Sunday, May 31, 2015

Weekend Reads

On Introversion

The science behind why introverts struggle to speak by Jean Granneman at Introvert Dear
A co-worker appears out of the blue and asks me a question. Her eyes and tone of voice say she wants an answer now. Her request is easy, but my mind is momentarily paralyzed. 
I start sentences then stop them. I hesitate. I say words that are close to what I mean, but not exactly. I backtrack. 
My co-worker — an extrovert who always seems to express herself effortlessly — looks at me like, come on, spit it out. I think, if only my brain would cooperate.
On Faith

How I Lost the Church and Found Community by Elizabeth Ruth at Christianity for the Rest of Us
I know some of you will one day find that courage and find acceptance, love, grace, and community in a traditional church community. For me, I’ve begun to find that in a non-traditional community – one that is patchworked together, mismatched, and scattered across the country. . . . And you know what? It’s hard. It’s much harder than simply going to church on Sunday for two hours. It’s messy and it’s complicated. It’s work. It’s intentional. It’s maintaining relationships and saying and hearing hard things. It’s responding to emails after working a 9-hour shift. It’s being the first one to say “I was wrong”.
On Illness

A powerful reddit thread reveals what it’s like to have a disability by Ana Swanson at the Washington Post
I broke my back last year and people were not very nice when I would ask them for help or decline being able to help them physical chores. To them I was just a lazy 23 year old. To me I was trapped in my [expletive] body, asking my mother to carry my bag to the car because it was too heavy and couldn't physically lift it. It was a bad time all around.
On Art/Entertainment

How Well Do You Remember the Intro to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer?" by Cristina at Buzzfeed

This is a fantastic quiz. I did not do as well as I'd hoped.

Helen Cho, Age of Ultron, and Representation by Nicole Soojung Callahan at The Toast
[I]t’s hard not to at least notice when you consume so many shows and movies and franchises over the years — when you love so many things about them and want to love them more — and you rarely if ever see anyone like you in those spaces, in those worlds. My older daughter is seven now, moving beyond the steady diet of PBS kids’ fare we kept her on for so many years, and a few weeks ago she asked me why there were no Asians in most of the movies and shows we’ve watched together: “Is it because there aren’t many Asian people who live here?” (Her school is 40% Asian, and she still asked me this.)
The Last Five Years: Picking Sides and Missing the Point by Joseph Belanger at Black Sheep Reviews
As much as one can argue that Cathy comes across as maybe weak or broken from hanging all of her happiness on the success of this marriage, one can also argue that, while Jamie seems to have the easier ride with his success as a novelist and his eventual philandering, that many of his decisions are motivated from fear. I believe that when Brown shares lyrics like, “And since I have to be in love with someone / Since I need to be in love with someone / Maybe I could be in love with someone like you.” from “Nobody Needs to Know”, it becomes clear that for all his success, he is still just a boy inside, frightened to be alone.
Good Kill Makes a Point About Drone Warfare You Never Considered by Annalee Newitz at Gizmodo
At one point, Egan says that the one constant in life is war. “There is always a war,” he says, taking one of about nine thousand swigs of gin he downs in the movie. We realize, as we watch Egan’s life fall apart, that drones don’t take soldiers out of war. In fact, they bring war right to their homes. Egan can never escape Afghanistan, nor the horror of killing innocent people (because inevitably innocents are caught in the blasts). Because the theater of war is in a cargo container just up the freeway from his house.
Why Are You Writing a Rape Scene? by Robert Jackson Bennett
Rape gets trivialized in the real world. It’s frequently hushed up or waved off. The victims are forgotten. So think long and hard about why you’re including it in your book. To use such a monstrous act as window dressing is to trivialize it further.
On Miscellaneous Topics

Motherhood Is Not Inherently Deserving of Praise by Libby Anne at Love, Joy, Feminism
We need to stop acting as though mothers are worthy of praise just because they’re mothers. There’s often this perception that people who choose not to have children are selfish while mothers are selfless, but this isn’t just simplistic, it’s wrong. There are plenty of people who have children for selfish reasons, using their children for their own self-gratification. Motherhood is not inherently selfless.
Of All the Posts I've Ever Written, This Is One of My Favorites by Gretchen Rubin
I realized – how often I make this error. I was acting as though my friend were the main character of this story! That she was the one who really mattered. And I saw that I make this mistake all the time. I’m the most main character of course, and then the people close to me, and so on…with some people just appearing as extras or in walk-on roles. 
But that’s not true. Everyone is a main character. And everyone is a minor character.

Signs That Agatha Christie About to Murder You by Beulah Maud Devaney at The Toast
At dinner you decide to tell a lighthearted story about a gruesome murder. The murderer escaped but had an unusual physical defect by which you would be able to identify them anywhere. You refuse to disclose any more details but glance meaningfully around the table before heading up to bed. 
You noticed something odd at dinner but can’t work out what it was. You informed the table of this and then wandered off to the summer house for a nap.
Weekend Watches

Girl Desperate to be Nicki Minaj After Wisdom Teeth Removal. Wisdom teeth videos are everywhere, but this is one of my favorites. She has such bizarrely specific hopes and dreams.

THE MOST LITERAL AUDITION EVER and THE MOST LITERAL AUDITION EVER - PART 2 are both extremely silly but made me laugh a lot.

Inception Retold by Mom. Inception isn't an easy film to get... and she certainly seems to have missed some things. This is the same guy who did The Matrix Retold by Mom a few years ago, which is still on his channel and is also very funny.

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