Middlesex

September 8, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Oh, it’s not a book review. Pfft. I’m not even halfway done!! At least it is several times thicker than the Catcher in the Rye, and I did consciously made a decision to stop reading it.

However, it is not just this book that I’m having problems finishing.

My standard of speed  in reading has gone down the drain the last month, I find. I don’t know why. Is it because I read more newspaper articles now? I don’t know…

The last book I finished reading was the Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miller.  Tried to search for an entry on it; apparently I didn’t write about it. It’s been quite some time…

I haven’t got a clue where in the world I put my copy of the Prestige, so you know that I haven’t been reading it.

Ash Wednesday is probably going down the same line as Catcher did… However, I feel less guilty because much much much less people like that book.

Oh!! I did finish Neverland by Neil Gaiman yesterday though. Oh, thank God I did!! Yeay!!!

I am tempted to start the  Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It was the trio of books I wanted desperately to read before I left for the UK; Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper (bleh; no like. Another comment on Anna: Andromeda’s parents were willing to sacrifice their child to a bloody beast because Cassiopeia boasted about her daughter’s beauty [i.e. the mother’s fault!!]; not really the best set of parents, are they? True, ancient Greeks had a weird sense of morality… but to wish your precious daughter to have the life of Andromeda??? I hate the Fitzgeralds the more I accidentally think about it!!), Kim Edwards the Memory Keeper’s Daughter (love love love it!!), and this.

And a movie’s coming out based on the book. I want to read the book to gage if it is worth watching.

I suppose it does seem sci-fi-ish, but I don’t know… I might like it!!

Still, I don’t think I can take reading too many books at one time and not finishing any of them.

Current books that I have started but have yet to finish are as below:

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Prestige by Christopher Nolan
Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke
Dear Fatty by Dawn French (omg I soooooo love this book!!)
Evening is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan (a Malaysian author who moved to the US as a teen and now lives in France but writes like a Malaysian. I somehow find the style in the language she writes in is too Malaysian-English for me to read; I can barely take Malaysian English when spoken… and this is in written form??? I doubt I would continue reading this for a long time. Maybe I should just strike this out…)
Beyond Words by John Humphrys
French for Dummies, which I am taking my own sweet time reading anyway.

Yes, it is insane to be reading so many books at one time, but somehow, I manage. Sometimes I wonder how I don’t get the plots confused, especially when it is a book with too many subplots and plots that you need your full concentration to understand. Actually, when the book is like that do I have the tendency to read even more books to “confuse” myself with. Weird…

However, things have to change. To only finish one book in one month is a horrible standard for me, and especially so since I am still unemployed. I might as well be reading James Joyce’s Ulysses if that is the case. Sigh.

Actually, I find that I haven’t been doing anything creative these past few weeks. Heck, maybe anything that resembles art that I’ve been doing is listening to music. Not creating, but listening. How insane and pathetic is that?

Maybe I should blame twitter for it. Somehow it is easier to just say a one liner and try to cram as much story in the 140 characters and choose your words carefully (yeah, like I do that anyway) than to blog, where I feel the need to write 140 lines every time.

Or maybe because the shortness of tweets make it easy to just update what is in my mind and be done with it; there’s not much space to elaborate, so I don’t bother. Yes, this past week I think I have been tweeting a wee bit too much (see the contradiction there? I’m in denial). A lot of things going on in my head but I don’t really have the time…

Oh yes! I said that I was going to write/ writing the oh-so-bloody-rare political entry which I’m sure if anyone follows my blog would realize is missing… I only got to the introduction when my mother came in and gave me a week’s worth of work. Questionnaire after questionnaire to be keyed in, which made me hate numbers even more and why I am now trying to drown myself in words and lead a number-free life (which means accounting is out of the window, thank you very much) as much as I could. Maybe the only numbers I would allow into my life would be dates, times, and the weight of the stuff I’ll be weighing when I bake the Eid cookies (which I have absolutely no mood for; I cannot stand baking already!! More on that later).

Even though I believe that everyone is political, and find it fascinating, I don’t really enjoy writing about it. I rather debate on the topic. To write, I find that I need a lot of free time and the mind frame for it. I need to be in the mood for it, which was robbed by a pile of work which is making me hate my laptop even more and has made me able to rival Katy Perry’s tweet diarrheas or Amy Macdonald’s tweet commentary when she’s watching footie (for the intensity of the amount of tweets for a period) and has made it important for me to check into a flash-games-addict rehab centre for the flash games I’ve started playing. I can’t write a political entry when I decide to procrastinate or when I have a “deadline” (well, more like my mother had one). I need to be free to google up things to make sure what I say is right, and to be citing things.

That is one thing I feel that Law School robbed me off; the ability to do things spontaneously, especially with my writing. Maybe twitter has allowed me to do that, but still it is a far cry from what I could do when I was in school. Even though I was doing pure science, I was an artsy fartsy person, minus the actual making of it if it involves musical instrument or drawing. On musical instruments: my mother wanted me to play the piano, I wanted the violin or guitar. Both of us lost and she made sure I would play no other musical instrument if I don’t play the piano she got me. So, yeah.

Though I suppose my artsy fartsy weapon was more words than colors. I sketch; I don’t really do colors. When I was at the Verdant Works in Dundee which had paper everywhere (I would highly recommend going there if you’re in Dundee. The place is amazing!! Thoroughly enjoyed myself!!), I sketched the figures… the… erm… thingies… What is it… The displays? Yeah; I sketched the displays and left it everywhere in the museum. Litter, maybe, but it was nice, if I say so myself. I don’t know why but I don’t like keeping sketches I do. Embarrassing, probably.

If I ever finished a paper early in school, you would see me sketching the back of the person in front of me. And the person at the side…

Oh well. Maybe what I need is practice. Just like maths. Oh well. *shrugs* But I can’t sketch things that I haven’t seen. Heck, I usually need the object to be in front of me.

I feel like, somehow, my degree education made it harder for me to think outside of the box, would you believe it? Like, I feel the need to cite things, to prove what I say is right; to be a citer, not someone who creates the idea. Like, I’m afraid to create something, in fear that it might have been someone else’s point, and maybe could lead to plagiarism.

Maybe my actual enemy is fear of plagiarism than my degree education. Or maybe it is because in second year I knew how unfair the system in our school works; we have a human rights law centre, yet they breach the students’ right to appeal every single examination just because they have a system of “external examiners”, who, by the way, worsens your marks. We’re, like, worse than criminals, whose sentence, when appealed, could not be increased but only reduced. Ours, we can’t even present our case!! It is equivalent to a death sentence, I find, because you’ll forever be stuck with your university degree. You could say that you should have studied harder, yes. But just imagine how much more frustrating it would be, when you’ve given your best, and you could see that the external examiner has reduced your marks, giving you a 2.2 instead of the 2.1 your internal examiner thought you truly deserved.

Can you see why I can’t bring myself to be proud of my alma mater? I feel like it killed so many parts of me.

Looking back, I think the reason why I was harping so much over the 43.125–my absolute refusal to let that incident go–was more because I can’t face the other, worse things that happened that hurt. The 43.125 was trivial, and, seriously, once I left uni, it was so bloody easy to forget it. It was such a joke, that. It is not bothering me one bit, but the others… It has shaped my life.

I remember when I was reading Karim Raslan’s books, when I was reading his biographies, everytime how he would say he is a Cambridge educated lawyer, I told myself, I would be like that; I would tell everyone who would listen where I was educated. Of course, this happened before I knew those things I don’t really wanna recall I know.

Oh, I am damn proud of the tutors that taught me. If it wasn’t for the fact that they’re unique and would give away the university I was in, I would list them out; the electives I took, at least. They definitely shaped me.

Yes, I dislike it so much I don’t want to give it away. How sad is that?

I find that it is difficult for me to create my own fantasy world to live in and get away; I need to depend on others to do it, which is why books are so important to me. Why there is such a surge in the amount of fantasy books that I’m reading. However, at the same time, I have brought myself more and more into this world, with the choices of mind-boggling fiction books I’ve been buying myself.

I find I learn much more from a fiction book than a non-fiction book. Give me a book on modern Turkish history… Do you think I would read it? Thanks to Middlesex, I have voluntarily read about it. Curiosity kills, with me. Like, I can’t resist opening every single link posted by the people I follow on twitter. Maybe I should unfollow the Times… Especially since it is mostly British news. But it is fascinating!! Oh well, at least I am not following NYT anymore, I guess…

Oh well. I should go read Middlesex. I was quite surprised that, actually, the title refers to their home rather than the fact that the protagonist is intersexed.

Edit: pfft!! When I started the post, I was going to rant on why the heck am I taking so feckin long to finish this book when it is a topic that I am fascinated about. Oh, not because it is an intersexed person; it deals with race quite a bit. After all, it is set in the 70s in the US. Not a Southern State, I admit, but fascinating nonetheless.

Actually, maybe because it is not in a Southern State is why I am even more fascinated.

Part of me feels like Middlesex might be an autobiogbraphy, and when Callie says she wants to add another Greek name into the list of authors of the Great Books series, I see instead Eugenides’s surname instead of Stephanides. And look!! The surname ends similarly. He could have ended it with -ou or -os or -is or whatever else that makes a surname Greek, but he picked one that is similar to his.

Makes me wonder if he had an Irish surname instead (Eugenides is of Greek and Irish descent). Probably it’ll be about Irish immigrants? Though somehow it wouldn’t be as fascinating, would it?

Sometimes I still find myself thinking Greeks are not “white people”.

Well, halfway through this book, somehow they suddenly aren’t.

They’re definitely not WASP… Oh well. *shrugs*

Still, will… finish… this… soon!!!!!

Must must must!!

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