newest entry 2003-08-01 9:56 a.m.

It is not those who lack energy or refrain from action, but those who work without expectation of reward who attain the goal of meditation. Theirs is true renunciation.

--Bhagavad Gita 6:1-2

My reluctance to return to work last Monday has evolved into a hopeful, mildly glowing enthusiasm. I was immersed in a project this week for which I had to interact with others in a creative way, and those people were people I respect, who seem to respect me.

This made a big difference in my attitude. Right before I left for vacation (and during it, since I was keeping in touch via e-mail) I was on a project with a team who are sorta clueless and frustrating to work with, and who are happy to let me do all the work but then not listen to me when I tell them that something about the overall process needs to be changed.

And when I'm not on either project, I'm toiling way in my cubicle, a free-floating particle with no cause to speak with anyone, which is kinda lonely. The loneliness gets to me.

After finishing Appointment in Samarra (which had a weird ending but which was good enough to spark an interest in O'Hara's other books), I read The Pharmacist's Mate.

It's a very slight book, length-wise more like a novella, and it was originally published by McSweeney's, which will give you a clear idea of its overall tone and style.

It's touching and insightful, and even earnest. It has some great moments, and a lot of good stuff about recently deceased parents, and about trying to have a baby.

If you don't have the patience for self-consciousness and cuteness in your authors, though, or if you mutter under your breath when you see lots of very short paragraphs and sentences that start with "And..." and "Because..." and "Ha, ha," then you may want to look elsewhere for your literary needs, and I wouldn't look askance at you.

As you can see, I'm a little torn myself. I understand the lo-fi aesthetic, but when it infests literature, I get a little annoyed. I'm old-skool when it comes to books. It takes more effort to present a coherent thought than it does to have a good idea and just blurt it out conversationally, but it's worth it--the pay-off is big. Blogs are conversational, books should not be.

Friday Five:

1. What time do you wake up on weekday mornings?

Anywhere from 5:30 - 7:00

2. Do you sleep in on the weekends? How late?

Not much later--we have an alarm clock called Coney who is no respecter of weekends. Plus, off-leash hours in the park are the same on Saturday as during the week, so it's up and out.

3. Aside from waking up, what is the first thing you do in the morning?

Go to park with Coney and Monkey.

4. How long does it take to get ready for your day?

Ideally, an hour covers it.

5. When possible, what is your favorite place to go for breakfast?

Bergen Bagles, but usually we eat at home.

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