Yesterday was my first day as a full-time writer. I spent the morning cleaning my office, stacking books, arranging my desk — you know, preparing. Then I hopped in the car, drove to the doctor’s office, and sat in the waiting room for an hour. On October 1st I will go from having “low copay cheap prescription kickass full-time” health insurance to “grad students aren’t really people please god don’t let me get pneumonia” insurance. I’m scheduling appointments with doctors I’ve never even heard of this month. I even had the “Turn your head and cough — Really? I should be examining them at least once a month?” test.

After twenty minutes with my kind, obese, narcoleptic doctor — no kidding, he fell asleep once while writing me a prescription — I returned home, ate a quick lunch, and sat down at the computer. Then I checked email, and read a bunch of blogs, and watched a movie. And got my hair cut — you know, preparing.

But before I got my hair cut, I went to McKay’s, the best used book store in Knoxville, because, like, I had $20 in credit and, I mean, it’s practically right across the street from the hair cut place, so, you know. And so I bought the following:

  • Oswald’s Tale by Norman Mailer ($.50)
  • A Frolic of His Own by William Gaddis ($2.00)
  • Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow ($1.50)
  • The Waterworks by E.L. Doctorow ($1.50)
  • The Lives of Norman Mailer by Carl Rollyson ($1.50)
  • In America by Susan Sontag ($2.00)
  • Timebends: A Life by Arthur Miller ($1.50)
  • Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light by Ivan Klima ($1.50)
  • The sportswriter by Richard Ford ($3.50)
  • The White Album by Joan Didion ($.50)
  • Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby ($1.50)

Miller, Mailer, Doctorow, and Didion are all central figures in my dissertation. And as we all know, buying books is at least as important as reading them, so I’m half way there, really. And, plus, that Gaddis book will look sweet on my bookshelf. (I’ll put it beside Mason & Dixon on the “thick-ass, postmodern novel I’ll never finish” shelf.)

So, yeah, I got my haircut, went home, fixed a really disappointing peanut lo mein dish, went for a long run, watched some World Series of Poker on ESPN, and went to bed. Ah, the life of a writer.

Joking aside, this is a strange period of transition for me, and I’ve decided to extend it to this website as well. The idea behind this site has always been to use it as a venue for processing thoughts, for taking a “long pause” from the white noise of life. In recent months, however, the blog has become content-less — just another string of quotes and links. More noise. I want to get back to writing longer responses to films and novels, and I want to use the blog for ideas and arguments. I’ll be posting less frequently, but hopefully all of the posts will be worth reading, which will be a nice change of pace.

Oh yeah, and I got all of my first choices for TIFF!