Category Archives: brief announcements

new stuffs coming soon

I keep meaning to tell you all that I’ll be back semi-regularly all-proper-like soon. I’ve been going through a weird phase, naturally. For the first time in a long time I’m not struggling with a serious health issue, and in ways that I’m still trying to understand, the process of learning to think of myself as well again has been nearly as unsettling for me as my diagnosis was in 2011. It was a strange and difficult mental hurdle to clear, to learn to think of myself as under attack and in grave danger, when I wasn’t in any pain and didn’t look or feel any different. It’s apparent now that I’ll have to make as big a leap in a different direction, to learn to think of myself as someone who is free to get on with her life. It feels great, of course, and it’s exciting, but the scariest and most disquieting moments changed me forever, and having already suffered a recurrence during the first portion of my treatment, which in itself was full of bad surprises, my new normal feels extremely iffy. I suspect I’ll feel more at home in it the longer I’ve inhabited it, but the process, so far, requires endless and unseen adjustments on my part.

This whole time I’ve looked the same as ever, which is both comforting and misleading. If anything I’m leaner and healthier-looking than I was two years ago. Many of the people in my day-to-day life have no idea how improbable this sometimes feels for me. I’ve mostly been quite alright, physically; my treatment and its side effects were more disruptive than any of my symptoms were, and compared to others I got off easy. I’m endlessly grateful for this, but it’s alienating, too; I’ve been swimming in deep water, and nothing about my appearance reflects that about me. I’m calmer, a lot calmer, but I’m not necessarily more accepting of people; I know with certainty, for example, that very few of them are capable of saying something when they don’t know what to say. I’m closer to some of the people I love the most, but perhaps more dismissive of people who aren’t genuine than I ever was. I’m sure there have been other changes I’ve yet to notice. I find myself cataloging them as reflexively as if it were part of my day job. There, at least, I have a repertoire of lawyer apps to work with, with names that belong in a David Foster Wallace novel: TextMap, CaseMap, Concordance, Stratify, Relativity.

All of this alternates between being a lot to think about, and a lot that I try not to think about too much. I’m likely to resume not saying much about this aspect of my life here on my blog! I like my privacy, and my struggles with this stuff have already taken up far too much space and energy, far more than I ever wanted to give. I’ve long doubted there’s much value in writing about this stuff at length, anyhow. Serious illness is a separate world, a distinct territory parallel to all others, and even the most generous visa wouldn’t allow you to see the parts of it that changed my outlook forever. I could point to where I was robbed, and I could probably describe the curious and terrifying things I sensed I was surrounded by during my longest nights there, but putting a slide show together is near the bottom of my things-I’d-like-to-do list at the moment. Not to mention that parts of it would be untranslatable no matter how much effort I put in.

As this brief blog post is in urgent need of cheering up, I’ll show you a little something I’ve been working on lately. It’s a wool felt sun for my cat Vivian, who I’m madly in love with. It’s just about ready to be stuffed with wool and catnip. It has her eyes, of course, plus a third, for extra perceptiveness and good luck.

sun for Vivian

the reverse of Vivian's sun

until then

a nice jellyfish sandwich

1962 Archie via If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger . . .

Hey people. I’m off to the beach and likely won’t say hello until Monday at the earliest.

at the beach

Beach reading to accompany your pink boombox:

The Element of Lavishness

The Element of Lavishness: Letters of William Maxwell and Sylvia Townsend Warner, 1938-1978. I’m going to do a post about this soon and I think you ought to read it in the meantime. A distinguished-looking English gentleman in a seersucker suit asked me about it on the subway the other day and I told him the same. I think I sold him on it because he told me I was “a precious source of information” about this sort of thing. Maxwell and Warner had tremendous affection for each other and were apparently never uninteresting.

Mr. Hodge and Mr. Hazard

Elinor Wylie, Mr. Hodge and Mr. Hazard. A 1928 novel about a summer in the life of a poet who — I am borrowing from the jacket here because I have got to go! — “is too liberal for the proper, prosperous England of his day.” I’m going to write something about Wylie soon-ish. Chapter titles include “Funeral of a Mouse,” “Ambush at the Breakfast Table,” “Camelopard at a Party,” “Reverie over an Apple-tart,” “Satan Finds Some Mischief Still,” “Unlacing of a Breastplate,” “Private View of the Invisible,” “A Deep Romantic Chasm,” “Unsubstantial Pageant Faded,” and “Crack of Doom in a Teacup.”

Singular Pleasures

Harry Mathews, Singular Pleasures. Literary people need sex books to bring to the beach just the same as anyone else. This one is about masturbation.

last-minute plans for you and your Monday

There are half a dozen proper blog posts I have mentally composed and very nearly actually posted before I was going to say anything about tonight, but now tonight is almost here. I know it’s kind of last-minute but you should come see my friend’s band Party Lights tonight at Mercury Lounge. They go on at 9. Unless you already have plans for tonight involving a garage rock band comprised entirely of sexy women, you really should be there.

Party Lights at Mercury Lounge

I was looking for a job and then I found a job

at work working on workphoto from superbomba on Flickr

Sorry about the silence here. I just started a new job last week after not working for a long time and it’s taking some getting used to. Hoping to resume posting regularly this week.

coming soon . . .

We’re gettin’ ready.