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Desert Solitaire
by Edward Abbey

Out of the Basement At Last

Empties
The Empties finally made it out of Eddie’s basement to play our first gig at last. It was sort of an open-mic band night sort of deal, which meant us and a bunch of mostly lame acoustic guitar acts. All things considered, the show went well. We had a decent crowd (in part because the very, very bad acoustic guitar duo after us brought their frat brothers and sorostitute sisters), and the energy level was pretty high. We made the usual number of fuck-ups, but covered them with unusual elegance. All in all, I’d have to say that our first gig was a success. We may have our second gig coming up next weekend, if a certain guitarist/drummer whose name rhymes with “Freddy Datsun” can get out of work obligations.
Life is, in certain respects, much easier without a job.

Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart
Haruki Murakami

Sputnik Sweetheart
Sputnik Sweetheart is, in part, about love and infatuation. I’ve had folks try to convince me that it’s impossible to love someone who doesn’t love you back — that’s it’s really just infatuation at that point. I’m pretty certain that’s wrong. and Sputnik Sweetheart illustrates why. Part of being in love with someone just means wanting the best possible things for them, regardless of whether you get anything out of it or not. That’s a lot easier to sustain when the wish is reciprocated, but I don’t think it’s requisite. I’m pretty sure that at points in my life, I’ve loved people who didn’t love me. It’s not always as bad as it sounds. I’ve also had plenty of selfish infatuations. I think those have probably been more hurtful.
In any case, Sputnik Sweetheart is a good story about the two. The narrator is in love with a friend; the friend is infatuated with somebody else. The storytelling is pure Murakami — just surreal enough to remind you that you’re reading a novel, but just realistic enough to make you care about the characters. The plot itself is of secondary importance to the prose and the character development. I think my life these days reads similarly. Now that I’ve quit school and am living without a full-time job and no long-term goals, the plot has pretty well fallen by the wayside. My hope is that I can take some time to get down to improving what I’ve always cared more about, anyway — aesthetics. Not that I entirely want to live a Murakami novel (they tend to be rife with hearty doses of heartache,) but I am working on building something. Here’s hoping it hangs together…