tirsdag, november 28, 2006

Property Matters

I've never felt I'd be a good one to own property, though this feeling is, admittedly, tied to the current debt I can't necessarily handle and the knowledge that I'll be well in my 40s, I suspect, by the time I can. By that point, scraping out gutters will hold little charm, I'm sure.

Indeed, the prospect of taking on more debt is loaded with trepidation for both me and any idiot creditor, even imaginary ones.

But I'm comfortable with a life spent renting space. I'm probably too comfortable with it. I really do like my current situation, though I'd prefer a slightly larger apartment, and preferably one that has survived time more successfully than this one. The state of the floors, especially around the radiators where the wood is soft from water-damage and gibbering mice, and the off-kilter window frames makes this seems at times like the Keith Richards of apartments. It's got stories and character, but it's more than a bit craggy...and prone to falling out of coconut trees.

This reminds me: As kids my brother and I and a friend wrote dadaist detective stories starring...crap. What was his name? Joe Shoe, I think. Shoe, of course, as in gumshoe. Joe was pursued by a gang of KKKlansmen in plaid getups...plaid because Joe, while infiltrating one of their meetings, inadvertently dumped a bottle of chemicals into their industrial washing machine. Joe's apartment was, for much of the series of one-page, single-spaced stories on the lam. I don't recall why his apartment took off. It just did.

And riffing on Steven Wright, we wrote in the theft of all his possessions, and their replacement by the thieves with exact duplicates.

(And THAT reminds me of the Far Side frame with the trenchcoat thugs moving a couch and setting crooked a picture on the wall as the lead thug intimidates the owner of the house with the line, "Next time it won't be just your furniture we rearrange.")

Back to property: Still, over the Thanksgiving weekend I had one of those moments of property longing as I sat out on my parents' newish backyard porch in the unexpectedly warm (50s) weather and read the final pages of Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome: the suicide attempt in the sleigh. Ha! I'd started the novella two weeks ago, at least two weeks ago, and had left the last three or four chapters in the lurch, which seems awfully lazy given that it's a 95-page story or so.

It had been such a pleasant week. Restful. Even productive for work. A wonderful dinner on Thanksgiving. Grand time with family. And that moment reading outdoors with the quiet of the field and creek behind the house. At night one could see stars.

On the Friday we watched A Child's Christmas in Wales.

Sentimental, ja, but the good sort.

Speaking of Faces

As reported at the BBC, the French face transplant, one year later.

And wouldn't you know it? They are ramping up this story on Days of Our Lives. Philip Kiriakis currently sits in front of a fire in a secret room of his father Victor's mansion. (Victor is played by John Aniston, father of Jennifer Aniston.) A fire crackles before him. The light plays upon his bandaged face. A doctor known for his radically progressive techniques has been called to the house. Victor tells him he needs to give his son a face transplant. Only this doctor can perform the surgery.

The doctor undoes the bandages but we, the viewers, do not see the mangled face. (Phillip has now lost half a leg in Iraq and been severely burned on his face in Afghanistan. He's becoming like Salinger's "Laughing Man," it seems.) We see the pile of bandages.

As Chloe came away well from the acid burns to her face, I'm sure Phillip will return as a cuter actor. Stay tuned, friends.

Psychological Soundtrack

Only four songs on my iTunes are noted as having been played 100 times:

"Auto Rock" - Mogwai (143)
"Shine a Light" - Wolf Parade (127)
"I Luv the Valley, OH!!" - Xiu Xiu (112)
"Obstacles" - Interpol (105)

Next on the list: "Voices Carry" by 'Til Tuesday (98) and "100,000 Fireflies" by The Magnetic Fields (94).
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