Measured Extravagance

2001-06-25 - 9:50 p.m.

John Ashbery's poetry seldom makes sense to me, and I don't actually agree with the following lines (remember, I belong to the School of Measured Extravagance) - but, they fit my present mood:

All beauty, resonance, integrity,
Exist by deprivation or logic
Of strange position. This being so,

We can only imagine a world in which a woman
Walks and wears her hair and knows
All that she does not know.

Ter joined us for dinner last night - pork potstickers, seaweed soup, and a bottle of Mondavi chardonnay - which meant I could finally give him the copy of McSweeney's I'd picked up for him when I was in Boston (he's a big fan of They Might Be Giants - we're going to see them Thursday night, in fact). He told me that he'd been around before to the main bookstores in town looking for McSweeney's, with no results, so now I'm feeling absurdly pleased with myself for bringing friend and book together.

I'm taking it easy the rest of the evening, mainly because I donated blood after work, which means there's a bruise the size of Panama developing on my left arm (I ripped off the gauze and tape intended to prevent this in order to plunk a heated towel on the wound).

As I told the technicians, I'm fine once they manage to get the needle in. In fact, I thought I was going to be fine this time during the needle-insertion process, for a change, because the tech seemed to locate the right vein confidently and quickly. She swabbed the spot with iodine, thrust the needle in - and then started wiggling it around because no blood came out. And after she wiggled it around some more, she called over another tech because "that little vein keeps moving around. . ." Saints and bunnies!

I recognize that, in the grand scheme of pain, vein-fishing ranks pretty low - nastier than a mosquito bite but far preferable to virulent PMS, for instance. Still, you'll permit me this little bout of drama, won't you? It wasn't fun, and it did hurt enough that I was grinding innumerable profanities between my teeth so that they woudn't escape from my well-bred lips. (I'm not a Southern lady, but sometimes I do attempt to impersonate one. In this case, it paid off - they brought me a bottle of water to drink while I bled and offered to fetch me a magazine. . .)

Thus, I am feeling especially entitled to indulge myself tonight - my to-do list may be two pages long, but after I post this, I'm heading straight towards a hot bath, a glass of port, and Barbara Holland's Endangered Pleasures: In Defense of Naps, Bacon, Martinis, Profanity, and Other Indulgences: "No man, especially no Quaker, troubles to wrap himself in a blue silk sash unless the touch and sight of it pleases him deeply. . ." And then I'm heading to bed.

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