Culture Corner – August 2014

2014 08-08 Throwing Shade Live!I planned to start with the ridiculous movie theater I went to, but why not just go in order?

If you remember back in March I went to see a live taping of the podcast Welcome to Night Vale and how much fun I had, you’ll appreciate this. When I found out a few months ago one of my favorite podcasts, Throwing Shade, was coming to Boston I immediately bought tickets! The original plan was that Caroline, Hayley, a TBD friend and I would go. I mean it’s a comedy podcast dealing with politics and pop culture, of course it would be AMAZING.

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Book 47: Confessions from a Coffee Shop – T. B. Markinson

Markinson, T. B. - Confessions from a Coffee ShopAnd she’s back! Now don’t get me wrong, Markinson (TBM)’s last novel, Marionette, wasn’t bad and was excellently written, it just wasn’t for me. However, Confessions from a Coffee Shop harkens back to A Woman Lost in humor and fun! I flew through this and couldn’t help but smile the entire time I read this novel. I received a copy from the author and received no compensation for my response. If this review sounds at ALL interesting you should request a preview copy from her here.

I said above that TBM is back and the reason I say that is because she’s return to what she knows and what I can assume is a comfort zone for her. I don’t fault her one bit for stretching her writing muscles in her second novel, but I’m so glad she returned to her strengths!

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Culture Corner – July 2014

2014 07-12 Hodges OverviewLast weekend I had an amazing weekend. I won’t go into details, it was sickeningly adorable, but suffice to say it was a great weekend. Thanks to my roommate I had two tickets to the ICA Boston that he got through work and gave to me and I finally found time to check it out again.

If you’re at all familiar with the blog, or with me, you’ll know I’m not usually impressed with the ICA. (You can read my rant about most museums here.) The building is architecturally fascinating, but the space usage leaves much to be desired. When you add in the super hipster and uppity staff (seriously, I get they love their jobs and more power to them, but you can love your job and interests without being obnoxious) and the over-staffing of the exhibits and the overpriced everything in their gift shop (really, who charges $2+ for postcards – no other museum I’ve ever been to). I even had a membership at one point, but after a couple of bad visits I cancelled it and I’m still glad I did, but this time I had a surprisingly pleasant visit.

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May Recap 2014

2014 05-30 Reunioni DUCK TOUR!May is always one of the busiest months at work. Between graduation and reunion, it’s just non-stop, but thankfully we’re moving into the quiet months of the summer and I’ll hopefully be able to catch up on blogging and other personal projects!

The major plus side of my job and reunion is I get to do fun things like go on a duck tour, to the right, visit museums and hang out with alumni at restaurants around the city where they force you to eat food and hang out far longer than you need to, but it’s completely worth it! Add in that we had an awesome turn out for the young alumni event and I’m a happy camper. Now we’ll spend the summer planning our two big events in the fall and then we’ll keep moving forward!

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Culture Corner – April 2014

 

2014 03-28 When is it Art?Most of this post will be about my awesome Nerd Weekend with Pax East 2014 and Captain America, but to start I’ll pretend to be much artsier than I really am.

If you’ve followed this blog for a while you know I’m obsessed with miniature street art. More recently I’ve been focusing on text and wondering whether text is art and if not where do they merge/diverge. I’m guessing this comes from starting to listen to the 99% Invisible podcasts a few weeks ago. A few weeks before I started listening I had to go to Lowell, MA for the a day long conference (which was actually a lot of fun) and one of the first things I noticed in this former industrial town was all of the text: old industrial signs, old advertisements, building/company sings and street signs. And then I just happened to look down at the cross walk (I was looking for the ridged spinning thing for blind people) and I noticed the above text. And I just thought it was kind of cool and even though it’s totally practical, it’s become a part of public space and to me is a type of art! And now for the nerdiness!

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Book 23: The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Atwood, Margaret - The Handmaid's TaleI can’t believe it’s been over five years since I last read this incredible novel. But thinking about it as I write this I’m not too surprised. I last read this while working on a paper for my MA and that paper didn’t go well, because I apparently didn’t “understand how to apply gender theory” and I was given the opportunity to completely re-write the paper.

I was incredibly pissed at the insult, because that’s how I took it, and I spent a lot of time rewriting the paper in such a way as to insult my professors and the program. In no uncertain terms I stated that gender theory does not preempt every other theory and that scholars needed to be incredibly careful of over-stepping their bounds. I did eventually receive a passing grade and they invited back to pursue a PhD (I declined), but it left a sour taste in my mouth.

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Book 17: Misery – Stephen King

King, Stephen - MiseryStephen King is a sick-sick man, but clearly incredibly talented to write these books. After reading Cujo, I wasn’t sure I’d read another, but my books into movies book group once again selected one. As I’m writing this I haven’t seen the film yet, but I’m sure I’ll be terrified. I’m not sure if I’ll read more of King, other than 11/22/63, but if they’re all like this I’d definitely consider it, even if I do get nightmares!

I’m a little torn on this novel, as with most novels that are just outside the realm of (my) possibility I’m not sure how much to enjoy it. If it’s something I could see happening, even if it’s a super stretch, then I get a little freaked out by it, and this is definitely one of those instances. And let’s face it with the number of weirdos out there this book is totally feasible! I mean it could happen today, even with all of the technology in modern society I could easily see this happening.

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