October: Errant Thoughts and Observations

I got my wisdom teeth out the first Thursday of October. I said no to getting knocked out–I’ve just had too much invasive tooth or tooth-adjacent procedures to need that–and the recovery process was relatively smooth. Plus, it involved copious amounts of New Girl. I’d seen three episodes of the show, none of which had any relevance to each other, before my surgery. Now I’ve seen 44. So it goes. (I might write more about New Girl later, mostly how it’s good in spite of Zooey Deschanel but also could not exist without her. It’s very confusingly appealing!) I also spent some recovery time reading Joe Hill’s NOS4A2. I had a lot of problems with the book, chiefly that Joe Hill’s editors no longer feel the need to cut hundreds of words that are all very, very well-written but very, very superfluous. Horns is dense, but all of the density comes off as absolutely necessary in order for the story to stay rich and effective. I just didn’t ever feel that way with NOS4A2, even if the concept was cleverer and the villain more monstrous.

After finishing NOS4A2, I was able to focus more attention on Mike Sacks’ And Here’s the Kicker. This book compiles interviews Sacks had with a number of notable humor writers. I’m not done–I might be halfway there–but already I’ve collected so many rich anecdotes that I’m going to be very obnoxious at parties if anyone brings up comedy writers. Or just comedy. Or just the concept of words. The latest highlight was David Sedaris saying that a memoir is the last place you should look for the truth. As someone who’s enamored with memoirs, I find this pretty thought-provoking. Who’s lied to me when I read their book? How willing am I to accept the lies? So many questions. I’m starting to sound like a Goosebumps book.

Anyway.

Speaking of Goosebumps books, Halloween just happened (solid segue right there!) and I dressed as Shaun from Shaun of the Dead. The costume turned out pretty well and was really easy to make, which makes me overconfident and leads me to believe I can absolutely dress as a convincing Eli Cash from The Royal Tenenbaums next year. Halloween also gave Scott and me the opportunity to watch Psycho projected onto a hanging bedsheet at a friend’s apartment. Neither of us had seen it (whoops), and I’m glad we rectified our collective mistake, because unsurprisingly, we both loved it.

Plus, Scott, a couple friends, and I saw Macbeth at Lincoln Center last night. (The day after Halloween seemed appropriate for something with witches or whatever.) It’s still in previews so there were some clear kinks they’ll need to work out in the weeks ahead, but most of the performances are quite solid. I’m not very qualified to critique actors reciting Shakespeare, but I think I can safely say Anne-Marie Duff was fascinating to watch as Lady Macbeth, and Ethan Hawke’s take on Macbeth was oddly unsympathetic–which fit the tone of the production well. Oh, and Daniel Sunjata and Brian d’Arcy James absolutely killed it as Macduff and Banquo respectively. Also, we had great food at Amber, a Japanese fusion restaurant on the Upper West Side, beforehand. I cannot stress that last bit enough.

Oh, and while we’re on the topic of entertainment involving wishes and probably, at some point, sushi, because that doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility, American Horror Story: Coven started up a few weeks ago. I haven’t seen this week’s episode yet, so I can’t speak to its quality or utter insanity, but here are some lessons I’ve learned over the course of the anthology so far:

  • Men lack impulse control in nearly all circumstances and are often morally reprehensible. There are occasional exceptions to this rule, but typically, men are either 1) semi-evil creatures free of the constraints of self-control or 2) visible for less than ten minutes at a time.
  • If you are a Generally Good Person (a phrase I am seriously considering trademarking), you’re definitely not going to stay that way for very long.
  • Selflessness is a sham.

Outside the realm of pop culture consumption (oh, one more thing, I watched The Usual Suspects for the first time and really liked it! Same goes for Captain Phillips, which we saw when Gravity showings got canceled for the sake of Ender’s Game, natch!), life’s been fairly fast-paced and busy. Highlights include getting better at my job; bits and pieces of our first trip to Six Flags Great Adventure (one traveling companion lost her glasses, but other than that, some of the rides are great!); re-watching Avatar: The Last Airbender (ongoing and pop culture-related, yes, but also social!); and excessive use of exclamation points and semicolons.

I’m going to Chicago with Scott next weekend. In the meantime, I have Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the Citadel DLC of Mass Effect, the rest of And Here’s the Kicker, the gym, new TV, and work to attend to. In short, life was happening too quickly and too busily for me to write in the month of October. But looking back over this post, I’m not sure I’d have it any other way.

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