shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


Realizing as I look at last post in blogger window that "Drew the Pleasant Punisher" could also be either a fantasy trilogy hero or a porn movie hero. Or possibly a Viking that everyone had suspicions about.

But really he's just a skinny guy who works at the Y.

Tonight we watched half of Secretary, maybe more than half. Maggie G-word (too lazy to look it up, know I will screw up spelling if I wing it) is exceptionally cute. James Spader was born for the role. Tomorrow night we will watch the rest, and I will report back.

Sometimes it's a shame I don't write about work on here. Tomorrow's going to be very interesting.

Anyway. If that wasn't cryptic enough for you...

I finished the Robert Hough book, The Final Confession of Mabel Stark, which I recommend very highly if you like circuses or lady tiger trainers or expatriate Kentuckians or funny sexual anecdotes or well done historical novels. This has pretty much all of those in spades and is well written besides. At first, I thought the little stylistic tics would bother me, but in the end, they mostly worked gangbusters.

I made a mistake though, in that I started poking around on the Internet before I finished it, looking for information about Mabel Stark herself. There's surprisingly little and I hope this book (or the Kate Winslet movie that's slated) changes that and makes Mabel the remembered star she should be. It's a funny feeling, not knowing if Hough's creation bears any actual resemblance to Mabel herself, but I like to think she does. Winningly so. And that's why -- BIGTIME SPOILER AHEAD AND YEAH OF COURSE YOU FIGURE SHE'S DEAD IF YOU READ THE BOOK AT ALL SO THAT'S NOT IT BUT I DO THINK IT COULD SPOIL THINGS SO IF YOU PLAN TO READ THE BOOK AND AVOID ANY PRESS ABOUT IT THEN DON'T READ FURTHER HERE --

I did not expect that she'd have committed suicide. There's this innate pluckiness and unwillingness to give up despite the most terrible parade of things that I find it almost unbearably sad that she ever got low enough to kill herself. For someone like Mabel Stark to do that... well, it's not right the way our culture uses up people and then forgets about them, or expects them to lose their dignity to survive. It's not right. And it was the same then as now, so I'm not even complaining about Now, I'm complaining about Our Culture, longer, maybe all the way back. Pretty far, at any rate.

I wonder if they will keep the sex with tigers stuff (well, not really, but kinda) in the movie. Probably be vaguely hinted at, I imagine, or played up as a perversion of the tiger. I've interlibrary-loan requested a copy of her, probably pre-fab, sanitized autobio from the 40s, cause it's too expensive to buy.

A good book.

And listening to the Mountain Goats. There's a lovely song about a haunted house.


Mabel Stark link, yes. Here's one with an essay by the book's author that's damn fascinating, and will make you want to read the book, if I haven't already.

Now I am reading ZZ Packer's short story collection and trying not to figure out if she got paid 6 figures for it how much that is per word. (eight stories, none of them that long, and she's 26 or something obscene like that)

So far there are brilliant bits and it's not like I'm saying people shouldn't get paid that much for short story collections. I think everyone should. Or at least, everyone good.


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