Well, well


Apparently my first post on this blog was exactly a year ago. And here I am a year later, a few hours after finishing my last class of my second year of graduate school. I feel significantly less burnt out than I did a year ago, both emotionally and intellectually. In fact, I feel better than I have in years, which is a feeling I’ve had for most of the last couple years anyway but it seems particularly keen right now, despite being in worse physical condition than I think I’ve ever been in (for the time being).

Anyway, since school is over it seems like a good time to post my summer reading list, for my own benefit if nobody else’s.

Doud, P. (2010). The hunt for the eye of Ogin. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.*
Doud, P. (2011). The mornith war. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
Dunagan, P. J. (2011). There are people who say that painters shouldn’t talk: a Gustonbook. Sausalito, CA: Post-Apollo Press.
Margulies, A. (1989). The empathic imagination. New York: W. W. Norton.*
Martin, G. R. R. (2011). A dance with dragons. New York: Bantam.
Mynes, J. (2011). How’s the cows. Madison, WI: Cannot Exist.*
Newmahr, S. (2011). Playing on the edge: Sadomasochism, risk, and intimacy. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Nussbaum, M. (2004). Hiding from humanity: Disgust, shame, and the law. Princeton: Princeton University Press.*
Reindl, S. M. (2001). Sensing the self: Women’s recovery from bulimia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.*
Schwartz, R. C. (1995). Internal family systems therapy. New York: The Guilford Press.
Thibodeaux, S. (2011). Palm to pine. Lowell, MA: Bootstrap Press.
Willet, W. C. (2001). Eat, drink, and be healthy: the Harvard Medical School guide to healthy eating. New York: Free Press.
Wolfe, G. (1981). The claw of the conciliator. New York: Orb.
Wolfe, G. (1981). The sword of the lictor. New York: Orb.
Wolfe, G. (1982). The citadel of the autarch. New York: Orb.

(An asterisk indicates that I’ve already read some of the book in one form or another – most likely I started it during vacation or a slow weekend and then didn’t manage to get back to it.)

The presence of one or two books from last year’s list should by no means suggest that I ended up reading all the others from the previous list. I’m choosing to start fresh, and I like this list. Though I’m pretty certain I won’t read everything on it, it feels both ambitious and manageable, and I think the my range of interests is represented in rough proportion to my degree of interest.

I also plan on spending the summer eating better, working out, watching lots of TV and movies, and spending copious amounts of time gaming. A class here, a little vacation there, and it will be fall before I know it, I’m sure.

And who knows? I might even blog again.


In the changing room at TJ Maxx:

On WGBH, as the segue between segments on some news show:

New dating plan


I think I am only going to date cats, dogs, characters from fiction, and pandas.

My summer vacation

There are exactly two weeks left until my first class, and while I’m enjoying this August more than just about any other August I can remember (August for me is like February for you), the cool rainy weather of late has me looking forward to the fall. I know that the gross hot weather will be returning by the weekend, and that September is never as autumnal these days as I remember it being, but I’ve got that fall feeling and I intend to milk it for everything I can.

My summer reading list has ended up looking like this:

Butler, J. (1990). Gender trouble. New York: Routledge.
Coontz, S. (1992). The way we never were: American families and the nostalgia trap. New York: Basic Books.
Delany, S. (1976). Trouble on Triton. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.
Delany, S. (1993). The motion of light in water: Sex and science fiction writing in the East Village. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Diaz, J. (2007). The brief wonderful life of Oscar Wao. New York: Penguin.
Dick, P. (1974). Flow my tears, the policeman said. New York: Vintage.
Doud, P. (2010). The hunt for the eye of Ogin. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.
Foucault, M. (1978). The history of sexuality: An introduction. New York: Vintage.
Gann, K. (2010). No such thing as silence: John Cage’s 4’33″. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Horney, K. (1945). Our inner conflicts: A constructive theory of neurosis. New York: W.W. Norton.
Jackson, S. (1954). The bird’s nest. New York: Popular Library.
Jackson, S. (1998). Just an ordinary day. New York: Bantam.
Jung, C.G. (1989). Aspects of the masculine. Princeton: Bollingen.
Kottler, J. (2010). On becoming a therapist. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Lasky, D. (2010). Black life. Seattle: Wave Books.
Miller, T. and Pramas, C. (2000). Ork! the roleplaying game. Renton, WA: Green Ronin.
Miller, W. (1959). A canticle for Leibowitz. New York: Eos.
Murphy, R. (2010). The redcoats. San Francisco: Krupskaya.
Olin, J. (2010). Hold tight: The Truck Darling poems. New York: Hanging Loose.
Roach, M. (2008). Bonk: The curious coupling of science and sex. New York: W.W. Norton.
Singer, J. (1972). Boundaries of the soul: The practice of Jung’s psychology. New York: Anchor Books.
Stephenson, N. (2003). Quicksilver. New York: HarperCollins.
Thomas, D.M. (1994). Eating Pavlova. New York: Carroll & Graf.

I enjoyed the Delany but not as much as I thought I would, though it definitely bears re-reading. Ditto for the Diaz. I have not actually finished the Horney, but it’s very good, and I’m hoping to in the next two weeks. I started the Kottler and realized I wasn’t in the mood, and the Thomas I started and read about a quarter of before I realized that I just wasn’t enjoying it.

As for the rest, chalk it up to a combination of overabundant ambition and mood: I listed everything I could find that I hadn’t read that seemed relevant to my current interests, regardless of actual likelihood of being read. And of course there were all the books that I actually did read that weren’t on the list:

Berrigan, T. (1988). A certain slant of sunlight. San Francisco: O Books.
Claremont, C. Byrne, J., Romita J., et al. (1982-1989). The Essential X-Men vols. 4-8. New York: Marvel.
Claremont, C. & Byrne, J. (2004). Days of future past. New York: Marvel.
Claremont, C. & Byrne, J. (2006). The Dark Phoenix saga. New York: Marvel.
Easton, D. & Liszt, C. (1995). The topping book. San Francisco: Greenery Press.
Easton Ellis, B. (2010). Imperial bedrooms. New York: Knopf.
Farren, M. (1981). Phaid the Gambler. New York: Ace.
Farren, M. (1987). Citizen Phaid. New York: Ace.
Friedman, J. and Valenti, J. (2008). Yes means yes: Visions of female sexual power and a world without rape. New York: Perseus.
Gaiman, N. (2001). The books of magic. New York: Vertigo.
Grell, M. (2009). The Warlord, Vol. 1. New York: DC Showcase.
Hass, R. ed., (1994). The essential haiku: versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa. Hopewell, NJ: Ecco.
Howard, R. (2002). The coming of Conan the Cimmerian. New York: Del Rey.
Joannides, P. (2010). Guide to getting it on. Oregon: Goofy Foot Press.
Kirkman, R., Adlard, C., & Rathburn, C. (2010). The walking dead: Life among them. Berkeley: Image Comics.
Kunin, A. (2010). The sore throat and other poems. New York: Fence Books.
Licht, A. (2002). An emotional memoir of Martha Quinn. Chicago: Drag City.
MacInnes, C. (1957). City of spades. London: Allison & Busby.
MacInnes, C. (1959). Absolute beginners. London: Allison & Busby.
MacInnes, C. (1960). Mr Love and Justice. London: Allison & Busby.
Moore, C. L. (2007). Black god’s kiss. Seattle: Planet Stories.
Morrison, G. (2008). New X-Men: Ultimate collection book 1. New York: Marvel.
Niven, L. (1970). Ringworld. New York: Del Rey.
Robinson, K. (1995). Green mars. New York: Bantam.
Tarrant, S. (2009). Men and feminism. Berkeley: Seal Press.

Is that it? I think that’s it. About three-quarters of the Claremont X-Men stuff was a revisitation, as were the Gaiman, Hass, and Licht. The Friedman & Valenti anthology and the Tarrant were both pretty eye-opening, and my finding them was a result of reading many feminist blogs. Ringworld I found overrated, and Green Mars was pretty grueling to get through but ultimately worth it (though I’ll have to save Blue Mars for next year, I think).

And then there were the other books I didn’t finish, but really plan to:

Barrowcliffe, M. (2007). The elfish gene: Dungeons, dragons, and growing up strange. New York: Soho Press.
Flynn, N. (2004). Another bullshit night in Suck City. New York: Norton.
Laing, R.D. (1960). The divided self. New York: Pantheon.
Laing, R.D. (1961). Self and others. New York: Pantheon.
Lubrano, A. (2004). Limbo: Blue-collar roots, white-collar dreams. Hoboken: Wiley.
Nussbaum, M. (2004). Hiding from humanity: Disgust, shame, and the law. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Vance, J. (2000). Tales of the dying earth. New York: Orb.
Yalom, I. (1980). Existential psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books.

I also read a hell of a lot of stuff online. Gaming blogs, feminist blogs, news, “news,” and online personals. I went on five first dates and one second date. I had my consciousness raised. I helped organize a huge poetry festival, did one brief yet successful poetry reading, made a couple new friends, reestablished a valued old friendship, and reinforced a valued ongoing one. I took trips to the Adirondacks, Northampton, Brattleboro, and Jamaica Plain. I saw (various) friends give birth, shack up, get engaged, and get tattooed. I started a workout plan that I actually like (more often than not) and also spent a lot of time on my new loveseat. I played a little guitar and started writing again. I balanced am working on balancing disappointment and optimism. I discovered a lot of new (to me) music and fantasized (as I always do) about running away to Northumbria. My favorite restaurant closed and I spent a lot of time with my cat.



I am drafting a proper post, but in the meantime (typo: meatnime), this is the working version of this summer’s nighttime driving mix.

“Safe From Harm” (Massive Attack)
“Roads” (Portishead)
“Surf Rider” (The Lively Ones)
“Gimme Danger” (The Stooges)
“Rock Me” (Great White)
“In The Air Tonight” (Phil Collins)
“The Chain” (Fleetwood Mac)
“Fade Into You” (Mazzy Star)

It’s a revision of last summer’s mix, all record of which seems to have disappeared from my files, but which I think I was more or less the same except for the Massive Attack, Fleetwood Mac, and Mazzy Star.

I’m contemplating adding some Everything But the Girl, Blake Babies, and Springsteen, but one of the things I like about this mix is its relative brevity (currently clocking in at 39:37, if itunes is to be believed). In my head it’s perfect for a slightly roundabout windows-down trip home from JP late at night, either going up Brookline and down Mass Ave, or cruising along MemDrive and then cutting through Harvard Sq. (mowing down hapless pedestrians).

The other thing I like is the challenge of instilling some kind of unity between pretty disparate areas of my musical interests. Which I suppose is part of the art of the mix in the first place, but which is also much harder when working with a shorter runtime.

Suddenly this post feels distinctly retro.

This entire post from Emily Nagoski (Sex Nerd) is absolutely fantastic.

Okay. Well, how about Garfield? Can you explain that to me? Did you just do it for the dough?
No! I didn’t make that for the dough! Well, not completely. I thought it would be kind of fun, because doing a voice is challenging, and I’d never done that. Plus, I looked at the script, and it said, “So-and-so and Joel Coen.” And I thought: Christ, well, I love those Coens! They’re funny. So I sorta read a few pages of it and thought, Yeah, I’d like to do that. I had these agents at the time, and I said, “What do they give you to do one of these things?” And they said, “Oh, they give you $50,000.” So I said, “Okay, well, I don’t even leave the fuckin’ driveway for that kind of money.”

And it’s not like you’re helping out an indie director by playing Garfield.
Exactly. He’s in 3,000 newspapers every day; he’s not hurtin’. Then this studio guy calls me up out of nowhere, and I had a nice conversation with him. No bullshit, no schmooze, none of that stuff. We just talked for a long time about the movie. And my agents called on Monday and said, “Well, they came back with another offer, and it was nowhere near $50,000.” And I said, “That’s more befitting of the work I expect to do!” So they went off and shot the movie, and I forgot all about it. Finally, I went out to L.A. to record my lines. And usually when you’re looping a movie, if it takes two days, that’s a lot. I don’t know if I should even tell this story, because it’s kind of mean. [beat] What the hell? It’s interesting. So I worked all day and kept going, “That’s the line? Well, I can’t say that.” And you sit there and go, What can I say that will make this funny? And make it make sense? And I worked. I was exhausted, soaked with sweat, and the lines got worse and worse. And I said, “Okay, you better show me the whole rest of the movie, so we can see what we’re dealing with.” So I sat down and watched the whole thing, and I kept saying, “Who the hell cut this thing? Who did this? What the fuck was Coen thinking?” And then they explained it to me: It wasn’t written by that Joel Coen.