Friday, May 04, 2007

I changed my profile picture. This one's more accurate. Enjoy. In deference to Doug, who knew straightaway that the pic I put up was substandard, I'm substituting in the infamous "Ryan as David Foster Wallace" pic.

DFW, as seen on the back of Infinite Jest.

It was a good day. I woke up in the afternoon and decided that I probably wasn't going to get any work done, so I left for Manhattan and bought some books. I ended up with a few French translations - the Radiguet was a real find, if a bit costly - and some books by Latin American authors I'm not familiar with, Jorge Amado and Machado de Assis. I also picked up a copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass, which I've never read before. Something in Calvino's Six Memos suggested that a working knowledge of Carroll would be desirable, and I've never been one to disagree with Calvino. He's my main man.

Worth mentioning: Julian Barnes and a colleague were perusing at East Village Books at the same time as myself. Judging from their conversation - "Have you read this? The style is wanting but the story is interesting." or "I could see that, but that's what the writer was shooting for, I think. You should try reading the dialogue aloud." - I took them at first for professors of creative writing, but at some point the name "Julian" slipped out and I immediately became suspicious. A Google Image search confirmed it. This is of course apropos of nothing. I never could get into Julian Barnes. I'm told his stuff is excellent, though. Maybe he suffers from that too-good-for-his-own-good syndrome that people like Nabokov and Martin Amis sometimes suffer from.

Dina received her mix (mentioned last entry) and seems to be enjoying it. The cover was a pencil sketch I drew of me thinking of her wondering where her mix was. I drew her from memory, but apparently it was accurate enough that her coworkers remarked on it. Pretty cool. The previously mentioned "Miscegenation" mix (now untitled) is nearly finished, and I'll probably send that along to her as well.

This evening I spent the bulk of my time spring cleaning. I've reduced the clutter in my room significantly, but without proper shelving there are still messy spots and piles here and there. I think I might pick up some cardboard boxes tomorrow and start packing the stuff that I never use but would like to keep. Maybe a pile of boxes will look slightly less disorganized than several piles of books and CDs.

One of the stranger aspects of cleaning was rooting through my clear plastic trunk. This trunk has been through a lot and is worse for the wear. It was lugged from Jasmine's bedbug-ridden Greenpoint residence across Brooklyn, evacuated from my doomed South Park Slope sublet in midday to Josh's, used as my sole shelf during my three somber months in Williamsburg, fitted with effort into the far corner of my 6x6 lofted bedroom in Hell's Kitchen, and finally deposited beside my dresser for over a year here in Ridgewood, so completely disfigured by this point that the lid would barely stay on. To rummage through it was to be suddently confronted with my not-so-distant Situation as a newcomer to New York City.

(Plus I found $3 and some change that included quarters.)

There's a certain amount of intelligence hiding in one's history, I think. The last two or so years are more than an good adventure story. They reassure me that I have been and always will be capable of taking control of my life. The important thing to remember is that I needn't wait for crises to strike in order to do so.



Blogger D said...

Paragraph by paragraph:

1) I don't know if it's more accurate. It looks less like the quasi-romantic image of you I keep in my head, and I deem quasi-romanticism to be one of the more dependable things that inform me.

2) That's pretty awesome, that you bookshopped with Julian Barnes. And yes, Amis and Nabokov are both nads, not unlike Barnes. Not that I read Barnes, but as you say, he strikes me as a nad. And by nad, I just mean... oh, the hell with it.

3) I think I'm still in love with Dina. She made me this mix, like four years ago, where all the songs were about how I would't know love if it bit me. I listened to it a while ago, and it made me sad.

4) The idea of spring cleaning in the city strikes me as completely ridiculous. Just totally ridiculous.

5&6) You've been there so long, I don't even remember you, but for my quasi-romantic invocations of your profile pictures and variously intelligent intellectual conversations over the years. Newcomer p'shaw. Though, in fairness, as of July of this year, the two times I will have seen Slint in my life, I will have seen them with you. Plus: MONEY IS AWESOME WHEN YOU FIND IT!

6) You wisdom, here, makes me hope that I am someday as wise, though it sadly does not make me feel optimistic per se.


3:23 AM  
Blogger Ryan Martin said...


I think you were right about the pic. I've been depicting myself as overworked or sadsack both in drawings and in public photos for a while here. It's an old habit and I should probably lose it.

"Nad" is pretty much the mot juste here.

Dina is a catch. She's such a catch that there must be a catch. She definitely seems to be peaking at the moment. I don't know the personal history between youse two, but if it was four years ago there's no reason for regret. I'm betting she didn't have her head on nearly as straight back then.

You have no idea how psyched I am about 2007 Jul 13. Well, maybe you do. It'll be good to see you again.

Much love,

10:58 AM  

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