Volpane In Love

Decade Archive of my personal blog from 1999 to 2009.

Friday, October 26, 2001

I have not read much this week. Someone did bring several interesting magazines into work. I did read something in �Index,� an �Interview� type magazine that has stayed with me. I first picked the article to read because it was an interview conducted by my favorite cartoonist Dame Darcy who regularly does �Meatcake� for Fantagraphics. She was interviewing Carol Channing who has always been interesting. In the interview she admitted to going to school with the same man who was responsible for the Japanese Fleet that was involved with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She remembered him because of watercolor sketches he painted for her at twenty-five cents apiece.

I am feeling sleepy this morning. I stayed up pretty late last night trying to finish work I�d promised Pistil Books. I didn�t get it done. I probably won�t finish until next week because I am trying to streamline most of the pages so I can make more global changes easier. This involves determining what stays the same on any group of pages and creating a template that generalizes everything but those elements. Then I have to attach the new template to every page it affects and delete the repeated information while making sure that the format for the page remains. I have about twenty pages to do this to.

I am also re-designing the graphics on the front page with new labels that is a work intensive process. Once I have the labels where I want them I have to import the whole image into Photoshop and break it up into sections then copy each section to its own gif file. The picture is reassembled on the web page using tables so that each label can be assigned its own link to its corresponding page. Quite simple process really, but as I said work intensive.

I still have the book Nancy loaned me sitting on my nightstand. It is a Buddhist text called �The Places You Fear� or something like that�I�m too lazy to go get it right now. I�ve been carrying around the collected short stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald and I am about halfway through the volume, but I have to admit my interest has waned some with my attention being focused on writing. I have the biography of his life sitting on my nightstand, which I also read half of and then set down. Seems I am only interested in the early part of his life and writing. Sarcasm warning! That last comment was very untrue.

My werewolf friend chastised me for allowing sarcasm to color my emails to him earlier this year. I don�t know why I am not more aware of my own tendency to stretch the truth although I know when I do it. I suppose growing up by myself has something to do with it. I felt very isolated in my youth. I think I need to expand that section of my biography although I�ve been dragging my feet with updating that section of my web page.

I want to create separate pages each one dedicated to a different year of my life. Would that seem too daunting to read? I could create a timeline that would have highlights pointed out, and then you could click on a highlight and go from there. Hmmmm�

See the problem is if I don�t go and make notes of this change I might never do it. Still, I think the timeline idea is intriguing enough that I might just follow through. It doesn�t answer why I need to document my life, I don�t feel like I�ve accomplished anything so far to garner anyone�s interest. Of course if I start writing 1,666 (I think I like the fact that that number has �666� in it) words a day posts, then most of my web page is going to be daunting.

I am just feeling scattered today. Here it is already ten o�clock and I have only written one page so far. About six hundred words so far. I think I will go over to my nightstand and see what I have there.

Okay, here is the list of things on my nightstand as of today:

First there is my dream journal which I haven�t strictly written just dreams, and it is pathetically empty, but I don�t have a deadline when it needs to be filled so I guess it will always be random and free styled.

There is a brochure published by the Literary Program of Bumbershoot 2001 which I picked up because it is filled with what I suppose are local writers, poetry and such. I haven�t really read it but I like the fact it is printed on stiff cardboard and seems like something you just might hold onto for sometime or as a memento of the occasion.

I didn�t mention that I still don�t have cold water in my apartment. They just started banging on the pipes. Sorry, I need to focus here�

Next is the F. Scott Fitzgerald biography, �The Far Side of Paradise,� a paperback that Amy of Pistilbooks gave me to read. Actually it was something she was going to throw or give away.

Another Pistilbooks give away is another paperback of Fyodor Dostoyevsky�s The Possessed. Dostoyevsky is what I remember my friends who were smarter than me read. I have little interest outside of who he was as a writer. The prose seems old and musty, the subject seems depressing and the book is thick enough for me to avoid reading. I am such a picky reader. I may read it out of desperation one day, though.

The book Nancy lent me is called, �The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times�. I am about halfway through that so far. It is very cleanly written while detailing the basic concepts of Buddhist thought. I found it easy to read although it can be fairly dry reading. I need to talk about my spiritual path in another one of these essays I think.

�Teleny� by Oscar Wilde and others. Jon Macy sent this book to me so that I could read the prose that his graphic novel is detailing. I have to admit that the Victorian language makes it a leisure read, so I have to admit I haven�t gotten much past the first chapter. I love the cover the most which alternates luridly color headshots of Oscar Wilde, ala� Andy Warhol, with men�s buttocks.

�Eight Steps of Happiness: The Buddhist Way of Loving Kindness� by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. I purchased this last spring at the end of a meditation series that I was attending so that I would have something to study during the break between series. Again I�ve stopped halfway and not been motivated to pick it up again since.

�The Agony of Lewis Carroll� by Richard Wallace. This is one of those print-on-demand titles we hear came with the advent of Internet publishing. I picked it up during my tourney in hell when I made the mistake of working for Amazon.com at their Seattle warehouse. I could go on and on about how that company is mismanaged by business school graduates who don�t have any �real world� experience. Anyway, I thought it might reveal some light on my own confusion about Lewis Carroll�s life and whether or not he was a pouffter or a pedophile. Unfortunately the first half of the book makes its conclusions by playing the sort of word games Charles Dodgson engaged in, a logical theory, but specious unless you have evidence for the conclusions you come to, unfortunately if Charles Dodgson kept a key book to all his cryptic asides and allusions it has been destroyed by now by his family. The book is only worth the read for the analysis of previous biographies of the man�s life.

�The Natural History of Make-Believe: A Guide to the Principal Works of Britain, Europe, and America� by John Goldthwaite. A survey of writing for children starting with the eighteen hundreds and focusing on books the writer unabashedly insists are seminal, but points out that�s his opinion. A very engaging book even though I�ve barely read through the introduction, which explains where the author is planning on taking it.

�Surrealist Women: An International Anthology� edited with introductions by Penelope Rosemont. I borrowed my friend Purple Mark�s copy of this and then realized that I needed to own the book. Can�t say I�ve read much more than the introduction.

�Drawing Blood� by Poppy Z. Brite. Started reading this summer until someone knowledgeable informed me that it was not her best work. So I stopped reading it and now it sits at the head of my bed.

�Angela Carter: Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories� with an introduction by Salmon Rushdie. My friend John Pearce lent me this book. Fabulous writer, fabulous stories, I�ve been leisurely wading throughout the prose which is varied, modern and �purple� all at the same time. Love it, love it, LOVE IT!

�Flowers of Evil: A Selection� by Charles Baudelaire. A must have surrealist/Goth text French/English edition with each language presented on opposing pages.

�The Toby Press Review 4�, a book catalogue. Sent in the mail�a bit stuffy but I keep it there in case I inherit a large sum of money, which I know will be spent all on books.

The spring and summer International Male catalogues for 2001. Can�t read all the time!

I am running out of time so I am going to have to fill this out later. Damn! I�ve only hit about 1,400 words today. The toll of sleep ensues.

There is filler here so I can meet my quota for the day, written after the fact, unfortunately.

So what is going to happen to these books? I can�t incorporate them into my bookshelf, which is already packed. I have boxes of books I�m not likely to read but I don�t want to loose these. I think after this marathon I will have to make some time for reading.

Word count: 1,675.


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