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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Oysters, Pearls, Ham on Rye: I'm Here for This


I tell you, the Internet is a seriously wonderful entity. It's opened me up to so many things that I am not sure I would have discovered otherwise -- especially when it comes to music, or television shows, or movies. It's these subscription services you can buy these days. You know... services like Netflix or Spotify that give you access to a potentially limitless catalog of media to enjoy and discover? When trying something new doesn't actually require me to drop additional money just to try it or even leave my house to go looking for it, I try things on a whim a lot more. I'm spontaneous as it is, so that set-up is perfect for me.

These days, there are options like that out there for people that like to read as well and I've definitely been taking advantage. I'm personally a fan of Oyster for books, as well as Next Issue for magazines, but there are other similar services out there as well. (No, no one is paying me to say that. I just think they're aces.) Nothing has... like... every book or magazine ever written at this point, as such services are still pretty new, but there are a lot of awesome things to choose from. Also, more are being added all the time, just as with Netflix and Spotify. It's pretty rad.

All this selection is teaching me a few things about myself. Once upon a time, I think I identified a lot more readily with cultured, ladylike authors like Jane Austen, or Edith Wharton, or Charlotte Bronte. However, these days it seems like my true literary spirit animals are really filthy, really drunk old dudes like Charles Bukowski, and Henry Miller, and William S. Burroughs. Don't get me wrong. I'm still totally here for some Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre... and The Age of Innocence remains one of my favorite books of all time. But there's just something about the rawness and honesty of work like Ham on Rye or Tropic of Cancer that I really relate to at this point in my life. 

If you follow me elsewhere online, then you might be aware that I'm in the middle of this whole self-improvement kick as well and have been for the better part of... two years, at this point. I'm dieting and making at least a modest attempt to get in shape. (I've lost over 30 pounds at this point, so I can just go the fuck on with my bad self.) That period of time has also found me becoming incredibly spiritual... and not just in a hip, modern kind of way, but in a pretty serious, traditional way. This vast online world of reading material has proven to be an excellent source for really good spiritual advice, nutritional information, and so on. 

And all this Bukowski and Burroughs fangirling has resurrected my old desire to write some sort of memoir-esque fiction. The fact that those guys exist make me feel like it's perfectly acceptable to be as raw and risque as I want for what might be the first time in my entire life as a writer. My life has been full of people and happenings that would make excellent literature. I'm sure that the things I eventually write will cause some of the people from my offline life to have aneurysms when they realize that I am, in fact, writing about some of the things they've put me through, but I guess that's their problem. They should have known better than to piss off a writer in the first place.