September 3rd, 2006

midori happy

NYC!

I am in New York! Yay! I took the red-eye in and managed to sleep the entire way through, despite being in the row in front of two extremely unhappy babies. It was also funny because I sat between two people who were just starting at the college I graduated from, and when I took public transport in to the city, it was the same old landscape from years ago. I haven't been to this airport since I graduated, and honestly, I don't miss much of it at all.

Due to extreme stupidity, I didn't bother to check the weather before leaving, and arrived to find that everything was grey and wet. Alas and alack, pretty much nothing I've packed is good for the rain, particularly not my open-toed shoes. Oh well. I find I missed California dreadfully, particularly when taking the train in. Things are too green! Skies are too grey! I am confused!

I went to Pala Pizza with an old high school friend, which has really good pizza (we got a plain tomato/buffalo mozzarella/basil one), very good carpaccio, and very good desserts as well. Mmmmm.

After that, I went up to coffeeandink's place, and we both decided not to venture outdoors, given the truly miserable weather. I am quite proud of myself; I didn't get lost once. (Of course, now that I've typed this, tomorrow is sure to be a disaster.)

I got to watch VVC 2006 vids, including several Supernatural ones, as that is Mely's obsession du jour (du... month?), and I stood to the side as she handily prepared a meal of roast chicken and potato leek soup. I need to write up more vids, but suffice to say, sdwolfpup's "Fix You" still makes me grin like an idiot and e^y's "Have You Heard" makes me miss Angel dreadfully. I sadly don't remember that much from the SPN vids except that there is a great deal of fire and that Dean slams Sam against a wall a whole lot. Oh! Except the fun Wincest-y vid (look! I even know terminology!) in which I learned that Sam has very nice abs indeed.

After dinner and much ogling at Mely's wall of books and wall of manga, Mely then had me watch an episode of SPN, which ended up with me cowering on the sofa, since I am a complete and total wimp when it comes to anything even marginally resembling horror. On the other hand, she has also convinced me that Dean is awesome, not in the least because he is utterly practical and not one for emotions. Except, you know, slamming his brother against a wall. I may end up watching very slowly, with the rats, in the daytime.

After that, I very much did not want to take the subway down by myself (dark! loud noises! it's exactly like a haunted asylum, really it is!), I made Mely put in several episodes of Yami no Matsuei to make things better. It's not exactly cheerful and fluffy, but the Pure and True Love of Hisoka and Tsuzuki cheers me up no matter how much angst they are going through. In fact, the angst rather cheers me up in an embarrassingly OTP sort of way. We fast-forwarded through all the Muraki scenes, since there was no real need for his complete and total insanity (not the good kind, either) to ruin Moments of Pure and True Love.

I am very happy and very full and on vacation! Tomorrow, lunch with Mely and chi_zu, and dinner with sister and friends, and maybe a movie, or lounging around, or whatnot.
mmm books

West, Cornel - Race Matters

(I am desperately trying to catch up on book blogging...)

This is a collection of some of Cornel West's essays on race. I feel rather unqualified to write about it, since I think it's building up on a black intellectual tradition that I'm unfamiliar with. I liked that it very clearly felt like it was a part of a grand discussion with many people, but that also meant that I felt I was missing out on some things.

West starts out with black nihilism and racial reasoning, both essays that I read about a month or so ago and therefore don't remember that much of. He then goes on to talk about the current crisis in black leadership, affirmative action, black-Jewish relationships, black sexuality, black rage and black conservatism.

I can't remember too many details from all of them, because I read them so far apart, but I like the way West thinks. I couldn't tell if I agreed with him or not about the crisis in black leadership, because I largely don't know enough about it, though I tend to disagree with people who say that the past was much better and the current situation isn't good at all. I very much liked the essay on black-Jewish relationships and how each side may not realize how their comments may sound to the other side because of a lack of understanding of issues historically relevant to blacks and to Jews.

I also very much liked the essays on black sexuality and black rage, particularly the bit on how people try to conveniently downplay the rage or pass it off as unreasonable and irrational. The bit on black sexuality was very interesting; West argues that it is the ultimate taboo subject in society, and yet, because of that, it is a subject that invites a great deal of prurient interest. I can't quite remember how he links it back to slavery and issues therein, but he does, and he also brings up issues of images of blacks as bestial and therefore closer to nature and more "earthy" and sensual, whatever tht means.

Anyhow, I mean to pick up more books by him, particularly the one he co-wrote with Henry Louis Gates Jr.