Arsenic and old lace

Well it’s the final week before I go on my first legit vacation of the year (as in the kind where you leave your city of residence) and God, when not busy crashing the economy and unleashing natural disasters, is seriously testing my patience.  Work-wise, everything that could go wrong has, and technologically the Internet is hellbent on making itself only functional enough for me to stare longingly at various “page loading” screens and error messages while tallying up the hours I’m losing.

Well whatever God, go back to combing your beard and hanging out with Rick Perry, because I refuse to be thwarted. I will go to the beach next week, during which time I will not so much as open a laptop, because I’ll be too busy exposing my sensitive skin to its first rays of summer sunlight, and/or eating french fries and funnel cakes.

Fortunately, I’ve managed to limit my Code Red freakouts to office hours; at home, I’m soothed by the boisterous return of Jersey Shore and Bad Girls Club and on the train I’ve been gratefully lost in the world of We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Now, you may not think it right off, but chances are high you’re familiar with Shirley Jackson. Despite having written numerous books, she’s easily most famous for oneβ€”The Haunting of Hill House, which has creeped the shit out of people for many years. Jackson is also known for The Lottery, one of the most celebrated short stories of all time (and also the basis for a kind of hilarious 1996 movie starring Keri Russell), which takes place in a town where (spoiler alert) an annual drawing of names leads to a climactic ritual stoning. 

Continue reading “Arsenic and old lace”