Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dust Off Your Library Card and Check These Out

Irish-inspired in honor of St. Patrick's Day

Read This: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Reading anything by James Joyce is sort of like standing in the middle of a dance club with lights flashing about, techno music blaring, and people bumping in to you continuously - both overwhelming scenarios are best enjoyed with a strong cocktail in hand. In this text, which is far less daunting for most than the more glorified Ulysses, readers encounter the now famous "stream of consciousness" technique of storytelling pioneered by Joyce. Through what feels like haphazard memory recollections interrupted by other moments of consciousness, you will find the story of a young man transitioning between the life of a student and the life of the man. While the "coming of age" theme is nothing new, the style is so representative of Joyce that this is an absolute must-read. If drinking and driving through the mind's work of a genius is too much for you, I recommend reading it in your local cafe, where the snooty barristas will finally give you that nod of respect you've been hoping for.

Watch This: Deadwood Series starring Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant

I despise Westerns. There I said it. Thus, you can imagine my apprehension and resistance in experiencing even one episode of this 3 season HBO series. However, with Ian McShane's portrayal of Al Swearengen, a belligerent bar/whorehouse owner with a terrible temper but a corrupt Solomon-like wisedom, I was immediately hooked. Throw into the mix Timothy Olyphant, the holier-than-though sheriff who, oops, has an affair with a wealthy upper class woman, and a boozy Calamity Jane, portrayed by actress Robin Weigert, and you have created the type of Western that even the most girly-girl Recessionista will enjoy. I mean, this is the same channel that brought you Sex and the City and Entourage, after all.

Listen to This: The Best of Van Morrison by Van Morrison

Because it would have been way too easy to spotlight U2 here, I am recommending an artist less associated with but nonetheless originating from the lovely country of Ireland. Van Morrison's work is timeless and ageless. I have heard this music in dorm rooms, high end lounges, and at the homes of friends of all ages. This is music that makes you feel good, but that you never need be ashamed of owning (unlike, ahem, that Milli Vanilli CD you still hang on to). Turn off the news (I'll summarize what you will be missing - Dow Jones drops...blahblahblah...Economic stimulus...blahblah...the world is ending...blahblah.) and turn on this CD. I promise, you'll feel better immediately.

Recessionista Tip of the Day: Because doing good always makes you feel better, we are featuring another opportunity to give. Recessionista Kim is participating in Relay For Life, a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people to:

-Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight.

-Remember loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing.

-Fight Back. We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and desperately want to put an end to the disease.

During this amazing American Cancer Society event, community members and students camp out overnight, and at least one member of each team is walking for the twelve hours we are there! Though times are tough and money is tight, I strongly encourage you to support this event! At the very least, you can support the fact that Kim has to chaperone hundreds of teenagers…if the tent is rocking, she's gonna come knocking!

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