September 20th, 2007

Two Days in the Life

Recently, a number of people I respect have started to use Twitter. Although I can understand its appeal for them -- it's one of the few internet applications that is suited to the constraints imposed by run-of-the-mill mobile phones; the content of individual entries can be absorbed in a few seconds -- I have yet to be won over myself. The interface gives me the same bad feeling that MySpace does and the mandated concision reminds me of the pain I felt when trying to compress a style I'd developed for 400-word music reviews into half that space. If I'm going to overextend myself further in the realm of new media, I would rather write things that go into more depth than my entries here, not less.

Still, I do like the idea of chronicling one's cultural excursions in a forum where the flesh of fact matters more than the clothes it wears. So here's my best approximation of twittering, in which I tick off the last forty-eight hours:
• Watched Mean Streets at three in the morning because it was better than lying there waiting for the sun to come up

• Woke up threadbare from the excessive stimulation of the previous night. Teaching after dark means too many Monster drinks. But the stars were spectacular.

• Wrote midterm for Literary Analysis course. Ten short-answer questions this time instead of my usual five. Longer tests take longer to grade.

• Met with colleague, musing with her on the damage wrought by parents and how it is displaced onto one's partners and progeny.

• Discussed reason for car failing inspection with our mechanic. As usual, the blame rests on the sensors rather than the sensed.

• Showed the same sequence from Apocalypse Now over and over. With sound. Without sound. With sound but no picture. More useful for my students than the rest of the exam, in the long run.

• Began reading Michael Herr's Dispatches again as they wrote their essays. Like On the Road transposed to a war zone, minus the belly rubs.

• Rode the bus home, knees jammed up against front wheel well. The woman who sat down next to me, hard to place in time, smelled like gum. And she lingered there long after other seats had opened up.

• Listened to my portable music player impatiently as the trip dragged on, switching from new records to all-time favorites. Joy Division and The Cure. The live version of the latter's "Faith" is as sublime as I recalled.

• Made two turkey sandwiches for dinner. They didn't sit so well. A little bus sick?

• Went to bed early, but managed to insert a few more tape flags into Please Kill Me before drifting off.

• Slept fitfully. Dreamed behind a deadbolted door.

• Put Animal Collective's new record in the car's CD player this morning. It sounds intrusive at any volume. Does that make it good?

• Jogged in the pool. Perhaps it's time to leave off the quotation marks.

• Ran into the Locals Only guy at Zia. Going to a record store now feels illicit, like it's something only people with problems do.

• Ate a fair simulation of Grape Nuts with yoghurt at Wild Oats for breakfast. What is becoming of me?

• Made jokes in meetings, like I did when I didn't yet dread going to meetings. Strange to spend all day in the Department two days in a row.

• Opted for Big Star on the walk to the car. "September Gurls" came on right after I exited the underpass. Is there a more perfect example of power pop?

• Came back to Beyond Bread after dropping daughter at martial arts. I'm becoming a regular. I hope I don't look like one.

• Returned to the dojo in time to see the day's last lesson, American Girl named "Nellie" in tow. Propped her on the floor between the legs of my chair and the one next to me so that her eyes would stay open to take in the spectacle.

• Dined with daughter at Yoshimatsu, nursing a tall Asahi and trying to figure out what the woman across from us at our semi-communal table was reading.

• Had a large hot chocolate at Starbucks on the way home, a decision I would later regret, since the agitation it imparted made me sit down to write this.

• Decided to pass on tonight's Animal Collective show at the Rialto because A) I'm going there to see the New Pornographers and Lavender Diamond tomorrow; B) I just wasn't in the mood to drive all the way back downtown; C) I realized, in listening to their new Strawberry Jam album again today that I just don't like them enough to merit overriding my first two considerations

• Did enough dishes to not feel guilty in the morning, including two of our three French presses

• Sat down to write this entry
Had I been using Twitter, this entry might have broken into a dozen separate entries. Personally, I'd rather engage with longer structures. But I suppose it's possible, though unlikely, that I will one day change my mind.