This past week marked the start of chilly mornings, which made me equal parts happy and distressed by how much time has already elapsed since graduation. But: Job interviews and writing tests have been are things that are happening, freelance things (about Angela Lansbury!) are also happening, and I even got scooped on a story last week which seems like a sign that I’m onto something with this writing thing. Overall, I’m still waiting for the next chapter to start, and eager to find the job that will take me there.
In the meantime, I’ve been spoiled by all of the good books that I didn’t have time to read while I was still in school. Nearly a year after I started, I finally finished reading Swann’s Way. It’s an understatement to say that the book is lovely, just like it’s probably cliche to praise the dreamy rhythm of Proust’s endlessly stacked clauses. I feel pretentious even admitting that I read it, even though most of it was for a modern lit class last fall semester. But for real: The plot is spellbinding, Proust has a lot of interesting things to say about art and the senses, and it’s one of the best explorations of memory ever committed to paper (or Kindle, if that’s your thing). Be warned, though, that Proust probes the fact that love has a tendency to make people very sad.
I’m still working through Consider the Lobster (a collection of David Foster Wallace’s essays), currently midway through the uncut version of his report on John McCain’s presidential campaign against W. in 2000, a version of which appeared in Rolling Stone. After spending most of the summer reading fiction, it’s refreshing to read nonfiction that pushes the boundaries of the form with DFW’s iconic use of footnotes, charts, and other interruptions.
I also visited Barnes and Noble today for the first time in ages, and after months of weeding through disorganized used book stores I have to admit that it was refreshing to find the books I was looking for in predictable places, clean and in stock. I bought Hunter S. Thompson’s book about Hell’s Angels and The Crying of Lot 49 and then put myself on a strict diet that will hopefully prevent me from OD-ing on white male authors.
Trivia of the week: I revisited The Elected while working on a cover letter this week, which naturally got me onto an internet tangent that ended on a Buffy the Vampire Slayer wiki. Did you know that Blake Sennett (lead guitarist, Rilo Kiley; lead vocalist, The Elected) played warlock Michael Czajak in that episode where Buffy’s mom goes into PTA-nightmare-mode trying to stamp out witchcraft in Sunnydale? Me either, but it’s true nonetheless:
Blake Sennett was one of the first musicians I saw perform a live show, with Rilo Kiley while they were touring with Coldplay. I was 13 years old and sitting next to my dad, and I remember being mortified by the way he introduced the band: “Hey there, all you sons of bitches!” The curse words were electric, and at the time I was terrified that my father would know I thought so.
Internet gems: This wild longform story about a girl who pretended she was in high school for over a decade. This beautiful old Dear Sugar letter about jealousy, which every unemployed person should be politely asked to read. Ann Friedman’s take on Kim Davis. What actually happened when Liberty University felt the Bern. Why reading online is different. Scottish illustrator extraordinaire Anna Doherty, who is a friend of one of my old roommates and almost certainly doesn’t remember meeting me, just launched a bookshop and I want to buy every adorable-yet-decidedly-off-kilter thing in it. Kyle MacLachlan’s use of puns and this emoticon —> ; – ) make his Twitter officially the best on the internet. Did you know that standard shipping from Top Shop is free?
And finally, I wrote some new things! I’m thrilled to be on The Toast for the first time this week, and many thanks go out to Malena Magnolia for giving a lovely interview and just generally making damn good art. I also wrote about snack guilt and was surprised by how many people ended up reading it.