Tag Archives: McEwan

Amo, amas, amat*

10 Jul

*I don’t know why I just thought of that, but I did. It could be some form of McEwan withdrawal. Eek.

Anyway. In light of the loss of On Beauty (not really a loss—i know where it is but don’t have the time to pick it up), I picked up Stendhal’s The Red and the Black. The first two chapters read well, with sharp political and environmental observations. I’m not really in the meat of it yet, but I’m excited because Sorel’s plight was a source of endless discussion in my fall lit theory class.

I’m back at work, even though my eye is still a bit itchy (but no longer contagious, so I can work).

Also, apparently Mayor Bloomberg is planning some sort of media bailout. While this is nice—and sort of self-serving for the man who owns Bloomberg news—I’m a bit worried about a conflict of interest. The money, space, and job opportunities are nice. So nice. And as someone who will face a dwindling job market, I am so grateful. But this sounds a little fishy to me. Should the press be dependent on the mayor’s money? I mean, I can’t see this as leading to the Times or News giving City Hall an easy go. But still, I’m concerned that this can be a slippery slope for governmental reliance. Then again, it’s not like we can be so picky. Just take the money and run, I suppose. (Or take the hot dog and run.)

Also, Espada! And Ravitch! And oh Albany, there are days when you make me wish I’d been born in New Jersey.

Click here for a laugh at Barack Obama’s expense. But Sarkozy is not at all surprising there. Not at all.

Vroom

2 Jul

Today was a sad, sad day. I was sent to cover two (unrelated) suicides–so devastating. And difficult. But more devastating. So much grief today. I don’t really know what else to say.

This is more annoying than sad, but then I lost my phone. Hours later, I finally found it on the driveway. I guess I dropped it as I was walking out of the car?

Speaking of car! Most of you probably know that I can’t drive. If you didn’t, well, the cat’s out of the bag. So sue me–although I’m a Long Islander, I went to high school and go to college in the city. Also, I admit laziness had a hand in my reliance on the Long Island Rail Road. Anyway, about two years ago my father started teaching me how to drive, and I was okay, if a bit erratic and tense and nervous. Okay, pretty erratic, tense, and nervous. And then we stopped. School picked up again, I went to St. Louis for the summer (where my lack of license led to my kind boss driving me to work, home, everywhere. Three days ago I got behind the wheel again and the whole thing seemed so much easier and relaxing. Road test/license in the not so distant future? I think so!

Oh, also: OCB is much faster than (but still not as good as) Saturday. Because the font is larger. And because it’s less jam-packed with sweeping ideas that cover more than the protagonists.

I wish Anne Hathaway were not in Twelfth Night. I have a feeling she is making tickets much harder to come by…

Excited for the long weekend, though! Doing anything interesting?

Chesil a go

1 Jul

After reading other reviews—and following Ian’s (oh, not McEwan! I don’t think that I channel the author’s guidance in my head…) advice—I decided, despite my unfiltered reaction to the “lazy” NYT review, I would forge ahead with On Chesil Beach. Plus, the New Yorker already got me 45 pages (or 1/5 chapters) in. So why not?

It’s okay so far, pretty good, not awful, not amazing. Worth reading, of course.

Aaaaanyway today my work assignment—not crime!—brought me close to school. It was good to be back and to bump into lots of people I know after hours. Also the sun has turned my cheeks red. But then it rained. And, of course, I was caught in it. Some things never change.

Also, I saw the South Pacific revival last week with my family. This well-done musical doused my parents and grandparents in nostalgia (my grandma sang in my ear…). I enjoyed the excellent performance, but question the value of reviving a play so historically and ideologically topical. The different reactions from different generations (at least within my family) showcased a conceptual divide: my brother and I initially had trouble grasping that a huge chunk of the plot turned on questions of marriage between different races.

This stuff was revolutionary when Rodgers and Hammerstein produced it way back when. Now, it seems sort of meaningless: the overcoming of these barriers is a conclusion that does not need to be told, let alone celebrated with three hours of music, dialogue, and elaborate sets. But its lack of dramatic intrigue in 2009 could be considered an artistic feat—a barometer that illustrates how far we’ve come.

Lately

29 Jun

I suppose blogging comes easier when I’m bored. I have been anything but bored. Work sends me across the city to report on (mostly) crime and gather quotes from New Yorkers. I have a long commute, and Sunday-Friday I come home tired, often after hanging out with friends post-work, and crash. Seeing the city from behind a notebook is enlightening and humbling. I visit places where I do not fit in, and do my best to show residents that I am their ally. All I want is to gather their stories. To expose tangible wrongs that make their lives more difficult than they should be. But often, they distrust me on the basis of my existence as a reporter. There are always barriers to be dismantled, some tougher than others.

Naturally, my reading has slowed, but the commute is good for getting a few pages in between phone calls and broken LIRR lights. I just finished McEwan’s Saturday this morning, and started On Chesil Beach online (thanks to the excerpt in the New Yorker).

I went to a friend’s wedding yesterday, and On Chesil Beach begins at the start of a marriage: “Almost strangers, they stood, strangely together, on a fresh pinnacle of existence, gleeful that their new status promised to promote them out of their endless youth—Edward and Florence, free at last! “