Greetings from across the Ocean-wide:
I just thought I’d pass out a piece of that sweet eye candy I know you’ve all been cravin’ — pictoral evidence of my doings in the land of our forefathers — Greek-land. The picture is of a Greek hotel chain tycoon named Dmitri Pappanpappappas (or something like that). Anyway, he seems to be lacking a lot of self-esteem in his photograph portrait and this made me feel really sorry for him. The photo shows how I would console him if I were to really meet him on the street one day and look into his scared and timid eyes. My posturing is meant to announce “Hey man, I’m there for you. I cherish you. We’re all on this ship of life together. You dig?”
I’m having a blast over here — fun, sun, and girls galore. Actually, what I look forward to most now that my trip is over is reading-time. I’ve been putting off a lot of fiction-reading the last few years b/c I’ve so eggheadishly pursued academic matters. But now — now all my academic matters are over. I don’t have any friends over here for the time being as well, so I’ve got this insane amount of free time. I’m in a cafe in the Piraeus right now, which the port town of Athens. I’m listening to Prince’s Purple Rain (for the first time — can you believe it?) and now I see what all the hype is about — it tears at your heartstrings. Tonight, I take a ship to Rhodes, where I’ll be chillin’ for three nights. I’m very excited because I think my hotel has satellite, which means mine eyes will be upon the Spurs-Pistons Game 6. I’m thinking Spurs will probably win this series. After they were up 2-0, I told everybody here that I put their chances of winning a championship at 98%. My friends couldn’t believe such a high number (they were around 85%), but I really think that taking 4 out of 5 from the Spurs is too much for the Pistons (the Spurs are too experienced, too solid (and have too much Big Shot Rob on their team) — yes, I realize they gave up a 2-0 lead against the Lakers last year).
I’ll explore Rhodos for a couple of days and then skip over to Marmaris in Turkey. I’ll probably stay there another few days and then I’ll go to the small town I’ll stay in the next few months. I think it’s spelled Seregerme. It’ll be weird because my dad and bro-bro may not show up until July 4-5, so I’ll be all by myself (with my dad’s underling/helper as my “guide”) for maybe over a week. I have a Berlitz Turkish phrase book and I’ve been working a little everyday with it. I also have four books that I’m going to tear into with the rabidity of a homeless, yet well-educated, street-dog —
1) The Selected Works of Samuel Johnson. Yeah, that’s the guy who compiled the first English dictionary in the mid-1700s. He was a lot of things, one of which was a column-writing moral critic, which is pretty anachronistic. I quotes Latin authors before each of his pieces, which is awesome, and his prose is complicated, verbose, and profound. His writing bespeaks of a mind that has dealt with much Latin translation.
2) Stephen King’s Different Seasons. Of the four short stories in this compilation, three became movies — Shawhank Redemption, Stand by Me (The Body), and Apt Pupil. I’ve never read King before, but now I know why he’s the king. He makes horror so interesting because he butresses gory episodes with a ceaseless pobing into the psyche. Reading horror is so different for me, and I am drawn to the exotic. I’m normally attuned to the light, whimsical side of things, yet this man — he turns over the creek-side rocks and doesn’t flinch at what crawls out. I was especially impressed with “The Body,” which is one of the most beautifully written, and achingly authentic, stories I’ve ever read — it’s as if King was writing this semi-autobiographical narrative with not his hands, but his heart.
3) The Great Gatsby. I read it in high school and feel it’s time for another go around. I’ve yet to read a book again that I had to read in high school and I feel I should do more of this.
4) The Idiot by Dostoyevsky. My friend, David Mane, raved about this book to me many years ago but I never finished it. I’m takin’ no prisoners this time around though. This one, The Brothers Karamazov, and Moby Dick are three epics I intend to tackle in the next couple of years.