absurdistan-gary shtenyngart

“are we at war?”

“Along the way, we took turns hitting the driver with birch twigs, ostensibly to improve his circulation, but in reality because it is impossible to end an evening in Russia without assaulting someone.” (75-6)

“But beneath this sophistication lay a simple, exposed fact: the West, when stripped bare, was essentially a series of cheap plastic components, pneumatic work chairs, and poorly framed motivational posters.” (285)

“Are we best off with abusive parents or no parents at all?” (300)

i just passed my five year anniversary in this city (and four years at the store) and this time of year does not get any easier. four out of those five years, i’ve lived right outside the exhibition gates, so this air show madness (and nightly pyrotechnics) just seems to get more and more absurd. i mean, don’t people escape war-torn countries to come here, only to relive the technology of war, in a “celebratory” way? i’m glad that my friends at oshaosha paddling are taking the day off today, because there’s nothing like paddling on the serenity of the water while warcraft fly ear-burstingly noisily above us.

as patrick pointed out, i haven’t had three days off since i went on staycation in march, and i must admit that i’ve been moving at a leisurely pace-my motivation matching the muggy and selectively overcast day outside. my desk is getting clearer and my dishes are done, but i’m tempted to stay a hermit today and run the rest of my errands tomorrow.

“we come into this world naked (said rhyming with “baked”) and we leave the world naked (ibid).”

“This is what happens when you don’t learn English, by the way. You’re always at a loss for words.” (6-7)

“His wrist was taut and narrow, like a leek.” (254)

“..and were staying mostly out of each other’s way, because neither of us could understand what the other was becoming.” (16)

“A cry dislodged itself from somewhere between my sternum and my groin, from someplace wet and lonely and orphaned.” (168)

“Children are like champagne corks,” I advised Mr. Nanabragov, patting him on the back. “They should be pointed away and released.” (259)

this was a custo pick-the lovely couple that used to own the serbian bookstore on dundas west who are now living in an overpriced condo in liberty village (how life changes). i was also quite charmed by the author talking about his latest book on the philly free library podcast, so i thought, why not? i did guffaw a few times, though i am not rushing to read the rest of his canon just yet. i did appreciate the marriage of the identity quest between self and nation-this is always a good one. on that note, you know what needs to die? the question “what’s your background”. in all forms, but ESPECIALLY if you think you’re trying to be cute in picking someone up. i’ma start answering “18 counts murder in the first degree, but out on good behaviour and superb use of a card catalogue”, just to fuck with people.

library used: bloor/gladstone (drop off only- it’s a holiday, people)
most interesting library material returned: wolf by tyler the creator
watching: orange is the new black-season two and high maintenance
duolingo status: 3 units away from finishing the spanish skill tree, 1952 lingots
listening to: djalxxx r&b & hip hop mix volume 4


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