October 16th, 2009



Time once again, and it's a good time to be this time once again I tell you, to read a lot.

I've been reading in a very specific way: going through piles of books I've had for years and deciding not just if I like the book, but whether I want to keep or get rid of it. A bag is filling up with books I'll either sell (if possible) or donate somewhere.

The only book I've read lately that I've decided to keep was C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters; it was my second time reading it, and I decided This is a book I'll probably read a third time, and more times.

This means I've been borrowing fewer books from the library, because they wouldn't count towards the goal, which is HAVE FEWER BOOKS. I need less stuff in general.

So this week I've read Robert Sheckley's The 10th Victim (it's "The Most Dangerous Game," LEGAL! Hunt humans for fun!) and right now its prequel, Hunter/Victim. Witty, dark, and amused: Sheckley seemed to have fun writing these books.

Next in the read pile is Summerland, which will be my first Michael Chabon novel. Yes, I've yet to read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. That book doesn't fit the criteria of "I already have a copy and I need to decide whether or not to keep it." There are PLENTY of books that do. Gee, you're surprised I have a lot of them?

I remember being in this mode back in 2001, after I'd moved into a basement bedroom; that was my first home in Portland, and (at the time) the smallest place I'd lived in that wasn't a college dorm. So I needed to get rid of stuff. I had a whole shelf of books to be given away. I was powering through books then, and feeling really satisfied about then taking them off that shelf and schlepping them in bags to the library to donate.

Books, books, books, always books... I'll never be out of books...
Me 2 (B&W)

If true? Then cool.

Adventures on my Twitter feed:

Today, as an experiment, people using the Twitter micro-blogging service were asked to add the hashtag #beatcancer to their messages, and that each time it got used, if all went as planned, 1 cent would be donated towards cancer research.

I made messages, some silly ("Use cancer like a drum and #beatcancer!"), some serious, using that hashtag. I wrote one of the serious messages because I know, sometimes cancer can be beat, sometimes it can only be maintained. It can be a fact of life, not a death sentence. So I wrote "Cancer. Living with it is better than dying from it. #beatcancer"

And apparently someone liked that comment enough to quote it. And if that's a real person's account, the account of a person living in Sao Paolo, Brazil, then...my words have demonstrably traveled halfway across the world.

The future remains impressive.

(Though my words have traveled similar distances before! Two of my profiles for Film Score Monthly got translated into Swedish and republished in a Swedish film music magazine.)