Monday, August 09, 2004


I am back, and I bring with me the mother of all summer colds. So this post will be less than substantive.

Things experienced:

My daughters and I called out "Ca-JONS!" as we drove through the Atchafalaya sawmps.
Yes--out the windows. Loudly.
I dreamed two Paul Harvey "The Rest of the Story" stories. His voice, my text.
I do not know if either of these stories was in fact true.
Nor have I ever dreamed about Paul Harvey before.
Nor, alas, do I remember them now.
G., my 9-year-old, beat me handily at Monopoly. Twice.
I was NOT "letting her win." Even a little.
C., my 6-year-old, told me she has been wondering what it must feel like to die.
She thinks it must "hurt."
(Disclaimer: she isn't morbid--just curious)
I saw my uncle, a perfectly respectable CPA, wearing a coyote hat.
Yes: made from a coyote.
Its head sits on the wearer's head.
And yes: he actually paid money for it and he is VERY proud of it.
My children, my mother and I visited a miniature horse farm run by nuns as a business. I speculated* on how the sisters profit from sex acts.
*(to myself, of course)
The horses do not behave as though they know they are not full-sized horses.
On that same trip, we went to see the Blue Bell Ice Creamery. There's something about seeing vast quantities of food being produced and packaged that makes me feel slightly queasy.
While watching the production room, I was reminded of scenes from Koyaanisqatsi.
Something, I'm quite certain, based on a quick reading of the homepage's central image, the good people from the Little Creamery in Brenham would rather I not be reminded of.
I actually took my daughters to eat at a restaurant in Iowa, Louisiana, called Big Daddy's.
Good oysters and crawfish. Disappointing bread pudding.
For most of the week, I had Foreigner's "Jukebox Hero" stuck in my head, despite not having heard it in recent memory.
I despise "Jukebox Hero."
An official sign I saw by toll booths in Oklahoma: "Failure to pay toll strictly enforced."
I decided against testing the intended vs. the actual semantics of the signs.
I remembered that Barthes was killed by a truck when he tried to cross a street against the light.
And I am a coward.
My mother is getting older--that is, her age is showing in her body's gradual stooping over.
This is sobering to me to think about.
Places in Inner Space Caverns in Georgetown, Texas, sound as though someone has sort of half-turned-off a shower.
I have played more Uno this past week than is probably healthy.
But, I watched far less television, which IS healthy.
My daughters love me, and they know I love them.
They do not seem upset that I have remarried.
And I am glad to be back.


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading that. You usually have a *very* distinctive writing style, and this reads like a departure from that. Is that based on anything in particular? What would you call it?…parataxis, asyndeton, there must be a fancy Greek name for the list-narrative. Interesting the way it establishes unusual associations between thoughts like a more disciplined stream of consciousness.

Do you plan to experiment further with form? I’d like to see the next entry written in the style of Proust…


John B. said...

Thanks for your comments.
I'm sure the Greeks (or maybe Joyce) named it, but I don't know what it would be. But as far as style is concerned, what I had in mind was the introduction to David Foster Wallace's essay "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again," in which he randomly(?) lists "things he's seen" on a cruise. David Markson's novels (I'm thinking in particular of Wittgenstein's Mistress) also have the same random-listing feel (which makes for hysterical reading for the lover of the non sequitor), but his effects are much more deliberately planned.
As for further experiments: you betcha--as the moods strike/the opportunities present themselves.

John B. said...

I love Proust's style.
I'll give it a shot here:

For a long time I used to blog early.

Anonymous said...

Alternatively, if you've got writer's block:

Longtemps, je me suis bouché de bonne heure


Anonymous said...

I think the word you are looking for is epitrochasmus (έπιτροχασμός), which could be construed as a type of asyndeton, but with points or ideas rather than just clauses.

Anyway, whatever the Greeks might have called it, I enjoyed it greatly.

- feaful_syzygy

Anonymous said...

Heh, can't even spell my own name anymore...

Anonymous said...

I loved the part where you said that your daughter beat you at Monopoly and that you weren't letting her win...I play with the kids staying at the shelter (where I work) occasionally and they always beat me. I can't decide if it's because I'm bad with money or if I just don't have the attention span on it. I just remind them that they can't make fun of me for it, because I am bigger than them. Well, most of them anyway.

I've missed you...I will have to check back on you more often. I hope things are continuing to go well, and congratulations on your co-habitation!

P.S. When I read books, I think of you and wonder what you think about them because I have convinced myself that you have read everything. And, by the way, your post was wonderful--very thoughtful and thought-provoking.

Amy (deliriumspeaks)