18 October 2019

“I have always been more interested in experiment than in accomplishment.”

This Week

It’s been a relatively busy week for me, so nothing exceptional to share today. Let’s get to the stuff.


Links

“There’s precious little land in the United States that hasn’t been contested, one way or another, through the years. Americans live on haunted land because we have no other choice.” The suburban horror of the “Indian burial ground.”

“Ellis wrote a book about his pain and how it could only be assuaged by punishing women for being dumb bitches, and Harron, the director assigned to do this little manifesto justice, essentially rolled her eyes and made jerk-off motions at it for two hours.” Sady Doyle on how Mary Harron made American Psycho transcend its source material.

“It’s a reminder of a time when we weren’t surrounded by the internet, and instead had to invite it in—and that rush of anticipation when you could hear it coming.” All about the sound of a dial-up modem.

From the VHS nostalgia files: the most valuable VHS tapes on eBay.

The Roman Empire’s roads in transit map form.

Why cemeteries are a surprising source of life.

Artist Felice House’s paintings of women as Western film icons.

A heartfelt farewell to actor Robert Forster. Like many others, I watched his (great) performance in El Camino the same day that he died. He will be missed.

The Chicago Transit Authority released 4k videos of all their train routes, which I, as a transit nerd, am into. Here’s the full journey south to north of my home line.


Reading/Watching/Listening

  • I watched El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix). Here’s a bit about my feelings about the Breaking Bad series: I always disliked Walter White. This didn’t impact my enjoyment of the show much (you can like shows without liking characters just fine), but it did mean that the whole of my empathy went to Jesse. So I liked having a Jesse-centric coda that ends on a less ambiguously positive note.

  • I’m also watching a steady stream of old, weird horror movies on Amazon Prime. Quality varies, but sometimes you get a gem and even when you don’t it’s mostly a good time. I’ll probably list out some of my favorites in the near future, but if you want to play along at home, my Letterboxd is up-to-date.


Around

  • Hey, I found a stash of tech-related stickers that I used to sell: HTML “strong” tag stickers and stickers from my Code and Cupcakes workshop. If you’d like to grab one or more, I cleaned up my online store and put those stickers back on sale: jenmyers.bigcartel.com

  • Next week I’ll be publishing the monthly essay for paid subscribers. This one is about my ongoing journey discovering my love for horror movies. You can sign up to get it with this nifty little button here.

    Subscribe now


Have some extra Patti.

Rock on.

Love,

Jen


Connections

Substack archive: https://jenmyers.substack.com/archive

TinyLetter archive: http://tinyletter.com/jenmyers/archive

Essay archive: http://modernadventuress.com/

Website: http://jenmyers.net

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jenmyers

Email: hello@jenmyers.net

Post: P.O. Box 13114 Chicago, IL 60613

This week’s quote is from Orson Welles.

11 October 2019

“We can’t be good unless we know what bad is, and it’s a shame we’re working against time.”

This Week

First up, I left a cliffhanger last week … which new tattoo will I get? Well, I went and I shook the Magic 8 Ball and I got a tattoo.

Step right up and try your luck with the ✨Magic 🎱!✨ $100 for three shakes and you choose your favorite! One offs done then and there for you! Thanks Jenn! Available as walk-ins when possible or by appointment to guarantee your time! Walk-ins announced here a day or two in advance! Keep your eye out. #deluxemagiceightshake
October 4, 2019

If you click through that post to the video, you can see the Magic 8 Ball shaking and subsequent decision in action. Thanks to Donna Klein at Deluxe Tattoo for the great experience and tattoo.

Then, as promised, I went to the House on the Rock.

“‘This is a roadside attraction,’ said Wednesday. ‘One of the finest. Which means it is a place of power.’” - Neil Gaiman, AMERICAN GODS
October 5, 2019

I also went to a farm market, where I bought all the food and fed goats. Wisconsin, you were very pleasant. (Click through to Instagram for more photos.)

This week I took a week of vacation from work and I have spent it doing things I like around the city. Most of these things involve bookstores. (The new Patti Smith memoir is now on deck, which I’m pretty excited about.) But I also took a trip to Waukegan, Illinois, Ray Bradbury’s childhood hometown. (Again, click through to Instagram for more photos.)

“You are all there, the people in the city. I can't believe I was ever among you. When you are away from a city it becomes a fantasy. Any town, New York, Chicago, with its people, becomes improbable with distance. Just as I am improbable here, in Illinois, in a small town by a quiet lake. All of us improbable to one another because we are not present to one another.” - Ray Bradbury, DANDELION WINE
October 8, 2019

Links

The hidden history of American anti-car protests that were largely led by women.

This is a stunningly touching essay about Star Trek action figures, fathers and sons, and transcending the way we were initially packaged.

Alison Willmore on Hustlers and the female gaze.

The actress who killed her abusive husband and was expelled from Hollywood.

Who is buried in John Dillinger’s tomb? Spoiler alert: John Dillinger. This “controversy” is completely manufactured—but, legends like his always have been.

A lovely short documentary about the mermaids of Weeki Wachee through the years.

To mark the publication of the paperback of Haruki Murakami’s Killing Commendatore, there’s a new accompanying playlist. In case you’re just reading it and want some musical atmosphere.

“Yet, when we are young that vulnerability can appear to us as shame or weakness, as we attempt to brace ourselves against what we may see as a brutal, unforgiving and judgemental world. But those who have no awareness of their own fragility, who present themselves as overconfident, armoured-up and invulnerable, sacrifice the essence of what makes them both human and beautiful.” I’m just going to keep on posting Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files as long as he keeps being eloquent in them.

Here is a five-hour loop of rain at the Haunted Mansion.


Reading/Watching/Listening

  • I’ve only been reading one thing and it is It by Stephen King. I was strongly discouraged from reading King when I was younger, but, now that I’m almost forty, I figured I could finally get away with it. Honestly, I think I’m getting a lot more out of this one in particular at this point in my life. It wouldn’t have the same resonance for a younger person.

  • The Criterion Channel is now streaming an entire Val Lewton series. Cat People was already a very strong favorite of mine (and I already own the Criterion Blu-Ray of it), but this whole series is great. Other highlights: The Seventh Victim and I Walked with a Zombie. Also included is a documentary, narrated by Martin Scorsese, about Val Lewton himself, which is worth watching regardless but will be of particular use if you have no idea what I’m talking about here.

  • Obviously, we’re listening to the new album from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Ghosteen. It is sad and sweeping and wistful and quietly throbbing with a pain that is fading but not yet gone.


Around

  • I found a stash of tech-related stickers that I used to sell: HTML “strong” tag stickers and stickers from my Code and Cupcakes workshop. I cleaned up my online store and put those stickers back on sale if you’d like to grab one or more: jenmyers.bigcartel.com


IT’S FALL. ENJOY IT.

Love,

Jen


Connections

Substack archive: https://jenmyers.substack.com/archive

TinyLetter archive: http://tinyletter.com/jenmyers/archive

Essay archive: http://modernadventuress.com/

Website: http://jenmyers.net

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jenmyers

Email: hello@jenmyers.net

Post: P.O. Box 13114 Chicago, IL 60613

This week’s quote is from Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine.

4 October 2019

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

This Week

Earlier this week, I posted my regular rundown of the books/screenplays I read in the past month. There’s a lot for September.

Last weekend, I found a keepsake book for the 20th anniversary of Walt Disney World, which would have happened in 1991. Since October 1 is the official birthday of WDW, I took advantage of both occasions to share some photos of Disney World past.

This weekend, I’m going to the House on the Rock. If you’re new around here, I love the House on the Rock. Earlier this year, I made a video with footage I shot on last year’s two trips.

I’ll be posting new photos on Instagram, if you want to follow along with this year’s trip.

This Friday afternoon, I’m going to get a new tattoo from an artist who offers a Magic 8 Ball deal: three shakes of a special tattoo-themed Magic 8 Ball and a tattoo selection from the three results. I’ll update you on what I get.


Links

Why libraries are eliminating late fees for overdue books.

An epic, lovely oral history of Lilith Fair.

“The only thing I regret is I can’t wear heels anymore.” Debbie fucking Harry.

The overlooked and overdue NYT obituary for Robert Johnson.

Let women make erotic thrillers. Recently, I’ve been catching up on a lot of late 80s/early 90s thrillers I never saw, so I am in exactly the right mood for this piece (don’t miss the list of recommendations at the end).

“The practice of telling the bees may have its origins in Celtic mythology that held that bees were the link between our world and the spirit world. So if you had any message that you wished to pass to someone who was dead, all you had to do was tell the bees and they would pass along the message.” The custom of telling the bees.

“Perhaps it is useful to see our lives as a series of failed or abandoned dreams, but to also recognise that these dreams are the very architecture of our humanity; to lovingly accept our shortcomings and lay them to rest in the knowledge that growth and regret go hand in hand, as do failure and potentiality.” Nick Cave.


Reading/Watching/Listening

  • If you’re in a Halloween mood, might I recommend Marianne (Netflix)? Ultimately, this ended up feeling a bit uneven to me, and most of the plot turns and scares you can see coming—but it’s stylishly done and still very frightening. It is a relatively long series, as far as its story arc is concerned, so you might want to make sure you can commit.

  • One of my new favorite directors, Christian Petzold, is the subject of a current series on the Criterion Channel. Please partake.

  • I’ve been in a shoegazey mood lately. Have some My Bloody Valentine.


Around

On my last trip to Disney World, I found a new favorite spot. I’ll tell you about it now, as a guide and a gift.

Last week I published the monthly essay for paid subscribers. It’s about why I love Disney World. If you want to read it, you can hop on over and subscribe.


It’s officially October. I love October. I’m ready.

Love,

Jen


Connections

Substack archive: https://jenmyers.substack.com/archive

TinyLetter archive: http://tinyletter.com/jenmyers/archive

Essay archive: http://modernadventuress.com/

Website: http://jenmyers.net

Twitter: https://twitter.com/antiheroine

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/antiheroine/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jenmyers

Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/jenmyers/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jenmyers

Email: hello@jenmyers.net

Post: P.O. Box 13114 Chicago, IL 60613

This week’s quote is from L. M. Montgomery.

27 September 2019

"What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.”

This Week

The transition from summer to autumn is usually a difficult one for me. I’m naturally resistant to change and I love summer. I still associate September with the advent of school, which was never my favorite thing. But once I get through the initial resentment, I always find a fierce poignancy in fall. Summer lulls me into believing it will last forever, which is a certain kind of pleasure; but fall never lets you forget how briefly it will be here and that awareness sharpens the edges, saturates the colors and deepens the shadows.

It’s almost October, so I got a head start on my Bradbury:

“Night and day. Summer and winter, boys. Seedtime and harvest. Life and death. That’s what Halloween is, all rolled up in one. Noon and midnight. Being born, boys. Rolling over, playing dead like dogs, lads. And getting up again, barking, racing through thousands of years of death each day and each night Halloween, boys, every night, every single night dark and fearful until at last you made it and hid in cities and towns and had some rest and could get your breath. And you began to live longer and have more time, and space out the deaths, and put away fear, and at last have only special days in each year when you thought of night and dawn and spring and autumn and being born and being dead. And it all adds up. Four thousand years ago, one hundred years ago, this year, one place or another, but the celebrations all the same—”

— Ray Bradbury, The Halloween Tree


Links


Reading/Watching/Listening

  • I read Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway by Sara Gran. Recently I wrote about discovering Claire DeWitt, my newfound literary soulmate. Well, I’m working my way through the (unfortunately brief) series. After book two, my opinion remains strongly glowing.

  • I’m reading the Sunset Boulevard screenplay by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. I'm getting back to screenplay reading after a break and this one is a treat. Not only does it feature scenes and lines that were filmed but cut from the final film, some of the descriptions and sentences are worth reading in themselves. Here is the introduction of the interior of Norma Desmond's home: “It is grandiose and grim. The whole place is one of those abortions of silent-picture days, with bowling alleys in the cellar and a built-in pipe organ, and beams imported from Italy, with California termites at work on them. Portieres area drawn before all the windows, and only thin slits of sunlight find their way in to fight the few electric bulbs which are always burning.” I primarily read screenplays so that I understand screenplays, but sometimes you run across one that is literary in itself.

  • I’m not sorry to admit I signed up for a free trial of Stitcher so that I could listen to all of The Dream podcast bonus episodes in one fell swoop. If you missed this podcast about MLM (multi-level marketing) schemes, start from the beginning.

  • Have some music from the Regrettes.


Around

Quick note that the essay for paid subscribers is going out soon, and it’s about Disney World. You can sign up on Substack if you want to read it.


Happy autumn. Embrace it.


Connections

Substack archive: https://jenmyers.substack.com/archive

TinyLetter archive: http://tinyletter.com/jenmyers/archive

Essay archive: http://modernadventuress.com/

Website: http://jenmyers.net

Twitter: https://twitter.com/antiheroine

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/antiheroine/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jenmyers

Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/jenmyers/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jenmyers

Email: hello@jenmyers.net

Post: P.O. Box 13114 Chicago, IL 60613

Today’s quote is from Werner Herzog.

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