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[personal profile] mallorys_camera
Dreamed that I was deeply, passionately in love with a brilliant architect, but he would never love me back because he was a dwarf, and at 5’10”, I was simply too tall.

I suppose the dream’s status detail is borrowed from the Celeste project, but it’s interesting the way it took something that many people, myself included, would view as an advantage, my height. And turned it into a disability.

###

I scraped yesterday’s English lesson with Samir in favor of helping him hammer out a business plan.

He seems bound and determined to transfer operations to New York City.

I think that plan is beyond awful, but I don’t get to make his decisions; I am but a tool for actualizing his goals, etcetera, ad nauseam.

“You know, there are an awful lot of people repairing phones in New York City,” I told him.

“Yes, but there are an awful lot of broken phones,” he said.

I suppose.

We sat in the library making up numbers:

Rent, New York City: $1500 for office; $1200 for living = $2700

Versus

Rent, Poughkeepsie: $1200 for office, $500 for living = $1700

Etcetera.

Samir, for whatever reason, is just bound and determined to have a physical address from which to run his smartphone repair empire.

I think that’s cray-zeee.

True, I know nothing about the commercial real estate market in New York City, but it seems to me that even if his rent guesstimate is correct – and I suspect it’s way low – it sticks him with a 12-month operational expense that would be a cement block around his neck if the business didn’t take off.

And he wants it to take off in three months.

Six months, Samir,” I said. “You want to have enough cash in reserve to tide you over for six months.”

“No, no, three months,” he said adamantly.

I think the ideal business model for him would be a mobile phone repair operation, which he could do in conjunction with his current admittedly awful job. (Not only is his current employer exploiting him, now his current employer is refusing to provide him with a reference! Because he doesn’t want to lose Samir!)

As the mobile repair biz gained traction, he could cut down on hours at the bad job.

He could do the repairs out of the back of his van. He could start off by parking the van three days a week alongside the Vassar campus.

(“But students,” said Samir. “They have no money.”

“Oh, trust me,” I said. “Vassar students have money.”)

He could paper the campus with fliers: Phone fixed while you wait! He could do the car wrap thing! Maybe his van could play a little jingle like an ice cream truck!

I sang the little jingle for him: “Oh, don’t you weep and don’t you moan, for Samir is here to fix your phone. La-la-la!”

Samir laughed.

“Really, you have to think in terms of your long-range plans, Samir,” I said.

Samir looked at his hands. “I want to marry my girlfriend. I want to bring her to the U.S. But, you know, in our culture, wives do not work. I do not want my wife to work. I want to make the house for her, and she will make me the home.”

Start-up costs for a mobile phone repair business should be considerably less than for a stationary phone repair business since he already has the tools he tells me, and presumably, word of mouth would be his chief marketing channel. So let’s say $5,000 for a van and another $1500 for a generator so he can sauter motherboards when necessary. If the business goes kaput, hey! he still has capital in the form of equipment that has some resale value.

I’m looking into crowd-sourcing platforms.

But how do I make Samir stand out from all those other worthy candidates vying for your Beneficent Bwana dollars?

###

First day of autumn. Wow! This summer went fast.

Hoping to drive to Barrytown and Annandale-on-Hudson this afternoon for a kind of Steely Dan nostalgia tour. But that will depend upon what my masters at the Scut Factory have in store for me.

Набор в отряд

Sep. 22nd, 2017 02:00 pm
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[personal profile] alien3


Пока нет новых публичных новостей об отборе.
Заочный этап продлили до 15 декабря 2017 года. А очный уже идёт параллельно. На начало осени было подано чуть более 400 комплектов документов от претендентов со всей России. В очный этап прошло около 40 человек.

Наблюдаем и ждём.

В Новосибирск

Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:47 am
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[personal profile] alien3
Вечером 28 сентября улетаю в Новосибирск.



30 сентября - 1 октября у меня будет три лекции о космонавтике на СибАстро-2017, рядом с Новосибирском.
http://www.sibastro.ru

Акционирование

Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:26 am
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[personal profile] alien3
По плану Роскосмоса в 2018 году будут акционированы все предприятия и институты, входящие в госкорпорацию.
В том числе ФГУП «ЦНИИмаш» и ФГУП «Государственный космический научно-производственный центр имени М. В. Хруничева».
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[personal profile] alien3
Зафиксирую это объявление на память (первый срок подачи заявок уже закончился):

Уважаемые читатели!

Редакция журнала Госкорпорации «Роскосмос» «Новости космонавтики» объявляет конкурс на замещение вакантной должности редактора-корреспондента 2-й категории.

Заявления принимаются до 15 сентября. Начало работы возможно с 1 октября.

Место работы – ФГУП ЦНИИмаш, г. Королёв, ул. Пионерская, дом 4. Оформление от Трудовому кодексу РФ без допуска к сведениям, составляющим гостайну. Занятость – полный рабочий день, 5 дней в неделю.



Соцпакет включает в себя служебный автобус от метро ВДНХ и обратно, обслуживание в ведомственной поликлинике в г. Королёв и льготные путёвки на базы отдыха предприятия на оз. Селигер и Чёрном море.

Уровень оплаты труда состоит из двух частей: должностной оклад равный 35 000 руб + надбавка (гонорар) рассчитывается по определённой системе и зависит от объёма, охвата количества источников и эксклюзивности статьи.
Смотреть дальше )
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[personal profile] alien3
Сегодня в Аделаиде (Австралия) стартовал молодёжный «Конгресс космического поколения» (Space Generation Congress).


Университет Аделаиды (фотография Ксении Лисицыной)

21-23 сентября конгресс пройдёт в Университете Аделаиды. 150 делегатов со всего мира собрались, чтобы обсудить проблемы и перспективы космонавтики, пообщаться между собой и с представителями космических организаций и агентств.
Затем его участники продолжат работу в Международном астронавтическом конгрессе IAC-2017.
Смотреть дальше )
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Приближается «Всемирная неделя космоса» 4-10 октября.

У нас будут совместные мероприятия Северо-Западной организации Федерации космонавтики России и ИЦАЭ-Санкт-Петербург.

Предварительный план:

4 октября – Олег Семёнов «Секреты лунных фотоснимков» (лекция 2 часа с вопросами)

4 октября космическая вечеринка совместно с «Занудой»

5 октября – Андрей Емельянов «Космодромы планеты» (лекция 2 часа с вопросами)

10 октября – совместная лекция 2017 год в космонавтике
Лекции по 20 минут. 5-10 мин на вопросы
Роман Рогов – Финал миссии «Кассини»
Олег Семёнов – Почему трудно сфотографировать Петербург с МКС
Андрей Емельянов – Самые интересные пуски и посадки 2017 года
Валерия Скуратова – Рекордный полёт Пегги Уитсон на МКС

14 октября космический концерт Вячеслава Фирсанова.

Видео с ЛКШ:

Fucking Mick Jagger

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:09 am
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[personal profile] mallorys_camera
All morning long, I’ve been musing over poor Evelyn Waugh who died of a broken heart because some B level pal told him he was boring.

I suppose I’m boring.

That’s because I’ve always been much more interested in books, and ideas, and the swoop of people’s lives, and those strange, uncategorized floaters of unencapsulated memory that seem to pop up at the oddest times, than I am in sex, celebrity, status detail that’s grounded in marketing trends rather than personal style.

I mean, if – for example – I decided to write about my sexual history over five decades, this could be the most popular blog on the Internet, right? Mick Jagger: Uncircumcised. His dick was maybe five and a half/ six inches. Very lazy! You had to crawl on top of him and grind! Celebrity spoils the mutuality ethic. It was a lot of work getting him off in fact, so much work that very little concentration was left to get myself off. But, hey! Mick Jagger.

Etcetera.

###

Actually, that description of Mick Jagger would bore most readers, too. Celebrity spoils the mutuality ethic, they’d think. Huh? What does “mutuality” mean? What’s an ethic? Why didn't she give him a score between 1 and 10?

Maybe I just can’t write anything that interests anyone other than me-e-e-e!

###

Strange, unsettled day. Tropical Storm Jose safely out to sea, but the winds are high and dense with moisture here in the quaint and scenic Hudson Valley so that walking any distance at all, one gets the sense of displacing one’s own weight.

One project, I need to finish; one project, I need to start. But you know me! I’m all about the meh.

I really need to have a long transcendental conversation with someone. That would get me back on track. I’m not isolated, but there’s practically no one in these parts who likes to have long, transcendental conversations. But those are catalysts for me. Plus they ground me in my own non-boringness. [Insert wistful smiley.]

Keystart

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:07 pm
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[personal profile] alien3
Роскосмос анонсировал сайт по профориентации в космонавтике.
Там представлены основные профессии, которые есть в российской космонавтике, организации, где можно трудоустроиться, вузы, где можно получить соответственное образование:



Первичный просмотр показал наличие большого количества неточностей.
Объём которых настолько значительный, что желательно, чтобы свои замечания в Роскосмос направили организации и вузы, размещённые там.

Сам запуск этого ресурса я расцениваю, как положительный признак.
Я бы даже рекомендовал превратить сайт из чисто информационного в «сервисный» (с живым консультированием), с оперативным управлением небольшой компетентной команды. Не так уж это и дорого, а было бы полезно.

Отмечу, что сайт адекватнее чем «Атлас новых профессий», сделанный в Сколково.

И ещё интересно, как похожую задачу профориентации в космонавтике и астрономии выполнили на Украине.

Эксперименты на МКС

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:07 pm
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[personal profile] alien3
Мой недавний комментарий в Tdaily:

«Член Северо-Западной организации Федерации космонавтики РФ Александр Хохлов называет причину торопиться сделать такой принтер. «Этот эксперимент нужен его заказчику и исполнителю, компании 3D Bioprinting Solutions, - отметил он. - По словам разработчиков, в невесомости печать трёхмерных живых органов перспективна, поскольку на Земле труднее получить не приплюснутую силой тяжести форму. Раньше на российском сегменте МКС проводились коммерческие эксперименты европейцев и японцев, но после стыковки со станцией лабораторных модулей, японского «Кибо» и европейского «Коламбус», они перестали проводить эксперименты на нашем модуле за деньги».


Космический биопринтер компании 3D Bioprinting Solutions (КЭ «Магнитный 3D-биопринтер»)

Российские же эксперименты, по словам Александра Хохлова, проводились за счёт государства, поэтому их необходимость нужно было обосновать на Координационном научно-техническом совете Федерального космического агентства по программам научно-прикладных исследований и экспериментов на пилотируемых космических комплексах. «Теперь, когда вместо ФКА у нас госкорпорация «Роскосмос», появилась мотивация зарабатывать на экспериментах, а не тратить на них государственные деньги», - пояснил он.
Смотреть дальше )

Настя Степанова

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:55 am
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Настя в футболке Проекта пилотируемого облёта Венеры и Марса

Летом завершился эксперимент «Марс 160» (Mars 160), состоящий из двух изоляций одной команды - на Марсианской пустынной исследовательской станции (MDRS) и на станции FMARS на острове Девон (Канада).
Наши СМИ не заметили это событие, но это неудивительно, первоначально он задумывался как годовая изоляция, потом эксперимент сократился до 160 дней из-за нехватки финансирования, а по факту был ещё меньше по причинам безопасности экипажа. В этом смысле конкурирующий эксперимент HI-SEAS (Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) был более стабилен, и, поэтому заметен.

Но нам «Марс 160» интересен тем, что в нём участвовала наша соотечественница Настя Степанова. Как журналист она писала о первой части эксперимента на MDRS в Юте. И скоро должны быть публикации на русском о её приключениях в канадской Арктике, у меня в блоге была первая эксклюзивная часть.
В команде Настя была как журналистом, так и ответственной за здоровье экипажа. В программе изоляции был и эксперимент по психологии малых групп от Института медико-биологических проблем (постановщик Полина Кузнецова).

По итогам всего эксперимента команда подготовила публичный отчёт, который можно прочитать на английском языке по ссылке.

После завершения изоляций Настя была на конвенции Марсианского общества, где выступала вместе со своей командой.

Вопрос теперь, что дальше? Настя редкая девушка, имеющая наивысшую мотивацию к продвижению на фронтиры в космос. Но, к сожалению, как писал в своей знаменитой книге «Механика космического полёта в элементарном изложении» В. И. Левантовский - межпланетные пилотируемые полёты столь дороги, что удел далёкого и прекрасного будущего. Но уже XXI век, а прекрасное космическое будущее так и не наступило. Марс всё также далёк, как и в прошлом веке, даже в чём-то чуть дальше.

Правда, буквально на днях в Аделаиде на 68th International Astronautical Congress Илон Маск (SpaceX) расскажет уточнённый план по созданию межпланетной транспортной системы.
Продолжается и создание Space Launch System. Это даёт надежду, но...
Смотреть дальше )

The Interesting Question

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:42 am
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Despite ample evidence to the contrary, every generation is secretly convinced that they’re the ones who invented sex.

Thus, books like Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead are always slightly shocking. The book chronicles – in the most exhaustive detail – Waugh’s youthful indiscretions both at Oxford and as the self-appointed chronicler of the Bright Young Things, which is what they called Generation X in the UK back in the 1920s.

These blurry buttocks belonged to Alistair Graham who accompanied his early 20th century version of sexting with instructions on the best way to drink fine wine: You must take a peach and peel it, and put it in a finger bowl, and pour the Burgundy over it. The flavour is exquisite.

The note is signed, With love from Alistair, and his poor dead heart.

Alistair came to a bad end.

But then, so did Waugh. He grew old and fat and Catholic, though his trenchant tongue continued to amuse. Upon hearing that doctors had removed a benign tumor from his sometimes friend Randolph Churchill, he confided in his diary, A typical triumph of modern science to find the only part of Randolph that was not malignant and remove it.

Ann Fleming a/k/a Mrs. Ian was one of the circle of friends in far-flung corners of the world with whom Waugh spent time. After one such Jamaican holiday, Waugh heard third-hand that he had bored Fleming and her guests while there, and that damning word “bored” threw him into a depression from which he never recovered. He lost his teeth, stopped eating, began drinking. Don’t let me in my dotage oppress you, he wrote his favorite daughter.

Waugh died on the toilet – just like Elvis! Damn! That Valsalva maneuver will get you every time.

Of course, this raises the interesting question: Is any end ever good? Except Lord Marchmain’s?



In that other place where it is always summer, the strawberries are always ripe, and Aloysius is always in a good humor, Waugh continues to live on. Because as is the case with most novels, Brideshead Revisited was really artfully rearranged autobiography, and Evelyn Waugh was Charles Ryder.

This is Madresfield Court, the manor house that inspired the Brideshead.

As you can see, it looks very little like Castle Howard, which is the house that posed as Brideshead both in the very fine 1981 miniseries and the mediocre 2008 film.

Unlike the harmonious, baroque mansion in the fiction, Madresfield – Olde English for “mowers’ field” – is an architectural hodgepodge, that has been lived in and added on to by the same family, the Lygons, since the time of the Domesday Book. A thousand years of continuous habitation! Nor was Brideshead the first piece of great fiction to be written about Madresfield: A dispute over the property was immortalized by Charles Dickens as Jarndyce and Jarndyce in one of his driest but most entertaining novels, Bleak House.

The property is surrounded by a moat. The doors opening on to the bridge were carved from oak in the 12th century, but the house’s medieval core has been smothered by Tudor brickwork on the outside, and swallowed by Gothic, neo-Gothic, and Georgian extensions on the inside.

Oh, how I would love to visit it!

###

In other news, I made all the phone calls in my queue, thereby solving many practical problems and moving ever closer to achieving my ambition, which is to become a Real Human Girl.

I toiled for the Scut Factory.

I remonstrated with Samir: “I know it’s not my job to give you advice, but moving to New York City would be such a terrible thing for you.”

It dawned on me that we might be able to raise capital for his mobile phone fixing enterprise by crowdsourcing. We shall see.

I bickered with Celeste about the contract and about the upcoming house party dates.

Max wants me to write an op ed about my experiences as an ESL teacher.

###

Somewhere, I heard that Greta Garbo walked eleven miles a day right up to the day she died! (She died at 85.) A scarecrow in white with enormous dark glasses wandering Third Avenue.

This really shamed me since I often find it difficult to walk four miles.

Especially in humid weather when my hip joints actually ache. I think the humidity must make the synovial fluid reservoir shrink though I’m unclear about the actual physiology.

Yesterday was not particularly humid, so I was able to walk a fairly long distance.

It’s definitely autumn, though a strange autumn: The leaves aren’t turning so much as drying up. Here’s a maple that’s bucking the trend, though:

КЭЦ

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:40 am
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[personal profile] alien3
Сегодня в Калуге открылись Научные Чтения, посвящённые памяти Константина Эдуардовича Циолковского.

А 60 лет назад, во время празднования 100-летнего юбилея К. Э. Циолковского, Сергей Павлович Королёв выступил в Москве, в Колонном зале Дома Союзов, с докладом о перспективах запусков первых искусственных спутников Земли:

Фото via [livejournal.com profile] gray1957
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[personal profile] alien3
К 68 Международному астронавтическому конгрессу Роскосмос сделал ролик о своей деятельности:



Забавно, увидел там кадр из Центра управления полётами с Андреем Борисенко и Сашей, супругой Сергея Рязанского, который сейчас на орбите. А съёмка очевидно была сделана во время его предыдущего полёта в 13-14 гг.:
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[personal profile] alien3

В сентябрьском номере «Новости космонавтики» отличный материал Игоря Афанасьева про кубсат «Маяк», запущенный на РН «Союз-2.1а» 14 июля.
Саша Шаенко, руководитель проекта, искренне обрадовался этой публикации.
Я его понимаю, если о вас написали в «Новостях космонавтики» - это почти всегда хороший знак и подтверждение вашего участия в реальной космической деятельности.
Смотреть дальше )

Call for NPoC Applications

Sep. 18th, 2017 03:45 pm
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[personal profile] alien3


До первого октября Консультативный совет космического поколения принимает заявки на вторую точку контакта (National Point of Contact) в России (на смену Насти Ильиной).
Возраст претендентов до 33 лет.
По итогам будет выбран лучший кандидат в России.

MEME!

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:18 am
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[personal profile] mallorys_camera
Meme copped from [profile] lifeinroseland

1. Are your parents married or divorced?

Dead.

2. Are you a vegetarian?

No.

No question No. 3?

(Pretentious)

4. Have you ever come close to dying?

Yes.

5. What jewelry do you wear?

Earrings. A little rhodite bracelet with pictures of Catholic saints.

6. Favorite time of day?

Sunrise, sunset.

7. Do you eat the stems of broccoli?

Yes.

8. Do you wear makeup?

Sometimes.

9. Ever had plastic surgery?

No.

10. Do you color your hair?

Yes.

11. What do you wear to bed?

Pyjamas

12. Have you ever done anything illegal?

I take the Fifth.

13. Can you roll your tongue?

Yes.

14. Do you tweeze your eyebrows?

No.

15. What kind of sneakers?

Decrepit cheap ones.

16. Do you believe in abortions?

Yes.

17. What is your natural hair color?

White.

18. Do you have any children?

Yes.

19. Do you snore?

I'm told I do. (I don't believe it._

20. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?

Xinjiang

21. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?

No.

22. If you ever won the lottery, what would you do first?

Cry.

23. Gold or silver?

Gold.

24. Hamburger or hot dog?

Hamburger.

25. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Flautas.

26. City, beach, or country?

Country.

27. What was the last thing you touched?

Library copy of "Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead."

28. Where did you eat last?

At a table.

29. When's the last time you cried?

Yesterday.

30. Do you read blogs?

Obsessively.

31. Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex?

Yes.

32. Ever been involved with the police?

No.

33. What's your favorite shampoo?

Neutrogena.

34. Do you talk in your sleep?

Maybe.

35. Ocean or pool?

Ocean.

36. What's your favorite song at the moment?

"Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" - Leslie Odom Jr.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRLI4tpIjTM

No. 37

38. Window seat or aisle?

Window.

39. Have you ever met anyone famous?

Yes.

40. Do you feel that you've had a truly successful life?

It's not over yet.

41. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?

Slurp.

42. Ricki Lake or Oprah?

A bullet to the brain.

43. Basketball or Football?

Basketball.

44. How long do your showers last?

Till the hot water runs out.

45. Cake or ice cream?

Ice cream.

No. 46.

47. Are you self-conscious?

Not anymore!

48. Have you ever drank so much you threw up?

No.

49. Have you ever given money to a tramp?

Yes.

50. Have you been in love?

Yes.

51. Where do you wish you were?

Brideshead Manor.

52. Are you wearing socks?

No.

53. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?

Yes.

54. Can you tango?

No.

55. Last gift you received?

A fritata.

56. Last sport you played?

Pokemon Go.

57. Things you spend a lot of money on?

Rent, cats, car

58. Where do you live?

Hyde Park, NY

59. Where were you born?

Queens Naval Hospital, Queens NYC

60. Last wedding attended?

Cody and Shannon's

61. Favorite fast food restaurant?

McDonald's.

No. 62

63. Most hated food?

Zucchini

64. What's your least favorite chore?

Washing the car

65. Can you sing?

No

66. Last person you instant messaged?

Ben

67. Last place you went on holiday?

Brooklyn

68. Favorite regular drink?

Grapefruit juice

69. Current crush?

Crushless at the moment

70. Do you want people to do this meme?

I want people to do whatever people want to do so long as they don't harm people, cats, or other living things

Пэтчи

Sep. 18th, 2017 01:12 pm
alien3: (Default)
[personal profile] alien3
Некоторое время назад я объявил конкурс на космическую эмблему. Это пэтч вероятной экспедиции на МКС (номер условный). Основной смысл - подготовка экипажа пилотируемой облётной миссии из двух человек. Логично, что в долговременный межпланетный полёт должны отправиться подготовленные люди. А по современных нормативам подготовки, она завершается только после первого космического полёта, опыт которого нельзя получить на Земле.

Я уже получил первые варианты от художников (общая идея моя):


Эскиз Анастасии Тимофеевой (Екатеринбург). Она также создала основу эмблемы корабля «Союз МС-05», которая победила в конкурсе, объявленном командиром экипажа Сергеем Рязанским в ноябре 2016 года. Завершающую графическую работу по той эмблеме выполнил художник из Нидерландов Люк ван ден Абелен (Новости космонавтики № 9, 2017, с. 20).

Смотреть дальше )

Бокс

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:36 am
alien3: (Default)
[personal profile] alien3
Интересно, рассказали, что в Краснодаре на Гик-Пикнике астрофизика Сергея Попова ([livejournal.com profile] sergepolar) объявляли как звезду боксёрского ринга:
- Сееееергееееей Попоооов!
mallorys_camera: (Default)
[personal profile] mallorys_camera
Car insurance people send me a letter: Your monthly rates age going up ten bucks.

I peruse the 0.1 font print at the very bottom of the letter. It tells me my Defensive Driving Class discount has expired.

Well-l-l-l. It’s easy enough to take another Defensive Driving Class and to take it before the car insurance payment comes due.

But the whole thing just pisses me off massively. I feel like an antelope on the Serengeti plain surrounded by jackals. How hard would it have been for the car insurance people to send me a letter: Be advised that your discount is set to expire… ?

I am a sitting duck surrounded by predatory corporations that see me as prey. That want to wring every last cent out of me.

###

In other news, I’ve been rereading Brideshead Revisited – yes, you’re missing a book, mystery pal! – and thinking that Evelyn Waugh and Scott Fitzgerald shared common neuroses. Both fascinated by money – not for anything that money can buy but for its mysterious mana; both obsessed with mutability and loss. Both novels are a search for timelessness. Both novels acknowledge that timelessness does not exist.

I am thinking some grad student in English literature could get a very nice PhD thesis out of contrasting Brideshead Revisited with The Great Gatsby – assuming there still are grad students five years hence and that somebody hasn’t already done it.

In the pantheon of Great Writers, Fitzgerald is generally acceded the higher perch.

Part of that, I think, is the dog-preaching effect that Samuel Johnson mentions. (Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.) Fitzgerald is an American, yet he has a flawless command of canonical, vernacular-free English.

They were beset by many of the same, uh, life challenges. Fitzgerald’s life, became a total train wreck; but while Waugh’s life as a young man was picaresque to say the least, after he hit 30, he became so stable, you might describe him as stodgy.

Both social climbers: Waugh ingratiated himself with the upper classes by developing a very nasty sense of humor. Fitzgerald preferred to stay the aggrieved outsider.

Both drinkers: Fitzgerald became a drunk. Waugh, it would seem, drank an equivalent amount but did not become a drunk.

Disastrous early loves: Fitzgerald never severed the emotional rope that bound him to Zelda. Waugh shed She-Evelyn without a second’s hesitation and married again the year after his divorce. That marriage took.

Both harbored same-sex crushes: Fitzgerald repressed his homosexual desires. Waugh had numerous male lovers at Oxford, but this seemed to have been a developmental phase.

I suppose one could sum it all up by saying Fitzgerald was hopelessly sentimental, but Waugh was not. Maybe, that’s where Waugh’s Catholicism came in. Maybe if you institutionalize your yearning for redemption, you don’t have to act on it.

###

I prefer Brideshead to Gatsby. The language in both novels is comparably sumptuous and lovely, but Brideshead has more connective tissue. Also, of course, it’s got religion – lots and lots and lots of religion! And I like religion.

Plus Brideshead gives the rich an out: When I was a girl, Lady Marchmain tells Charles Ryder, we were comparatively poor, but still much richer than most of the world, and when I married I became very rich. It used to worry me, and I thought it wrong to have so many beautiful things when others had nothing. Now I realize that it is possible for the rich to sin by coveting the privileges of the poor.

BadaBOOM.

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