...where distraction is the main attraction.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ends and Beginnings (November '11)

As the pigeons participate in public group sex on the streetlight outside our kitchen window (no pics, sorry), I think about ends and beginnings.  Not life-changing ones like home ownership, a new town, and job change.  But rather books, baseball, TV, and whisky.

Part of my evening ritual was to read two chapters of Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go.  I need to do a little reading before I shut off the lights because I'm old and reading makes me sleepy.

I wish that I could tell you what the novel is about, but figuring out what you're actually reading is part of what makes the storytelling so solid.  It's not like A Clockwork Orange wherein the reader has to sift through another language, but rather Never Let Me Go (which is in proper The Queen's English) is like intellectual detective work.  You sift through what the narrator, Kathy, is talking about.  And as you piece together the universe of the story, her unemotional even-toned voice serves as a springboard for your own feelings -- outrage, melancholy, sadness, or acceptance.  It's very good, and I recommend reading the novel before reading anything about it and before watching the film adaptation.  Seriously, the book's only 288 pages!

But now I've finished it, which means it's time find something new to read.  We have no lack of books here, but I think I'm going to start digging into Kristen's three years of The Paris Review.

The baseball season is over.

I never get all hot and bothered over the offseason and free agency.  The media does because it's their job, and it's their job to keep us reading their often uninformed speculation.  I'm happy that those writers are getting paid, but seriously it's mostly nonsense that'll never come to be.  And if I want to read fiction, then I'll read Fiction.

I'll follow college sports in the meantime.  Maybe some UCLA basketball since our football team is difficult to watch.

Kristen and I watch Mad Men together, via Netflix.  Only three more episodes remaining and then we're all caught up!  Actually she's already finished the last season, she's just waiting for me to get there.  I don't think I've been up-to-date on a television show since Sesame Street.  Mad Men's writing, design, and acting are always admirable.  I want more episodes!

Until Season 5 of Men airs next year, I'll start up Breaking Bad and see if I can ever catch up with that show.

Also, I'm about done with Season 1 of The Wire.  Wow.  I feel so late to the party.  It's Shakespearean (albeit with 50+ "motherf*****s" per hour).  A massive cast of characters - politicians, police, drug dealers, junkies, lawyers - with everything being told from eye level.  The most despicable characters still have clear motivations and make bold gracious gestures at surprising moments.  And the most likeable turn around and do terrible unforgiving things.  I feel like a voyeur, watching a slow motion real life tragedy unfold and being unable to do anything to stop it.  And it's all told via the very minutiae that we writers are told to cut out of our screen- and teleplays.  Two episodes left.  Then Season 2!

Of course there was going to be whisky in this post!  Who do you think I am?

Actually, finishings are few and far between here, as my bottles last between 5 and 10 months.  But I'm down to the last licks of Redbreast 12yr and 1994 Bowmore 16yr (Signatory).  They are both STELLAR, but I'll be replacing each with something new and exciting, one Irish and one Signatory.

This is actually a significant challenge for me.  There are many whiskies that I've been considering, but my purchases need to remain reasonable since we don't have the income here for the unreasonable.  My problem isn't with buying single malts that are too expensive.  My problem is buying too many single malts.  So I'm leaning towards classic unique malts, 10 - 12 year olds, and independent bottlings.  The classics are classics for good reason and affordable independents are fun because they allow for experiences that won't be reproduced in exactitude ever again.  You can count on me Reporting back on my choices.

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