Meryl Streep On Movies About Women

“Women are so used to that active empathizing with the active protagonist of a male-driven plot. That’s what we’ve done all our lives. You read history, you read great literature, Shakespare, it’s all fellas. But they’ve never had to do the other thing,” Streep said. “And the hardest thing for me, as an actor, is to have a story that men in the audience feel like they know what I feel like. That’s a really hard thing. It’s very hard thing for them to put themselves in the shoes of female protagonist.”

The Huffington Post

Listen to Tracy Chapman sing Stand By Me

Book review: The First Bad Man by Miranda July

imagesThis novel is unlike most of contemporary American novels. It is my kind of novel. First, it is a first person narrative, a story told by our quirky and unlikely heroine, Cheryl Glickman. One story, one narrator: you are inside the head of the protagonist all the way through.  Cheryl tells you about her self: her whole self is working as a manager for a women’s self-defense company that promotes female empowerment. Cheryl is probably the longest term employee. Cheryl has no female empowerment, and no self esteem. The owners of her company ask that she work from home because they don’t want to be around her. When they also ask her to house their insolent, slovenly, couch potato, 20-year-old daughter, Clee, she agrees…no questions asked.

mirandajuly

Cheryl’s story is filled with her fantasies, what other people expect from her and her reactions to the non-sensical world she (we) lives in. Some people consider this novel to be a comedy. I didn’t. It is an absurd psychological tale of a woman who has repressed her entire personality to the point where she only reflects those around her. Cheryl has a psychosomatic lump in her throat; an obsessive crush on a narcissistic male board member of her company; a masochistic response to her house guest, Clee; visits to a (non)therapist, who is playing ‘adult games’ with a doctor Cheryl is seeing; a search for a baby she had some type of psychic communication with when she was a young girl.

This search for love is what propels Cheryl through this novel. The First Bad Man, a reference to a self-defense scenario, is definitely worth reading.  One, because you have never met someone as interesting and yet so disturbed as Cheryl before in literature, and Two, because the author, Miranda July, takes you on an extremely interesting ride though and into a turning point in this woman’s life. You can never imagine where she is going to land next, but it keeps getting more and more interesting. There is violence between women as well as unpleasant sex fantasies that might turn you off, but alot of raw emotion. The book is art…remember that. And very well done. Bravo.

 

 

 

 

10 Things I Did on My Visit to Austin

IMG_2373

maroonandbluebonnets

1. Spend all my time with god-daughter Rachel, hubby/daddy Jimmy, and two-month-old baby James…and Grace, of course.

IMG_2350

 

IMG_2361

IMG_2445

IMG_2384

Check out the way Baby James is looking at Grace.

2. Sing and play guitar with Jimmy and Grace.

Grace is becoming a guitarist. She plays lead guitar. One of her songs is “Dust in the Wind”. She played with one of Jimmy’s old Gibson acoustics…so much fun. He and I played a bunch of songs together: House of the Rising Sun, Wildwood Flower, Blues in E, Goodnight Irene, You Belong to Me, If I Needed You, and Love Me Tender. It’s Willie Nelson’s town, so we did a lot of folk and country. He can play anything!

3. Jumped into the giant year-round 70-degree spring-fed heart of the city, Barton Springs Pool.

 enhanced-13444-1393359538-21The chill you feel when you first get in is just your heart filling up with the positive vibes that enchant this entire natural place.

4. Eat Tex-Mex Tacos at Gueros.

homefade3

Go there: Guero’s Taco Bar

Read the reviews

5. Saw the city’s 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tailed Bats emerge from underneath the Congress Bridge at dusk.

enhanced-buzz-24024-1392448541-10

IMG_2454

Awesome.

Read about it.

6. Eat Texas Barbeque…specifically brisket.

We went to Rudy’s. OMG! I had only had Marta’s brisket… cooked for hours, special for Hanukkah…delicious, out of this world. Then I tasted this other thing: Texa bbq brisket. Wow. It has crusted edges and it’s so good. Now I’m looking for a reasonable facsimile in San Francisco. People tell me Memphis Minnie’s on Haight Street is the place to go. I’ll let you know.

7. Shop at Buffalo Exchange. 

Everything in Texas is bigger than anywhere else. This store was huge…three times the size of the one on Valencia Street. Everyone found something and went home happy. Go there: Buffalo Exchange.

8. Ate lunch at Texas French Bread.

Had a modern day shrimp po’ boy sandwich. Check it out.

9.Took a walk down memory lane with Rachel.

I looked through some old photo albums and digitized some favorites from when she was a baby…and looked quite alot like her baby James. These photos are from 1977-78.

IMG_2398

IMG_2407

IMG_2402

10. Took photos of the baby.

IMG_2388

In Grace’s arms.

playing a d minor chord

On my chest…figuring out how to play a D minor guitar chord.

IMG_2414

Connecting hand to mouth.

%d bloggers like this: