things of little relevance

May 10, 2010, 9:30 pm
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As spurred by recently hoopla surrounding women settling/not settling (i.e. this Times article; Lori Gottlieb, Sandra Tsing-Loh’s uhh “family situation,” etc.), Perri and I have been discussing “happiness” a lot recently. She sent me Rebecca Traister’s (surprisingly not nihilistic) take Screw Happiness.

The not-despair was, in fact, as great as “happiness.” I was making it through, getting by. I didn’t need satisfaction or contentment or anything approaching perfection. I was proud to be waking up in the morning and going to work, enjoying the intermittent flashing pleasures of a laugh with friends or a drink with colleagues. I can’t imagine that sunrise singing would have boosted me any closer to ecstasy. Then again, perhaps this is exactly what Rubin was prescribing for me at that lunch: the baby steps that inched me toward happier, if not happy.

I’ve always maintained that despite all my neuroses and complaints, I’m pretty content. I guess this is proof of it. Fun is overrated, says the girl (woman?) graduating in a week.

May 9, 2010, 11:00 pm
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I’m currently writing my very last college paper on Roberto Bolaño’s 2666. It’s fitting, I suppose, considering how much trouble I went to two summers (my summer of Brooklyn and Bolaño) ago to score a galley of this, and then when I left it somewhere in Dumbo, I had to jump through even more hoops—kind of not metaphorically speaking—to get another copy.

This line from the novel pretty much encapsulates how I feel about the impending real world: “What a relief to give up literature, to give up writing and simply read!” Each of the three final papers I’ve had to write has, now more than ever, felt like pulling teeth, especially since I drag them out until 2 am of the due date. “Oops.”

That said, the first non-college book I’m picking up is Martin Ami’s The Pregnant Widow. Sam Anderson says: “It’s a sex novel about sex.” Sold!

two of hearts
April 27, 2010, 7:09 pm
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My ex-male companion once told me, “Don’t be a sell-out and go to law school.” In his free time, he made extra cash by driving the tour bus for a band that had, well, more trannies than the average band.

My current male companion said to me last night, “Be a recruiter at some big finance firm.” He wanted to work for an internet start-up that specialized in used cars; the company’s website had a Gertrude Stein quote.

looking ahead
April 20, 2010, 10:31 am
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I’ve been eagerly anticipating these two’s U.S. release.

the shewings of lucy tang
April 15, 2010, 11:04 pm
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Well, I guess The Shewings of Julian of Norwich (which I read for class, not for fun. Even I’m not that “boring.”) have really stuck with me, eh?

(Let’s also disregard my use of “all of y’all” and “haters.”)

April 13, 2010, 2:23 am
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Last Sunday Whitney and I had brunch at Diner and our waitress had the coolest looking suede necklace. She told me it was made by Manimal, and I stumbled across the name again while browsing through Lena Corwin’s archives (aka working on my annotated bibliography). And I thought to myself, “Well if Lena likes it…”

It’s called the Math necklace. What a terrific name! If only I wore jewelry…

For some reason, I can totally see Perri or Annie wearing this, maybe because it’s a touch earthy.

books and boys
April 10, 2010, 1:07 pm
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From Liesl Schillinger’s review of “The Solitude of Prime Numbers.”

“In 2008, Paolo Giordano, an Italian physi cist in his mid-20s, published his first novel. Called “The Solitude of Prime Numbers,” it won Italy’s most coveted book prize, the Premio Strega.”

“His being a blue-eyed, sandy-haired bel ragazzo probably didn’t hurt, either.”

And what a great cover!

Oh, the book sounds good too.

well, it gives me hope
April 6, 2010, 6:05 pm
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From my friend Alex:

I once heard that you can fit all the people who read literary fiction, in the whole world, into a single football stadium. But I saw a banker type on the subway this morning reading Pamela, a guy who clearly was not reading it because he was taking or teaching a class on it, and he only had like twenty pages to go! And Updike and McEwan are cake by comparison! I thought about submitting this to GMH, but I think it’s not the kind of thing they’re looking for.

i see the sign
March 30, 2010, 1:02 am
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Sam Amidon is one of my favorite musicians right now and this is coming from someone who dislikes folk music. He does an amazing cover of R. Kelly’s “Relief.”

March 27, 2010, 1:18 pm
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Anthony Gottlieb explains philosophy:

There was once a website on which academic philosophers listed the curious things that strangers had said to them upon learning that they were in the presence of a philosopher. The following conversation allegedly took place on an aeroplane:

“May I ask you a question?”
“It’s a philosophical question. Is that ok?”
“There’s a boy I fancy. Should I text him or e-mail him?”

A) The answer is e-mail. My personal rule of thumb is never to date anyone who makes plans via text.

B) This reminds me, I should probably read some Hume this summer.