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I'm watching Passenger 57. The worst part about it is the score. Plus its script is on autopilot. What the hell, though? It's either this or eat a banana and wait for it to get warmer out.
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Today's ranking for the Misery-Nostalgia index is: 7.

(1- the worst possible doldrums of misery induced by absurd nostalgia; 10- misery-nostalgia free)

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Dad and I drove down to Greenwich to get a look at an "Entertainment Center" (a tv/dvd holder) and on the way we talked about the origin of my name (which is still rather murky, though he said he definitely thought about the poetry of it), the Mets' pitching line-up this year (which should be a strong one: Glavine, El Duque, Pelfry, Maine, and Perez--- and eventually Pedro) and Tim's defensiveness regarding Rebecca's wedding (and whether he knows how much it'll actually end up costing.)

We ended on a note about the choices people make and the "ready-made" package unfortunately available to all of our lives if we choose to submit to them. He brought up an old quote, which he paraphrased as "If you go into yourself, you'd better be armed to the teeth." Well I recognized the last part from Ani's song about gun control, "To the Teeth" and he said that that expression was known and probably not original to that qutoe. For some reason I feel embarrassed for having brought it up.

But his larger point is apt: if you look inside yourself, you're going to find stuff for which you need protection.

But I think it's also necessary, and I hope that's what I'm doing here.
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David's going to therapy. That's actually the last thing he needs. It's funny that I suggested it. It's funny that he gave me the bullshit about "Oh, I can solve my problems on my own," "Oh, it's such a weak world," "Oh, oh, oh."

The last thing he needs is the language of victimization and self-help in him.

He needs to read. And maybe think a bit.

He's kind of a nice guy, though. He has that going for him. It's actually not so common.

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I never knew sermons before. I never heard them. For a long time, I wasn't sure who Jesus was, in fact, so there's in how unreligious an environment I grew up.

But I've been listening to Forrest and Galen preach, and they give me something I simply couldn't not have at this point. It's not a phony kind of inspiration, though I think it may spring from the same well as the Dr. Phil people. It's a scholarly kind of sustenence, though, an informed kind of spirituality, that's what it is.

Some people sign on doctrinal dotted lines because their desperation forces them to.

All Souls demands far more than that. You have to figure it out. You have to decide. You have to use reason and faith. You have develop your own discipline and your own ethic. But you also have to come together in fellowship with the community in the service of some higher thing that belongs inside all of us.

Thank God I have my iPod. Who could have expected Steve Jobs to make me more religious?
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The Queen is such a brave, intelligent, and unconventional picture.

Helen Mirren must have such a burden inside her--- all that posturing and elegance and subtlety. She's extraordinary.
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I'm so friggin' tired of hearing about Borat.

I just listened to Terri Gross' panting, sycophantic interview with Sacha Baren Cohen, but I don't think anybody should be allowed to have an opinion on the movie who hasn't at least read George Saunders' take in The New Yorker and Christopher Hitchens' take in Slate.

Although I don't seethe with contempt at Cohen's mockumentary and everything it represents, like Saunders seems to; and I didn't find it the final affirmation of the politeness of the American spirit, like Hitchens, I can, at the very least, claim disappointment at an awkward and mean-spirited evening at the movies. Another reason for those of us in blue states and big houses to sit in a dark room, curse and jeer the values and prejudices of our less-enlightened brethren, wonder when the madness will end, then go out to drinks and dinner, where we won't ask ourselves about what's fair and what's exploitative, won't give the benefit of any doubt to a country as vast as ours, as diverse and productive, and won't wonder if, upon microscopic examination, we don't have something equally sinister inside us.

Bravo, Mr. Cohen.
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I just thought, when did I start having hair on my body?

I looked down at my arms, each clutching a side of the brown leather chair, and they had a sinister outlook. What I found was: the pathos of a college graduate, the surety of a twenty-something. The death of dependence. These paper bowling bracelets still there after weeks and weeks; one of the trips was with David, that’s how long ago. Both were with Bridget; that’s how long ago. Bridget, the Beunos Aires transplant who found a tango partner named Rafael, who lives rent-free and worries about sexual tension with her handsome benefactor.

So I liked them, the arms, and not just the way they remind me I’m a man now. I liked their independence, the way they present themselves as a quiet but potent force in a room. It was a second where I saw myself. Probably three or four such times in my life.
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