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The Polysyllabic Spree 2 lighten the poolside load for Baloney


7/25/2021> Trying 2 get in2 character 2 start writing Thriver meme... re-reading the I Ching 2 guide our thinking in2 the vague semblance of an outline. Current thinking is that we'll keep writing 4 the most part in 1st person plural, w/ an omni-present "we/us" narrator, but refer 2 the humun (g)host doing the typing as "1" + our bedder-½ = "0"... break everything down in2 binary language + not necessarily "binary" in the gender-sense most folks use lately (we had a non-binary "they" over 4 dinner last night), tho we might still use "they/them" 4 every 1 else besides 1 + 0, or any 1 that hasn't specifically designated their gender otherwise.

fishpond @ the hospital

4 example, a sentence 1 might write = "0 + 1 rode our bikes yesterday along the river out 2 Sibley hospital, on the western edge of D.C... 3rd time we've been out 2 Tenleytown/Palisades in the last week, 4 whatever reason." Sum 1 like Nick Hornby we'll refer 2 as "he/him" cuz Wikipedia refers 2 Hornby as he + we just checked his Twitter + he doesn't specify otherwise. We're souprised he's only got 14.5k followers, figured he was more "famous"... make that 14.5k + 1, we just followed him. Don't know if 1 mentioned it hear on Blog of Ghosts, but yes, we're on Twitter now. Callous hippocrits. Or at least Calamari Archive is tweeting... we'll see how long we can stomach it, we have 2 keep reminding ourselves it's not us (or 1) on Twitter, but Cal A. Mari, 2 support the authors that have been published by Calamari Archive, Ink.

1 mention Nick Hornby cuz we're reading The Polysyllabic Spree. Don't think 1 have ever read Hornby b4, except maybe his articles here + there in The Believer, which this book is derived from. 1 loved High Fidelity the movie, but not sure if it's cuz of Cusack's acting or Hornby's writing. Maybe 1 read High Fidelity way back when but we've seen the movie so many times it's snubbed out any memory 1 had of the book .1 dug the series 2, but again, not sure if it's cuz of what Zoë Kravitz brought 2 the part. The Polysyllabic Spree is basically a "true account" of the books Hornby bought + read from September 2003 to November 2004, material pilfered from The Believer column he had (or has). 1 thought it'd be an interesting book 2 read right now cuz: 1). 1 have been going thru a massive slushpile of book box booty 2 find 1s worthy of bringing 2 Bologna next month + 2). 1 thought maybe The Polysyllabic Spree might give us ideas of books 2 buy 2 bring (granted the suggestions are dated, but 1 rarely reads anything current so that's OK).

1 like the idea of the book (even better as a blog or monthly column), specially in light of High Fidelity, the real-world way record store clerks used 2 recommend albums, how "one book leads to another and to another, a paper trail of theme and meaning; and how, when it's going badly, when books don't stick or take..." Sorta what we do here. Problem is 1 just ain't sure we see I-2-I w/ Hornby on books + he interjects himself too much... @ 1 point he talks about how he likes 2 scan covers of books other vacationers are reading while lounging around pools 2 find folks reading 1 of his, or how Hornby celebrates anniversaries of his books by throwing himself black-tie parties + having his friends read speeches that he prepares... does no 1 else find such gloating cringeworthy? Apparently not, cuz 1 just noticed that Hornby still has this column... what does this say about The Believer? That they've let this washed-up 1-hit wonder keep doing this column for 20 years.

Hornby doesn't have anything bad 2 say about books (it's presumed he didn't like or finish 1 if he lists it as bought but not read). Admittedly, "the Polyphonic Spree" (a band 1 can't stand) of Believer editors censor him from saying mean or negative things, as per their policy (which is lame... what's the point of criticism if it's always positive? We want 2 know what books 2 not waste our time on just as much as we want 2 know what books 2 read.) In fact, Hornby actually doesn't say much of anything about the books, it's more about him, which is all fine if you're an intresting person, but Hornby's far from compelling or "hilarious," as the front cover tries 2 pitch.

... now, if such a column or book was written by John Cusack? 1 wd want 2 read that, by sum 1 as jaded + punk rock as the protagonist of High Fidelity, not by the smug author riding on coattails of past notoriety... maybe how Hornby had been, but not is now. The perils of being famous or popular, u got 2 keep living up to your reputation. 2 bad no 1 blogs no more about such things, at least that 1 know of + respect. Usually we resort 2 Goodreads 4 books suggestions or 2 find out what a "friend" thinks of a particular read.

Anyway, in the spirit of The Polysyllabic Spree, here are sum books 1 decided 2 not pursue 2 completion, or at least that ain't worthy of lugging 2 Bologna w/ us + instead 1 will Q up 2 put in our little liebury box (as always, any 1 not in D.C. send us postage + well send u a particular title u want (if it hasn't been taken)):

  • The Interpreters by Wole Soyinka—didn't grab us
  • Robert Frost's Poems— "
  • Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis— "
  • To Timbuktu by Mark Jenkins—who cares what privileged white dudes have 2 say about going up the Niger? Specially when they got pregnant wives back home.
  • The Turning by Tim Winton—started this then got 2 thinking 1 wd rather read his famous novel instead of these short stories, then realized 1 already read (or started to read) Dirt Music a long time ago. We (0 + 1) did however see the recent Dirt Music movie, which was OK... 1 like Kelly Macdonald + Garrett Hedlund (tho strange they'd cast a Scot + an Amerikin 2 play such definitively backcountry Ozzie types when there's plenty of good Australian actors (who always seem 2 be playing Amerikins), the movie just didn't seem 2 be going nowhere, or maybe this was the point, cuz that's like the story.
  • Mary and Maria by Mary Wollstonecraft & Matilda by Mary Shelley—1 dig the idea of this, combining books by mother/daughter, but this just seemed dense + archaic
  • The Circle by Dave Eggers—much as 1 probly agree w/ him, who cares what a Gen X dad thinks about social media, just like how 1 don't get why Eggers gots 2 take credit 4 Valentino Achak Deng's story when Deng is perfectly capable 2 tell it himself
  • Zero K by Don Delillo—1 was already planning on bringing Underworld w/ us 2 Bologna, figured that was enough Delillo 2 tie us over
  • El Hombre Duplicado by José Saramago—1 started collecting books in spanish a year or 2 ago (2 brush up on our Spanish) b4 we knew we were going back 2 Italy... now there's a more pressing need 2 refresh our Italian. Besides, the original language is Portuguese
  • Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata—picked this 1 up b4 remembering how boring Kawabata is
  • The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips—didn't grab us
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen— "
  • Approximate Man and Other Writings by Tristan Tzara— "
  • Captain Pantoja and the Special Service by Mario Vargas Llosa— "
  • Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil—maybe 1 might have read this when we were working on Textiloma (it's about junkies in Bombay), but 1 is heroin-chic'ed out... + from what 1 read this was over the top graphic + sensationalized, not just w/ the drug-taking but misogynist sex w/ prostitutes, etc.
  • Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow—figured 1 wd rather watch the HBO series, but even that we couldn't get 2 much in2... Farrow projects himself way 2 much in2 it. And what's up w/ the title?
  • The Name of The Rose by Umberto Eco—pass
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche—not sure how this got in the pile, have read this at least 2x, but maybe it's high time 2 read again
  • Snow by Orhan Pamuk—pass
  • Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein—oops, another mistake, sorry this ain't going in2 our liebury box, it's a keeper, coming w/ us 2 Bologna
  • The Oxford Handbook of African American Language—looks fascinating in all it's academic-ness flipping through it, but realistically 1 wd never read this + don't want 2 horde it in our personal liebury
  • PostSecret by Frank Warren—1 actually "read" most of this, a collection of anonymously submitted postcard "secrets" that Warren initially posted 2 his blog + then monetized in2 this book.

Btw, while we're away there'll be a custodian living in our house that we're training 2 cure-8 our liebury boox + hopefully we got enough books stockpiled so our box doesn't run dry. Other movies seen this past week include Bill + Ted Face The Music (actually pretty funny) + American Movie (1999) which was classic, maybe enough-so 2 make our list of fave films. Can't believe we hadn't seen it b4.

901 <(current)> 903> I M icon man quitting B+H 4 IBM 2 pay 4 a brand-new used car under a volcano in '99
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