Wednesday, August 27, 2008

the wheel in the sky keeps on turning...

^^^ that's me readying myself for journey next friday.

did some reading at the cottage...here are my thoughts on what passed before my eyes.

my sis got me sarah dessen's latest, "lock and key" for my birthday. it's the story of a girl named ruby, who gets abandoned by her ne'er-do-well mother and is forced to move in with her sister, estranged after 10 years, who lives in a mansion on the other side of town. it's about how she's wrenched from the life she knew and all that was familiar (which is not to say that she particularly enjoyed it) and uprooted to a new place and has to start anew and in the process, becomes a different version of herself and reconfigures her notions of family and friends.

it's not a big stretch to say that i'm a sarah dessen fan. i devoured this book. her narratives always unfold at a steady clip and the characters and voices ring true in the sense that they're the conversations you wish you had in a dramatized version of your high school life (upon reflection, many years later). i didn't love this one as much as "just listen" and "this lullaby," but i think that's kind of splitting hairs. it's right up there with my favorites and i would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for some breezy, beachy, reading, of the young adult persuasion or otherwise.

david sedaris' latest, "when you are engulfed in flames," is a big letdown. i found myself forcing myself to doggedly get through to the end of each story, most of which felt interminably long and needlessly drawn out. at his best, sedaris draws from the wells of the near-tasteless and near-tragic to find the clear, cold, refreshing humour and truths that can sometimes be found therein. in this case, he attempts to negotiate that line and for the most part, fails. what results is a frequently tasteless journey that consistently flirts with shocking-for-the-sake-of-being-shocking and leaves you with a poor taste in your mouth. sample passages such as this, on the virtues of having a ready narrative parry to jump-start any potential conversation, "six months earlier, my icebreaker concerned a stripper who became a quadriplegic and eventually had her vagina eaten away by bedsores, not the easiest thing to wrangle into a conversation," are laboured and contrived. sedaris' attempts to throw his lot in with the rejects of the world, cloying and palpable in naked attempts such as the one above ring less and less true when he starts talking about his life in normandy, his apartment in paris, and his home in new york.

let's face it: sedaris runs with the intelligentsia, and while they may very well have their eccentricities, he's a long, far way away from the crass, near autistic boor he would have us believe he is.

the best story is one on the nature of his relationship with hugh and monogamy and their partnership, which is gentle and thematically concise even in its' meandering circumlocutions to the reiteration of his thesis. even this essay though, uses gratuitous imagery and examples to push the point.

if you've liked other sedaris work, this one doesn't live up to the promise of "me talk pretty one day" or "dress your family in corduroy and denim."

tonight we had dr. rei over for dinner. i made that lentil and pancetta, baby spinach salad thing, this time subbing in poached eggs for the breaded, fried goat's cheese and adding in some pancetta-wrapped, blue cheese stuffed roasted figs to use up refrigerator contents before we decamp to the muskokas. i'll post a picture tomorrow.

tomorrow i'm going to C & C's place to record a mix (hopefully). i've been playing around with my old skool jungle lately and lamenting the dotytron's (fiscally sound) decision to go down to one turntable. it'll be nice to see if i can still beat-match and program a set. i'm going to buy C dinner at chipotle's to thank him for caring for our cats while we were gone.

i've seen a tonne of movies lately. "tropic thunder," "pineapple express," "21," and "parenthood," so i'll try to do some film reviews a demain.

fin.

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