Sunday, September 27, 2009

In memory of my grandpa, Stanley Cozart.

September 27, 1920 — September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reading Solution Passage by Clark Coolidge. After about 20 pages I'm thinking, OK, I get it. Mildly interesting. Getting kind of bored now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


From this here interview:

Abby Ellin: I worry–as a writer, and as a reader–that we should be telling stories about other people rather than about ourselves; that the confessional/memoir is not too easy an out for those of us who suffer from writer’s block.

Stephen Elliott: To be a writer is to be indulgent. Art is indulgent, narcissistic. Those are not fair criticisms. Was Hemingway self-indulgent? Sylvia Plath? Charles Bukowski? Jack Kerouac? Yes. They were all self-indulgent. Sitting around cafes writing on napkins or beer coasters. But I’m glad for the art they created.

It’s a common misperception that for some reason we should be telling stories about other people instead of ourselves. It’s completely wrong because it overlooks the most important person, the reader. Writing a book without accessing your experiences is like building a house without a hammer. The person living in the house doesn’t care whether or not you used a hammer. She only cares if the roof leaks. The book is no more or less valuable because the writer is present within the text. It’s a false concern. It’s like when we were adolescents and we couldn’t wait to denounce our favorite band. It’s not really about anything. It’s just bitter cynicism. And it’s irrelevant.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I have finished reading Blue and Red Things, by Laura Solomon

I like this book. 10 down, 140 to go.

Soul Coughing – Circles

What were you doing nine years ago? I was listening to this song and the album it comes from almost every day during my freshman year of college.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saw Big Fan tonight. Patton Oswalt was completely at home in a "serious" movie. The director was supposed to talk to us after the movie, but he was a no-show. That would have been the third time I've seen the director of a movie talk to the audience after the movie. Miranda July and Sally Potter were the other two. The Angelika was surprisingly uncrowded for a Saturday night during the school year. Still can't figure that out. Puzzling. I want to see The Baader Meinhof Complex, which is also playing there. I couldn't help thinking of blogs and comment wars while watching Big Fan, which is about one of those guys who calls in to those radio sports shows that are apparently on at all hours of the day and night in New York. For some reason I also, after the movie, thought of Port Authority, how going there to catch a bus is vaguely embarrassing, like visiting a relative in jail. I was walking around after the movie feeling like I was still in the movie, which is a feeling I often have after seeing a good movie but which was especially strong in this case because the movie takes place in present day New York, which is where and when I live, so there was no real "shock back into reality" that usually happens after a movie. I ate at Metro Diner on West 100th, which I've never been to before. Nice-looking. Food was okay. I'm not that crazy about burgers anymore, but I keep eating them because they're usually the cheapest thing, even when deluxe. There was a grey-haired woman in the next booth who looked just a little familiar, like an actress I might have seen. Pretty. Late 40s? Hard to tell. The grey hair looked purposeful. She had an Olivia Williams kind of face. It really felt like fall tonight. Right on time, I guess. Here's Patton Oswalt doing comedy, which is what he's known for:

Friday, September 18, 2009

John Hawkes is still dead. Happy 50th, John Hawkes.

still alive

Have you not seen Deadwood? If not, go to your Netflix account (start a Netflix account if you need to) and just rent the f---ing thing you f---ing c---sucker. (And you might as well add Me and You and Everyone We Know, from which the above still is taken, while you're at it.)

not so much

Jim Shepard appreciates at The Rumpus. I appreciate in my own way, by, and through, reading The Blood Oranges.

Lloyd Cole – Jennifer She Said

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No shower this morning. Accidentally got an extra half-hour of sleep. Almost six hours total. So that's nice, even though my hair is matted down. That's how I got the name Matt. I was named just this morning. Apparently the president was in the neighborhood the other day. I think so. A lot of streets were blocked off when I went to get lunch and people were lining up along the barricades as if in anticipation of some kind of, how do you say, motorcade. Yesterday there was apparently some kind of election type thing, which I didn't realize until someone on the street tried to get me to vote for someone. Why is there an election in September? Why does nobody tell me anything? In New York there is an office called "Comptroller". I have no idea what this is, but it's an interesting word. I wandered into Barnes and Noble last night and Salman Rushdie was there, giving a reading. The quintessential 80s sound would have to be Bananarama. Listening to this music is more pleasurable than the music itself. I have no interest in New York politics.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just finished watching Synecdoche, New York. I think I wasn't as blown away by it as I expected to be, considering how blown away I was by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, and Being John Malkovich. It's very sad, hard to follow, more serious and quiet than his previous movies. I'll probably see it again, but probably not soon. I was probably expecting something else, which isn't the movie's fault. Knowing what it is going in, I might like it better next time. You know what it's like when you nod off during a movie (any movie) and each time you snap back awake you can't quite figure out what's going on in the movie, the movie seems to be pulling away from you, unaware that it's being watched by you? That's kind of how I felt watching this, and I was wide awake the whole time. That kind of thing happens in David Lynch movies. That's fine. Maybe you just have to be in the right mood. I'm listening to Steve Reich right now. One of my roommates got taken away, I assume to the hospital, tonight by like six cops who came to check on him after someone sent them to check on him. I was watching the series finale of King of the Hill. I didn't answer the door when the police knocked because I pretty much never answer the door. I'm paranoid. My fear of the sound of someone knocking on my door borders on a phobia. If I knew it was the police, sure, I would open the door, but all I heard was loud, seemingly angry but of course merely prudently forceful knocking. Anyway one of my other roommates answered the door. A little later they had my sick roommate out on the landing, where I think some EMTs also were. Then they all left. Now I'm listening to Steve Reich because one of my other roommates who wasn't here for the excitement and still hasn't been told about it just got home with his girlfriend, and I'm listening to Steve Reich on headphones because I don't want to have to listen to my roommate's girlfriend have sex with my rooommate, as they do several nights a week, causing me to feel many complicated and unwanted thoughts. I did laundry today. I thought about cleaning the bathroom but then the excitement happened, and I guess I changed my mind. I will do it tomorrow. We need some cleaning supplies though. Lysol and something for the clogged tub drain. That Liquid Plumr Foaming Pipe Snake thing worked in the tub at my old apartment. It's never worked for me in a sink but hopefully it will work in the tub. The sink is doing okay for now. If I can fix the tub I won't feel bad about not doing anything about the sink when the time eventually comes, which it will. I think I was disappointed when Catherine Keener disappeared from the movie. Love her. Reminds me of Kim Deal. The Colts won today. The women's final was on ESPN2. The Deuce. I don't even get the original, and even if I had cable I still wouldn't get the original, since Time Warner for some reason doesn't carry it here. I guess I'll watch COPS now. At least I got something done today (laundry). Seems weird to italicize COPS.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Well it appears the rain screwed up the tennis even more than I knew. I don't know what's going on now. There will be some on later today. King of the Hill ends tonight apparently without much ceremony.

Went to the Coney Island Museum to see Night of the Living Dead last night. The room smelled like very old things. All kinds of artifacts. Always thought there was something creepy about early 20th century amusements. Even the comic strips and cartoons of the time are disturbing. But cool.

I think I prefer the less-is-more kind of horror movie. I did think it was interesting that they never mention the word zombie. Maybe they don't mention the word zombie in other zombie movies either. I haven't seen any so I wouldn't know. I also had fun imagining Lyndon Johnson meeting with his cabinet to discuss the zombie problem. They don't mention Lyndon Johnson either, just "the president". I guess that's the normal way to do it in these kinds of movies.

I think I'm reading at least twenty novels now. That really is too many. I should try to limit it to ten.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I have finished reading Indiana, Indiana, by Laird Hunt

I don't know why it took me so long (ten months)—oh yeah, it involved unreasonably (for me) short loan periods (three weeks, with three renewals allowed)—but I finally finished this. Highly recommended.

9 down, 141 to go.

I'm going to Coney Island for the first time ever today. My throat is still kind of sore. Just realized I'll miss the women's final, unless it gets rained out, which is possible. I always seem to miss the women's final. That's what they get for holding it on a Saturday night though. Right now they're showing the 2005 men's final between Federer and Agassi. They're showing it because they're on a rain delay. I need to bathe and eat a peanut butter sandwich and watch Lost.

Not to sound xenophobic, but I think the German practice of not indenting paragraphs in books is ugly, confusing, sick, and wrong.

At this time of the year in 2005 I had recently started working at the Bakehouse as a dishwasher. Hurricane Katrina had just happened. I have a cousin named Katrina. I somewhat wish it was still 2005, but a lot of good things have happened since 2005 that I would hate to have missed out on. I was 23 years old then. Now I'm 27. I wish that everything good that has happened since 2005 had still happened but that I was still 23 now. That would be ideal.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Celebration of the Work of Swiss Writer Robert Walser - Bookworm on KCRW

From the Bookworm site:

"With Susan Bernofsky, translator of The Assistant (New Directions), Deborah Eisenberg and Wayne Koestenbaum

The great (and virtually unknown) Swiss writer Robert Walser influenced Kafka and inspired Hermann Hesse. In this tribute, three writers read, discuss and worship Walser, a writer who is like a mouse that roared—small and fragile but out-of-this-world outrageous."