This morning, I wrote to a professor, and included a few lines at the end about the March-time Malaise that seems to spring up every year. Her response, with its accompanying wisdom:
MALAISE MAY BE some terrible wisdom. I gardened, sort of, the other day and was amazed at the difference it made. Outdoor exercise, in all weathers, is essential. But it’s not just moving around; it’s locating an animal appetite, an unwisdom–not foolishness but an absence of knowing better. So go outside, to a real outside, like the river or Central Park, and just walk around thinking how insipid the advice is and what you could better be doing with your time, and maybe you’ll feel some irrational lift. It is March which matters. Be well. Bad things are every bit as temporary as good things.
This one requires a bit of planning, and a very messy friend. You’re at your messy friend’s apartment. Somewhere towards the end of the night, you notice that he’s so messy, he hasn’t made his bed. Taking special care to sneak into the bedroom, lock the door behind you. Then, make his bed. But don’t just make his bed. Make his bed like they would at a hotel, taking extra special care as to the uniformity of the folds of the sheet, the plumpness of the pillows, etc. Then, place a mint on his pillow. This is perhaps one of the most baffling pranks you will ever commit. Continue reading
THOUGH I’M NOT ONE who spends a lot of time surfing (or, judging from my output of late, writing for) the interweb, I’ve been fairly obsessed with Richard Haines’ illustrated style blog What I Saw Today for quite a while. His sketched portraitures—capturing street-style ephemera from subways to runways, drawn on notepads, envelopes, even walls—reveal an eye seeing a world for all of its dapper glory. And even though we were co-Hamiltonian tastemakers, I had never met Mr. Haines in person. This changed several days ago, when, while browsing the aisles of Soho’s Uniqlo, I ran into the man himself. A few days later, a wonderful drawing of this particular Half Reader of Great Books (as seen above and found here) appeared on his blog. It’s an honor and a privilege, to say the least.
- Complaints meant to self-aggrandize; transportation delays, work schedule, lines outside parties, &c.
- Geographical locations meant to impress; usually tropical.
- Rap lyrics demonstrating street cred, with either implied or explicit dramatic irony.
- Declarations, vague and indecipherable in nature, meant to express your definitive comprehension of the universe, but in a way so profound that only you will understand; usually directed towards exes.
- A blog plug.
- An @-mention, indicating that you are on Twitter.
- Unpunctuated, poorly punctuated, or un-capitalized quasi-thoughts containing acronyms.
- References to little known and oftentimes short-lived 1980s sitcoms, animated series, or musical acts.
Please note that this is only a working list. A fuller diagram may soon follow, given that I have enough drive to think/draw/scan one up. In the interim, feel free to use the comment box for any examples (be sure to include the appropriate category number), additions, or confessions.
“[The] ‘how busy I am’ [New York Fashion Week] Facebook status update—perhaps the only thing more annoying than the ‘how fabulous it is’ Art Basel Miami update.”
—Martin Marks, “Under the Big Top.”
For those of you attending Art Basel: Miami, the above should serve as a brief reminder as to the etiquette of your status updates. On a related note, I’ve always wanted to quote myself, and would like to thank the attendees of last year’s Art Basel: Miami for making this possible.
From the Lincoln Tunnel to the Mountains of Colorado, a gallery, featuring:
- Vast expanses of open road,
- Bear-Tornadoes: the worst tornadoes of them all,
- Lots of moo-cows,
- Entire fields filled with sunflowers,
- The back of the “Welcome to Oklahoma!” sign, and,
- Most of Oklahoma herself.
Venture forward to see these images… Continue reading
Two girls, one boy, and a Mercedes SUV with its engine light on. As we rapidly approach the anniversary of a jaunt across this great nation of ours, I thought I’d share the e-mail I sent out three summers ago marking our arrival in the fair state of Colorado.
During my more formative years, I spent a lot of time in British schools, meaning that while you guys were learning about the geography of this fine nation of ours, memorizing the fifty states and whatnot, I was learning about the Regency Crisis of 1788, and the governments of William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli. This led to a lot of peculiar thinking about the layout of the US of A….
For instance, I had no idea that Maryland bordered Pennsylvania. When I learned about the Civil War, my most common thought was, “No wonder the Confederacy lost the war! They had to march from Maryland THOUSANDS of miles north to Pennsylvania,” which, at the time, I believed to be somewhere in mid-Canada.
So, up until Sunday, anything that didn’t have to do with America as 13 British Colonies didn’t really have to do with me. I referred to everything north of 168th Street as “Connecticut” and everything west of the Hudson as “Ohiowaoklahoma.” And when Andrea suggested that we visit her house in Aspen, which I believed to be somewhere on the other end of the Holland Tunnel but somewhere before Los Angeles (which, as we all know, is only 6 hours away), I thought it’d be a swell idea to hop into her Mercedes SUV and drive all the way. Continue reading
Dear Great Book Half Readers,
We apologize for the shortage of posts, though not without a brief albeit somewhat unsatisfactory explanation. For the past several weeks, we’ve been in the process of packing up the Fictionarium on Union Square West, in anticipation of an extended stay down in sunny South Florida, and, alas, the usually tranquil months of July and August have brought with them boxes, boxes, and more boxes. And so, we exercise our right to engage in the cheapest blogging trick of all, namely, to recycle content that has already been written. Some funny &. good stuff, but recycled stuff nonetheless. While packing, we did notice – quite serendipitously – that this week appears to be the third anniversary of a road trip I took across a large part of this nation. Thus, the second full week in August officially becomes GBHR’s Road Trip to Aspen Anniversary Week. So, click, comment, and enjoy as we pack, re-pack, and unpack our way through these next few days. As always, we remain humbly,
A technophile, interwebucated friend just informed me that in order for this blog to gain a slight modicum of search engine recognition, I should write a post containing a lot of those blue, underlined thingies (hyperlinks, I believe they’re called), with my name (Martin Marks) appearing therein—all as blue and as underlined as possible. And so, in accordance with my friend’s advice, there shall be an upcoming deluge of Martin Marks’es’s. And even though it’s about to say Keep reading →, please do not Continue reading
My parents are currently on a side excursion to Bandhavgarh National Park in Jabalpour, India, so that my father may photograph the elusive white tiger in its natural habitat. As per usual, my mother brought along her Blackberry. Below, please find selections from her reportage, along with a brief response from my sister about the e-mail chain. Continue reading
Welcome to Great Books, Half Read. May I say, from the get-go, that I’m embarking upon this enterprise half-heartedly. It sort of reminds me of when parents ask their children, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?”
A professor of Near Eastern Studies once told me that the invention of writing allowed us to enter into an unnatural dialogue with the dead and the faraway. A little reed stylus drawn across a clay tablet, and before we knew it, Puzurshulgi from Uruk could trade words (and love, and war, and religion, and advice, and goats) with Ashurshdigir of Nineveh. Imagine the possibilities! Continue reading