L’chaim, Fatass

It’s been a busy few weeks both here in the now and back in 1984. I realize that I haven’t been keeping up with my weekly chart rundown so I’ll just go through some of the highlights as we pick up mid-March 30 years ago.

thegovernmentinspector081The beginning of March 1984 was an important time for me. I was in a play. At school. It was The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol and I played the part of the Judge. A solid character role. Certainly not the star but responsible for bringing home a couple of big laughs, nonetheless. We even had some girls from the girls’ school in the play with us. I loved everything about being in a play. Everything except the makeup and the glued on facial hair. I didn’t like that part at all. We performed in the school drama studio on Thursday evening, March 1, 1984 and then subsequently on Friday night and twice on Saturday because of the matinee. I was conflicted. I stayed with a family near school so that I wouldn’t have to drive on Friday night or Saturday, but nothing felt right about the experience even if I wasn’t yet strictly observant in my own life. Continue reading

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Yo Yo Yiggity Yo

Three nights in Barcelona. Three different kosher restaurants. Who knew? Truth is, I don’t usually eat out every night. There were extenuating circumstances. Kinda.

Day 1 – Delicias

I ate here last year. I thought it was the only kosher restaurant in Barcelona and I was going to save it for the middle of the week. I was planning on going back to my apartment after the first day of the show and settle in with some tuna, some crackers, some salt and vinegar crisps and a chunky Kit Kat. But then I waited over 90 minutes for a taxi despite starting at the sign that said “30 minutes from here”. Continue reading

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Good Soldier, Good Soldier

Bunked off yoga as I’m still trying to shake this respiratory infection. Antibiotics seem to have kicked in although I’m still getting those coughing fits twice a day where my visual aperture shrinks to a dot and all I can hear is buzzing. It’s fine if I’m clinging to something solid. Less fine if I’m driving.

Let’s play… cultural catchup.


1goldfinch.JPGI finally finished The Goldfinch laid up in bed on shabbat morning. If I read professionally instead of for pleasure I’m sure I could pick it to pieces. Tartt is still deeply clinical and detached and she probably tries a little bit too hard to squeeze her detached characters into the thing other writers call “plot”. But I don’t read professionally. I read purely for pleasure and for the third time, in as many novels, over a period of twenty years, Ms Tartt has given me nothing but pleasure. It’s a book about Art and Death. If that doesn’t sound like your thing then I have nothing left to recommend it. I liked it very much.

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Galloping Home

Diary entry for Monday February 13, 1984:

Andropov’s funeral tomorrow. Diana, the princess that is, is having another baby. I reckon it’ll be a girl called Rachael or something pretty like that.

Nostrodamus, I ain’t.


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Me and Julia

So, we tried to go to the cinema motzash, but there were no tickets left when we got there. For Nebraska. Which surprised me. I kinda loved Alexander Payne’s last movie The Descendants and I have big, big love for Election. So it was a shame not to get into his latest. Maybe next week.


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It’s Iowa

This morning on my way to the car I passed a tennis ball. On the ground. I’ve never really played tennis, but I do love a tennis ball. I like throwing them and I like catching them.

tennis ball

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Can’t You See I’m Burning Burning?

Publishers like genres. It tells them how they should market the books on their lists and it also helps them set expectations. Genre was the reason Jo Rowling was told she’d never receive a penny beyond her advance for her first book as kids’ books aren’t big sellers.

I won’t say that I like the idea of segregating books by genre, but I can respect the intent of an author to adhere to specific tropes as long as they advance the reader’s understanding and don’t just signify laziness. Continue reading

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