[March 28th, 2001]

>Carlynn: I'd like an update on your microwave situation.

As always, I'm pleased to oblige. The microwave situation is as follows: Nancy Houghton went to Costco and bought a new one.

There are, however, several interesting parallels that bear further examination. First, Nancy Houghton's trip to Costco occurred during a snowstorm. When Steph Houghton and I bought the original microwave (or, as one might appropriately call it, "the cherry-popping microwave", as it was the Houghton family's first microwave), we had to carry it home from 86th and Lex in the middle of a big honking snowstorm. In tune with its moniker, the cherry-popping microwave was black, symbolizing, if you will, an "end of innocence"—even the end of the innocence. This new microwave is white, which represents the triumph of purity which rises, like a phoenix, like a prayer, from the ignominious expiration of sin. One could even interpret the new microwave as a symbol of the integration of microwave technology into the Houghton family through the blessing of the Holy Father. Or else as born-again virginity. The new microwave is demure, soft, and as yielding as it is possible for hard plastic to be. The old microwave was a big motherfucker, and it hulked at the end of the counter like a sodden wino on a subway platform.

All right. Enough of that. Have decided that "yielding" is my equivalent of the word "moist". In that I hate it and it sends chills down my spine.

Otherwise, life's pretty damned boring. I talked on the phone with John Updike yesterday. However, I tell you all that only because I have decided to quit being such a pathetic fucking starfucker and never to mention my interactions with the intergalactically famous again. Because I think that enjoying the reflected luster of others has the potential to distract me from my own pursuit of intergalactic fame, and I won't have that. Also I despise name-droppers, especially name-droppers who are actually just the secretary of the people who have the implied but still intrinsically dubious right to drop such names.

Today I did shitloads of clerical work and typed up a bunch of minutes (5 pages worth) and then my boss informed me that he only wanted a bullet-pointed summary. Bastard.

I am still reading The Gulag Archipelago on the train in the morning. I am enjoying it, although I think that I really wanted One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. However, there is no summary on the back of my copy of TGA, so how was I supposed to know it was the wrong book, other than by being culturally informed and remembering the title as well as the author? What the hell. It's interesting. During my lunch breaks, I have begun reading Anil's Ghost, by Michael Ondaatje, which is spellbinding. I think I am going to quit it though, and finish TGA, and then go back to the Ondaatje.

Part of the problem with this job is being surrounded by books that I am aching to read. Stupidly, I forgot—when taking this job—that I love to read, and no one seems to give a shit if you lift whatever books you want. There are a whole bunch of autographed copies of a John Updike first edition in one of the storerooms, and my greed is currently arguing strenuously with my conscience. I know the autographed copies are there to be given away as prizes for charitable organizations. But Jesus. In thirty years an autographed John Updike first edition would pay for a year of my kid's college tuition. (Adulthood alert. Screech screech.) But hell. Who needs a 401-K, right?

In other news: Am still listening obsessively to my new Bob Dylan CD, totally ignoring Beck's "Odelay" and U2's "The Unforgettable Fire", which I bought at the same time. Here's a question: who knows what the unforgettable fire is? Bear in mind that I don't know the answer to that question. This is not a test. NOT a test.

So. Timothy McVeigh is going to join the Branch Davidians any day now, and I've learned (thank you, USA Today) to pronounce Terre Haute. Tear-A-Hawt. What a stupid name for a city.

More news: Michael Jackson is starting a book club. You think I jest. Pero no, I clipped the article about it out of the New York Post to be xeroxed and circulated throughout the publicity department under the heading of "industry news". Michael hopes to "increase literacy among children". Yeah, whatever.

All right, chicks. Am off. Je vous aime.