Tag: humor

Oct 24

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand: Everyone's a Douchebag

Classics 23

Hello Bookworms!

I got some (affectionate) crap recently from Heather at B(itch)Log for displaying an Ayn Rand cover on my blog. The blog header is a poorly executed instagram photo of my “smart looking” bookshelf. The Chic Lit Shelf and the Series Shelf aren’t ready for prime time. Why did I decide to read The FountainheadTwo reasons. One- it’s one of the books that Charlie is given to read by his teacher in The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Charlie is instructed to be a filter, not a sponge.)  Two- that awful Robbie guy in Dirty Dancing is reading it when Baby confronts him about being a two-timing filthy excuse for a human being. He says he has notes in the margin…

So. Smarmy! Anybody else cheer when Jerry Orbach took his check back?!

In my quest to read all the books Charlie read, and discover why evil Robbie thought being a jack wad was okay, I picked up a copy. In a nutshell, I hated every single character in this book. I hated Rand’s philosophy. But I found the story absolutely enthralling. It’s like watching Dance Moms. You want to look away, but you can’t!

The story centers on this brilliant architect named Howard Roark (coincidentally he’s a ginger. Anybody else notice the prevalence of red headed characters in literature?) Roark is absolutely convinced of his own genius, but he’s thwarted at every turn by the uninspired. He refuses to stoop to convention, and he’s horrible with people. But the man, can design a modernistic building with the best of them. Frankly, I despise modernistic architecture. I like big old Victorian houses. Houses that look like they’re made of gingerbread. I have no need for those weird square minimalist houses… I even hate Roark’s art. But I digress.

Seriously… Be a filter, not a sponge. If you’re a sponge and take this all to heart, you’ll turn into a giant jerk. For reals.

While struggling to make something of himself, Roark meets Dominique. Dominique is pretty much the male version of Roark. She is brilliant as well, but just soooo bored with everything. She admires Roark’s conviction and his individualism. Even after he RAPES her. Seriously, Ayn?! Seriously?! This isn’t General Hospital. They aren’t Luke and Laura. It’s INSULTING that you would even insinuate that a woman would fall for her rapist. Just. Ugh. That part made me so angry! Like Feminist-Zilla wanted to jump into the pages and SMASH THINGS.

There are other characters floating around this book. Rand paints a picture of a giant conspiracy of powerful people promoting mediocre talents to high positions. They just sit around being evil and toying with people. Hating on geniuses and promoting collectivism over individualism. I’m not saying that being an individual is a BAD thing. Far from it! Let your freak flag fly! Get down with your bad self! Contribute what you do best to the world! But don’t get so wrapped up in your own brilliance that you wreak havoc on the world around you. Nobody likes a douchebag. Nobody.

Any of you Bookworms ever read a book that you loved and hated simultaneously? Serious cognitive dissonance up in here. Let’s talk about it!


Oct 23

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Blogging, Book Club, Contemporary Fiction 8

Hi Bookworms!

Today is a big day. Today my first guest post is going live on Filing Jointly… Finally.  Blogstalker Book Club kicks off with The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.

And now for some shameless groveling… I need for all of you to go on over to Lauren’s blog (click HERE) and LEAVE COMMENTS. See, we need Lauren to continue believing that I am awesome. So if she gets lots of comments, she’ll think, “Ah yes, Katie is excellent, let’s keep her around.”

Pretty please? Thank you ever so much!



Oct 19

Friday Fall Fun Swap

Blogging, Personal 31

Happy Friday, Bookworms!

A few weeks back, Joules at Pocketful of Joules had a most delightful idea. She thought, “Christmas is ever so far away, let us bloggers give each other gifts because it is fun!” And thus, the Fall Fun Swap was born. (Joules is secretly the Queen. Shhh, don’t tell.)

Her Majesty Joules arranged for a group of bloggers to swap gifts, Secret Santa style. Since it’s a fall theme, we’ll call it Secret Scarecrow style. On Wednesday, I came home to this:

It’s a box of MYSTERY!

I contemplated naming the box and making it my new pet, but Jim decided that he had a sharp key that could handle the packing tape… Inside we found… MAGIC!

Oh, you wanted close ups?

First, let’s talk about the NUTCRACKER that’s a SCARECROW! So THIS is what nutcrackers do in the off season! I worried that they suffered a high unemployment rates, but it seems they’ve got it all figured out. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were lifeguards in the summer. We’ve named him Reginald vel Johnson. Jim’s a big Family Matters fan.

Oh the pumpkin? Yes he’s delightful too, isn’t he? His hat is downright Suessian- whimsy goes with everything, I tell you. And the candle? The delicious Yankee candle? It smells like heaven a spice cupboard. Seriously, we burn through so many fall scented candles… Pumpkin spice, apple cider, autumn wreath… It’s like my Secret Scarecrow KNOWS me.

I’m sorry, did my gushing not sound sincere enough? Because I don’t know if you really understand how freaking much we love Halloween here at the Gingerbread House.

Yes. We are THOSE people.

If by “gaudy” you mean “tasteful and fun,” you’d be absolutely correct.

Reginald vel Johnson looks quite happy in his new home with the Disney Haunted Mansion memorabilia.

The Dr. Suess pumpkin seems pleased to be with his kinfolk and the Halloween Tree.

I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to my Secret Scarecrow! A secondary part of the Fall Fun Swap was to try and guess which blogger sent our gift. Utilizing exhaustive internet stalking techniques, I have come to the conclusion that my gift is from the lovely authoress from Life’s Too Short to Play Possum. (If I’m wrong, thank you Secret Scarecrow who is NOT the lovely authoress from Life’s Too Short To Play Possum!)

Unofficial poll for the bookworms- is anybody else out there THIS into Halloween?! We get between 250-300 trick-or-treaters every year… It’s pretty much the greatest thing ever.


Oct 09

Are You There Vodka? It's me, Chelsea: My Chelsea Handler Hangover

Humor, Memoirs 30

Hello there, Bookworms!

I was feeling the need for some word nachos, and after some gentle prodding (by gentle prodding, I mean digital shrieking) from my good pal Chrissy, I decided to give Chelsea Handler a try. I dove into Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea with high expectations, since I’d been told by several people that Chelsea’s books were the funniest they’d ever read.

Let’s talk high points. Chelsea Handler has a wildly inappropriate sense of humor.  As a child she tells outrageously detailed lies in order to get her classmates to believe she’s a child actress starring in a movie with Goldie Hawn. She actually manages to score an autographed photo, which was all kinds of hilarious. She also dates a guy who sort of accidentally has an affair with a lapdog. She survives dramatic girl friendships in LA. She takes her father on the most awkward vacation ever. She has an unhealthy obsession with little people. And she drinks like a fish.

All these ingredients should add up to me busting a gut… I’m not bothered especially by profanity in my reading, not shocked by drug use or alcoholism, barely phased by outrageous family situations. But there’s something about Chelsea Handler that doesn’t appeal to me the way the memoirs of Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, and Jenny Lawson do. Chelsea is brash and sassy, but she’s not…vulnerable. I think the reason this book was just okay for me instead of being laugh-till-my-tummy-hurts amazing is that I can’t relate to Chelsea Handler.

So many of Chelsea’s misadventures revolve around dating. I married my first serious boyfriend. I’m lucky that way. It does, however, leave a hole in my life experiences to appreciate the hilarity of dating and dumping a redhead or asking my middle eastern boyfriend if he thought his mom looked man-ish (she seriously has NO FILTER.) Chelsea does all sorts of crazy things that only a person who doesn’t give a crap about what the world thinks of her could do. I can’t imagine myself getting into a cursing match and brawl with three teenage girls. I couldn’t re-gift a game with by supplementing the missing pieces with Yahtzee dice. I just care too much about people’s opinions, even about people I don’t particularly like!

I’m perfectly fine with not liking everyone, but I’m haunted by the fact that not everyone likes me. I’ve got issues! (I know, total revelation, right? Only not even at all…) I appreciate a comedian with insecurities. I relate to feelings to isolation and ineptitude. Neurotic girl moments are my cup of tea. But Chelsea? She has no shame. She never takes the high road, and she doesn’t give a crap. I completely admire that, but I just don’t think I’m woman enough to handle the Handler. Sorry, Chels.


Aug 23

Funny Females and the Readers Who Love Them

Humor, Memoirs 15

Life can be a hot mess sometimes. Whenever possible, I think it’s important to find the funny, and laugh until your tummy hurts. I’ve recently read the life stories of three fabulous and funny ladies, so let’s review them, shall we?

Even the cover is funny. Tina Fey with man hands!

Tina Fey! She’s smart and funny! She wears spectacles! She looks kind of like Sarah Palin and did one of the funniest political impressions SNL has ever seen during the 2008 presidential campaign! She is the creative genius behind 30 Rock! And she wrote a book! I think the exclamation points will speak for me here, but I was really excited to read Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants. It takes you through her humorously quirky childhood up through the present. She pokes fun at the difficulty of being a woman working in a male dominated field. She discusses the pressures of comedy writing, as well as the unorthodox behavior of her male counterparts (there’s a pee jar. Yes. I just said that.) She does a brilliant job of showing the challenges of motherhood while not condemning anyone’s position on mothering. I suppose she might come across as offensive to someone who’s really really dedicated to a particular way of doing things… But if you’re not at least a little offensive, you’re not funny. So. If you like Tina Fey (which you SHOULD because she’s funny and smart and wears spectacles) you should read Bossypants. 

Have we not ALL wondered that from time to time?

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling is another hilarious new memoir. You know Kelly Kapoor from The Office? That’s Mindy Kaling, and she also writes for the show. At least she did until recently, because this fall she has a new sitcom on Fox called, appropriately, The Mindy Project. I have not seen it, but since I love The Office and her book, I’m going to go out on a limb and tell you to watch it. Mindy had me busting a gut several times throughout her book. Her voice is smart, but in a way that sounds a little vapid-the effect of which is hysterical. Mindy discusses her oddball childhood, her early obsession with comedy, and the way she accidentally found fame… By pretending with a friend to be Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. She’s from an Indian family, so you get an element of culture disparity between her and her parents, which is wonderful. Read it, yo!

The cover image is Hamlet Von Schnitzel… He’s a taxidermy mouse. Giving a soliloquy. What?

Have you heard of The Bloggess? Her name is Jenny Lawson, and she’s one of the internet’s funniest bloggers. She wrote a book called Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir. If you like her blog, you’ll love her book. It’s bitingly funny while telling sometimes painful stories of her life. She discusses her unorthodox childhood, her struggles with mental illness, and her love of ethically taxidermied animals in human clothes. She’s nerdy and quirky and wonderful. Check out her blog if you don’t believe me. If you don’t squirt water out your nose at least once, I’ll give you a dollar. Not true. Not everyone is as prone to snarfling beverages as my friend Chrissy, and I just can’t afford to take that chance. But seriously, she’s one of the best blogger-turned-authors ever. Support weirdos! Read her book!

Who are your favorite funny females, bookworms?