Apologies for my silence lately.Â A combination of inclement factors augmented my own natural laziness and served to silence the old keyboard for a bit.Â
Â About a week ago a friend and I were attempting to manhandle a china hutch into a freshly floored dining room and I pulled my back out.Â All the way out.Â At 24.Â It hurt.Â I spent three full days in a recliner, moving only to use the restroom and sneak an occaisional cigarette.Â I had a lot of time to think…and wasted most of it.
Â I did get a fair amount of reading done, though.Â I finished Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun and a book of criticism/speculations on the same (Robert Borski’s Solar Labyrinth).Â I was impressed at the artistry, the scope, the puzzles, and above all the natural, unforced nature of the prose.Â Wolfe’s magnum opus is a true accomplishment and I recommend it to any fan of speculative fiction.Â The books are laced with Borges references, and the nodsÂ to I, Claudius are tastefully and subtlely done.Â I’d like to thank allofthemwitches, “Badlands” Daugherty, and a few others who nudged me into reading Wolfe.Â It is well worth the time.
Â As soon as I was able to crawl out of the recliner and scuttle around, I was sent to a Workers’ Compensation conference in Philadelphia, MS, home of a Choctaw reservation and two casinos.Â The majority of my time there was spent blitzed on muscle relaxers in my hotel room, cigarette in mouth and Nerval’s Aurelia in hand.Â Good times.Â
Â I did jot down a few thoughts while I was in Casinoland, and I thought I’d put them here:
Â Random Observations at the 19th Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference
– I am unsuited to this line of work.Â Profoundly unsuited.
– Parties are all the same everywhere, no matter the location, occaision, or average age of the guests.Â
– A woman taking pictures of the photos on the Casino’s “wall of fame” is perhaps the most pathetic thing I have seen in quite some time, not so much because of the obvious absurdity of the act but because of its (assumed) motivation.Â Are we so lost that a photo of a second rate celebrity ,erits a second glance, much less a picture, a permanent memory all its own?
Â – Casinos are bastions of banality, kitsch, consumerism, and waste.Â Why, then, do I feel that the Choctaws are somehow justified in foisting them on these poor, rural, uneducated, uninteresting, and incurious people?
– Soft drinks are fucking expensive here.
– One of the seminar speakers made a Kundera reference.Â I wonder who else got it.