January 27th, 2008

i am not a stuffed tiger.

that crazy avenue of trees

Back from coffee where I forgot my wallet but promised to eventually return with cash and I'm still wearing a jacket in my apartment because the old radiators don't seem up to the task of keeping up with the near-freezing weather outside and I'm tired of the heating oil smell of the space heater. Also in a bit of a post-travel isolationism phase, sitting around banging my head gently against the table and working out the logistics of setting up a wiki for a work project that might satisfy some basic security and collaboration features without giving me too much of a headache.

Between New York and Boston and Seattle I read Per Petterson's Out Stealing Horses, mostly on trains and an airplane while listening almost exclusively to Panda Bear's Person Pitch, Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago, and Kings of Convenience's Riot on an Empty Street. If I had managed to read it last year, it probably would have been near the top of the list of books that I never made for 2007. That Acela train was fantastic, too. If it was practical, I'd do as much work and reading as possible on nice, quiet trains rolling along the countryside. Somehow it's much less easy to get distracted that way.

I didn't really think of the similarity until after I was finished, but I now see that Out Stealing Horses reminds me of the Sea by John Banville, which, for the record I read in Amsterdam while riding trains (and occasionally in cafes with speed skating on the television) and listening almost exclusively to the Life Pursuit by Belle & Sebastian and You're So Silent Jens by Jens Lekman. I'm glad that I didn't think about how they were both old manly childhood reminiscences from isolated places until later. Otherwise, it might have driven me a little crazy.