Credit For Trying


This means that I’ll probably get to work on Thursday mildly hungover and a lot tired. Now that I’m 30 and I can’t recover like I used to, I usually temper my behavior accordingly. Yes, even on weekends. Because I’m lame. And it’s not just the issue of not wanting to feel like ass the next day. I’m a professional adult in a position where people expect things of me. I can’t show up to work looking like I slept outside. It’s acceptable for those in their early 20s, but eventually, it stops being cute and starts being weird and sad.

So, aside from tomorrow night when I get dinner with Kat (and drinks with Kat, because even though she’s here for work, please, it’s Kat), most of my worknights are spent at home in fat pants and a headband. Lots of Internet. Lots of Doctor Who on Netflix. Lots of books. Especially lately. Lots of books.

Because of an influx of borrowed, purchased, and still-sitting-on-the-shelf-unread books, I’m cooling it on the library titles for awhile. Their Kindle lending system is nothing new but I can’t stop being impressed by it, and it’s done the best job at policing me, who is so bad at remembering to return things that I’ve kept a pair of Netflix DVDs for almost a year now. When you check the book out from the website, you select a time period. It’s something like 9 days, 15 days, or 21 days. When that time period is up, you get an e-mail reminder, another 72 hours, and then the book vanishes. It’s like this thrilling magic and I’ll be sad to take a break from it for a little while.

The last library book I read was Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life,” about the author’s project of living for one year with her family on their farm and eating only local ingredients, most of which they grew or raised themselves. I enjoyed it, mostly. I liked the concept as well as the commitment to something that was once so vital in American life, although I realize that not many people have access to their own personal farms or food supplies to put up for the entire winter, let alone have the kind of cash to buy mostly local and organic, however much the Kingsolver-Hopp family claims this to be equal in the long run. For a thought exercise it’s worth it; In “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” Kingsolver notes that in order to transport 1 calorie of fresh produce from Los Angeles to New York, it requires 40-something calories of fuel and energy, which is like driving from Philadelphia to a gym in Annapolis, running on a treadmill there, and driving all the way back home. Which is crazy. And every day at work, I look at grocery invoices that are lists of produce and the countries they came from, and I have to stop myself from telling stores in Alaska that maybe they shouldn’t expect perfect tomatoes or avocados in December. Or, you know, ever.

I keep trying to read more of the GNR biography “Watch You Bleed,” which is good but I guess I know enough of the story that it makes me sleepy sometimes instead of fascinated. Although I now remember dreaming about touring with Axl and Duff this weekend and wondering how I got myself mixed up with these fucked up people.

Other things I’m trying to read:

Duff McKagan’s “It’s So Easy,” a loaner from Crossley that I’ll have to start sometime soon but can’t dive right into because hanging out with Guns N’ Roses all the time is exhausting.

Denis Johnson’s story collection “Jesus’ Son,” which for some reason my brain keeps placing in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, even though I know that wasn’t the author’s intent. Still, though, the stories are dreamy and bleak and good, and I wish “Already Dead” had moved this quickly because I’d have finished it by now instead of letting it sit on my “Read, Goddammit” shelf for so long with only ¼ of it gone.

Denis Johnson’s novella “Train Dreams,” which was discussed on Literary Disco and I found it at the used bookstore for $5.00. Also found at the used bookstore:

dope n smut bookstore pic

Oliver Pötzsch’s “The Hangman’s Daughter,” because the library doesn’t have it as an ebook but Amazon was selling the Kindle version for $3.99 and that is a deal.

Harlan Ellison’s “Deathbird Stories,” because although I knew who Harlan Ellison was and how he’s influenced so many other writers, I’d never read very much of his stuff. Oh, man. It’s like sci-fi horror fantasy without clobbering you over the head with it. It’s like getting the special features of Twilight Zone episodes (which I suppose is actually totally accurate, since he wrote some of them). No fucking wonder everyone in the genre loves him, and why I got a little writer boner when I realized that one of my stories sounded a little bit like one of his, which I know for a fact I never even read.

The Mammoth Book of Best British Mysteries, another used find purchased because of a Facebook conversation with Christy after I told her to start watching “Sherlock” and she did.

Paul Tremblay’s “The Little Sleep,” since I’m trying to get into noir and it won the Bram Stoker Award a few years ago.

Tom Robbins’ “Jitterbug Perfume,” yet another used find because I kind of like Tom Robbins, even though I couldn’t finish “Another Roadside Attraction” and just barely managed “Skinny Legs and All.” They’re not bad books, but I think a fantasy epic story will do me better.

Glen David Gold’s “Carter Beats the Devil,” which I started reading and liked a lot and then took a break for some library books, an act I now regret because it’s a pretty thick book and getting back into that world won’t be easy.

Murakami’s “The Wind Up Bird Chronicle,” which I think will have to wait until I’m on a plane. Murakami is the best on planes.

David Mitchell’s “The Cloud Atlas,” just kidding I will probably never finish “The Cloud Atlas” but, like Russian novels, you get credit for trying. And I’ve already read “Anna Karenina,” so maybe I should score double credit with this one.

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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