Sunday, July 4, 2010

Zombies & other divertissements

As must be obvious from my infrequent posts, I'm sinking well and good into week-before-vacation mode, a.k.a. so tired I can barely drag my ass to work and back/so excited that soon I won't have to for a while. This three-day weekend is a nice taste of what's to come. Yesterday my love Teresa and I walked to the Sunnyside farmers' market early and more or less relaxed the rest of the day; today's agenda consists of household chores and relaxing; tomorrow more of the same plus, supposedly, some writing. My coming week will consist of some slight political activity, some major wage work as I rush to finish what must be finished before I shut down the department for four weeks, and some nutty vacation prep in the form of running among libraries to finish my panicky amassing of a vacation books pile and lugging said books home as well as checking online for various vacation activity possibilities.

Books? Well, yeah, it goes without saying that my major vacation plan is to read. But activity? Yeah, come on, old girl, try to rouse yourself to leave the house and possibly even the delightful borough of Queens and go somewhere, do something. All year long I think of the museums I'll hit during my summer vacation; the days I'll spend in heaven at the beach which, one of the joys of living in NYC, is a mere subway fare away; the parks; the free concerts; and so on. And most summers I do very little of it, because after another year of sleepless nights and endless weeks of dragging myself out of bed and in to work every fucking day all I want to do is sleep and read and hang close to home. And write. I must write. I'm trying to finish two stories and some poems, and then re-enter my novel in progress.

But this time around, I really am going to try to get out and about a bit more. Otherwise what's the point of living in a city where there's so much to do and so much of it is free or cheap? If and when I do manage to partake of some cul-chah, I'll pop in here to report on it. For the most part, however, blogging will probably be spotty at best for several weeks from here on out.

Getting back to books, though, I do want to report this: I couldn't help myself, this morning I started one I'd meant to save till my vacation. I've been forcing myself to slog through John Updike's Rabbit, Run, a thoroughly loathsome, repugnant work of essential misogyny shot through as well with casual racism and homophobia yet one I promised a friend I'd read. And I will finish it, probably this coming week on the train to and from work. But this morning, in semi-vacation mode, I just couldn't force myself to pick it up. Instead I opened Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion by Alan Goldsher. Oh my gosh what fun. When I picked it up the other day I showed it to a young friend and while she was amused she didn't get the title reference. Then I talked on the phone to my best friend, who's about my age, and I simply said the title and she burst out laughing. Those of you who didn't live through those days in 1969/1970 when the rumor ran round the world that Paul McCartney was dead* simply can't appreciate the deliciousness of this title. When I first saw it last week, I immediately remembered sitting in my high school Italian class where one of my classmates told me she'd heard that the Beatle had died and it had been covered up, and then all that followed, investigating the "clues" on the cover of Abbey Road and Sargent Pepper, playing "Revolution #9" backwards and hearing that weird voice say "I buried Paul" and so on and so forth. It was with considerable glee, then, that I picked up this book, thinking it would be a great start to my vacation reading as well as a cool lead-in to the more serious vampire novel The Passage that's thick on my pile. Rigid? Who, me?** Plans are meant to be changed, and so today I'm reading the tale of the zombie Beatles.

*Of course we all would later come to despise Paul--"Sir" Paul that is, for of course he happily accepted the British colonialist "order of empire"--and wish oh wish that he, not John, had died.

**You who get it, get it.