Family comes to town today. More viewings of "A Christmas Carol." Thursday Thursday Thursday.
Read yesterday: Jew Boy: A Memoir by Alan Kaufman, lent me by one of Lyse's roommates. I suppose Kaufman is getting attention out here because he's a local author; among other things, he talks about astral projection in the Café International on Haight and Fillmore, three blocks from my current location. Most of Jew Boy, though, is about growing up fat and unpopular with a dysfunctional family in New York. If the book is to be believed, Kaufman's main activities as a child were masturbation and fistfights. Think Charles Bukowski's Ham on Rye, only with a lot of self-consciousness about being a Jew, and with Bukowski's gruffness replaced by a melodramatic and yet monotonous prose style. There's a life-wrenching epiphany every four pages. Despite that, there are some genuinely affecting moments, such as Kaufman's description of first identification with literary heroes:
As Ernest Hemingway I had a head-bandaged battle wound; I had a pretty English nurse for a girlfriend; I wrote little stories that were admired in Paris, city of my mother's birth, betrayal, and expulsion; I drank a lot of wine - wine stained all my clothes, all my experiences, all my memories; I wore a beret and a World War I uniform; and I boxed. That would impress my father, the would-be boxer. I conquered literary Paris for my mother. My parents would have loved Ernest Hemingway.
One of Jew Boy's reviewers on Amazon proclaims that "Ernest Hemmingway [sic] has returned!" Sigh. Basically, it screams "first novel" though I know it's not a novel, technically. But hey, you never know.
The man himself wrote to point out that the final "Charlie Brown Christmas" reported yesterday is in fact only the final CBS broadcast. It's heading to ABC now. Take note.
Condoleezza Rice has an oil tanker named after her. That's just odd.