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Gav's Journal

15th December, 2010. 5:34 pm. Muggers & Rapists

Leaving my apartment this morning, while locking the door, I observed and recognized for the first time that there is only one lock, a bolt, protecting me from the world; two actually, another bolt, if you include the door to enter my apartment building.  I was thinking, given there’s a potential mugger on every street corner and an awaiting rapist on every other street corner, I should get another lock - a chain maybe or, at the very least, a chair.

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11th November, 2010. 11:02 pm. I am alive

Dear life:
I am alive, but I have forgotten how to dance.

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14th May, 2009. 6:35 pm. Three Films

Before I die, I hope to see three films made:


  1. Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, which should be an HBO mini-series.
  2. The Donner Party, which should be a quiet yet a brutally honest film, and it should also be ‘character’ driven.
  3. Along the lines of Schindler’s List, a three hour epic film called, The Trail of Broken Tears.  There should be two parallel stories in the feature film: (1) of those who left early and (2) those who left late.  And, it should be told in flashback from an old man’s perspective at the end of life, remembering his boyhood.

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2nd May, 2009. 2:32 pm. Future Reference: Read “Suddenly Last Summer” and “Summer & Smoke”

It’s either due to age or having too much “fun” in my youth – it may even be mild, barely discernible stokes while I sleep - but I’m increasingly becoming forgetful. I forget names and words and my recall is, at best, delayed. I think slower but maybe I’ve just become more ‘meditative,’ but who knows. Nonetheless, I’m concerned. Therefore, I have decided to write anything and everything in this whatever-it’s-called [LiVEJOURNAL?] - even if it’s a simple word or a sentence or a thought like:

I don’t know if it is wisdom, but it’s definitely a ‘truth’ when Maggie says to Brick in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof:
“You can be young without money, but you can’t be old without it. You’ve got to be old with money because to be old without it is just too awful, you’ve go to be one or the other, either young or with money, you can’t be old and without it.” (Act I, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof)
I appreciate the lyrical language of Williams and have read his three best plays: The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Despite Cat’s critical success, I still maintain A Streetcar is Williams’ best play, with Blanche Dubois as his most (and my most) realized dramatized character (notwithstanding – did I use that word correctly? - any of Toni Morrison’s characters). Hitherto, I had no desire to read any other plays by Williams, but Harold Bloom suggests it is worth reading Suddenly Last Summer and Summer & Smoke, which he claims are underrated. Despite my love/hate understanding and appreciation of Bloom, as literary critic, I am placing the aforementioned plays on my reading list based on his recommendation and I have noted them here – in this LiVEJOURNAL – for future reference.

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1st September, 2008. 2:59 pm. Read Books: Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum

In reference to catching a taxi late at night in the middle of no where, the best sentence in the book begins Chapter 116: “I didn’t know where 7, Avenue Elisee-Reclus was, and I didn’t dare ask the driver, because anyone who takes a taxi at that hour either is heading for his own home or is a murderer at the very least;”(560) but its theme, clearly imbedded, can be found at the end of Chapter 106: “…we started out with a laundry list. Yet we were clever enough, inventive enough, to turn a laundry list into poetry.’ (525) The soft-cover edition of Umberto Eco’s Foucault Pendulum – described by The Washington Post Book Review as “[a]n intellectual adventure story” – is marked with two dates, January 24th, 1994 and September 1st, 2008. The former date marks the first time I finished reading the book, a paperback edition which I have since given away, and the latter date marks the second time I finished reading the book. The soft-cover edition of the book, privately printed by The Franklin Library in 2007, started off beautiful, with a glossy cover and crisp pages. Now it’s aged, its glossy cover and pages curled. It looks like it’s been read a dozen times. And, it (the book) ends, the way I feel about the book itself, with the sentence, “It’s so beautiful.” (623)

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30th June, 2008. 6:31 pm. Humiliated, But Always Composed

With increasing use of sensors that open doors electronically when you approach, the days of opening and holding doors open for little old ladies are coming to an end. Similarly, revolving doors have the same electronic sensory device that allows them to rotate electronically, rather than manually, as you approach. The revolving "e-door," I will call them, are quite common at Hospitals, Malls, most hotels and some businesses.

That noted, I walked into a revolving door on Wednesday of last week at the Richardson Building, which gave all appearances of operating by itself, electronically. As I stepped into the already rotating door, someone was emerging from the other side. Pop-philosophically, I always say, "in life, we have to move like water," so I went with the flow of the rotating door. It slowed down and stopped. I was stuck in the middle (like Don Cuneo, at the end of the Godfather Part I). I stood there waiting for the 'e' in e-door to take effect and start revolving again - it was manual. Despite personal embarrassment, I managed to push the revolving door, making it rotate again. I then walked out casually as if nothing happed, like Glen Close at the end of Dangerous Liaisons, after being booed by the entire audience at the Paris Opera, humiliated but always composed.


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31st March, 2008. 5:44 pm. A Kangaroo’s Tail

Like a Kangaroo’s tail, I always carry a book to keep me balanced, literally and figuratively; and, to what end, I have no clue, but I constantly highlight or make note of what appear like important passages. For instance, on hope:

""Hope" is the thing with
feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the
words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is
heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird –
That kept so many warm...

This is the kind of hope Terkel means, the hope that persists in the face of discouragement. All but a few of the people he interviews in his book have been chosen because they did not cease from mental fight, or let their swords sleep in their hands: they took up their bows of burning gold and their arrows of desire, and let fly." (388, Moving Targets, Margaret Atwood)

I highlighted the whole passage despite having no clue whether or not I’ll have use for it in the future. Poetry has never been my cup-of-tea, so-to-speak – neither has tea, for that matter, been my cup-of-tea, (I much prefer coffee) – but Emily Dickinson’s poem made sense (thanks to Margaret, I guess) - and it seemed important when I read it the other day.

I wonder if I’ll ever have use for it, the highlighted passage, in the years to come.

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30th March, 2008. 3:48 pm. Atonement

I’ve decided to model my walk after Briony in Atonement as it is increasingly becoming one of my favourite films, right up there with – in no particular order - Howard’s End, The Remains of the Day, Sense & Sensibility and The English Patient.

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10th March, 2008. 9:56 pm. “I was crazy for a while, but I’m not now.”

It starts off with a mother and father returning home from visiting their daughter in the hospital. During dinner that night, the father dies form a massive coronary. And then the daughter dies. Thus begins Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking - one of ten books I received Christmas 2007 and the first one I’m reading. I discovered Joan Didion on Charlie Rose and was intrigued by the relationship between the books title and its topic and I love stories about loss because they're never about loss, but survival.

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11th February, 2008. 8:08 pm. Echo Location 2007

It took a month and eleven days of reflection, but I've come to the conclusion that my greatest discovery for 2007 is learning that Andrea Bocelli is blind

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