Afternoon Aural

Now here's how to start a weekend, bitches: Poison's "Talk Dirty to Me."


The Waves

I’d recommend The Waves to poetry fans and to people who like books that push genre boundaries.

The lives of six friends are told through soliloquies by each of the characters. My initial reaction was to think of some “performance artists,” 6 people dressed in black telling monologues, a spotlight shining on each in turn. This took some getting used to in the first chapter. Wouldn’t the story be better served by some good old-fashioned dialogue? I asked myself. Then I thought, what with blogs and MySpace and Facebook, aren’t we all performance artists of a sort? Am I talking to you or to myself? Sure, we don’t use such elegant language, but here is my head (or what I show of it) for you to walk in.

I loved Neville. He would be my hero just for explaining that he sucks at sports: “But I cannot stand in the sun with my eyes only on the ball; I cannot feel the flight of the ball through my body and think only of the ball. I shall be a clinger to the outsides of words all my life.” I also loved when, about 100 pages in, the characters, now in their twenties, met for dinner, and in about 2 pages they recapped everything that happened until that point in their lives. Very nifty. I loved how the characters could pick up on the thoughts of others even though they were never spoken aloud. I loved how one sentence literally made me do a double take and then had me flipping through the entire beginning of the book.

And I loved:

…And yet, when I meet an unknown person, and try to break off, here at this table, what I call "my life," it is not one life that I look back upon; I am not one person; I am many people; I do not altogether know who I am—Jinny, Susan, Neville, Rhoda, or Louis: or how to distinguish my life from theirs.

On occasion, I have felt that way. That’s why I want to walk in the Palace of the Winds with friends, just like in The English Patient!

I wasn’t a huge fan of the “wave” sections interspersed through the main story, but they were all very pretty. I also wondered what the six of these characters are doing together in the first place—is it a boarding school in the first chapter, a vacation house?

A review on Amazon said the book is challenging but rewards you with its beauty, but I’d contend that the beauty is evident just by flipping through some pages. I could spend a lot more time throwing out passages that I liked. This is only the crest of the wave, my friend.


One Month Late

It's Saturday. This is no time to be in my cubicle. But since I'm waiting for some SAS code to run, I thought I should check in.

There's nothing worse than an abandoned blog, not even a bad mango.

I had the opportunity to go to Monte Carlo for a global conference. This trip was awesome for a number of reasons. I got to fly business class, first of all. YES. Second, Tini and I stopped in Paris en route. I think it is simply the most beautiful city, so having the chance to go there made me very happy. There is a great bike rental system now called Velib, where you can rent bikes at stations all over the city and return them to any of the other stations. I was sad that I don't speak French as well as I used to, but je me suis débrouillé. I smiled when I saw a Pizza Pino.

I was happy to see that breakfast was served in my hotel from 7-11, just as it was in Greece. It's the international rule.

The conference itself was a great time. I fell in love like 5 times. My cold heart just melts for accents. To be a complete dork for a second, there was a very interesting presentation on search marketing. I got very little sleep, but I made new friends who have me considering joining Facebook since they live in London. In preparation I have deleted my Friendster profile. I can only wear so many online hats, people!

Well, as Q1 comes to a close, I clearly have forgotten my New Year's resolutions. It was easier to remember when all I had to do was get hot. Why did I have to go and make things so complicated?


Little Known Fact

I used to hate the Frank Sinatra song "It Was A Very Good Year," but ever since it was used effectively to open the second season of The Sopranos, I pretty much love it.