January 23, 2006


After every post I write here, I expect to get a negative comment saying, "You self-indulgent, self-obsessed egomaniac." But I never do. So thank you. I will protect myself by writing: Do not cut and paste that sentence in the comments. I guess every blog is self-indulgent, self-obsessed and egomaniacal. But I think I take this one step further by selling myself a bit more, consciously or unconsciously. So every time I hit publish, I think someone’s going to hit back. Hasn’t happened yet. People don’t care that much.

I can be an asshole. I also can’t be unapologetic. Bukowski was unapologetic. He was also an alcoholic. I feel unapologetic when I’m drinking. Not when I’m sober. I could never be an alcoholic because I can’t really drink hard more than two days in a row. My body can’t take it.

My daughter’s off from daycare this week for winter break so there probably won’t be much blogging. I’ll be with her in the parks of L.A. Look for me. I have brown hair.

Since reading the Dylan book, I’ve been listening to a lot of Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, the stuff I have. Someone should make a CD counterpart to the Chronicles book. I went to the library and got "Classic Folk Songs" from Smithsonian Folkways. It has a lot of the stuff he references, like Dave Von Ronk, who I’ve never heard. The book brought some of my musical enthusiasm back to life.

From the library I also got:

Glamorama, Bret Easton Ellis
The Fermata, Nicholson Baker
If Beale Street Could Talk, James Baldwin
The White Album, Joan Didion

Got the Ellis because we recently rented "American Psycho." Seemed too campy, as if she (the director) was afraid the humor of the novel wouldn’t translate to a movie so she made Patrick Bateman completely ridiculous. I thought Christian Bale’s version of Bruce Wayne in "Batman Begins" was a better version of Patrick Bateman. I doubt I’ll read Glamorama. I’m more interested in his new one but it was checked out.

I got the Didion because I heard that Didion is to Brett Ellis as Fante is to Bukowski. I have not read Joan Didion, stupid as that sounds. Wanted some fiction, but the essays are amazing.

Nicholson Baker, just because.

Reading James Baldwin makes me want to be a better person.

I’m selling myself again.


MG said...

Didion is my favorite contemporary nonfiction writer, at least in terms of style. After "The White Album," you might want to read "The Year of Magical Thinking." It won the 2005 National Book Award. Her "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" is another classic.

Anonymous said...

you cant drink hard 'cos yr a pussy...just kidding henry...

did you ever get around to reading CHUMP CHANGE? MY DOG STUPID is probly my fav John Fante, def fav post1950 work--tho BROTHERHOOD and DREAMS are both good too...


Henry Baum said...

Haven't read Chump Change yet. I usually get stuff from the library, cause it's free. I checked Amazon and I can get a cheap copy.

MG, thanks for writing. I think I'm going to go with some fiction next. Play it as it Lays, which I should have read already.

Philofaxer said...

The Fermata was a fun read. Nicholson Baker can write a mean sentence.

In furtherance of my New Year's Resolution to read more, I'm in the middle of The King of Kings County, by Whitney Terrell, right now. It's a Philip Roth-esque faux memoir about my hometown of Kansas City. So far so good -- the KC angle makes it especially appealing to me.

gaijin said...

You Prick.

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