Allons, Enfants

I'm in Paris!



My roommate got a Nintendo Wii. When you set it up, you are prompted to enter a console name. Because the Grammys had just finished, I wanted to name it Amy Wiihouse, but I think we settled on a good name anyway:



Finding Joan Didion

I recently flipped through 52 Projects, a book that grew out of a website of the same name. Project 10, "Write the story of why you moved to the city in which you currently live," cited Joan Didion's essay, "Goodbye To All That." The essay is in a collection of hers I've been meaning to read, but there is also a sketchy copy of it (there are typos and probably copyright violations) here.

It is pretty awesome; I would like to give copies to every New Yorker I know. Also a funny coincidence that the epigraph appears in Stardust, which I read over Christmas break. Anyway, I got so excited about J-Did that I also tracked down "On Keeping a Notebook." Another excellent essay, which was a timely discovery for me, since she was wondering what a recipe for sauerkraut was doing in her notebook, and two nights ago I was wondering what "Queen Latifah, hot cups with lids" was doing in mine. In her case, "it all comes back." I have yet to crack Latifah, though.


Moving Day

Bailamos is moving. I figure this Blogger business will make it easier to post, and of course someone else deals with archiving. Also, maybe pictures more easily integrated? In essence, this will allow me to concentrate on my core mediocrities.


Call Me By Your Name

Be sure to check out my friends at Dear Me.

No One Belongs Here More Than You is a perfectly enjoyable unrequited love/broken relationship fest. There are some memorable characters: the earthquake safety advocate who fantasizes about Prince William, a Chinese lady in a sewing class who doesn't understand English so cannot follow the instructions. "Something That Needs Nothing" was the best read.

I agree with the New York Times assessment that Call Me by Your Name is hot. There are scenes that gave me a guilty pleasure to read on the subway. However, there were other passages, notably in the first section, that didn't work for me because they tried to communicate analyses of the ins and outs of flirtation, e.g. did he know that I knew that he knew...crap like that. Overall, I liked the book, surpised that the ending you know is coming from page 1 could still produce a profound effect. The last few pages are really nice.

I envied Elio. I saw some parallels to the past ("To be with you on my bed. In your bed. Which is my bed during the other months of the year.") But it just seems easier to reflect on desire when you live and Italy and spend your summer on the sea. Any equivalent stories I could tell would be filled with more twin beds and dorm rooms and watching headlights curve across the bedroom wall at night in suburbia. The challenge would be to make that feel hot and interesting to anyone but me. Then there's the issue of his perfect father. I mean, my dad is good, but not that good:

We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything--what a waste!

I WISH someone would have told me that. Then maybe when I read a story like this, the weight of wasted lives and wasted time wouldn't press so heavily. (To be honest, these kinds of thoughts had been in my head when I opened the book. I was worrying that my dear friend has been wasting her time and feelings on an undeserving one. The novel just made me sad all over again.)


The Boy Can't Help It

The planets aligned a little more than a year ago today, though not without some proddding. I convinced my skiing buddies that we needed to return to Colorado because I was in love with someone there. They thought I was merely chasing down a blowjob, but they were kind enough to make plans even if this were the case. In Denver, meanwhile, the boy told his friends he was going to bring back a husband, and they advised him to "be slutty" in order to nab me.

On Saturday night, post-Mexican dinner, our group ended up at a bar in the village at the base of the mountain. It was unremarkable: a pool table, an empty dance floor. Jeans and sweatshirts were the dress code. Lower East Side this was not. I was wearing the t-shirt with the fuzzy red lion, hoping that the lion would instill self-confidence and the fuzziness would make him want to touch me. These things are calculated. What is incalculable is the effect "Fergalicous" will have on me in high altitude and with some alcohol in the blood. It's atrocious and irresistible all at once, like so many things to be appreciated, right? I was out there dancing like an idiot. So was he.

Spectators lined up against the wall. I felt a twinge of fear scanning for hostile faces. They don't get two men on the dance floor too often in those parts, and I wasn't sure whether we were a welcome novelty or not.

Doubt didn't stop me. It felt like we were alone and could be there with the bad music forever and that would be okay. I laughed at myself, feeling a ridiculous joy, knowing that if I had come this far for this man, and planned these clothes for him, and stayed up all night on the crappy couch listening to him, then even if I didn't love him yet, I was already tripping, stumbling, flipping...