This Must Be the Place

I hate anything that confirms my cynicism. That’s why I am always wary of anyone whose outlook is even bleaker than mine. One of my favorite filmmakers is Darren Aronofsky, a man who, as of this writing, has yet to make a single film that is not incredibly depressing. After seeing The Wrestler with a couple friends, one of them asked me if we could see something more upbeat next time. Truth be told, I barely even noticed what a downer it was. To me, it was just a beautifully-made movie about a man whose sad life only gets sadder and sadder. How it did not win a boxful of Oscars, I will never understand.

The most difficult part about downtime is figuring out what to do next. I had a very busy week, and now that my weekend has just begun (I have no classes or work on Friday), I have no idea what to do with myself. It’s like you climb up a hill and start down the other side, eventually moving so fast that you have no idea how you’ll stop. There is just so much stuff that I need/want to do, and there is no way that I will get around to all of it soon. I’m kind of tired of people telling me that my problems are all first world problems. I got very angry a few days ago when I found that at least a dozen audiobooks I wanted to listen to were available for download from the New York Public Library, but only in a format that is incompatible with my mp3 player. I’m just trying to find a way to stimulate my mind while I’m making copies and shelving books at my job. Is that really something that poor people don’t have to worry about? I suspect quite a few factory employees during the Industrial Revolution would have loved to have some music to listen to. I’m just trying to make use of what I’ve got. No matter who or where you are, it is always difficult to feel as if you are not operating at your peak of potential.

So with that out of the way, let’s talk about Doctor Who. I’m still not sure why sci-fi/fantasy automatically feels like comfort food to me. Sometimes, I like to read stories set in the real world that feature non-magical, non-futuristic beings just dealing with their problems and being people. But somehow, that always feels like more work. I guess genre fiction has an inherently escapist appeal that the “literary” stuff lacks. When I was studying English as an undergrad, I realized not too long after declaring my major that I hadn’t even attempted to read a great many established literary classics. So I made a list that I have long since abandoned, the first two items on which were Lolita and 1984. I read them that summer and liked them both a lot, although I’m not really sure if 1984 would stand up to multiple readings. It seems like the sort of thing the meaning of which is plain right from the get-go. So I try not to divide everything up into high-minded art and nerdy pulp. The divide between the two gets more permeable with each passing year.

A few months ago, I talked about my policy on gift-giving, which is that if I buy something for someone (which happens occasionally), I buy them something I think they would like that I don’t think they have. In this respect, I take after my mother, I suppose. When I told my parents that they could get me whatever they wanted for my birthday, but that there were three items that I had my eye on, my father ordered those three items from Amazon and had them shipped to me. I knew he was going to do that. I told them they could get me whatever they wanted, even if it was just a card, but parents are parents. My mother calls me once a week to check up. My father hasn’t called in a while. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. I still don’t think he’s gotten it into his head that, as my father, he needs to be more, well, supportive. When I wished him a happy birthday, I told him that I hoped he felt wiser, not just older. He replied that he felt older, and spent most of his time worrying about my siblings and me. That really isn’t something I need to hear. Then again, maybe I was asking for it.

I need a vacation. Of course, spring break is coming up, but even then, that is likely to be a working vacation. I have a job that I would like to work in some extra hours at, and I need to stop asking around about what full-time jobs I might be cut out for post-graduation and start actually applying for them. And my wardrobe collapsed about a month ago and I ordered another one, but still haven’t found the time to construct it. It’s way up on my list of priorities, but still not quite at the top. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time dicking around on the internet over this past day or so, so maybe I’m making up for my lack of time off by fucking around in moderation. I don’t have much else to say for now, except that Game of Thrones is a really addictive series, and at this rate, I will not be able to maintain my policy of reading each book before seeing the corresponding season of TV. It’s a shame, as that made me feel so literate. I’ve started reading classic mysteries lately, and my take on Agatha Christie is that you might be able to guess the killer in her stories if you look for the most dramatically appropriate character rather than trying to put the clues together. Whodunits are crazy that way.


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