Monday, November 15, 2010

Retreat into Randomness

When it comes to readng, I enjoy a densely plotted narrative as much as anyone.  Backstory, plot twists, multiple story lines - wonderful, immersive elements for escaping into a piece of fiction.  But I must say, in the real world I appreciate minimalism.  Whereas I enjoy grappling with complexity on the printed page, in life it's a struggle that just wears me out.  I don't want my daily life to resemble an epic - give me something simple and straightforward, like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, complete with the "happily ever after."

Of course, the gods of literature and existence scoff at such a notion.  These days I feel as I'm stuck in the middle of an overstuffed Stephen King novel.  No cell-phone zombies or rabid dog attacks, mind you; just lots and lots and LOTS of details, goings-on, and to-do's.  For instance, I could write a hell of a blog entry about the tribulations of setting up my new office.  You'd laugh, you'd cry, you'd think it was a (brilliant) work of fiction.  The thing is, I could - but I can't.  I'm suffering from narrative overload, the way you do when you're so into a book you're reading that you keep going literally until your head hurts and you can no longer process the words or plot points as they flood your brain.  To make an utterly random analogy, I feel like a Lionel train transformer that's gotten hot and started to emit that fuzzy electrical smell, and you have to switch it off for a while before it blows up or melts down. 

That kind of randomness is all I've got right now, creatively speaking.  I realize that I haven't blogged in a bout a week, and I want to give my loyal readers something, but I can't spin my actual daily experiences into a coherent post.  Given time and a little perspective, I'm sure I can come up with a killer story.  But until then, here's a string of random thoughts to ponder.

Granite countertops:  I don't like them.  They chip, they stain, they cost a boatload of money, and I don't find them attractive.  What's more, I have a nagging feeling that in a few years they're going to look terribly outdated, like those big poufy window valances from the 80s.  In my dream kitchen, I'd have boomerang-print  Formica counters with a chrome edge.  It's all a matter of taste.

Buttonholes:  I love to sew.  I'm not a professional-grade seamstress by any means, but I have tops, pants, and dresses that I've made myself and am proud to wear.  But I can't make a damn decent buttonhole to save my life.  Yes, even with the buttonhole attachment on my sewing machine that theoretically makes the process idiot-proof, I manage to make buttonholes like an idiot.  This gives me something to strive for as I refine my skills.  It also makes me think about giving up and buying Velcro in bulk.

"Surf's Up":  I guess you either love the Beach Boys or you don't.  I'm not trying to make any converts, but if all you know about the group is "California Girls" and "I Get Around," then you may find this song surprising.  I think Brian Wilson is nearly a mythic figure in American popular culture; surely he's one of the greatest singer-songwriters of the 20th century.  "Surf's Up" has a fascinating, almost tragic history.  You can learn about it if you like, or you can simply listen.  I'm currently a little bit obsessed with the song, as you might become infatuated with something that is truly beautiful and just beyond your full understanding.

Marijuana and Same-Sex Marriage:   Oh, please.  The laws against these things are based on prejudice against the people associated with them rather than the things themselves.  I don't even understand the prejudices; personally, give me a roomful of pot smokers over a bunch of drunks anytime.  And as for gay vs. straight marriage...I've known a lot of people whose behavior makes a mockery of the institution, and they come in all sexual orientations.  People are people.  If lawmakers can't come up with rational reasons to demonize some behaviors and lionize others that are nearly identical, they should abandon the attempt and concentrate on,  I don't know, taxes or civil rights or something.

And the list goes on.  My brain is so full, but this is all I can pull out for one night.  Tomorrow is another chapter in the continuing narrative of my life.  I hope I can keep it all straight.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.