I was cleaning my bedroom, trying to find homes for the books stacked into a tower that is now almost bigger than my nightstand, when I realized that I essentially live inside a bookstore or library, surrounded by tons of books, many of which I haven’t read.
So I decided that I need to have some sort of inventory system to keep track of these books, to decide what to get rid of, and what’s irreplaceable. For friends to peruse, for insurance purposes, etc.
I have an Excel spreadsheet open, waiting to be filled. I’m already trying to think up categories. Gift. Signed. Purchased during fantasy phase. Pressed flower between pages 141 and 142. Hilarious cover. Smells of home.
UPDATE: Got up to 75 and hadn’t even made it past my bedside table. Decided to go read Solv-A-Crime one page mysteries (found shoved somewhere between Hilary Mantel and Shirley Jackson, missing pages 5-24) instead.
Somebody woke up somewhere and began to cry for some reason or another. In a hut up the creek they could hear this somebody shaking in the night wind, crickets and things making noise between sobs and just at the right pitch to sound harmonious.
I just came across this lonesome paragraph on my work computer, written in November of 2000, a remnant from the days before I had a blog when I would try to write fiction on my lunch break. Also found: a story about a boy named Kaspars who turns into a hedgehog, and a piece of an attempt at a futuristic fantasy novel called “Aruthredd” (which means “terror, amazement, or wonder” in Welsh).
Thinking of starting a separate Tumblr to serialize all of my bad lunch break fiction.
Because, really, there’s not enough crap on the internet already.
I really like this, but that last paragraph especially hit home for me. My friend Danielle and I discuss this a lot: I love that the internet and social networking have connected us in so many ways, with so many benefits, but the thing I mourn is no longer having acquaintances. I liked having social acquaintances. Hey, we met once, you’re nice! But now, since we emailed or had a beer or attended the same wedding, now the social norm is that we have to follow each other on Twitter and Facebook and hear the mundane details of each others’ lives, and when before we would have thought, “Oh, they were nice, I wonder what they’re up to?” now we think GOD ENOUGH ABOUT YOUR CAT/GARDEN/CHILD/SPOUSE/TV SHOW. I don’t like feeling annoyed with people I should think of rarely and fondly. Perhaps I’m just not cut out for these sort of networks, fair enough, but I’d prefer to take a step back and have more defined circles again. Basically I need to know who I should actually feel guilty about not emailing back right away.
I’ve found the secret to still having acquaintances lies in the “hide” button. And I dearly hope that people who would consider me an acquaintance or don’t necessarily care what I have to say are hiding me.
As for the Aristotle quote?
Me_on_IM: I am a toothbrusher!
Me_on_IM: A shoulderscratcher!
Me_on_IM: I am… A BLINKER!
J_on_IM: I am an underwear de-hooker
J_on_IM: (What would you call that when you pick out yer bills from yer crev’?)
Me_on_IM: a de-wedgier
J_on_IM: That’s it
(Joanne McNeil’s essays are awesome.)
Last night in the mail we giddily received our very own copy of The La’s Callin’ All box set. (Warning: autoplay music on the other end of that link. But it’s The La’s so it’s okay, right?)
We were flipping through the booklet that came with it, looking at all the scans of ticket stubs from various gigs they’d played over their relatively brief existence. I asked J which of the shows he’d been to.
“The one at the Uni, and some others. They were one of those bands who used to turn up on every bill. There was one at the Trade Union… I forget what it was called.”
“Upstairs at The Picket?” I said, finding a stub marked 1988.
Today I realized that around the same time J was sporting a pompadour and bouncing at the knees to “Way Out” in a smoke-filled room, I would have been in my pastel-colored bedroom doing The Monkey to “Got My Mind Set On You.”
I’m jealous he got to be there at the beginning of everything I ended up loving. Especially The La’s. This is an amazing box set to squeeze out of a band who commercially produced so little. When I was 14 and falling achingly in love with “There She Goes,” I never thought they’d disappear after one album, or that several entirely different versions of that album would resurface years later once I started to get wrinkles around my eyes. I never thought I’d get to hear it again for the first time. (Then again, when I was 14 I also thought it was cool to get royal blue rubber bands on my braces and write 5-page fan letters to Keanu Reeves, so what did I know?)
And yet here we are.