… but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the utter lack of packing going on in our place. It’s not a big move. We’re just switching neighborhoods and going into a bigger place, but I’m getting surprisingly sentimental about this one.
One of the most amazing restaurants I’ve ever eaten in is right around the corner from our current apartment. I get all misty-eyed now whenever I walk by the place. Of course our new place is only a half an hour walk away, so it’s not like we’re moving to the moon or anything – but still, it was right around the corner.
The semester ends this week. I’m pretty happy about that.
Lastly let’s hear it for boiling soups you crack raw eggs into.
August is here.
The beach in town is filthy with humanity leaving their trash around. It’s downright apocalyptic. To make matters worse the mayor has cordoned off a section of the beachfront and designated it an “International Zone”. Yes, town now has its own Interzone. There’s even a monument and everything. We’re not at “Lee and the Boys” levels yet, but I wonder if the mayor’s a secret William S. Burroughs fan.
(Remind me not to go back to the beach until, say. . . October. Also, shit, second WSB reference in a month. I’ll allow myself one more for the year.)
The heat’s giving me migraines, so I went to the doctor’s. He gave me meds, put me in a headlock, and knuckle-punched me in the skull right behind my left ear. That was fun, but I’m not sure he needed to wear a Luchador mask while he did it.
Hey, you know what’s great? Owning one’s mistakes and pledging to do better.
I’ve one more week of school left to teach, then staycation starts along with a heap of novel writing and revising. It’s actually been going on for a bit – but I won’t bore you with the details. Who the fuck wants to read about writing? On an unrelated note, Jin’s been looking at real estate listings more and more often. I’m not sure what this portends.
Lastly, we’re housesitting a cat for the next two weeks. Say hello to Ms. Switch.
Another portrait by one of my students. Dig the Maynard G. Krebs beard.
Still coughing and limping. I went back to the doctor’s for a check-up. I have another six days in my cast, but he says my ankle’s healing quite well.
From the Ray Bradbury Paris Review interview: “I type my first draft quickly, impulsively even. A few days later I retype the whole thing and my subconscious, as I retype, gives me new words. Maybe it’ll take retyping it many times until it is done. Sometimes it takes very little revision.”
That makes me think a bit.
So I have this laryngitis-cold-thing and sound like Tom Waits. It’s cool. I hope it never ends, though if it didn’t I’d probably lose my job. Can’t teach English if you sound like the Cookie Monster. I went to the doctor’s this morning. Some details: they do stuff like take your blood pressure and temperature in the waiting room. So folks are all around you waiting while a nurse takes your blood pressure and looks in your ears and whatever. Then they have you go back to sitting down, while you wait for the doctor to see you. The doc was a youngish guy and wanted to know about my mucus and stuff. His English wasn’t great, but whatever. Between Jin and me, we could figure out what he was asking. He sprayed some stuff down my throat and some more stuff up my nose, then gave me a prescription. Easy peasy. The thing is I feel fine. I just sound like death.
Price for visit and three days of meds: less than 10USD. I pay into the National Health Care program about 60USD monthly, but damn, a five buck Doctor visit? Yeah. Not complaining.
Husband: “I’m going to make pesto and apple crumble this weekend.”
Wife: “Are you okay?”
Husband: “What? Why?
Wife: “Just asking.”
Husband: “… If I decide to sweep the floor are you going to call an ambulance?”
1. The Greek Myths Vol. 1 by Robert Graves
From a scholarship standpoint I hear this is a bit ofan unsightly conglomeration of fornicating individuals notable for its awkwardness (a clusterfuck), but damn this book has life in it. Graves is shoe-horning all the myths into his grand unified theory of mythology as laid out in The White Goddess, but he believes it and allows the mythology to inform his own work, so in a way they are accurate in the sense of mythology being a living thing that people can still embrace as meaningful in their lives, and not something dead and confined to the dust. Great stuff in here.
2. Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
A bit of a masterpiece for its style and oblique plotting alone, even if its characters and situations often irritated me. In a way it reminded me of Nathaniel West’s The Day of the Locust. Similar jazz-age setting and critique ending in chaos, though Waugh is a more adept stylist using vignettes of varying “thickness” to develop his story. The reader at the end is left feeling the emotions Waugh’s characters are incapable of.
3. The Edogawa Rampo Reader by Edogawa Rampo
A decent collection though not as good as Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination. The highlight story was “The Air Raid Shelter” about a pyromaniac during the firebombing of Tokyo. It delivered the oddly captivating creepy. But the essays at the back are great.
4. Girl in Landscape by Jonathan Lethem
Aesthetic YA science fiction, is that a thing? If so that’s what this is. If not, well, that’s what it is still. It’s set in the future on another planet, but that’s more window dressing on the narrative than a thing you get details about, and science fiction in the way JG Ballard is science fiction. Teenager Pella Marsh and her family leave a dystopian future Brooklyn for a frontier life on the Planet of Archbuilders. John Ford’s The Searchers ensues except mashed somewhat with the spirit of Philip K. Dick’s Martian Time Slip.