I may have (let’s get the correct modal verb here, must have) been even less organized in November than in other months, perhaps because I hate November, the absolutely worst month of the year, on account of its closest competitor February losing some misery factor due to being both shorter and closer to spring. So I can’t really put any structure into my procrastination, though a lot of it still occurred, in spite of my feeling I am constantly running out of time as them days are so damn SHORT. But here it goes:
1. I slowly but surely killed two of my office plants, of which I feel deeply guilty, yet try to convince myself I did all I could to prevent their demise. As a consolation I read a bit on the plantfluencers I will never become, and a funny bit on German office plants. (I actually found the same story twice. Is it fate?) My one survivor, incidentally, is called Fritz, who has now been joined by the hopefully warrior-like Ingeborg.
2. I am not totally sold on the Elena Ferrante adaptation that has just hit the screens, principally because the painstakingly reconstructed rione feels juts a bit artificial to me. Like something Vogue could cover in a nice glossy spread, and well, they did. My one person jury’s also still out on The Little Drummer Girl, but this review does touch on some of the points I did find attractive in the series.
3. If you really, as in REALLY want to avoid doing anything for several hours, like I avoided getting into the intricacies of a legal text to be translated, here’s a list of the Improbable Research Nobel Prize Winners. Because, obviously, we are eternally indebted to ‘Thea Blackler, Rafael Gomez, Vesna Popovic and M. Helen Thompson, for documenting that most people who use complicated products do not read the instruction manual.’ (Also, when I am busy doing nothing, I could use someone doing the vacuuming for me like say Alex Turner.)
4. Atlas Obscura wanted to find out how people organize their tsundokus, and I had the best intentions in the world to send them something about mine but oh yes I procrastinated so here’s my stack. Which is not a stack, but many, and books I have yet to read mix in with books I have already read but still have an emotional connection to. There’s also absolutely no order in when a book will get picked once having landed in the stack, and I generally start to panic when I enter under five unread books and immediately buy about ten more to calm myself, then stress over having too many books to read and too little time.
5. Here’s to people finding that technology ruins everything, this time around, long distance running in the shape of headphones, and smartphones. When I re-started running after a longish hiatus, I did go for a totally technology free approach first, which ended up with what I am sure were rotten times and not all that much benefits due to lousy pacing. I’ve now settled on listening to podcasts (I am really not zen enough for emptying my mind no matter how strenuous and long a run is) and having a basic app to keep count of my distances and times.
6. I found Paul Dano’s musical recommendations unexpectedly thoughtful and good and chuckled a little at this bit about morose pop music (in November frankly everything and everyone is morose). Also, here’s a new video from Gesaffelstein.
7. Much has been said about the American missionary’s ill fated attempt to declare Jesus to the North Sentinelese so I will refrain from elaborating my two cents on the topic, suffice it to say that it got me thinking of how one is to communicate when lacking a shared linguistic framework. Good thing there are almost universal words out there.
8. Jonathan Franzen has engaged in the apparently ill-advised pursuit of penning down some advice for writers, which has been intensively mocked, though I do not find it particularly outré given all the how to do this and that pieces circulating the Internet. So here’s some advice on why we need difficult books, like for example this year’s Booker Prize winner, which has frankly not elicited much excitement in me upon a first quick perusal. Also, panic, best books lists are already here.
9. Travel section! A guy climbed a Slovakian mountain and found, obviously, a cat, here are some atmospheric pictures of Dubai, then a glimpse of Russian suburbia, The New York Times gave Bucharest the 36 hours treatment, and the BBC went looking for the (velvet) merchant of Venice.
10. Football section! Important import on football badges (random side note, in spite of my initial reticence, I am now quite fond of Juventus’ new minimalistic approach), stadiums with a view, remembering the epic (to some) day of November 17, 1993 and some spectacular footage of Boca training at La Bombonera before the second Superclásico that unravelled in an oh-so shambolic Argentinian manner.
11. Bits and bobs. Chapeau to Emma Thompson for showing up at Buckingham Palace in sneakers. I would of course also show up at Buckingham Palace in sneakers, but alas no one invites me, so double chapeau to Emma. In the category of things I do not need, but desperately want, Wes Anderson Tarot Cards. (Related topic, if you happen to be in Vienna, do pop in to this exhibition). Further things I do not need, but desperately want, somewhere in this house tour there is a rabbit lamp. I want that rabbit lamp. Here be important analysis on how to make the best coffee, with my personal remark that with proper expertise the mokka pot should score much higher. Finally, new and satisfyingly bonkers effort from Grimes.