Pajamas, three wall clocks telling different times, and a candle that should smell like the ocean but instead smells like soap. And paper writing, the last thing to do before this semester’s over. And Billy Bragg. Also on this playlist: “Shiva,” by The Antlers, “Ready to Start” by the Arcade Fire, and Okkervil River’s “Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas,” my favorite sad, sublime Christmas song.
The second is a really interesting cover of one of my favorite songs ever.
Poem a day. I handwrote the last few days’ poems (also known as the first Hail Mary pass) as I’ve been traveling. (I’m back from the UK as of 9pm last night, which felt much more like 5am.) It’s been interesting to translate them to the computer screen today and see what did and didn’t work. I had to relineate them entirely. Long lines in a reporter’s notebook are not, in fact, long lines.
On the eight hour flight yesterday, I tried to do work only to find that my computer did not, in fact, charge on its converted-power-supply. So I watched Hysteria (lackluster), the 2006 Pride & Prejudice (whatever happened to Matthew Mcfayden, I ask, then Google and find out he’s a British miniseries stalwart now), and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, which I found tremendously lovely and sad, despite the slightly unbelievable romance (though, simultaneously, I loved the unbelievability of it–I understood it, facing the end, how you’d made decisions you otherwise wouldn’t). Anyway, that took me pretty much straight through, as did the Mountain Goats, and I remembered that I used to always listen to this song on transatlantic flights. I love how mysterious and sad it is–John Darnielle does just-buried-passion so well, I think. It’s a tone that works well for a dark, quiet room, even (especially) if that room is thousands of feet above an ocean.
Also, I’ve redone the blog. It’s slightly less bombastic, I think, which is never what I intended in the first place.
I’m leaving Madison on Wednesday; this weekend, I’m packing my apartment. Spending a lot of time tonight thinking about the day I arrived. Played this song more than a few times on I-90W from Chicago in August 2009. Trying to think of a fitting song for C. and I to play on I-94E this August 2012.
There’s a definite common denominator here.
Indiana Review asked me about my summer reading for their wonderful blog. You can see my book list here. Thanks guys!
Took my kids to Chicago’s Field Museum today. While they collected observations for a creative non-fiction piece, my wonderful RTA and I spent some quality time with museum’s jade collection. I’ve been so fascinated by nephrite & jadeite since I read a description of a bone-white jade teapot carved as thin as a flower petal. Beautiful.
We also hung out with the dinos, because that’s what you do.
Tin House took two of my poems (“Liebestod” and “Censored History”) for their winter issue!
Kicked back on the beach with some friends last night; I had to shake sand out of my purse today. I have a tan. It might not look like it to the untrained eye, but my eye is very trained. When I’m not translucent, it’s official.
Add in one long weekend in Door County, and it might just actually be summer.
I’m writing a novel about angels, so it probably makes sense that I’m listening to the City of Angels soundtrack (which was much better than the travesty of a movie it was connected to). I have such a soft spot for these two songs:
Which led me to my other favorite 90s songs…which led me to a lot of Sarah McLachlan (through “Angel”, and then on to “Adia”). Which means I’m watching the music video for “Fallen” and having flashbacks to eighth grade, when I taped this song off the radio and played it constantly through my tinny speakers.
Which means now I’m not writing. File under: when your process hijacks your process.
If any of this, God forbid, makes you want to rewatch City of Angels and you haven’t yet seen Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, try that instead. It has some of my all-time favorite film scenes, like this one, where the angel Cassiel tries to comfort a young man and fails:
Today’s overcast and windy. I fell asleep with my window open and woke up wonderfully cold. Now I’m at the coffee shop with Chloe, hammering away at our novels, and I have this song on repeat on my headphones. It reminds me of a summer storm.
This thoroughbred of sin is researching feminist revisions of authority all night. It’s heigh-ho silver, signed Bad Horse!