Saturday, October 2, 2010

OK, I like Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom" and everything, but for all its posturing about making fun of the New York Times, it seems like every plot point was built off of a "hot topic" Times article from the past few years. Like "gentrification," "the difference between Generation X and 'Millenials,'" and "the evil of defense contractors." It is a great book, but let's just say I'm not surprised it's on Oprah's book club. It's very much trying to be a book for People Today(TM) about The World We Live in Today(TM). It is not making me see the world in a new way.

The strength of the book is the characters and their emotional world. However, I am often distracted by all the cliche Important Political Issues. Even the words "freedom" and "competitiveness" are used in a very Fox News vs. Jon Stewart way that is just not inventive to me.

"Freedom," "competition," "individual rights," and "capitalism" are such cliche American words anyway. When I read a book, I want to see the world in a new way, and while reading this book, I often see it in a New York Times/Slate/Gawker way that I see every day.

I did enjoy the characters and their horrible emotional worlds. It was like watching a trainwreck. And they were interesting on a personal level, albeit not on a political level.

Also, while Patty was a complete and complex female character, the major female characters (Patty, Connie, Lalitha, or even Jenna) were still all Girlfriends or Wives and were obsessed with their male companions. I wanted to see a woman character with a life of her own that was not too overtly connected to her male counterpart. It was just curious and odd how all the women were clinging to the men for dear life. I know there are exceptions to this, but they were more minor characters.

These are my cursory, unedited thoughts. I still have 20 pages to go though. Shablam.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Want to Rap Battle the World

More months have gone by without me tending to the blog that no one reads anymore. It's as if this blog has lost its reason for existence. Kind of like Israel itself. JUST KIDDING GUYS.

Tel Aviv has felt fabulous to me lately, and I even found edible Mexican food here. (This was the biggest revelation of the year.)

The Pixies show was cancelled but at least I saved $100 (that is, if I ever get my ass to go get the money refunded.)

And I'm very proud of myself because I haven't watched the new season of Survivor (Israeli version) at all. This kind of only happened because the cable company blocked our pirated cable connection, but ya know.

Despite all the annoying tourists, summer is magic, as always. Feels strange that I've been living in the TLV for a year and a half now. WTF? I haven't even learned any new army abbreves yet!

I haven't written here in a while because the whole flotilla incident made me full of rage all the time and I couldn't really handle writing anything besides "jakdgjoiu!k3432udsjn,xksdj1". I hadn't been politically involved for a few months before it happened, and I kinda sprung back into action after that. I just so angry and couldn't stop thinking about politics/war/etc. I went to protests for the sole reason that my yelling would be encouraged and accepted. And now I'm worried I'm getting complacent again. It's so hard for me not to feel like everything is completely hopeless and wonder what difference I can even make. Worst of all, I feel like I've been directing the bulk of my anger at American activists and their seeming stupidity, which is really kind of unconnected and is totally just me projecting. They're not the enemy, but sometimes I act like it anyway. I need to work my shit out. And maybe one day, in the near or far future, a coherent post will appear on this here blog and all will be well.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I bet all my hundreds of thousands of readers are wondering how I've been faring since finishing Infinite Jest. I keep watching tennis matches on TV to cope. You can take a girl out of Infinite Jest, but you can't take Infinite Jest out of the girl.

I also started learning to play the guitar, which would be a lot easier to do if I didn't have ears. My "playing" sounds like a rabbit dying.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

hot and fresh out the kitchen

I can't tell if this story I've just written is the funniest shit ever or the most embarrassing drivel of all time.


P.S. I finished Infinite Jest. Who's jealous? (Everyone.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Yalla, Nu

Why is it that the longer I live in Israel, the stranger it gets? It seems like I'm missing my friends more as time goes on. There are so many people in the U.S. that I'm obsessed with and with whom I have an intense amazingsville connection. Perhaps I should become some crazypants aliyah advocate and make them all move here.

Yalla, friends, move here so I can have people to kareoke with at home at 4 in the morning.

In other news, I'm on page 770 of Infinite Jest. Hollllla. David Foster Wallace says "twitter" and "tumbler" too much. Stop trying to be hip, Wallace! I like it when Joelle makes fun of Hal. There are too many descriptions of farting. There are also too many descriptions of dead babies being carried around by their drug-addicted mothers until they stick to the mother's flesh and have to be cut out (well, really, one description of that scenario is too much for me!). I finally figured out what a backhand and forehand are in tennis. As well as what a lob and a volley is. This book rules. I don't know what I'll do after I finish it!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Most Faux-Complimentary Song of All Time

I'm supposed to edit and send out a short story I just wrote. Instead, I'm reading the Internets and repeatedly listening to this gem:

Pinkerton-era Weezer b-sides make me feel feelings. And I have such a soft spot for oddly romantic songs about people not liking each other. Cat Stevens's "Here Comes My Baby"? Check. Wilco's "Just Friends"? Yes, please.

Someone should just write a song called "I Don't Like You That Much." I'd be all over that shit.

P.S. I heard that it was National Grammar Day in the U.S. yesterday. Is this correct? Unfortunately, at my job, every day is National Grammar Day (NGD). Makes me wanna misspell sumthin.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

All Hail

And on page 328 of Infinite Jest, DFW used the word "irregardless" (and italicized it!) and it was glorious.

Yes, I've been reading this book extremely slowly, what of it?