I feel like if someone is next to me and has something cool going on
reading a good book
cool shoes
that sort of thing
I have these fantasies
where they are getting ready for the day and thinking about how happy they are to show off those new shoes
but they go through the whole day
and no one says anything
and they feel this weird sadness
that isn't important enough to ever tell anyone
I think about them falling asleep with tiny sad thoughts
and it really makes me feel anxious
I say something

--PR, circa a few minutes ago


Gordon Gee and his family were the focus of the first act of this week's This American Life episode. It's a really wonderful and heartbreaking story. Gordon Gee seems like a good dad.
But reading is socially accepted disassociation. You flip a switch and you’re not there anymore. It’s better than heroin. More effective and cheaper and legal.

People who didn’t live pre-Internet can’t grasp how devoid of ideas life in my hometown was. The only bookstores sold Bibles the size of coffee tables and dashboard Virgin Marys that glowed in the dark. I stopped in the middle of the SAT to memorize a poem, because I thought, This is a great work of art and I’ll never see it again.
--Mary Karr, in an interview for The Paris Review (via Clusterflock)



...“I don’t want to compound the fragility myth about me...but I think other people in my life certainly commented that I seemed to have a...sometimes fragile relationship with reality.” She stops. “But I wouldn’t say that it’s felt like a problem for me but, you know, I forget to pay bills and I get my water shut off and I live in a rural area. And you know when your cable gets shut off they actually have to make an appointment to send out a technician to reinstall it and it’s really expensive and insanely annoying. And so that’s happened to me like four times now. The list of things like that is very, very long. And there’s nothing romantic or fantastical about being hapless, or borderline dysfunctional in terms of a lot of the things that make someone a good grown-up in the world.”
--Sophie Heawood, The Conversation: Joanna Newsom (via Boyland)



Boyfriends aside, he finds a thousand things to like. Ballet dancers fly through his verse. Taxi drivers tell him funny things. Zinka Milanov sings, the fountains splash. The city honks at him and he honks back. This willingness to be happy is one of the things for which O'Hara is most loved, and rightly so. It is a fundamental aspect of his moral life, and the motor of his poetry. Even Ward, whose book is a poststructuralist study, offering us the unlooked-for experience of seeing O'Hara analyzed in relation to polysemy, differential valorization, and French gyno-criticism, finally throws up his hands. "The poetry of Frank O'Hara has an incomparable warmth and humanity," he exclaims. "It is only through such poetry that people in the future will think that life in New York City in the fifties and sixties must have been good." Ward is a professor at the University of Liverpool. I hope he has tenure. This is not the way a poststructuralist analysis is supposed to end.
--Joan Acocella, Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints


And so peace was made. This is how we do it in Lake Wobegon, you see. This goes against psychology, which tells you that you should talk through these things. But we believe that if you talk through your problems you find new ones. You dig the hole deeper and you open up a whole fresh can of worms and so the way we solve problems is just to look at them and deny that they ever existed, you see. This is how you do it in Lake Wobegon.
--Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion


Three years ago, Sarah, John, and I subleased an incredibly filthy apartment. It was The Summer of 2P4C (also known as The Best Summer of My Life) and we lazed the days away, scrounging up money for booze and cigarettes, surviving on coffee (free for me because I worked at Caribou) and hummus (free for Sarah because she worked at Leen-O). Sometimes, Sarah and I would pull away from our books and bike rides to assess our swamp of an apartment, but the task of cleaning always felt too overwhelming. And so, a solution: drink enough wine before noon and no bathtub is too gross to scrub. A side effect of this cleaning strategy was the discovery that dancing to System of a Down's Chop Suey and Panjabi MC's Mundian To Bach Ke is, by far, the most fun kind of dancing--a revelation we were sure to share with the rest of our friends.

It's become something of a tradition--if you put me or Sarah near an iPod and you can be damn sure one or both of those songs will be played. And the great thing is that everyone (I hope? There are probably some who roll their eyes and wait for another MIA song) joins the fun, so it's just a bunch of people I love belting out terrible lyrics and shaking their hips. This weekend we resurrected the tradition, wine and all, and for the first time I felt pangs of "I'm really going to miss this next year."

But that's how it goes, yeah?


When I’m looking for inspiration to get the creative gears turning, I find it from a combination of sources; experimental music, mid century design/cinema, nature/wildlife, etc. To achieve full creative potential I must sit in the woods, watch Mad Men, and listen to Boards of Canada simultaneously.
--Mark Weaver, Overcoming Creative Block (via Kottke)


Saw Angela Davis today--there is nothing more inspiring than being in the presence of a huge badass, especially when that badass so eloquently ties together Haiti, Hegel, and the prison-industrial complex.

There is so much I want to read! There is so much I want to do!



me: hahaha
i saw it
and decided that the closest thing i had to it was chocolate chips straight out of the bag
so that's what i've been eating
Arvind: hahaha
right before you sent this
i got a spoonful of peanut butter
me: i think i'm the saddest looking human being on the planet right now
Arvind: and covered it in chocolate syrup

Oh God I am so tired.


This is my day in MousePath.


The telephone becomes an instrument of torture in the demonic hands of a beloved who doesn't call.
--Alain de Botton, On Love



And I do, I spend enormous, unjustifiable amounts of time simply gorging on information. The worst of it is that I seem to need more and more, but the equipment I am using is too slow, it’s positively lumbering. No way can my head handle the rate at which I am trying to shove stuff in; the evidence of that is conclusive. I can never remember how to spell Aung San Suu Kyi. A Canadian friend ribs me for knowing so little about the Harper government. I still haven’t read today’s newsletters from Salon, japantoday.com, or The New Yorker. The books in this house are evidently multiplying on their own. It takes me forever to read even a newspaper article in Spanish, let alone Roberto BolaƱo like I’m supposed to be doing.
--Maria Bustillos, In Praise of High-Speed Overload





The Night of the Chinkiss will live in infamy. I really enjoy being young and dumb.
Basically I was in that state in which a man realizes that everything he sees will outlast him. As a verbal construction I know that's a cliche. As a state in which to actually be, though, it's something else, believe me.
--David Foster Wallace, Good Old Neon


When I was a small child, acting snotty and picky (as small children are wont to do) and unwilling to eat the dishes my mommy placed in front of me, she would often let me indulge in just this: a bowl of buttered jasmine rice with lime pickle. I've eaten it a lot the past week. It's cheap and reminds me of East Lansing, Michigan--therefore it is the perfect meal.