no real understanding of that time, but we were still encouraged to play with it.

Later in life I would be lucky enough to date a woman who understood the beauty of classic rock and was very patient with me.  I am fairly certain that is how this book came to be.  I believe I bought it trying to find a reason for the little scraps I had picked up along the way.  I thought it was about music, but it was about everything.  Music, drugs, roe v wade, Vietnam, feminism.  We are over forty years away now, and I still have trouble believing the 70's did not happen just a minute ago.  Right before I was born....just a minute ago.


Moments: Contemporary Verse from Around the World  Eds. Sharon Derderian and Robert Lawrence
Weight: 2 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating

This is my first published work.  Given, it was a scam.  You could send your writing into a contest and, if you won, you went in the book for free.  If you did not win you could still get in, but you had to pay a substantial amount of money.  Of course, they did not word it this way but it was obvious.  I was lucky enough to have a mom who thought boosting my ego was worth it--just so I would not lose my creative spirit--and I thought it meant something.  So, I got this bound book with my poetry in print.  Even then I knew it was sketchy, but I thought it still gave me bragging rights, though I never really bragged about it.

Please let me tell you now, that my mom was broke.  Like broke, broke.  And she still thought encouraging my creativity was a valid use of her hard earned money.  Plenty of late nights and a lot of stress went into what would become this poor excuse of an anthology.  I have held onto it all this time.  And I will never forget what it did for me.  Thank you, Mom.  I love you so very much.

Now, I am sure you want to see the piece of shit I turned in.  Here it is:

Love by Laura Lynn McKelvey age-12

My love for you is strong, yours is no more than a mere hello.  I want you and need you every minute of the day.

You'll never understand me or even see me.  I'm just a stranger among strangers.  One of the many who lives everyday, but always seems so far away.

I would die for you, you would scream for me.  I would lie for you, you wouldn't say a thing.  I would kill for you, you wouldn't do a thing!

I love you forever and you'll love me.  Never.

There are a few things I need to say now.  One is that this is a terrible poem, even for me at twelve.  I had better.  Why would I choose this one?  Two is that I might have been a touch dramatic and a little creepy.  I would kill for you?  Wtf?  Three, it is amazing I thought I knew what love was at that age.  Awww....what?  It would be embarrassing except that, at some point, you have to recognize that teenagers (and pre-teenagers) have "no idea", and their feelings are still valid and important, even if only to them and their peers.  You should listen and encourage.

P.S.  I was such a lesbian.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bjork, Tori, and Yes...

Bjork by Bjork 2001
Girl Power by the Spice Girls 1997
Tori Amos: The Authorized Biography 1996
Weight: 4.5 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating

Can you believe the things I have accumulated?  It is grown out of hand.  I sent this text message to a friend/ex-coworker who had just come over a couple nights before, and she says I look like a hoarder now.  Most of those boxes are books!  As you can see, the project has not done nearly enough to get me on the right track, but I am working on it...

This Bjork book was put together in a lovely way, and it has all sorts of great Bjork photos, but I do not need it.  I enjoy a number of Bjork songs, but I will not be rereading this or looking through it.  She is not one of my absolute all time favorites and, even if she was, I just do not have that same desire to read about famous people that I use to--even musicians.  I am keeping some books like it, but I am not keeping them all.  It just does not make sense right now.

While I am at it...

This started out as a Bjork blog, but why not go ahead and get rid of (surely it is the last) Spice Girls book and Tori Amos while I am at it?  Please do not judge.  I am fully aware that all of these people should not show up in the same entry.  It is a matter of desperation, though I was sort of shocked at first that the Spice Girls book has higher ratings than the other two.  Perhaps the other to have a more picky or older clientele?

The Best of Norman Rockwell

The Best of Norman Rockwell  by Norman Rockwell
Weight: 2.2 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating

Norman Rockwell has never painted in a style I am particularly fond of.  I recognize his place in history, and I am impressed by his attention to detail.  I see a lot to admire in this book, but I am in the process of moving, and I want to be surrounded by art with vibrant colors.  I want art that lingers between abstract and realism.  I am sure this coffee table book will find a new home with someone looking for something else.  And, unfortunately, it is just another 2 lbs I do not have to carry.  This moving situation is getting out of control.  Do not be surprised if you never hear from me again because I have been crushed by books that have toppled over on me while I was packing.  Good luck to you Norman.  I hope your new home is better than your current one, and I am wishing the same luck to myself.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Photography Books

The Art of Portraits and the Nude and Take Better Pictures  by The Kodiak Library of Creative Photography
Weight: 3 lbs
Method of Disposal: Leaving Somewhere

Do you need any more reason than the photographs on the covers of these two books to believe that they are invaluable to budding photographer?  I mean, look at that woman in the camera.  How did they do that?!?! Okay, it was cooler in 1983 but, with digital imaging, it is hard to remember.  The woman on the Nude book has green eyeballs, excessive blush, and red lipstick.  Beautiful...yes?

My grandfather was so happy to hand these down to me, and I was happy he thought I was deserving of them--that he believed in my creativity, but I do not have to keep them forever because of that.  I, personally, will never forget these two photos.  Okay, that is a lie.  They will be gone from my mind forever in a week.

13 Days Bundle

A Streetcar Named Desire  by Tennessee Williams (1974)
Blondes! 25 Vintage Photos  by Susan Bernard (1995)
Depression: The Evolution of Powerlessness  by Paul Gilbert (1992)
Real Life: Real Spice The Official Story by The Spice Girls (1997)
The Guide to Legally Obtaining a Foreign Passport by D.O'nes (1990)
My Date With Satan  by Stacey Richter (2000)
Weight: 7 lbs
Method of Disposal: Leaving somewhere public tomorrow

These books may not appear, on the face of it, to have anything in common, but they are bundled together for many great reasons!  Don't tell anyone else.  I am only allowed to tell two people myself, but The Love of My Life will be visiting me in just under two weeks and, though the visit will be brief, it could not come at a better time.  We will be able to move into and set up our house together.  We are just renting but, still, we picked it out together.  And there are horses. So...perfect.

And just to be super tacky: I had a date with Satan, which created some real life spice, and I left behind the blondes! on a streetcar named desire.  Then Satan left me, and I fell into a depression and dreamed of obtaining a foreign passport and a new life.  See the clear connection?

In all seriousness, that was truly the best Spice Girls book released.  Don't get me wrong, the bar was incredibly low.  But it was fun to see the girls old family photos.  I mean, if you were into them, or whatever, in like, the 90s.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


The Lamplighter  by Cummins
Unsure of date.  There is an inscription dated 1896.
Weight: 1 lb
Method of Disposal: Donating

It is almost 3:30 am, and I have been working for hours.  They (being the people) always act like the overtime won't be so bad and ask you not to burn yourself out, but it seems impossible.  I still feel so far behind, and I know I will not be able to get anything crossed off my to do list at work tomorrow because I have to fix my reports, and we will have surgery paperwork.  I am overwhelmed.  It is possible that I have broken down crying in the last 4 days more often than I have eaten.

Back in the day, Lamplighters were the people whose job it was to light the streetlights.  At least, I think that is true.  I felt like the very title of this book made it appropriate for this post.  When I took the trash out to take a break, no one else was lighting up the street with their indoor lights.

This book, initially, was an unexpected treasure for me.  I ordered something else and this came in.  I wrote a nice e-mail and said I was glad to return this one, but I would still like the other one.  He wrote me back to just keep it and sent the other.  No worries, no problems, and two books.  One from the 1800s!   It is over a hundred years old.  Oh my God.  If I keep talking about it I won't let it go...