Monday, November 05, 2007

kaboom and other things

The building next door to ours, which used to be a hasuk (a sort of boarding house for students), is gone-- ripped away in a paroxysm of construction (destruction?) work largely involving one mean excavator and its equally mean accomplice, a dump truck. Along for the ride were men with large hoses-- by which I do not mean porn stars. The hosers basically aimed their jets wherever the excavator was digging in order to keep the dust down, and the main part of the process took about a day. Saturday, in fact.

The crew is still going at it; right now, it's mostly about carting away the rubble (where's our callow 9/11 "Loose Change" videographer to tell us that the debris is disappearing with suspicious rapidity?). The concierge in our building isn't sure what sort of structure is supposed to take the erstwhile hasuk's place, but seeing as we are in Estrogen Central here in the Smoo neighborhood, I'm guessing the new building won't be a brothel.

At least the noise has died down.

I finished rereading all my Mark Salzman books a week or so ago (Lying Awake, The Soloist, Iron and Silk*), and am currently rereading Tom Robbins's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. I brought along two other Robbins books from the States: Another Roadside Attraction and the incomparable Jitterbug Perfume, by far my favorite of all the Robbins novels I've read (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates was cool, but doesn't top the list). Those two are next up, though I may interrupt the Robbins run with a dash of Stephen King (whose Nightmares and Dreamscapes I brought along as well). Eventually, I'm hoping to end with a huge bout of Asimov (Foundation heptalogy), followed by my semi-regular dose of Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever-- a double-trilogy I've read and reread since junior high and high school.** That ought to take me into early spring, I think.

It's amazing how therapeutic reading can be. A good antidote for noisy construction equipment.

*To the commenter who asked: yes, I've seen the movie version of Iron and Silk. I own an ancient copy on VHS. It's in the States, alas; I'd love to show it to my students.

**I haven't touched the newest Thomas Covenant series; reviews appear to be mixed.


No comments: