But clearly life took people and shook them around until finally they were unrecognizable even to those who had once known them well. Still, there was power in once having known someone. —Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings

things to look forward to:

-  meg wolitzer and susan choi at powerhouse arena on monday (tomorrow) for the paperback launch of the interestings

-  lydia davis and jonathan franzen at symphony space for selected shorts on wednesday

-  california-bound may 13 — book will be written by then, and we’ll be driving into the desert while i’m there.

Martha: so this was her name. I turned it over in my mind as we carried our pitcher and steins to the farthest-off, neighborless booth. It didn’t dent with astonishment, but it rumpled her smooth anonymity, gave her a texture I hadn’t expected. —Susan Choi, My Education

trois.

one.  trying to cook more these days instead of eating out and trying to expand my cooking repertoire instead of making the same things over and over again.  and instead of making some form of pasta over and over again because, you know, i’m really not that great at making pasta.  unless it’s tomato sauce.  i do make an awesome naked tomato sauce.

(which leads to …)

two.  made this amazing pot of butter beans with bacon and tomatoes, and, ohh, how have i not discovered butter beans before???  (also known as lima beans)  they’re so smooth and creamy, and they absorb broth so well, and this broth is deliciously smoky and warm with a little bit of spice.  i know there’s this whole beans and toast thing, but these beans don’t need toast, just a spoon, and maybe a bowl so you don’t go eating the whole pot in one go …

three.  luckily my attempts to cook more fit perfectly with this i’m-trying-to-rewrite-my-book-in-100-days ridiculousness because writing means procrastination and procrastination is best done in the kitchen.  tomorrow, i’m cooking up a pot of chicken lemon soup with orzo (and without celery because, ew, celery), and i dare say it’ll go quite well with this continuing winter we’ve currently got in nyc.  not that i’m complaining.  cold over warm/hot any day!

When I tell him I don’t have much faith, he says simply, Borrow mine.Bill Clegg, Ninety Days
She reads. She is always reading. She asks him what he thinks about the books they read for school. In fourth grade, a book about an immortal family and a girl who falls in love with one of its members after she stumbles upon him in the woods behind her house, drinking from a spring; in fifth grade, a big, sprawling allegorical series of books about a handful of English children who must battle the rise of evil in the world. Later, too soon, she leaves Brontë and Dickens in his cubbyhole. He devours them and worries about the words he doesn’t understand and loves them because she does and often sobs at their endings, because for a while he is away, out of time, somewhere he can’t remember himself, and it is a shock, always a sad shock, to come back. She talks about these books, and each time, with each book, she sees more and better and has words that dazzle him to transcribe what she sees. He will steal all these words and use them. To himself, in his reports for school, talking to adults, teachers. With each word he feels a click into a finer self, one more wrinkle smoothed. Her words have a kind of magic, like the garments that carry storybook characters out of their lives. A dress that changes a chimney-sweeping urchin into a princess, a shoe that returns her to the castle after it’s all been taken away. She uses the word desultory in the eighth grade, and to this very day he works it into conversation the way a swimming champion casually mentions his medals. —Bill Clegg, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man
atomicfartz whispered: About sleeping at saner hours, I'm sleeping at insane hours cos of reading your posts! ^^ they're really good and I enjoy reading them so much :)

aww thank you so much!!!  :3  haha, but sleep, too!  sleep is nice and good … says the one who continues to sleep at insane hours …

maybe i shouldn’t be dispensing any kind of sleep advice/talk/suggestions …

i hate my sinuses.

that is all.

a few things from los angeles last week:

-  los angeles is great to visit, but i couldn’t live there again, at least not for a great long while.  i realised that, for the first time, i’ve let myself lay down emotional roots in a city, so my heart is pretty securely fastened to new york city — i mean, not like it wasn’t before, but there are physical roots now, too, and i have no intention of leaving this city i love for a long, long time.  except to travel.

-  los angeles is great to visit, though, because my parents are still there, my brother is a barely-two-hour flight away, and i’ve got a great circle of friends i love to see as often as i can.  and the food — ohhh, the food — los angeles has great food.  different kinds of great food than new york has — like korean food.  and tacos.  and in n out.

-  i started reading my first novel in korean!  currently 50 pages in, which might not sound like much, but i have never gotten this far in a novel in korean before.  ever.  i’ve been circling the words i don’t know in pencil, and, yes, there are still a lot of words i don’t know, and, sometimes, i’m circling three, four, five words in a row, but, amazingly enough, i’m still able to comprehend the story and understand what’s being said through context.  kinda crazy.  further, i’ve noticed that my reading speed has improved pretty drastically, and, you know, i’ve all that translating of nell-related things to thank for that!

-  lea seydoux is fucking gorgeous.  i could stare at her face all day.

-  as usual, looking forward to my next jaunt out to los angeles.  hoping it’ll be a longer stay on the west coast, though, because i’d love to drive up to san francisco and, maybe, portland if at all possible, and that’ll take at least 10 days.  right now, though, i’ve got to rewrite my book, and i was able to work on it a little on my flight back to new york, and i’m super stoked for this rewrite and for this book, so let’s go go go!

strangeseasons whispered: Once you get this you have to say five nice things about yourself, and then send it to ten of your favorite followers!

01.  i’m a good writer.  i’m currently enjoying a moment of feeling pretty good about myself as a writer, and, while the korean in me is feeling guilty about feeling good about myself, i’m also just letting myself enjoy it because i know this moment will pass, and then it’ll be back to doubt and nit-picking, but, hey, that’s all right, too — good writing is born from agony.

02.  I’m great at feeding people.  If you ever visit me, I’ll feed you.  If I go to your house/apartment/whatever, chances are I’ll probably feed you there, too (unless you’re cooking, in which case i’ll do your dishes).  if you’re feeling like shit, i’ll feed you.  if you’re celebrating something, i’ll feed you then, too.  basically, i will feed you.

03.  i laugh a lot.  and i’m generally a pretty cheery person?  but, yes, i laugh a lot, and i think i can mention that as a noteworthy thing because more than one person has pointed it out on more than one occasion.  not in a mean way or anything.  apparently, it amuses people, this laughing a lot thing …

04.  i have a nice smile, and i like my hair?  idk.

05.  apparently, i look four-five years younger than i actually am.

aausten