Can we just cancel the next couple weeks so I can sleep?
The weather here is cooling down and all I want to do is nap and or watch episodes of Project Runway on the internet. Could somebody please find a way to make this happen? With a cherry on top?
Tune-Yards is playing in Hoxton.
Jeremy and Harvey are spinning records in Clerkenwell.
Our friend W is having a going away party on Saturday.
We will be trying to conquer the Ivy House pub quiz once more tonight.
And I may never sleep again.
I probably will sleep again, I’m just being melodramatic.
Also if you’ve got any spare thoughts or prayers or whatever you specialize in please send them towards southwestern Michigan where my grandma had some unexpected surgery on Sunday following some more expected surgery last week.
People always seem to come to this blog via search terms about scary things. List of Scary Things is probably the single most used search term that leads to my decidedly unscary lists (if you are not me, if you are me, I assure you all these things are horrifying).
So here is you 2011 version of things I find scary. All previous items still apply.
- Findng new (or at least previously unseen) cracks in the wall of our house. Structural integrity is no joke!
- Reading the comments on the web version of my hometown’s newspaper. Especially the talkback section and anything to do with welfare. Yikes.
- Sulfasalazine. Seriously. It makes you want to barf, but doesn’t actually make you barf which is unfair.
- The sheer volume of weeds in my allotment (it is shocking!).
- The speed with which my cat can turn from being the sweetest sweetie pie into the meanest most violent jerkbomb in the world. We really should have named him Jekyll.
- The weather in London this week. I fear we may have seen the last of the sun for 2011.
- Added at 9:04 AM on the 8th of September – Me without caffeine. Why am I doing this to myself? Because it’s better for arthritis and health in general I know, but MY GOD I want a cup of coffee!
When I was in high school I was a massive fan of the Beat writers. A friend of mine loaned me a copy of On the Road when I was a junior and I just totally devoured it. When people tell me how much they hate this book (and they often tell me they hate this book when they hear about my long-standing love for it along with the fact that I had a cat named Jack Kerouac) I typically ask them when they read it. Because you have to read a book like this at the right time in your life. You probably shouldn’t read it if you’re older than 22 (unless you’re a very young spirited person). You just aren’t likely to have patience for it. In all honesty, it’s not very well written, I can see that now. Or not consistently well written anyhow. Parts of it shine through with so much beauty that you (and by you I mean me) will want to cry. But mostly, it’s uneven and sort of boring. It’s not groundbreaking anymore, it’s been copied and imitated and reimagined a million times over. Unless you’re looking at it with relation to its historical context it’s not really worth reading it as an adult.
However, if you’re a naive 16-year-old living in a small town with dreams of going just about anywhere else it’s a perfect book. It’s a head long dash into the unknown and it proves just how easy it can be to get out. Even if you aren’t willing to steal a car to do it. Despite the dismal beautiful ending, it still invokes a yearning that few other books I’ve read are able to express.
But I wasn’t planning to write about Kerouac today. Instead I want to talk about how the one (Kerouac) lead me to another. In my last year at university I signed up for a course titled Zen and American Culture in American Literature (arguably the best course name ever). This was an 8 week summer course and the description directly referenced the writing of Kerouac and Ginsberg ( I have a story about him too, but I’ll save it for later). Despite being a short class we covered a lot of ground. From Ezra Pound’s (there was a character (and by character I mean an issue laden creep regardless of talent)) Cantos to Allen Ginsberg’s Kaddish with tons of other’s in between and after. Our final day of class was spent looking at Rothko slides and listening to Miles Davis, but that’s not the point either.
This is the point. We spent a lot of time talking about William Carlos Williams as well, seeing as he was a major influence on the authors and poets who followed him, and even acted as a mentor to Ginsberg, among others. I knew about Williams before this (I was 75% of my way through an English degree after all) but my main knowledge of him had to do with that red wheelbarrow, a poem i frankly did not get at the time, but then we read This is Just to Say and I got it. I got it like you wouldn’t believe.
The simplicity of his words, the frankness of his poetry is heartbreaking and beautiful. After reading the selected poems for this course I began my own exploration of the man’s work and I often come back to it. The Widow’s Lament in Springtime has remained of my favourite pieces of writing in the world. I’ve been thinking about it today, in fact, which has led me to look up Williams again and realise how much of his work I haven’t read. It’s funny to think that someone I consider to be a favourite also represents such a hole in my books read list. It’s time to remedy that (which happily gives me an excellent excuse to avoid cleaning my house!).
I’m too lazy to even make a list today! How pathetic am I? Answer: very.
My motivation has just disappeared. I don’t want to do anything except eat cookies and watch tv. Except maybe take a bath while reading a book. But not a book with any cultural value, oh no, I only want to read tawdry pulpy novels of very little worth, thanks.
This lack of motivation would be okay if I didn’t have butt loads of stuff to do, but I do have butt loads of stuff to do. Butt loads of butt loads, even. I have a house to clean. A bookshelf to move. Work that I get paid to do to do. Novels and short stories to write. Sweaters and afghans to knit. An allotment to weed. Dr’s appointments to attend. Dishes to wash. Yoga to yog. Laundry to be sorted and done. You know, stuff! Butt loads of it!
But I get home from work and all I want to do is nothing. This is no good. I need to get out of this rut of nothingness. But how?
What do you, dear reader(s), do when you are feeling demotivated and lame? How do you get yourself off your ass and actually get the butt loads of stuff done? I need your help, because every time I start to make a plan my brain shuts down and that is no good as I really need it to turn on and never shut off until my house has all those cartoon clean sparkles glinting off of it and my laundry is all folded and pressed and there are three books with my name on the spine sitting on my bookshelf and all that other stuff I said up above that I am too lazy to list again.