Swamped, Swamped, Swamped

I’m still so so swamped but it’s a truth universally acknowledged that the more work you have, the more distractions you will find (blogging being one of them, I guess). So here’s a list of my recent distractions (delivered in a blatant effort not to get down to drawing graphs).

Music: Zaz. It’s rare that I find French music that I enjoy and the more I treasure those finds. I listen to her and imagine myself in Paris. Miss you, Paris.

Film: Comte d’été by Rohmer. Back in my pretentious high school phase when I watched movies without a plot I really liked Rohmer. Now I’m watching him for French practice (because every now and then I catch a snippet like “How was the water?” and “Would you like the check” and it makes me feel so accomplished; seriously, my French still sucks) but I like how, well, French he is and his realistic portrayal of people when they speak undecipherable nonsense. It looks very realistic. But I’m only watching 10 minutes at a time.

Book: The Diamond Age by Stephenson. I read it once already but in a rushed way and now I’m savoring it more. I took a short break from Shakespeare.

Universe: Marvel Universe. We’re going through a new Marvel phase these days, because we have bought not one but two Marvel board games and additionally I’ve developed an addiction to Marvel Puzzle Quest: Stealing Your Time Three Minutes at a Time (TM).

Ugh, back to graphs.

Bookworming, Everydailiness

In the Meantime

While I’m writing my PhD, which I’ve been sort of doing for a while but only actually started doing yesterday, I don’t expect to write many other things so, as usual, bear with me. In the meantime, here’s a list of things I’ve recently read but won’t probably get down to reviewing as by the time I have, well, time, I will have forgotten most of my impressions.

Here goes: Kazan’s Acts of Love (my third reading and I still like it), Liza Dalby’s Geisha (I still prefer the less realistic but oh-so-lovely Memoirs of a Geisha), Bright Lights, Big City (pretty awful, ammarite?), The Giver (so, so awful; seriously I know it’s for kids, but it was still awful), iZombie (fun, actually), Persuasion (my last unread Austen, really liked it), Broke Heart Blues (not great, but so far haven’t found anything by Oates that I’d love). I’m also in the middle of what I’m pretentiously calling The Shakespeare Project, which means I’m reading (or re-reading, I’m not that uneducated actually) all of Shakespeare’s plays by 2016. I could do it faster, but it’s better with breaks. So far I’ve read five, I guess, but I’m optimistic. (Self-improvement for dummies.)


I’ve sat through a minor bureaucratic ordeal today and now I can officially start working on my PhD – or, you know, admit officially how I’m not working on it. Also, I’d love to post a new review but I’m reading The Luminaries, have gone through one-third of it and it will take me another eighteen months to read the rest. Is this novel slow or is it slow?


Not Singin’ in the Rain

I am a walker by necessity (no driving license and a secluded neighborhood) and preference (so much less trouble than gym) and as such a connoisseur of the special life pleasure called summer downpour. Not a summer passes by that I don’t get bone-soaked at least once… who am I kidding, it’s never just once. Yesterday was my yearly initiation into stormy weather.

Now, your experience of summer rain will depend entirely on one circumstance: are you going to or from home when it drops on you. Luckily, I was returning and so could keep my cool as I’m wont to do. Had you seen me, you would’ve been proud to know me, I’ve accepted the rain with such commendable stoicism.

The Summer Rain Experience invariably falls into phases. First, you feel anxiety and show a natural tendency to attempt avoiding getting wet. Having an umbrella prolongs the illusion that you can succeed. But then, as you run for cover, one faulty step sends you splashing into a huge puddle, fills your shoe with water and sets you on a path to freedom and carelessness (and potential pneumonia). Your makeup melts down your face, together with your sense of social propriety and a good thing it is because by then you look like a wet T-shirt contestant, only less buxom. Finally, with your hair plastered to your skull, clothes as wet as if you walked through a shower, when you have already said mental goodbye to your phone and favorite shoes, the Jerk Driver arrives. True, I observed with pleasure how most drivers slow down and veer away from the sidewalk. But then, it only takes one and he’s as sure as taxes to come by. Yesterday, with a timing happy for my stoicism, mine arrived when I had already not a dry spot on me and not a fudge to give anymore (and good for you, DPD delivery guy, ’cause if I wasn’t too wet or too slow I would’ve gotten your number and totally not do anything about it!).

But then the best part comes and here is full disclosure: I consider summer downpour one of great life pleasures. If I happen to be going home and expect a relatively soon change into dry clothes and a cup of hot tea, I actually love walking in the rain. When you’ve already given up on salvaging your clothes, hairdo and dignity it becomes incredibly liberating to just splash through the puddles, streams of water flowing down your face, all the sensible people already holed up in houses, stores and bus stops. It feels like just for a small moment, without any danger greater than a sore throat, you can step out of all everyday constrains. For a free and legal activity it’s worth recommending.

PS. WordPress suggested that I tag this post with mental-health. Stop judging me, WordPress.