Saturday, November 11, 2006


I was really enjoying reading Jonathon Franzen's book of essays, "How to Be Alone."

Until it fell into the bathtub, that is.


And it's a library book, too.

When/if it ever dries I'll post a picture.

In the meantime, here's a excerpt from Franzen's 1995 essay "First City," on why NYC is more like a European metropolis than an American one:

"Hiking is what I do for fun in Manhattan on windy days or after sundown, when the diesel fumes lift. I'm a recreational walker, and in the last few years I've noticed something odd when I've hit the sidewalks of suburban St. Louis and suburban Colorado: a not negligible percentage of the men speeding by me in theri cars or sport-utility vehicles (it's always men) feel moved to yell obscenities at me. It's hard to know why they do this. The only things unusual about me are that I'm not driving and that I'm not wearing teal and purple or a backward baseball cap. My guess is that they yell at me simply because I'm a stranger, and from the perspective of their glassed-in vehicles I have no more human reality than the coach on their TV screens who has elected to punt on fourth and short.

"I've been yelled at in New York, too, but only by deinstitutionalized psychotics, and then only in the midst of fellow subway riders who sympathized with me...."


Last night was the first installment of Paul Grilley's yoga and anatomy workshop, and I was singled out not once but twice for the, uh, uniqueness of my body; first, for my amazing hyperextending arms. And then for the lack of mobility in my neck: when I tilt my head back it goes 45 degrees max. Then Mr. Grilley pointed out a woman at the other side of the room; her head goes back THREE TIMES as much as mine.


No wonder my backbends suck.


  1. Hmmm... well as a native Philadelphian I have to say that Philadelphia is older and was the first large city in the US... and you can feel it. I remember when I was growing up it was still illegal to build above William Penn's hat (the statue on top of city hall) - a genteel and not-very American concept...

    On another note... I am considering another Mysore visit... maybe end of January to end of March. Are you thinking of going?

  2. Sista, you can't rest a book on the curved surface of a claw foot bathtub.

    So please, in the future, refrain from this ill treatment of library books.
    The librarian's have a dim view on this venture, and it pisses them off.

    the book is thus marked as having been inside a bathroom.
    Remember Seinfeld?