Help your potential matches find common interests.
It's been so long. I'm pulling an old rope, and the same goodies
are falling as did before. I'm so sick of myself. I like good
writing that either circumscribes itself expertly or zig-zags unto
aesthetic skullduggery. Same goes with film. Music should be Cohen,
Dylan, Springsteen, all the white male heroes, sorry! I like women,
too, time to find out what, gotta leave some mystery or what's the
UPDATE: All right, I'm going to try a more forthcoming approach,
maybe that'll help ...
Currently reading [EDIT: Okay, yeah, finished (though not the Vance
yet), and read some others in between ... and I think I'll stop
now. There're enough books in this section! Besides which, you'd
think I read a lot from all this, but fact is, I hardly have the
time or energy for it. It took me a couple weeks just for my lover
L.C. here ... I wish I could read more and with greater attention
and concentration. (i.e., wish I was young again)]: Leonard Cohen's
masterful novel Beautiful Losers. Re-reading it, actually -- read
it back when I was a younger and smarter version of myself.
Beautiful writing! ("the viscous blob of come in my palm thinning
and clearing, like the end of Creation when all matter returns to
water.") And wise! ("To discover the truth in anything that is
alien, first dispense with the indispensable in your own vision.")
And since Jack Vance died recently (who knew that guy was still
alive?!), I've been considering tackling that omnibus Dying Earth
volume that's been sitting on the bench near my door since last
year ... I'm asking all the authors to hold off dying for a while
-- I promise I'll get to your shit in good time, you really don't
have to go to such great lengths to secure my eyeballs. (Indeed!
DFW, I read your masterpiece a dozen years before you offed
yourself, I was a confirmed fan! And yet even after the Sad Event,
I couldn't make it 50 pages into the "unfinished POS" they fobbed
off on us ... I'll try again, I promise! Stop haunting me!
(Especially when I'm self-pleasuring, that's just rude -- don't
they take you ghosts through some kind of an orientation? Ethics
class? Well, maybe they should start!))
Currently reading [EDIT: All read. Except the Weird of course. I
don't anticipate reading that one all the way through until about
2015, say? Plus, I'm reading it nonsequentially, so surely there
will be stories inadvertantly skipped, etc.]: Harry Potter with my
son--we're on book 4, please don't give anything away. I have the
blurays, but we won't watch them until we finish the series ... I
don't want to influence my interpretations of the voices! I
especially enjoy doing Hagrid. I've got a beard, after all! And
some portion of my heritage is Scottish. It all fits. All God's
Angels, Beware by Quentin S. Crisp (not the Quentin Crisp you're
thinking of). Introspective / "weird" / metaphysical / speculative
stories with a strong style and refreshingly
solipsistic-yet-non-onanistic thematic obsessions. The Weird, ed.
VanderMeers. A vast compendium of a century's worth of weird
fiction, from Lovecraft and Blackwood to Ligotti and Evenson. It's
over a thousand pages of 2-columned tiny print! Which is to say, I
will be "currently reading" it for some time to come ... Soon will
start on Epitaph of a Small Winner by Machado de Assis which I have
no idea but it looks pretty cool ... and I'll probably catch
Saunders' latest from the library, as soon as they let me ...
Currently reading[EDIT: Read this stuff quite a while ago actually
... but here I am, EDITING, I don't know why, although I admit, I
know exactly why: some cute girl was just looking at my profile,
and she was cute enough to make me want to look at my own profile
to see what horrors she was exposed to, and then I got itchy to add
more horrors just in case the ones already here aren't horrific
enough ... which is always the reason I add things to my profile,
in response to the fact that someone attractive was recently here,
thereby making me feel inadequate!]: Little, Big by John Crowley.
Profound stuff, beautifully written, but why is it that fairies (in
the traditional, leave-a-bowl-of-milk sense, jeez, control your
righteousness! :) and pedophilia are so frequently jumbled
together? And am I wrong to impute pedophilia to sentiments so
innocently expressed? I just think there's a knowingness beneath.
I'm only partway in, so we'll see where it all goes! [EDIT: Okay,
so I finished, and I believe there is a knowingness beneath, but
it's well-enough sublimated that one can set it aside and enjoy the
mastery of language and culture on display ... and it owes a lot, I
think, to Lewis Carroll, which itself explains a lot! It's still
fresh in my mind, so I don't trust my judgments, but it has the
feel of a masterpiece -- I struggle to think of anyone who combines
the psychological and the fantastical so well. On second thought,
though, as I read this book, I contended with a consistent
frustration that the characters were rather too stuffed into their
predetermined roles, no matter how well-expressed their neuroses
may have been, so maybe the psychological themes ultimately fail to
fructify. I must note that John Crowley is a genius at the sentence
level. Tears were wept, yes mine ... one recognizes the futility of
his own ambitions in the presence of unassailable betters.] The
Complete Butcher's Tales by Rikki Ducornet. She sure does have a
blast with language, and reminds one of a certain mad heritage we
Westerners share and might prefer to leave buried in dusty
textbooks where the implications are so easy to gloss over (what
with our glazed eyes as we peruse those blurred, ancient serifs),
but man, medievalism is the heart's mud, and I promise not to look
too closely at your encrusted toes ...
Currently reading [EDIT: Last read]: The Anthologist by Nicholson
Baker, pretty fun stuff, enjoyable and light, a palate cleanser.
Cadenza for the Schneidermann Violin Concerto by Joshua Cohen
(really, much funnier than it sounds, I swear!) [EDIT: Finished,
reasonably okay for what it is.] and Magic for Beginners by Kelly
Link -- so far, so okay. [EDIT: Finished. Quite enjoyable really.]
All right, I've made a start on Prisoner's Dilemma by Richard
Powers, which isn't as powerhouse yet as a couple others I've read
from him, but you give your guy a chance based on shared history,
you know? [EDIT: Never finished, too boring, returned to library.]
Oh and Tropic of Cancer, it's in my car for emergency situations,
so every now and then I proceed a few further pages along ... maybe
I'll finish it by the end of the year, who knows? I'm not sure it's
aged well; it reads like a blog.
Last read [EDIT: Recently read]: Venusia by Mark von Schlegell (I
think that's how you spell his name, but I'm not getting up to
check -- very cool book reminiscent of Philip Dick) and A Naked
Singularity by Sergio de la Pava (great writing), and okay, I want
to mention The Easy Chain by Evan Dara, even though I read it over
a month ago, but that one's fantastic. Ignorance by Milan Kundera a
couple weeks ago. (I've got another one out from the library now,
and I dunno, I'm thinking of going through his stuff again, but
maybe not, we'll see! Same with Richard Powers, I guess. You find
as you get older that maybe some of the stuff you responded so
passionately to when you were younger isn't quite your groove
anymore, even though you don't recall skipping any particular
grooves along the way. I'm going to test this potential new (for
me) paradigm against Gravity's Rainbow and/or Infinite Jest
sometime, both of which I read at like 20 -- if they're still
"genius," then whew, there's at least some continuity of
consciousness / passion in life. If I'm unimpressed, I'll sigh and
hand all of Life over to my son: "Here, you do it. I just wanna go
to bed, and bring me some ice cream, huh, snap snap.") Oh, I had a
Brautigan bender last week -- In Watermelon Sugar and Trout Fishing
in America all in one day! They're pretty short, so it's not much
of an "accomplishment," but on the other hand, I'll bet you're
fucking impressed, aren't you? Go on, admit it!
Music: I went to that Fiona Apple concert recently. I bought her
album too because I will always buy her albums. I bought
Springsteen's album too, but it's too thick for my car's finicky cd
player, and I haven't yet set up my computer with the cd burner in
it. But the one time I managed to listen to it, I was reasonably in
favor. Oh, I just bought Jack White's album ... uh, it's okay.
Leonard Cohen's my man crush. I listen to the Boston folk station
on AM and "The River" on FM (the one that plays an eclectic,
reasonably non-repetitive mix). I'm not especially hip, but if you
are, that's primo, hopefully some of it will rub off on me. I'll be
your hipster-in-training, your journeyman hipster, your wannabe
hanger-on, you know you want one, it's like having a groupie except
you're not famous or even rich, but you're so fucking hip that
someone wants to leech on your charisma despite your being a
complete loser with no ambition other than "svelte"....
UPDATE: Okay, so maybe I'll mention some of those ladies I love,
why make you wait ... That new Neko Case album is electrifyingly
good, of course, especially the concluding three tracks, holy shit.
(Skip Track 6, however. Especially if your kid is in the car with
you.) That's been in my car CD player, alternating with a couple of
PJ Harvey albums I can't stop feeding myself. Something about PJ
Harvey burrows deep inside me; I have to listen to her for my
stomach's sake. The two albums I have are Stories from the City/Sea
and Uh-Oh Her. (Something like that ... it's in the car, so I can't
check right now.) I love Fiona Apple to the core ... Aimee Mann's
Magnolia soundtrack has gotten heavy play in my various CD players
ever since I bought it for a dollar in a Salvation Army store
nearly a decade ago. Best dollar I ever spent! (And yes, ALL the
Neko Case albums are glorious. Her critical word: "miles." Listen
for that word throughout her career. All of Neko Case's oeuvre can
be reduced to "miles" as in a mathematical equation.)
MUSIC UPDATE LIKE RIGHT NOW! (AS IN AUGUST 2014): Just thought you
might like to know what I've been listening to these days ... I had
this new St. Vincent album in my car for a month straight, LOVED
it. I love her sense of the world, of the aesthetics of being a
private person in a non-private culture, and my G-d, what a
spacious and generous ROOM of Music she creates! The instruments
are clear and each is given its own little corner in which to
express itself! You can hear the thinking. Beautiful stuff, I'm in
love! I've also recently discovered this band, Arcade Fire ...
Their album The Suburbs was on sale at B&N, so I went ahead ...
I'd vaguely heard of them before, so somewhere in my past, some
trusted venue or acquaintance had vouched for them ... the first
listen led to my statement of "huh," but I found myself drawn to
listen again ... and again ... one of those albums that just grows
and blossoms with each listen. I started hearing deeper secrets and
vaster epiphanies ... the music is full of subtleties and pleasing
allusions to my own stalwart heroes: I heard Laurie Anderson, Bruce
Springsteen, Wilco, you name it ... I keep listening, and it keeps
touching me in new ways.
TV: I haven't had cable TV in years. Never paid for it myself,
anyway! I did catch half of the recent Battlestar Galactica remake,
and it blew me away. I have the rest on DVD (all copied from
Netflix a while back when I was building up a little library for
myself to enjoy on my own schedule as opposed to Netflix's), and I
plan to watch the rest this summer when my son (who's too young for
that show) is not underfoot.
UPDATE: Finished the Battlestar Galactica series this summer.
Thematically, the ending sucked, but it was still a fun conclusion,
and it didn't diminish the overall achievement of the series.
ANOTHER UPDATE (AUGUST 2014): I watched True Detective, Season 1
recently. I found the acting beautiful -- I was surprised by
McConowhee, who's apparently developed some range and some chops
since last I tuned out (mid-90s) ... So I may look into his career
a little more closely someday. The series is not what it was hyped
to be: I thought it would be this Weird Fiction Cosmic Horror that
it was portrayed to be by so many in the "Social Internet," but it
turned out to be traditional Stephen King-type "horror," nothing at
all like Thomas Ligotti or HP Lovecraft. So whatever! I thought the
acting was deeply felt, and if you leave out the final episode, you
have a truly riveting story!!
Movies: Okay, I won't go overboard this time, as with the books ...
Just some titles! Solaris. Magnolia. Synecdoche, NY. Taxi Driver.
The Hustler. The Man Who Fell to Earth. 2001. Raiders of the Lost
Ark. Badlands. Pulp Fiction. Jules and Jim. The 400 Blows. Well,
those are the ones that came to mind during this cigarette, which
was my hourglass. An okay list, I guess. But I'll add Harold and
Maude and The Princess Bride for laughs, eh? I like laughing!
Food: summer is yogurt and berries time. It's about all I eat in