Summer is here, which means I have the most spoiled dog on the planet who gets to go everywhere with me, including bars, including cafes, including the grocery store.
There’s a huge park near my house where we can go to have some privacy away from all the cooing strangers who want to know what kind of dog that is and if the cutie will get any bigger and is it ok if they pick her up and squeeze her and omg how do they get her to stop biting. This park is hilly and lined with trees and we hardly ever get bothered.
I figured out a way to tether the end of her leash to the ground with a piece of hanger, so I can lie on the grass and read while she runs around. We come home so exhausted from the sun she barely makes it in the front door before she collapses.
So far my summer reading is slacking. Yesterday I finally read The Catcher in the Rye, which I have been meaning to do since I was thirteen, but somehow never got around to it. Afterward I was thinking that that book is sort of a mirror of itself: there’s the encounter with the old crotchety professor in the beginning and the young sleazy one a the end; there’s the fight with the roommate in the dorm before the argument with the old schoolmate at the bar; etc. etc. Like if you folded the book in half, each side would fit together exactly, and therefore at some point during Holden’s weekend there must be a perfect center, the apex of his adventures, and I guess that would be when he meets the nuns in the diner and gives them ten bucks. There is a lot more kindness in that book than I expected.
So the plan is to spend the summer working through my I-Should-Have-Read-This-A-Long-Time-Ago List of Books, such as Crime and Punishment and Fahrenheit 451, which will hopefully relieve this great burden of literary guilt I have weighing on my conscience every time I stand in front of a classroom to teach English.
All right, all right. More later. Love and things.
Got to see my all-time-favorite George Saunders at the Fitzgerald Theater this week. He was the guest for the pilot episode of a new Minnesota Public Radio series called Wits.
I love this guy. Please go out and read Pastoralia, and you will fall madly in love, too.
I kept thinking of how much he reminded me of Chris Elliot. Don’t you think?
The theme of the episode was about whether or not hard work is really worth it. Amy Sedaris and Chuck Klosterman called in and talked about their shitty first jobs. And Mike Doughty led a singalong at the end. Have you ever seen George Saunders singing “Sixteen Tons” into a microphone? Nope, I didn’t think so. It was an amazing night, and there are three more episodes to come. Tickets are dirt cheap–twelve bucks for students, twenty-five for those sad folk who work every day.
I was too shy to talk to Saunders afterward so I emailed him.
Also. Pulled this out of my dog’s mouth:
So now I am just waiting.
Not sleeping so well lately. Thoughts that prevent me from falling into slumber:
1. Do policemen strap your seat belt on you when they stick you in the back of the cruiser? What about in states like Rhode Island, where it’s illegal to ride in the back seat without a belt?
2. That’s not comfortable or That knot’s comfortable?
3. How long would it take me to suffocate in a plant-less apartment with the windows closed?
4. Which is punctuationally correct: B-B-B-Benny and the Jets? or B-b-b-Benny and the Jets?
5. Is punctuationally a word? How about adverbsary or commasation?
Also have been having lots of dream-within-dreams, where I wake up and talk about the thing I just dreamt, then fall asleep again, then dream it again, then later wake up and realize ALL OF THE ABOVE was just a stream of not-realness.
Last night I had such a vivid dream–colors! shapes! microscopy, such as the ridges on the flesh over my knuckles!–that during the dream, I thought This can’t possibly be a dream, and I flew up and grabbed some dry leaves from a tree and crunched them in my hand to prove it. I could feel the sensation of the thing crumbling in my hand like corn flakes, therefore I was situated in reality. I forgot to consider the flying thing. What a large piece of evidence against my theory!