Monday, September 2, 2013

Ye Olde Mail Bag

By: Kelly McClure

I have worked from home, doing a wide variety of successful and stimulating things, since March of this year. I love working from home more that I can possibly describe. I find that people like me WAY more when I work from home, because I get to just send typed out transmissions filled with positivity and exclamation points in place of speaking, and that's the end of it. That's enough, you know? That's for the best, and is the best, and let's just agree to agree. 

One of the highlights of my day each day is when the mail comes. I love the mystery of the mail. You hear it being delivered, (at least I do because my mailman has small seizures in my hallway causing him to bang every possible wall and make as much noise as humanly possible), but you don't know what's going to be in the mail until you check. Sometimes I delay going down to pick up the mail for hours while I sit and think about what could be in my mailbox. Could it be a brown squishy envelope filled with cash? Records? Scratch -n- Sniff Luna pads? An ad for an innovative new home furnishing item? It could be anything. Anything! I used to get a lot more things in the mail, and now I get less, but I'd like for that to change. I figure if I write about the things I receive in the mail, it will encourage people to send me more things in the mail, so that's what this is.

Here are some books I recently received in the mail:

Sunday Night Movies
By: Leanne Shapton
Published by: Drawn & Quarterly

I am madly in love with everything that Drawn & Quarterly puts out. I used to email with their publicist quite frequently when I worked at VICE, and asked them to please send me every title they put out, and they did. For awhile I worried that maybe they stopped liking me after I changed jobs, but they still send me stuff, so that's nice of them. 
Sunday Night Movies is a collection of watercolors by Leanne Shapton depicting beautiful moments in cinema. All of the 78 paintings included in the book are gorgeous, and while looking at them I found that it's relaxing and refreshing to sit and spend time with something that is purely visual, without words getting in the way. If I had two of these books I'd tear pages out of one of them and frame them, but I don't, so I'll just keep my copy nice and look at it very often.

Gender & Sexuality for Beginners
By: Jaimee Garbacik
Illustrated by: Jeffrey Lewis
Published by: For Beginners
Distributed by: Random House

I feel bad that I am just now getting around to writing about this book because my friend Chris Estey is doing the publicity for it and he was nice enough to send me a copy a few months ago. 
I had a For Beginners book about philosophy when I was in high school, but this one is way more exciting and interesting because it's all about the wide spectrum of gender, sexuality, and everything else that could possibly fit into the mixed bag of being a queer, or not queer individual. The illustrations by Jeffrey Lewis are great, and each page contains little boxes and pull quotes filled with facts. For instance, did you know that only 16% of Hollywood films feature women protagonists? And did you also know that in 2003 Qazi Rahman did research into eye blink startle responses in gay and heterosexual men and women? Well, there you go. 

Pippi Fixes Everything
By: Astrid Lindgren & Ingrid Vang Nyman
Published by: Enfant (Drawn & Quarterly)

I never liked Pippi Longstocking when I was little because she had red hair and was some sort of foreign that didn't make sense to me, but now I'm a lot more open to new things. The color pallet of this book, and the illustrations as a whole are like Prozac for your eyeballs. Just holding this book in my hands puts me in a better mood, and for some reason the paper smells fantastic.  At one point in this book, Pippi rides a white horse with a monkey on her back. Think about it. There's another part where she and some friends sit inside of an igloo and eat a cream cake. That sounds terrific.