Monday, May 01, 2006

Weekend roundup:

Friday I finished The Silicon Valley Diet and other stories by Richard Grayson. These stories mostly concerned gay men making their way in society after the first shock of AIDS. The title story was the one that really stuck out for me, partly because it was set right where I live (hey, I go to the Pruneridge and the Saratoga 14!), and partly because of the sense of resignation to a life of reduced possibilities. "If you think fat-free frozen yogurt of ice cream doesn't taste as good as the regular kind, remember: you will never eat the regular kind again. In a few months you will forget about regular ice cream and the fat-free stuff will taste just fine." That's a diet specific quote, but it reflects the general theme. I just found that unbearably sad.

Saturday I read Glyph by Percival Everett which confounded me, mostly. It's about a genius baby who gets kidnapped by various people wanting to use him for their own ends, while he silently ruminates on the nature of language and philosophy and other stuff like that. I'm not well-versed in literary theory and the one philosophy class I accidentally wound up in was a trial (actually there was a brilliant bit that describes my views of philosophy in general: "Locke might have claimed all day that there was no material world, but still he would have stepped out of the way of an oncoming carriage that evening." Heh). It was not my favorite of his, but I enjoyed it enough to finish it.

Sunday I flipped through the much maligned Junior by Macaulay Culkin. It's a little known fact that I am fascinated by the Culkin kids. I even have a Tivo "Culkin" keyword wishlist. So I, of course, had to read the book. And yes, it's as much of a mess as everyone says it is. It's like channel surfing through the same twelve stations over and over again and never following what you see or understanding how any of it fits together. Which is frustrating because there are bits and pieces that are really promising, most of which involve the character's father. You can't help but read those passages as autobiographical (well, if you've seen the E!THS like I have). There is a fantastic memoir hinted at in here and I hope one day he decides to write it.

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