6

I Think…No, I Know I Have A Problem

Well, so many.

Including never managing to post here at a reasonable hour of the day and resorting to between 11-12, never updating my iPhone/computer OS, and sticking to a good diet.

This post, however, is about my reading and book-acquiring habits.

I, That’s So Jacob, fully admit to being a reading addict and a book hoarder.

Allow me to explain.

First, reading addict. Some people say “oh, I read anything,” but I’ll literally read anything. No genre or era is safe; if it’s in a language I can read, I’ll read it. Sometimes I won’t even take the book out of the store, I’ll read the whole thing, then buy it. My reading addiction got me almost accidentally left behind on a family trip to Canada.

Furthermore, once I start a book, I can’t abandon it. Even if it’s a thousand pages, or completely boring, if I’ve gotten more than a page or two into the book, I have to finish it. Some rare cases have included books when I’ve accidentally skipped a chapter/section and not realized it (then I know there’s something wrong with the book…or me), and A Commonwealth of Thieves. It took me a week to read 10 pages without falling asleep mid-sentence. According to my calculations, had I continued reading, it would have taken me about a whole year to read it, upon which point I never looked at the book again. And then again, there was the mistake of picking up Ulysses in high school and feeling like a failure because I had no clue what to make of it, and couldn’t get the first chapter or so.

The last few books I’ve read have been, well…not so great. But not enough to abandon. I have no shame in saying their titles, if only to remind me not to do that again; with so many books and so little time, I need to find out what happens at the ends of the good ones. First, Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman. The back cover blurb sounded interesting, but the Ghanaian-British slang made it very confusing as well as the lack of a clear plot. Next came Andorra by Peter Cameron, a book which has nothing to do with the actual nation of Andorra, as it takes place in a coastal Mediterranean town. It also features two characters with the same first and last name (a husband and wife), and too many characters referred to by their common last names. The ending took me by surprise, but it was predictable and honestly at that point I didn’t care anymore. Finally, Red Dust by Ma Jian – a book that has been on my list for years – wound up being as dry as…red dust. After that string of mindless page-skimming, it’s clear that I need to read books I actually care about.

My second confession is to being a book hoarder. I’ve gotten a little better at it actually, I must say; while I still hoard plays/theatre texts (they’re for RESEARCH!) I’ve started to part with some of the books I’ve had around for awhile, and I’m down to a five-shelf bookshelf, two shelves in the bathroom, and two drawers full of mysteries and trade-sized paperbacks. It’s definitely not as bad as it was in Houston. But lately, the book-acquiring bug bit me again. I saw that someone on PaperBackSwap was wishing for a copy of a book in a mystery series that was the next one in series order from where I had left the series, so I actually bought a copy on Amazon mostly for the sole purpose of offering it on PBS (but reading it first, of course).

I also don’t seem to understand the concept of “rewarding myself,” since today I did so preemptively – I promised myself I would work on research for a few hours (which I did end up doing!), in exchange for a trip to a used bookstore where I promptly bought 7 books I likely didn’t need and already have one packaged to send out to a PBS user tomorrow.

Not saying that this addiction is a bad problem, or an expensive one, just one that I can’t seem to break. Will I ever not have the need to read?

Advertisements
2

Some Goals For October

Most of the past week of my life or so has consisted of sleeping (horribly, I might add), staying in bed until the afternoon, feeding myself, thinking about doing work, frantically running around either doing errands or going to dance classes, forgetting to feed myself again, watching YouTube, and going to bed way too late.

While it might seem like the perfect life, it does have its drawbacks, and I need to get.stuff.done.this.month.

So, a goal list is in order.

While I have my thoughts collected here goes my loosely-defined some goals for October.

  1. Read/go through ~4 books a week for research.
  2. Write 3-5 pages a week.
  3. Translate 7 scenes a week (roughly 1 a day; if there is a short one, I can do two in a day)
  4. Go through stuff in my closet/on my desk/in my car.
  5. Read 100-200 pages a day (for pleasure)
  6. Limit: YouTube, Facebook, Words with Friends, Secret Society, constantly checking email, other distractions.
  7. Go to bed by 2 AM.

Come on Jacob, you can do this.

Any encouragement would be appreciated.

4

A Slightly More Than Expected Day

One of the questions asked at tonight’s APO meeting was about the most interesting thing that happened today.

Normally, I don’t find my days that interesting, especially today, which I spent the better half of in bed. Once I got up, however, the following things happened.

  • I put an earring into a drunk man’s ear.
  • I bought a salad for lunch and left it sitting in a bag on the sidewalk.
  • I admitted publicly to doing both of those things.
  • I was sitting outside and writing a check to send in the mail with my Kohl’s bill, and just as I was finishing, a bird pooped on it.
  • I went to Target, and though I bought plenty of other things, the fruit snacks I bought did not make it home.
  • For a block, I drove down the wrong side of the road. Fortunately, there were no cars coming.
  • My right ear hurts like crazy (not the ear canal, but slightly under the ear) and I hope I don’t have an infection or anything.

It’s been quite a rough 24 hours for the world, but hopefully this post will cheer some of you up.

0

Waiter, There’s Gold In My Soup

So, tonight I went out to HopCat with the dance team. I arrived about a half hour into dinner, so everyone had already ordered and was still waiting for their meals. I got a seat on the end, flagged down a waitress, and ordered a cup of veggie chili. I don’t know how it happened, but I got it way before everyone else (about 15 people) and had just about finished it when everyone else finally got their meals. I asked for my check, and the waitress dropped it off. I opened it, and it was.

$99.48.

My eyes almost popped out of my head.

I called the waitress over and obviously there had been a mistake; she accidentally gave me the bill for the entire table. Although I’m generally a generous person, and the chili was delicious, it wasn’t worth that much.

My next reaction was, “was there gold in that soup?” (although a funnier reaction would have been “was there a Kardashian in that soup?”)

I got my real check ($5.28) and paid, telling one of the others at the table as I was leaving.

Her reaction?

“Was there gold in that soup?”

0

From Snowstorms to Sunscreen (and a little coin jewelry)

Yes, writing about the weather is so boring and banal, but I’m not feeling too inspired these days (which is evident if you’ve been to my apartment recently) but it’s gotten really warm and sunny, all of a sudden. I spent several hours outside selling jewelry at the cart on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and even though I put on sunscreen, I still managed to get quite a lovely burn on my arms and forehead. It’s only May and I already look like I’m done with summer.

In other news…I do wonder if anyone reading this would be interested in buying some of the jewelry I sell. It’s all made by my dear friend right here in Madison from vintage/recycled materials from all around the world, so think global shop local (I came up with that one!) We don’t have a web presence just yet, but here’s some of the stuff we sell. If you’d like to own any of it, just comment below, I’ll send it to you, and we can work out some type of payment plan or something.

Here is a selection of just a few of the coin earrings that we sell, made from real coins from around the world. They sell for $15 USD, and if you’re interested, just let me know. I took pictures of eight of our stock, from the beginning of the alphabet, and I will take more pictures – we have many more coins, and other items as well – and upload them here sometime. These coins are from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, and Bhutan. I’ll send them anywhere…any takers?

Ooh la la

4

Still Hanging On…

It’s been some time since I’ve posted an update, but I’m still hanging in there. I proctored my final final exam for my Theater 120 students yesterday morning, and got a little sunburned walking around town afterwards. Most of the past 48 hours have been spent catching up on chores and getting some reading done. I finished a book and I’m close to finishing another. The one I finished wasn’t that great, but the ones I’m reading now are definitely review-worthy, so stay tuned.