Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Failure of the Day: The Sights

And so it begins. Chris is upstairs watching Miracle on 34th Street, putting up our fiber optic tree, and decorating the living room. I can’t really hate xmas anymore…I mean, I can, but I’m trying not to. It just makes him so dang happy, it’s hard to completely…Ok, maybe it’s still too soon for any declarations of xmas tolerance from me just yet. Since Thanksgiving now exists solely to get people in the mood for xmas, I’m getting there though.

It was a lovely Thanksgiving; Marcel came down from Seattle and we dazzled him with everything San Jose has to offer. Which is to say, we took him to the Winchester Mystery House. Turns out it is just a fine example of what happens when faith and money trump knowledge and know how. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything for anyone here, but it’s just a house built by a looney lady with 20 million and no one to tell her that it’s a pretty bad idea to pretend to be an architect.

I suppose it is a triumph of marketing. Although the séance room and her fetish for the number 13 don’t do much to dissuade the gullible, there really couldn’t be less mystery about that rickety old house. If I had unlimited resources and a headful of superstitious gobbledygook, the house I would design by sketching blueprints as they occurred to me on cocktail napkins would probably come out about the same.

We saw the Johnny Cash movie, and it was good; Joaquin Phoenix did a fine job, but I missed Johnny voice. I finished The Year of Magical Thinking, and I found it over-thought, under-wrought, and entirely dull. We saw the Sandow Birk Divine Comedy exhibit at the SJ Art Museum—the images were great and really frightening, but his “contemporary re-translation” is pretty weird. I’m not sure anybody should be “checking out” the sights of Hell.

Nice holiday.


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