Thursday, November 4, 2010

Schmaltz Balls

So, sorry about the lack of updates. It's been one of those weeks when my computer's hard drive grinds itself into dust, my volunteer hours are spent arguing, my continued job hunt is miserable, my bank account is evaporating, my bike breaks, and my romantic life is a rollercoaster. My broke, fat ass has been dragging around, moaning about the lack of awesome in my life. Hopefully the situations will be rectified, and soon...

In the meantime, some things that are successful these days include the heart-shaped sunglasses I bought this afternoon, the gluten-free chocolate-cherry pound cake from the new java joint in Kensington, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World out on DVD next week, new (okay, "new") clothes from Value Village, and a recipe for buttermilk pancakes that looks like a wicked way to spend a Sunday morning. One of my gals treated me to a pedicure this week, my mom took me out for matzoh ball soup, and I had a very satisfying phone call from an out-West friend who is a shining star in my friend constellation.

What's the point of renumerating the good stuff up there? I'm trying to remember that not everything is horrible. For every meh, there's an alright. For every stupid argument, there's a pat on the pack, a buttermilk pancake, a phone call from a friend. Sadly, my glass is often half empty. I struggle with remembering the good stuff, especially when all the lameness threatens to overwhelm: when I'm up to my neck in shitty feelings, it's easy to forget the difference a pair of heart-shaped sunglasses can make.

I'll keep this post brief, since the computer I'm updating on is roughly three thousand years old and likely to keel over dead any second. I've been blessed - not in that Judeo-Christian sort of way, what with the holies and touching and the whatnot, but in a more cosmic, human(e) sort of way - with so much support and love. For me to moan over shitty emails or univited parties makes me miss out on how good most things are. While a bowl of matzoh ball soup won't cure unemployment, the people around me give me mad strength to keep my chin up, stare down my email inbox, and keep going. My friends and family are the people who keep me going when it's all computer explosions and indigestion, and to them, here's a fat thanks.

I promise to return soon, with significantly less schmaltz. Until then, who wants to lend me a hundred bucks so I can get my laptop back from the highway robbers (I'm sorry, "technicians") who currently have it? Eh? Any takers? EH?


  1. I just finished reading an a review by David Foster Wallace of a biographical book by Edwin Williamson (Borges: A Life - published 2004) on the life of Jorge Luis Borges , of whom Wallace was a great admirer not to say devotee, in which Wallace, once again, makes remarks about the relationship between modernism and post-modernism. Since I know you are a Wallace connoisseuse, I was wondering... could you possibly explicate the difference between the two and tell us what you think comes after post-modernism?

  2. Well, I'm certainly not an expert. What I was taught in school was that, from a literary standpoint, modernism could thought of as a reaction to the ornate prose and goofy storytelling of the Victorian era. It's muscular, clean, straightforward, realistic writing, the first example of which might be Henry Roth's Call It Sleep. Most contemporary novels are what we consider "modern" writing.

    Post-modern writing came a generation later, and surfaced in the form of a trickier writing style. It's more experimental and metaphysical, sometimes autobiographical and definitely calls attention to the act of writing as an act of creation. Modernist writers aimed to present the world; post-modern writers try to present the writing.

    What comes after? I don't know. There are definitely thoughtful and critical writers who are experimenting with narrative and the written form, and Wallace was a great example of that: Infinite Jest is a po-mo novel, maybe the po-mo novel. It might be weird to say, but blogging, with its fractured readability (how many times do people get taken out of the entry by embedded links that are designed to take you out of the entry?) is the next generation of writing. Call it collaborative writing or linked narrative, but it's a very peculiar style of reading and writing that's definitely becoming more common and more accepted.