Saturday, January 30, 2010

Journal for January 2009

Started the New Year 25 pounds lighter than last year, o thank you Dr Atkins. My New Year's hexagrams were most favorable, and I re-affirmed my unresolved resolution left from last year: to learn to tap-dance, which I meanwhile recognize as the greatest failing of my life.

Francesca took me to a revival of the Cockettes' Pearls over Shanghai on my 70th birthday, and we went to a Poets Theater show at Small Press Traffic, celebrating the publication of Kevin Killian's brilliant new anthology.

I won a long battle with the landlord by summoning the Dept of Building Inspectors, who issued an order to turn up the heat, which was subsequently achieved. I began my new project of tiling the kitchen counter-top, which now looks fabulous.

I bought my first memory foam mattress from eBay for $169. At first I didn't like it. It reminded me of waterbeds back in the old days. But I quickly got used to it and now I think it's super.

The Spring semester started, which finds me in Prof Trevor Getz' historiography graduate seminar at SFSU. Eleven thick history books to read before the end of the semester, and a 1000-word written report due each week until then. I'm currently researching the beginnings of history as an academic discipline, which happened at the Humboldt University in Berlin around 1810.

Books read this month: Janet Nelson, The Frankish World. Thomas Wolfe, Of Time and the River. Kevin Killian: Impossible Princess. Annie Proulx, Fine Just the Way It is. Mary Beard, The Parthenon. Cormac McCarthy, The Road.

Quote of the month: "The one thing we owe history is to re-write it." (Oscar Wilde.)

It rained a lot this month: the Berkeley campus is awash with greenness after two solid weeks of rain, and the magnolias next to the Life Sciences Building are starting to blossom.

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