Sunday, October 29, 2006

in two thousand years this place will be covered by ice and the people who will dig us up will be in for a big surprise

My annual winter hibernation is starting a little early this year, I think.

I don't know if it's the cold weather or the meager rations of daylight, but already I find myself building up my stores of books like layers of fat in preparation for the long, bleak months ahead. Usually this doesn't set in until around Thanksgiving, but this weekend was so blustery and my to-do list so overwhelming that I wanted nothing more than to putter around the house 'getting things done' and snuggling up. It was absolutely delicious.

Last weekend was the birthday foofaraw which--what with its pommes frites with truffle oil, kir royales, and karaoke--somewhat glutted me on the whole 'going out' biz. It was fun, absolutely, but excessively draining.

I went for a coffee this afternoon and when I walked out of the café and into the perfectly crisp air I remembered how coffee-laced breath mingles so exquisitely and distinctively with the smells of autumn. The only thing missing from that chord was a slow, sated drag of a cigarette.

Only Revolutions was disappointing. In fact, I found it very nearly unreadable. That said, it did touch me in a strange way and I do love the way he breaks the linear tendencies of the medium. I think David Mitchell did a better job with it, though. I'm in the midst of yet another Jeeves book right now (they are like crack) and then I will probably move onto Alan Alda's autobiography while I wait for my next shipment of books to arrive. I am looking forward to the rumored Hodgmanesque (yes, that's right... Hodgmanesque) humor of the Dr and Mr Doris Haggis-On-Whey books.

I'm considering making Christmas pressies again this year, since a) I am poor, and b) I need a hobby for a number of reasons. Hopefully there will not be another horror like the absinthe fiasco of '04 (although I like to think that the unspeakable nastiness of the moonshine was overshadowed by the--if I may--sublime deliciousness of the truffles). I am planning on some things edible, some things inedible... we shall see.

Oh, and short of flying to London and knocking on doors I have no idea what to do about getting letters of reference from my UCL professors. They seem to be completely incommunicado and clearly are not checking (or are ignoring) their email and voicemail. I'm wondering if I should be thinking about a serious plan B. Not that it would be the end of the world... to be honest, I'm not particularly eager to add to my debt while living on Ramen for two years. I've become a little enchanted by that well-dressed temptress Disposable Income. We shall see. Maybe I can enter the field with just (just!) my History MA.

Ok, apples and peanut butter.


M Beran said...

I can't read Only Revolutions. I got about 36 pages into each side, and pretty much put it down. It's been in my bag untouched for the past few weeks. I just can't get into it.

How did you go about reading it? I did the whole 8 pages per side thing, but I read both the story and the events before reading the next page.

I like the idea of the novel, but I'm just not excited about reading it.

C. said...

See, I didn't notice that little publisher's suggestion about reading it 8 pages at a time until I was almost finished. I just read Hailey's straight through and then went onto Sam's.

Idunno. I loved House of Leaves so much that I was really hoping this would be captivating in the same way. I thought it fell really rather flat. :-/

C x

Jed said...


1. Being that I consider myself a master in the fine art of fiasco, I vehemently DENY that the Absinthe Fiasco of '04 should be referred to as such. Although, I admit to still having a fingerful left of it in my cabinet.

2. Speaking of Cloud Atlas, today's Pitchforkmedia featured an interview with Colin Meloy in which he cleverly refers to our dear friend David Mitchell. Have you read Mitchell's latest, BlackSwanGreen? While I personally like Cloud Atlas a bit more, Blackswangreen was GREAT, and I think more your cup of tea between the two books.

3. LA has had an exceptional autumn so far, a fine mix of crispy faux-wintry days and warm, summery, get a suntan and recline on the deck days. Just enough variety of two pleasant seasons to keep us lazy and illiterate southern Californians on our toes.

C. said...

I will go now and add BlackSwanGreen to my list. I really, really liked Cloud Atlas. More and more as time goes on.

I will let you know about my latest batch once it arrives and I get through a few. Did you know that I am currently 5 books away from my 50-book 2006 goal? I think I can do it, I still have 2 months left.

Jed said...

Oh man...that's fantastic. I would be surprised if I even hit 15 this year. I'm jealous. I miss reading. Almost as much, I miss our virtual book club!

I think you will like BlackSwanGreen more than Cloud Atlas because 1) like Cloud Atlas, it is great, but also 2) it is very English and 3) would best be described as a period piece about 1983 (I think). These are all things you like, right?