July 23, 2009

green thumb twiddling.

You should grow a garden. Your neighbors will become curious and motivated to start gardens of their own. Little kids will force their parents to stop in front of your garden to check on its progress. No one will steal your tomatoes even though everyone who sees that you started a garden right next to the sidewalk tells you that people will steal your tomatoes. Which means you can have conversations like this:

Someone Else: So what have you done with all of your free time since you lost your job?

You: I restored my faith in humanity by growing awesome tomatoes that nobody stole when they walked past.

Someone Else: Wow, working life has washed away all of the faith I had in humanity. Well, working life and NYC Prep.

You: Jubilee heirloom tomatoes are crazy delicious, and they're yellow!

Or maybe you don't care about gardens because your inability to keep plants alive is notorious, and when people bring you what they claim to be unkillable plants you always kill them and this makes you feel bad about yourself. In which case you should go read this article about the positive effects of the recession from Cracked.com.

July 22, 2009

diversions for the almost-hobo.

So I started this project called Entertain Yourself Without Blowing the Grocery Money on Booze. Sometimes this involved virgins. I mean, Virgins.

Free Diversion #1: Find and Photograph all the Virgin Mary Murals in Your Town.
This really only works if you live in or near a city with a huge Latino population. If you don't, I pity you. You probably don't even have a man who pushes a cart around your neighborhood selling corn with chile and mayonnaise.

The late afternoon sun spotlights the Virgin like she's a relic in an Indiana Jones movie. She's painted on the side of a Mexican market with some angry livestock featured in another mural to her immediate left (outside the frame), which I think is there to let you know that the meat you buy from this market won't take any of your shit, so don't even try it.

Nuestra Madre protecting some midcentury automobiles on Main Street, just off from the Arts Colony downtown.

I took this picture after I figured out that my hand fits through the chainlink fence, even if it's holding a camera.

I also found her protecting some actual automobiles at a used car lot on Holt Ave.

Anyone want to make a coffee-table book?

July 19, 2009

independent study.

Across the street a woman is cheerily waving her daughter into a car. As she shuts the door she shouts, "Have fun! And don't come back with any new tattoos!"

Also, this happened: Now, normally I react to Joyce the way a child reacts to medicine or vegetables. Or homework. Or medicinal homework. I stomped my feet and swore I would never open it again if I wasn't being graded on it, even though I begrudgingly acknowledge its greatness. The other day I found myself referring to Ulysses to better understand a section of IJ, which lead to pulling out Joyce Annotated, and eventually Hamlet and a Shakespeare reference book as well. Then my eyeballs almost fell out and I had to close the book(s) and do something else. I even left the house!

July 6, 2009

also: look up annular

Um, yeah, I fell behind in Infinite Summer. More like got distracted--I finished the first week’s reading early and went right back to the beginning to read it again. This book has so many little doorways that it’s hard to stay on track. For example:

The Clenette section (IJ, p37-39) struck a nerve with some readers, and I was all like, really?

Then I had to go sifting through Hamlet. Because:

James Incandenza’s film production company is named for the fool in Hamlet (i.e. Yorick, as in, “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, he was a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.” (Hamlet, V.i.184-5). The fool is an entertainer at court, but also acts as an important truth-telling device in Shakespearean drama. The fool is typically more trustworthy and insightful than a play’s major characters, who are bound by their limited perspectives. In order to play the fool in IJ, James Incandenza has to be able to accurately and objectively analyze himself, which is impossible, because how can a person objectively analyze himself using only himself? Subjectivity is inescapable, J. Incandenza can’t let go of this, and he dissolves into delusional alcoholism trying to get beyond himself so that he can understand himself. And then tell the truth.