My boss and I exit a forbidden door, usually locked. He has a secret key (illegal key).
Man running towards door: “Wait! Hold the door!”
We hold it.
Boss: “No problem. It’s fucking ridiculous that this door is supposed to be locked. It’s a main entrance.”
Me: “You never saw us. We were never here.”
Man: “Thanks, baby.”
Me [to boss]: “Did he just call you baby?”
Boss: “No. He called you baby.”
According to this Apartment Therapy post about luxury custom-made beds for sale on Etsy, I can have this bed with the next $10, 600 I find in my couch cushions.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson
A brief description from Goodreads: “Alone since four members of the family died of arsenic poisoning, Merricat, Constance and Julian Blackwood spend their days in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears.”
Board this crazy train to awesome. A disturbing glimpse into the group psyche of rural New Englanders. It’s a short book, concise and elegant. I hear tell it’s also based on Shirley Jackson’s real-life experiences living in North Bennington, Vermont. I believe this was written before Donna Tartt’s The Secret History (one of my top five favorites of all time), which also takes place in a fictionalized North Bennington. Few writers, Jackson and Tart included, have the ability to craft so vividly, but with such sparse description, unforgettable characters. According to the ever-lovely Wikipedia, Jackson is known for influencing a plethora of writers, including Neil Gaiman. I hear also that she was, herself, somewhat crazy train and quite reclusive.
Shirley Jackson, Source
Jackson also wrote a famous, much-anthologised, short story called “The Lottery” that was way controversial and inflamed the readership of the New Yorker (where it was first published). The story generated the largest volume of mail ever received by the magazine—before or since. Many people, but not me, read in high school or first year college lit courses. She wrote tons of award winning short stories, too. And she wrote the much adapted novel The Haunting of HIll House.
Anyways, that’s my next stop. With the lights on.
So, how could I not watch this film? The description from Netflix:
“At a visiting swami’s lecture, Edwardian gentleman Fisk (Jeremy Northam) meets his district’s strange new clergyman, Dean Spanley (Sam Neill). The dean is a firm believer in reincarnation, which he expounds upon freely when drinking a particular Hungarian wine. Curious, Fisk delivers a case of the stuff to the dean, regaling in the man’s stories about his previous life as a dog. Peter O’Toole co-stars in this offbeat British comedy.”
Peter O’Toole is absolutely amazing and steals the show with his comedic timing, ditto for Bryan Brown as Wrather and Judy Parfitt as Mrs. Brimley. A few gems:
Fisk Senior (O’Toole): “There’s no point to regretting things that have gone to the trouble of happening.”
Dean Spanley (Neill): “Only the closed mind is certain.”
Fisk Junior (Northam): “Do you believe in the transmigration of souls Mrs. Brimley?” Mrs. Brimley (Judy Parfitt): “I don’t believe in letting foreigners in, if that’s what you mean.”
Fisk Senior: “I can see how fine the day is. As for ‘particular in mind’, everything is particular in mind when you get down to it.”
Fisk Senior: “Only thing that made sense in the whole damn thing was what the chap said about dogs making you better than you are.” Young Fisk: “Canine flattery is a survival mechanism, according to Darwin.” Fisk Senior: “The chap never had a dog is all I can say.” Young Fisk: “I’m told he had a beagle.” Fisk Senior: “I had a dog, Wag, one of the seven great dogs. At any given time you know, there are only seven great dogs in the world, did you know that?”
The graphics of the opening credit also make this worth watching. So go do it.
I love Lazy. She makes my world less heinous. Gonna read this book.
The Best of Everything, Rona Jaffe
Do you ever have a day where all you want to do is read books about bright young stenographers having love affairs with older men who aren’t any good for them?
Because if you don’t, I’m not sure if we can play together.
Honestly, honestly, honestly, if, say, you enjoy Mad Men or are human or both, there is no excuse for missing either Mary McCarthy’s immortal ‘The Group’ or Rona Jaffe’s ‘The Best of Everything.’
Nothing ever changes, duckies! Especially the eternal truth that a man who tries to get three brandies into you without suggesting solid food probably doesn’t care about your thoughts on his manuscript.