Listening to: “Lull” – Andrew Bird

To me, this bit in MirrorMask is the perfect fable-type analogy for the creative life–building a world around you, whether it be with pictures or with words or with deeds. And never being finished, because life is never finished and the creation, whatever form it may take, becomes your life. And that is good. Having it be narrated by Stephen Fry as an animate stack of books also helps.

In the beginning, she found herself in a new and empty space… And all was white… and the corners were a bit flaky, and the carpet was a bit manky… but it was a good space. And she sat in the center and saw a clean white sheet of void. She held the charm to her face. And reflected in the charm was a city of lost horizons, and tall and towering stories. And just as it had been reflected in the charm, so it appeared in the void. And when there was no more room, she turned it over and continued on the other side. So the void was filled from corner to corner on both sides. A city of front and back. A city of light and shadow. Then she rested on her bed and dreamed of her creation, and the lives that inhabited it. And in the days that followed there were other voids and other lights and other shadows. The charm she placed beneath the sign of the queen to show the city that she knew it would never be finished. Because the city was her life, and her dream. And it would live forever.

Listening to: “Fluorescent Half Dome” – Dirty Projectors

And now, a word from Gilbert & George, everyone’s favorite weird British art guys:

We are only human sculptors in that we get up every day, walking sometimes, reading rarely, eating often, thinking always, smoking moderately, enjoying enjoyment, looking, relaxing to see, loving nightly, finding amusement, encouraging life, fighting boredom, being natural, daydreaming, travelling along, drawing occasionally, talking lightly, tea drinking, feeling tired, dancing sometimes, philosophising a lot, criticising never, whistling tunefully, dying very slowly, laughing nervously, greeting politely and waiting till day breaks.

…….

SCARY UNFINISHED PROJECT NEWS: I think somebody else may have finished my story before I did. It doesn’t sound exactly like “World’s End,” but it’s uncomfortably similar. End of days, British slackers, drinking the apocalypse away. Will probably have to give it a quick perusal the next time I’m at the Booksmith.

Listening to: “Skullcrusher Mountain” – Jonathan Coulton

So I’ve been diving whole-hog into this Infinite Summer thing. Have you heard of it, blogs? Basically it’s a summer-long, communal reading of David Foster Wallace’s giant, giant book, Infinite Jest. I mean 981 huge pages, tiny lettering, plus 96 pages of endnotes, written in even tinier lettering. And it’s full of passages like this:

So on 1 April, Y.D.A.U., when the medical attache is (it is alleged) insufficiently deft with a Q-Tip on an ulcerated sinal necrosis and is subjected at just 1800h. to a fit of febrile thrusive pique from the florally imbalanced Minister of Home Entertainment, and is by high-volume fiat replaced at the royal bedside by the Prince’s personal physician, who’s summoned by beeper from the Hilton’s sauna….

I’ll stop there, because the sentence goes on for another half-page paragraph. You get the idea. It’s tough going. But in between all this jargony gobbledegook (which may be some people’s thing, but not mine) are wide swaths of real brilliance, and those are what it’s worth pressing on for. In any case, I know I’d never finish this book in my life if I wasn’t adhering to  Infinite Summer’s bi-weekly page count deadlines, with a whole interweb’s worth of blogs and tweets to bolster my reading.

(more…)

I want to post more excerpts, because this book is just….wonderful. But here’s a couple:

Two adult unmentionables–both of them male–busied themselves feasting upon the flesh of the household staff. How two zombies could have killed a dozen servants, four maids, two cooks, and a steward was beyond Elizabeth’s comprehension, but she knew precisely how they had gotten in: The cellar door had been opened to let in the cool night air and relieve the oppression of the woodstoves.

“Well, I suppose we had ought to take all of their heads, lest they be born to darkness,” she said.

Mr. Bingley observed the desserts his poor servants had been attending to at the time of their demise–a delightful array of tarts, exotic fruits, and pies, sadly soiled by blood and brains, and thus unusable.

“I don’t suppose,” said Darcy, “That you would give me the honour of dispensing of this unhappy business alone. I should never forgive myself if your gown were soiled.”

“The honour is all yours, Mr. Darcy.”

Elizabeth thought she detected the slightest smile on his face. She watched as Darcy drew his blade and cut down the two zombies with savage yet dignified movements. He then made quick work of beheading the slaughtered staff, upon which Mr. Bingley politely vomited into his hands. There was no denying Darcy’s talents as a warrior.

“If only,” she thought, “His talents as a gentleman were equal.”

………………………………………………………………..

Elizabeth and Darcy merely looked at one another in awkward silence, until the latter reached both arms around her. She was frozen–“What does he mean to do?” she thought. But his intentions were respectable, for Darcy merely meant to retrieve his Brown Bess, which Elizabeth had affixed to her back during her walk. She remembered the lead ammunition in her pocket and offered it to him.

“Your balls, Mr. Darcy?”

He reached out and closed her hand around them, and offered, “They belong to you, Miss Bennett.”

Listening to: “All Tomorrow’s Parties” – The Velvet Underground

I was too lazy to scan it. I just took a picture of it with my computer camera thingy. (Face drawing style shamelessly cribbed from one of my fave webcomics, Girls With Slingshots).

What else, what else? Today my mom sent me a video of her trying to pull on a horse’s tongue. She keeps asking whoever’s behind the camera, “Did you get that?” And then the voice is like, “I dunno Gale, I can’t really see…”

…..

Joss Whedon

I saw the most exhalted Joss Whedon get a Humanism award last week at Harvard. It was awesome. He is my hero, and he was talking about constructive atheism. Double times awesome. He signed my comic book. I sputtered something at him. There was a giant fucking gold eagle in front of him, but that’s OK. He said lots of smart and funny things, including:

Faith in God is believing in something with no proof whatsoever. Faith in humanity means believing in something with a huge amount of proof to the contrary.

And, on coming to grips with death:

When your time is up… y’know… worms are hungry. And they’re cute!

And on writing:

That’s why we write in the first place–to bring the darkest parts of ourselves up into the light.

He also said that if Buffy and River got in a fight, River would win. But I disagree.

…..

Also in life:

This gives me some faith in humanity. Go robots go!

– How did I not know about this before, and why isn’t there a button for it on my keyboard? It would make virtual communication so much less awkward. Also, “Irony Mark” would probably make a good name for a douchey band.

– Tomorrow I shall go to the beach with the mutt, yes I shall. Because I will have mailed in my taxes, and it will be sunny, and the beach is open to dogs till the end of April.

– I started a Twitter account, against my better judgment. I’m not going to give you the link, Blog. It will only lead to heartache.

– Against all odds, ended up at a Holiday Inn Express in Waltham last Saturday night. What? (PS: the Holiday Inn Express porn channel is really funny. And no one in Waltham delivers pizza at 3am. I had almost forgotten that from college).

– Today I wrote two theater reviews and two restaurant blurbs. I am EXHAUSTEDface.

– I’ve had the uncanny urge to add -face to the end of random words. Bewareface.

Listening to: “Bad Days” – The Flaming Lips

Hi, blog. Long time no see. I’m sick of dealing with reality at this particular moment, so I’m retreating into your virtual catacombs. Well, I don’t mean reality, per se, so much as The System. Bills, insurance, parking meters, dirty dishes, job applications. That kinda shit. Which actually, is sort of the opposite of reality. I prefer real reality. The kind that doesn’t come in a can.

And when I find that unprocessed stuff, I’ll be sure to give you a holler.

……

I snapped a picture of this grafitti outside CVS in Allston. According to Wikiquote, it’s a Native American proverb:

lasttree

……

Did you know:

Microwaved coffee isn’t so bad.

THE MORE YOU KNOW.

(more…)

I’m so excited.

obama acceptance speech

The roomie and I watched him being sworn in, and I definitely got teary. I’m still trying to make myself understand the fact that there is now a government in place that I’m not bitterly at odds with. For people in my age group, the Bush administration has been the only political reality in our adult lives. We’re used to being angry, unheard, fed up, all the time.

Not anymore, fuckers. Things really are changing. I really do believe it.

Obama’s (amazing) speech, his call for citizen action and civic responsibility and rebuilding, reminded me of the end of Angels in America:

The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come. . . The Great Work Begins.

To borrow the words of the religious, AMEN. And speaking of we merry atheists, how awesome is it that Obama included “non-believers” in his description of the American spiritual gamut? Love it. Love him. Love it all.

Here’s to the future!