March 2nd, 2008

glow

leap day



I agreed to go to a party that wasn't happening on a day that didn't exist. Lele and I were apprehensive about the event; so we picked up a bottle of whiskey stopped at Julia's for a drink. Inside, a band was covering swing. The music was so loud and the performers were so scary that hurrying out felt like a better idea by the minute.

Walking toward the Piccadilly intersection with a paper bag full of liquor under my arm, we managed to attract the attention of a large woman. She followed us to the door asking for directions to Pioneer Square. As we were dialing up, she smashed her massive paw onto the receiver. When someone tried to exit the building, she slammed her weight into the glass door and threw him back. She seemed mostly confused, unaware of her own strength, and was easily distracted. When the alt-weekly music editor managed to open the door to leave, we scurried inside and up several flights of stairs.

In the top floor corner apartment, the party was crowded. Not quite Gatsby Chapter Two, but well on its way at least to the good part before the belligerence. We squeezed into the kitchen and mixed drinks in plastic cups. Polaroids were taken and videos were being made. A table with bacon, jello, and other temptations was mostly avoided.

After a while, we were shuttled off to another party. On the way out I remember some intoxicated hugs, a quick grab from a plate of brownies, and maybe a small prank. We next found ourselves at a house with a DJ in the living room and a small keg in the kitchen. People from the other party seemed to arrive every so often. Maybe there was something about abandoning an adopted Cambodian baby?

The night ended at Smith, sitting at one of those communal tables, mistyping texts, and waiting for a cab to arrive while borrowing drinks of extremely spicy beer.

-

The next day that existed came with a real headache. I spent the morning napping, the afternoon finishing Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You [good! but I do love a nice novel about a depressed engaging New Yorker], and the evening at a birthday party in Wallingford where the bartender was also the cook. We stayed around until the cover band started playing a weird collection of songs so loudly that talking became difficult.
i am not a stuffed tiger.

book: his illegal self

Last week I read His Illegal Self [$]. The story was nice enough, but I think that what I liked best was the off-kilter and economical prose; the way that it takes a few chapters before you really know what's happening and why; how the uncertainty of the plot is reflected in the way that things are described. James Woods explains this much more effectively in current issue of the New Yorker provides a much better explanation:
One of the secrets of Carey’s capabilities as a storyteller is a serious commitment to what is known as free indirect style, or the bending of third-person narrative around the viewpoint of the character who is being described. ... A child is here decoding the universe, and the novelist expects the reader to decode that child’s inventive solutions. It is characteristic of Carey to throw us into the depths of his sentences and let us swim for ourselves. [newyorker]
It's my favorite kind of review, but if you're someone who worries about being "spoiled" then maybe it's worth filing away until after you've read the novel for yourself. I often wish that more critics were freer to write about the whole thing that they're reviewing rather than just the parts that they can tell you about to convince you to see the whole thing for yourself.

On the topic of marketing, isn't it weird that this book has its own trailer? AND, on the topic of obfuscation, isn't it odd how the kid on the cover looks a lot older when you can only see half of his face?