Before mercury, my blood used to fill thermometers.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Quarterly report.

Where I've been:

1. At the beginning of February, I went to see John Waters in York, a small city with a meticulously designed new regional magazine that I read in the lobby with a whiskey sour. It rained on our way there but I could have gone for a more intimidating storm so we could be stranded in the theatre with John Waters and have a madcap adventure. The theatre used to be a department store. My boyfriend was rapt with the usher, who served in the army under a former president - I think Roosevelt but I don't trust that memory. Since he was in state government, he lived over here and asked us about all these landmarks - mostly theatres - that were ruined or gone.

The joy I got from listening to John Waters was out-of-body-experience in magnitude. The show was not sold out, but the front was filled, and in an effort to manage all my feelings, I distracted myself by trying to figure out why the burly character to my left was there. He laughed at a Justin Bieber joke and a goiter joke and nothing else.

2. Today I went to an equality rally with my oldest friend. She's one of my closest. She was upset because she didn't bring a sign to the rally, but her hair is neon and everybody else looked like a lawyer. She was all I could see up the street.

I saw several mayoral candidates (good) but also a guy who looked exactly like Danny Trejo (better).

3. I saw Amour last month - I love Haneke and musicians even when I am sentimental for Haneke and sociopathic youths. The White Ribbon, I now understand, is the superior film because it has both.

4. My depression barometer is the stack of books beside my bed. I read fast. When I am not finishing books but starting them compulsively - I start them compulsively anyway - and they pile up, things are grim. I've jerked myself out of this negative trend by working, to my exponentially increasing joy, through the Dorothy: a Publishing Project catalog.

Renee Gladman's the Ravickians is one of my favorite things I've ever read. The tonal relationship between each book is so chilling and wild and tender and comforting. I am halfway through Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi's Fra Keeler now. I'm reading them in order.

5. I can't believe a documentary on Harry Dean Stanton premiered at SXSW and I didn't even know about it in order to freak out way, way in advance. It should be better this way, but I have so much freak out to make up for now.

6. I asked Amanda Owens questions and she gave me a recipe for a chum cocktail and a renewed appreciation for gold spray paint.

7. I have the new My Bloody Valentine album and I liked what I've heard but I haven't been listening to much of anything besides the Master soundtrack, which has a longer cut of Madisen Beaty singing "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me)" and I don't need anything else right now. It isn't a pure, uninterrupted cut - her character is singing to Freddy, and he laughs at her and she gets bashful and he goes "no no no no" as the eerie bassoons or other such eerie instrument intrudes and begins the next track.

I ascribe an unrivaled creepiness to bassoons. Once, a good friend of mine was roped into a breaking and entering. She was remorseful and scared and asked for my help in coming forward about it. I went to her house to talk with her, and when she started to tell me about what happened - who she was with, what they were doing, why the entered the house - music started playing that absolutely perfectly complimented the very suspenseful story she was telling me. She did not react as if she could hear the music, and I started to act insane. I was ready to scream. I interrupted her and demanded to know the source of the music, and she tilted the door open and showed me her dad, sneaking around with the bassoon, which he did, I ascertained, when unwinding at home after work.

8. My internship ended today. I all ready cried, but I was pretty shaky and numb. It was the best experience I've ever had, and if I could have sustained it longer, I would have. The editors got me cake and a gift card and a beautiful card and a notebook, none of which is going to leave my person much for the next ever - except for the gift card, which is going to become a copy of Monsieur Verdoux this weekend. Looking at stills from the film at the Criterion Forum, I realize Chaplin resembles Henry Winkler. Maybe not everyone will see it, but I can't un-see it. I've been watching episodes of Law and Order: SVU and Winkler was a deeply unsettling villain in one episode. In others, I correctly spotted Keir Dullea and the woman who plays Lucy's sister, Gwen, on Twin Peaks.

9. Other books in the stack: Sempre Susan by Sigrid Nunez (reread, favorite), red doc> by Anne Carson (slowly, with feeling), the Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe (I paused and plan to resume this week that I've freed up and dedicated to luxuriating in it), many issues of the New York Review of Books and Bookforum (displaced, probably at my bedside forever), Maidenhead by Tamara Faith Berger (I am halfway through and so into the pace of this book but feel very sick reading it, just as it reminds me of a time, but there is so much to admire - I'm looking forward to having the whole picture), Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath (I keep taking it off the shelf and reading "Lady Lazarus" - I used to read it and other Arial poems aloud in college and at my old job I used to read my office mate poems by Catherine Wagner and Carrie Murphy).

10. I ordered Kate Zambreno's Apoplexia, Toxic Shock, and Toilet Bowl: Some Notes on Why I Write from the great Guillotine with the "NO MORE WIRE HANGERS" broadside. I framed it. On the place on my wall where I wanted to hang it, I hammered a nail that refused to be hammered in past a certain point. I tacked the framed broadside to the wall with double-sided adhesive. It lends a lot of suspense to that corner of the room, it and its precarious commitment to the wall.