I really think you should read Nicola Griffith’s Hild.

hildThere are books that begin to make me sad as I go on, because the book gets thinner and thinner on one side (or the damn % goes up on the Kindle) and I know I will be having to leave that world and those people soon.

Hild was one of those books. It was not just the fact that I finally felt represented in a historical novel — something that is not to be underestimated. It was not just the fact that the historical details were fascinating to the extreme, especially the religious, outlook, and domestic details. It was not just the fact that I absolutely ADORED Hild, as a person, and her brother and her cronies and her people and her land. I guess it was all of those things. But more: I was utterly immersed in the world. I was growing as Hild was. I was helpless yet powerful, strong yet frightened, friend to all peoples but friend of no person.

Oh, I’m doing a terrible job of explaining. I just didn’t want it to end.

How far along are you on the next one, Nicola Griffith? Is it done yet?

How about now?

Now?

PS if you haven’t yet I think you should buy it:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hild-nicola-griffith/1114317910?ean=9780374280871

And here are some interesting things about it from other people in far more in-depth language and from far more interesting angles:

http://io9.com/hild-and-the-rise-of-the-skeptical-fantasy-novel-1505421852

And also:

http://www.npr.org/2013/11/14/240301047/with-nuanced-beauty-hild-destroys-myths-of-medieval-womanhood

 

I played catch with my kid for hours

. . . yesterday and today.

I think it’s very good for children to see their parents having fun being really, really bad at something: and for them to be really good at it. My hand is still stinging. I told him I was testing his fielding skills but he wasn’t buying it.

article-1201887-05D34FAC000005DC-23_634x423(When I searched for a photo to go with this post, it appears there are NO PHOTOS ON THE INTERNET of moms playing catch with their kids. And no photos of ANYONE doing this in their tiny inner-city backyards. Fine. Here’s a one of a parrot playing catch with a dog, which is apparently more common.)

Granddad’s Easter

granddadThese last few Easters, I’ve missed my Granddad so much it’s hard to breathe for a minute. This Easter is especially hard because it’s also the anniversary of his death a year ago.

Every Easter before dementia made it impossible, I would call him, and he would pick up.

“CHRIST IS RISEN!” I would bellow into the phone.

After a moment of startled silence as he absorbed that a girl from his atheist family had just said that to him (and maybe because I was yelling), he would say back: “Christ is risen, indeed!” and laugh his warm, round, great bell of a laugh, and talk joyously about what a beautiful day it was, and of hope, and a chance at a fresh start.

Easter always transported my Granddad into joy. It meant so much to him, this greatest of Christian feasts. And while he sometimes made me laugh a bit, behind his back, when he anxiously asked me if I had ever crossed myself and once reacted with utter horror when I mistakenly called a little statuette of Jesus he had in his house a ‘saint,’ he was mainly a sweetly honest, kind sort of Christian. The kind who called death “One of the greatest mysteries,” who truly wasn’t entirely certain what was going to happen when he was gone, but hopeful he would be part of some great, glorious afterlife in which my Grandmoms would meet him. (Yes; he thought she would be there, too, despite the fact that when I would accompany him to church she would smile and wave and call out: “Say hello to the hypocrites for me!” That’s what I mean about being the best sort of Christian.)

I hope he is part of some great, glorious mystery, now. I truly do. But damn do I miss him.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

http://www.salon.com/2014/04/13/david_foster_wallace_was_right_irony_is_ruining_our_culture/

So, this article is so bad it’s not even WRONG. I mean, I could start with the fact that they don’t understand what irony is. I could end with the fact that they seem to be living in a different country than I am, and using a different Internet.

Instead, it appears that I will be defending hipsters.

Dear My People:
Yes. Gen Y is younger than we are. They make cultural references we don’t understand. Remember how mad the Boomers were at us for the same thing? Let’s not do this, okay?

This weird stereotype of the hipster who does everything ironically and doesn’t allow himself to care about anything is EXACTLY WHAT BOOMERS SAID ABOUT US.

061312_hipster-musical

Here’s what I want to know: what is ironic and cynical about creating a vibrant bicycling culture? Listening to and supporting really great local roots music? Flicking homophobia off of you like a booger and experimenting sexually and with gender in ways my generation is still too afraid to do? Eating organic? Meticulously brewing your own? DIYing everything? Passionate, heart-on-the-floor spoken word performances so earnest they make me squirm? Duct-taping your shoes instead of buying new ones? Learning to knit? TRYING TO TAKE DOWN WALL STREET?!??!

There is nothing ironic and cynical about those things, that’s what. LAY OFF THE KIDS, PEOPLE. They’re actually pretty fucking cool.