One of the (many) benefits of living in the great City of New York is that cultural events happen here on a very large scale. The downside of this is that everyone wants to attend these events, and when something comes around like Lady Gaga at Radio City Music Hall for two nights only, way more than 12,000 people clamor for tickets at 10:00am on that fateful Friday only to discover that, surprise, you are too, too late. Even the presale tickets were gone at 12:00 noon the day before. But somehow, StubHub was selling tickets throughout each section, orchestra and all three mezzanines, days and days before even the date of sale was announced. People on Craig's List were selling Orchestra pit tickets weeks ago. This speaks volumes about the terrible truth of how the music industry and its cronies and friends-of ruin the music business for fans. But then, after it became clear to me that I was not getting tickets, and no one I knew was able to get tickets, I realized that maybe this wasn't such a big deal after all. Everything Lady Gaga does is about visibility, about being seen. So, I figure, whatever she does those two nights, I'll see it. It will be on YouTube, or all over the blogs, she'll Twitter her thanks to all her fantastic gay fans, and perhaps this monopolizing of the imagery and webwaves, maybe this is what Gaga is all about.
Tonight's dinner turned out terribly. Does rice expire? Even when you have it in the fridge? I guess it does--it sort of fell apart, like puffed rice does in leftover cereal milk. I was trying to re-create this leek and white truffle risotto that I made a few weeks ago when some friends were over to watch the Emmys. That night is was spectacular. I was actually surprised it came out so beautifully. But, like other things, and like a lot of people, I need a little reason to shine. So, when it came time to make this big pot of dinner this evening, I felt half-assed about it, and the results are hideous. If I weren't alone, I'd throw it out.
The new Margaret Atwood novel is intriguing, as one might expect. I'm having a weird reaction to it--I'm loving the writing, the specific sentences. But the overall narrative isn't that compelling to me. And this is odd, considering that this one, The Year of the Flood, is kind of a continuation of a thought, a sort-of sequel to one of her books that I loved, Oryx and Crake. I sit on the B61 and read and read, and I keep wondering when the story is going to start. In fact, today I skipped ahead and read the first two pages of a later part of the book to see if there was something maybe I wanted to get to. The good news is: There was. So, I continue on.
I just finished the new Dan Chaon novel, Await Your Reply. This was a totally different experience. The story itself is so exciting, so twisty and slow-to-reveal itself, that I couldn't wait to get to the end. I felt really torn about it. The writing is so beautiful, and so concentrated and thoughtful, that I wanted to take my time. But the what-is-going-to-happen was pressing on me so much that I wanted to stay up all night and read and read and read.
The madness of the holidaze has begun. What to do for a holiday card this year? When to schedule the tree-trimming party, in which people don't actually tree-trim but admire the tree-trimming that you have done earlier in the day? What to buy people? Whether to buy for people? How long do marshmallows keep if you ship them?
Can we see Levi Johnston naked already?