Tags: sodom and gomorrah

Sea dragon

Somewhat better. "I absolutely must marry Albertine."

It was pointed out that 1) I am still sick and 2) I am likely tired, and that these things are probably not doing anything to lighten my spirits. And I have been fed now (thanks to wechsler for coming over and making us spaghetti carbonara, and saving my bacon, as it were) and am lolling about and I feel better. I don't really feel up to dealing with the lease quite yet. He also brought over sleeping bags for our trip, for which I am quite grateful.

OH! I just finished Proust volume 5 (or whatever), Sodom and Gomorrah. What a relief to not be carrying that big thing around with me anymore! The book was mostly about people's personal foibles, how they lie to other people (or try to mislead them) and imagine no one can tell. It was very enjoyable, as all of the other volumes of Remembrance of Things Past have been. Next stop, The Prisoner and the Fugitive, of which I am STILL in search of a hardbound volume (new Penguin edition only, the Vintage one is available but not the translation I want). As usual, I will take a break between this and starting the next, but it is my hope that I will indeed finish the entire work (two volumes to go) by the end of the year. (The last four pages of this book probably bear re-reading as they feel like one of those big build-ups he's had in the other novels, but this done just didn't hit me as hard as the one caused by the madeleines and the one that ended with him getting slapped in the face. Was it just not such a big event, or was I just not receptive to what he was saying?)

For some reason I was missing my house today.

I am going to be lazy and not take a shower tonight or tomorrow morning. I will use that time to do more sleeping instead.
Sea dragon

Update on Proust's Sodom and Gomorrah

I have, sadly or amusingly, finished two books already this year. Sodom and Gomorrah, unfortunately, is not one of them. And, well, I haven't really been much up for reading it in the last week. That said, I'm at page 444, 70 away from the end, and not the least bit closer to getting a hardback copy of the Penguin new translation of The Prisoner and the Fugitive. What, did every library in the world buy a copy before it went out of print, and now no one will let go of theirs? Is a hardback copy of this novel just not an impulse purchase? Me, I need a copy I can carry around for five months or so and paperback just isn't cutting it. I don't want to hear any BS about US copyright law* keeping me from getting one, I just want the freaking book!

Oh yeah, and here's my schedule for the week. Key element: do nothing after work.

Sunday: nap sporadically, fetch things for shadowdaddy, drink hot toddies.
Monday: work, come home, see how shadowdaddy is doing.
Tuesday: work, come home, let wechsler make dinner for us.
Wednesday: work, come home, REALLY hope this cold is on its way out. Maybe see a movie across the street.
Thursday: work, come home, pack.
Friday: work, panic about trip, possibly go to birthday party. Please let the cold be over.
Saturday: er, leave on trip. This will be interesting ...

*It's sold out in England but hasn't even made it to the printers in the US, in case you care, and probably you don't.
Sea dragon

Back to the grind; Proust update; general update

Everyone's back in the office. There are bugs that need to be fixed on live, the build is late, and some of the websites are having problems. Same old, same old, you know? But butterbee is leaving. It's going to be quiet without her around - she had made the house quite sparkly for the last two weeks. She was a great Christmas present. :-)

I talked to the CTO while I was getting settled this morning and he said RBI officially supports people going to conferences, and I just needed to get a costs sheet written up. So I'll be doing that soon. I'm excited about the idea of getting to present a paper - that will be cool!

I picked Proust back up this morning after a break of at least two weeks. I'm at page 405 of Sodom and Gomorrah - just 105 pages left to go, and then two more novels. I'm hoping to get it done before the end of the year. It was cool seeing Proust's Paris - his bedroom, the Bois du Boulogne, the streets his characters strolled down, paintings of the people he knew (and fictionalized). I've found Paris' architecture quite boring in the past (Belle Epoque is not my thing), but my eyes were refreshed this trip. With luck I'll get to see Cabourg this summer, too, and then "Illiers-Combray" (renamed to include his fake name, isn't it funny? - like Truth or Consequences, New Mexico).

I want to go up the street and get a copy of the book The Victorians I passed on before Christmas, as the bookseller was closed right after New Year's (still). But I also need to go get my new credit card and cash card (aren't I looking forward to seeing them again?). And ... I'm still sick, so I'm moving slowly. We'll see what I manage to accomplish.
reading is fun-damental

The new year, a new goal, the new book list

First: Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris, does anyone have a copy they can lend me?

Second: Thanks to finishing Queueing for Beginners (a great gift about various quotidian elements of English culture, bathtubgin, thanks so much! - and, does anyone want to borrow it?), I managed a record breaking 37 books this year. I've, as usual, got about 8 books on the burner right now - Connie Willis' Water Witch, Robin McKinley's Dragon Haven, Proust's Sodom and Gomorrah, the second Jasper Fforde book, a few short story collections, etc. - so there's no telling what I'll finish first.

My goals for the year (as tracked in the sidebar of my journal) for reading will be to 1) finish the entirety of Remembrance of Things Past (need to buy "The Sweet Cheat Gone" and "Time Regained" though) and 2) to read 40 books. Thanks to the Proust, the other 37 books are likely to be somewhat light, but I've got four Charlaine Harris books waiting for me and every intention of buying the ones I didn't get before, so I've got a head start in that direction! Who'd think I'd develop a taste for fluffy detective novels?
snow

Getting near to the solstice now. Proust

I was feeling grumpy about being up before the sun rose, but the clouds in the sky just turned into cherry frosted blueberry ripple, so now I feel better.

Ooh, and the river's gone from murk brown/grey to "blushing," just like a ripe peach. I like that.

Proust is at page 347 - he's been at "the little circle's" salon, at Mme. Vedurin's rented country home near Balbec. People have been making fun of each other in a rather mean way. I find it hard to understand why anyone would choose such company.

After having read a bit more of Alain de Botton's How Proust Can Change Your Life, I'm noticing Proust's total and complete avoidance of commonly used phrases (i.e. "raining cats and dogs"). Now it's a bit of a game for me, to see, when he goes into one of his bizarre little descriptive noodles, what the easily available description for what he's discussing would have been.
Sea dragon

A little more Proust; a little too much drag queen solo show

Sodom and Gomorrah is steadily marching on. I'm at page 308 right now. Our Hero is at a dinner party with "the faithful" (originally introduced in Swann in Love) at a country home called La Raspeliere, and I'm about to get to watch a man attempt to not be introduced to a woman he promised her arch enemy he'd never make the acquaintance of.

The evening got off to a rather stressful start when I went to get some money for dinner and realized I'd very much like to be paid tomorrow, if not yesterday, but thankfully, Miss booklectic repaid her theater ticket in yummy food for me (Ooze on Goodge Street, a risotto restaurant and clearly the best named joint I've seen in ages) so I was covered. We had a really pleasant conversation over our plates of gooey delish, and I realized I was quite lucky to get a night alone with her and the pleasure of a private visit.

Then it was off to The Drill Hall for Bitchslapped by God. Well, perhaps it might have been a good show, and I think the actor (Everett Quinton) was more than competent, but watching him play, I don't know, some eight different characters, plus dancing puppets doing a jazz Nutcracker, animated dolls re-enacting some kind of Snidely Whiplash/Polly Pureheart drama, and a trio of cutout faces which he used to play a series of elves having a chat with Mrs. Claus was just a bit overwhelming. He went too quickly from one charactter to the next (just basically turning around and addressing the air where he was just standing) and wasn't really capturing the differences between the "characters." It was some kind of anti-war thing (black helicopters snatching away participants in the Million Santa March), but ... well, it just wasn't coherent. Or interesting. In fact, I was kind of dozing off. When intermission rolled around, I dashed away as quickly as I could, feeling guilty about leaving booklectic behind, but ... well, closing eyes are a sure sign it's time to call it a night.

And now I'm home and I think, rather than staying up drinking wine until 11:30, I'm going to hit the sack a bit earlier tonight.
Proust book

Proust update: and other reading notes

Well, I've made it to page 232, despite not taking Sodom and Gomorrah with me to Lisbon this weekend. (Of course, Sodom and Gomorrah travel with me everywhere I go, but that's a different matter.) He's just finished a major attempt to screw with his girlfriend's head. Wow, telling someone that you like someone else and and you want to break up with them so you can make them like you more, is this tactic really so old? A slightly clipped quote from page 224:

All I was doing was to make more apparent the binary rhythm that love assumes in all who are too unsure of themselves to believe that a woman can ever love them, and also that they can truly love her. [It's a problem for many other people ....] Their sense of their own instability even increases their mistrust as to whether this woman, by whom they would like so much to be loved, loves them. Why should chance so order it, that we should be the object of those [desires] that she feels?

I also finally finished Connie Willis's Light Raid, which was a real treat (not a meal but a tasty sandwich). She wrote another book with this author, and I'll have to see about picking that up, too.

I am not awake yet.

Tonight I'm going to see Tsai Ming Liang's Rebels of the Neon God with shadowdaddy at the BFI at 6:20 - anyone else want to go?
Proust book

Proust update and request for book

Proust is at page 176 (Sodom and Gomorrah). He's in Balbec (St. Malo) right now, moping about his grandmother being dead. Reading it makes me miss my grandmother, but I wasn't a self-absorbed jerk like he was when she died so I didn't just get hit with it a year later. I'd put in a quote from the book only as I'm at work I must be brief - just ramping up for the day and I've been distracted by getting a "your mailbox is over its size limit" email.

Also, I discovered last night that I've been toting around a copy of The Eyre Affair for a while now - a pretty, American trade paperback. That said, I'd really like to get my hands on Volume 2 as I'm in dire need of a bit of light reading to counterbalance the Proust. Does anyone out there have Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde?
Proust book

Proust update: and living in the now

It's a completely gorgeous day and I was unable to resist the desire to go outside during my lunch break. shadowdaddy was accomodating and met me at Coptic Street, in front of the British Museum (because I like the idea of there being a Coptic Street, and it meant less pedestrian traffic for both of us). We eventually made it to Gluttons sandwich shop at 55 Goodge street, which appears to not just make their own sandwiches but to likely make their own bread as well, a la my beloved Bakemans. I got a coronation chicken sandwich, and it is indeed quite good, apparently a curried chicken salad. Yum!

We noticed, however, that in the street across the way (Goodge Place), there's a little set of trucks selling food to go, including (yay!) a(n almost genuine) taco truck. The options were Chinese, Thai, crepes, Mexican, and ... I don't know, something else, but it all looked GREAT and I'm sorry we'd already bought our food as £3.50 for Thai takeaway is totally my price.

In news Proustian, I'm at page 135, and our protagonist has succeeded not just in leaving a party but also in making a jerk out of himself in trying to get a girl to come over and visit him. To think he's going to wind up marrying her!
Morning cuppa

"I wake up in the morning, stumble out of bed ..."

Proust (Sodom and Gomorrah) is currently at page 72. Anyone want to borrow my Mark Gatiss Devil in Amber?

I feel a bit disoriented being at work today. I think part is the fact of the six day week with mad rush the five days before the Saturday; and then there's the fact I released my first product to live and I'm supposed to turn immediately around and start to work on the one that's going out in November. I haven't really had time to catch my breath and I'm not sure what to do first, write test cases (that are all supposed to be done, only I didn't have enough time the first time), finish my test report (it was supposed to be done Friday before we went live, only no one ever has time to do it then), or start testing the new project, which is sitting around waiting for me this very minute. I guess I'll try to do everything, somehow.

I haven't heard from my sister for more than a month. Time for a call or something.

Movie tonight, Asphalt, a 1920s silent, at the NFT. Hopefully my date will be well enough to go with me - anyone want to sign up to be a backup?