BOOK OF THE YEAR: v.s. naipaul – „a bend in the river”
BY GENRE : DEFINITELY A NON-FICTION YEAR : so many awesome books.patrick french’s naipaul biography – „the world is what it is”. steven king – „on writing’. lynn crosbie’s anthology „clicks” (women talking about the moment when they became feminists). robert kaplan – „balkan ghosts”(do not get me started! history/cultural politics, a big chunk on romania in there, woot)
SHORT STORIES: murakami – „blind woman, weeping willow”. lynn coady – „play the monster blind”. nam le – „the boat”. anthologies, too many (a great one, from ’96 i think – called „sudden fiction international” – with v. short shorts)
NOVELS: mmm this is harder this year. except for naipaul: curtis sittenfeld – „american wife” (i love her and i’m not ashamed). heather o’neill – „lullabies for little criminals”. tibor fischer – „under the frog” . bernard schlink – „the reader”.
BOOKS THAT I DO NOT GET, AT ALL, AT ALL, ALL: brace yourselves; it was a year of petty irritations. or maybe of…patience? someone else should call it.
-don delillo – „falling man” – awesome style, pointless…pointless…
-j coetzee – „slow man” – i honestly think he just wanted to punk the readers. there is no other possible…
– anne michaels -„fugitive pieces”. she should’ve sold it as poetry. either that or i’m missing something. (such as, the plot. but whatever.)
– zoe whithall – „holding still…” – my rant about this book would deserve its own post. i wanted to like this book so much. my heart is broken in tiny non-gendered pieces. on the floor. WHHHHHYYYYYYYYY
SURPRISE: or not? i kinda liked m. laurence’s „the diviners”. blah, i know it was because i identified w the main character to the point of eye-rolling, but also: i felt somehow…tender about its dated-ness. weird.
THINGS I KNEW I’D LIKE, THEREFORE NO BIGGIE: zz packer’s stories, nick hornby – „high fidelity”…dave eggers…mmm carol shields, basically anything…
I HAVEN’T MANAGED TO READ: david foster wallace (i know!), cormac mccarthy (yea yea), ??
I WANT: linda svendsen -„marine life”, rawi hage -„cockroach”.
and noooowww, for the , perhaps, real point of this post. i have just finished the first 2 books of „the sisterhood of the traveling pants”. i read them in my bed at night, through my last working week this year. and i cried buckets, and i felt warm and happy accordingly. and what i’m saying is, it’s a good ending and a fitting wrap-up for such a sucky year reading-wise. the laundry room of my building provides me with great insights. right now i’m trying to skim a book by dr. phil – for real. it’s…distracting.
because what should be said, and should never be forgotten, ever, about me in 2009 is: this was in fact a fan fiction year.
forget the ‘oh i graduated the MFA, i wrote a sort-of-a-novel’ crap. this year i was stuck in front of the computer for at least 5 hrs a day (at most…20? i guess. not often tho), F5-ing, as my virtual co-obsessed ppl would say, for new drabbles and one-shots and chaptered stories about how real people have imaginary gay sex with each other. it was lots of fun. i don’t even know how to describe this fun i had. because, after reading so many, it becomes apparent that i actually have no idea how to use words. now seriously, some of this prose is good, some of the things – esp the longer ones (i mean, whoever can maintain an alternative universe over 25K…) are well structured. and, surprise-surprise: the fact that the reader (me) is already so invested in the well-being of the real-life characters makes it so easy. the purpose is there. sometimes we want to believe fan fiction is magic.
1. it’s not cold at all.
i’ve started freaking out re: montreal a bit, small things that come and go,such as: will the money be enough (yes- for one month); how much of a chance do i stand to find a job (yeah that’s the toughest one), to find a place for me alone and in an ok area…how do i travel (i.e. do i fly or take the bus, which, bus journey would be epic, but do i want to complicate things?)…how do i pack all the shit
these are all good things. it’s a bit of a safe madness, worrying about things i know i’ll have to get done.
2. i am not depressed.
just a bit desensitized. i don’t care enough about things and people, and i worry that i should be caring. i used to care. i used to make presents and send sappy messages on birthdays. i used to do meaningful things – and now i can’t even be bothered to go out to a party where i don’t want to be, because a friend asked me to? etc etc etc
it’s all mixed up because i haven’t finished dealing with ‘back there’ yet, so by the point i get to dealing with vancouver, all will be just a big shrug. did i not know i’d only be here for 2 ys? i knew.
3. [i erased about 4 paras here :))] life is potentially interesting, okay. as long as i believe that, all is fine. there are gonna be days when i’m going to try harder than today. be more grateful, show it more, be more involved, hopefully helpful. basically, the dark days should be way bind me.
and, oh. re: „i know you love me” – if people i love know that i love them, i must be doing something right. i hope they do.
this is a collection of youtubes for my favourite adam lambert songs off his album. just because i think it’s fair to not mix this into my separate „music of 2009” post. i am bad at defending…whatever, whatever, ok, here goes:
1. broken open (yeah i know what he said about not wanting to be political, but once you put it out there i’m sorry for you if you think you can stop this from happening. well not really.)
2. master plan (which totally shouldn’t have been a b-side dammit)
3. sleepwalker (ear.worm.sappy.ear.worm. and, some of the video i actually liked ngl)
4. sure fire winners (if i actually did power walks or morning workout)
5. fever (i love lady gaga more than i hate bad french okay)
– late evening at elena’s before she went to the maritimes. i passed by hers and washed her dishes, after my tutoring+french. that was a completely booked day, man! when i arrived, 9+pm, i was all soaked, that was the rainiest time of nov., before it actually got cold…i was all in arms with backpack and laptop w/ adam’s newly downloaded music…so we jammed to that and my virtual elena dance mix (it’s gonna happen!) and we tried on hats and scarves (ok she was packing) and everything was loveliness and i got so little sleeeeepppp those days…
– one culture crawl night. like, nov. 20th? i love vancouver! this is such a cool thing it’s got going. the studio venues were awesome…i went with yael &birgitte, at one point it was raining sooo baddd, like, the worst night of the fall…lightning and that, which for vancouver is a rarity. also. previously at sonja’s, me getting ready for the cultural immersion carmen style, i.e. yeah, a joint? why not? and scotch? sounds quite good…huh it’s even drinkable…yay i’m getting tipsy…alright, now on to the crawl. it’s not bad of course (i mean not extreme), just kind of silly. and i sobered up real quick. most of the night spent at the parker 1000 studios, where i’d been once before, but not in a crawl crowd. watching yael interact with the artists, ogling the smallest objects of each exhibition, coveting buttons and affordable small pottery and woollen toys, not even thinking about the rest of the stuff. all in all a mess of colors and awesome snacks. (i named myself responsible w/ sampling every snack…that was a good deal)
– mmm have i ever mentioned the infamous joyland reading night? perhaps not. that was me publicizing the joyland readings just bc. my 2 favourite people-i-envy (rachel and alex) were reading. the reading itself was not as interesting as the friday night outing that…encompassed it. picture me arriving at sonja’s with the firm intention of getting drunk. wooops. now picture kevin egging me on. wonderful. and then…we went downtown, and because lora was at the reading too, there was a slight attempt of creating a „posse” …next we went to an art gallery where there was an exhibition of some sort…we ended up in a curtained-off empty room (like, a projection-type of thing, only nothing was on), me watching lora make friends with my former classmates…then actually, hilariously, having them tag along with *us* in search of a place to drink more. but it was only the 4 of us in the end, and i drank ginger ale and sulked gradually esp. after midnight because it’s fucked-up when everybody has a weekend the next day so they can’t sleep in and i don’t/can’t (remind me why friday nights are not a good idea -). but it ended up ok, i.e. i did not cry. i think i might’ve been close? what! we were talking about important things.
(the most hurtful thing anyone’s said to me this fall: „all make-up and ambition, no talent” – sonja on adam :)) )
– omg dinner with john!!!finally after months and months. well he’s had a tough year, but i sure hope to catch him again before i leave. this was pre-my second showing of „after homelessness”
-!!”after homelessness”!!! david diamond’s project, with actual actors from the DTES playing a script written by themselves about homelessness and related issues. with a follow-up where the audience interacts and can steer the conflicts…so wonderful. i’ll just say that i sent 3 people to watch the play…i went twice with yael (anfd joan), i listened to a webcast, so a third time, with alex l., and it’s been different and touching every time. so i’ll…put the link up?
– I WILL NOT TALK ABOUT THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS – I MIGHT BE SCARRED FOR LIFE.
but, on a 2nd thought: tommy joe ratttttlifffffff!!! you know what i mean???!?!?
– ok, last friday night, elizabeth’s concert @st augustine’s on the drive. finally. i haven’t been on the drive in the daytime in quite a while i’m realizing…duh, it gets dark at like 4.30 so by the time i’m off work, buh-bye daylight. anyway. it’s been fun. big table w/ lora and juliet and an early-days-internet friend of e’s straight from calgary. after which quite unexpectedly sonja, kevin and sean o. crashed the party. as in, really crashed the party. after they came it was all of a sudden less about the concert than about flirty written notes back and forth across the table. i mean, good fun, but uh-oh my attention span and range of interests.
i’ve been logging in here so few times this fall, i’m forgetting my damn password.don’t really know what to think about it. look, maybe…this is how things are meant to happen. the losing touch thing, i just pretend i’m not good at it but maybe i’m in fact supergood at it, in the most twisted way possible, which implies ending up feeling righteous as if it wasn’t my fault, i tried….passive-aggressive & all that. when it’s in fact down to stubborness – to not getting out of my way.
and i mean, i’ve been accused of not being a good romanian among other stuff…of abandoning my country in one of its recent 234754379956 hours of need. and i’m grateful to whoever feels enough to accuse me. i’m out of touch , i don’t know shit. i care only when and for as long as it suits me.
finally life is good, and all scheduled, between my mornings and how clock-work work comes and goes away and the grocery-shopping and the bus ride and the nap and the evening things. when people look for balance, this is what they look for. it’s not v. cold, but i have a coat; it’s not raining but when it does i have a solid umbrella; my shoes don’t take water in; my gloves are new and soft; my hair is a good length. my jeans are a good fit and will last for 3 more months. i have a bunch of books waiting to be read, 10 days holiday ahead, one day off a week which pretty much comes pre-scheduled too. i’ve figured out which my favourite ben&jerry’s is, what muffin i want for breakfast, the guy at the convenience store knows me, the guy at the CIBC counter knows me. i haven’t been uncertain of what happens (to me, haha) in 3 months : i know what happens. i can’t remember when was the last time i cried.
(this, i think, is a first. i mean, i cried on last day of school, that was april 15th…since then??? omg)
ok should i start a new post for the „what-actually-happened”? i think so, this one’s too lame here