2004 Reading List

The Lives of the Muses – Francine Prose (1.1.04)
Prague – Arthur Phillips (1.4.04)
Angels in America: Millennium Approaches – Tony Kushner (1.5.04)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis (1.10.04)
Prince Caspian – CS Lewis (1.11.04)
Angels in America: Perestroika – Tony Kushner (1.12.04)
The Austere Academy – Lemony Snicket (1.12.04)
Disgrace – JM Coetzee (1.14.04)
The Pleasure of My Company – Steve Martin (1.24.04)
In a Sunburned Country – Bill Bryson (1.25.04)
For the Love of Books – Ronald Shwartz (2.1.04)
On Love – Alain de Botton (2.1.04)
Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris (2.15.04)
Publish and Perish – James Hynes (2.22.04)
Evening – Susan Minot (2.29.04)
1066: The Year of the Conquest – David Howarth (3.6.04)
Syrup – Maxx Barry (3.7.04)
On Writing – Stephen King (3.7.04)
Fidelity – Wendell Berry (3.12.04)
The End of the Affair – Graham Greene (3.13.04)
Justine – Lawrence Durrell (3.21.04)
Identity – Milan Kundera (3.22.04)
A World of My Own: A Dream Diary – Graham Greene (3.26.04)
Souvenir of Canada – Douglas Coupland (3.27.04)
Why I Write – Wil Blythe (3.27.04)
Paris to the Moon – Adam Gopnik (4.3.04)
Little Miss Strange – Joanna Rose (4.10.04)
NP – Banana Yoshimoto (4.11.04)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon (4.11.04)
Provence – Lawrence Durrell (4.17.04)
The Broke Diaries – Angela Nissel (4.17.04)
Voyage of the Dawn Treader – CS Lewis (4.17.04)
Down & Out in Paris & London – George Orwell (4.18.04)
The Body Artist – Don DeLillo (4.20.04)
Shopgirl – Steve Martin (4.24.04)
Balthazar – Lawrence Durrell (4.28.04)
The White Album – Joan Didion (5.9.04)
The Silver Chair – CS Lewis (5.9.04)
Invisible Cities – Italo Calvino (5.15.04)
The Horse and His Boy – CS Lewis (5.16.04)
The Magician’s Nephew – CS Lewis (5.16.04)
The Last Battle – CS Lewis (5.18.04)
A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson (5.20.04)
Galatea 2.2 – Richard Powers (5.23.04)
Tales of a Female Nomad – Rita Golden Gelman (5.29.04)
Ghost World – Daniel Clowes (6.3.04)
Blankets – Craig Thompson (6.5.04)
Diary – Chuck Palahniuk (6.7.04)
The Fellowship of the Ring – JRR Tolkien (6.17.04)
The Faith of a Writer – Joyce Carol Oates (6.20.04)
Maus I: My Father Bleeds History – Art Spiegelman (6.20.04)
Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began – Art Spiegelman (6.20.04)
David Boring – Daniel Clowes (6.20.04)
The Two Towers – JRR Tolkien (6.26.04)
The Return of the King – JRR Tolkien (7.5.04)
The Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac (7.6.04)
Rape: a Love Story – Joyce Carol Oates (7.11.04)
Eleven Minutes – Paulo Coelho (7.13.04)
Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan – Jamie Zeppa (7.20.04)
Reunion – Alan Lightman (7.20.04)
Stranger than Fiction – Chuck Palahniuk (7.24.04)
Clumsy – Jeffrey Brown (7.24.04)
The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes – Neil Gaiman (7.24.04)
Dance for Two – Alan Lightman (7.25.04)
Box Office Poison – Alex Robinson (7.27.04)
The Crow – J O’Barr (7.30.04)
Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs – Chuck Klosterman (8.1.04)
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress – Dai Sijie (8.6.04)
Wine & War – Donald & Petie Kladstrup (8.15.04)
The End of the Affair – Graham Greene (9.11.04)
The Lover – Marguerite Duras (9.20.04)
Jar of Fools – Jason Lutes (9.27.04)
In the Shadow of No Towers – Art Speigelman (10.12.04)
Wolves of the Calla – Stephen King (10.23.04)
The Confessions of Max Tivoli – Andrew Sean Greer (10.28.04)
Death: The High Cost of Living – Neil Gaiman (10.30.04)
Summer Blonde – Adrian Tomine (11.6.04)
Song of Susannah – Stephen King (11.8.04)
The Dark Tower – Stephen King (11.24.04)
An Underachiever’s Diary – Benjamin Anastas(12.6.04)
The Sheltering Sky – Paul Bowles (12.18.04)
Carnet de Voyage – Craig Thompson (12.19.04)
Owly – Andy Runton (12.22.04)
BOP! – Alex Robinson (12.25.04)
Same Difference and Other Stories – Derek Kirk Kim (12.25.04)
SUE 6: The Ersatz Elevator – Lemony Snicket (12.25.04)


This feels like the end of an era, and the beginning of one.

Yesterday was my last day in my spiderhole corporate office, dealing with insurance and stupidity and corporate bullshit. Last night I drank with my friends from Aroma, celebrating Christmas and friendship and the end of my job. And today I am only a student.

This year has been filled with so much heartache, and so much joy. A friend described it as being “a good year, with some ‘stuff'”. In many ways I am still so broken, and still finding my way – but I am so much happier with the person I am this year. And that has to count for something.

And so we come to the end of all things – and the beginning. Happy 2005, dears.

holiday blah blah

Black Velvet brewing in the kitchen, snow tumbling haphazardly through the white morning sky, stockings hung by the chimney with care. Somewhere in this house two siblings sleep, one sibling is trying his best at self-restraint to avoid the presents (though he has counted them all), and my parents are about the business of Christmas brunch. The puppy has charmed us all because her formerly upright ears have decided to flop – I said it’s a Christmas miracle!

I was going to send out a mass email, but I’ll let this suffice. Merry Christmas, friends. My love to you all.

I am very cold, and more tired than I think I even realize. It was – an odd weekend. I’m really scatterbrained tonight, and I want to make sense of things here, but it’s just not happening. Instead, some highlights:

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events on Friday with Shawn – much better than I expected (feared?) – imbued with a lushness I can’t really describe.
  • The creepiest email I have ever received, period.
  • A Yule brunch at Mel’s, where I was the odd man out but had a lovely time anyway. Mimosas + cute kittens + good food + nice people = a v nice afternoon.
  • Carnet de Voyage, read in its entirety at work over the last two days – I can’t tell you precisely why it moved me so deeply. I wish I could.
  • Bar-hopping, pool, and video photo hunt with the Aroma crew – so good to just be out with friends – even if I am the worst pool player ever, I did kick some serious ass at photo hunt.
  • Writing $500 in checks for bills, which should bring my debt to zero (my paycheck too).
  • Buying preserved lemons for dinner, and being regarded as if I had a second head.
  • Two hours of chess with Dave – and still making more in tips during those two hours ($4 each) than Nicolette and I did during our six hour Tuesday night shift ($3.65 each).
  • Nearly totally melting down before dinner as things weren’t turning out right – then having the Lebanese lemon chicken from Jamie’s Kitchen turn out to be the best thing I’ve made or tasted in a long time.I hope the winter days are treating you kindly, my dears.
  • You know what I love? Those moments that are less than perfect. You know, when you lean in for a kiss but she turns her head and you get her ear instead of her cheek. When you answer the phone and the person on the other end is doing something so ridiculous and charming that you can’t help but laugh. When you’re telling a story and realize you’re boring the other person, but push on anyway because you’re having so much fun with it. I love the awkwardness, the fumbling, the ways we make ourselves ridiculous when we’re trying too hard.

    That’s what I want, you know? A lifetime of trying too hard, of fumbling around, of love that’s like laughter. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

    awash in christmastastery

    Last night Sarah and I baked cookies and made my apartment Christmastastic. I don’t have room for a tree, so we hung my ornaments from wide blue and silver sparkly ribbons – and it makes me smile so much to see the ornaments that hung on my family’s tree back home hanging in my window – to see the pretty things I’ve collected along the way sparkling in the doorway. When we were younger, my brother used to put his stuffed shark in the Christmas tree to get “Christmas spirit.” Somehow having all these pretty things up reminds me of years past, and is making me look forward to spending the holiday with my family.

    In other news, and mainly just for fun, Dave Barry speaks out about red and blue states.

    You know what I miss about being in a relationship? I miss that half-awake and half-asleep talking in bed. I miss messy hair and warm bodies and random conversations and drifting in and out of sleep.

    It’s been such a good week, and I’m all aglow with possibility. Right now, though, this two-jobs business is wearing on me, and I could really use a nap.

    So you know that assistantship? The one with the in-the-works library school consortium? The one working with people I know to be fun and cool? The one that will be both challenging and rewarding and will look very, very good on a CV? The one that pays more than my soul-sucking spider hole job? You know, that one?

    I got it.