Thursday, December 23, 2010

Not There Yet

I still have roughly 40 pages of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom left to read. I probably could have finished it last night (it's by no means taxing to read upward of 100 pages of a Franzen novel at one sitting, if you have the time, because he has a pretty readerly style, as opposed to the writerly style of, e.g., Franzen's friend David Foster Wallace) except I didn't do any reading until bedtime because of Survivor. Now, those of you who still watch Survivor — which I guess is the only "reality" show I really watch1 — are thinking, Well, didn't that show end last Sunday? You are indeed perceptive ... for someone who watches Survivor.

Thing is, Ian got interested in Survivor this year so we watch it with him now, and Sunday's show went till like 11:00 p.m., way past his bedtime and, for that matter, mine; so we TiVo'd the show to watch at a later date. But we couldn't watch it Monday night, because that was my late night at the library; and we couldn't watch it Tuesday night, because that's Teh 'Bride's late night. So last night was the first evening that we were all together to watch Teh Thrilling Conclusion And See Who Won Teh Title of Sole Survivor!1!

So I got no reading done till bedtime.

And then, at in bed (cue wah-wah guitar music), after I'd read maybe 10 pages, there was a blackout, which may or may not've been related to the blackout at Teh 'Bride's library, which occurred at like 12:30 yesterday afternoon and was the result of some guy in a big-@$$ FUC SUV ramming into the powerline pole just outside the library because he was diabetic and evidently had an "episode" and the library hadn't gotten their power back by 4:30 p.m. when Teh 'Bride's work day ended (because even though there was no power, they didn't close the library) and Teh 'Bride had what appeared to be the only copy of the library's out-of-date What To Do In The Event of a Blackout Emergency Instruction Sheet (which lists 10 steps, the first two of which are to contact people who no longer work for the library, one of whom is dead), and she took it to the New, Non-Dead2 Director and told him, "Please don't lose this since it's apparently the only copy still in existence" and he, of course, promptly lost it without first following any of the steps included in it or delegating them to anyone else, not even checking to see if anyone was stuck in the fucking elevator, for Teh Love of Sweet Baby Jebus, which would seem an obvious no-brainer, and so Teh 'Bride ended up having to do most of this stuff herself, after which the Director "found" the paper again.

And so the power outage that happened at our house at like 9:45 p.m. was probably not related to that one — but you never know — and it certainly didn't last as long, maybe 5 minutes, but by the time the lights came back on I had already made the executive decision to put my book down and go to sleep, although Teh 'Bride waited the blackout out and continued to read when the lights came back on but I couldn't tell you for how long because when I make the decision to stop reading and go to sleep I generally don't fuck around.

The point here being, I did not finish Freedom and so reviewing it today, as I seemed to promise in yesterday's post I would, would seem to be premature (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID3!1!).

Which is a shame because if I had finished Freedom, I could then get a Year 2010 head start on reading Teh Comedy of Errors tonight. In theory, anyway. The problem with that is, like most Compleat Works of Shaxberd tomes, The Riverside Shakespeare is part complete works of S., part reference book. And I just can't resist the siren's call of those seemingly dry introductory essays, both at the beginning of the tome and at the beginning of each individual work4. And so like yesterday, after I'd checked out Teh Riverside S., I had it sitting next to me on my desk while I was working and when my soul-crushingly boring job got particularly soul-crushing, I'd pick it up (and it's a good thing I've been working on my upper body strength because it weighs quite a few pounds) and flip through the essays — in particular, the introductory essay to TCoE, which spends a lot of time chewing over the issue of whether or not Teh C of Es is mere farce or genuine comedy. I didn't finish the essay, but, The Comedy of Errors being by Shakespeare and all, I'm guessing the essay's author concluded it was not mere farce, which is somewhat of a foregone conclusion, I'd venture to opine. If you're going to say it's mere farce, you probably don't get the job of writing its introductory essay, in all likelihood.

So, at this point, all's I'll say about Freedom is I'm enjoying it immensely, and it is a lot like The Corrections but different enough to be worthwhile. I'll write more when I actually finish the book, such as — SPOILER ALERT!1! — it is 576 pages long.
1 Depending, needless to say (yet here I am about to say it), on your definitions of "'reality'" and "watch". Because Ian likes to watch such fare as Billy Teh Exterminator (aka Teh Land Where Mullets Go To Die); Mythbustificators; and Roe v. Wade Man v. Wild and while he does I'm usually sitting on the living room sofa trying to read and Ian gets all, "Aren't you gonna watch with me, Dad?" and so I kinda have to watch for awhile then sneak back to reading my book; and Teh 'Bride ... O, geez, Teh 'Bride! She'll watch just about any piece of crap "reality" show there is! I mean, it was bad enough when she was just watching everything she could about midg-, "little people", like Little People, Big AgroBusiness World, a show about the tough, grueling life of undersized people who own and live on a one billion dollar farm and own every lifestyle-enhancing gadget there is that money can buy but — alas! — money can't buy them love height1a; but she also watches shows about every type of freak there is out there, her latest obsession being shows about hoarders, who, I assume, make her feel a lot better about her own personal tendency to generate Piles Of Piles In Our Own Living Spaces. And yeah, it really, really is interesting and not at all creepy or macabre when the show features yet another hoarder with piles everywhere and you just wait around till the moment when they go on a Xenia-like archaeological dig on that one particular 12-foot-high pile in one level of which they inevitably find the half-decayed remains of the pet cat that disappeared, seemingly without a trace, six months previously, the cat that they referred to in the first 5 minutes of the show and at that point you're sitting there hoping against hope that the poor cat just got disgusted by the fat and pathetic hoarder lady and just up and ran away but you already know, because you're familiar with the concept of foreshadowing, that its carcass will inevitably be found under one of those partially toppled piles and so when it happens, it's not even a surprise, it's just pathetic and depressing.

Now that, I think we can all agree, is entertainment!

1a Because who'd wanna watch a show about people for whom shortness-of-stature is an actual challenge, i.e., non-rich little people? People for whom the solutions to the problems of living in a hostilely over-sized world are not just a phone call to an expensive contractor away?  The aggravating thing about Little People, Big World is that it is, in fact, just another show about the life styles of people with a whole lot of money that tries to pawn itself off as a show about how difficult it is to be really, really short; and you can watch it and kinda congratulate yourself on how compassionate you are toward the stature-impaired, but the program doesn't show you how difficult life as a little person is for average foax — it doesn't even try. Short people would be as icky as regular-sized foax if they were poor; and so the show is about the little (no pun intended) trials of the wealthy-and-height-impaired, pert-near all of which trials can be overcome by the technology, and faux compassion, that only money can buy.

As for average little people? Well, they better either grow up or get money if they expect anyone to care about their lives enough to build a "reality" show around them.

2 Depending on how you define "Non-Dead". Because if your definition of "non-dead" includes non-brain-dead, then the jury is still out on the question of whether Teh 'Bride's Library's New Director is "Non-Dead", because the guy's a useless fucktard.

3 Referring, in this case, to his ejaculation. In case that wasn't clear.

4 They're like those really, really dry essays that you see at the beginning of unabridged dictionaries, but that few people ever read. At least, not fully. Because I'm sitting here right now with my Big-@$$ Random House Dictionary of the English Language Second Edition Unabridged next to me and it has like eleven introductory essays in the front, on topics ranging from  "Historical Sketch Of The English Language" to "Usage: Change and Variation" in type so small that a Eüropean Måle's püny Eürøpænis would look large in comparison to the typeface4a. But unlike a Eüropean Måle's püny Eürøpænis, these essays can actually be kinda fascinating and useful, though pert-near impossible to read at one sitting. But if you peruse them for 5, 10 minutes at a time, you're bound to run across passages that are truly engrossing and worth the effort.

4a Kerwånag!1! Take that, my myriad Eüropean Måle Reædærs!

Incidentally, if you're wondering how I know so much about Püny Eüropean Måle Eürøpænii, I just asked Cletus. Now that Don't Ask Don't Tell  has been repealed, I could ask, and EuroBoy O EuroBoy! was Cletus ever willing to tell! Hahahahaha! Good old-fashioned American KERTWANG!1!


  1. ONLY u would even notice that a dicktionary has introduction(s)!
    i'll stick to my little people hoarder (oh! maybe someday they will combine the 2!!)
    shows :)
    love, teh bride

  2. i'm #1!!
    merry december-seperation-of-church-and-state-holidays to all!
    love, teh bride

  3. I'm currently reading the letters of Vincent Van Gogh. I'm convinced he was manic-depressive. I'm also now convinced that he had to be a relative.

  4. Work requires me to deal with Emergency Contact Lists and Emergency Procedures on a daily basis. I'm always amazed by how many clients have out of date info. It's scary. And if you think about it too much, it will totally wig you out in large buildings. It's sort of like animal "health" labs and underground secret government bunkers -- things I know exist, but I really don't want to know any details.

    BTW - did you see JoyRun's blogging again?

  5. The first rule is that watching television turns your brain into tapioca pudding. There are minor exceptions, but they only apply when you are watch via a DVD, or can Tiveo through the commercials and other brain killing material.

  6. Found it. Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall and by the doom of death end woes and all.

    Great start! Death. Woes. Procurement. Doom.
    How can we go wrong from here?

  7. I can't get into the little people. Hoarders, on the other hand - can't get enough of those messy creatures.

    I'm not sure if I've mentioned that I'm not a big fan of truncated GR feeds.