If my first love letter (a 28-minute reading of Iggy’s Raw Power w/glockenspiel accomp., adagio in pace, performed with c. 3 pints of a homemade cocktail of terrifying ferocity whose recipe was forged and lost that same night) didn’t snare her, this next approach surely will.
I know from email correspondence that she or a family member owns at least one 1980s movie (specifically: Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, although whether this betrays a penchant for men in make-up and leather trousers is something I’m yet to fully consider), so by extension, she must love Cameron Crowe’s late-decade opus Say Anything. I load my boom-box with the nearest thing I have to a romantic ballad, that mid-tempo Nickelback number that everyone likes, and I give it the full Cusack, standing outside her flat with the volume all the way to the right and the trench coat I borrowed from Simon flapping in the breeze of the similarly-borrowed desk fan.
Two minutes in and several shouts of what don’t appear to be uniform support for my performance later and I figure to guess she’s not home. As I pack my stuff back in the rented Fiesta I hear a woman’s voice and over my shoulder there’s this 50-y-o femme fatale a couple of doors down, dressed to impress, nursing a glass of something that resembles more chemical reaction than mid-afternoon winder-downer and I figure what the hell, someone needs to make a man out of me.
My good pal Paul was as outraged about the Troy Davis execution as any other decent person. Instead of dwelling on it, he turned his angry energy into a good deed: he linked to The Innocence Project, an organization that works hard to exonerate wrongfully jailed individuals. On top of it, Paul promised to match each retweet of the link with a donation (on top of his own donation).
Take a minute to read through this list of people The Innocence Project has saved from the worst fate I can imagine in a civilized society, then take another minute to donate if you can. Thanks, Paul.
I discovered the cards in 1996 (more on that in a minute). I found them fascinating, but I didn’t have a good sense of what to do with them, so for a long time I just kept them as curios and occasionally showed them to friends. Eventually, though, I decided to track down some of the students’ families (including Marie’s). Even after doing it numerous times, I still find it a bit surreal to call a stranger on the phone and hear myself saying, “Hi, you don’t know me, but I have your mother’s report card from 1929. Would you like to see it?”
The whole series is just incredible. The cards paint a brilliantly vivid picture of life in the 1920s for these girls, and Paul’s account of meeting the their families is very touching.
If people are linking to your stuff, it’s because they think it’s relevant or interesting. It’s the ultimate natural, organic process on the web. Real people, really thinking your stuff is worth showing to others. The message isn’t “create incoming links yourself”, you cretin, it’s “write something fucking interesting”.
i think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. if the book we are reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. a book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.