Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Apparently I write like David Foster Wallace. Who's he?

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I came across this site "I Write Like", and apparently I write like David Foster Wallace. Should I feel bad that I've never heard of him?

He looks like a cool guy in that long-haired, I'd-rather-be-at-the-beach-surfing way that some guys have. Looks like someone you wouldn't mind hangin' with by the campfire listening to his stories. Right? He'd be perfectly comfy in a polar fleece and jeans. Yeah, man, I'm all about that (except for the campfire smoke -- which, for some reason, always blows my way -- and then it really aggravates my allergies!

According to Wikipedia, he "was an American author of novels, essays, and short stories ... He was widely known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, which Time included in its All-Time 100 Greatest Novels list (covering the period 1923–2006). Los Angeles Times book editor David Ulin called Wallace "one of the most influential and innovative writers of the last 20 years ... Wallace's novels often combine various writing modes or voices, and incorporate jargon and vocabulary (sometimes invented) from a wide variety of fields. His writing featured self-generated abbreviations and acronyms, long multi-clause sentences, and a notable use of explanatory footnotes and endnotes—often nearly as expansive as the text proper."

If that means he was comfortable with comma-splicing in his writing, then I'm down with that (how's that for incorporating jargon, baby?). Too bad I didn't have the term "long multi-clause sentences" at my fingertips in high school when Mrs. VanAntwerp was all up in my face (again with the jargon) about such activities. I might have had some luck defending my writing a bit more in my College English class (just kidding, Mrs. V. -- you rocked!).

He was a professor... he became "the first Roy E. Disney Professor of Creative Writing and Professor of English at Pomona College." Have I mentioned that I LOVE Disney World. :)

Not bad ... and he was a dog lover too. His dog could be a Rottie or a Pitt -- and I have a Rottie sweetheart dog. Cool... but wait, there's more ...

I gotta confess, much of what was on Wiki was a bit over the top for me. In search of a simpler summation of his writing I hit upon They say "David Foster Wallace may have understood the modern American better than any writer of our time ... Wallace was a master at capturing the way we think, feel and live, and his books and essays conveyed an intimacy that made a lot of people feel like Wallace was a friend they'd never met."

They liken him to a literary rockstar. As my brother would say, "Cool beans." But wait, there's more ...

He suffered from depression, and he committed suicide.

So much angst. And he liked math too. (Totally not me. Yikes.)

Now I've got another author to add to the list of reading I need to do. I'm going to start with a book of his essays entitled "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again"

Will I like him?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I brake for Garage Sales

I brake for Garage Sales. Really, I do, and I'm not afraid to admit it. Do you?

My sister would say I enjoy putzing around in other people's junk (which she, decidedly, does not). I'm not sure I like how that sounds, but I guess it's a fair estimate -- because, I do after all stop at Garage Sales and many of them are filled with junk. But, one man's junk, and all that.

What is it about Garage Sales? What's the draw?

For me I think it can be boiled down to these things:

I'm nosy (a fact that I don't think most people would identify with me, because I can also be anti-social). I think it's fun to see what people accumulate and then discard at a sale. Junk can tell a tale about what captured a persons interest, what their hobbies are, where they grew up. Any number of things. And I like to see what's what. Nosy. Yup.

I like bargains. I think a Garage Sale is the ultimate in bargain hunting. Where else can you find stuff for a quarter or 50 cents that doesn't come in a plastic bubble from a grocery store vending machine? Because I'm a bargain hunter, garage sale-ing is an inexpensive hobby for me. Since I don't generally go to a sale with an objective in mind I generally don't spend much. I just see what catches my eye and then decide if I'm willing to pay the asking price for it. If it's a toss up I don't have a problem negotiating on the price (something that makes my husband cringe with embarrassment every time). I'm not shy about bargains.

I enjoy finding something unique that I likely wouldn't find in a store. Like the cool bronze Smith and Hawkins porch planters that I picked up last year for a few dollars each (never mind that I don't have a porch -- that's beside the point). Or the sweet wooden bowl from a sale two years ago which turned out to be a sailing regatta trophy from 20 years ago -- a fact I wasn't aware of until I was putting it in my car and saw the wood-burned writing on the other side (I was so taken by the shape and the patina that I didn't do a 180 degree inspection of it). Or the cute horizontal geranium artwork I picked up for 50 cents last month that was done by a Michigan artist. Unique stuff on the cheap.

I like the thrill of the hunt. Hunting down something that's "just right" gives me great satisfaction. A bowl that fits in the media center to tuck all the extra iPod accessories into? Check. A glass container with a lid to display my collection of beach glass? Check. Gently used, size 4T jeans for my nephew? Check (big time -- and brand name too). Noisemakers to use at our next Relay For Life of Lowell event? Check.

Someday I want to go to the world's largest yard sale ... Highway 127 Yard Sale ... 240 miles of salels from Michigan through Ohio ... miles and miles of yard sales. Just think what I could find!

So, what's not to like about a Garage Sale? It's kind of like shopping at TJ Maxx. You never know what you're going to find, but you know you'll have a good time on the hunt. Or is that just me?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

No excuses

I have no excuse, but let's face it, I fell off the blogging wagon. (And I'm pretty sure that sentence involved inappropriate comma-splicing, but I don't care). I just haven't been able to muster up any enthusiasm for booting up the computer once I get home from work... since April. Oy. April, really?

I doesn't seems like it's been that long. Just the other day Rico said "I'm not going to follow this blog anymore because they never post." Guess whose blog he was checking? Mine. Oops.

Aside from not wanting to spend time on the computer after a day of work spent computing, I just haven't been feeling "on" -- which is frequently a problem for me. I've been wanting to just veg more than ever lately. Motivational issues, I guess. I have the same problem with exercise. Ha ha. I just don't wanna.

I wish I could want to do more. How's that for motivational?

Really, it's time to start making some changes. What to change? I'll make a list. I'll start working on it as soon as House Hunters is done. Really.


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