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Archive for August, 2009

More Bukowski

From his short story Notes on the Pest, included in the book Tales of Ordinary Madness:

…I parked the car and went in.  I ordered a New York cut, french fries, so forth, and sat there over my coffee until the food arrived. the whole diner was empty; it was a marvelous night.  then just with the arrival of my New York cut, the door opened and in came the pest.  of course, you guessed it.  there were 32 stools in the place but he HAD TO take the stool next to mine and begin conversing with the waitress over his doughnut.  he was a real flat fish.  his dialogue knifed into my guts.  dull rotting tripe, the stench of his soul swinging through the air wrecking everything.

“His dialogue knifed into my guts.”  I’ve been there, Buk.

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Moving

I recently moved with my family to the Philadelphia area.  Moving is an interesting experience.  We were fortunate enough to have my new employer pay for movers.  One thing we’ve learned is that when you hire a moving company to pack for you, they pack everything, unless you tell them otherwise.  For example:

  • They put our bathroom trash can, with trash in it,  in a box with other bathroom supplies and sealed it up.  This trash can even had a used diaper in it.  Thankfully, my wife needed something from that box of bathroom supplies and discovered what they did before it got loaded onto the truck.  Note that our boxes were going to be in storage for 2.5 weeks — I can’t imagine how bad the items in that box would have smelled had the contents of the trash can stayed in there.  Seems like they would know we wouldn’t want to move trash with us.
  • We had some fresh baked goods on the kitchen counter.  They put them in a box.  2.5 weeks later when we opened the box, we discovered the smelly, moldy baked goods.  Again, seems odd that they’d think we’d want to move that.

Of course, I’m not complaining.  I’m glad I didn’t have to pack it all up myself.  I just think it’s interesting.

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I read Blood and Guts in High School by Kathy Acker.  Definitely provocative, edgy and, uh, even confusing in places.  I liked it quite a bit though.

Here are a few paragraphs that I liked:

Having cancer is like having a baby.  If you’re a woman and you can’t have a baby ’cause you’re starving poor or ’cause no man wants anything to do with you or ’cause you’re lonely and miserable and frightened and totally insane, you might as well get cancer.  You can feel your lump and you nurse, knowing it will always get bigger.  It eats you, and, gradually, you learn, as all good mothers learn, to love yourself.

and

Once upon a time there was a materialistic society one of the results of this materialism was a ‘sexual revolution’.  Since the materialistic society had succeeded in separating sex from every possible feeling, all you girls can now go spread your legs as much as you want ’cause it’s sooo easy to fuck it’s sooo easy to be a robot it’s sooo easy not to feel.  Sex in  America is S & M.

and

Doing what I want to is dangerous ’cause I can get really hurt.  So I lie to people.  I say ‘I love living alone.’ … But I really want what I want. These aren’t passing emotions. These are my characteristics.

By love do I just mean satisfaction of the needs created by my characteristics?

One more:

The woman who lives her life according to nonmaterialistic ideals is the wild antisocial monster; the more openly she does so, the more everyone hates her.

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This is a great post (link).  I highly recommend reading the whole thing.  Here’s a clip:

…Early in our lives we search for a story that fits well with our abilities and opportunities.  In our unstable youth we adjust this story as we learn more, but we reduce those changes as we start to make big life choices, and want to appear stable to our new associates.  But we have real doubts about whether we choose our identity well, doubts that increase as we continue to get more info about our skills and opportunities.

We express our doubt about our chosen identity, and our hope for a better one, as a concern that we haven’t discovered who we “really are.”  We expect many of our associates would tolerate one big identity change even when we are older, if we express it as “finally discovering who we really are.”

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