"A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that “great wits have short memories:” and whereas, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort, is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day’s reading or conversation." - Jonathan Swift, "A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Reasonably Good Expectations

Because I've been feeling a little down in the mouth and counting my blessings never really makes me feel better (just guilty for feeling bad in the first place), I'm going to count some things I'm looking forward to instead. And because my long-term future plans are high up in the air at the moment, I'm going to count little things that are coming up soon.

1. There are three good movies coming to my little local theater in the next two weeks. (Here in the SoCal suburbs, this is unprecedented.) The first one is A Dangerous Method, which hasn't gotten absolutely stellar reviews but seems interesting and dramatic and features two of my favorite faces-to-look-at-on-a-big-screen.
The second movie I want to see is Albert Nobbs, which I'm very excited about. I hope it lives up to my gender-bending, unusual hero expectations.
The third is Pina, the Wim Wenders documentary, which I hadn't dared hope would even come to the West Coast, let alone to this little podunk town.
[Really, I'm just pleased to have some excuses to go to the movies, because I LOVE going to the movies. I can't quite explain it, but it's one of my favorite treats. I also don't mind going to the movies alone, which I probably will do with a couple of these films - I quite like it in fact, because you can completely forget about yourself and sink into the darkness and the screen. I watch a lot of movies alone at college, but that's not quite the same, because at the end, when the credits music stops, you find yourself alone in a dark room. But in a movie theater, you emerge to find yourself with a bunch of other people who've just shared your experience, and that enables you to maintain the magnitude of emotion that the movie gave you, I think, instead of having it deflate immediately.]

2. I'm looking forward to eating the rest of the spinach-pancetta-gruyère quiche I just made. For some reason, the dining hall food is really killing me this semester, so I made the effort to cook today so that I'd have something delicious to nibble on this week.

3. I'm looking forward to the rain that's forecast for tomorrow (although not to the heat wave that's arriving right afterwards). This has been an awfully dry winter, and some rain will do me and the earth some good.

4. One of my courses has assigned two stories from the complete Sherlock Holmes, and I'm very pleased for the opportunity to get back to the original after lapping up the latest three episodes of Sherlock this month. Speaking of which, I've been saving the last one, so I have that to look forward to as well.

5. And later in the semester, for the same course, I'll get to re-read one of my favorite books, The Remains of the Day. That counts as it's own separate bullet point.

6. Finally, I've just started a new book on tape - Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman - or more exactly, a radio adaptation of it. It started out a little jumbled, but I think I've got the hang of the story now and am in for 7 hours of good Russian novel time.

I guess that's all I got for now. I'm off to resist eating an entire quiche tonight.

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