I think if I were ever a domestic goddess with a(n) magazine/home decor line/empire, à la Martha Stewart, I would promote my latest handy idea in the post-holiday section of my magazine where I share tidbits on what to do with the gifts you're not wild about. I received a kitten calendar, and it's not exactly to my taste. Not because I don't like kittens - everyone knows they're like organic, furry Prozac - and not because I don't like keeping track of time - although I don't, because it's an inconvenient reminder of my own mortality. It's just that I think a kitten calendar can never equal the real squawking, timorous glory of an iddy biddy widdle kittykins. And there's something Umbridgesque about it, too. But I wasn't about to regift it like a cheap bastard, or toss it on the garbage heap.* No, to make the calendar uniquely my own**, I drew clever little thought bubbles above the kittens' heads, and therein wrote communistic slogans, like, "You are but a screw in the revolutionary machine."*** In short, don't dream it's over.**** Everything has its own calling suited to your minuscule, not-quite-but-almost-original niche in the universe.
*Recycle, you son of a bitch
**that is not a redundant phrase
***I'm pretty sure that's the only communist slogan I know; I actually have to think of 11 more...
****My requisite Crowded House reference du jour, but you should know they have a lot of other good songs besides that, their biggest hit. Also check out the Finn brothers' previous band, Split Enz.
I don't want to overexcite anyone but there is a real possibility that today I am going to finish that behemoth, that 1222-page monster, that obscure compendium of all the French Revolution(s)'(s) greatest hits, full of twists and turns like the 128-mile Parisian sewer; that story with beaucoup de side characters whose life histories are divulged in pages upon pages, only to learn said character has a single line; that tome, with its sentences composed of endless clauses, full of learned Greek references a 21st century reader fairly drowns in; Victor Hugo's lovesong to the word "sepulchral," LES MISERABLES.
Could you tell what I was trying to do there? No? Well I have to go to work in a few minutes so there is no time to expand that, unfortunately.
And just so we're clear, XM25 remains the worst satellite radio station of all time.
I was going to make a post announcing my paramount revelation that Jason Bateman, George Stephanopoulos, and Jeff Tweedy look exactly alike, but when I went to Google Image I realized they actually don't look a thing alike, and now I'm disappointed.
3rd-hand account of a conversation.
My coworker's friend: I'm just calling to let you know I'm okay. Were you wondering if I was okay?
My coworker's other friend: No.
After many phone calls last night I'm pretty sure all my family and friends are fine...and I hope you and yours are too. I don't like to say that not because I don't love you tremendously but I hate to imply it's okay if other people's family and friends die, but you know what I mean. I think.
I try not to be too sanctimonious a vegetarian, but if you want to piss me off really quickly, tell me that God created chickens. I had this conversation at work earlier today. One of my coworkers said, "Well, God created chickens, and that's all I have to say about that!" (Though if she had had more to say about that, it might have been something along the lines of "God created chickens for us to eat." I assume this was the general meaning of her statement, otherwise I would have slapped her in the forehead with the gold "Non Sequitur of the Day" sticker.) I figured this might be an awkward way to begin a conversation about my atheism, so instead I said, "Yes, but God didn't create industrialized farming, or stuff chickens into cages where they get like half a square foot of room, or genetically alter them so they grow twice as fast."
And that was my Scintillating 30-Second Idealogical Tête-à-tête of the day!
I might also have begun this entry with, "I try not to be too sanctimonious an atheist, but..."
So I wasn't even counting on having read this by now, but by Saturday night my sheep sensibilities kicked in and I read the chapter summaries of HPB on Sparknotes in order to avoid actually reading that one again. (I had forgotten what a horcrux was, SO FUCKING WHAT). I went into it with a sparkling, spoiler-free mind (amazing what not using the Internet will do), and the Sparknotes recap was quite beneficial, so that I only had to ask "Who in God's name is THAT" a couple of times during DH.
Spoilerific stuff ahead, as one might guess.
( Some DH thoughts [warning: "thoughts" erroneously implies thinking]Collapse )
The Way of a Pilgrim and Pilgrim's Progress are not the same book. Let's just get that one out of the way right now. I meant to read the former after I found out it was NOT something J. D. Salinger had made up in Franny and Zooey. But when I went to the library to look it up, I became confused, and took home the latter book, never mind that the former was mentioned BY NAME in Franny and Zooey. Now that I've realized my blunder, I am considering permananetly slamming shut Pilgrim's Progress and exchanging it for the correct book, but as I have mentioned here before, I have an unremitting hangup about quitting books once I've begun them. It doesn't matter how terrible, boring, hackneyed, illiterate, unpractically time-consuming, or otherwise undesirable they are. When I give one up I have a feeling like I have left some vulnerable orphans alone in a room with a gas leak.
Let us pause for a brief moment and remember the books of the last few months that, once begun, never benefited from the warm sunshine of my having completed them:
A Redbird Christmas, Fannie Flagg
The Republic, Plato
This Wheel's on Fire, Levon Helm
Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism, Matt Young and Taner Edis
De Anima, Aristotle
The Philosophy of History, Hegel
While I'm at it, here's a brief list of the books I have begun and subsequently quit 86 times apiece, but nonetheless vow to finish someday as they are all sitting on my shelves and which, as they communicate to one another by idly ruffling their own pages, are no doubt plotting the details of my death:
White Teeth, Zadie Smith
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
The Inferno, Dante
The Return of the King, J. R. R. Tolkien
IT TEARS ME UP INSIDE.