frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (BtVS: Anya dancing)
[personal profile] frayadjacent
It's still Wednesday in the Central Pacific!

What did you finish reading?

Nothing, since my last post! Apart from a terrible interview with Trump's biographers about how the worst things we think about him as a person area all actually true, and what that implies for his presidency, but no need to link to that here. Unless someone wants it.

What are you currently reading?

Print: The Golem and the Djinni, by Helene Wecker. I still love it! Wecker has woven so many characters' stories together, and given them real lives and histories and motivations. She uses seamless transitions in POV to make everyone feel important -- nobody is just there to move the plot.

Audiobook: I'm almost finished with Amy Poehler's Yes Please, which I have been a bit meh about. Then yesterday I got to the "treat your career like a bad boyfriend" section. Which is packaged in a way that I don't love (there's a low-level heterosexism in most of the advice-giving parts of the book, and also I just find the gender roles invoked in this stereotype a bit tiresome, while also recognising that it rings true to many people's experiences), the actual career advice is pretty much just what I wanted, in that it spells out what I've been vaguely thinking into a more concrete mental framework for approaching work:
Your career won’t take care of you. It won’t call you back or introduce you to its parents. It’s never going to leave its wife. Your career is fucking other people and everyone knows it but you…Career is the stringing together of opportunities and jobs. Mix in public opinion and past regrets. Add a dash of future panic and a whole lot of financial uncertainty. Career is something that fools you into thinking you are in control and then takes pleasure in reminding you that you aren’t. Career is the thing that will not fill you up and never make you truly whole...

I will say it again, ambivalence is key. You have to care about your work but not the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look…You will never climb Career Mountain and get to the top and shout, “I made it!” You will rarely feel done or complete or even successful. Most people I know struggle with that complicated soup of feeling slighted on one hand and a total fraud on the other.

Ambivalence can help tame the beast. Remember, your career is a bad boyfriend. It likes it when you don’t depend on it. It will reward you every time you don’t act needy. It will chase you if you act like other things (passion, friendship, family, longevity) are more important to you. If your career is a bad boyfriend, it is healthy to remember you can always leave and go sleep with somebody else.
Then in the next chapter Poehler brought Michael Shur on and they talked about Parks and Recreation, and it was mostly great.

Then in the next chapter she waxed on about Hollywood and how hard/awesome it is to be an actor/writer/director/producer and I was back to meh. I love when film/tv writers, directors, actors, set designers, etc talk about their craft: how they make certain choices to get a specific effect, what works for telling a good story, bringing out a certain feeling, or deepening the ideas and emotions through symbolism and metaphor. When they talk about what it feels like for them to do their work, I just don't fucking care. It might have been interesting at one point, but I have heard enough navel-gazing from Hollywood people for my lifetime.

What I'll read next

I haven't decided what print/ebook I'll read next, but the next up audiobook is still John McWhorter's Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English.

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