A Potato Reading Virginia Woolf

Your eyes do not deceive you, that is indeed a potato reading Virginia Woolf. You see potatoes love post-modernism and the stream-of-consciousness style of writing. I do as well. That’s why I bought this custom print from Marc Johns, who will forever hold a special place in my heart.

It Takes a Worried Man to Sing a Worried Song
I’ve been digging on Pete Seeger today. He’s like  Mr. Rodgers with a guitar. Or maybe like that guy who tells everyone to paint happy little clouds. Anyways, he’s pretty amazing. Here he is on the Johnny Cash show:

“You know these old songs, they never really die out. This song is the whole human race!”

This is the song I remember my parents playing as a kid:

Funny how at the time I just thought it was a fun, silly song with boxes and colors. I thought ticky-tacky was a good thing. It was such a silly word and it was so fun to say. As it turns out ticky-tacky is just the man trying to get me down! Once again, I have been disenchanted. But, you know, in a good way.

Strangers’ (Books) on a Train
Tonight on my way home, the passengers of the J train were reading the following:

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman 

The Devil in the White City by Eric Larson

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

The Imperfectionists really wasn’t too great in my opinion, but only because I really wanted it to be great and it let me down. Sometimes I think the idea of a book is better than the actual book. (You can read my whole Goodreads review here.) The Devil in the White City sounded cool–murders and the World’s Fair. Okay, sounds cool, I’ll bite. And I’ve never read Journey to the Center of the Earth but I absolutely loved the cheesy movie they made us watch in grade school.

And okay, since I’m YouTube happy today, I have to embed the old trailer:

Oh man, that takes me back. How glorious. There’s something completely wonderful about old movie trailers.

Time Does Not Exist. I Ate It.
I’m still reading The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace and it’s still wonderful. Below is a selection that had me laughing out loud the other night. I should have shortened it up for you but I had a hard time stopping myself. (I guess I’m not the only one.)

“Didn’t I say to look at me? Can’t you tell what I am? Listen to me very carefully. I am an obese, grotesque, prodigal, greedy, gourmandizing, gluttonous pig. Is this not clear? I am more hog than human. There is room, physical room, for you in my stomach. Do you hear? You see before you a swine. An eating fiend of unlimited capacity. Bring me meat.”

“Have you not eaten in a very long time? Is that it?”

“Look, you’re beginning to bother me. I could bludgeon you with my belly. I am also, allow me to tell you, more than a little well-to-do. Do  you see that Building over there, the one with the lit windows, in the shadow? I own that Building. I could buy this restaurant and have you terminated. I could and perhaps will buy this entire block, including that symbolically tiny Weight Watchers establishment across the street. See it? With the door and windows so positioned as to form a grinning, leering, hollow-cheeked face? It is within my financial power to busy that place, and to fill it with steaks, fill it with red steak, all of which I would and will eat. The door would under this scenario be jammed with gnawed bone; not a single little smug psalm-singing bagging-skinned apostate from the cause of adiposity would be able to enter. They would pound on the door, pound. But the door would hold. They’d lack the build to burst through. Their mouths and eyes would be wide as they pressed against the glass. I would demolish, physically crush the huge scale at the end of the brightly lit nave at the back of the place under a weight of food. The springs would jut out. Jut. What a delicious series of thoughts. May I see a wine list?”

“‘Weight Watchers?”

“Garcon, what you have before you is a dangerous thing, I warn you. Human beings act in their own interest. Huge, crazed swine, do not. My wife informed me a certain time-interval ago that if I did not lose weight, she would leave me. I have not lost weight, as a matter of fact I have gained weight, and thus she is leaving. Q.E.D. And A-1, don’t forget the A-1.”

“But sir, surely with more time…” 

“There is no more time. Time does not exist. I ate it. It’s in here, see? See the jiggle? That’s time, jiggling. Run, run away, fetch me my platter of fat, my nine cattle, or I’ll envelop you in a chin and fling you at the wall!”

“Shall I fetch the maitre d’, sir? To confer?

“By all means, fetch him. But warn him against getting too close. He will be encompassed instantly, before he has time to squeak. Tonight I will eat. Hugely, and alone. For I am now hugely alone. I will eat, and juice might very well spurt into the air around me, and if anyone comes too near, I will snarl and jab at them with my fork–like this, see?”

“Sir, really!”

“Run for your very life. Fetch something to placate me. I’m going to grow and grow, and fill the absence that surrounds me with my own gelantinous presence. Yin and Yang. Ever growing, waiter. Run!”

“Right away, sir!”

“Some breadsticks might have been nice, too, do you hear? What kind of place is this, anyway?”

The Non-Guitar

At the corner of Duboce and Church, where the train pauses but does not stop, sits a man with a guitar that’s held together with torn bits of rope. It’s almost wrong to call it a guitar, because really it’s not a guitar anymore. It’s a broken guitar, or a poorly-mended guitar, but it’s definitely not a guitar. And yet this non-guitar makes a sound like nothing Derek has ever heard.

The man who plays it wraps his hands with torn strips of old cotton shirts. Because of this they too seem broken and poorly-mended, bandaged somehow. But really it’s just the man’s way of keeping warm. Derek knows this because he once asked the man if his hands were alright.

“Oh they’re just fine,” the man said. He strummed the strings three times and an odd sound came out, like a violent pounding from the end of a very long empty hallway.

“Can’t you hear?”

Derek could hear. It was hard to hear anything else.

“But why are they bandaged?”

“Oh that,” the man laughed. “Son, those are just my gloves. Haven’t you ever seen a pair of poor-man’s gloves?”

“I guess not.”

“Well, you should get yourself some. They keep the fingers free to play.”

The man stopped his playing to wiggle his fingers in Derek’s direction. It wasn’t supposed to be, but it felt like a wave goodbye, so Derek dropped the man a dollar and walked home. The next day he went to Urban Outfitters and bought a pair of knitted gloves with the fingers cut off. They had brown and black stripes and cost $18.99. They looked old and worn and that night when Derek lifted his beer to take a sip of foam from the top his hands were warm and dry.

These types of things happen to Derek all the time and don’t mean anything.

Thanks Dylan…

I’ve been a moonshiner,
For seventeen long years,
I’ve spent all my money,
On whiskey and beer,
I go to some hollow,
And sit at my still
And if whiskey dont kill me,
Then I dont know what will,

I go to some bar room,
And drink with my friends,
Where the women cant follow,
And see what I spend,
God bless them pretty women,
I wish they was mine,
Their breath is as sweet as,
The dew on the vine,

Let me eat when I am hungry,
Let me drink when I am dry,
A dollar when I am hard up,
Religion when I die,
The whole world’s a bottle,
And life’s but a dram,
When the bottle gets empty,
It sure aint worth a damn.

I’m the Queen of the World

So have you ever stumbled across the exactly right song for you at the exactly right time for you to find it? A song that is so totally awesome but is also so totally how you feel at that particular moment in time?

But not just that. It’s not just about awesomeness and timing, this song. It’s so much more than that. It’s…

  • A song that seems like some kind of expression of your soul (or maybe just how you hope your soul is expressed).
  • A song that has lyrics and music that don’t necessarily agree with each other but agree with you.
  • A song that you’re sure, almost positive, you’re assigning meanings to that aren’t really there, significances that the artist did not intend, but somehow you really don’t give a shit.
  • A song that rocks so well and so hard that you think that maybe, just maybe, you and your soul (that is somehow connected to the soul of this song) could rock that well and that hard too.

No? You’ve never had that happen to you?

Ha, well I have.

Say hello, to the current state of my soul:

Whatever the hell it is I mean by that. Maybe it’s just this…

I’M the queen of the world! I bump into things! I spin around in circles.

Or maybe it’s that, despite minor insignificant setbacks, this has been a glorious week so far. Here are some reasons why:

  • One of my closest friends came back to me.
  • Two of my friends found loooooooooooove with each other.
  • Another two friends got a puppy. (A  puppy! I mean, come on, how can I not melt at that?!)
  • All of my friends have made me laugh entirely too much.
  • I found the awesome soul-type song obsessed about above. (And also downloaded Taylor Swift’s new CD that may not be an extension of my 26 year-old soul but is certainly an extension of my 14 year-old soul. Which, admittedly, is not all that different.)
  • It was unbelievably beautiful outside tonight and I went running in it. (And by it I mean the unbelievably beautiful night…)(Are you ready to puke yet? Is my exuberance too much for you?)
    Okay then, last one…
  • Summer is coming and I’m sure it will be a continuance of these things.

Yay.

Music, friends, puppies, and beautiful nights. Not too shabby eh?