"Even the most productive writers are expert dawdlers, doers of unnecessary errands, seekers of interruptions – trials to their wives or husbands, friends, associates, and themselves. They sharpen well-pointed pencils and go out to buy more blank paper, rearrange offices, wander through libraries and bookstores, chop wood, walk, drive, make unnecessary calls, nap, daydream, and try not “consciously” to think about what they are going to write so they can think subconsciously about it." - Donald Murray
This happened to me on Monday [ed. - which Monday? where? I can remember getting worked up about this and ranting at various dinner parties for a while afterward but the initial event has totally slipped my mind]. It always shakes me when someone, invariably a skeezy older man, often homeless, insists that I smile because it'll make me 'so much prettier'. Each time I feel like an asshole for hating those dudes. This article makes it pretty clear that I'm not alone, and that my instinctive revulsion at them has some pretty solid legs.
A friend of mine recently got some of those e-cigarettes. It's only a matter of time until his lungs turn into cyborgs.
Speaking of cyborgs, this one's for you, Lindsey: Battlestar Gal-egg-stica [ed.- that dedication still holds, by the way].
Yesterday a friend sent me the first (and only) installment in her groundbreaking 'Art and a Book' program, (c) 2010.
You guys. How absolutely wonderful is that? Not only did I get something to smarten my morning commute, the art doubles as custom bookmark and one-of-a-kind print for my kitchen. Neat! Everyone loves finding parcels in the post, but I do believe mine was the best package delivered by our mailwoman that day.
So then I thought! Pass it on! Here's my offer to you, friends: leave me a comment or shoot me an email (but really, leave me a comment - I love those things) and you'll become eligible to win Round 2 of 'Art and a Book'. In exactly one week's time, I'll choose an entry at random, find a book I think that person will adore from my favorite used bookstore and craft some 2D lovin' to fill their every decor need.
Probably it will be a drawing of a girl on a bicycle. I love drawing those! But maybe it will be something different? Who knows!
Anyway, enter early and often (just kidding - only enter once) and check back next Thursday to see if it's you! I hope it is!
"Can we make people happier by asking them, for the next five days, to have one extra substantive conversation every day?”
This article explains how people who spend time having meaningful conversations lead happier lives than those who stick to the small talk.
Reading it, the judgmental, impatient side of me kept rolling her eyes and thinking, "Well, duh!" But it's nice to put words (and numbers) to a phenomenon we've all felt but rarely articulated: how fucking fantastic it is to talk with someone who really gets you. To stumble together through life's hardest questions, slowly breaking through to brighter and brighter epiphanies. The way talking lets you dive down to your deepest self, the self that actually does know what she's doing and why she's here. It makes me giddy as glasses of champagne. And now it turns out that kind of stay-up-too-late, voracious, amoebic breeze-shooting is actually, scientifically good for me?
Blogs like this make me wonder why I even keep trying. The concept, the execution - every aspect of this shit is SO BRILLIANT it crushes my soul a little, even as I'm ROFLMAOing.
Ladies and gentlemen may I present: Dancing Alone to Pony, a website devoted to videos of people dancing, alone, to Ginuwine's 'Pony'. I mean, come on. We've all done it. It's just that most of us haven't taped it. And none of us had the insight to start archiving it.
After my friend hipped me to DAtP I spent the next twenty minutes obsessively watching every single post. See for yourself:
If you're skeptical that I cherry-picked the best of the bunch, let me assure you: THEY'RE ALL THAT GOOD. Each a special snowflake of misplaced sexual posturing, recipient-less gyration and uncomfortable life decisions.
Everything was going so well until the very end. I decided I'd earned myself a tea break and went to get hot water from the break room. I filled my cup, turned off the spigot, and kept the mug there a few seconds longer to catch the drips. As you do.
Only the spigot wasn't turned off. And those last few drips? Turned into a flood.
Now I'm standing there paralyzed, almost-boiling water running out over my hands onto the floor. I don't want to call attention to myself. All I can think to do is search around for other mugs or buckets to fill while half-whispering, "Um...guys?" Then I get the brilliant idea to unplug the damn water cooler that started this whole mess, but the plug I end up yanking is the one for the mini-fridge (sorry, new coworkers, if your tuna salad tastes like stank today. I didn't mean it). Meanwhile my hot tea is soaking the carpet and the waterfall just.won't.stop.
Eventually I got the whole thing figured out, but only after three different people had come to the door to gawk at the new girl and the disaster she was making.
Design firm Mika & Maaike carve special notches for the seminal texts of each major world religion into a wooden plank, bringing theologies together and creating a level playing field for each to coexist. Also creating: an entirely drool-worthy bookshelf.
Claudia said, "But, Mrs. Frankweiler, you should want to learn one new thing every day. We did even at the museum."
"No," I answered, "I don't agree with that. I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you just accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you. You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It's hollow."
Today I must learn a great deal, as today I venture out to start a new part-time job. Wish me luck!
"This is the red season. Cherries and poppies.
At noon the sound of a tractor in the small valley of Lourmarin … Like that of the boat’s engine in the port of Chios, overpowered by the heat, and I was in the shade-filled cabin, waiting; yes, like today, full of a love without object.
I love the small lizards, as dry as the stones where they run. They are like me, of skin and bone."
-Camus, from Notebook IX (July 1958-December 1959)
Gotta change it up, you guys. Doris Lessing knows what I'm talking about -- "There is only one way to read, which is to browse in libraries and bookshops, picking up books that attract you, reading only those, dropping them when they bore you, skipping the parts that drag-and never, never reading anything because you feel you ought or because it is part of a trend or a movement. Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty — and vice versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you."