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I sometimes worry that my experience of life will ultimately be characterized by this continuous oscillation between two polarized states: stress and unpleasantness, and boredom and despair.  No happy mediums.   No self-actualization.  No sustained satisfaction.

I don’t know.  Last week I was unhappy because I could barely get a breath in edgewise, and then I spent the entire weekend sitting on my ass, alternately feeling sorry for and annoyed at myself.  And now I can’t stop fantasizing about dropping everything and heading for Seattle, which I certainly cannot afford right to do right now.  Not to mention that going alone would probably not be terribly fun.  But this is my brain’s natural defense against undue existential worry: I think about staring up at pretty buildings in a city where no one knows who I am.      

I really want the answer to be pills,  but unfortunately you have to talk to people in order to convince them to give you pills, and I’d really rather not expose myself to that kind of humiliation. 

Coincidence: I spend half of the month quasi ripping off Chuck Klosterman, only to find out yesterday that he has a new book out.  It feels more mature and less self-indulgent than his earlier stuff, but the parallels and conclusions he tries to draw out of popular culture are still stretching it to the point of bullshit 90% of the time.  

You still have to appreciate what he’s doing, though:  that staunch dedication to reconsidering what everyone else has long ago accepted as given is refreshing, and he’s sincere enough about the idea behind each of his theories (even if he’s not terribly sincere about supporting them with credible evidence) that it resists the expected devolution into schtick.  If he were as thorough with his arguments as he is with his skepticism, he would be an excellent cultural commentator.  But I can’t really blame him; I’m more or less the same way.  As proof of this, you need merely notice that I haven’t provided a single example from the text to support any of my opinions about it. 

I’ve plowed through this book awfully quickly, and winter break is fast upon us, so I need some book reccomendations.  Anything engrossing enough to keep me occupied on a 5 hour plane ride is especially encouraged.  Any non-biographic non-fiction is especially not.

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3 responses »

  1. The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry. I listened to it while I was working in the Herbarium and was just fascinated by the things it got away with. Justified bestiality, for example. No kidding. But I’ll be the first to admit that my taste in literature is lacking (I’m a very story-specific stage right now, where prose that doesn’t specifically forward the plot starts to annoy me after a paragraph or two), so perhaps I am not the best person to be recommending stuff.

    Reply
  2. Oh my god, this reminds me of when I tried to wax my crotch. Actually I’ve done that multiple times. After a while the memory of all that pain and humiliation fades. My mind is a fantastic thing–I could probably withstand a lot of torture, if it was spaced over a period of months.

    Erin, are you writing? Have you been working on anything lately?

    Reply
  3. Ooooh, also, before I forget, I recommend Burt’s Bees. They make a carrot nutritive lotion that is very good and natural. It’s got a little bit of orange oil in it to form a protective barrier between you and the weather, but it isn’t heavy or waxy.

    Reply

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