Archive for August, 2009
There is something strange about realizing your thoughts can be categorized in retrospect…I realize now two categories that emerge clearly from the entries in this blog…I can’t quite put my finger on why that is bizarre…I think it has something to do with either a) fatalism or b) the fact that I’m overly analytical.
New Categories are:
I Hate Writing (this one I started the other day, but I realize I have to go back and put a LOT of entries in there.)
My friend E is getting married (Mazel Tov!) and while I enjoy weddings immensely, E’s latest email has alerted me to a large problem with the entire institution of marriage: the registry. Registries are so FUCKING boring! I mean, honestly, never in my life do I want to give someone a set of pans as a gift, nor would I ever endeavor to ask someone to buy me salt shakers. How impersonal and totally lame. Here is my hypothetical registry for those who plan on coming to my wedding (in ten years or so), which is going to be rad, you may be able to guess…
Diamonds –– big ones
First editions of books
a pet turtle
statues of horses or birds
Koi fish (and a pond to put them in)
pay for my mound of dry cleaning
write me a love letter
classes to brush up on my scuba diving skillz
a piano (you know what, any sort of musical instrument will work, save the tuba. no interest in the tuba whatsoever.)
any sort of art…well, I’d like to take a look at it first…in case it’s heinous…but if you’re coming to my wedding you ought to know what my taste is.
subscription to The New Yorker or Harper’s or Vogue
New ballet slippers
God, this is fun. I could go on for ages. But I won’t.
Middle aged and FAT is not a disability, okay, so don’t look at me with those disapproving eyes and pout your lips when I’m sitting down on the subway and you have to stand, I actually think you SHOULD stand because it’s not good to be overweight, I’m actually trying to PREVENT late-onset diabetes, okAY, so don’t look all constipated because I’m not standing up, I do my fair share of it, and perhaps you should, too.
My boss is dictating and comparing our winter home, the Savoy Hotel in Miami Beach (eek! Whereabouts!) to a Southern Plantation.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Nabokovian jury, I present to you:
a typical “Southern Plantation,” retrieved from GoogleImages. (What else?)
I tried to tell him numerous times that he’s wrong, wrong, wrong, but nobody listens to me. I’m like Rodney Dangerfield.
…and forgot how to spell “androgyny.”
I swear, I’ll do some poignant here soon. It’s going to happen. The divine spirit will fill me at any moment and I will be unable to tear myself away from the page.
I read an essay today that was about ____ and writing, and it was pretty awful at de-constructing ____ but has come closer to describing the writing process than anything else I’ve ever read about writing (and that’s a pretty good deal of text!) I suppose it’s personal for everyone, but her experience sounds most like mine…
“It seems to me that the desire to make art produces an ongoing experience of longing, a restlessness sometimes, but not inevitably, played out romantically, or sexually. Always there seems something ahead, the next poem or story, visible, at least, apprehensible but unreachable. To perceive it at all is to be haunted by it; some sound, some tone, becomes a torment –– the poem embodying that sound seems to exist somewhere already finished. It’s like a lighthouse, except that, as one swims back toward it, it backs away. ”
The myth of catharsis. Sigh.
Oh! This reminds me. I write book reviews, and here are the synopses of some nonfiction books I may be assigned to read (assignments are SO fun!) I haven’t included reviews, per se (though I accidentally read a heated comment on the first entry, which sucks because now I feel as if my own opinions are poisoned and therefore I can’t evaluate properly, and I wanted to do that off the bat), just a summation, usually from Amazon.com (not linking):
The Wicked Son: Antisemitism, Self-Hatred and the Jews by David Mamet
The world hates the Jews. The world always has and will continue to do so.” So says celebrated playwright and novelist Mamet in this new entry in the Jewish Encounters series, as he sets his sights on both anti-Semites and apostate Jews, whom he refers to as “the Wicked Sons.” Mamet marshals his passion and mastery of language to argue that only religious observance is an authentic, non-self-hating expression of Judaism.
Ambrose Bierce’s Write it Right: The Celebrated Cynic’s Language Peeves Deciphered, Appraised And Annotated for 21st Century Readers Ambrose Bierce and Jan Freeman
In 1893, Ambrose Bierce declared “I am for preserving the ancient, primitive distinction between right and wrong.” In Write it Right, originally published in 1909, Bierce turned this considerable zeal on the English language. The result revealed that the satirical author of The Devil’s Dictionary had a keen ear for the vernacular—and that he hated it. This slim volume of his three hundred or so reviled words and expressions contains many we use today with no hesitation at all. (Of “electrocution” he says, “To one having even an elementary knowledge of Latin grammar this word is no less than disgusting, and the thing meant by it is felt to be altogether too good for the word’s inventor.”) Jan Freeman, acclaimed author of the weekly column “The Word” for the Boston Globe, annotates Bierce’s rulings with style, humor, and in-depth research, revealing what Bierce got right—and what he didn’t—and giving insight into how the language has changed over the past century. Write it Right, with its incisive wit and insight into the history of American English, is the perfect gift for word curmudgeons.
(Me: be still my heart!)
A book on Trotsky, but I’m not sure I’m well versed on the Russian Revolution enough to do this one…this could be my chance to learn more?
Out of My Life and Thought by Albert Schweitzer
His autobiography. I’ve always admired him, but for reasons which aren’t too clear to me…! I used to know!
(I have decided, as of this very moment, to not look on Amazon anymore because I can’t help but read just a leeeetle too much, so only titles from now on! If you don’t eat your meat, how can you have any pudding?)
Trotsky: A Biography
Another one? What’s with the wave of interest in Trotsky?
How to Be Inappropriate
On second thought, don’t really need to read a book on that…
So…what would YOU pick?
This entry (I am in denial about blogging; refuse to call it a “post”) reminds me of the other name I was considering giving this blog, “Unmistakeable Animal.” Sort of self-aggrandizing.
8:24:53 PM PS: Umm, there is a girl no older than 10 reading “50 Successful Harvard Essays” here. Fuck this life!
8:34:42 PS: In all honesty, I want to move out of society. Not a pipedream! Can and must happen!
8:35:28 PS: (and yes I just sent that in a text message)
To be said by the whole congregation, after the Minister, all kneeling:
Almighty and most merciful Father; we have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thon those who are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter lead a godly, righteous and sober life, To the glory of thy name. Amen.
Watch In a Dream tonight on HBO…great documentary on Isaiah Zagar, a mosaic artist who does entire building in Philadelphia, and is also cute as a button…