Sunday, April 24, 2011

I'm going for a walk

I can never go for a walk without thinking of, and usually starting to hum, this Bad Religion song.

I don't feel like working. In fact, I didn't work at all today. Well, technically, I cleaned and vacuumed downstairs and then watched movies. But they were movies for my students' final film analysis papers, so it was "working"!

I just didn't move on to the actual grading part on the to do list.

I did, however, go for a nice walk this evening. Beautiful weather. Some people the other day were complaining that it was a cold spring and that is fine with me! I'm used to the sunny-but-chilly type of weather that is a little too cold to actually sit around outside. That is perfect walking weather, after all! I would like to announce that dandelion season is in full swing. Maybe even swung, as there are plenty of little puffballs in everyone's yards. And we have songbirds here! Craziness. I guess we don't have birds that make melodies in California. Mockingbirds (damn them) don't really count. I keep walking along and going, "hmm, a mockingbird," and then realizing that this really was a bird song, because the mockingbirds usually switch through a dozen or more songs including that four-part car alarm. There's city life for you.

Speaking of birds we have a cardinal who sometimes visits my yard! And some other bird that is more orange than cardinal-colored. And the local stray cats. And a dude with a boat. He parks it in the yard, of course ---- just in case the cardinal wants to practice fishing, I guess.

So far we have the presence of crickets, chirping in the tall grass on either side of the sidewalk (yes I drove about a mile to get to a part of the town that had semi-continuous sidewalks for my walking safety) but, no mosquitoes yet. Keep your fingers crossed for me and hope that I get out of here to visit the folks before they arrive. Or is it them? I dunno.

So while I have not made a brilliant and wonderful exercise plan for the summer yet, I did do yoga and then some gentle walking this weekend. Hurrah! I might have walked off about half of that beer I had the other night. Sigh. Looking at the calories of things vs. calories exerted is always depressing. I need to keep at it! And make a plan. Which seems to be contingent on me planning where I am for the summer, which for some reason I am loath to begin planning. Considering that summer is very soon, I should get on that. Meh.

Another thing I did this weekend instead of grading or any useful work was to finish reading one of the books on my coffee table! Now there are five books there. The one I just read was a history of Postdoc City and some stuff that happened here, so I won't tell you what it is. The next one down on the pile is Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, which is about the Katrina catastrophe and I think it is nonfiction or creative nonfiction. I picked it up on a whim for something different but I don't know how well I will be able to throw myself into it if it is depressing. Will let you know. And on that same trip I was going to actually get War and Peace, which I mentioned I have never read and might as well rectify that, but instead I got a novel by Henry James instead. I forget why I wimped out on the WaP but I had a reason. Maybe like there's a specific translation I need.

While I'm on random book babbling I notice that they have edited up and released the unfinished novel of David Foster Wallace, The Pale King. As long as I'm admitting various famous books I haven't read (see above), I will point out that I never did read any of his stuff. Yet. I was planning on working through Infinite Summer at some point, but I always feel guilty about getting out my own scholarly work, so I guess I will put it off indefinitely. Hmm.

And I was way too late to jump on the #rahmemanuel twitter novel until it had already closed, and I read this great article on the, uh, perpetuator. Author? Don't mind if I do. I was meaning to link to it way back when, but things got piled up there. Or, I had the laptop crash and didn't recover the 2,147 open firefox tabs that were "waiting for me to do something or other with." How many tabs like that do I have open right now? Don't ask. The number fluctuates depending on how crappy the Republicans/global capitalism are behaving at any specific moment.

But back to this article, which really got at how cool this Dan Sinker dude is (I wanna take a class from him) and also made me jealous, not only of his life, but also that he had a really cool article written about him. Not only does he get to be called Pynchonesque, but he is described as having "a heart made out of Chicago and balls of punk rock." Plus, he has a beard that could make Walt Whitman jealous. Go look if you don't believe me!

And he was the editor of a punk zine that ran for 13 years, which is amazing in itself, even more so when you realize that it was less about moshing and music and more about real progressive politics:
Sinker described the punk rock mindset in his introduction to a 2001 book that collected interviews from the zine. "[Punk] is about looking at the world around you and asking, 'Why are things as fucked up as they are?'" he wrote. "And then it's about looking inwards at yourself and asking, "Why aren't I doing anything about this?"
This. This! And now it appears that Sinker will release the fake twitter account in book form, which should allow me to get at least somewhat at the feel of actually following the feed (though the article pointed out how time-bound these tweets were, especially when you didn't know the ending ---- the fact that Fake Rahm Emanuel gets stuck and abandoned in the Chicago sewers and the next tweet doesn't come for 7 hours was a major part of the "hook" or the charm.

See how I have brought this post around in a nice little circle? I'm going for a walk!


Anonymous said...

We're using Zeitung for our common book next year -- you'll love it... it is kinda depressing, but it's also wonderful and inspiring.

Dr. Koshary said...

A dude with a boat visits your yard?

Sisyphus said...

Where else is he going to park it?