Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

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I really liked this one. I glossed over the whole SG thing initially, so when I finally realised what they were (basically, immigrant women who hang as garden ornaments) it was quite shocking. told through the (hastily-written) diaries of a first-person narrator, which is actually quite a cool narrative technique that i kind of want to use somewhere (for DFW story?). there's a lot to unpack here about wealth and class.

Saunders, G. (2013). The Semplica Girl Diaries. In Saunders, G. Tenth of December. Random House, pp. 109-168

112

Have to do better! Be kinder. Start now. Soon they will be grown and how sad, if only memory of you is testy, stressed guy in bad car.

When will I have sufficient leisure/wealth to sit on hay bale watching moon rise, while in luxurious mansion family sleeps? At that time, will have chance to reflect deeply on meaning of life, etc., etc. Have a feeling and have always had a feeling that this and other good things will happen for us!

—p.112 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

Have to do better! Be kinder. Start now. Soon they will be grown and how sad, if only memory of you is testy, stressed guy in bad car.

When will I have sufficient leisure/wealth to sit on hay bale watching moon rise, while in luxurious mansion family sleeps? At that time, will have chance to reflect deeply on meaning of life, etc., etc. Have a feeling and have always had a feeling that this and other good things will happen for us!

—p.112 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
114

Just then father (Emmett) appears, holding freshly painted leg from merry-go-round horse, says time for dinner, hopes we like sailfish flown in fresh from Guatemala, prepared with a rare spice found only in one tiny region of Burma, which had to be bribed out, and also he had to design and build a special freshness-ensuring container for the sailfish.

—p.114 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

Just then father (Emmett) appears, holding freshly painted leg from merry-go-round horse, says time for dinner, hopes we like sailfish flown in fresh from Guatemala, prepared with a rare spice found only in one tiny region of Burma, which had to be bribed out, and also he had to design and build a special freshness-ensuring container for the sailfish.

—p.114 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
115

Thomas: Wow, that treehouse is like twice the size of our actual house.

Pam (whispering): Don't say "like."

Me: Oh, ha ha, let him say what he wants, let's not be--

Thomas: That treehouse is twice the size of our actual house.

(Thomas, as usual, exaggerating: treehouse not twice size of our house. Is more like one-third size of our house. Still, yes: big treehouse.)

—p.115 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

Thomas: Wow, that treehouse is like twice the size of our actual house.

Pam (whispering): Don't say "like."

Me: Oh, ha ha, let him say what he wants, let's not be--

Thomas: That treehouse is twice the size of our actual house.

(Thomas, as usual, exaggerating: treehouse not twice size of our house. Is more like one-third size of our house. Still, yes: big treehouse.)

—p.115 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
117

After dinner, strolled grounds with Emmett, who is surgeon, does something two days a week with brain inserts, small electronic devices? Or possibly biotronic? They are very small. Hundreds can fit on head of pin? Or dime? Did not totally follow. He asked about my work, I told. He said, Well, huh, amazing the strange, arcane things our culture requires some of us to do, degrading things, things that offer no tangible benefit to anyone, how do they expect people to continue to even hold their heads up?

Could not think of response. Note to self: Think of response, send on card, thus striking up friendship with Emmett?

—p.117 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

After dinner, strolled grounds with Emmett, who is surgeon, does something two days a week with brain inserts, small electronic devices? Or possibly biotronic? They are very small. Hundreds can fit on head of pin? Or dime? Did not totally follow. He asked about my work, I told. He said, Well, huh, amazing the strange, arcane things our culture requires some of us to do, degrading things, things that offer no tangible benefit to anyone, how do they expect people to continue to even hold their heads up?

Could not think of response. Note to self: Think of response, send on card, thus striking up friendship with Emmett?

—p.117 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
118

Just reread that last entry and should clarify.

Am not tired of work. It is a privilege to work. I do not hate the rich. I aspire to be rich myself. And when we finally do get our own bridge, trout, tree house, SGs, etc., at least will know we really earned them, unlike, say, the Torrinis, who, I feel, must have family money.

—p.118 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

Just reread that last entry and should clarify.

Am not tired of work. It is a privilege to work. I do not hate the rich. I aspire to be rich myself. And when we finally do get our own bridge, trout, tree house, SGs, etc., at least will know we really earned them, unlike, say, the Torrinis, who, I feel, must have family money.

—p.118 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
118

Let him off leash, he shot me hostile look, took dump extremely close to porch. Watched to see if kids would take initiative and pick up. But no. Kids only slumped past and stood exhausted by front door. Knew I should take initiative and pick up. But was tired and had to come in and write in this stupid book.

Do not really like rich people, as they make us poor people feel dopey and inadequate. Not that we are poor. I would say we are middle. We are very, very lucky. I know that. But still, it is not right that rich people make us middle people feel dopey and inadequate.

Am writing this still drunk and it is getting late and tomorrow is Monday, which means work.

Work, work, work. Stupid work. Am so tired of work.

Good night.

—p.118 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

Let him off leash, he shot me hostile look, took dump extremely close to porch. Watched to see if kids would take initiative and pick up. But no. Kids only slumped past and stood exhausted by front door. Knew I should take initiative and pick up. But was tired and had to come in and write in this stupid book.

Do not really like rich people, as they make us poor people feel dopey and inadequate. Not that we are poor. I would say we are middle. We are very, very lucky. I know that. But still, it is not right that rich people make us middle people feel dopey and inadequate.

Am writing this still drunk and it is getting late and tomorrow is Monday, which means work.

Work, work, work. Stupid work. Am so tired of work.

Good night.

—p.118 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
119

As for party, Lilly said she would rather not have one. I asked, Why not, sweetie? She said, Oh, no reason. I said, Is it because of our yard, our house? Is it because you are afraid that, given our small house and bare yard, party might be boring or embarrassing?

At which she burst into tears and said, Oh, Daddy.

Actually, one figurine might not be excessive. Or, rather, might be excess worth indulging in, due to sad look on her face when she came in on “My Yard” day and dropped condom box on table with sigh.

—p.119 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

As for party, Lilly said she would rather not have one. I asked, Why not, sweetie? She said, Oh, no reason. I said, Is it because of our yard, our house? Is it because you are afraid that, given our small house and bare yard, party might be boring or embarrassing?

At which she burst into tears and said, Oh, Daddy.

Actually, one figurine might not be excessive. Or, rather, might be excess worth indulging in, due to sad look on her face when she came in on “My Yard” day and dropped condom box on table with sigh.

—p.119 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
125

Some recent problems with Visa. Full. Past full. Found out at YourItalianKitchen, when Visa declined. Left Pam and kids there, walked rapidly out with big fake smile, drove to ATM. Then scary moment as ATM card also declined. Nearby wino said ATM was broken, directed me to different ATM. Thanked wino with friendly wave as I drove past. Wino gave me finger. Second ATM, thank God, not broken, did not decline. Arrived, winded, back at YourItalianKitchen to find Pam on third cup of coffee and kids falling off chairs and tapping aquarium with dimes, wait staff looking peeved. Paid cash, w/ big apologetic tip. Considered collecting dimes from kids (!). Still, over all nice night. Really fun. Kids showed good manners, until aquarium bit.

But problem remains: Visa full. Also AmEx full and Discover nearly full. Called Discover: $200 avail. If we transfer $200 from checking (once paycheck comes in), would then have $400 avail. on Discover, could get cheetah. Although timing problematic. Currently, checking at zero. Paycheck must come, must put paycheck in checking pronto, hope paycheck clears quickly. And then, when doing bills, pick bills totalling $200 to not pay. To defer paying.

Stretched a bit thin these days.

Note to future generations: In our time are such things as credit cards. Company loans money, you pay back at high interest rate. Is nice for when you do not actually have money to do thing you want to do (for example, buy extravagant cheetah). You may say, safe in your future time, Wouldn’t it be better to simply not do thing you can’t afford to do? Easy for you to say! You are not here, in our world, with kids, kids you love, while other people are doing good things for their kids, such as a Heritage Journey to Nice, if you are the Mancinis, or three weeks wreck-diving off the Bahamas, if you are Gary Gold and his tan, sleek son, Byron.

There is so much I want to do and experience and give to kids. Time going by so quickly, kids growing up so fast. If not now, when? When will we give them largesse and sense of generosity? Have never been to Hawaii or parasailed or eaten lunch at café by ocean, wearing floppy straw hats just purchased on whim. So I worry: Growing up in paucity, won’t they become too cautious? Not that they are growing up in paucity. Still, there are things we want but cannot have. If kids raised too cautious, due to paucity, will not world chew them up and spit out?

—p.125 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

Some recent problems with Visa. Full. Past full. Found out at YourItalianKitchen, when Visa declined. Left Pam and kids there, walked rapidly out with big fake smile, drove to ATM. Then scary moment as ATM card also declined. Nearby wino said ATM was broken, directed me to different ATM. Thanked wino with friendly wave as I drove past. Wino gave me finger. Second ATM, thank God, not broken, did not decline. Arrived, winded, back at YourItalianKitchen to find Pam on third cup of coffee and kids falling off chairs and tapping aquarium with dimes, wait staff looking peeved. Paid cash, w/ big apologetic tip. Considered collecting dimes from kids (!). Still, over all nice night. Really fun. Kids showed good manners, until aquarium bit.

But problem remains: Visa full. Also AmEx full and Discover nearly full. Called Discover: $200 avail. If we transfer $200 from checking (once paycheck comes in), would then have $400 avail. on Discover, could get cheetah. Although timing problematic. Currently, checking at zero. Paycheck must come, must put paycheck in checking pronto, hope paycheck clears quickly. And then, when doing bills, pick bills totalling $200 to not pay. To defer paying.

Stretched a bit thin these days.

Note to future generations: In our time are such things as credit cards. Company loans money, you pay back at high interest rate. Is nice for when you do not actually have money to do thing you want to do (for example, buy extravagant cheetah). You may say, safe in your future time, Wouldn’t it be better to simply not do thing you can’t afford to do? Easy for you to say! You are not here, in our world, with kids, kids you love, while other people are doing good things for their kids, such as a Heritage Journey to Nice, if you are the Mancinis, or three weeks wreck-diving off the Bahamas, if you are Gary Gold and his tan, sleek son, Byron.

There is so much I want to do and experience and give to kids. Time going by so quickly, kids growing up so fast. If not now, when? When will we give them largesse and sense of generosity? Have never been to Hawaii or parasailed or eaten lunch at café by ocean, wearing floppy straw hats just purchased on whim. So I worry: Growing up in paucity, won’t they become too cautious? Not that they are growing up in paucity. Still, there are things we want but cannot have. If kids raised too cautious, due to paucity, will not world chew them up and spit out?

—p.125 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
127

[...] Always busy on weekends. If had more money, could hire maid, hire garden guy, freeing me up to find box, fill box, bury box. Or have garden guy bury box, after I fill. Or have maid fill. But do no have money for garden guy or maid, or money for treasure box, or treasure to put it in, and in fact do not even have money to buy kit to make map appear ancient.

—p.127 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

[...] Always busy on weekends. If had more money, could hire maid, hire garden guy, freeing me up to find box, fill box, bury box. Or have garden guy bury box, after I fill. Or have maid fill. But do no have money for garden guy or maid, or money for treasure box, or treasure to put it in, and in fact do not even have money to buy kit to make map appear ancient.

—p.127 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
135

Eva: If we want to help them, why can’t we just give them the money?

Me: Oh, sweetie.

—p.135 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

Eva: If we want to help them, why can’t we just give them the money?

Me: Oh, sweetie.

—p.135 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
141

Also, Eva’s art work has recently gone odd.

Sample odd art work enclosed:

Typical house. (Can tell is meant to be our house by mock-cherry tree = swirl of pink.) In yard, SGs frowning. One (Betty) having thought in cartoon balloon: “ouch! this sure herts.” Second (Gwen), pointing long bony finger at house: “thanks lodes.” Third (Lisa), tears rolling down cheeks: “what if i am your dauhter?”**

Pam: Well. This doesn’t seem to be going away.

Me: No, it does not.

—p.141 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

Also, Eva’s art work has recently gone odd.

Sample odd art work enclosed:

Typical house. (Can tell is meant to be our house by mock-cherry tree = swirl of pink.) In yard, SGs frowning. One (Betty) having thought in cartoon balloon: “ouch! this sure herts.” Second (Gwen), pointing long bony finger at house: “thanks lodes.” Third (Lisa), tears rolling down cheeks: “what if i am your dauhter?”**

Pam: Well. This doesn’t seem to be going away.

Me: No, it does not.

—p.141 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
144

When Sister Dolores caught wind of divorce, Sister kept class in from recess, gave class big speech vis-a-vis divorce = mortal sin, afterlife no picnic for divorced people, forced whole class to pray for souls of Mom and Dad. Everyone glaring at me, as in: because of you, we get no recess.

Whole thing painful.

Is still painful.

Hence my focus on being a good father/husband, providing stable platform for kids.

not positive abt page

—p.144 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

When Sister Dolores caught wind of divorce, Sister kept class in from recess, gave class big speech vis-a-vis divorce = mortal sin, afterlife no picnic for divorced people, forced whole class to pray for souls of Mom and Dad. Everyone glaring at me, as in: because of you, we get no recess.

Whole thing painful.

Is still painful.

Hence my focus on being a good father/husband, providing stable platform for kids.

not positive abt page

—p.144 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
147

[...] Scary guy. Very intense. Sermon: Why this surprising? Did you think you were going to live forever? Only difference between you, sitting there anticipating rest of your day, and Todd, in coffin, bound for eternal home in cold earth? Is heartbeat. Feel that, people? In your chests? That is thin line between you and grave. So why do you live like you are eternal? That foolish, you are fools. This scary? This not scary! This truth, this reality?

Shouts: Shall we wake up? Shall we?

—p.147 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

[...] Scary guy. Very intense. Sermon: Why this surprising? Did you think you were going to live forever? Only difference between you, sitting there anticipating rest of your day, and Todd, in coffin, bound for eternal home in cold earth? Is heartbeat. Feel that, people? In your chests? That is thin line between you and grave. So why do you live like you are eternal? That foolish, you are fools. This scary? This not scary! This truth, this reality?

Shouts: Shall we wake up? Shall we?

—p.147 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
162

[...] SGs become illegal immigrants, take jobs away from "legit Americans." Jerry very much against. Jerry's father came from Ireland on boat, vomiting whole trip, then filled out required forms. This = proper way, Jerry feels.

Ha ha, he says.

if only immigration nowadays were still so simple

—p.162 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

[...] SGs become illegal immigrants, take jobs away from "legit Americans." Jerry very much against. Jerry's father came from Ireland on boat, vomiting whole trip, then filled out required forms. This = proper way, Jerry feels.

Ha ha, he says.

if only immigration nowadays were still so simple

—p.162 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago
165

Must not alienate Jerry in slightest way.

God.

Household in freefall, future reader. Everything chaotic. Kids, feeling tension, fighting all day. After dinner, Pam caught kids watching "I, Gropius," (forbidden) = show where guy decides which girl to date based on feeling girls' breasts through screen with two holes. (Do not actually show breasts. Just guy's expression as he feels them and girl's expression as he feels them and girl's expression as guy announces his rating. Still: bad show.) Pam blew up at kids: We are in most difficult period ever for family, this how they behave?

When kids born, Pam and I dropped everything (youthful dreams of travel, adventure, etc., etc.) to be good parents. Has not been exciting life. Has been much drudgery. Many nights, tasks undone, have stayed up late, exhausted, doing tasks. On many occasions, disheleved + tired, baby-poop and/or -vomit on our shirt or blouse, one of us has stood smiling wearily/angrily at camera being held by other, hair shaggy because haircuts expensive, unfashionable glasses slipping down noses because never had time to get glasses tightened.

And after all that, look where we are.

Is unfortunate.

—p.165 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago

Must not alienate Jerry in slightest way.

God.

Household in freefall, future reader. Everything chaotic. Kids, feeling tension, fighting all day. After dinner, Pam caught kids watching "I, Gropius," (forbidden) = show where guy decides which girl to date based on feeling girls' breasts through screen with two holes. (Do not actually show breasts. Just guy's expression as he feels them and girl's expression as he feels them and girl's expression as guy announces his rating. Still: bad show.) Pam blew up at kids: We are in most difficult period ever for family, this how they behave?

When kids born, Pam and I dropped everything (youthful dreams of travel, adventure, etc., etc.) to be good parents. Has not been exciting life. Has been much drudgery. Many nights, tasks undone, have stayed up late, exhausted, doing tasks. On many occasions, disheleved + tired, baby-poop and/or -vomit on our shirt or blouse, one of us has stood smiling wearily/angrily at camera being held by other, hair shaggy because haircuts expensive, unfashionable glasses slipping down noses because never had time to get glasses tightened.

And after all that, look where we are.

Is unfortunate.

—p.165 by George Saunders 1 year, 8 months ago