English 1B, Monday 3/30/20

-If you want to know your last essay grade, let me know.  But, honestly, we’re starting this whole thing over.  Starting NOW.

-First off, how is everyone doing?  What are you writing, how are you dealing with all this?  What’s on your mind?

-Let’s PRODUCE.  Story, thought, let’s just MOVE…

-Let’s just move forward….  But first, thoughts on Sedaris.  What you learned, what you saw, how he connected with you and what his intentions were through his PRODUCTION.

-What about his writing do you want to incorporate into yours.  Or, what about Sedaris influences your outlook on the world and by extension your writing?

-Jenny Lawson…. All I have to say is, well, WOW.  Why would I say that?  Why would any reader say that?  What notes have you taken?

-What are some characteristics, or qualities of her writing?  How would you describe her humor?

-Any passages you want to share, that stood out to you for a particular reason?

-Her and Sedaris… different, similar, what?

-Jenny Lawson’s book connects would be great for someone who……………?

                *Needs to laugh.

                *Is looking for new perspective.

                *WHAT??????

BREAK

                Your journal… what are you writing for you?

                Thinking about your story and where you are in it, aside from everything that’s going on…  What makes you want to tell a story?

                *How are you using a journal?  That is, when do you connect with it and what makes you connect with it?

Homework due before next online meeting:  3-page typed reaction email to me, on your reaction to Lawson’s writing and how she writes… NO SUMMARY, just a reader’s reaction.

                Also…. Email me pictures of your journal’s pages, whichever pages you wish!

                Lastly….. write more in your journal, about what’s happening with quarantine and all the covid effects, but more importantly you and how you are maintaining character composition during all this….. USE. YOUR. JOURNAL.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

187 Comments Add yours

  1. Rizzie Vermont says:

    Hey everybody. I’m doing pretty well today, all quarantine considered. I just got back from taking the puppets for a walk. Hanging out with Zippy has definitely been keeping me sane during this quarantine. Did anyone else not particularly care for the essay type writing Sedaris did. I feel like normally I’ll get super into a book and read big portions, but having all the start and stopy stories made it really hard to read. I had a few laughs in it. It seemed like his relationship with his dad was pretty bad and that was an underlying theme throughout it. I think his descriptions are what makes his work funny and I want to take that into my own writing. It’s not necessarily the story that’s funny, but it’s how you say it. That’s what I really have learned from sedaris. Lawson is amazing so far! I totally love her writing style and it feels a lot more similar to mine, sort of stream of consciousness style. I feel engaged and like her writing leaves me wanting more. Same thing as sedaris with it being how she writes as opposed to the stories… but her stories are way funnier too.

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    1. mikemadigan says:

      Funny, I found that to be one of Sedaris’ more unique and defining qualities in his writing. But, I do agree that there is more fluidity and less choppiness to Lawson. Glad you enjoy her writing! And more importantly, glad you connect to her. What are her distinctive dimensions?

      Like

      1. Rizzie Vermont says:

        I don’t really know what distinctive dimensions means, but I really enjoy how unique her childhood was. I feel like mine was really unique and weird as well but in totally different ways. I guess the big connection to animals was a common denominator for us. I also think her stories are just hilarious. Like that whole bit about the raccoon wearing pants was hilarious. I’m listening to the audiobook (read by her) and reading along and the combination of her reading style and the pictures takes her writing to a whole new level. I also really like her use of footnotes. Oh and just her candidness. Like the whole bit about Angelina Jolie not liking Jews was really funny because it didn’t need to be there but she just says what pops into her head and I really appreciate that. It makes her writing feel more genuine in a way.

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      2. mikemadigan says:

        “Distinctive dimension”, means what makes his writing truly HIS. What establishes the writing’s identity and the writer’s. What makes it unique, which I guess I probably could have just said…. ha ha….

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      3. Rizzie Vermont says:

        Ahhh I see. I guess what makes her writing really hers is a combination of a few things. First what I mentioned before about her being candid. From her intro explaining in depth how honest the bulk of her story is and as you read she includes things that aren’t necessary for the story but just add this honesty component to her writing. That brute honesty coupled with her just sort of blurting things out, allowing herself to have side tangents and lose her train of thought really make her writing hers. I also really like that she directs things to the reader, like when she was talking about which portions peta members should read and which they shouldn’t. I think it’s called breaking the third wall in theater, but I kinda feel like she does that in her writing. I’m sure more motifs will come up as I read more of her book too.

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      4. mikemadigan says:

        Awesome, Rizz!!

        Like

    2. Theresa says:

      Hi Rizzie!
      I also felt that Lawson’s stream of consciousness writing is similar to mine. She’s amazing! I haven’t read that far, but I absolutely love her so far!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rizzie Vermont says:

        It is so relatable!! I definitely want to look into reading some of her other stuff in the future… and I could tell that right off the bat.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Theresa says:

        She has an AMAZING book called “Furiously Happy”. It’s been a while since I read it, but it’s great.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. mikemadigan says:

        Great that you and Ms. Lawson already know each other… cheers!!

        Like

  2. Rizzie Vermont says:

    By puppets I meant pupper… as in dog lol

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    1. mikemadigan says:

      Ha ha… I got it!!!! 🙂

      Like

  3. Theresa says:

    Hi everybody! Miss you all! It’s such a weird time to be alive, isn’t it? I for one am doing ok, taking each day as it comes, doing my best to remain positive and grateful. I am still working, which is great. I also have an eleven year old son with ADHD and I’m home with him on Thursdays and Fridays, attempting to home school him and work at the same time. A challenging task fa show.

    I must say, I very much appreciate David Sedaris. His somewhat constant need for his father’s approval is similar to the way I feel about my mom, though not in such high caliber. I love her to pieces and I think she is probably my biggest motivation (whether she intends to be or not).

    Jenny Lawson is INCREDIBLE! Her writing is so real. So authentic and comes straight from the heart. I feel, at times, when I’m writing for myself that my writing is very similar to mine. Or the way I wish it to be, if I could get started. I have a dream of writing a memoir, and in my imagination it has a similar candor, tempo and authenticity.

    Her style literally had me laughing out loud. Like truly though, not just an outward push of air through the nose. I’m not that far into her book yet, but really I can honestly say that I have not literally laughed out loud while reading a book in a great many years. It’s easy to read, and her thought process is so special and different than most other authors I have read.

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    1. mikemadigan says:

      Yes, Lawson creates this enviable realism. Not only that, she confronts readers in this eager and loving way. Good to have you back, and glad you’re loving Lawson’s work!!

      Like

  4. Wiatte Hawkens says:

    Hello Colleagues. I am doing okay through the entire quarantine process. I truly didn’t expect the outbreak to reach the point in which it caused the remainder of the school year to be replaced with online classes. I realized I have taken a lot of things about normal day to day life for granted, and it did not take me long to miss some of the most basic things about my non-pandemic obstructed life. David Sedaris is a very unique storyteller with the way that he uses comedy to bring light to sub par situations. It seems almost therapeutic especially when you can personally relate to the problems that he expresses. Sedaris inspired me to incorporate his own comedy style where he uses controversial concepts to entertain and create laughter. I would like to have a personalized version of this by using comedy to cope with my own problems. I had this outlook on life, treating many of my problems as a joke, but I never mirrored it in my writing. Jenny Lawson has honestly left me speechless. She is just so funny, that I now look up to her and her extremely natural wit as a very optimistic goal for myself. It is very safe to say that she has a comedically abstract outlook on life, and that is what makes her so entertaining. I have taken many notes on how she has used comedy in her own way to express her unconventional outlooks on life. I would describe her comedy as very sardonic. Her and Sedaris are similar in the way that they both use comedy as a huge part of their writing styles. However they are also different in the way that they use comedy within their storytelling. Jenny Lawson’s book would be great for someone who wants a new perspective on life.

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    1. mikemadigan says:

      Like your perspective on the quarantine dimension, Wiatte. Yes, it’s easy to take things for granted and just expect certain life facets to just be there. Concerning Sedaris often inspires people with his comedy, and teaches… And Lawson, yes. Can you elaborate on this “speechless” sensation? Any particular passages that have you wrapped and taken by her paragraphs?

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      1. Wiatte Hawkens says:

        One quote that I wrote down from the book was that “you are defined not by life’s imperfect moments, but by your reaction to them”, and that “there is joy in embracing – rather than running from – the utter absurdity of life.” This was a quote that left me contemplating my outlook on life for a much longer amount of time than what I would care to admit.

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      2. mikemadigan says:

        Nice. I like the idea embodies in this quote…

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    2. Ava Burk Powers says:

      Wiatte!
      I think you’re totally right regarding appreciation for everyday life. Not leaving the house freely is something I didn’t think we’d ever struggle with. I am glad you’re doing okay, and I agree with you on both Sedaris and Lawson. I found Lawson to be quite entertaining. Their comedic approach is fantastic, and not common. I don’t read a lot of comedic books, but this has definitely inspired me to look into it furthermore. Sedaris might be my favorite though. His approachable writing is something I like a lot. He’s an easy read. as well as one of lesson-learning. Thanks for the great input!

      Like

  5. Kate Nunez says:

    To start off, I am doing okay. Not terrible, but aside from that, I agree with Rizzie. While reading Sedaris, his storied could’ve been easily told straightforward and not been funny at all. I feel like with any comedy of some sort, if you just read something out loud without any special wording or specific way of saying it, it’s dull and kind of boring. The way he says his stories is what makes it funny. If he didn’t add some extra words to make it funny, the story could’ve easily just been a depressing one, calm one, boring, etc. An example is with just the first story in the book talking about his doctor. When he adds those extra details about how he wants to be given more info, it’s just funny. And to add on, it’s relatable just relatable how people want an explanation for things that seem serious to them. And when it’s relatable, it gives it more of a chance to be funny. An example is with Latino families all being able to make a joke about getting their butts whooped by “la chancla” because you can relate to it. Also, Sedaris’ writing makes me want to improve my writing to make it a little more funnier when it comes to serious situations. I feel like I always make any serious situation in writing too serious, but relatable? But I want it to be funny and serious and relatable that you don’t end up with a bad feeling or that your memory ends up becoming something positive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      What does Sedaris want for us, in your opinion?

      Like

      1. Kate Nunez says:

        I think Sedaris wants us to be able to make moments funny and happy to write about and not let it just be defined as a moment that’s just there and can’t be turned into anything other than it being sad, happy, or a certain emotion. I feel like he wants us to turn it funny and happy to make us keep writing. I feel like I can compare it with how you try to get us to keep writing. It’s fun to write, but it also helps get down emotion and feeling? Kind of?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mikemadigan says:

        Doesn’t need to have a question mark if that’s what you feel.

        Like

  6. Theresa says:

    I feel definitely that Lawson inspires people to look at life a little differently. That sometimes things that may appear to be awful experiences can be turned into eventual humor.

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    1. mikemadigan says:

      And not only that, she wants us to almost look forward to those awkward or uncomfortable, or even unpleasant experiences… So maybe we can one day tell our take on the situation!!!

      Like

  7. Kate Nunez says:

    Oh my lord. I am so sorry for all my spelling errors and extra words that I thought I deleted. Just… forget it haha.

    Like

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Don’t worry. Just keep the part going….

      Like

  8. Gilbert says:

    Hey everyone,

    I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. For myself, things are starting to pick back up again as classes get back on session. As far as writing goes, i have not done much of it. i suppose there is so much going on that i forgot, or rather avoided putting my thoughts on paper.

    While i slacked on the writing, i did manage to keep up with the reading and had a good time with the work of Sadaris. I am especially fond of his dry humor, as well as his comforting style of writing. A great read for the tough times at hand.

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    1. mikemadigan says:

      What about Lawson? Thoughts?

      Like

      1. Gilbert says:

        Not too far into the book, but i am definitely a fan. The one thing that stuck out to me was her relationship to her father and how his actions have radically shaped her perspective on life, which is very similar to what Sedaris experienced with his own father.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. CHI TOWN says:

    Hey!! I’ve just been working, making sure everyone’s caffeine needs are met. Work has been a lot but reading has always been my safe space. Being able to transport to another world through reading and writing has always been what I love. Lawson is absolutely incredible, I can so deeply relate to her and reading her book bring me such joy during these difficult times. Her train of thought is very fluid and fascinating, she makes me laugh. I did enjoy Sedaris, but I have to admit that I prefer Lawson.

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    1. mikemadigan says:

      Elaborate on your preference….

      Like

  10. Andrew Mckamey says:

    Hey everyone. I’ve been doing well through this situation. Mainly I’ve just been running every day and doing work for other classes. I found Sedaris’s style of writing to be different, at least to me. This is really only the second book I’ve read that is considered to be an essay collection. I found some of his essays to be him rambling on about random things that had no relevance, though maybe to him they were significant. I found that I like Lawson more. I enjoy how she is candid and has no filter with her writing. I see her humor as being similar to stand up comedy humor. A lot of people in stand up comedy base all their humor off real-life experiences rather than making up jokes. I really see a lot of that in Lawson’s style of humor, which I enjoy very much. Most of the notes I’ve taken in the book have been reactions rather than writing down certain lines, I’ll write the page number of something crazy then jot down my reaction to it. I’m about halfway through the book and I’ve definitely have enjoyed more than Sedaris’s book so far. As with what writing I’ve been doing, I’ve mainly stuck to creative writing, mainly about nature as that is where I’m most comfortable and feel I can pull some of the best pieces out of me. So far during this whole situation, I’ve been writing about what makes me happy and reading a very entertaining novel.

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    1. mikemadigan says:

      Glad you like Lawson.. what are some observations you have logged in your journal?

      Like

      1. Andrew Mckamey says:

        One observation was how off guard Lawson caught me at the very beginning of the book. The Starbucks experience with her doctor then breaking the fourth wall referring to the reader as “a big, fat fake” if you stopped reading after the first paragraph. I wrote down how surprised I was with how the book opens like the start of a road race, it gets off and running. I also noted how much I enjoyed the section where she leaves all the post-it notes for her husband. I found that part to be very entertaining as that is something that very well could happen in real life and even in my own life with someone I meet. That also brings me to parts of the book I jotted down where I thought that was a real-life situation that I could experience and or already experienced. I think most of my most have been reactions and then connections with the author’s experiences.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Theresa says:

      Hey Andrew!
      I love what you said about Lawson being similar to a stand up comedian. That was probably my first reaction to her writing style. It reminds me of the show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” in terms of her raw humor.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Stephanie Neeley says:

    Hello all!
    I am doing well during this time, looking for ways to keep productive at home. This is a huge shift for me being at home all the time. I guess it is a great way to save money at least. For Saderis I enjoyed his writing it was in a different format then other books I have read. I did find it hard to follow with all the short stories but I enjoyed his writing anyways. One thing I will take with me regarding his writing is how to tell a life story in essays that was my favorite part. This book is completely realistic. For lawson I am still waiting on my book to arrive, if anyone has any suggestions of ordering it somewhere that has fast shipping please let me know.

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    1. mikemadigan says:

      I appreciate you reaching out to your colleagues for advice!! Elaborate on your Sedaris thoughts, please!!!

      Like

    2. Theresa says:

      Hey Stephanie,
      Not sure what the shipping timeline looks like on Amazon, but I bought mine there. It’s not too pricey. I think i bought all of the required reading books for like $30?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Thank you, Theresa!!!!

        Like

  12. mikemadigan says:

    Jenny Lawson’s writing has this quality of anxiety about it. Did anyone else sense that?

    Like

    1. Theresa says:

      I felt a quality of anxiety about it. Kind of like frantic or somehow desiring of a different childhood?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Theresa says:

        Maybe I’m not far enough into it though…

        Like

      2. mikemadigan says:

        Got it! Keep reading and get back to us!

        Like

      3. Rizzie Vermont says:

        I totally agree about a degree of anxiety in her writing. For me it just add to the relatable factor though

        Liked by 1 person

      4. mikemadigan says:

        Nice!! Yes… if one experiences anxiety, knows someone who does, or is just aware of anxiety and what it can do to a person, then yes it absolutely makes the narrator more universal, I think….

        Like

    2. GIlbert says:

      Anxious and self-conscious are the vibes i got from the start. It is as if she doesn’t want the reader to make their own opinion about her, instead, she will tell you what you should think in a hilarious way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yara Goldreyer says:

        I also felt as if she was overusing humor to the point where it wasn’t as funny anymore. Almost as if she was trying to prove that she has gotten over her truama by making a joke out of everything.

        Like

      2. mikemadigan says:

        Not the first time I’ve heard that. Good point! Find some passages that made this thought more prominent for you.

        Like

      3. Yara Goldreyer says:

        The dead animal puppet situation repeating for Lawson’s niece felt to me as like was something she was actually upset by. The way she described her shock, disgust, and disappointment as a child felt real and then she quickly shifted to trying poking fun at the whole experience. I was left with the feeling that she just laughed it off and buried her feelings. That is the feeling I have had throughout much of the book.
        When Lawson summed up that chapter by stating that she now considered herself to be on even terms with her father she seemed to be stating that she was still holding onto the anxiety from her past and looking for a way to express that without going into further detail about her feelings.
        I’m only partway through the book so I might be able to elaborate on this more when I finish the book.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. mikemadigan says:

        All good. Keep reading!

        Like

    3. Yara Goldreyer says:

      Yes. Reading her writing was literally giving me anxiety.
      It’s interesting to read about how so many people connected to Lawson’s writing. I haven’t been able to finish her book because I find it almost impossible to read. I become distracted easily so have to go back and read everything over again each time she digresses. I guess I don’t connect with her style of humor as much either so I have been struggling to relate to her writing.

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      1. mikemadigan says:

        Follow and focus on that anxiety… that’d be my advice to you!!!

        Like

    4. Gilbert says:

      Anxiety and self-conscious are the vibes i got from the start. It is almost as if she doesn’t want the readers to make their own opinions about her, instead she tells you what you should think of her in a hilarious way.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Stephanie Neeley says:

    WIATTE HAWKENS,
    I like the way you talked about Saderis being therapeutic That’s anther great way of looking at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Yes. He wants us to feel comfortable. And, see that those moments in life can be managed.

      Like

  14. Dasha Hall says:

    Bubble baths, quarantine, and banana pancakes. Maybe too many batches of banana pancakes. Definitely too many, to the point where I’ve run out of batter and starting hating the taste. Which genuinely, is tragic. But I guess that’s what happens when you let a running joke of how fat you’re going to get go on too long. That’s how I’m doing.

    Besides my growing food baby, Sedaris. I genuinely enjoyed his writing, how it felt as if he was talking directly to you and holding absolutely nothing back. It was honest, brutally and uncomfortably so, but I think that’s exactly why I liked it so much. It communicated one thing I would like to carry into my writing and that is the beauty of bluntness. Writing feels better to read when it doesn’t feel particularly perfect or polished, but like a train of thought. Honest. Out there, in the open, for everyone to interpret however they wish.

    Like we discussed in class, Sedaris wants us to write, and similarly, I think Lawson wants us to embrace these bizarre experiences that we stumble upon, and embrace them. Write about them. They shape us and define who we are, the memories that impacted us and compel us to write something. Even though some of the experiences with her own family were somewhat mortifying, she doesn’t regret them, and instead chooses to incorporate them in her writing.

    I think I’d like to do the same, as I do have some pretty strange family members, though none of mine have a taxidermy collection like her father’s. Thank God for that. Truly though, I’m drawn to the idea of finding humor in situations, even ones as difficult as the one we are currently in, and even though my skin feels like a weighted blanket and often I don’t feel like getting out of bed, I do, if not for the pancakes, then the hope that all of this will be over soon.

    Like

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Love this post, Dasha!! The beauty of bluntness… yes!!! And, I like how you’ve acknowledged that humor can be, in a way, weaponized.

      Like

      1. Dasha Hall says:

        Thank you! ☺️ I think it’s something they both do beautifully.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mikemadigan says:

        Beauty in humor/comedic consideration…. Interesting. Try to develop that, Ms. Dasha!!! 🙂

        Like

      3. Dasha Hall says:

        In regards to your question.. I think the current situation is a perfect example as to why humor is so necessary. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and forget to make light in such difficult circumstances. But I think it’s imperative to pull yourself out of the darkness for a bit, and simply find the comedy in it all. Of course being unaware and making insensitive jokes isn’t what I mean, but whether it is getting fat on breakfast foods or making a ridiculously complicated apocalypse plan, comedy can be a relief from reality. Especially when reality is so heavy. As readers though, I think comedy can be a vehicle to really draw someone in, and connect with your stories on a more personal level. Fundamentally, everyone likes to laugh, and even if you don’t like particularly like a book, even just finding something funny can still save the experience. Humor is something we can all connect on, and it’s something we all need because it gives character, to a person and to a text.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. cjfilice says:

      When I read banana pancakes it reminded me that I have eaten more chocolate chip pancakes in the past two weeks than I have eaten in the rest of my twenty-six years of life combined.

      Like

      1. Dasha Hall says:

        I feel your pain. Pancakes every morning sounds like a good idea until you actually do it. It is nice to have something to do but I swear cereal has never sounded sexier.

        Like

      2. Theresa says:

        I’ve been making mini cupcakes. Chocolate and then a maple bacon. 🙂 baking and sweets make things better in moderation.

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      3. mikemadigan says:

        Getting hungry… STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Like

      4. mikemadigan says:

        I see you now are speaking and narrator like Mr. Sedaris and Ms. Lawson… cheers!!! Why is humor so useful, Dasha?? Why do we as readers maybe need more of it?

        Like

  15. Haley says:

    I just feel that Sedaris wanted to tell us his stories and memories in a humorous manner, while Lawson wanted to show us that you can look back on those memories (good and bad) and see them in a different light. Also Lawson’s writing just seemed to flow better and a little more straightforward in my opinion. But both writer’s are very humorous and very honest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kyle Hirth says:

      I agree. Sedaris doesn’t necessarily reflect that much on his experiences. His humor comes from the moment he experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Maybe the humor is the rattle of reflection…..?

        Like

  16. cjfilice says:

    It seems like there is nothing but time right now. I always felt behind in life so I’ve been taking this opportunity complete all of the little tasks that i’ve cast to the side. Staying busy has really made time fly and I can’t believe two weeks have already gone by. I’ve been thinking a lot about what the post-quarantine world would look like. People are surely going to be much more hygienic for a few months and endlessly talk about it until the next wave of fires come. I also wonder what kind of long term effects these traumatic events will have on individuals and on our society as a whole. I can tell my grandchildren that I survived the pandemic by sitting inside and watching youtube. I can also give them my journal that I have been using to write funny thoughts that my girlfriend or I might have throughout the day. I think it would be an alright read but probably won’t get made into a book that documents what these times were like. I took this type of journaling from Sedaris’ Day In, Day Out writing which resonated with how I would like to document life. Funny little anecdotes that I find interesting or odd. The writings definitely made me feel like I was reading more than I actually did. I would finish a writing and feel accomplished but only four pages had passed. I’d also say that I had difficulty in reading large portions at a time. I thoroughly enjoyed Sedaris’ unapologetic thoughts. He disregards political correctness and speaks his truth. It doesn’t come off as malicious though. I’d like to incorporate this type of communication into my writing.

    Like

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Great post here, Chris. Thought on Lawson… a comparative between her and Sedaris?

      Like

      1. cjfilice says:

        I don’t have a lot to go off of yet as I just got into her book but she has a stream of consciousness thing going on. Sedaris’ writing is much more planned. Lawson’s comes off as effortless. I can tell that Sedaris is a writer by the words that he uses. What I’ve read of Lawson’s is more down to Earth and relatable. I can see their similarities already though. Both have a healthy lack of shame that allows them to say what’s on their minds. I’m curious to delve deeper into the book. I’m sure my views on how the two compare when I have read more.

        Like

      2. mikemadigan says:

        I like the idea of it being “effortless”, or more natural. Something to think about!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Stephanie Neeley says:

    For Sedaris my extended thought on the book was he also had an adventures life. Traveling and living in different countries takes a lot of different types of social awareness and culture shock. Sadaris growing up with an abusive dad and a mother who was not always present I saw a pattern in behavior from Sadaris. his perspective was also going about things in an agressive manner as well as to what he saw at home.

    Like

    1. mikemadigan says:

      You would call his dad ‘abusive’? Why?

      Like

  18. Kyle Hirth says:

    Hello fellow writers, I’m sure most of us are fed up with the quarantine by now. At least I am, judging by the 8th puzzle I’m starting today. I was really surprised by how writing in a journal really helped me get my negative feelings and worry out of me. I’ve realized that I can only take a certain amount of news per day or my head will explode. After reading Sedaris, I had the sense that he believed in the power of humanity. While many of his stories ridicule our humorous tendencies, I think he is proud of how far society has come by comparing it to his own life (Ex: the story about gay rights and killing your wife). His humor for me was how he gave different perspectives and hidden truths in our society. As I enjoy analyzing different perspectives, his humor really connected. I’m not sure if any other readers felt this, but during the last 1/3 of the book, I felt it took on a more somber and grim tone. While the experiences were worse such as a lost laptop and a woman with plastic bags on her head, I felt that because it was a darker setting, there was less humor in his thoughts and therefore his writing.

    As for Jenny, I don’t think anyone could’ve recovered better from such a childhood experience. The part that irks me is that she constantly rambles, which is a pet peeve. However, when I start reading one, it just absorbs me and I’m lost in her world until she suddenly tells me she was off-topic and I’m like What?! I think she has a dark sense of humor not unlike her father. They both enjoy the thought of promising going somewhere, the movies, until they realize it was a fantasy. Jenny would classify herself as a humorist while Sedaris would consider himself a writer. Sedaris writes to share his experiences while Lawson writes to ridicule herself. Jenny Lawson’s book connects for anyone who did not grow up in Wall, Texas. Most people reading it would not be impoverished or have many similar experiences. The fact that she personifies such a different American experience makes it funny.

    Like

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Glad you’re seeing gems and points of focus and elevation in her work. What is her biggest strength, in your mind?

      Like

      1. Kyle Hirth says:

        I’d say that her strength would be in how freely she writes. Her editor lets her run free and she has no hesitation in writing about her most embarrassing moments

        Like

      2. mikemadigan says:

        Great point!! Develop that for later!!!

        Like

  19. Alexander Tustin says:

    Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing well and have a easy time getting back to classes online! I enjoyed reading Sedaris and loved his writing style. He made unpredictable jokes that caught me off guard which made them much more enjoyable. He has qualities I wish I had such as lightheartedness and irony. The stories within the book seemed for the most part to be not connected except the stories about him growing up. I liked his essay style of writing since it kept my interest by introducing new stories every significant number of pages. While reading I felt as if I was there listening to Sedaris tell his stories. I felt as if I was a participant in a crowd listening to Sedaris. I could imagine hearing the audience’s laughter as Sedaris tells a joke. In Lawson’s book I fell like a participant too, but as a reader. Lawson breaks the fourth wall in her writing. She incorporates three layers of herself into the book: the character, the narrator, and the writer. I also enjoy her lightheartedness and humor too. Another quality of her writing that I found interesting is her use of run-on sentence that made reading it, especially the introduction, very exhausting. I found it funny how she would say something not true and devote the next couple of sentences correcting the lie instead of just correcting the lie itself. I love how she plays with her editor in her writing. I’m only about sixty pages in and am excited to find out what happens next!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Welcome back! Is Lawson one of those writers that has a specific audience, in your opinion?

      Like

      1. Alexander Tustin says:

        I do feel like she does in a way that makes the story relatable. But not in a way that makes the story enjoyable. I believe you don’t need to relate to enjoy a story. Relating just adds a personal aspect in reading. Lawson does though remind me of friend I had in middle school with her craziness and weirdness.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Alexander Tustin says:

        Relatability is not the only thing that can make a story enjoyable. The writing, the character, and the story itself could pique the interest of any reader. If you can imagine the story you become a participant, a reader and that is the first implication that you are enjoying a story. Being able to hear stories completely different from your own could pique your interest by expanding your knowledge of other peoples lives.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. mikemadigan says:

    Does anyone ever think about what Sedaris or Lawson is writing about this COVID thing? I do… and I feel that Lawson’s style and mode, and thought rhythm is more apt for it. Your thoughts?

    Like

    1. Rizzie Vermont says:

      Yea I have a bit. I’ve been really trying to channel all things funny during this crazy time. So I’ve been trying to channel sedaris a bit in my journal entries. Now that I’ve started reading Lawson, i really want to try channeling her in my next journal entry

      Like

      1. mikemadigan says:

        So wonderful to hear, Rizz. Glad you find not only value and healing life in humor, but as well that it has importance in expression!!

        Like

      2. cjfilice says:

        I too have been trying to channel Sedaris. After reading one of Sedaris’ writings about his journals, I started writing all of the stupid funny things that happened throughout the day and there’s a lot more to write about than I thought.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Alexander Tustin says:

      I agree that Lawson’s craziness reflects the craziness of this COVID incident. Also how Sedaris describes Americans as afraid of something different and the unknown. I feel this definitely relates to COVID.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Cool… different moods from different writers, but both useful with COVID. I love it!

        Like

    3. Leon says:

      Yeah I feel like Sedaris would be writing about all the little things that he rakes for granted. He would also probably be writing about all the crazy people stocking up on toilet paper (lol)and clearing out the food aisles. Which is what Ive been writing about in my journal and just really trying to make sense of.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Stephanie Neeley says:

    Towards the beginning of the book Sadaris talks about emotional toxic environment with his dad. On page 23 Sadaris makes a comment that indicates their toxic relationship “Here I am, just turned fifty, and I forgot my father isn’t dead yet! In my defense, though, he’s pretty close to it.” After that sadadris does continue to talk about his dad that he has resentments towards him as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Well said. Colleagues, what do you think on his father? How would you categorize him?

      Like

      1. Theresa says:

        I feel that sedaris’ dad is a bit of a necessary evil. He motivates Sedaris to do better and be better, however, not in the most outwardly loving manner.

        Like

      2. mikemadigan says:

        Interesting. I agree. Necessary evil… hmmmmmmm……

        Like

      3. cjfilice says:

        His dad reminds me of Red Foreman. That’s the image that comes to mind. He cares about his family but can’t ever show it. It’s his duty to love his family whether he wants to or not.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Leon says:

        I agree completely with the the Red Forman comment. It’s a tough love sort of thing where he can never truly say that he loves him or appreciates him considering that around the time when Sedaris’s dad grew up expressing their feelings was seen more as a weakness than a strength.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Stephanie Neeley says:

    I think sometimes people can have good intentions but don’t know how to go about it in the right ways. What I learned in my social science courses is that a fraction of the time people can grow up in a toxic home environment and then pass it along to more generations for an example a verbally abusive in environment someone can have great intentions just don’t know how to say them in the right way. sadaris dad a necessary evil or could people call it harsh love?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alexander Tustin says:

      I totally agree and do believe it’s a harsh love. His father is looking out for him and his family. For example, the vengeance for his wife, vengeance for his daughter’s harassment and his extreme consideration for Sedaris to get a colonoscopy.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. mikemadigan says:

    I love how Lawson loves her “flaws”. And how she admits that she’s a bit of a rambler, and quirky presence. This, to me, is not only value in her writing but a connective quality.

    Like

    1. Theresa says:

      I love how she rambles. Maybe that’s because I’m a rambler? I read somewhere that if you can tangent and then reconnect to the original thought, it’s a sign of intelligence. To go down a rabbit hole of consciousness but be able to loop it back around in a full circle. Love it

      Like

  24. mikemadigan says:

    Hey y’all… before I forget, FINISH LAWSON’S BOOK BY THE CLASS AFTER NEXT!!!!!! ❤

    Like

    1. Rizzie Vermont says:

      By the 13th?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Yes, please!!!!! 🙂

        Like

  25. Diana Mendez says:

    So far, I’ve been good, staying safe and indoors mostly. As the days pass though, it’s gotten very boring and repetitive and I actually miss going to work. I’m ready to start doing things again, but with the way things are going now, it doesn’t seem like that will be happening anytime soon.
    I happened to really enjoy Sedaris, something about the writing style makes it so much easier for me to read. I wouldn’t say that it was relatable in the sense of being able to connect to the stories personally, but I think that due to the way its written (in a journal entry form), you’re able to resonate with it in a way.
    I do think that Lawson and Sedaris are similar in the way that the wit and humor behind their writing mirrors each other. But aside from that, I feel like Lawson’s stories have a lot more filler in them than Sedaris’. Something about Lawson is just.. very loud and I don’t get that same feeling from Sedaris either. But I do think that this book would be great for someone that needs a laugh and isn’t looking for something so complicated and thought-provoking to read.
    To be honest, I haven’t been writing in my journal as much as I should, considering the amount of time I’ve spent doing almost nothing. I was in this weird funk during spring break due to uncertainty about work and just everything else, which halted my motivation to really try to do anything for a while, but I’m working around this whole situation and just trying to get my shit together again. What I have managed to write in my journal though has just been about everything that’s going one and kind of just using it as an outlet, or a coping mechanism, to deal with all that’s happening.

    Like

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Start writing now then!!!! How far are you in Lawson’s text?

      Like

  26. mikemadigan says:

    My daughter just sat down next to me, and says she needs to read with my students.

    Like

    1. Rizzie Vermont says:

      Awww ☺️ That’s cute. Ask her how many tickles do you give an octopus? Ten -tickles (tentacles)

      Like

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Ha ha….. Thanks Rizz. I appreciate that, very nice of you. …….. Just did, she didn’t get it. 😦

        Like

  27. mikemadigan says:

    Take a five to seven minute break!!!!! When back, let’s talk about OUR writing of late…. go get some zen and collection…. 🙂

    Like

  28. mikemadigan says:

    I’ve been writing a lot about being “quarantined”. And how when I think “pandemic”, I think of something different. Been writing a lot about working from home, the kids, ideas as a result of this thing. And, how this “pandemic” is still so odd. Been trying to write humorously about it.. you? One joke I wrote about is that I’m more afraid of getting bigger and falling out of shape than I am some virus named after a shitty beer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alexander Tustin says:

      To me I the quarantine isn’t that much different than my regular daily life, so to me it’s not much of a big deal. I do though still sympathize with those that this affects tremendously.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        For sure. Again, a comedic consideration is meant to make something more manageable, for the reader and the one telling the story. It’s compensatory, for sure.

        Like

    2. Gilbert says:

      To be honest getting out of shape was a bigger fear to me than the virus itself as well, and with the closing of all gyms i thought it would become a reality. As it it turned out i actually found myself caring more about my health and eating healthier than ever. On top of that, i remembered i had a stationary bike and a few dumbbells in my garage, and i’ve been having a blast experimenting with different exercises.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        So where are you find the most balance in your routine?

        Like

    3. Yara Goldreyer says:

      I think of something entirely different as well when I think of the word pandemic. My mind associates the word with something closer to a zombie apocalypse.
      My coworkers and I are required to work in a mask, gloves and carry alcohol wipes, Clorox wipes, and hand sanitizer nearly everywhere. We stock the work trucks with extra disinfectant and then drive by people casually picking up Starbucks in their pajama pants. There is something odd about being in between normalcy and a complete crisis. I feel like an outsider to many in my mask and gloves and am stared down by others for continuing to work in public at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Different times for sure. Lots to write about and learn from.

        Like

    4. cjfilice says:

      The writings in my journal seem inappropriate. I think they’re funny but it’s hard to pick things out that would be easily digestible for the audience.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Stephanie Neeley says:

    What color of the Lawson book is everyone using?

    Like

    1. Theresa says:

      Grey with a mouse on it in a Shakespearian collar. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Alexander Tustin says:

      the one with the mouse/rat on it

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Great cover, I think… so relevant and irrelevant at the same time.

        Like

    3. mikemadigan says:

      Gray, with a mouse with a cape… Yes, you read that right.

      Like

    4. Yara Goldreyer says:

      Mine is mostly grey and red. It has a mouse wearing a cape on the cover

      Liked by 1 person

  30. mikemadigan says:

    I’ve also been writing and taking notes on simplicity, and how simplicity is only simplicity by comparison. We don’t need that much!!!

    Like

    1. Alexander Tustin says:

      Very interesting! I never thought about simplicity like that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Just a thought….. 🙂

        Like

    2. Theresa says:

      We really don’t NEED that much for sure. I feel like this quarantine/shelter in place has been a really good perspective changer. All I have felt like I really NEED is my family’s health. Happiness too for sure, but I’d much rather know they are safe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Well said, Theresa. Yes, when you’re together, there’s more sense and value than you otherwise have.

        Like

  31. Leon says:

    Hey everyone. I just finished cooking for the family because apparently everyone is to busy(p.s they’re not). The quarantine honestly hasn’t been too bad the first week I kind of just ignored everything from emails news and just relaxed at home. Afterward, I just started doing all my work which is pretty hard considering all the distractions at home. I’ve established a new sleep schedule that works for me. And have been using the downtime I have to just walk my dog. Also for some reason, I’ve just started getting into stocks and reading articles related to them. As for David Sedaris, I really like the utilization of humor in his stories. I found that a lot of his stories were really relatable especially when it came to his father. My father is a bit more toned down compared to his but either way, the stories made me feel that in those types of situations we kind of think the same way. I liked how conversational the stories were written. To me, it felt like they were manuscripts of what Sedaris was saying and what he was thinking which in part really led me to like the book. I haven’t gotten too far into LAwson’s book because it came like a day ago but I really like the freedom she shows in her writing. Sometimes when she writes it does seem to go on a bit longer than I’d like but for the most part, there are times where I feel that when she keeps on writing it’s necessary in order to establish a sense of relatability. This isn’t necessarily a necessity considering that the reader doesn’t always need to relate to the book but it does add a bit of humanness overall. It makes me believe that this is a human conveying their experiences and emotions and not just words on a page.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      How are you doing with the readings?

      Like

      1. Leon says:

        I’ve finished sedaris and am a few pages into Lawson’s . Looking to finish up the book as soon as I make some changes to my workspace in order to produce some more quality work.

        Liked by 1 person

  32. mikemadigan says:

    Who’s been writing in the morning? At night?

    Like

    1. Theresa says:

      Dream interpretation in the morning, introspective writing at night.

      Like

      1. mikemadigan says:

        PERFECT!!!! Would love to hear you read, or you share some here at some point. Only if you’re comfortable, of course…

        Like

    2. Yara Goldreyer says:

      The night owl in me in thriving without classes in the mornings so all writing has been in the later evening.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Whatever works!! 🙂

        Like

    3. cjfilice says:

      I like to be writing in the morning. Theres something about the natural light that feels fresh. At night my mind is tired and puts together what sounds like drunk ramblings.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Sometimes those drunk ramblings are the more insightful and illuminating.

        Like

      2. Theresa says:

        I love the ramblings though. My ramblings take me to a completely different place. Then when I go back and read them later, I can remember EXACTLY what I felt, when I felt it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. mikemadigan says:

        Good point, Theresa!!

        Like

  33. Stephanie Neeley says:

    This time of quarantine does really show what the essentials are. It shows how much we want things vs what we actually need. For me all that I need is to know my family and friends are okay, income and health insurance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Funny how priorities work. For some, it’s so much a ‘more more MORE’ mentality… for people like us, Steph, we have everything we need. Cheers… 🙂

      Like

  34. mikemadigan says:

    I’ve been following Sedaris’ advice and writing by hand in journal, or “diary” as he likes to specify, in the morning. Coffee and ink… my ‘Coffee and Composition’ tradition!!!

    Like

  35. Stephanie Neeley says:

    Amozon says my delivery date is April 20th. So i’ve been shopping around to find one sooner

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yara Goldreyer says:

      That seems to be the delivery date for most items on Amazon at the moment. Have you looked at eBay?

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Stephanie Neeley says:

    For me a journal is a way to get all my thoughts out and on paper. I journal at night because it takes a lot off my mind making it easier for me to sleep. When I was younger I did this all the time then I stopped as I got older. I also think keeping a journal or diary after you completed it is neat looking back and reading it years later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rizzie Vermont says:

      I totally agree. I’ve always been horrible at keeping to my journals on a regular basis, but the times that I have are really fun to look back at. It totally transports you back to where you were at that time you wrote it

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Thanks Rizz.. I agree. You just have to keep after it.

        Like

  37. mikemadigan says:

    Something for tonight’s page – Your written beat will get you what you want, no matter what’s going on in the world.

    Like

  38. Markus Ong says:

    To start things off I would like to know my grade on the essay. I’m doing alright and haven’t done much over the past 2 weeks. The majority of my days have consisted of me playing videogames, watching videos movies, and playing tennis with me and my friends. I’m not too stressed out about the whole thing because I’ve been staying inside a lot. I found Sedaris’ writing incredibly interesting because he built tension through his stories and released it with jokes and punchlines. In a way, it reminds me of storytelling because there you first have to build on the conflict and then resolve it. This is seen when Sedaris starts off his stories and builds tension throughout his stories. He then soon after tends to resolve the tension built through a well thought out joke. This is a writing technique I want to try and use because it allows for more emotional stories and more investment from the readers.

    Jenny Lawson’s writing is incredibly relaxed and laid back with numerous footnotes and tangents that take up a significant portion of the novel. At times she is also very honest and upfront about her life, displaying confidence and security in stories that may be very uncomfortable for some people to say. This may warrant the reaction “WOW” because of how real and normal she makes herself sound even with her extraordinary experiences. I’ve definitely taken note of the multiple times Lawson goes on tangents. These tangents let Lawson explore how she feels and reveal herself through her writing. Lawson’s humor is a lot like stand up because a lot of the time she is more so telling a story of her life in a way that sets up for a punch line at the end of every story. Generally, she follows the same pattern where she starts by saying something random but and unexpected that catches the reader’s attention. She then follows this up with context where she adds some of her own commentary. The punchline of the story is almost always a conclusion to an argument. For example when she is explaining why her dad isn’t normal, she, at the end of her argument, adjusts her definition of normal which makes for a strange definition of normal.

    Lawson and Sedaris share many similarities when it comes to storytelling and their jokes. They both roughly use the same style or formula (often very loosely) to make their writing more enjoyable for the reader. They also do a lot of callbacks to previous chapters or stories that can sometimes make their jokes or stories that much better. However, Sedaris is a little more professional in his writing as he rarely swears and stays on topic much more than Lawson.

    Jenny Lawson’s book would be great for someone who needs a different approach to reading. This might break up the seriousness of school or even life with humor and a very informal writing style.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Appreciate the thoughts. Will email you your grade. Did you text me to check in?

      Like

    2. Markus Ong says:

      *sorry I’m a bit late on the topic just wanted to make sure I expressed everything clearly

      Liked by 1 person

  39. mikemadigan says:

    Something else, from all this narrative we’re reading – How do you make yourself known, in class or in your writing or anywhere? Get to know yourself, learn your SELF, then share what you know.

    Like

    1. Alexander Tustin says:

      Find your own unique qualities and emphasize them. Make them known. Improve with your best qualities and discover your purpose. Everyone has one be it minor or major.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. mikemadigan says:

    Wrapping up…. Who has some ideas with which to leave us? Either about writing, Lawson or Sedaris, what we;re all going through? How this first online night went? Should we do a Zoom meeting? TALK TO ME!!!!!!!!!

    Like

    1. Gilbert says:

      I enjoyed this session and wouldn’t mind repeating it every Monday. As for our current situation, we always have too much to do with too little time. Now we have the time, lets aim to make the best out of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Stephanie Neeley says:

    I enjoyed class online this way. I thought it was a great discussion tonight

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yara Goldreyer says:

      Me too 🙂
      It was great to see everyone back here initiating conversation even after the extended break.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Theresa says:

      I did enjoy class this way too. The refreshing the page made me IDK excited to read what other people were writing. I thought it was definitely a thought-provoking discussion. Thanks Professor Mikey!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Thanks to all of you!!! Enjoy your night!!!

        Like

    3. mikemadigan says:

      It was!!! Need a little more activity, but for our first night not bad at all!! Have a great night!!

      Like

    4. mikemadigan says:

      Good to have you back!!!

      Like

  42. Yara Goldreyer says:

    I liked this written format better than my zoom classes but found the chat a little hard to follow at times. I had to refresh the page all the time to load more comments and was getting lost trying to find what I was reading before.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alexander Tustin says:

      I agree, a little hard to follow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        You just have to stay on top of it. It gets easier.

        Like

    2. Theresa says:

      I agree. Refreshing even took a while. But I get email notifications of new comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        See??? Positive outlook!!! You work with what you have. Thank you!!!

        Like

    3. mikemadigan says:

      You’ll get the hang of it… Enjoy your night!!

      Like

    4. mikemadigan says:

      You just have to stay on top of it. It gets easier!!!

      Like

  43. Jose F says:

    Hello all. Who would have thought that the first thing to go in an emergency would be toilet paper? Society. My quarantine life has been tolerable, but I now appreciate what we once called “normal.” I thought the social distancing thing would not be that bad because the parks and beaches were open. Then they closed the parks and beaches and we are all stuck inside. I have noticed dogs being walked in my neighborhood that I have never seen before, so that’s a plus, if there was one.

    While reading Sedaris I got more comfortable with being uncomfortable at least once per chapter – If that makes any sense. Later I was looking forward to reading his observations and commentary on everyday life. I must say my favorite chapter was “#2 to Go” it made me laugh several times and I had to read several sections of it to my girlfriend who was trying to read her book before Sedaris took over.

    Sedaris makes humorous observation in daily life and I think that is something that we can all take away from the reading. life is not as serious as it seems. while writing, I will try to incorporate a sort-of retrospective humor to situations that I have found myself in that in the moment perhaps I treated them too serious.

    While I have only read about 80 pages of Lawson, I feel like it is safe to say that she has had the most unique/crazy/traumatizing childhood ever. Her experiences as a child make me feel as if my childhood was a cakewalk compared to hers. I don’t know how to pin her down as an author, but she has made some situations that would be troubling to some, very funny. Who uses a dead squirrel as a hand puppet? Lawson takes off her author hat throughout the book (so far) and makes the reading more interactive with the commentary on what you are about to read. When she tells you to read a certain paragraph depending on your stance on “cleaning a dear” I was sold on the book.

    Lawson’s book would be great for everyone right now. We are all stuck inside and have time to reflect on the past.

    My journal has been jots of what has just happened or a reflection on what happened that day depending on if I happened to have my journal on me at the time or if it was left on my night stand.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Stephanie Neeley says:

    Zoom does tend to time out as well. I have used it for meeting before. Unless everyone wants to pay for a different addition for it. The free one times out quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. cjfilice says:

    Find something new and different to do every day. We have unlimited information at our fingertips. Make an effort I’ve been trying to find things to do that I usually wouldn’t have time for because I was “too-busy.” Also be kind to people. That should always be a thing but especially now. I think this was a thought provoking discussion. A Zoom meeting would be cool but not absolutely necessary. Thanks Mike!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Thank you, brother!! Have a great night!!!

      Like

  46. Rizzie Vermont says:

    I liked being able to write for the discussion. It was hard to follow but I feel like I started to get the hang of it. I haven’t had much success with zoom in the past, but I will test it out for a class tomorrow so I can check back in with how it goes. I duno though, it seems sort of fitting that we are holding the discussion via writing since it is a writing class.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Theresa says:

      I love that! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    2. mikemadigan says:

      You made my day, Rizz…. Cheers.

      Like

    3. Jose F says:

      Wise words Rizzie 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  47. Anna Zoia-Buescher says:

    Hi! In perspective I am doing pretty good. With everything going on it is kind of unsettling but I’m keeping good thoughts, hoping all of this will blow over soon. I’ve been a little lost now that my daily routine has been all over the place and not constant with school work and practice, but now with classes starting today, I’m planning on writing out a weekly schedule to hold myself accountable and get myself back on track. Staying active, staying busy, enjoying the little things I’ve forgotten to enjoy, and moving forward along with everyone else.
    With Sedaris, his writing was very straightforward and honest. His stories were unique in their own way and he wrote them very honestly and with thought. I don’t think they are meant for a particular reader, but it is open for anyone to understand and connect with in their own way, especially depending on how it’s read and interpreted. What I found interesting was the fact that he cussed in his book with the pieces of dialog, specifically in A Friend in the Ghetto where it says “‘Leave me the fuck alone’ comes out as ‘Well, maybe. Sure. I guess I can see your point’” (42). Unless I’ve just read all books without profanity, I’m not used to authors that story tell like that, but in a way I liked it because it almost built those characters better, and readers could read it and get a sense of what the characters actually sound like or what they are feeling in that instance. As for Lawson, I haven’t gotten too deep into her writing yet but I love it so far! She is so funny and yes, I think her writing is for someone who is needing a laugh AND who is looking for a new perspective. People have their own story and certain experiences that shape their lives and make them the people they are today but it was almost inspiring to see her experiences and how she rose above, and changed her perspective on life, which kind of motivates others to do the same. And she used humor to balance the intensity of her childhood, her story. I think a big thing that both authors want their readers to know is that everyone has a story to tell and by telling theirs, people can come together, people can laugh, people can be comforted by reading and knowing that someone gets it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. luis quezadas says:

      Hey Anna,

      I get it with all this going on it really throws of that daily routine you had going on when school was happening. Now I feel like you just go with the flow and make sure you get everything you want to do in your day. I also agree that Sedaris’ writing is straight forward and honest. I said that he had nothing to hide so it made the reading easier to understand because you didn’t have to depict every little thing about it. I enjoyed everything else you had to say and can’t wait to see what else you have for the next entry.

      Like

  48. Luis Quezadas says:

    Hey everyone,

    sorry to be writing this so late. I’m just trying to get used to not being able to see any friends or classmates. This is all so weird and would have never thought that this would happen to the world. I’m sure it was bound to happen but it just never crossed my mind. Anyways today was like any other day in quarantine. I woke up and checked my phone and then said good morning to my turtle. I then fed her and said good morning to my parents with smiles on their faces. I ate some breakfast and went on my phone and did the usual. Scroll through Instagram until I get annoyed at people’s posts, then I go on Snapchat and see if there’s anything interesting I could chuckle at. I then get bored and read a bit before saying screw it. I need to go on a run. I change and kiss my parents saying see you in a few. I have tons of loops I can do to get a solid run in. After running about 8 miles. I come into the house with sweat all over my body and my mouth filled with foam because I didn’t hydrate. I slur my words to my mom and tell her to hand me a water bottle. I shower and then take a nap or as I say I’m going to sleep. I realized I still had homework to do and you find me here writing about my day. Now let’s talk about Sedaris. I think his style of writing is great for me. I feel like it’s easy to read and he’s an open book with not much to hide. He’s confident in the way he writes and that would be something that I could incorporate in my work. I doubt myself too often and never think my work is good enough so I’m always too scared to share it. Hopefully, I become better at writing these on time and not letting them get to me last minute. I hope all of you are safe and healthy and hope to see you all soon!

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  49. Ava Burk Powers says:

    Hey everyone! I’m sorry I am late to the party. I just flew in late last night or early this morning, whatever you prefer. Both the airport in Hawaii and Oakland felt a little surreal and apocalyptic. There were exactly twenty people on the plane with us, five of which were my family and I. I have never been to an airport where I did not wait in a single line. It was a trip for sure, but also makes you feel icky. I quickly realized how much we come in contact with, how many people we interact with, and how many objects we touch. Overall, very gross. I am so thankful to be home and glad my grandparents were traveling with us as opposed to alone.
    As for the reading- I personally have loved David Sedaris’ writing style. I find him to be a crackup. I think his humor is great, and his writing style is phenomenal. My family loves Sedaris, but I had not read any of his work until now. The choppiness is something I find fantastic and unique to him. It makes it come to life, as though he personally is speaking and telling these stories in a casual setting. Clearly his childhood was not the happiest, and writing these stories seems like a form of therapy for him. He discusses his relationship with his father throughout, and it seems like that’s what hurts him most. Perhaps the jokes are a way of making him remember his childhood in a brighter light. The chapter at the country club where he takes summer swim classes is hard to read. He wants the approval of his father horribly, only to be neglected and compared to his more athletic peers. It also shows us a very different time period which I thought was kind of fun. The description of his mom and the other women, their intense tans, and obsessive smoking was so different from the majority of people today.
    Jenny Lawson- Although I’m not finished with this book I have enjoyed it. Not only is it a fun and relatable read, especially for our age group, but it is laugh out loud funny. Lawson brings her words to life with humor. She is up front and honest, and maybe even overly opinionated, but it makes her different and lively. Both she and Sedaris thrive off of self depreciating type humor, which although can be hard to read and sad, is also entertaining. Both of them want to fit in with the social norm as young people, and want to be loved and accepted by family. Overall, it’s her honesty and bluntness that I find appealing. It allows the dark situations to be humorous. Her darkness is comical, for example: “In short? It is exhausting being me. Pretending to be normal is draining and requires amazing amounts of energy and Xanax.” The unpredictability within the story writing of both Lawson and Sedaris is definitely something to write home about.

    Like

  50. Jenna McGovern says:

    Hi all, hope everyone is doing well! I think I’m doing okay–everyday goes up and down and I’ve sadly found it truly depends on how I wake up. Some mornings I wake up and look out at the gray sky and don’t want to move or talk to anyone, but I know I have to force myself to be productive. This morning was beautiful and I’m slowly enjoying simple things, like hearing birds chirp as I wake up.
    To jump into Lawson’s book, I love it! It’s so abruptly honest and quite crude at times that I have to remind myself that this is someone else’s life from a book so I don’t suffer from excessive second-hand embarrassment. But, it definitely helps that each story, whether it’s about dead squirrels or her struggle with anxiety, is sandwiched between humorous sentences and call-backs. Her jokes make it a digestible read, not just a retelling of her life.
    Lawson comes across as almost cocky, but I don’t mind it. It makes her sound more confident in way, as if she knows exactly who she is and what she’s writing and why. I still have quite a bit to go for this novel, but having read it a couple years back makes me excited to continue laughing with each page she writes.

    Like

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