Sunday, August 07, 2005

Wrapped up in books

I will say a prayer, just while you are sitting there
and I will wrap my hands around you, I know it will be fine
We've got a fantasy affair, we didn't get wet, we didn't dare
Our aspirations, are wrapped up in books
Our inclinations are hidden in looks


I'm at work right now, doing some maintenance work for the site, the type of thing we needed to do at an ungodly hour when no one's browsing. Daft as I am, our sysadmin told me that we'd be doing the work on Sunday morning, which I took to be Sunday night slash Monday morning, so I was in my room earlier reading when I got a call from him at about midnight, asking me where the hell I was. He really had meant Sunday morning, like, after Saturday night. I hauled ass and was in the office around 20 minutes later.

It's alright, the work, I mean, nothing too heavy, and going over some of the old code, I was amused by my own cleverness with the system's design, especially because of the fact that I didn't have a hard time applying patches. Reminds me of that old quote by Linux guru Bruce Perens, "There's justice in programming. If you do it correctly, it runs. If you don't, it doesn't. There's none of this messiness of human relationships."

My weekend, or what passes for a weekend for me nowadays, had been going pretty well. I'd been listening to Belle and Sebastian on repeat for the last couple of days now. I think I've finally found the perfect context in which to play the record. I'd been getting it wrong all this time, I'd actually been playing their record too loud.

The best way to listen to Belle and Sebastian is to be all alone in a room with total silence, and then turning the music down almost until it's an intimate whisper. It's only then you fully appreciate their snarky, understated, and absolutely delightful cleverness. It's really best for when you're staying in bed a little later on a weekend morning, or when you're daydreaming in the afternoon about that girl you fancy, or of course, when you're wrapped up in books.

I did get in a bit of reading over the weekend. I'm halfway through with Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body, which isn't going down very easily. I don't know, it's probably my mood? I know Mika and Nicole absolutely adore the book, but I can't shake the feeling that Jeanette Winterson is absolutely in love with the words she writes, in the same way that you get the feeling that some announcers on television are just absolutely in love with sounds of their voices. I definitely liked the other Winterson I'd read, The Passion, better, although I guess Winterson has around 80 pages left in Body to change my mind.

(But, I must say, I loved this one line, "Wallowing is sex for depressives." How true!)

I also re-read About a Boy, and I found it much funnier now. I usually don't like re-reading stuff I'd read only recently (and really, it's only been a couple of years), and besides, I've still got tons of other books on my reading list. But the book goes down easy, and I was done with the book in a couple of repeats or so of the Belle and Sebastian album.

Another wrinkle I noticed about the book was that it wasn't so much about growing up or fatherhood as much as it was about the boys daring to take the next step. And why were they so willing to take the next step? Well, apart from the fact that they really kinda had to, they were also crazy about a couple of girls. So while the cover says "About a Boy", when you think about it, like the rock and roll song, the story really is all about the girl.

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