Friday, April 17, 2009

Can I Do It?

It seems like we just got done with Easter, and already Bloomsday is around the corner. Less than two months, people. Of course the stores have their Bloomsday displays up already, which I think is way to early. I mean, wait until early June, at least. And seriously? I've had it with the commercialization of Bloomsday. Sick of it. My kids are all "can I get Guitar Hero for Bloomsday?" and "Do I have to wait until Bloomsday to get my itunes gift card?!" It's like the true meaning of Bloomsday is totally lost on them.

What are your feelings about Bloomsday?

To recap, Bloomsday is observed every June 16th and commemorates the day in which James Joyce's novel Ulysses takes place. Have you ever read it? Let's just say that I don't think that Oprah will be picking it for her next book group. It was assigned to me in college and it was my personal Moby Dick, except instead of pursuing it, I wanted to kill myself and everyone within eyesight to avoid reading it.

And it's always sort of bugged me. Especially since my father (you know, papa) is a huge Ulysses fanatic and every Bloomsday he says something like "so, did you observe the Bloomsday?" and I always for a second think he's talking about Judy Blume.

Fuck that, this year. This year I'm going to read Ulysses. And if you'd like to do it with me, I'll be posting about it every once in a while. We have just under two months to do it, but it's a hefty work, so don't leave it until the last minute. Come on, you know you want to. It'll make us all smart and shit. And kill all small talk forever. For example, "Hey, some weather, huh? What's up?" "I'm reading Ulysses." "What?" "I'm reading Ulysses for intellectual stimulation. But yes, it's very sunny."
That alone should convince you to join me.

Do they still have Cliff Notes?



Blogger mo.stoneskin said...

We don't care about Ulysses this side of the pond. At least, I don't think we do, I've been too busy stimulating my intellect by reading trash and scoffing creme eggs.

April 17, 2009 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger mo.stoneskin said...

Dagnammit, am I really first?

April 17, 2009 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger Ann's Rants said...

can we throw a teabag demonstration for bloomsday?

Oh, get off your trojan horse. Oh. That was the Iliad. Or the Odessey. Fuck if I know.

April 17, 2009 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger TeacherMommy said...

You have GOT to be kidding me. I wanted to stab my eyes out a la Oedipus after wading through two chapters of that dreck. Greatest book of all time, my ass.

Have fun, sweetie! I'm trying to avoid suicidal ideation these days, so I won't be joining you.

April 17, 2009 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

Well, I've often thought about reading it.... How much humiliation will be involved if I don't manage to finish it? Also, this means I'll have to give up reading your blog (or sleeping, and you can guess which way that's going to go).

Your call.

April 17, 2009 at 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Kristine said...

I'm out too. I barely have time to brush my teeth, much less read a book I don't really want to.

April 17, 2009 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger *Akilah Sakai* said...

Dammit! Someone above took my excuse.



I can't read.

April 17, 2009 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Way too deep for me. By the time I get to reading a book, my brain is so fried it has to be MAJOR fluff or it loses me completely!

April 17, 2009 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger hokgardner said...

Every few years, I pull out Ulysses and give it another try. And I still haven't finished. I don't think this year will be my year.

April 17, 2009 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger Marinka said...

I can't believe you people.

Have you learned absolutely nothing from reading my blog? If you don't want to read the book, fine. But can't you at least lie about it? Like "sure, count me in!"

I mean, what do you think I'm going to do, ask you what you thought about page 354?!
Chances are great that I'll be so exhausted after buying it that I won't muddle through past page 2.

But in order to be more "in sync" with the blogging community, I won't read it, either.

What say we all do a word search together next week?

April 17, 2009 at 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you pull that description of Bloomsday off of Wikipedia? I ask because I after reading your first paragraph I googled "Bloomsday" and that is the first sentence of the entry. Never heard of it before.

April 17, 2009 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I must live under some rock, I've never heard of Bloomsday, and we live in the same state!

April 17, 2009 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger CSY said...

Sure - count me in!

How's that, did you buy it? The lie - not the book!

April 17, 2009 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Before you explained, I was positive Bloomsday was some kind of big annual sale at Bloomingdale's. Woops.

Sure, count me in.

Not really.

April 17, 2009 at 9:50 AM  
Anonymous peajaye said...

here, lemme try selling this for you:

Hey girls! You know how that hottie, Ashton Kutcher, just beat out CNN as the first "twitter millionaire"? Well, about a million years ago (okay, maybe only 105), this other hottie, James Joyce wrote all about what he did during the course of one day. But he calls himself Leopold Bloom (the same way Carrie Fisher calls herself Suzanne in 'Postcards from the Edge'), and instead of cruising 'round Hollywood with his cougar wife, Leo (picture Leonardo DiCaprio), wanders around Dublin and mixes it up with bangin' babes like Molly, Josie, and Penelope. You thought that row Ashton got into with his neighbors over the early morning construction was totally OMG!? Just wait til you read 'bout how Leo gets into it with the gangsta's in HIS hood. Do you feel like tweeters give you too much info sometimes, and you're like "Shut the fuck up! What are you gonna tell me next – how you're taking a shit?!" Well, Joyce actually DOES get into this kinda shit. And it's hilarious! But ya gotta be in it to win it. So join me on this Rock of Love Bus through Dublin, and we'll all get drunk at our favorite Irish Pub afterwards!

...Hmmm... Actually, I don't think I'll convince anyone w/this, but at least I gave it a try...

April 17, 2009 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger WA said...

Is that the one with Opus?

April 17, 2009 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Vodka Mom said...

Can i NOT read it and SAY i did?

Yeah. That's what I am doing.

April 17, 2009 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger blueeyedtawni said...

First off I loved your vlog :D
in my mind I always took you to having dark hair..
your very pretty:)
and 2nd love your blog!

April 17, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Stranded in Stepford said...

Sorry. I can't take time to celebrate Bloomsday cause I'm too busy putting away my Festivus pole from last year. Maybe next year.

April 17, 2009 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger blognut said...

I was going to say, "Sure, count me in!"

Then I saw your comment and I think you're not really going to read it. I'll be damned if I'm going to do this alone.

You have serious commitment issues!

April 17, 2009 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Suzannah said...

They have it in audiobook form at my library! And they do have cliff notes! Count me in!

April 17, 2009 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger daydreamymama said...

I'm in. I actually really like this book. The secret is this: just keep reading on, don't expect to understand everything, or even very much. Like floating over the waves on a raft (wait, that metaphor doesn't work at all, forget it); some of its funny and great, and you don't have to worry too much about the rest. I once sat in a combination laundromat/ bar (which is an excellent idea, by the way) with 5 friends, and we were bored and drunk, & I was trying to make my way through Ulysses at the time, so we passed it around, reading parts of it out loud. I don't know if it was the beer or what, but it was cracking us the fuck up. So I have nice memories, which might not have much to do with Joyce (although I understand he drank plenty). I would drunkenly read Ulysess with Marinka any old time.

April 17, 2009 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger daydreamymama said...

Shit. Did I just expose myself as the complete fucking nerd that I am?

April 17, 2009 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger witchypoo said...

I loved the vlog. You could totally develop yourself as a character on SNL.

April 17, 2009 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Carolyn...Online said...

I love Ulysses. It's the only book in my whole house that can kill a roach with one slam.

April 17, 2009 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger TMCPhoto said...

In art school I took an art history class that was about literature and movies. Ulysses was the major book of the class.

I got through 3/4 of it and can honestly say that I have no clue at all about what goes on in the book. I blame this fact on Joyce writing from the subconcious, the book is written the same way that I think and I can't tell you what it is that I think about all day and therefore I can't tell you what happened in the book.

As the thesis for my essay for this class I can tell you that it was an abysmal failure.

This is one book that I will cheerfully say was not as good as the movie.

If you want my advice I'd rent the movie instead, a few hours as opposed to hours and hours of painful reading and re-reading also if done on Bloomsday can be considered celebrating Bloomsday

April 17, 2009 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger bonnie-ann black said...

i tried reading JJ'S Ulysses several times when i was in high school (way too soon), then in college and finally i decided about 5 years ago to read it. now since high school, i had grounded myself in comparitive mythology, celtic mysticism, irish history and most forms of drink. it took me almost 6 weeks to read. i couldn't get through more than 60 pages on a good day, and usually less as i often had to go back and re-read stuff. many's the time i wanted to throw it into the hudson river on an imitative walk, but i stuck with it, and i have to say, it probably gave my brain the most voluntary exercise it had had in many years, if ever.

however, all that said, i'm not reading Finnegan's Wake until i'm ready to go into the old people's home, or am living on the street with lots of time and no obligations on my hands.

April 17, 2009 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger bonnie-ann black said...

oh, and by the way -- anyone going to Symphony Space for the big reading?

April 17, 2009 at 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Andrea's Sweet Life said...

Can we just watch RHONY and pretend we're reading Ulysses?

April 17, 2009 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

Are you there God (I mean Marinka), its me Lynn. I think Judy Blume day is way cooler and this comes from someone with a (waste of four years) English Literature degree forced to study (really out drinking) Ulysses.

April 17, 2009 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Heather, Queen of Shake Shake said...

Are you kidding? J.K.K. Tolkien's writing style nearly caused my death.
And I blame reading Beowulf for me not having any dates in the 11th grade.

April 17, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger PinkLizzy said...

Screw that! I just finished 1984!!!
It was miserable and I would have given in but as you rightly point out, It'll make me all smart and shit.

April 17, 2009 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger lizspin said...

I'm staring at it right now. . . right on my desk. . .

Picked it up twice. Put it down twice. . .

I'm up for it if you really want to do it. . . but I'd need a buddy.

April 17, 2009 at 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

No way.

I was an early and voracious reader and my father tried to encourage this by giving me some of his favorite works to wade through.
This is how, at 10 years old, he expected me to read Joseph Conrad's The Nigger and the Narcissus. I know the man was supposed to be a genius (Conrad, that is, not my father), but puh-lease.

Put me off "old books" for life. I now read exclusively chic lit or non fiction. And am not ashamed to admit it. I have paid my dues ;-)

April 17, 2009 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger OHmommy said...

where did your vlog go? in love with your "accent" LMAO. perfection.

April 17, 2009 at 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cut & paste into your browser - the book is on project gutenburg:

April 17, 2009 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Comedy Goddess said...

You don't need Cliff Notes, just ask me!

April 17, 2009 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger iMommy said...

I am so confused.

In the words of Ron Burgandy,

"I immediately regret this decision!"

:), baby.

April 17, 2009 at 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Madame x said...

We once had a cat named Circe.... does that count?

April 17, 2009 at 10:56 PM  
Blogger K.Line said...

My degree is in Eng Lit. You cannot pay me to reread that book. Good luck.

April 17, 2009 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger Annje said...

I read it once and I don't want to read it again even for you. My suggestion would be to celebrate Bloomsday (with a beer I guess) without reading the book--we need more holidays here anyway--think we could get off work?

April 17, 2009 at 11:58 PM  
Blogger Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Sure. Count me in.

April 18, 2009 at 12:29 AM  
Anonymous LadyFi said...

I tried to read Ulysses.. really... I tried! No one can do it... Not even those Cliff Notes writers - they're just winging it!

April 18, 2009 at 5:13 AM  
Blogger Hit 40 said...

Never heard of bloomsday? Maybe it is a new york thing?

April 18, 2009 at 6:34 AM  
Blogger The Panic Room said...

I will read it for a few reasons. Ulysses is my middle name. Benjamin Linus was reading it on the plane just before they crashed on the island again. I like to torture myself. And finally the most important reason, because you asked.

So yeah. I will find a copy and get started.

April 18, 2009 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger MommyTime said...

So a while ago I had this idea that it might be fun to start a blog bookclub of sorts where people interested would all read the same book and then post about it. But then I thought no one would be interested. And I got lazy. And I figured that since I run multiple book clubs every semester (you say "college class," I say "book club") maybe I didn't have the stamina for that. So here you are. Doing it for me. And way better and certainly funnier, I'm sure.

Ulysses is one of those books from which I've read only parts, and those parts have served for the whole (which is particularly easy in that novel, since it's all one giant run-on sentence, so excerpting some words from it seems to work just fine). But I always feel lame and like I should read the whole thing. So I'm in. Unless you're going to make me read it in a week or something.

April 19, 2009 at 4:29 PM  

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