Unearthed Genius Of Lucia Berlin

Unearthed Genius Of Lucia Berlin

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Having burned many bridges in my hometown, I had a lot of time to waste over winter break. I desperately needed something to fill my days and, realizing that recommending books to friends and relatives would be but another way to assert my superiority, I decided to read anything I could get my stubby little hands on.

I've always loved reading, but I deplore pretension, which makes tackling the classics a challenge. You can just tell that these books feel superior. Somewhere, right now, Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde are cackling in Hell over their shared eminence, their unrivaled importance in literary circles.

Which is why I've always tended to stick to books like:

Kate Hepburn may have been able to act circles around everyone in Hollywood, but a writer she ain't. I have never felt threatened by books like these. They're entertaining, they're (very) mildly educational, and they have pictures -- the trifecta of lethargy.

But after glancing over my bookshelf and realizing that I had read about the life of nearly every Academy Award winner from 1935 to 1970, I decided to face my fears and give literature a try. I walked into Barnes & Noble, looked over their bestsellers, and picked one based on its cover.

Always judge books by their covers, kids.

I was floored. I poured over this collection of autobiographical short stories, reading and rereading each one, desperate to relish Lucia Berlin's voice, to extract every nuanced meaning from every masterfully constructed line. Berlin's stories span her various careers; switchboard operator, Spanish teacher, nurse. The peripheral characters flit in and out of their respective stories with a realistic grace. Her writing is brutal in not only its stark portrayal of a class of people not typically displayed on bestseller lists, but its beauty because of these much-maligned, rarely-discussed subjects. It's an atypical elegance you won't find within the pages of the classics, but one that radiates with a subdued (tarnished?) dignity off of her description of impoverished suburbs and trailer parks, schoolyard delinquents and dysfunctional families, nuns and alcoholics. The stories take place from the American southwest to South America, but in spite of location, the writing dazzles with its unparalleled, gritty grace.

Berlin's stories are accessible, not because of this realism, but because Berlin doesn't lord her obvious talent over the reader. Her writing is amicable, conversational, a 2 a.m. conversation in a working class bar put to paper. She eschews formality in favor of a style that is both poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. The humor is dark and the characters are the kind that you would encounter in any dimly-lit bar across Texas, with the unspecified yearning of the author revealing itself with each page. Don't let the breezy informality fool you, either. Lucia Berlin is a writer whose every line will require, and demand, all of your attention. Her subtly in meaning is offset by her frankness in delivery in a style that feels more like stories your favorite grandparent might let slip after one too many Miller Lites than the merited work of a talented author.

Berlin passed away in 2004, another example of a tragically talented artist shunned by the public during her lifetime and praised only upon her death, yet this collection, thankfully, presents the genius of this Dorothy-Parker-by-way-of-Albuquerque to a willing and receptive world, affording her the widespread acclaim she earned decades ago.

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50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right
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In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" "huh...Judas..no"

31. "Sleep? I don't know about sleep...it's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"


35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?


39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"


I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

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Pocketless Pants: A Closet Conspiracy

Fed up with fake pockets? These theories will have you in stitches.
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I’m generally a calm person, but nothing gets my blood boiling like when I try to put my hand in my pocket only to find that it’s sewn shut. I’m surprised every time, not for a lack of consistency but for the sheer stupidity of it all. Someone has actually taken the time to design the pockets, place them on the pants, and then to sew them shut—and for what? This question has baffled me for years, and in a recent attempt to find answers I’ve developed a few theories.

1. To make us buy purses

If we don’t have pockets to put our phones, wallets, and keys in, then we have no choice but to pour our savings into decorative sacks. It’s all a ploy for stores to make more money—and to reinforce “feminine” conventions, because what honest woman doesn’t carry around a cute little purse? (Answer: me, ever since my unicorn purse was stolen during Sunday School in the second grade. But I digress.)

Luckily, there’s another option for those of us who can’t keep track of a purse. If you’ve been keeping up with recent trends, you may have noticed that the fanny pack is making a comeback. What a novel idea: a space for your items that doesn’t require you to hold on to anything. Hmm, what does that sound like? That's right—the perfect accessory for those pocket-less pants. And it’ll only set you back about $20. Nice!

2. To make us dependent on men

Ever wonder why men have so many pockets? They have back pockets, front pockets, thigh pockets—and if that’s not enough, they’ve got shirt pockets, too. The most I’ve ever seen a guy carry on his person consisted of a wallet and keys. Something’s not adding up here.

Maybe all that extra space isn’t actually for his things, but for yours. If he’s got your phone and money in his pocket, you aren’t going anywhere. He has you, and your possessions, safely within reach. Everyone wins—just hope the date doesn’t go too poorly.

3. To make us look slimmer

Don’t women have enough junk in the trunk already? No room for any extra. Can’t have that phone or wallet messing with your figure (or obstructing the view, because that’s the only reason women wear tight pants, right?)

4. That’s all I’ve got

Because there is literally no plausible explanation for such an idiotic design choice. We’ve had so many revolutions in women’s clothing: we are no longer subject to swooning from corsets that are too tight, we don’t have to keep our ankles covered for fear of the scandal, and we can wear pants if we so choose. We have not come so far only to tolerate pockets that only look the part.

Ladies, I’m proposing a strike against false pockets: let’s check before we buy.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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