Tuesday, December 03, 2013

"What's Outside the Window?": Bolano's Riddle Solved

Read only if you've finished the book and want to know the answer.

What's outside the window?  The strobe lights of police cars, coming to arrest the "fugitives" after their final confrontation with the gang members.

All the riddles have simple, unsuspectedly routine answers.  None of them are "deep" and there's no reason to think they would be now.

The book is still one of the best novels I've ever read. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

The news

Do I give "news" a capital letter?  I didn't feel like it.

Was reading over the weekend about Star Wars, how it was rereleased theatrically in 1997 after a 14-year gap.  Those 14 years were the years I finished grade school, went to junior high, high school, and college, and started grad school.  Significant years for anyone.  Someone needs to write a good memoir or essay about those years; the last before the Internet age when everything was documentable.

You used to remark about people, wonder where they went.  Now you look them up on  Facebook, which is better.  There are answers now.  Answers are preferable.  But for some reason I have nostalgia for the mist-covered times when the world was a huge place and forgotten people were vanished, it felt like.

Lunch with a friend tomorrow.  Next time I check this, wonder if I'll remember with who.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Good things

Good things are happening in my life.  I feel blessed.  I need to be grateful and expectantly hopeful for good things. 

Tonight: writers' group
tomorrow: the cafe and class research (fun for me)
Friday: men's group
Saturday: early music concert
Sunday: Greg Proops comedy show
Monday: spring downtown festival
Tuesday: council meeting
Wednesday: nothing - will write/read
Thursday: n+1 release party

And books to read - Tony Judt, RIP, two of his. 

Spanish fiction - is it not the best?  It is.

I've never remembered looking forward this much to spring and all it has to offer. My god!  Email or comment if you're bummed; I will cheer you up.  Good vibes, good vibes, good vibes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

3rd Ward

Saturday I went to the 3rd Ward Last Supper Salon. A friend of mine whom I consider to be a modern Grace Kelly was one of the curators. and I hoped to spend time talking with her. Toward that end I brought a female friend.

A vague small sickness passed me when I saw my GK friend texting or talking with other men.

I had emailed her, "i'm avoding all unnecessary social interactions" as I worked on my novel. Standing there I realized this was one I had been sucked into. But my friend I came with was feeling blue and I knew it was more important to make sure she had fun than to try to chase an unreachable woman.

The desire for companionship - a gentle euphemism I will use - is a barrier to the artistic impulse. If women feel like I do, it hardly seems to show or it is sublimated.

5000 words a week - chapter fragments resettled. That is the goal. By the end of the year - Christmas more or less - to finish the draft. It is something I can do. Better not to have a Grace Kelly in my life right now perhaps, although that statement falls flat reading it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Out for coffee just now I was thinking about Los Angeles and how cool a place it is.  It figures in my novel, which I messaged myself a few odd things to turn into scenes.  I don't really expext you to understand what I just wrote!

I was just reading reviews on Yelp, reviews of small and big places, like local coffeeshops and chains like McDonald's. They were quite amusing.

USA vs. Ghana - what will be the final score? We will see.

Friday, June 18, 2010

June 18th

June 18th is a special day for me. It was the day I lost my virginity, at age 33. June 18th, 2006: C and I went to Eamonn Doran's to watch the Brazil-Australia World Cup game.

After a while we went to my place, where Korea was playing someone. We began to kiss, and then more. It was not perfect but as an experience it was perfect, and perfectly fine. No regrets.

So I was thinking about that today. I went out and exulted about life, and about blessings, and about learning new things, and about growing. To all appearances I was brooding. And perhaps I was. It doesn't matter.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oil and stuff

After just listening to a radio report about BP's negligence during my lunchtime walk, I'm also wondering if blaming or hating BP for everything is a little bit of a cop-out. It sounds like the industry as a whole cut corners, and that we Americans, well, that's okay with us as long as the oil'n'stuff keep coming.

Listening to people mock or get angry at BP seems so misguided to me. If they were cutting corners worse than other companies, fine. But it sounds like it was just another case of a society being fine with how things were getting done as long as the members of that society didn't have to get their hands dirty.


Life is beautiful, although with the oil disaster, economy, and war I must admit I'm feeling anxiety over things. It seems like I could think of a solution to the oil disaster crisis. Can they shift the ocean floor through tectonics, controlled techtonics, with explosives, to pinch it shut?

The droning of vuvuzelas I really have to find out about - truly that annoying?

Being morally good is hard because you have to take such abuse.

Sociopaths exist, and you may even date one. They are quite common in fact. Beware. But loneliness and the dream of couplehood can make you do some awfully stupid things.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The news

Spent the day with K screwing in drywall in Bed-Stuy.

Having K there yesterday was very fun, because she told me I was funny and diligent.

Then I went out on 5th Ave.

Now I'm at work.

That is the news. See you in the spaces.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I remember

Since I’ve been in New York more and more I’ve grown to remember and note the two twin points of the year in some ways, Memorial Day and Labor Day. The start and the end of summer. Memorial Day growing up was a day to go away, to Demo, to camp, somewhere. Labor Day the same.

Here in Brooklyn the city empties out and every bar, café, restaurant, grocery store is hardly full when it would normally be. I’ve been alone for nearly every single one of these two holidays I’ve sent here, living here in Brooklyn, my adult life. Years from now when I’m older and retired, living somewhere else perhaps, I will know, I spent my adult years in New York City, in Brooklyn. It feels like a signpost, like a waystation, something going on. There’s a pause in life, an opening into the yaw of reality I think about all the time and consider myself to understand. Labor Day is worse – it makes me question how much I’ve accomplished, what my goals had been for the summer, what my goals are for the next few months. They are often filled but I live a life of casualness that fits oddly into the life here. And I feel it, acutely, in moments unexpected. Last summer I remember walking along the Union Street bridge with a date, Prospect Park and quinoa salad, mojitos, Up, Shock Top with lemons, the Wall Street Journal, the other K. I remember. Je me souviens.

It feels weird to say that, to know that. This long New York story of mine might be coming to an end. Or at least, it may be changing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Staycation, meanings

I'm on a staycation now for two weeks, until May 10th. Reading, writing, refraining, scheduling, walking, touring, emailing a little, dating. There are things going on in my life, things that are taking over a little the things that since 2006 have so preoccupied me.

Had a meeting with my broker today; he is actually a true broker, the kind I can call or email and ask to put money in this or that and it will be done. I understand things on this end a bit.

Man, I'm happy and conflicted and ambivalent and expcting and joyous all at once. It's ever so good. If you are reading this blog, welcome. The journey continues.

Peace and see you in spaces.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The news

Let the circle be unbroken.

Passing of time in America.


Questions, money.


j d leighton at gmail

Monday, January 25, 2010

MadTV making fun of Cold Case


Monday, August 31, 2009

The news

Will this site come back to life? Perhaps.

I went out with K Thursday, to a cafe, to dinner, and then to her place to sit on the roof and talk. Kind of spellbinding, kind of makes you leave your heart out (please take care of it, it's a tender heart - please don't step on it).

Not heard anything from her since. Last night I went to the Red Lion, then walked around the West Village, then headed home. felt all tingly and weird and wanted to get out..."get out."

Random thoughts:

--I'm cool
--i have no friends
--I'm a good writer
--i don't understand women
--i need to get laid

Random, random, random, random, random, random.

See you in the spaces.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

And if I should become

The Patriots lost in the Super Bowl, and I recalled the consoling words shared last year when they lost in the AFC Championship Game: "Pitchers and catchers report in 14 days."

Last year I was rather interested in baseball, at least early on and here and there. This year so far I feel the same way, going so far as to actually listen to the MLB on XM channel that comes with my satellite radio subscription.


A woman from one of my meetup groups sent me a Christmas card and added that if I was around and wanted some company sometime, I should let her know. So I did, and we've been dating for about a month I think. Her name is Shawna.


I've discovered it's not as much fun to get runk with liquor as it is with beer. Why? With beer you get the complete loss of body control that makes you stand up from the couch and say, "Man, I'm wasted!" With liquor you get wasted but it's more strictly cerebral. And, uh, the next morning, it's uh, also "mostly cerebral."