I’ve moved my personal blog to: http://clairemariedavidson.wordpress.com Please check it out! I’ll also be posting on tumblr at ideclaire.tumblr.com. Thank you for reading!
Articles That Should Have Never Been Written →
Elizabeth Wurtzel’s article called “Looking Better at 45 than 25” in Harper’s Bazaar reminded me of Taylor Cotter’s article from last month, very tellingly entitled “The Struggle of Not Struggling.” It probably would have been easier for Cotter to admit that her article was whiney, insensitive, condescending, and full of white privilege, but she took the...
Vegetarian with a Chance of Marshmallows
They don’t even look good. I need to get over it. I’ve been vegetarian for 15 months now. When I started out last June, after taking an Animal Theory class at college and watching a chilling ALF documentary, I asked a lot of vegetarians if they missed eating meat. I tried to gauge how much being vegetarian would effect my life. I’ve never been a huge fan of meat in the...
They have Scrabble Tournaments?
An 830-point game? Shut the front door. If there was anything that the recent scandal at the National Scrabble Championship taught me, it was that a National Scrabble Championship actually existed. Really, I had no idea. As a person who fervently loves the game of Scrabble, I started investigating the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) to find out how I could get started....
Porcelain Motorcycle Engines
From the Made in LA exhibit in the Hammer Museum. The thing hanging from the chain is the porcelain motorcycle engine, made by Caroline Thomas. Photo from http://www.madeinla2012.org. It was hanging there like a big, glossy Christmas ornament: a white motorcycle hanging from a white chain. I looked at it for about three seconds before moving on to the next piece of art (an elaborate...
5 Rejected Literary Reality TV Shows
1. Novel Impossible A bestselling author pays a 48-hour visit to a writer whose manuscript has been rejected at least 300 times. After reading it and berating it, the author outlines a plan for the writer to whip it into bestseller form. Obscure references, subtle subplots, and average characters are out; scandalous affairs, eccentric sidekicks, and smack-you-in-the-face symbolic devices are...
Filling Out Charts and Taking Names
I decided to start scouring the interwebs for good character charts a few days ago, when I was trying to write from the perspective of a 29-year-old man, Ben. I found this really awesome character chart and spent about two hours filling it out for my character to get ideas about how to improve my story. Let me tell you, filling out a chart is not as fun as writing a story. You know when...
Stupidity consists in a desire to conclude.– Gustave Flaubert
One Cannot Live On Cool Stuff Alone
When Nalo Hopkinson came to visit UCSC a few days ago, someone asked her what advice she would give for sci-fi writers who were just starting out. She replied (I paraphrased), “It’s fun to have cool stuff in your story, and to spend a lot of time explaining how the cool stuff works. But the cool stuff is not a plot.” I haven’t written sci-fi in a long time, but I know...
I Have Bad Facial Recognition Skills (and Other...
Here is something I’m just beginning to realize: I recognize people by their hair, not their faces. I don’t think it’s a great habit, especially because everyone has different faces, but a lot of people have similar hairstyles. But for some reason, faces are hard for me to remember. Hair is so much easier, especially when people have really distinctive hair and you can...
Lost and Found
In Meena Alexander’s collection of essays, Poetics of Dislocation, she mentions the story of Yang Chu, a Chinese sage (c. 350 BC) who knelt at every crossroad he encountered because he believed that “any road taken would lead to another that crossed a neighboring road, endlessly multiplying the chances of being lost” (134). What a great metaphor! What an excellent anecdote!...
Living like a Tourist
Above: Them tulips. I’ve got 99 more photos like this one. One of the best things about to going to Galesburg and Chicago was that I got to act a shameless tourist, taking photos of every single thing. Tulips? Snap. Old building? Snap. Funny t-shirt? Double snap. Sometimes one angle is not enough. Although my body is physically back in Santa Cruz, my brain is still in tourist...
The Silence of Waiting
Call me the Queen of Public Transportation. After traveling to Chicago and Galesburg, IL, I feel like I know trains, planes, and buses like the back of my hand. Reading a bus schedule is like seeing an old friend again. The lady at the airport coffee shop actually remembers my name. The sound of a train horn no longer makes me jump out of my skin (now that’s what we call progress!). But...
Modernization and Myth-Kitties
Orestes and Elektra in a version called Orestes 2.0. Elektra: I’m so upset that this play was modernized so much! They probably didn’t even have red nail polish in Ancient Greece! Orestes: Or did they? Everyone loves to hate modernized Greek dramas. Even if the acting is excellent, the set is out-of-this-world creative, and the music is flawless, a lot of people, when asked...
To Take a Break or Not To Take a Break
Above: Calypso, who kept Odysseus on her island for way too long. He totally didn’t notice it, not even after having a few kids with her. Until recently, I always thought that I’d take two years off after college and before graduate school, but lately, I’ve been reconsidering that. Although I have fantasies about becoming a grant writer, a court clerk, or journalist for a...
Visi(bi)lity: Deconstructing Images of Bisexuality... →
The most common representations of bisexuality in the media are ones that depict bisexual people as confused, greedy, indecisive, morally ambiguous, and sexually indiscriminate. This sort of biphobic stigma is a factor that has lead to suicidal tendencies in nearly 50% of bisexual women and more than a third of bisexual men.
PMS and Modern Family
As an ardent fan of Modern Family, I was really disappointed with this week’s episode, “Leap Day,” not in the “this didn’t entertain me sufficiently” way, but in the, “they’re portraying women so inaccurately it’s kind of offensive” way. So, introduction: every single Modern Family has three interwoven plots that are each resolved at the...
Marooned in the Desert →
I was planning to catch flight at 7pm on Sunday after the marathon, but because Caltrans spontaneously decided to do construction work on the westbound 10 on Sunday afternoon, I missed my flight. The most interesting part of this story is not the “three hours of driving inch-by-inch through the barren desert” part– although this article definitely shows that crappy aspect when they...
Half Marathon trip: Part 2
Gigi (left) and me after the race. The night before the race, I had a horrible nightmare. I was standing at the start line in tights and realized I had forgotten a water bottle and my watch. As the race started, I realized I really needed to use one of the pit stops. (I think most runners can agree that running in tights AND needing to stop at a port-a-potty during the race is the worst...
Half Marathon trip: Part 1
Tomorrow’s the day I run my half marathon! I’m excited to run for three reasons: 1) My sister, Gigi, is running with me. I’ve been trying to convert Gigi to running since we were in high school, and we’re finally doing a race together! She’s doing the 5k this time, but I’m sure that with enough persuasion, she’ll be doing 13.1 miles next year. Right,...
Those three months when it rains.
I woke up this morning to the sound of rain pounding on the sidewalk outside my window. Of all the sounds to wake up to, cacophonous rain definitely doesn’t make my top ten. Not even my top hundred. I went to class, my spirits dampened by the rain. I would have preferred to remain cocooned in blankets, of course. But if I cocooned my self in blankets every time it rained, I’d...
Most young women, not only in politics but in most areas, are more cautious and...– Hillary Clinton, in an interview with Glamour magazine.
That time I fell down.
This morning, I went on my first 10-mile run of the year. I do not exaggerate when I say it was a perfect day. The birds were chirping, the trees were green, and there was nary a cloud in the sky. Now, when I go on a long run, I bring tons of stuff with me. I like to think, with this much stuff, that I could survive in the wilderness for at least two days. But I’ve noticed most...
The Iowa Speeches: The Abridged Version
Rick Perry: Suddenly, I’m speaking more fluently than I have for months. It’s a Christmas miracle. Also, I’m going back to Texas.
Rick Santorum: HAHA ROMNEY I GOT YOU.
Mitt Romney: I know all of the verses to “America the Beautiful.”
New Year's Resolutions
My New Year’s Resolutions for 2012 are two-fold: 1) Stop apologizing. 2) Keep track of things like a goddamn adult. Being overly-apologetic is a horrible habit I’ve picked up. I remember having a conversation like this in high school with a friend: Friend: You apologize too much. Me: I’m sorry. Friend: See, you just did it! Me: GAH! I’m sorry! I’ll never do...
Traipsing Through the Magical World of Visual...
After reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I’ve been thinking a lot about visual writing. I could give you a million reasons I love visual writing, but mainly: I love art. I love seeing different art forms in the same place. I love the Warhol-esque duplication of images arranged like found objects. And arguably, it’s a socially relevant marriage...