I’ll start off with this: I was at the library the other day, looking for Jennifer Weiner books (since she’s visiting Cedar Rapids in June), and I saw a copy of The Princess Bride in a featured display—so of course I grabbed it.
And of course I’ve read it before, but it was when I was, like, twelve. I remember it included the scariest scene in any book I’d ever read (it involves a spider, and it’s not in the movie) and I have this mental image of me sitting on my bed—which is how I know this took place when I was twelve and not fourteen, because my bed was still next to the window at the time—and literally tossing the school library copy away from me because I did not want to turn the page and keep reading.
And then of course I did.
(And then I was too keyed up to go to sleep, which is what I was supposed to be doing all along.)
Well. It turns out that the scene in question isn’t that scary anymore, at least not from my 37-year-old perspective, and it’s also a lot shorter than I remember it being.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve been scared by a book in a long time. That might be one of the privileges of youth (also, these days I tend to read fewer books that include full-page illustrations of young girls with spiders crawling out of their faces*).
But it was also kinda fun to throw the book away from me—like, on my bed, I knew it wasn’t going to get damaged or anything—and then decide to steel my nerves and pick it up again. ❤️
*If you don’t recognize what book I’m referencing by that description alone, it’s… not The Princess Bride. But it also includes some horrifying spiders.
Today I’m thinking about how I’ll be at Walt Disney World in TWO WEEKS—like, I’m thinking about a bunch of other stuff too, such as NEXT BOOK and the jazz concert I’ll be singing in this evening and the work I’m prepping for my freelance clients and the last episode of Game of Thrones, but in the back of my mind there’s this little voice that’s just going disney disney disney vacation vacation vacation over and over.
Disney, after its merger with Fox, will be the largest media entity the world has ever known.
All the company lacks to lead, ironically enough, is the imagination to do so.
I want to make it clear that I have raised all of these issues with Bob Iger in the past, quietly and politely and behind the scenes with decorum and deference. I was quickly and condescendingly brushed aside. A public position is the only choice I have left to try to influence this.
What could Disney do? It could raise the salary of its lowest paid workers to a living wage. There are plenty of economists who would be only too happy to help them figure out what that living wage is.
And when you cry out that they can’t make a profit while paying a living wage, keep in mind that right now the company has never been more profitable, and is paying record compensation out to management. I hope you’ll forgive me if that claim gets a cynical groan from me. This is merely a question of priorities.
It’s an incredible essay, and one that makes me wish Abigail Disney (granddaughter of Roy Disney, great-niece of Walt) could take on leadership of the Disney company and brand.
Discuss—or discuss anything you like. The thread is open. ❤️
Then I spent a couple of years performing those songs up and down both the East and the West Coasts, at various comic conventions and house concerts and JoCo Shadow Cruises.*
A lot of those songs were just okay, and many of them were made better by my performance (which is to say that if you’re able to make an audience laugh, you can cover at least some of your creative shortcomings).
But a few were pretty good.
And I’m going to get to sing one of the best ones at a jazz concert next Friday.
(I’m also going to cut the last repeat of the chorus, where I make the Firefly joke, because Joss Whedon’s Firefly isn’t as culturally relevant as it was in 2012.)
Anyway, what I mean to say is that even as we get older and our identities change, the best stuff from our past doesn’t have to go away.
We can still keep it, and share it with people. ❤️
*So… Jonathan Coulton has an annual cruise called the JoCo Cruise, and cruise attendees create their own slate of performances/events/etc. to accompany the official performances/events/etc., called the Shadow Cruise. I got to be part of many Shadow Cruises.
Today’s open thread is brought to you by an absolutely gorgeous day that I can’t wait to go outside and enjoy.
I’m also probably going to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day today instead of tomorrow, because it’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow and the temperature is scheduled to drop back down into the 40s.
So… today I buy the books, and tomorrow I read them.*
How about you? What’s on your mind this Friday? ❤️
*JUST KIDDING I am totally going to start reading the books tonight.
I’ve got vacation on the brain, first because it’s Spring Break and a lot of people I know are either traveling or getting back from travel or preparing to travel, and second because I just started planning my own vacation for this summer. (More on this next week. It ties into the creative practice, I promise.)