Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy New Year, 5769

Well, here I am, typing into nothingness again.

I'm at LAX, and my flight is delayed one hour so far. I'm feeling uncomfortably bloated in my too-tight jeans; I'm on a diet and failing at it. I'm listening, but not attentively anymore, to the first presidential debate between Obama and McCain; I am struck by how little they can say when they speak so very much. I'm reading Zadie Smith's On Beauty; I am only on page 25 and not fully drawn in yet, having just begun the book this afternoon. I am vaguely aware of slightly cold feet (is it ever a good idea to wear sandals on a flight? Good for security, goodness mitigated by the chill factor), of increasingly frizzy hair (how is it that it seems I can *feel* my hair frizzing? It is an actual physical sensation, my ever-widening halo), of passing exhaust fumes from both upper and lower passageways (I have eaten too much, probably; I have eaten too many fruits and vegetables, definitely). I am sort of content in being about to be on vacation, about to be in the home of the person who unquestionably loves me most in the world; I am sort of inspired, by the reading I've done this week, which reading has reminded me of my sometimes dormant utter love for great prose. Aside from the Zadie Smith, who has just given me this small gift - is never really very cold in England. It is drizzly, and the wind will blow; hail happens, and there is a breed of Tuesday in January in which time creeps and no light comes and the air is full of water and nobody really loves anybody, but still a decent jumper and a waxen jacket lined with wool is sufficient for every weather England's got to give.

- I have also just read David Foster Wallace's essay collection Consider the Lobster. Let's digress a little, please, in good DFW fashion, to Consider the Author. David Foster Wallace is one of my all-time favorite writers. One of my many online networking site profiles[0] reads, in response to the "Who I'd Like To Meet" prompt, "People to hang out with now that I've moved to California (yikes!). And David Foster Wallace." His name appears again, actually, under the variously-named "Favorite Books" prompts as well, and this is true of my profile on each site, not just the one. David Foster Wallace killed himself last week, and a part of my brain and soul and psyche are still reeling from the loss.

Both the usage essay, which essay I've read before, and the families in the Smith book make me wish a little bit that I was a certain kind of person, which kind I am not, with a certain kind of family, which kind I don't have. And then everything gets all mixed up with what I want for my future and what kind of home life / family / parents my own children will have... and that leads us down a long dark hallway to the beat of a loudly ticking clock. Let's talk about that another time.

It is felicitous that I have read this particular collection of essays of his just now, which collection includes "Up, Simba", the long version of DFW's article for Rolling Stone about his days on the campaign trail with John McCain in 2000. I had not realized such an article existed; I was pleasantly surprised to find it at just this moment, mere weeks away from the election. I do not like this man, John McCain. I do not like him at all.

I didn't love the lobster essay itself, all that much, but it was ok; the essay I very nearly refrained from finishing (is that even possible?) is the final one in the book, "Host". It did, however, cause me to listen to the radio station KFI on my way to and from work today, and I kind of enjoyed that experience with all the expository background on the station and conservative talk radio still fresh in my mind. Here's my take on the "Fair and Balanced" Fox News and "Mainstream Media Liberal Bias" thing - mainstream media does present a fair and balanced picture, in actuality, and is also in fact liberal - BECAUSE PRESENTING A FAIR AND BALANCED PICTURE IS A LIBERAL IDEA.

God, get me on this plane quick, before I eat again. How is it that my lips are chapped and my throat is parched? It has been a 100-degree week in late summer in Southern California and I have been drinking and peeing all day. What the hell? Man I hate this diet.

[0] Why many? Isn't it integral to the very word _networking_ that things will be connected to one another? Then why are there all these different sites; moreover, why do I have profiles on so many of them; furthermoreover, why is my profile slightly different on each?

[1] APPlicable, people, not aPLICable. I get to care about this; DFW points out that people are pronouncing satyr as "satter"[*] in his essay on the porn industry.

[*] without explaining how it is properly to be pronounced, of course, unlike the case of applicable and me. I had to go to and listen to the little recording to be convinced that it's properly done "SATE-er". Weird.


The Trouble With Roy said...

Great to have you back posting; enjoy your vacation.

This entry was very poetic and I read it twice.

Andy said...
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