Saturday, October 2, 2010


Where did September go? And how about the rest of August? In my case, they went to finishing up my internship at the National Portrait Gallery, completing leftover treatment and research projects at Winterthur, visiting family and friends in North Carolina, and starting my next internship at New York Public Library. This one goes from mid-September through the end of May.

The day I took the above picture was memorably bad: I rented a cargo van, bashed it into a car on my street in Manayunk while trying to parallel park it, wrestled with my conscience, left a note, loaded the car, drove it to Queens, parked in somebody's private driveway without realizing it, got yelled at, prayed, managed to parallel park successfully, said thank you, unloaded in the gasping heat, drank a half-gallon of cold water, and assembled my tiny bedroom, which is the size of a walk-in closet: 7 x 11 feet. The door to the rest of the apartment has a knob, but the doorjamb has no hole in it and no catchplate to accept the tongue of the knob. So it doesn't latch. Ah, New York.

Since taking this picture, I have opened up the futon (which almost makes a queen-sized bed) and lost the little floor space remaining. But it does make sleeping more comfortable.

I have also read Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit (fabulous) and Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed, which joins a string of good novels named after lines of hymns. However, I think Hour is not quite as coherent as I Know This Much Is True. (In general, Lamb likes to bite off a bit more than is comfortably chewed. And in this book, he certainly embraces discomfort: Columbine, Iraq, PTSD, adultery, vehicular manslaughter.)

And I've thought a lot about writing. I've seen Jonathan Lethem speak. I've gotten my friend Amy Rogers' excellent advice on using artificial deadlines to make yourself productive and overcome your fear of the sh!tty rough draft. I've written in journals and notebooks. Just not on this blog. I hope to remedy that as time goes on, even if nobody's reading!

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