Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bored and stupid

1. I'm bored.

(NPR interviews Gillian Anderson and includes a clip of her boredom.)

Is anyone else watching Bleak House who's never read the book? Or like me you tried to read it 20 years ago because it had a cool title and you can't remember a thing about it? Only you realize you did read some of it and some of it must lurk in your head in a dark room with no doors and watching it now something is starting to seep through its floorboards? And it pisses me off that I can't stop watching — I'm riveted — to break away and read it cold, or anew, that I'll never know whether the obviousness of the story is actually there in Dickens's story, or whether it's an effect of a director's interpretation and editing, or whether I've simply found access to forgotten memories. And this review, which I finally got round to reading, confuses me all the more, because I am on the edge of my seat and dizzy with it, it's the exact opposite of "languid," exactly not "a luxurious cat stretch" or "seductive languor." More a cat bristling, wriggling its little butt preparing to pounce. Is it me?

2. The public wants what the public gets.

3. Have been very, ugh, domestic this week. Not in a satisfyingly domestic-goddess kind of way, but just barely keeping it together. Taming books and toys and bills and wrapping paper. Ugh. But we're eating well, and I've determined that I'm a better cook than I, and other people, think I am — I just need to sell myself better by, for example, saying "blanched asparagus with lemon and herbs" instead of "some vegetable."

4. Other people's children are amazing.

5. Am mildly bewildered? amused? horrified? that one of Helena's baby dolls has developed an identity as her baby brother Philipe.

6. Also, I'm feeling stupid.

I've never read David Foster Wallace, but I will, having been inspired by Callie's encounter with him (parts 1, 2, 3, and especially 4). smacked a bit of..."Look, at the end of the day, I'm really too smart for all of you, you will never understand my work because you are idiots, so can we just end this thing already?" But in the most charming way possible.

How can I not see that as a challenge? I feel stupid just reading about it, made to feel stupid by proxy, dreading to think how I would've withered were I in his actual presence.

But I have read the commencement address he delivered. I've printed it out and reread it several times already. Somehow it makes me feel better. (Even the ouch of "Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out." — gives me perspective.) Read it if you're having a bad time at the grocery store or just wondering what the hell you're doing with your life.

7. A package of books arrived for me yesterday! The book I ordered that I was most looking forward to was not among them, but I will console myself and rest my brain by indulging in a guilty pleasure for the rest of the week, and then probably getting all worked up over how stupid it is.

There you are. Bored and stupid.

Days go by
Endlessly pulling you
Into the future...
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