Thursday, March 31, 2005

ricochet in time

Last night was perfect, because I was with MM. The first thing I learned about this friend ten years ago, when we first met, was that MM's Gibraltar, to lean upon when things were overwhelming was this too shall pass. The timing was a blessing.

This morning, it finally occurred to me that the month of March is nearing its end. In business speak, I suppose you could characterize this as the end of the quarter. But I keep thinking about that span of time. Three months. Three months present itself as more momentous than whole years in my past. In three months, the facts of my reality will have completely transformed. It's not possible to comprehend that, except to acknowledge that the plates are shifting beneath the ocean, that something wicked this way comes. Suddenly, the pace of Dave Eggers You Shall Know our Velocity comes to mind, feels accurate.

I needed some cheering up, so I watched the second episode of The Office, the US edition. It's starting to cut its own path away from the UK version, and some of it is really funny, even while being so inappropriate that it's nearly impossible to talk about by the water coolers. There was a scene in the second episode where Carell very poorly attempts to imitate an Indian accent, and this silent Indian woman just whacks him with this Sister Souljah-style thappard that me all warm inside. Man... good times.

For further cheering up, tomorrow is 826's annual comedy night. If you live in the Bay area, and somehow managed to stumble onto this blog, I urge you to go for two reasons. First, 826 Valencia is an awesome concept that, because of its grand success in SF, has started to spread to NYC (in the BK!) and LA (and we will forgive them the involvement of Mr. Jackass himself, Phil Jackson, because... you know, it's for the kids). Second, I'll be there. No, just kidding- second, Patton Oswalt is supposedly quite a cut-up, and there is always the promise of a special guest with this crew. Eggers is massively connected in San Francisco, so I wouldn't be surprised at whatever luminary decides to join us.

In the movie Sideways, Pig Vomit explains his dedication to Pinot Noir as tied to the grapes' very delicate and difficult nature. The fact that it's not straightforward and easy to grow, that it can easily be harmed and ruined is the very reason for his fascination with Pinot. While I had many nits to pick about that film, that was one beautifully captured idea. Pig Vomit was, of course, describing himself really, and pointing out why he was lovable, which is one of the many reasons the film pissed me off.

But I guess I can explain why I'm a fan of Eggers' writing in that same vein. His writing is flawed, undeniably. When he's not writing short stories, his work is always problematic in one way or another. It meanders off, or it tries to be too clever in parts. Imperfections. You occasionally get frustrated when you read Eggers; you're tempted to skim or skip parts. I'm complaining and pointing out all the negatives, because that's far easier than explaining what it is that makes him so worthwhile. There are little diamonds of truth in his books, and always some sort of subtle payoff that stays with you. I read You Shall Know Our Velocity at least two years ago, and there are still parts of that book that occur to me periodically.

In a completely different Sideways reference, NPR reported on coffee slurpers this morning. I'll be the first to admit I had no idea that you could taste "wine and chocolate notes" from a sip of coffee, but I can relate to the tasters' habit of spitting out the coffee after tasting it. That's pretty much what I do with any coffee I've ever tasted.

NPR also covered the congressional pendulum in terms of party views on the AARP this morning. Stories like this contribute to my continuing disillusionment with those sleazebags in Congress. Let me know when the revolution starts, I'm ready to sign up.

Also... I think I want to be John Locke when I grow up (not the philosopher, the Yoda-esque crazy mofo).

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