Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Couch and Misconceptions

I just finished reading this book for my book club. We are meeting tomorrow night to discuss it. I chose it as one of our selections because we had read "Lone Survivor" the previous month...and I was looking for something whimsical to balance "Lone Survivor's" heaviness.
I appreciated one major theme from "Couch"- inactivity in our we plant ourselves on the couch, usually in front of a tv, and we become apathetic, disengaged, passive. I like the urge of the book, the compulsion for movement. The premise: three slacker dudes in Portland have to move this big orange couch. They discover it has magical powers. Are they moving the couch, or is the couch moving them? It's a philosophical thing. Moving the couch becomes a spiritual journey for the slackers. They choose to believe in the have an active faith that they must follow. Quote I liked from the book:
"The getting lost isn't really getting lost, it's letting go of direction so that it will appear before us." It reminds me of the 'wisdom is the knowledge that we know nothing.' Almost a Zen surrender.
Also digging around online, I discovered that the author of "Couch," Benjamin Parzybok, is involved in some fun, experimental 'happenings' in the Portland area. Most intriguing to me is Gumball Poetry, which is a literary magazine- sort-of- except, little snipets of poetry are doled out through gumball machines all over Portland. That's cute. And there's which, I suppose, tracks your walking. There's also some political activism- Anyways, find out more about "Couch," Benjamin Parzybok and all the projects he juggles at

I also just finished reading "Misconceptions" by Naomi Wolf.  Not for the book club. Just for my ever-growing interest in having another baby. However, this book made me so angry at the medical establishment and their attitudes towards pregnant women, that I have had second thoughts. Wolf had me at "The Beauty Myth" with me reading this book, she's pretty much preaching to the choir. "Misconceptions" is her account of her 1st pregnancy, birth, and initiation into motherhood...there's a really horrific scene of her c-section, described in oh so much detail...I forced Michael to read it and he was disturbed...& he was tempted to bring it into his classes as an example of very vivid writing (he teaches college writing).  Also, she has interviews with other women about their experiences. I love the critical thinking involved here, and I love having my eyes opened, however, I felt very frustrated reading this. It makes me feel helpless in an overwhelming system. She does have a manifesto at the end of the book listing the changes she thinks would improve things...yet it seems like such a starry-eyed fantasy...and that is so sad.
Also sad...Michael and I have been trying to conceive for the past two months to no avail! How can we fail at making a baby?! Ugh! Planning a pregnancy is much more difficult than either of us knew. Noah was a surprise-baby...still not sure how it happened. Maybe immaculate conception? ; )


Katie said...

The best part of making a baby is the making the baby part. I believe that all things happen in their good time but mapping out your periods certainly helps. 14 days after the start of your period is the average time a woman ovulates.

Hang in there and drink your o.j. for the folic acid and build up that calcium.

MaddyG said...

But Katie, I abhor oj...! ; ) I'm taking a folic acid vitamin though. And I'm mapping too...and this month we are going to try one of those ovulation prediction kits. I'm just surprised in the difficulty! I mean, really, I always thought that if you have wide, child-bearing hips (like mine) that you'd be good to go! ; )

Gray Sea

Gray Sea