Saturday Morning: NYTBR 4 November 2007

Yesterday, collected short story papers from students at xxxxx community college. Still unsure whether to attend this afternoon’s Cinefest at the San Francisco Main Library, as it’s a long slog, car isn’t well, have to start grading piles of papers, and next week we are driving down to San Luis Obispo to watch son’s friend in Cal Poly production of Arabian Nights. Self always feel she has to store up energy for a trip, she’s not sure why. Anyhoo, if self doesn’t make it to the City this afternoon, she wants Mauro Tumbocon to know that he has all of her good wishes for the success of his festival.

This morning, self woke at 4:25 (which is better than yesterday, when self awoke at 3:55), finished Kundera’s Ignorance (a very short book, only 195 pages, and seems even shorter since it induces in the reader a kind of dream state — perfect for those who awaken at 4 AM and find themselves huddled under blankets) and began reading ex-Stanford classmate Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel, Middlesex, which he autographed for self three years ago. Hmm, at this rate, self will get to other ex-Stanford classmate Ehud Havazelet’s novel, Bearing the Body, in 2010 or thereabouts. Self started reading Linh Dinh’s Blood and Soap this year, and she met him in Berlin in 2005. Self knows this is extremely lame, dear blog readers. But, hey, at least that’s better than self’s record with Rattawut Lapcharoensap, who she met at the same time as Dinh, but whose book, Sightseeing, she has yet to purchase.

Anyhoo, this morning self is happy to surmise about all the books she has yet to read. Which is of course due to the fact that she has just finished perusing The New York Times Book Review of Nov. 4. Below, the list of books self is interested in reading after perusing aforementioned NYTBR issue.

(1) After reading D. T. Max’s review of Jonah Lehrer’s Proust was a Neuroscientist, a “book that tries to mend the century-old tear between the literary and scientific cultures” :

Jonah Lehrer’s Proust was a Neuroscientist

(2) After reading Stephen L. Carter’s review of the authorized sequel to Gone With the Wind, Donald McCaig’s Rhett Butler’s People :

Donald McCaig’s Rhett Butler’s People

(3) After reading Nathaniel Rich’s review of Stewart O’Nan’s latest novel, Last Night at the Lobster:

Stewart O’Nan’s Last Night at the Lobster

(4) After reading Robert Pinsky’s review of Elizabeth D. Samet’s Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point :

Elizabeth D. Samet’s Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point

(5) After reading Anthony Lewis’ reviews of two books on the Bush II Presidency: Robert Draper’s Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush; and Jack Goldsmith’s The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgement Inside the Bush Administration :

Robert Draper’s Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush
Jack Goldsmith’s The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgement Inside the Bush Administration

(6) After reading Marilyn Stasio’s Crime column:

Two by Jason Goodwin: The Janissary Tree and his latest, The Snake Stone
I. J. Parker’s Island of Exiles
Miyuki Miyabe’s The Devil’s Whisper
Archer Mayor’s Chat
Robert B. Parker’s Now and Then

Friday Evening: Kirsten Dunst’s Teeth

This evening, self has a confession to make: she can’t abide looking at Kirsten Dunst’s teeth.

Why, self, why? Why must she fixate on those little pebbly teeth, while hubby and she are watching Spidey 3 on flat-screen HDTV?

Self is enjoying Topher Grace in his new bad-guy incarnation (Hey, in brief close-up self notices that Topher’s teeth are also pretty crooked and — aargh, self, stop! Why this fixation on teeth? Is it because bill came from the dentist today, full of mention of sinister procedures like “crown build-up with half-pins” and “pillar and post” (causing self to think of medieval torture racks) and it turns out insurance paid only $200 of a $450 bill? Is that where all this obssession with teeth teeth teeth comes from?

James Franco is pretty delish, though. Nothing wrong with his teeth. Why could he not play a good guy for a change? Well he was a good guy for approximately half an hour of this movie, but Mary Jane had to spoil it all by leading him on and then rushing out of his apartment filled with love for Spidey — and, hey, didn’t she do that in the first movie as well, and wasn’t that the reason Harry turned away from Peter etc etc etc in the first place?

Topher Grace’s bad guy has a mouth full of sharp silver fangs.

Tobey Maguire’s teeth are very white, self is sure they must have gone through some sort of bleaching process.

Oooh, there’s Harry actually helping his old friend Peter! Harry’s good side has surfaced! Butler told Harry that indeed Harry’s dad had died by his own hand! Self wonders why it took Butler so long to tell Harry! If only he’d said it sooner, then Harry wouldn’t have had to have his face horribly mangled in climactic battle with Spidey!

(How many people know that James Franco was actually a graduate of Paly High?)

My, this is an exceedingly long movie. Perhaps self should go back to reading Milan Kundera’s Ignorance, which she began reading three days ago. Perhaps she should go ahead and e-mail ex-Assumption classmates the pictures in her camera. Lucy in Houston already sent self pictures of all of them (minus self, since self — such a loser — elected to stay home during fab dinner with other ex-Assumptionistas in the City), and even another picture of herself and her husband and daughter Calista, all three of them dressed in matching pirate garb for Halloween. Lucy inquired if self was going to Assumption reunion tomorrow. Self replied that she wasn’t going, but right after she sent the e-mail, self started feeling so guilty that she almost e-mailed ex-classmates that she would go after all. Then self remembered the exchange gift she does not have, the green and red outfit she does not have, the contribution for the food she does not have, the karaoke skills she does not have. And it all just seemed so exhausting.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

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