If We Make It Through December

Dear readers, I don’t think I’m being revelatory when I tell you that December can be pretty rough in Pittsburgh. (Author’s note: I just looked up the dictionary definition of revelatory to ensure I was using it correctly: it’s “revealing something hitherto unknown.” I’m sharing because this is my nomination for best definition ever.) The weather fluctuates, we get colds and aches, the sun refuses to come out of hiding, but still we carry on in what can be one of the more stressful times of the year. Here’s how I’m making it through December.

1Q84 is a fascinating read that I’m still not entirely through, but am comfortable enough talking about. I’ll be honest, friends, it’s kind of driving me crazy. It’s outrageously long and detailed, which is not something I need from Murakami. He always has been the type to describe meals and characters changing features, but at times this feels like overkill. That said, it’s as engaging as ever, and the dual point of view narration he utilizes to have the “star-crossed” characters intertwine is worthwhile. I still have yet to decide whether I like it or hate it – I don’t love it, because love should never put you through this kind of confusion. Or maybe I don’t know what I talk about when I talk about love (author’s note: that’s a bad joke), which leads us to Raymond Carver.

Carver is my jam. I just tend to forget that sometimes. It had been a few years since I read him, and if there’s anything better about being older, it’s that I’m smarter and able to appreciate things more. I devoured some Carver stories and have been suggesting others read or reread him on their own ever since – it’s not often you get to rediscover and re-appreciate someone of this caliber. I may have to check out that biography that came out last year, even if it did make him out to be a bit of a jerk. Then I can see how he translates to cinema, in Altman’s Short Cuts or this year’s Everything Must Go.

Finally, dear readers, if there’s anything like a quiet night reading at home, it’s being at the movies. And while I like current cinema (cue my monthly Nic Cage namedrop), I sometimes prefer until things are out in other formats, so that I can watch comfortably from home with friends and make my various witticisms without ruining others’ theater experience. While it may not be the time of year for horror, Rec and Rec2 (as in “record” on a camera) should be watched immediately regardless of the time. This is the movie that JJ Abrams wanted to make when he made Cloverfield, and the movie that its American remake Quarantine wished it could be. The dialogue is in Spanish, but don’t let the subtitles distract you, they aren’t saying much other than your generic “We have to get out of here.” It is the images that will stick with you, and probably keep you up at night.

That’s it for now, dear readers. Tell me what you’ve been up to this December, or if you want to talk about anything I’ve mentioned here today. Post below for interactive fun!

– Tony

P.S. Today’s blog title was brought to you by Merle Haggard. That’s two points to whoever knew that before reading this sentence.


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2 responses to “If We Make It Through December

  1. I love me some Raymond Carver! Another favorite Raymond who reminds me a bit of Carver for some reason: http://catalog.einetwork.net/search/i9781596916555


  2. Amanda

    This December I drove around South Carolina and fell in love with NPR programming (no confusion there except what station to turn to when this one gets staticEE). The programming led me to want to read nothing but Kurt Vonnegut and author biographies, which I will probably never do either of, because my list is too long. I also decided to start learning Spanish. But I am probably not going to watch those Spanish dialogue movies because I like books more. For me, December is a month of great potentials and calm let downs.

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