Asides/ Photos/ Recommended Authors


I saw these two objects on the sidewalk, along with many other abandoned possessions, some in boxes:


My new glasses, which are also my great-grandmother’s old glasses:


You should read:

Mike Martin’s thematic analysis of Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl

Vice Magazine’s interview of Ursula LeGuin

And you should watch the fabulous Canadian series Slings and Arrows, about the travails of the New Burbage Shakespeare Festival. This is the first nine or so minutes of the first episode of the first season. I would advise against Googling about it, spoilers abound. Just watch:

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  • ellen kushner
    January 16, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    omg – I love “Slings & Arrows” with an undying and unbeatable passion! I think I’ve watched the entire series through 3 times, now – no, wait, that’s the first 2, I’m still catching up on #3…. Kinda like college students comparing how many times they’ve read Lord of the Rings, no? But, really, every time it ends I think, “Again! Again! Wanna see it again!” No other TV show has inspired me with such a feeling. Indeed, if I were God Empress of the Universe, and they came to me asking which show should be saved when all others were consigned to the Stygian depths, I would unhesitatingly pick that one.

    Just sayin’.

  • Sara
    January 17, 2009 at 12:59 am

    I’m not quite at your level of devotion — if I were God Empress, I would save The Wire — but I am finding S&A just lovely and so, so endearing. I am especially pleased that Colm Feore has a part in Season 2; I’ve actually seen him act (lo, these many years ago) at Stratford.

  • ellen kushner
    January 17, 2009 at 9:23 am

    So have you watched the whole thing yet?

    Colm Feore is terrifyingly hilarious in this. And we jsut saw the guy who plays the MacBeth in 2 here onstage in a really great production of “Women Beware Women” – I try not to get too excited about privileging folks who’ve been ON TV!!! (as the rest of the nation seems to find them somehow more Real than others and hyperventilate accordingly) – but it was cool.

  • Deborah
    January 17, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    oh lord yes, Slings & Arrows is fiendtastic and howlingly hilarious. i was quite mournful to come to the end. somehow it had never occurred to me that i could watch it again, though- what a splendid idea! much obliged for the notion, ellen.

  • ellen kushner
    January 18, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Deborah – Oh, yes – when you watch it again, you catch all kinds of things you missed the first time – especially in the first few episodes! Enjoy.

  • Deborah
    January 18, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    It’s funny how one compartmentalizes habits. I’m a born re-reader. I absolutely luxuriate in return visits to my favorite book worlds. But somehow I never transferred the concept to other media. I think maybe my TV/movie favorites have never been the bosom companions that literary figures become in my internal landscape. Something to do with active vs. passive media consumption, perhaps? Or just early imprinting?

    Well anyway, I have leapt into action (as much as putting one’s name on a wait list can be considered leaping) and have already lined up an unindoctrinated friend to come watch it with me. Just the thing for winter survival!

  • ellen kushner
    January 18, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I’m not usually a big re-watcher – but some things feel like novels to me, and this is one! So I wish you & that fortunate friend Many Happy ReRuns!
    (Are you a Deborah that I know?)

  • Sara
    January 18, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Let me step in and make belated introductions! Deborah is a friend I met in libraryland; you should read her piece in Drive: Women’s True Stories from the Open Road. Ellen is a friend who was one of my teachers at Clarion, and you should read her books if you haven’t already.

    We just (as of last night) finished up Season 2. I read about the actors who play Ellen and Jeffrey on Wikipedia and am enchanted to learn that they are married and both seem to be involved with very cool causes. Steve was wondering if the adorable older queens who sing the theme song are a real-life couple too…

  • ellen kushner
    January 18, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Hi, Deborah!

    Sadly, the old guys are not a real life couple at all, as I found out watching some of the “extras” on our DVD – they’re just, well, a couple of actors. I kind of hate knowing that – not that I expected them to be a real couple, but, you know, they’re not even really those guys! I know, I know . . . but I like my illusions straight up, no chaser. I must stop watching those extras.

  • Deborah
    January 19, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Ellen! (Thanks, Sara! What a gracious hostess.)
    I’m with you on the extras. Although I recently discovered that they can enhance the watching of a nonfiction dvd, or at least, they were great on BBC’s Planet Earth.