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The Lusty Month of May

Hi, all! A few updates follow so as not to let too much time pass between posts, though I suspect this is the case. Most important: writing is going well and I'm on the concluding part of the mini-story. Once finished I will spend a few weeks editing and will then publish it here. I estimate this will be ready in 6-8 weeks.

I would also like to let all of you know I've been squatting between 315 and 335 pounds for multiple repetitions as of late. I know this is what you came here to hear.

This is almost blasphemous, but as many times as I've been to Zabar's I hadn't tried their bagels until recently. Stunning: so far I've inhaled a pumpernickel and an onion bagel. Both were the best versions of those flavors I've ever had. I rank the Zabar's onion bagel over the pumpernickel. I'm making it a point to try them all by the end of June (though I suspect I'll get it done by the end of May). So, for those keeping score, Onion Bagel currently ahead of Pumpernickel Bagel.

I've recently been into the Dave Portnoy pizza reviews and I went to John's Pizzeria on Bleecker Street because it was the highest score he gave a Manhattan pizza. Total joke. The crust was excellent. The tomato sauce, cheese, sausage were nothing. And I was hungry going into it. And when I, Zack Brown, am hungry, almost everything is great. This was less-than on every front other than the crust. They might have had an off night or maybe Portnoy was there on a great day but as far as I'm concerned that pizza earned a score of 6.2 as opposed to the 9.3 Portnoy blessed it with.

I've recently finished 100 Years of Solitude and I'm wrestling with the piece and my own ability or inability to have comprehended it. Perhaps I'll dedicate some more words to it at a later date, but as of this moment my general feeling is that Marquez did capture some great insight and--because it fits my own character--I found the illustration of the Aurelianos particularly haunting. I also found the early story of the Liberals and Conservatives and the civil war compelling. There were some things I found gratuitous, namely the number of generations needed to execute his point. I suspect Marquez could have gotten at the heart of his aim with more clarity had he limited the number of Buendià generations to 3 or 4 rather than whatever it was by the end (I think 6 or 7). There were tangential storylines that not only detracted from the main cycles of solitude but also weren't unique enough in discovery of the human condition or were too obfuscated by his immense imagination to have been worth the extra pages. Of course, having written that sentence, I immediately begin making counterarguments in my head: for every story I found detracting from the main rivers of insight and throughlines (the José Arcadios and Aurelianos), one could make the case they were necessary for a full picture of the female characters, especially. Meme's tale, for example, is necessary for the full depiction of her mother, Férnanda. And Férnanda's tale is necessary for a full understanding of Aureliano Segundo's character, which is necessary for a full understanding of the dual sides of masculine obsession marked by the Josés and the Aurelianos. So maybe it does all tie in beautifully and a first read couldn't capture the whole of it. Speaking of incest, I'm on to Hamlet!

I seldom miss the movies nominated for Oscars. This year I missed all of them, I think. On my sister's recommendation, I watched The Father starring Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Coleman, Rufus Sewell, and Imogen Poots. It was written and directed by Florian Zeller. It is a raging masterpiece. It is worth absorbing into your life. Go forth, my friends, and take it in!

As of this writing, the Giants are 22-14 and leading the NL West. I hope I'm not jinxing them by acknowledging this.

Jordan Peterson is back with one great podcast after another. In the area of art, he has had stunning conversations with Jonathan Pageau, Juliette Fogra, and Randall Wallace. These artistic conversations are the ones we've been missing for a long, long time and I'm terribly grateful he's returned to deliver them to all of us who have been starving without the voices of--as I mentioned in my first post--Scruton and Paglia, especially.

That's all for now! Cheers, good people!

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May 13, 2021

Ah! THE LUSTY MONTH OF MAY! And of course I immediately have Julie Andrews filling my head with her rendition of this time of year in Camelot! Just a few comments re: your insights and thoughts:

  1. My knees are in pain just reading about the weight you're squatting these days! But most impressive.

  2. Zabar's bagels are indeed the bomb, as are so many other delectable goodies in that store - particularly the fare that can be spread and/or piled on your pumpernickle bagel, but I'll also indulge in the onion! BTW, the coffee is also very good!

  3. John's pizza? I think you should give it one more chance.

  4. 100 Years of Solitude: I would have to read this in order…

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