Metaphors, Strong Arms, and Something That Looks Vaguely Review-Shaped

If we’re going to run with the above metaphor, I’m in severe danger of being dropped due to my own neglect. In fact, I’m guilty of abusive neglect on two counts, since it’s now been, what, three weeks since I last posted?

I’d love to say that there’s some compelling reason for this unprecedented mental meltdown, but I’ve got nothing. Maybe we’ll just let the facts speak for themselves. Charged with unprovoked abandonment of the HSC, the evidence for the prosecution is as follows: trials results of hitherto unseen levels of all-time-low; lack of notes or any useful material for the upcoming actual exams; looming French monologue (this Saturday, in fact) for which the defendant is deplorably unprepared; and a shocking absence of humanly recognisable motivation.

So that’s about it, really. I kind of sort of really really need to step back on it, but I’m frequently overcome by sudden bouts of nihilism and apathy, which, let’s be honest, are just more thinly-veiled stabs at further procrastination.

I swear when I wrote the first bit of this on my phone on the train this morning (a first, which is why it spontaneously posted and subsequently disappeared) it wasn’t nearly as self-indulgent or whiny.

So let’s move on. Sorry you had to suffer through that self-pitying quagmire.

Unfortunately, the past week has been a sad one for Armstrongs. Lucky I don’t know any personally, or I’d be urging them into the nearest bomb shelter to hide from the waves of devastation that have crashed down on the sporting, scientific, and all-around, general, everyday communities.
I still want to believe in Lance Armstrong; while the use of performance enhancing drugs is, really, an unpardonable offence, seven Tours can’t be sneezed at, drugs or no drugs. And hey, I still cherish my livestrong band. That old buddy’s stuck with me since like year 4 or something.

Also, Neil Armstrong IS A BADASS.

Anyway, I really ought to be getting to sleep. That was something else I did want to talk about. I’m definitely killing myself here. I can feel the brain cells dying, crying out in wordless pain as they wither and collapse from their slumberless state. OK. that last sentence tells me that I definitely need more sleep. I know there are people who live on 4 hours a night (Gail Kelly, anyone?) but I’m definitely not one of them, however much I’d love to be. yeah. I was planning on somehow smoothly segueing that into how I’m now an adult and need less sleep… but schmeh. I’m legally an adult now. WOOOOOOO. Voting here I come.

Anyway, I’ve just started this paragraph with anyway again, even though I don’t want to use any sort of parallelism or shiz like that, but I couldn’t let it end there on that. Yesterday, I spent some time roaring through a brilliant book, titled Me and Earl and the Dying Girl which is somehow getting a whole deal of brilliant press here in Australia. Which is really nice. I mean, it’s really nice for the Pittsburgh-born, Brooklyn-living author, Jesse Andrews (who also graduated from Harvard, as you do), but it’s also nice that we’re not always quite so cut off from the machinations of the rest of the world (not that the world revolves around the publishing of American YA fiction, but wouldn’t it be an infinitely better place if it DID?). I guess the point of all this rambling was to say that I really enjoyed the book, and I’m recommending it to anyone who’ll listen long enough for me to get the words out. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.Really rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Really, the title should be enough to get you mildly intrigued, and the realism and wild hilarity of the richly individual narrative voice should get you fired up to devour it all in one fell swoop. I suppose I did enter into it with the hectic glow of TFIOS still lingering around me (heads up, the dying girl, Rachel, has cancer), but be warned, it’s a whole different take. Though you don’t really need my warning – Greg does a cracker job of it straight up from the first page. I guess what I might have liked most about it was the personal nature of it all, the intimacy of getting Greg’s unfiltered perspective, yet still in a delightfully self-aware fashion. Really, the humour was incidental – it’s all just part of the voice. And there was nuance, too. Despite it all being through his narration, and explicitly at that, most of what we learn about Greg isn’t what he tells us, or even what he’s aware of himself – it’s how he describes other people relating to him. And there were beautifully unexpected and hilarious techniques, too – bullet point recaps of one-sided conversations stand out as my favourite. And the cover and chapter art is pretty goddamn pretty. And hey, when an amateur filmmaker gives you titles like Apocalypse Later, and Cat-ablanca, you know you just have to listen to his story. (and read it, too!)

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