At one of our monthly book club meetings, my friend, S, declared that she would love to have Merida’s hair. She was, apparently, bored of her perfectly straight, dark hair (hair that I find to be absolutely beautiful and am profoundly envious of). Thanks to my Irish heritage, my hair will, on a good day, vaguely resemble Merida’s (but without the amazing red color).
Also thanks to my Irish heritage, I only have a couple of good hair days each year. It requires a day with no wind, no precipitation, and a humidity level of exactly 53.4267%. Otherwise, if I wear my hair down, it looks like I live in a wind tunnel. Those perfect days are uncommon in Nebraska, so my hair usually ends up in some sort of bun or braid.
I told S that having that wild hair was not as exciting as Disney makes it look. So yesterday, before our mutual friend L’s wedding, I went to my hairdresser and had her flatiron my hair so it would be as straight as S’s. There it will remain until the humidity rises, or until I wash it again. My ability to wear my hair down without getting it into my eyes or mouth at every turn rarely lasts for long, but I love it while I have it.
And because I wore it down at L’s wedding, my book club friends hardly recognized me. Which was a bit odd, I thought, but they quickly got past that so we could get down to the business of celebrating the happy couple’s new life together. It was a beautiful ceremony in a lovely church downtown, followed by a reception in a hall almost bursting at the seams because of how many people were there (including the mayor, which was a bit surreal. But okay, why not. I like the guy enough to vote for him three times, so sure. Come on in, Mr Mayor!). We photobombed the bride a time or two, ate cake, made some silly photobooth pictures for her scrapbook, and in general, had a great time.
I wish her well in her new life with her new husband! I’m sad to see her leave, but at least we’ll be able to keep in touch with her via social media. And they might be back in the area in a year and a half! We’ll be counting down the days….
A few links that have caught my eye over the last week:
This Imaginary Worlds podcast episode about fan fiction, its history, why people are dismissive of it (hint: it’s because it’s mostly written by women these days), and the power than fanfic wields.
And this article about how a Star Trek fan is discovering how her love of Star Trek is evolving thanks to the new show, Discovery. Like the writer, I grew up with The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine as my foundations for Star Trek, and while Discovery is different from those shows, its feels very much like Trek to me and is another step in the evolution of this wonderful franchise, and I hope that it, like TNG and DS9 will bring a new generations of young fans into the Star Trek universe.
I finished two books this week, Nella Larsen’s Passing and Nick Hornby’s Ten Years in the Tub: A Decade Soaking in Great Books, which is a collection of entries from the “Stuff I’m Reading” column that Hornby wrote for the literary magazine, Believer.
Passing was an amazing book about two women who were childhood friends before life and racial issues sent them in different directions. Both are black women who could ‘pass’ as white women. The story is told from Irene’s point of view. She lives in Harlem with her husband and two sons, and had a chance encounter with Clare, her childhood friend who is passing as a white woman and is married to a racist. Clare wants to be a part of the African-American social circles in Harlem, but Irene suspects that Clare’s motivations are entirely self-centered and she fears what Clare’s presence could do to her family.
Ten Years in the Tub is, obviously, a book about books. It took much longer to read it than I thought it would, not least because it’s series of articles and not a continuous narrative like other books about books that I’ve read. Hornby writes about the books themselves, the reasons he stopped reading certain books, how the football season prevents him from reading altogether, and throws a hundred recommendations at the reader. It’s a bit disjointed, but that’s it’s nature. The columns were initially meant to be read on a bi-monthly basis across the years, not all at once.
Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451 is next on the list, along with A.S. Byatt’s Little Black Book of Stories, and probably Kiersten White’s And I Darken. We’ll see how the week’s reading goes, as I still have not gotten out of the habit of reading news articles on my phone during my lunch breaks.