May 24, 2010 unedited

It’s hot here.  Not so much hot as humid and sticky.  I was thinking this morning of how to convey just how miserable it is.  Not just miserable, but miserable for Minneapolis especially this early in the year and coming on the heels of last week’s cold.  It is like Dallas summers, not as hot but just as gross.  So gross that I am now inside and most people are just now arriving at their cubicles.  Normally I am gone at the summer gig when the weather makes this turn.

The worms hanging from their invisibles trapeezes even look tired.  When biking you no longer have to worry about the geese, they stay off the pavement it’s too hot.  They do sleep with their wings spread open.  A natural sort of heat sink, I guess.

There’s two new regulars at the Tin Fish in the mornings.  An old woman that bikes in and then straps on rollerskates.  Also, a middle aged man that drops his fishing boat into the lake with skilled aggressiveness.  He plows the truck way back into the water, and slams on the brakes, skidding into the water.  The boat flies off the trailer, he then jams the truck forward and the wench just spools out the chain.  All in all it’s an amazing sight, like watching a gifted gymnast do things you didn’t know the body could do.

To-day’s story was Bradford Tice’s “Missionaries“.  Meh.  The writing was okay, nothing special.  The story seems to gain respect because it is salacious and about Mormons.  It seems overly cynical.  Tice’s comments in the back of the Rushdie anthology even hint at this.  Just like the old European stories about the Ottoman odalisques.

I do recommend you read Sash Frere-Jones’ piece about James Murphy.  Even if you do not know nor care about LCD Soundsystem, this article is sweet.  Frere-Jones definitely knows his craft, even if his sense of taste sometimes leaves me shocked.  The article also provides a wonderful list of other music to check out, which is another criticism I sometimes find with Frere-Jones: he falls back on obscure knowledge as a way of beating the reader into agreement.  He’s that guy at the cocktail party hanging by the punch bowl with the array of statistics making debate impossible.

I am still working on Sam Lipsyte’s The Ask.  It’s a fun book, in the same way Juno was a fun movie.  The story is vanilla.  It’s the voice of the main character that is special.  And vulgar.  And childish.  Scatological.  It’s my friends and I in the French Quarter after the first night.  Do I need to read this book?

Rushdie, Salman, ed.  (2008).  The best American short stories, 2008.  NY: Houghton Mifflin.

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