« Guess who's not going to be in Puerto Rico on Thanksgiving Day | Main | Thoughts on Plenty »

A Quiet Birthday

Changing course on the travel front left me rudderless yesterday. I can't remember the last time I accomplished so little on an otherwise free schedule. Eventually, I made myself sit down and read The Kite Runner, so that I could tell Miss G how far along I am. In the event, I forgot to mention it. When I see her next, I'll have finished the book. And our next meeting may be sooner than later. If the musicians are good, she'll want to take us to the Village Vanguard a week from Friday. It's curious: Kathleen and Miss G both love jazz, but while Kathleen has never been to the Vanguard, Miss G has never been to the Blue Note. There's something very NYC about that. (I appreciate jazz deeply, which is different. I love Mozart and Schubert)

Miss G was delighted with the scarf that Kathleen gave her: she has elected Kathleen as her source for scarves. Kathleen has an extraordinary eye for color - for absolute color, even - and she also picks up people's coloration. She knows what colors will look good on someone and and she knows what colors someone will like. The last scarf that Kathleen gave to Miss G was one of the many that she brought back from Istanbul, and Miss G was floored one night when someone asked her if she'd gotten her scarf in Turkey. For a moment, she couldn't make the connection: how had she come into possession of a Turkish scarf?

My gift was less certain to succeed: a couple of books about cities, and Geoff Dyer's The Ongoing Moment, which I'm going to get for myself when I've cleared a little space. (See last Sunday's "Book Review.") I had just spotted it at the St Mark's Bookshop, along with a recording of John Ashbery reading his own poems. I'd read in The New Yorker that people often say that Mr Ashbery's poetry makes more sense to them after they've heard him read it, so I'm giving that a shot. In my opinion, all books of poetry ought to be recordings. I can't tell you what hearing Wallace Stevens read "Credences of Summer" does to me.

Dinner at Jules was good as always. We had a bottle of Château Loret, I think - it's the wine from Cahors that I always order. Miss G and I split an order of interesting but delicious steak tartare, and then I had half of a small roast chicken. The chicken was a little dry; I suspect that it spent some time waiting in the kitchen, because the delay between courses was unusual. The ladies had tuna. We sat in the back, where the live jazz is still quite loud but not too loud for conversation, and between us and the music there was a table of five young French persons, deux gosses et trois gonzesses. I could not make out a word of their animated conversation, but, as Kathleen pointed out, I wasn't supposed to be listening to them. It's frustrating, though, because despite all my work (hmmm), the casual exchanges of native speakers remains so opaque.

Boy, was it cold when we came outside! The wind was downright nasty. We walked Miss G the few blocks to her building, but Kathleen declined the offer to pay a visit upstairs, because she has a big conference call this morning and wants to be fresh. I was tuckered out, too, after my day of doing nothing much beyond eating well and accumulating books.

Can I really be the father of a beautiful thirty-three year-old woman? Yes, thank heaven, I can.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

I am a kottke.org micropatron

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2