Monday, April 25, 2011

"She'd get real exercised. Start in with the discount calls."

I am on page 235 of 310 of White Noise. I have no idea why it's taking me so long to read this book. I like it, a lot. I'm a fast reader. I guess at least part of the reason is that the copy I have is pretty big, and I like carrying smaller books with me during the day because they fit in my bag easier. But still, I've been reading this book forever.

I think the longest it's ever taken me to read a book is The Grapes of Wrath. I read it in my sophomore year of high school. It took me something like six weeks. And not like with White Noise, where I've been reading all of these other things in the meantime. I read nothing but that book for more than a month. And, like White Noise, it didn't take me a long time because I didn't like it. I don't read books I don't like. My dad will finish a book even if he thinks it's bad, but I tend to toss a book aside even if I get bored for too long. There's just too much to read. Anyway, I loved The Grapes of Wrath. It turned me into a Steinbeck junkie for a while. In contrast, I read East of Eden in three days when my parents and I drove to Vermont to visit Bennington College the summer before my senior year. I've been meaning to reread it for a while now because that shit changed my life, but it's a project. One of those books you have to plan  to read, like Les Miserables or Infinite Jest. (For the record, I read Les Miserables but skipped all the shit about furniture and battle formations, but I have yet to get more than twenty pages in to IJ.)

I don't know why I'm even writing about this. I had a final at 10 AM, and I have a pizza party with my workshop at noon. Until then, I'm on campus with nothing to do. I'm pretty sure that's the whole point of blogging.

I'm going home on Friday, and I'm not excited about having to once again rely on my local library. I've gotten used to Carnegie and its (comparatively) vast web of resources. Those people will basically find me anything I ask for. My library at home is in a really nice building, and it's actually one of the best libraries in my area, but still.

I just looked up Dennis Cooper in my local library's catalog. His name isn't even there. White Noise is in the system, but my library doesn't have a copy. Ditto for Infinite Jest. Bitches have already ordered The Pale King, though, so good for them. And I bet they have about seventeen copies of Freedom. (I just checked. My library has nine copies. There are twenty in the system. Damn, Franzen.)

I shouldn't be saying bad things about my local library. I really do love it. It's the library I grew up with. It's probably a lot better than most suburban libraries in the state. I'm there at least three days a week when I'm home.

I finished all of my writing for the semester. Now that I'm finished with this morning's exam, I only have my physics exam on Friday. I'm taking physics and the sound of music, which is basically the lowest level physics class this school offers, and I'm taking it pass/fail. I'm honestly in danger of not passing. I've never gotten below a B in a class before, and I might fail physics for idiots. Welcome to my life. I hate science so hard.

My second fiction revision was/is a mess. I don't even want to think about it right now. It's difficult because the revision process necessitated by college course schedules does not make sense with my normal writing process. I did what I could. The big issue right now is that, because the story has expanded, it's no longer a complete draft (I have to stay in the same page limit for obvious reasons). So my revision is pretty much three separate scenes from my larger narrative. There's no beginning, no end, and no connection between the scenes. But at least they're better than they were before, I hope.

I'm bringing soda to the workshop pizza party. I only drink diet soda because my dad is diabetic, and I've gotten into the habit (it's all we ever have in the house, it's easier if we all order diet at restaurants in case the drinks get mixed up). I know that I can't bring diet soda to this gathering. But now I'm stuck on what kind of soda to bring. I'm ridiculously un-picky when it comes to soda. Other people have type and brand preferences, I don't really care. So there's the whole Coke/Pepsi issue, and then do I get something else, like a clear soda to balance out the dark ones? These are the fucking things I think about. No one's probably going to drink the goddamn soda anyway.

I wrote my public writing paper on criticisms of the MFA program system. It rapidly turned into me quoting Sal and Katie Coyle in every paragraph. I can't help that they're smarter and more articulate than I am, and they give good interviews. I hope they don't mind/never find out that I basically got them to do my work for me. (For the record: they weren't criticizing the program system. They were responding to common criticisms of it.)

I'm waiting for my parents to deposit a check that got mailed to my home address, and until they do that I'm functionally broke. This is very frustrating because there are many books I want to buy. Also shoes. All of my shoes are falling apart, and it rains constantly in this fucking city. It's unpleasant. I haven't bought books in so long. When I'm at home I usually buy books at Salvation Army for a quarter. That's where I got my copy of The Corrections when I was fourteen and entered the downward spiral of trying to figure out why anyone liked that book in the first place. But I also got a lot of my "classic" books there because, I guess, people either buy them, spend years not reading them, and then finally get rid of them when they clean out their attics; or kids have to read them for summer assignments and then get rid of them as soon as they're done with the report. But anyway, I got my copies of Jane Eyre, The Grapes of Wrath, Madame Bovary, The Picture of Dorian Gray, most of my Shakespeare, and countless others there. I also found my copies of Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and The Devil Wears Prada there, which is all the chick-lit I'll ever need. I also use SalVal to build up my Stephen King paperback collection. Basically, Salvation Army is wonderful for buying very cheap books, and I have wandered very far away from the original purpose of this paragraph.

Okay, I've occupied myself long enough. Time to go buy soda and then proceed to the pizza party. Then later this afternoon I get to go to a late lunch/early dinner thing with some professors and the other TAs from the film department. Everybody's giving me free food today. And that's how it should be.

One last thing: my best friend from elementary school got engaged this past weekend. Engaged! What the fuck is up with that?

Oh holy zombie Jesus, I am the worst blogger ever. Even I don't want to read this. Sorry.

-Taylor

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