Tuesday, May 06, 2008

blogger no more

Well, the time has come friends, to officially say goodbye to the blogger version of teenybooks and move onto teenybooks 2.0. I had originally planned to wait until the design was complete, but after playing with wordpress for a while I found myself quite addicted and haven't really been able to make the switch back. (we're getting it all worked out and it should be done in a week or so...)

Updated your rss reeders please: http://www.teenybooks.com/feed/

The archives will remain unchanged for as long as blogger lets me keep them up.



email me: marcia (at) teenybooks.com


Monday, April 28, 2008

The Night Owl

"I work at night. I don't just mean I write at night - I am writing this at 1.53am, as it happens - I mean I function at night. After sunset, I think as clearly as I ever will. I want to walk about, play the banjo and wear hats. I want to enjoy being alive in an uninterrupted and possibly creative way. Left to my own devices, I would always keep my office hours between 10pm and 4 or 5am. Sadly, the rest of the world fails to understand this and tends to telephone me most mornings. Traffic noise, hammering next door, unforgiving travel schedules, the necessity of meeting daytime people and purchasing food; they all conspire to drive me from my bed and disturb my natural order, so I spend my life jolting from one kind of jetlag to another."

A L Kennedy

Read the rest.

Labels: ,

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Learning to Love you More: old fave

I was hanging out yesterday with a friend in Prospect Park, discussing the joys of walking (how can something that I do so often that its easy to take for granted, bring me so much peace and joy its beyond me) when he told me about an art project he'd joined in on with Harell Fletcher called the "Long Walk Home" which basically consisted of gathering a group of people at Grand Central Station and walking each and every single person home.

I bring up this story because it reminded me of Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July's website: Learning to Love You More, which as always been one of my favorite blog-project websites.

My favorite assignment photograph a significant outfit. Click on the list of names on the right hand side to see each person's report.



I woke up this morning a little bit before 5am and I was lying in bed thinking and thinking. So I got up and wrote a little bit and then blogged a bit. As I was looking for the post that referenced my resolution, I came across Auden's poem "More Loving One."

It was a poem I'd first heard the stanzas of "If equal affection cannot be, / Let the more loving one be me" during high school on a show that I watched at the time. I wrote it down and searched for the complete poem. What I realized was that the meaning of the entire poem had been obscured from me by those few lines. Being a person who always feels things deeply I was resigned to accepting the fate of that second stanza.

I was reading it this morning and I kind of chuckled to myself as the rest of the poem revealed itself. Seeing it in its entirety. The end of the poem is like a small epiphany, Auden says "Were all stars to disappear or die, / I should learn to look at an empty sky / And feel its total dark sublime, / Though this might take me a little time." Which means that yeah while he discusses the inequality of feeling as having weight, that he'd rather love more than less, he also realizes that if the object of his strong affection were to leave or disappear that he'd learn to live with it and appreciate the sky (or life rather)for what it was without it eventually. That everything would be just as awe inspiring without the things that we believe make them so important.

Revelations are beautiful that way, whether referring to the revelation at the end of the poem or realizing that you'd never really understood it until now.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Being Analog in a Digital World

Well folks.

We've nearly reached the end of my blogger blogging era. I've been playing with the idea of drastically changing my blog since a little before the New Year. So here it is, April and I'm excited to be nearly there, it had gotten to the point that everything about blogger's clunky back end design had begun to annoy me. Posting photos was still a chore, the look of the actual blog was bad and I still didn't have my own domain name.

The change isn't quite complete, since I'm still playing with everything and figuring out the look (I keep talking about the mysterious banner at the top which will be created through my own cunning and genius...well not really...I've got lots of creative friends), but quite soon.

I will keep the archives here active as long as blogger will allow. It would be ashame to lose my virtual documentation of the past three years.

Labels: ,

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset. Paris.

Last night I dreamt that I was watching the same movie over and over again. Maybe it was everyday, but definitely repeatedly over the course of the dream (since in dreams time expands and contracts at will).

I couldn't remember the movie, but I woke up with the thought that it might have been Before Sunset.

Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are my two favorite movies ever in life, the latter weighed a great deal in my decision to go to Paris. I watched them almost exactly a year ago and the idea popped into my head to buy a ticket right then, to leave the next weekend if I could. The idea of walking with someone and discussing everything through the streets of such a beautiful backdrop struck me as one thing I infinitely wanted to experience in my lifetime. Even now, watching it again, I still have that small ache in my chest at the end. I still feel that same tug. (I watched them both again this afternoon to relieve myself of the funk that I woke up in...Definitely did the trick)

The last ten minutes of that movie, sigh...if you haven't seen it, add it to you Netflix list. You'd have bought a ticket as well.

Labels: ,

Friday, April 18, 2008

My First Guest Spot


I haven't stopped writing my long Parisian post in case you're waiting and wondering where my usual morning updates are, they've just moved briefly to Wordbk for a small guest stint.



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Shakespeare and Company

If you're ever in Paris and happen to be as big of a fan of books as I am, visit the original Shakespeare and Company, opened by George Whitman:

The Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart

When Frances Steloff was president of the American Booksellers Association she told me that my bookstore had drifted into being the sort of place that might have been designed by the world's greatest architects. I have let my imagination run wild with the result that a stranger walking the streets of Paris can believe he is entering just another of the bookstores along the left bank of the Seine but if he finds his way through a labyrinth of alcoves and cubbyholes and climbs a stairway leading to my private residence then he can linger there and enjoy reading the books in my library and looking at the pictures on the walls of my bedroom.


I may disappear leaving behind me no worldly possessions - just a few old socks and love letters, and my windows overlooking Notre-Dame for all of you to enjoy, and my little rag and bone shop of the heart whose motto is "Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise". I may disappear leaving no forwarding address, but for all you know I may still be walking among you on my vagabond journey around the world.

- George Whitman

Labels: , ,

Hopelessly Rafael: A Brief Parisian Anecdote

It was on my third day of my Paris trip, after my brief day trip to Versailles, that I met Rafael. I had not, up until that point, actively made any effort to seek company. I would even go so far as to say that I had been avoiding interacting too much
with anyone from the hostels and was appreciating the self explorative tone my adventures had taken. But there he was...

I was standing outside smoking a cigarette when he approached me, and though I can't remember the details of the beginning of our conversation, I do remember that he began to ask me questions as openly and inquisitively as a child, that I found it hard not to answer or to keep my little self imposed wall up. I was trying to maintain a quiet silence in my head which is sometimes good for writing. I found it nearly impossible. His smile was king, green eyes unwavering and he had a small patch of grey hair just behind his left ear (I've always found something completely endearing about prematurely grey hair, maybe I find it instantaneously warm and disarming through stereotypes of my own creation).

He loved the american language, be it in book, film or music. He seemed to love the words "nice" and "good." Often telling me, "Oh, Marcia, you are verrry nice" or "KFC was verrry good." He was from São Paulo, Brazil and we discussed in length the corruption and the danger of growing up there (it was verrrry bad). We also discussed crowded trains, families, awkwardness in front of cameras, the Parisian weather, the importance of soccer, writing, art and whatever else that crossed our minds. I introduced him to a few phrases in English and tried to help whenever he was struggling with explaining a certain concept.

We stood outside smoking cigarettes and talking till it began to rain harder (there seemed to be a little drizzle on almost all my Parisian days) and he invited me in for a drink. He told me about the night before (Verry Bad). Rafael had just arrived at the hostel, early before he could check into his room and needed to use the pay phone at the corner to let his parents know he'd arrived safely. On his way outside he ran into a girl who also happened to be from Brazil, they struck up a brief conversation in Portugese, both excited to find someone that reminded them of home. Much later when he returned to the hostel he ran into the same girl again, this time drinking with a few other people. She invited him over for a drink. Drinking turned to dancing. (She was verrrry attractive). She seemed to like Rafael a lot. So he, being 'nice' and 'good' Rafael, told her he had a girlfriend at home that he loved.

He looked at me his eyes all big and earnest, "but she didn't care. It was not very nice. You could tell that she had too many glasses of wine. I tried to leave and she kept saying stay, stay, stay. She buys me a glass of wine. I said no and she buys it anyway. Just like that. Then, do you know what she did?"

I had a guess.

"She kissed me!!"

He briefly explained the logistics between a brazilian kiss and an american kiss using hand motions (though I'm fairly sure a drunk kiss is a drunk kiss) which seemed to involve her nearly sucking his entire face. He pushed her away, maybe a minute too late, but he felt incredibly guilty. He had to tell his girlfriend because they told each other everything but he kept telling me how horribly bad he felt and how he'd left.
(I sat there maybe wanting to tell him that he shouldn't tell his girlfriend, that it was just a slip in judgement or that it was she who kissed and maybe therefor not such a big deal. He'd stopped it anyway. But I said nothing. ) The girl was upset that he pushed her away and Rafael felt bad about that too. He reiterated how attractive the girl had been.

Then he said, "The Man in me wanted to go upstairs and lie with her, but the...um..."

"Boyfriend," I supplied.

"No...the Human in me. The Human in me that loves another Human knows that my love is much bigger than that desire."

At that moment, I fell a little in love with Rafael myself. I saw in him something great and desirable which I'd felt once and had been lost along the way. He was a hopeless romantic.

He believed that he could tell his girlfriend what had happened and because they loved one another it could be worked out. That any problem could be resolved. That love was powerful. Maybe I'd
even stopped completely believing that men like that could exist.

Still there is a part of me of course, that thinks, that thought, he's young and that the world will teach him a thing or two.

But I really hope it doesn't.

Labels: , ,