I was looking over some old notebooks and I came across an old writing exercise I did. The goal was to write two pages that detailed the last ten years of my life using only three word sentences. It was a fun exercise, kinda hard but pretty helpful to get some juices flowing, anyway:
I read books. I’m too short. I grew up. I grew out. I grew wide. I learned stuff. I ate stuff. Too much stuff. I moved often. I did write. I didn’t write. I didn’t understand. I lied too. I failed me. I won me. I was me. I didn’t apologize. I gave back. Not enough back. I love dogs. I burned out. Too early, though. I climbed mountains. An extinct volcano. I spelled correctly. I wrote tests. I wrote papers. I wrote words. Lots of words. So many words. I used pens. Thousands of pens. Black ink pens. Always black ink. Much more serious. Blue looks silly.
I lost weight. I gained weight. I lost weight. I gained weight. I tried running. And tried again. And tried again. Not a joke. What a joke. I had sex. Lots of it. I loved it. I doubted myself. I boosted myself. I leaned French. I forgot French. I loved poetry. Tried living it. Realized I’m ridiculous. Sat out games. Sat out life. Only for awhile.
Bought new notebooks. It’s too hot. Sang a lot. Not anymore though. Have a love. Have a dog. Have a future? I think so. Had bad relationships. Drank too much. Loved high school. Hated high school. I over achieved. I under achieved. It’s one word? Is this cheating?
Decided to run. Decided to move. Decided to study. Half the time. Didn’t swim enough. Walked over Montreal. Night after night. Street after street. Learned about myself. About my feet. Worked too hard. Not hard enough. Flip flopped obviously. Voted three times. Babysat on occasion. Argued a lot. Debated a ton. Hated George Bush.
Bought new computer. Trying new life. Walked the dog. Blew my nose. Drank delicious wine. Complained days away. Woke up everyday. Not too shabby.
One of my new favourite little corners of the web is They Draw and Cook, a website where illustrators upload illustrated recipes.
You go to Tea and Carpets planning to spend a few minutes and an hour later you shake your head out of a beautiful Persian-carpety-dream.
Another recent favourite is Catalog Living. Can’t be described, just go and check it out for yourself. You will laugh, I promise you.
I broke this
but I’ll still be able to do this
at the wedding without crutches. Hallelujah!
So I’m couch-bound for a few weeks, which so far has meant lots of Leonard Cohen on Grooveshark, oodles of Big Bang Theory, candy, and tons of reading. I read two books in the last two days. And one of them was The Pillars of the Earth. I’m also considering a spin through Dawson’s Creek seasons 1 and 2, which I haven’t seen since the 90s. I have a feeling it hasn’t aged well.
As usual, Ta-nehisi takes on tea party spokesman Mark Williams’ galling, disgustingly racist letter better than anyone else:
Williams has since taken the original down and posted a half-hearted justification. Mark Williams is the same man who has denounced Barack Obama as “Indonesian Muslim” and a “welfare thug.” If Mark Williams is not a racist, then there are no racists in American society–a position which many, some liberals among them, no doubt find plausible.
It’s been asked in comments, a few times, what good has come of the NAACP’s resolution. I would not endeavor to speak for anyone but myself when I say that I owe the NAACP a debt of gratitude. I have, in my writing, a tendency to become theoretically cute, and overly enamored with my own fair-mindedness. Such vanity has lately been manifested in the form of phrases like “it’s worth saying” and “it strikes me that…” or “respectfully…”
When engaging your adversaries, that approach has its place. But it’s worth saying that there are other approaches and other places. Among them–respectfully administering the occasional reminder as to the precise nature of the motherfuckers you are dealing with. It strikes me that this is a most appropriate role for the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.
Okay, I’ve always been wondering why the Republicans are so able to capture the narratives and imaginations of their base in any given election period, while the Democrats just stand there wringing their hands. It’s annoying. There are several reasons for this, not least of which is that less-educated Americans want to buy a simple narrative, not one that has any kind of nuance.
So I always figured that the Dems had a major PR problem. But this ad, playing right now in Connecticut, IS AWESOME. I mean, the ads probably write themselves when your opponent is Linda McMahon, but still.
This is why the internet is awesome, this is why the human spirit is awesome, this is why disco is awesome and this is an absolutely marvelous, life-affirming combination of those three things:
I just hopped back onto the lady-memoir bandwagon, but luckily it wasn’t a bad book. Oddly somehow both more self-indulgent than Elizabeth Gilbert and her ilk, but also less. Meghan Daum’s LIFE WOULD BE PERFECT IF I LIVED IN THAT HOUSE was a) depressing; b) stressful, dear god, extremely stressful, gave me heart palpitations by times; c) funny as hell; and d) a very entertaining read, despite the physical side effects.
All I want to do right now is settle down in our own place and pray that it’s not too expensive. And I want to stay there for the foreseeable future and NEST. I am not a mover – I move into a place and then I fall in love with it and never want to leave. I find moving to be a fairly traumatic experience and thus do it as infrequently as I can get away with. Meghan Daum moved 7 TIMES JUST IN 4 YEARS OF UNDERGRAD ALONE. Then she proceeded to, in her late twenties and early thirties bounce between Nebraska and LA and New York 5 or 6 times. Her tales of these various moves and the compulsion that drove her to move all over hell’s half acre three to four times a year for two decades made me feel deeply unsettled but simultaneously entertained. Seriously, when reading about the clutter and the various logistics, and the packing and unpacking, and the COST of all it, it made my chest feel all tight and seized up. Like I couldn’t really breathe.
So thanks to Meghan Daum, I have figured out my own compulsion. I am a flightless bird, an ostrich if you will, and I am in dire need of a nest.