no idea if y’all have heard about that “100 happy days” thing going on where you take a photo of something every day for 100 days with the idea of appreciating life in the moment — or something like that … (wow, what a fail attempt of explaining it.  you can check out the website here if you want.)

anyway, so, i decided i’d do it, not so much to appreciate moments in my day-to-day (that’s what instagram is there for as far as i’m concerned anyway), but more so as a way of tracking time as i rewrite my book.  my days tend to bleed into each other, and i wanted a way to keep on top of this rewrite so i didn’t end up mid-may without a book, which made this 100 days thing perfect — i figured that, if i averaged 2,000 words a day, i’d be done writing by 50 days, which would leave me 50 days to edit/read through/etcetera.

so far it’s been going great, even if i’m behind on my word count.  of all the social media out there, instagram is the one i love without misgivings, something about how instagram really celebrates the trivialities and beauties in life.  i don’t know what it is, but i dig it, and i’ve been having a great time with this 100 days thing.  it’s been 4 weeks of it, so i figured i’d make a little collage of my days thus far — my instagram handle is "jjoongie" if you wanna check it out!

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!

february reads:

seven.  man walks into a room, nicole krauss.

he struggled against the urge to call anna.  he wanted to hear her voice, to test out how it sounded in the hollow space of the desert, to perform his own experiments ont he nature of absence.  but something in him didn’t want to give in to it, didn’t want to admit to whatever else it was that made him want to call her.  in the end he picked up the phone and dialed anyway.  she wasn’t home.  it was nine o’clock at night in new york, too late for her to be at work and too early for her to be asleep, which meant she was somewhere out in the glowing city.  (136)

another of those books i reread every once in a while, and it never disappoints.  man walks into a room is more “traditional,” which isn’t surprising because it’s a first novel, and, maybe, in that way, it’s a little less exciting than krauss’ more ambitious the history of love.  there’s a quietness to man walks into a room, though; in heavier hands, it could have been a, well, heavier story; but krauss is so deft in exploring this idea of loss — and there’s an ease to this slim novel that i think i find rather soothing. 

also, this is still one of my favourite passages ever:

He wanted to shut it off and sit in the dark once and for all, to cup his hand over the phone and say, Tell me, was I the sort of person who took your elbow when cars passed on the street, touched your cheek while you talked, combed your wet hair, stopped by the side of the road in the country to point out certain constellations, standing behind you so that you had the advantage of leaning and looking up? — and so on with a list that would keep her talking through the night. But he didn’t ask because he didn’t know if he wanted the answers. It was better, he felt, had felt from the beginning, not to know. He only wanted to pose the questions, as if just caring enough to ask might give absolution.  (140)

eight.  frankenstein, mary shelley.

'yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; i am alone.'  (223)

frankenstein is one of my favourites overall and also one of my favourite classics.  it’s very … neat, like tidy neat, in the way that i feel some classics tend to be (dracula feels that way to me, too, and even wuthering heights and jane eyre), but it explores the human condition in interesting and, even, frightening ways.  one of the more interesting points in the novel for me is when frankenstein is creating a companion creature and he’s suddenly thinking about the potential consequences of his work, suddenly placing upon himself the greater good of the greater world.  also when he says in his narration, “i was guiltless, but i had indeed drawn down a horrible curse upon my head, as mortal as that of crime.”  (167)  because i couldn’t quite consider frankenstein as being entirely guiltless, but then that makes you wonder what guilt is because, technically — technically — he didn’t do anything wrong.

nine.  i’ll be right there, shin kyung-sook.

"miru writes down everything she eat."  myungsuh answered for her.

everything?  miru ignored my stares and continued writing it all down.

"why do you do that?" i asked.

"because then it feels real," she said.

"what does?"

"being alive."  (110-1)

luckily, this one didn’t have me weeping in public places.  it did bum me out a little, though, because it’s a pretty sombre book, but not in a cumbersome, heavy way.  there’s a lightness to it that keeps pulling you forward, that says that, yeah, the characters in this book were in a hard place and lost a lot, but that, even so, they were still okay.  that, no matter how much things changed, at that moment, they’d still had each other.

it wasn’t a perfect novel, though, and, for much it, i felt like i was being held at arm’s length.  nonetheless, this is a book that’s sat with me, one i want to revisit in a few months because it’s left an impression and i want to come back to it, see how it feels after some time has passed.

also:

"human beings are imperfect.  we are complicated, indefinable by any wise saying or moral.  the guilt, wondering what i’d done wrong, will follow me my whole life like my own shadow.  the more you love someone, the stronger that feeling is.  but if we cannot despair over the things we’ve lost, then what does it all mean?  but … i don’t want that despair to damage your souls."  (professor yoon) (294)

ten.  the night guest, fiona macfarlane.
to put it very bluntly, this was a disappointment.  maybe i’d gone into it with too high expectations because i’d seen favourable reviews floating around at the end of last year, and, when i bought the book at housing works, the guy ringing me up was super ecstatic about it, saying that his co-volunteer had read it and said it was so creepy.  thus my expectations.

it started off promising enough, but, as i kept reading, my interest kept flagging, until i hit the middle of the book and realized i felt nothing for the book, except some anger towards frida.  and then i had a moment of, oh, this book is going to end this way, isn’t it? — and, lo and behold, i was right.  it wasn’t an interesting sort of predictability, either, so, by the end, i was literally just flipping pages just to get to the end.

currently reading jo kyung-ran’s tongue, which is making me all sorts of hungry because the narrator is a chef and the book has thus far been stuffed with these wonderful passages about food.  thinking that maybe in march i’ll try to read modern korean authors because i have a few novellas to read, as well as hwang sok-young’s the old garden, which is a pretty hefty volume, and kim young-ha’s black flower.

also thinking that i really should get on with challenging myself and start reading korean literature … in korean.  i mean, if i really want to get better at this language …..!!!

in case you weren’t aware of how much i love snow.  and winter.  i honestly wouldn’t mind if the weather stayed like it’s been all month — a few intense snow days with sunny, warmer days in-between — because the thought of summer in a few months fills me with dread.

went a-walking around brooklyn bridge park today (though the bottom two photos are from cadman plaza park and pratt), and it was snowing pretty heavily by the time i was about to head into the subway station and mosey back home.  having trust issues with my iphone 5, though, because she keeps shutting down on me even when she’s got tons of battery left (like 70-some%), although i can boot her up again by toggling her power button after waiting a few minutes.  pain in the ass, though, especially because my iphone = my music player = my camera, and those are really the only uses i have for it.  (phone calls?  who makes those???)

yes yes, i know; i should take her in to the apple store, but i bet they’ll just tell me it’s a bad battery, aka please give us $79 to replace it when your battery worked fine until the goddamn ios 7 upgrade.

anyway, woollim’s being good and streaming nell’s christmas concert on youtube tomorrow (february 17, 10 a.m. for folks on the east coast!), so, between snow and nell, the weekend can’t be anything but swell.  (:  helps that there’s progress being made on the writing front, too.  and that my friend brought me a jar of the coconut curry simmer sauce i’m in love with and have been looking for but couldn’t find …!

the storm on monday left new york a veritable winter wonderland.

(winter is best.)

(photos taken in central park during the storm.)

in an attempt to be more on top of my reading this year … (also, lol, books and food, there’s a reason for this — i have a tendency of watching tv while i eat, but i’m trying to get into the habit of reading while i eat instead because, for one, i want to read more this year and, for another, i tend to eat fast as it is, but watching tv makes me eat even faster, while reading makes me slow down.)

january’s usually a good month for reading; the problem is keeping up this momentum through the rest of the year …

one.  the surrendered, chang-rae lee.
so so good.  how does chang-rae lee write about war and its aftermath so well?

two.  on such a full sea, chang-rae lee.
i walked out into the polar vortex to buy this book the day it came out, and never before has my face hurt so much from cold.  i can’t say i was as engrossed by it as i was the surrendered or a gesture life, but i really loved the ending.  and the type — the “g” and “Q” in particular.  unfortunately, riverhead didn’t include a “note on the text” at the end of it, though.

three.  blue is the warmest color, julie maroh.
it’s an interesting experience reading a book after you’ve seen the film adaptation of it, and it’s even more so when you loved the film.  there’s a detail (or plot point?) in the graphic novel i honestly could have done without, and i wonder if i would have felt differently about the graphic novel had i read it first?  because, to be honest, i felt pretty lukewarm about the graphic novel, maybe because i loved how the film ended, whereas i felt like the way the graphic novel was set up was a little abrupt and unnecessarily dramatic.

four.  suicide, edouard leve.
leve’s final book, delivered a few days before he took his own life — it’s impossible not to read this as a suicide note.  this was a slim volume but packed with quiet observations and thoughts and reflections, and i loved how unsensational it was, just this gentle portrait of a man who died by suicide.

five.  never let me go, kazuo ishiguro.
plowed through this after i submitted my new synopsis.  never let me go never loses its impact no matter how many times i read it.

six.  the reason i jump, naoki higashida.
part of me felt uncomfortable reading this, mainly because i felt like i was spectating, because we have a tendency to make Others of people with special needs.  i appreciated how it gave a glimpse into what it’s actually like to be autistic, though, and higashida’s voice is honest and frank and all the more compelling for it.  also, that is a fantastic cover.

in february, i hope to read more by women (currently reading frankenstein again, so we’re off to a good start) and more by authors of colour (planning on picking up i’ll be right there by shin kyung-sook after frankenstein, so we’re going in a good direction).  pretty happy with my reading in january, though, considering everything was written either by a person of colour or in a language other than english.  :3

2013 in literary review!  This is long.  I also proceeded in the order in which I read these books, instead of trying to make some sort of arbitrary order …  Also, there are more quotes in here than in previous years (here are 2011 and 2012).

First Book Read in 2013:  Alice Munro, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

Wrote in my book journal:  “Munro is less about writing/prose than she is about a certain tone/mood she captures. […]  Munro is so fabulous at creating a whole, lived-in world, even in the frame of a short story.”

Favourite stories were “Family Furnishings,” “Nettles,” and “What Is Remembered.”

It seemed to her that this was the first time ever that she had participated in a kiss that was an event in itself.  The whole story, all by itself.  A tender prologue, an efficient pressure, a wholehearted probing and receiving, a lingering thanks, and a drawing away satisfied.

“Floating Bridge” (84)

One of My Favourite Passages Was From Murakami’s South of the Border, West of the Sun:

Yukiko, I love you very much.  I loved you from the first day I met you, and I still feel the same.  If I hadn’t met you, my life would have been unbearable.  For that I am grateful beyond words.  Yet here I am, hurting you.  Because I’m a selfish, worthless human being.  For no apparent reason, I hurt the people around me and end up hurting myself.  Ruining someone else’s life and my own.  Not because I like to.  But that’s how it ends up.  (207)

I blogged about this earlier this year, and to quote myself (har):  “This is such a great summation of what it means to be human, I think.  We don’t mean to hurt people or do wrong, but it can’t be helped because we’re human.  We’re imperfect and sinful and selfish, hopeless, worthless, &c, and the most we can do is the best we can — all we can do is try and recognize that we will fail, but, then, we get up and try again — so, in the end, I did appreciate Hajime’s struggle throughout the novel and how he came out from it.”

(I generally enjoyed this book; it felt more solid and less other-worldly than his other books.) 

Author of the Year:  Banana Yoshimoto

2013 was the year I read Banana Yoshimoto.  I wanted to finish all her books (that have been translated into English) this year, but I’m still working on Amrita, so, unfortunately, I can’t say I quite accomplished that goal, but I got pretty damn close!  Amrita is surprisingly long (for Yoshimoto), and, because it’s my last of her books, I’m taking it a little slower.  Or, you know, I’ve picked up three other books while reading Amrita, so …

Yoshimoto reminds me a lot of Murakami, in that I don’t necessarily find myself that engrossed in their stories/worlds/characters but I’m intrigued enough to keep reading.  And, clearly, I’ve been intrigued enough by Yoshimoto to plow through her backlist, so I’d say that probably says enough in an of itself?

(Favourite Banana Yoshimoto:  Goodbye Tsugumi

I really enjoyed the dynamic between the narrator and Tsugumi in this, and Tsugumi, particularly, cracked me up, her and her digging a hole especially, and I liked the little bits of thoughtful wisdom placed throughout the book.  In general, Goodbye Tsugumi felt very warm and tangible and genuine to me, and, in turn, I felt warm and comforted by it.  That’s generally one thing I love about books personally — they give back as much as I invest into them.

A passage:

Each one of us continues to carry the heart of each self we’ve ever been, of every stage along the way, and a chaos of everything good and rotten.  And we have to carry this weight all alone, through each day that we live.  We try to be as nice as we can to the people we love, but we alone support the weight of ourselves.  (39)

My second favourite Banana Yoshimoto would be The Lake.)

(Favourite Quote from a Banana Yoshimoto is from “Helix” in Lizard:

“Even when I have crushes on other men, I always see you in the curve of their eyebrows.”  (64)

I think that is so bloody fantastic.)

Biggest Disappointment:  Elizabeth Winder, Pain, Parties, Work:  Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953

This could have been great.  Seriously.  The author had a lot of interviews to cull from, and, had it been written better (or maybe even researched better?  I can’t tell), this could have been pretty damn awesome.  Instead, we got a very superficial, surface-skimming book with a lot of quotations and stated facts, and that was that.

I did like this, though:

What strange anxiety did this all trigger in Sylvia?  The precarious nature of her own happiness, the instability of character, persona, identity, even affection.  The instability of identity — how we are seen only one dimension at a time.  Cryilly saw a kindred bluestocking.  Laurie Glazer saw a cultivated beauty.  Ann Burnside saw a caviar-stuffing barbarian.  How we are labeled for our glamour — or lack of it.  That French perfumes were far more important than she even imagined (and Sylvia never doubted their importance).  That if you stand still for a moment the world keeps moving, that sometimes no head will turn despite shiny hair and freshly applied lipstick.  That many of your peers will want less than you, and that you will envy them for that.  (203)

Least Enjoyable:  Haruki Murakami, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

I read this for a Murakami book club, and, while I hated the book, it made for a fun book club discussion because we were polarized — half of us loved the book while the other half hated it; there wasn’t any sort of middle ground.  For me, I think part of it was that the book wasn’t really one thing or another — it was surreal but not?  Or maybe the dream-like world segments were too convoluted?  Although the real world stuff was just as convoluted?  Maybe I just didn’t Get It?

But, I did love this passage:

“No.  Think it over carefully.  This is very important because to believe something, whatever it might be, is the doing of the mind.  Do you follow?  When you say you believe, you allow the possibility of disappointment.  And from disappointment or betrayal, there may come despair.  Such is the way of the mind.”  (351)

In the end, I’ve learned this year that neither surrealism nor magic realism does anything for me — they tend to annoy me, rather.

Quote in Defense of Stories (Because This Is Currently a Sore Subject For Me)

Now, the significance of stories is this.  While many stories are often no more than entertainment, narratives are actually so fundamental to how we think that they determine how we understand to live life itself.  The term “worldview,” from the German word Welternschauung, means the comprehensive perspective from which we interpret all of reality.  But a worldview is not merely a set of philosophical bullet points.  It is essentially a master narrative, a fundamental story about (a) what human life in the world should be like, (b) what has knocked it off balance, and (c) what can be done to make it right.

Timothy Keller, Every Good Endeavor (157)

And, In Relation, an Obligatory Quote from One of Franzen’s

“But Kafka’s about your life!” Avery said.  “Not to take anything away from your admiration of Rilke, but I’ll tell you right now, Kafka’s a lot more about your life than Rilke is.  Kafka was like us.  All of these writers, they were human beings trying to make sense of their lives.  But Kafka about all!  Kafka was afraid of death, he had problems with sex, he had problems with women, he had problems with his job, he had problems with his parents.  And he was writing fiction to try to figure these things out.  that’s what his books are about.  Actual living human beings trying to make sense of death and the modern world and the mess of their lives.”

Jonathan Franzen, The Discomfort Zone (140-1)

(I thoroughly enjoy Franzen’s non-fiction voice.  Part of it is that I feel like his non-fiction voice reads very much like him himself, which, okay, duh, sounds like an obvious thing, but a lot of times there’s a disconnect between a writer and his/her voice, even in non-fiction.  Franzen’s funny, too, or I just have a bizarre sense of humor [you know, it really could be that], but I like his general sort of crankiness and wryness and self-awareness.)

Most Sometimes-There-Is-A-Proper-Time-And-Place-For-Books:  Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot

Eugenides is 2 for 3 in my book!  I first picked up The Marriage Plot when it was first published in 2011, but I couldn’t get past the first 20-some pages because I was in university then, studying comparative literature and surrounded by the same character types depicted in the beginning of the novel.  I picked it up in paperback earlier this year, though, when I was in law school and miserable and unhappy, and, damn, was it a comfort to my soul.

The thing that stood out to me most about The Marriage Plot, though, was how much love Eugenides had for his characters, especially Leonard, and I felt a lot of warmth/love while reading it.  The ending was good, too — not so tightly closed or neatly knotted together but rather realistic and hopeful? 

Favourite Overall:  Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings

I picked The Interestings up on a whim and started reading it on a particularly humid Wednesday in August, ignoring any and all other responsibilities I had because it was too goddamn humid to do anything but read.  I didn’t expect to love it, but I did — I head-over-heels loved it.

It’s rare (in my opinion) to find good books about friendship and, particularly, about friendship in an ensemble way, but The Interestings did so deftly, weaving together these six lives and carrying this friendship through time, which, also, is impressive — but I’d say that what I liked most about The Interestings was that the characters felt thoroughly real to me.  They felt like people to me, people I could know, could come across, and they lived lives that were actual, full lives — these people, these friends, were fleshed out, traveling the trajectories of their individual and, also, entwined lives, and I, as the reader, was there along for the ride.

This passage, in particular, gets me in the heart every single fucking time:

Once, a few years earlier, Jules had gone to see a play at Ash’s theater, and afterward, during the “talkback,” when the audience asked questions of the playwright and of Ash, who’d directed the production, a woman stood up and said, “This one is for Ms. Wolf.  My daughter wants to be a director too.  She’s applying to graduate school in directing, but I know very well that there are no jobs, and that she’s probably only going to have her dreams dashed.  Shouldn’t I encourage her to do something else, to find some other field she can get into before too much time goes by?”  And Ask had said to that mother, “Well, if she’s thinking about going into directing, she has to really, really want it.  That’s the first thing.  Because if she doesn’t, then there’s no point in putting herself through all of this, because it’s incredibly hard and dispiriting.  But if she does really, really want it, and if she seems to have a talent for it, then I think you should tell her, ‘That’s wonderful.’  Because the truth is, the world will probably whittle your daughter down.  But a mother never should.”  (460)

Also, I’m still a little in love with Ethan Figman.

Non-fiction of 2013:  Boris Kachka, Hothouse:  The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America’s Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar, Straus & Giroux

I’m such a sucker for anything related to publishing.

However, while I really, really loved what this book was about, I kind of really, really didn’t care for the writing.  For one, it drove me crazy that Kachka wasn’t consistent with the names — like, he kept hopping between “Roger” and “Straus” and “Straus Jr,” so I was bloody confused from time-to-time exactly which Straus he was referring to.  For another, the writing just seemed really uneven — it wasn’t bad, per se, just … uneven … and it didn’t necessarily detract that much from the reading, but, honestly, I couldn’t not enjoy Hothouse because it was the story of a great publishing house.

My favourite passage from it:

It may have been Straus who, by sheer force of his charm and quickness managed to preserve the company that arguably set the intellectual tone of postwar America.But it was Giroux and Robbins and Vursell and many other underpaid strivers who advised him on what to publish, how to promote it, how to translate it and sell it properly abroad — who, in short, made the company worth preserving.They worked in gloves in the winter when the heat broke down; they jerry-rigged the paper towel roll in the ladies’ room with an oversized dinner fork; they repaired their own desks and bought their own pencils and made sacrifices in their lives that well-born Roger W. Straus, Jr., would never have to make, all for the freedom to publish what they loved, and little else.  (09)

Favourite Poem Because, Yes, Sometimes, I Read Poems, Too:  Ted Hughes, “The Offers,” Howls and Whispers

Ted Hughes is one of two poets from whom I’ve read fairly extensively (the other poet being T.S. Eliot).  I always say I’m going to read more poetry, but the truth is that I probably won’t ever — I used to love poetry when I was young, but my love for poetry died a swift and permanent death early on.

The last few lines are my absolute favourite:

Even in my dreams, our house was in ruins.
But suddenly — the third time — you were there.
Younger than I had ever known you.  You
As if new made, half a wild roe, half
A flawless thing, priceless, facetted
Like a cobalt jewel.  You came behind me
(At my helpless moment, as I lowered
A testing foot into the running bath)
And spoke — peremptory, as a familiar voice
Will startle out of a river’s uproar, urgent,
Close:  ‘This is the last.  This one.  This time
Don’t fail me.’

Fun Fact:  Ted Hughes is distantly related to John Farrar of FSG!

Last Book Read in 2013:  Aleksandar Hemon, The Book of My Lives

Read it.  I’d have more to say about this, but I finished it on 2013 December 31, and I’m still processing it in my head.  But read it.  I highly recommend it.

Going Into 2014 Reading:

-  Chang-rae Lee, The Surrendered
-  Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump
-  Diane Middlebrook, Her Husband:  Hughes and Plath — A Marriage

Looking Forward to in 2014:

-  Chang-rae Lee, On Such a Full Sea (Riverhead, 2014 January 7)
-  Lydia Davis, Can’t and Won’t (FSG, 2014 April 8)
-  Shin Kyung-sook, I’ll Be Right There (Other Press, 2014 May 6)
-  Gong Ji-young, Our Happy Time (Atria Books/Marble Arch Press, 2014 July 1)
-  Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (Random House, 2014 August 12)

a friend asked today why i take photos of food, and i had to pause a second to think about this because taking photos of things i eat/cook/bake has become second nature to me.  i started a number of years ago when i really started baking in earnest as a ways of recording the things i was baking, but, when it comes to the root of things, i’d say the habit is rooted in the ways i store memory.

for me, memory is primarily auditory — a song or a piece of music does much, much more in evoking specific memories in detail than anything else does.  i’m not a visual person really, despite my tendency to obsess over aesthetics and good design, and i’m not really one to take that many photographs of places or people (though sometimes i wish i was; i wish i had more/better photos of japan) — but food — after music, my memory is stored in food.  if i look at a photograph of something i ate, memories of the restaurant, the city, the company come to mind, so i’d say that’s why it’s become a habit, you know, beyond the basic reason that i simply like food, so maybe it makes perfect sense that my memory would work that way.

anyway, i’m flying back to new york city tomorrow morning, and it’s been a pretty packed 8 days.  i saw a lot of people, spent a lot of time with family, and had a pretty damn good time of it.  in the morning, i fly back to new york city, back to reality, back to anxiety because, oh, oh, there’s an agent with my manuscript, and she’s supposed to get back to me this week!

i’m writing a book about dying and, in the same way, about living, so i figured i might as well make a mix because i’m one of those writers who oftentimes needs music to write (and to do most things really) (also, my memory is primarily auditory; i don’t know how that’s relevant).  i don’t know what the point is of posting this if there are no links to music, but, whatever, i spent time (aka 20 minutes?) picking and arranging songs, and look at that “g” — that’s a damn beautifully designed “g.”

01.  metric - dreams so real - synthetica
02.  a fine frenzy - last of days - one cell in the sea
03.  jars of clay - frail - furthermore:  from the studio
04.  barcelona - please don’t go - absolutes
05.  clint mansell - together we will live forever — the fountain
06.  epitone project - 우리의 음악 - 낯선도시에서의 하루
07.  vienna teng - recessional - dreaming through the noise
08.  mika - happy ending - life in cartoon motion
09.  claudio arrau - nocturne no. 1 in b-flat minor - chopin:  the complete nocturnes & impromptus
10.  jaurim - 스물다섯, 스물하나 - goodbye, grief
11.  nell - afterglow - separation anxiety
12.  mot - 클로즈 - 이상한 계절
13.  radiohead - like spinning plates (live) - amnesiac
14.  monni - 레미제라블 (live) - 소년이 어른이 되어
15.  nell - haven - escaping gravity
16.  claudio arrau - clair de lune - the final seasons*

*  i’ve since switched out arrau’s recording for another version of “clair de lune;” his recording was way too languid for my taste.

weekends don’t really get better than this.  vienna teng on friday night, then george saunders and jonathan franzen on saturday.

saunders was well-spoken and very witty, and i’ve got to pick up tenth of december soon.  franzen was everything i expected him to be and more.  (which is kind of cheating because i’ve heard him speak before, so it’s not like there could be much surprise/disappointment.)  signings are always awkward, though, because what does one say at them?  other than thank you for your book and writing i love you kthxbye?

but, hey, maybe the awkwardness is part of the fun … one day, i’ll get farther away signed.  it’s the book i’d really like signed, and i’ve now had two opportunities to get it signed and left it at home both times, so, come on, sir, more appearances, more more!

(i actually took notes at these panels [i take notes everywhere i go], so one day i’ll get around to typing them up, especially because the franzen/shirky panel was really interesting.  lol, i should just type up exactly what i wrote down during it, no edits allowed …)

aausten