Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Christo's exhibit in NYC, linkage, A Modest Proposal and Babycakes, Neil love, bookworming, Bright Eyes, winterr-brr

Despite the horrible homework load, I'm nevertheless going to post a GOOD blog entry for a change. And I'm going to flex my linking muscles a bit, too.

First off, this is why I love my parents: A little while ago I told them that Christo was putting up his latest installation in Central Park, New York, during February and that I really wanted to go. And instead of berating me for wanting to drive five hours to see some orange fabric, they say, "Okay, good idea, let's go over February break." And so, in two weeks, I will not only be in New York City but I'll also be touching The Gates. I am ridiculously excited. (By the way, did you guys see the cover of The New Yorker this week?) I think I mentioned Christo a while ago in this blog, but I don't remember when.

On an entirely different note, I was getting my Toothpaste for Dinner fix today and I came across this recent cartoon that is both hilarious and, I'm sure, very true.

Today in English class, we read Swift's A Modest Proposal, which I quite liked. Funnier still, much of my class DIDN'T REALIZE it was satire until my teacher told them. Not to sound arrogant, but...dimwits. Regardless, the story reminded me of a Neil Gaiman short story I'd read a while ago, called Babycakes. It had a similar theme, and as I heard a recording of him reading it, it was also especially eerie. This rekindled my Neil-obsession, so I visited his blog and followed a link to a video clip of him reading part of Anansi Boys (his latest novel, yet-to-be-published) and answering questions. I really am in love with him. It's too bad he's 44.

Incidentally, I was browsing through Boing Boing and a link to music by previously-unknown-to-me Brendan Themes, "a punk-folk musician whose stuff is like Billy Bragg's best music crossed with a little Beck and some Leo Kottke." Sounds damn good. Even better, his music has a Creative Commons license and you can download it for free here.

And these keychain plants are wacky and kind of cool. But then, they ARE Japanese.

Since the US dollar's worth practically nothing right now, this seems to be a better use for those George Washingtons.

On the book front...I re-read Milton's Paradise Lost, which is indescribably beautiful--the best thing I've ever read--and I'm almost done with Paradise Regained, which I feel a little more "eh" about. Then Samson Agonistes will be the last of the long poems and I'll just have a bunch of littler stuff to read. Unfortunately, V. is still at large, though I've been scouring the house up and down for it. I finished Dylan's Chronicles, and I liked it a lot more than I expected--though I suspect it's not exactly a clear picture of him, because Dylan will always have that mystique. And for English I have to re-read Pride and Prejudice; I liked it a lot the first time, but this time around I'm skimming over all the Mr. Collins parts because he makes me want to kill myself. Incidentally, I don't think that any of the (seven) boys in my English class would even have picked up the book except that my teacher said that Austen describes the dances like sex. And actually, she's really right: "The moment of her release from him was ecstacy." Uh. And Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore just came in for me from the library. I'm also looking forward to reading the new book by Haruki Murakami (described as "a fearless writer possessed of a wildly uninhibited imagination and a legion of fiercely devoted fans"), Kafka on the Shore, sometime soon. Sorry for that; I'm an incurable bookworm.

And music. Next week Bright Eyes is releasing two unrelated CD's simultaneously, and I'm especially looking forward to hearing I'm Wide Awake It's Morning (quite an emo title, eh?). In anticipation, I dug up my old Bright Eyes playlist on the iPod and I've been listening to him all day, especially Bowl of Oranges and Calendar Hung It, and If Winter Ends because that's how I feel right now (except with several times less angst).

But seriously, winter. I don't know why I live in New England; it's been fluctuating between 3 and 5 degrees for the past few days and I'm constantly cold, constantly shivering. I get on the bus at 6:50, when the sky's still black, and I don't see the sun all day in school. Then I get out at 2:30 and dusk literally begins at 3:30. Furthermore, I have to live with the knowledge that I've got at least another three, maybe four months of this before our two-week-spring kicks in. "I swear that I'm dying, slowly but it's happening..."

I guess that's all. Back to Milton.

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