Never before have I come into contact with a thought experiment, for lack of a better term, played out in a work of literature, art, or theater, as I have in this book. I didn’t think I was liking this book, for a while, and then I was like OH WAIT I SEE WHAT HE’S DONE HERE.
"Once I understood what was making America such a dangerous, unhappy nation of people who had nothing to do with real life, I resolved to shun storytelling. I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have done. … It is hard to adapt to chaos, but it can be done. I am living proof of that: It can be done" (215).
The fact that Vonnegut succeeds so unilaterally in this mission - without making it obvious that it’s what he’s been working on, until he flat-out tells you - and all the while couching the entire thing in delicious, dead-pan, scathing satire - is just excellent. Hats off, Kurt.
Last night, I got an email from Kiva.org notifying me that I had $25 in my account with them. “Buh-whah?” I thought to myself eloquently. “I thought I donated that money last December! Don’t tell me I screwed up somehow and it didn’t go through or something?”
The reality of the situation is far more awesome. I had forgotten, or perhaps never realized, that the system of micro-loans which Kiva.org manages is in fact just that: a system of micro-loans. So, I didn’t “donate” $25 to Antonieta, the woman in Nicaragua who was trying to open a general store in her village - I loaned it to her. Which means that she has to pay it back, through Kiva.org - which means that I get to loan it out, again.
So now my $25 is working to help Nicholas Mbugua, a poultry-keeper in Kenya who’s looking to pay for his children’s education.
I can’t get over how excellent this system is. Go to Kiva.org to get involved.
my right eye woke me up to a WORLD OF PAIN. Most of the day, an emergency visit to the eye doctor, some anesthetic drops and some steroid/antibiotic drops (but, frustratingly, no conclusive diagnosis) later, things have improved, but I had a very interesting experience for the first 4 or 5 hours of my day: Partial/self-imposed blindness.
Not being able to use my eyes (or not being willing to do so, thanks to intense light sensitivity) was pretty wild. I sat in the darkest part of the apartment, with sunglasses on, and did my best to pass the three hours between waking and doctor’s appointment. It’s remarkable how many things I couldn’t do because I couldn’t use my seeing-orbs. In addition to the fact that I totally take for granted my sense of sight, here are some other things I learned:
1. Eating a bowl of cereal is really hard to do without looking at it, especially in the end-game when you’re searching for those last stray cheerios;
2. Frank Sinatra’s voice really IS that amazing;
3. I don’t know how to touch-type nearly as well as I’d hoped (I tried writing a bit and was rewarded with lines full of very, very strange “words”; by the end, I had somehow managed to find the caps lock key, so the entire thing was just VERY LOUD gibberish);
4. That rocking-back-and-forth thing that Stevie Wonder does when he plays/sings is actually really comforting, and does wonders for one’s experiencing of music - the best way I can describe it is “physical humming”;
5. I innately know where everything in my shower is, no questions asked.
is fun, and I should get back into the habit. But, you know, baby steps. So I started with some nanofiction, because that’s totally what people mean, right?
Anyway, I submitted to these folks. I think I might try to make a once-weekly habit of it; if I learned one thing in college, it’s that deadlines produce results. Quality is of little concern right now, although as always, it would be a welcome byproduct.
In order of appearance: to Eben, friend number one, for inviting me; to Monty, stranger number one, for being shameless; to Talya, stranger number two, for notes about phone etiquette; to Chloe, friend number two, for always having another quip ready; to Teen Girl Scientist Monthly, random band, for catchy melodies and simple drums; to The Bitter End, on Bleeker Street, for the miniature dance party, which is sometimes exactly what the doctor ordered.
Special thanks to Chris Fox, and the firm where his dad works, for these AMAZING seats at last night’s Mets game. In you’re wondering, yes, the excellent location and surprising plushiness of the seats made up for the fact that, otherwise, it was a pretty disappointing game.
Best get-the-crowd-hyped display of the night: as part of a ticker-tape-style read-out of how to say “Let’s go Mets!” in different languages, we were told that the way to say that phrase in Queens (as opposed to in other languages, like, say, Spanish) was “Yo yo yo Mets!”
With seats like these, I could learn to be a baseball fan. Yo yo yo Mets, indeed.
“Why imagine when you can see?”—Andrew Bowen, the fictional gay Welsh cryptozoologist I wrote into existence in junior year for a show, who obviously shares none of my views on Pokémon, but otherwise seems like he has a pretty good idea of things.
Disclaimer: I’m gloating a little bit. Very proud of myself for getting a job like this one, right out of college. But seriously: I’m so honored and lucky to be doing this kind of creative, adventurous, and socially-conscious work. Looking forward to rehearsals starting up in August!
I think Dickman does an incredible disservice to this otherwise breathtaking poem of his by reading it the way he does. That endless first line is like a long, soaring promontory that gathers momentum and gathers momentum until it hurtles the reader off a precipice and into the abrupt and magnificent final words of the poem.