A Brief Reading Update

As per the reading page, I’ve recently finished Change me : stories of sexual transformation from Ovid by Jane Alison, which was very fun, and I’m thinking I’ll start The Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugrešić next. There’s other things that probably should have priority in my queue, but I’m starting how I can start.

The Deleuze book (The Logic of Sensation) is slowly growing on me; it really gets going around the "Hysteria" chapter and I was more or less sold — tentatively — by "Painting and Forces." Coming from a pretty Analytic background (in terms of philosophical schools), Deleuze’s slipperiness with terms along with his somewhat gestural arguments are still kind of hard for me, but I’m getting there. It’s better if I think of it more like a lyric essay than philosophy, or something like that ("lyric essay" isn’t right.) We spent a majority of the last meeting of Foucault Club (named for the author of the book we started with) actually looking at some Bacon paintings and it was fun to put on my very dusty and neglected art history hat again.

In other news, the end of the busy season at work is almost upon us. I’ve still got two books to get out by the end of the year, but they’re both in pretty good shape. I’m trying to figure out how to be a writer again, which is slow-going. I suppose I am writing but it all feels kind of garbagey and I don’t feel particularly connected to any community, which is a shame. It’s the time of year, partly. Back in the Before Times the group attending the bar on Tuesdays after workshop or work dwindled considerably, and the same has proven true for the COVID Times equivalent (i.e., Google Meet, because I’m too cheap for Zoom). Still, carving out the time.

Oh, it does look like the interview I did with David Leo Rice will indeed appear somewhere. More on that soon(ish). Probably closer to when the book is officially released in the middle of January. Very exciting, nevertheless.

Wednesday

I have been saving links but TBH so many of them are old at this point.

I’ve been very busy at work.

I don’t much feel like going through the links.

I read Romantic poetry for the first time in a long time and I’d forgotten how much I love Lyrical Ballads. Still trying to figure out the early H.D. in the anthology I’m perusing, but I think I’m starting to get there.

I have work to do!

Alia and I got married last weekend, just the two of us, in the wet and melting snow, at the old train station in the town center, and it was very nice.

I finally finished a project I’ve been procrastinating (or at least: finished this phase of it).

Writing is slow but happening.

I miss my friends.

We’ve determined to do The Second Sex next in Foucault Club (named for the first book we read) after we finish The Logic of Sensation. I admit I’m struggling to get into the Deleuze; I’m not sure why I’m so resistant.

As it is after Halloween, our heat is now on in New England.

(Yes, this is thinking a little about the Carole Maso essay I mention over on the Reading page — also yikes that won’t be evergreen, will it? — called "Notes of a Lyric Artist Working in Prose.")

I’m tired and it’s only Wednesday.

Our friend who used to live downstairs got a new cat named Wednesday.

I’ve been thinking about rereading Nausea.

Our well-published and wonderful writer friend Chelsey stayed with us and made me send out a bunch of stories to journals.

Response 02 came in the mail — I really need to get those out to the contributors! I’m using having gotten married as an excuse.

I wrote and commented out a bunch of political stuff.

We went apple picking and last night we made two apple pies.

I’m looking forward to starting work on the novel again. Soon.

Two things: Response 02 and The Internet

Two quick things (I’ve been busy):

  1. Response 02 can now be ordered from the printer. You can read a little (really: I mean a little) more about it at theworkandresponse.com. I’m very proud of it. I already found and fixed one typo, too. Yay, print on demand.

  2. The internet is a pretty horrible thing a lot of the time, but sometimes it’s pretty cool. I was thinking about that this morning as I was getting the word out to the Response 02 contributors – scattered literally all over the country – and a few minutes ago, when I was looking up a bunch of paintings for this reading group I’m in. What a world we live in where you can basically see everything a painter has ever painted all at once, from the comfort of your living room. Hopefully someday we’ll figure out how to use it well. In fact, this reminds me of something my friend Greg Brown pointed out a long (long) time ago about technology, that it takes a long time for humanity to figure out how to use properly. He’d said, “I mean, we haven’t even figured out how to use gunpowder responsibly.” And maybe we won’t figure it out, but like gunpowder and fireworks, perhaps we can try to use the internet for good things more than bad things. I hear Twitter was down during the old-men-town-halls last night, at least.

Authentication

It used to not bother me that this site was served over plain HTTP, because (a) I don’t collect any information from users, and therefore security doesn’t so much matter and (b) I had this site hosted as a subdomain (because I’m an idiot and didn’t understand the hosting plan I set up when I was…​19? Surprisingly the price is still competitive.) and so if I tried to force HTTPS you’d get that "This site may be trying to steal your data!" warning, because the cert was for 'bikesbooksandbullshit.com,' not the subdomain. Anyway.

While it doesn’t so much matter for this little bloggy thing, HTTPS will probably look better for The Work and Response, so I thought it might be time to look into it. I did, it was fine, I hosted this site as a test. Great.

But I’m an idiot so it broke all my goddamn automated builds. Which I did not even document a little bit.

So here I am, trying to remember what SSH keys I created and used and this, that, the other — how to update permission on the server so it would actually accept the build system’s private key and so on, and basically…​ it’s fixed now.

So I hope the little lock makes you feel better, is the point.

(And yes, this post was written largely to convince myself that it’s all working now. Yay.)