Thoughts for Friday

  • Have you had the kind of day where you start in the morning thinking that you’re going to write a long book review that evening, but as the day goes on, you begin to feel tired and less ambitious and decide to write a shorter note about a really great essay you read yesterday, but then you do more things and get more tired and realize that probably the best you’ll be able to do is disconnected bullet points? That’s me right now.
  • The reason I’m tired is a good one, though. I rode my bike yesterday for two hours up every hill I could find in the neighborhood, and then I went to pilates class in the evening where even though I told the teacher that I went on a hard bike ride and she promised not to do intense quad muscle exercises, she did anyway. And then I rode my bike for three hours today, with Hobgoblin and one other cycling friend, and we rode hard. My muscles were feeling yesterday’s ride every time I went up a hill. And then I went to yoga class this evening. The class was fairly gentle, but still. I’m tired.
  • I’ve been doing some good reading, though (and also spending time writing up class syllabi, but I don’t want to think about that now. I have another week until classes start). I’m in the middle of Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely, my first Chandler novel, which I’m reading for my mystery book group. It is so fun! I have the Modern Library edition which also has The Big Sleep, and I’m tempted to read that one immediately after (except that I have other books I need to get to, including Stevie Smith’s Novel on Yellow Paper for the Slaves of Golconda discussion at the end of the month). Hard-boiled detective fiction isn’t a form I have a whole lot of experience with, so it’s nice to be reading a classic of the genre.
  • I’m also reading The Best American Essays 2008, and I just read a fabulous essay on plagiarism by Jonathan Lethem last night. I would like to write a post on it at some point, assuming I get some energy back. I haven’t loved all the essays in this collection (there’s one on cameras that didn’t do much for me and another on 50s pulp fiction that I didn’t like), but there are some really wonderful ones too, so I’d recommend the collection if you would like to read some more essays.
  • Hobgoblin and I finally joined Netflix, after talking about it for years, and I’ve had fun catching up on some movies. I saw Room With a View with Helena Bonham Carter, which I liked a whole lot, and 84, Charing Cross Road, which was fun and moving and did a great job with the book, and now I’m in the middle of the Brideshead Revisited mini-series from 1981. I love how slowly it moves and how it portrays pretty much everything in the novel. The actors seem perfect for their characters too.
  • In fact, I think I’ll go watch another episode now. Enjoy your weekend everybody! I’m going to enjoy mine by not riding for a day or two.

12 Comments

Filed under Books, Cycling

12 responses to “Thoughts for Friday

  1. That’s a nice kind of tired–not emotionally or mentally, but just good physically tired because you exerted yourself. You deserve a short, bullet point post! I’ve yet to read Raymond Chandler–I’ve only dabbled in hard-boiled detective fiction, but what little I’ve read I’ve liked. I look forward to hearing about Farewell, My Lovely. I have that essay collection and will probably be pulling it out at some point. And I really like Netflix, though my account is on hold at the moment as I haven’t had much time to watch movies. If you’ve not yet watched it you’ll have to add Wives and Daughters to your queue! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! :)

  2. I definitely have days like that (even without the excuse of long uphill bike rides and killer pilates classes). “Fun” is what springs to mind when I think of Chandler, too (I’m in the middle of it as well and plan to finish it today).

  3. I feel exactly like that right now! I have two books to review and two more essay-type posts for the blog and no energy for any of them. Term started last week, and whilst it wasn’t too bad a start, it was still a shock to the system! I’m really looking forward to the Slaves’ read and must get it off the bookshelf – and I love the way you are working through those essays. I’d like to do something similar with a couple of books I own, if I ever feel sufficiently motivated again!

  4. Danielle — Wives and Daughters is definitely on my list (not on the queue yet, but I’m still figuring out a system for how Hobgoblin and I will share an account). Thanks for the recommendation! I’ve read only a little hard-boiled fiction, but it’s been fun learning about it, and of course Chandler is just great. And yes, I love the feeling of physical fatigue that I’ve purposely brought on myself! My leg muscles are sore today, but in a pleasant kind of way :)

    Emily — I might be able to finish it today too. I’m getting toward the home stretch, and it will be hard to put down. I’m so glad we’re reading Chandler for the group, because I’d never read him before, and he’s an obvious, major gap in my detective fiction reading.

    Litlove — oh, yes, that beginning of the term/semester is always such a shock. I’m gearing up for it myself, trying to do what I can now to make the work more manageable later. But it never seems to help a whole lot :( I hope you settle into your routine soon and start to get some motivation back!

  5. You have earned feeling tired!! When I get in a little better shape, and it’s warmer, I’d love to do a bike ride with you. As long as you don’t make me ride up *every* hill!!

    Isn’t Netflix great? We just watched Room with a View too, and I hope to get to Brideshead Revisited as well. But I’m working through the Inspector Lynleys right now (Elizabeth George). It would be interesting to know how closely they match the novels.

  6. Keith

    I’ve had years like that …with no good excuse the day before for not being productive! Enjoy the recharging period. I just did Netflix too…. it’s a win win….what a great idea. I’m always wary of watching movies made out of novels I really cherish …afraid the movie might disrupt my memories of the story/characters etc in the novel …even if the movie is well done. Have a great, ride-free weekend.

  7. Hah!
    YES…. I have days as your first bullet-point describes.
    But it isn’t from bike-riding.
    It’s from my nine-to-six workday!
    By the end of the day, I’m surviving on a small percentage of power……… every day is like this for me.

  8. I frequently have good intentions about reviewing books, but then find I don’t have the mental energy to make the effort. Biking and yoga are much more fun, and relaxing afterward, rewarding yourself with rest is much better for you.

    I love Netflix — especially British television series that we don’t get over here.

  9. Still jealous of you being able to ride. My hip has more good days than bad now, so I can ride my cheap hybrid around without much trouble, but I’m still not out on my road bike. My neck/back is much better than a month ago. I’m guessing it will never be 100 percent, so sometime soon I think I’ll just have to tough it out and start getting some rides in. Hoping to give more positive biking updates in the not too distant future.

    Keep up the posts. I think the jealousy motivates me to heal.

  10. I find I do my best writing in the morning. So I structure my time to free up hours before noon: no answering phones, email, etc. Just writing. Then, once I’ve done my writing, I do the routine necessities of life: errands, email, cooking, etc. My son, the vampire, sleeps all day and works all night. Go figure…

  11. I have more bullet point days than I care to admit to and I don’t even have hard bike rides followed by pilates to provide as a reason. yay for netflix. I resisted for a long time too but now I am so glad to have it even if it is mostly my husband watching stuff because I’m too busy with school.

  12. Debby — Yes, let’s definitely do a bike ride! And I promise we won’t go up every hill :) I’m glad we finally joined Netflix. I’d like to watch the Inspector Lynley series, especially as I started reading the books this past year. I’m really enjoying Brideshead — I’m about halfway through.

    Keith — I know what you mean about movies made out of favorite novels. I think for me I don’t tend to think of my favorite characters as the same as the actors who play them, which I guess makes me lucky. I don’t think of Elizabeth Bennet, for example, as any of the people who played her. But I know lots of people do, and it can be disappointing.

    Cipriano — oh, I’m sorry. That sounds like a hard workday. And yet you are so good about posting! I love your daily quotations. It must take a lot of work to find those.

    Jenclair — those British television series are one of the reasons I’m glad to have Netflix — that and obscure indie films. It’s sometimes so hard to follow through on those good intentions, and sometimes it’s better just to rest, you are right.

    Bikkuri — I’m glad you are doing better, and I hope you continue to heal and are able to get out on your bike more. I’ll look for your cycling updates!

    George — that sounds like a nice schedule!

    Stefanie — forget hard bike rides and pilates classes — you have the job and school to keep you busy and tire you out! I’m amazed that you write and read as much as you do. And Netflix will be there for you when you have more time for it!

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