rightangles: (little prince falling)
Every now and again, at the most random times, I get this feeling. It's faint, like a wind whisper or the scent of perfume as someone rushes by. It's this intimation of mortality, this feeling that we are all, every one of us, sitting here, spending seconds and minutes, utterly oblivious to the fact that we could die right now. That's not quite right, though. Not quite oblivious or ignorant, because we obviously know we could die any second. It's just this feeling of vulnerability, like a sitting duck, as they say. We are such insects, you and I, sitting idly around, just waiting for some big oaf to squash us into oblivion. A stroke, a heart attack, an accident. I don't think about this often. I'm not obsessed, and I'm not Emily Dickinson. But like I said, every once in a while it washes over me, and I get so scared and aware. It's so troubling.

Now, to lighter topics! I watched It's Complicated tonight. It's a romantic comedy with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin. Meryl and Alec were married once, now divorced, and Steve Martin is Meryl's new love interest. As I'm sure you've figured out, Meryl and Alec end up having an affair, rekindling their old love, blah blah blah. The movie starts out so wonderfully, and indeed, the first hour and fifteen minutes of the movie is great. It's light and funny, with excellent performances, and it's heart-warming, in the way true love can be. But then something happens, something shifts, and it's no longer cute. Meryl suddenly pulls away, she becomes an unsympathetic character, and she never really redeems herself. She spends the last half hour repeating to everyone who will listen that there is no longer a spark between her and Alec, but we've just spent an hour and a half of movie time, which is like ten years' worth of real life time, seeing this great spark, and so nothing computes and it doesn't work out. It's annoying, and I hate good movies that are ruined by idiotic endings. Fail, people! Fail!

I did learn, however, that Hunter Parrish in Blu-ray HD is probably my new favorite thing ever. Yum.

In other news, I'm still having this on-again, off-again lower back pain, mostly on the right side. When it's actively hurting, I'm sure it's a kidney stone; when there's no pain, I'm sure it's just muscular, from the way I sit or the way I sleep or the way I stand or all three put together. It doesn't feel like the pain I had before my last kidney stone, and I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that stones are painless when they're in the kidneys (even if Rae Jean tells me they're not). It's a dull ache, nothing sharp, and certainly nothing that would put a man in the hospital. So if it is a stone, it's still hanging out in my kidney. It needs to stay there, because I'm not in the mood for the excruciating pain I had last year. Or two years ago. How many years ago was that, anyway?

Otherwise, not much to report. I wrote a little bit tonight, half of the next scene in Eternity, and I finished the Cunningham review, so that's a load off my back. I really, really need to set some unalterable deadlines for this grad school business, but I'm bad at that. I am taking the GRE Lit test in something like three weeks, so I should probably start looking over the test prep book for that in the near future. I should also probably pick the schools that I'm applying to, and get out some emails to professors so they know to expect a slew of requests from me in a month or two. I just wish there were some guarantee, some consolation prize, because knowing that I could go through all this trouble and not get in anywhere, that I will probably not get in anywhere, is so discouraging.

Ah, life. I miss my youth, the days when everything was guaranteed and every pain I had disappeared after a single night's rest and I didn't have to do anything or think about anything or worry about anything. I had heartburn, bad heartburn, for the first time a few days ago. Heartburn! Heartburn!!! Can you imagine? Heartburn!!!

I just... I dunno. When did we all get so old?
rightangles: (Default)
I wrote today. Not much, only a thousand words, and it's pure drek, but at least it's something.

I've also started watching Sex and the City again, from the start. I'm halfway through the first season, and I really do love this show so much. I've been meaning to re-watch one of my favorites for a while, and having just seen the second movie in the theater, I opted to go with Sex and the City. (Aside: The movie, for those of you interested, was horrible as a movie and tolerable as a Sex and the City continuation. That is, if the characters were not Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte, if they were four random women, I'd've demanded my money back. But because it was my old girlfriends, I sat through an insipid "plot," a badly written script, and about an hour's worth of unrelated irrelevance or blatant self-absorption... and I even enjoyed it, on some level. The Sex and the City franchise, though, is one of those things that could produce a four-hour movie of nothing but phonebook recitations done by the characters, and I'd probably go see it anyway and give it a passing grade. But I digress.)

Yes, so I started watching that again, and it's bringing back so many memories. Weird how a show can do that. Or maybe it's Proust doing that. I'm still reading Swann's Way. I'm only on something like the twentieth page, but that's about eighteen pages more than I thought I'd get through before giving up, and so I'm pretty impressed with myself. I like it, even though it is, as I said, an incredible amount of work. I'm also trying to find something lighter, pulpier, fluffier to read when I'm not feeling up to wading through Proustian syntax and detail. I'd like something in the vein of Eternity, so I can compare and see how a "good" pulp author writes and what exactly is said and done and shown. I'm thinking perhaps I may read the next Nightrunner book, which just came out last week, or maybe Wicked again. I was going to read The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart, but I think that may be too stylized for my purposes, even though it looks amazing.

Finally: I saw the video for Kylie Minogue's new song, "All the Lovers." It's astounding! It's basically just an orgy on a city street, but I love the way it's shot, I love the song, I love the "message" behind the video. I love everything about it, and I love everything about her, and this is just more proof that Kylie's incredibly deserving of her spot in my Top Five. Here's a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V2MIjqFuRQ.

Okay, good night!
rightangles: (Default)
Hi. Remember me?

I haven't updated in almost a month. I think that's a record, the longest time I've gone without an update since I started this journal back in 2003. I think there's a few reasons for that. First, it seems LJ is on the outs, at least in my view of the world. I use facebook status updates a lot more frequently, because more of my friends have access to them and because it seems few people still read -- or at least still comment on -- LJ posts. Second, not too much has been happening in my life. There were two or three things I could've brought up here, but for whatever reason I never felt compelled enough to write an entry.

So why am I writing now? I'm not really sure. May is almost over, which means 2010 is nearly halfway gone. I have to start getting serious: If I want to apply to schools this fall, I need to start working on my writing sample and my statement, and I need to start studying for the two GREs I have to take. I also actually have to pick schools, too, which I'm dreading. I have to keep a level, rational head about this. I can apply to some far-reaching schools, but if I really want to increase my chances of getting an offer, I need to look at a few less prestigious schools. By 'less prestigious' I mean schools that I wouldn't have ever dreamed of choosing for undergraduate, schools that aren't well-known globally, schools that may be smaller and less metropolitan. Of course, then it becomes a balancing act of trying to decide if the benefits I'll get from going to school will outweigh my aversion to non-city living. See why I've been trying to avoid thinking about this mess?

I've been reading a bit more lately, which is nice. I've decided to start A la recherche du temps perdu by Proust. In the mail yesterday, I got the first volume of the Moncrieff/Kilmartin/Enright translation, and I've read the introduction, translators' notes, and the first ten or fifteen pages of the actual text. This is not easy reading. I have to work to pay attention and not let my mind drift away. I mean, he spends the first eight pages expounding on the mental process, via memory, of waking up. Something that takes a few seconds at most, lengthened to a full eight trade-paperback pages. And I thought Tolkien was bad... But some of the passages even this early in the novel are amazing. There's a little ditty about habit and the way our mind works that I found quite stimulating, and some of his descriptions are so evocative. And since I'm so caught up on the idea of memory, have been caught up on the idea of memory for as long as I can remember, I think the Proustian subject matter will dovetail nicely with my own interests. So I'm going to read it. Slowly, and probably on the side, moonlighting with it as I read other books, but still, I'm going to read it. Wish me luck.

Speaking of being in search of lost time... Last weekend, Joni, Nick, and I went to our friend Krystal's bachelorette party. She had it in the Southside, which is an area of Pittsburgh that has hundreds of bars along a single street. These are the kind of bars I hate, with heterosexual twenty-somethings out to score some action, so you had bunches of beautiful people, metrosexuals and prissy girls, drunken men trying to assure themselves and everyone around them of their masculinity and heterosexuality, all that bullshit. But it was for Krystal, so I went. Anyway, the point: early in the night, Joni looked at me. She was my best friend in high school, and we were inseparable. She looked at me and said, "Do you remember the pact we made in high school? That if, by the time we're both twenty-eight, we still haven't found anyone, we'll just marry each other?" I remembered it, but I didn't find it very relevant, so I didn't give it much thought. "That's in a year," she said, and suddenly the glass in my mind shattered and fell to the floor. It was such a slap in the face, such a shock, such a reality check. She and I made that pact in high school, so sure that we'd be happy with boyfriends by the time we were twenty-eight, so convinced that twenty-eight was so far away that there's no way in Hell we'd still be alone and unhappy then. And now twenty-eight's only a year away, and what do I have to say for it? I'm in virtually the exact same place, with the addition of a few degrees and a few more pounds, that I was in when I made that pact.

Where does Time go? And how did it fly by so fast? Obviously, I have no answers. Maybe Proust does. But I doubt it, because if he did, I'm pretty sure I'd've heard them through the grapevine by now.

Obviously, I've been playing quite a lot of WoW, and I'm actually downloading the beta for StarCraft II at the moment, so I'll give that a shot and see if I like it. I haven't written at all in the past few months, not even LiveJournal entries, and it's making me feel like a waste and a failure. I've been thinking about Eternity and Tristys and Rami every day, and I've been pre-writing and planning and all that jazz, but no actual writing. Every day when I wake up, I say to myself, "Today, you will write another scene!" and then I never do, so I go to bed saying to myself, "Tomorrow, you will write another scene!" and then I repeat the process the next day. It's frustrating.

In an attempt to write more in this LiveJournal, I'm going to start making my posts public. Perhaps I'll attract a few new readers that way, or perhaps I'll rope back in a few older ones. I imagine that most of the people who led me to flock my journal in the first place have given up reading this, so I think public entries should be safe again. And if not, I can always go back and flock everything up again.