So I'm back from Florida holiday and, for some reason, can't sleep. Maybe I didn't get enough sun today. I haven't done much in the last week besides reading and occasionally turning over, but I did well at both of those, finishing 3.5 books and not burning myself at all.
1. The 25th Hour (David Benioff), which was only ok. I found many of the characters annoying.
2. Indecision (Benjamin Kunkel) which was fantastic. Let's read a nice passage (don't be confused; it starts with a quote from a philosophy treatise this character is always reading):
" 'Procrastination is our substitute for immortality,' went the first half of the sentence I was rereading; 'we behave as if we have no shortage of time.' I read the book at maybe two pages an hour.
Yet I felt more slow than stupid, and suspected it had always been thus with me. Maybe my slow temporal metabolism wasn't equipped for the efficient digestion of modern--or postmodern life, as it apparently had alredy been for some time. Sometimes I felt like I'd never catch up with even the little that had happened to me. There had always been too many people and places, and the creaking stagecoach journey or straggling canoe ride by which one location might observe, in olden times, how it became the next (and one Dwight, the next, uncannily similiar Dwight) had been supplanted by the sleight of hand of subways and airplanes, always popping you out in unexpected places."
Rereading that, it seems not terribly stunning, but the book is quite good, except maybe at the end.
3. The Return: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery (Hakan Nesser)
I should tell you that I have an interest in the remarkably rich subgenre of Scandinavian crime fiction. There is just so much of it, and it's quite decent. The weird thing about this one, at least weird for me because of my socialist liberal dreamy view of Sweden, is that the inspector figures out who committed the three murders but can't prove it. So he pushes the guy out a window. Then the book ends. No one says "Hey, no vigilante justice; this is Sweden!" which is, I guess, what I expected.
4. Havana Nocturne
Yes, I bought this because Jon Stewart said he liked it. Also because Barnes and Nobles in Florida are awful. They only have one table of new paperback fiction (wtf?), and none of the books on it were recommended by the NY Times. OK, I'm a snob if you want, but there are so many great books out there, why should I read garbage? Anyway, Havana Nocturne is pretty good--I'm not terribly interested in Cuba or the Mob, but the bits about Castro are enlightening.
New Happiness Idea/Strategy
Oh, I have a new idea/ strategy for fighting depression. I know it's going to sound a little crazy to some of you, but hear me out, ok?
Exercise really really helps me, way more than anything else ever has, to be happy. There was a point in my life, in college, where I was running 3-5 miles every day, and I was constantly, deliriously joyful. But these days I have some (= a lot of) trouble motivating. I work all the time in the school year, plus my gym is crappy, and it's very very hot in New York in the summer. Also, I'm extremely lazy.
So this is my idea: I am going to make myself become obsessed with obtaining the perfect body. Convince myself I'm fat and stare at my belly all day. Google-image thin actresses and compare myself. Look up the calorie count of everything. Weigh myself daily. Develop (cultivate!) a neurosis. My plan is that my new compulsiveness will motivate me to exercise vigorously every day, and this exercise will engender an overwhelming and complete happiness so great that it trumps any minor anxiety that the imaginary body image problem causes. Also I will be really fit.
me: the before photo?