Monday, January 1, 2007


It seems a common blog thing to list the openings of blogs for each month of the year as a quick recap, but since I didn't begin a blog till Sept. that wouldn't work for me. Instead, to mark the end of one year and start of another, I'll list something I recall from each month.

Jan: an accident on the 15th claimed the life of my trusted 1995 Honda Accord. The tape deck had met its demise several months earlier while crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The car was whacked in the back driver's side while executing a not-very well-considered right-hand turn, getting clipped by a car going too fast in the opposite direction -- on an icy road that made breaking and steering more difficult than it might have been for both drivers. The car is mourned; replaced by a 2006 Honda Accord LX which I do not drive for several months.

Feb.: There was a record snow fall in NYC on the 11th/12th, just as my daughter Kajsa commenced her lease on a place in Brooklyn, thus bringing to an end our nine months (gee, what a significant number!) as housemates.

March: I saw my god-daughter, Anna Livia Scuderi (16), act in a play for the first time -- it was a dynamic role as a forceful lawyer berating a witness. I also finally made it through Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March, which convinced me that the major novelists of the '50s were about creating a narrative persona -- they make us invest in their fictive reality by providing us with a speaker equal to the world they show us.

April: My wife Mary went to TX and got sick there, had to go to a doctor and take a later flight. Meanwhile, I got through teaching Gravity's Rainbow for the third time, while also beginning to attend weekly meetings of a group reading Finnegans Wake together. Kajsa and I view the Munch retrospective at MoMA. "Sick Child" is one of the most awe-inspiring masterpieces I've ever had the good fortune to stand before.

May: Saw Tom Verlaine at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC (see blog of Sept. 7).

June: At the shore in Maryland; first week, with my older sister, Kathy, watched some movies from my childhood: Cleopatra (seeing Elizabeth Taylor in this role was very arousing to me around the age of twelve); The Dirty Dozen (John Cassavetes as Victor Franco, 'nuff said ... ok, Sutherland and Savalas too . . . a-and that Lee Marvin...); second week, my younger brother Eric and I manage to play all the Old Pro miniature golf courses in Ocean City (7 of them) in one day. Such is a life of leisure!

July: Manage to make it through Mailer's The Naked and the Dead (what an over-rated, bloated spectacle that is!) and Gaddis' The Recognitions (see blog of Sept. 28); also, the month is memorable for r'n'r in New Haven in the worst heatwave since I've been living in CT....

August: Get a gig teaching a writing seminar at Yale, and turn 47. Gee. Print Between Days for binding and to distribute select copies. Dylan's latest is well-received.

Sept.: Blogocentrism begins, mainly so I have a place to comment on music I listen to, movies I see, and books I read. But my favorite blog of the month turns out to be about a trip south to my old haunts, posted 9/18, which begins: "Trains in the rain are poetic enough; you feel like you're in the heart of some hard-bitten novel about life on the rails, bumming with the nomad people...or maybe you're just awake too early, sitting on Amtrak near a family bound for New York."

Oct.: My favorite blog of the month, in response to an old Kurosawa and a new Scorsese film, begins: "The real basis of art, I've decided, is delight" (10/22).

Nov.: First blog of the month, in honor of what is awful and what sublime about November, begins: "We're into the new month of November and those unfortunate enough to have TVs turned on regularly -- or even phones -- know this time as the pre-election glut" (11/6). Pynchon's latest is met with varied responses, including clueless commentary by some who just don't get it.

Dec.: Finally finish Anti-Oedipus. My favorite blog commemorates two heroes of the '60s: "On this day, December 8th, in 1943 Jim Morrison was born, and, in 1980, John Lennon died." The 10th anniversary of my father's death also came around in December -- the 14th -- another downer to attribute to the "pre-Christmas vagaries," but the holidays themselves were fun, though I had no reason to travel to Philadelphia... I receive an iPod for Christmas, more on that anon, I'm sure; I also receive a packet of 5 CDs of The Beach Boys which I've been listening to today with, for the most part, delight and amusement.

And that's the year that was, around here anyway...


Andrew Shields said...

"Wouldn't it be nice to live together?" :-)

Donald Brown said...

"I just wasn't made for these times."