I thought about discussing my 2010–some variation on the standard “year in review” post, maybe include some obligatory 2011 goals, &c., &c. (bringing back the “&c.” is one of my 2011 goals). But that would be terribly boring for me to write and equally terribly boring for you to read, so if you really want to know, I guess you’ll just have to ask me.
I will say that after working non-stop on them for about the last two months, I’m finally finished with my first round of grad school applications. I imagine I should hear back from all five places by early March, and depending on the results, I’ll apply to a sixth place for fall 2011. Otherwise, it’s back to the drawing board for 2012 apps, which I already have some ideas about. I would still really like to do a post on my ideas about writing and what I’d like to be doing at graduate school, so I’ll try to make sure that materializes over the next week or so.
Moving on: another of my goals (god, this might as well be a year-in-review post), and the only other one I’ll talk about (whew) is my intention to read at least two books a month, which I’m well on my way to accomplishing for January. After many years of thinking I would like to read it, I finally got around to Dave Eggers’s memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which I found absolutely excellent. His writing style is definitely polarizing–you’ll either love his lengthy, manic asides and purposely hyperbolic language and representations of scenarios, or find it obnoxious. One of the reasons I enjoyed it is Eggers’s willingness to rip himself apart in front of your eyes–he talks boastfully of himself and then elbows you in the ribs and says, “Jesus Christ, am I a douchebag or what?” His writing is very self-aware without bragging about his own cleverness…it really sounds like Eggers trying to qualify the situation and being unable to stop himself from trying to explain as much as he can, and realizing oh shit I’m talking too much, shut up shut up and feeling genuinely embarrassed.
I’ve moved on to The Fellowship of the Ring, which I tried to read once in high school and found incredibly boring. This time’s going much better, although it’s still not making its way to the top of my fantasy epic list. From a world-building perspective, I give Tolkien a lot of credit–that has been the really impressive part thus far, more so than the story itself, although he doesn’t go into a significant amount of it in depth in this particular book. Fellowship also gives me an opportunity to use my amazing summarization skills. What follows is a real conversational excerpt from earlier this evening:
Chelsea: probs gonna read me some more Fellowship of the Ring tonight
Allison: barreling through it?
Chelsea: yeah, chugging along
Chelsea: It is much less boring than the first time I tried to read it
Allison: that’s good
Chelsea: Frodo just got his bitch-ass self stabbed in the shoulder
Allison: ahah. stupid ass.
Chelsea: they just crossed the first river and Aragorn’s like “effffff we are too far north, we gonna miss Rivendell”
After this, I should probably finish Waiting for the Barbarians, but I’m also interested in opening either The New Life (a perhaps less depressing employment of Orhan Pamuk’s ability to enchant through his writing) or Visions of Cody (a book of sketches, which are a huge point of interest for me, regarding much of the character material for On The Road, which I finished recently and which touched me deeply). Of course, in addition to all of these ahem ahem literary selections yes well, I also devoured the Scott Pilgrim series in its entirety.
Anyway, hello, 2011. More soon.