I picked this book up close to two years ago. For…

I picked this book up close to two years ago. For a while, it sat on the shelf next to Underworld and Bleak House, part of a triad of fend-off-an-attacker thick books that perpetually gazed up at me resentfully.

I’m now three hundred pages into it. Yee-haw.

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I’m feeling slightly proud of myself for reading more history books lately – or, more properly, more books about history – I don’t want to give the impression that I’m digging out old textbooks or something similar. My absolutely scattershot knowledge of history, though, is especially shameful given the number of history buffs I count among the people closest to me.

Both this and this come highly recommended. Next up: The Guns of August. Slowly, I’m making my way through the 19th and 20th centuries…

Went to a Jonathan Lethem reading / book release e…

Went to a Jonathan Lethem reading / book release event tonight at St. Anne’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. It was a fine time; I can’t really argue with free beer, hearing one of my favorite authors read excerpts from his new novel, and a mostly interesting q & a session (though the fellow up front who kept asking questions about the novel that was released today was, I felt, kind of flaunting the fact that he’d read the book before, assumably, everyone else there).

At the moment, drained from a late night at work yesterday (followed by a random run-in with a friend of mine from New Jersey), I’m trying to make some headway on a couple of pieces – some reviews for Earlash and a piece or two for Copper Press….not to mention the ever-present fiction in varying stages of completion that’s currently scattered around my room.

Ninety more minutes. I can get a decent amount done in that time, I think.

It’s a rainy, quiet Saturday in Brooklyn. I’m tak…

It’s a rainy, quiet Saturday in Brooklyn. I’m taking the opportunity to clean house somewhat – selling or donating a bunch of underlistened CDs, shifting a few things around in my room, musing on the purchase of a new bedroom stereo.

I’m also cleaning out my old address book. Although I have emails containing assorted people’s home addresses, I’d like to have a permanent record as well – seems like a wise course of action, given this year’s lesson in computer fallibility.

Going through here, though, is unexpectedly….well, painful isn’t the word. Mainly, the addresses fall into three distinct categories:

1. Old addresses of people I’m still in touch with.

2. Addresses of people I haven’t spoken to in years. (Which may or may not be due to the fact that this book hasn’t been touched since sometime in 1997).

3. Zine contacts. Feel like contacting the promotions department at Conversion Records – or maybe a member of Kerosene 454? I’m your man….

I can count on both hands the number of addresses that I’m carrying over, and I’m unsure about the updatedness of about 2/3 of those…

****

The other odd rush of nostalgia, to be honest, is the references to prospective summer jobs, dating to my early college days. Contacts at the local Barnes & Noble, Nobody Beats the Wiz….ah, nostalgia.

Eleven thirty-eight on September 11th, 2003. I’…

Eleven thirty-eight on September 11th, 2003.

I’d thought about posting something today, and have spent a good amount of time trying to figure out exactly what that would/should be.

It’s not quite coming.

Last year, I worked a normal day, and made my way to Carroll Gardens after work, where I met some friends, including these two, for drinks. It was a good night; a crisp, bittersweet night in the early autumn. It felt reassuring to be sitting in a garden with people dear to me.

Today, I feel mostly numb.

It’s entirely possible that this numbness is hiding a deeper sense of disquiet; I can’t honestly say. But one year ago, there was still that sense of regeneration, of hope in the face of loss. This year, it seems as though the tragedy of two years ago has been co-opted by groups on both the right and left, for less-than-altruistic ends. The international goodwill that moved me so much is, seemingly, gone. My belief in an event that could transcend politics – which gave me a fragment of hope after everything had happened – is lost.

Two years later, it’s all sunk in, and I’m left uncertain how to feel. If my lack of feeling is somehow wrong. If my numbness is, ultimately, burying something deeper.

If you’re at all paying attention to the music com…

If you’re at all paying attention to the music coming out of the Vancouver area these days – and you really should be – you really should visit The Hive. What you’ve got here is a plethora of information, including MP3s, on numerous current and defunct bands, including Jerk With a Bomb, Radio Berlin, Frog Eyes, Destroyer, and others (including an obscure band called Hot Hot Heat. Maybe you’ve heard of them).

JWAB’s “To the Grave” is very much worth a download, as is just about anything by the bands mentioned above.

Went to the gym for the first time in a while this…

Went to the gym for the first time in a while this morning, trudging over there in a steady downpour of rain. Manhattan Avenue at 7:15 is a fine sight; while I loathe waking up early, there is something enjoyable about the city rousing itself awake.

Sometime in the last few weeks, my fear of flying has minimized itself; the intense need for travel that I felt in the first months of 2001 is back, and it’s an encouraging thing.

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There’s more writing to be done tonight. That, too, is encouraging.