Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering?

–I’m afraid none of my habits conform to those of the famous writers in this article in the AtlanticMy habits bear a closer resemblance to those of Franz Kafka, a man who, as Zadie Smith put it, wasted a lot of time. (Me too.)

Begley is particularly astute on the bizarre organization of Kafka’s writing day. At the Assicurazioni Generali, Kafka despaired of his twelve-hour shifts that left no time for writing; two years later, promoted to the position of chief clerk at the Workers’ Accident Insurance Institute, he was now on the one-shift system, 8:30 AM until 2:30 PM. And then what? Lunch until 3:30, then sleep until 7:30, then exercises, then a family dinner. After which he started work around 11 PM (as Begley points out, the letter- and diary-writing took up at least an hour a day, and more usually two), and then “depending on my strength, inclination, and luck, until one, two, or three o’clock, once even till six in the morning.” Then “every imaginable effort to go to sleep,” as he fitfully rested before leaving to go to the office once more. This routine left him permanently on the verge of collapse.

If you substitute, “played video games, watched Cheers, and read” for “letter and diary writing”, it’s me. Next on my to-do list: contract a case of tuberculosis.

–Someone I know slightly, Sharon Chan, wrote a smart column about why she and her husband have decided against offspring production. (Me too.) Read it. It’s worthwhile.

–Who do I talk to about getting on the NRA’s enemies list? I’ve always wanted to be on a list that includes Sean Connery. Is there a form I have to fill out, or does someone have to nominate me? Or is it like the Oscars and I have to take out ads in the trade papers?

Congratulations to Jim Nabors and his husband. To me, the biggest surprise wasn’t that Nabors is gay, but that he is still alive. So good for him on both his marriage and his continued breathing.

–I finally finished watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer this week. (Yes, I know. When it comes to TV, I’m hopelessly late to the party.) It is gratifying to know that there are some people who know how to bring a series to a satisfying conclusion.


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