Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Seasonal Mix

I'm one song away from completing this year's Fall Mix CD. I'm putting a draft of it up here, and I'll add my "liner notes" later on. You'll notice a severe lack of female representation on this one. Originally, I had some tracks from Joni Mitchell, Loretta Lynn, and the Indigo Girls on here. Unfortunately, they got crossed off (and so did a large number of perfectly qualified men.)

Right now I should be writing my Odyssey paper. I'll do it after this, I swear.

The final track is a song called "Saffron" by a local band (made up of some mates of mine) named Return of Simple. They play piano-driven pop/rock with really smart, introspective lyrics. I don't yet have their new album, but I'm seeing them play at Wilbert's downtown, so I'll pick up a copy there.

Here's the list:

1. Beck--Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes (from the Eternal Sunshine soundtrack. This movie, and this song always remind me of the fall.)

2. Cat Stevens--The Wind.

3. The Raconteurs--Steady as She Goes (acoustic version.) I know it's a pretty well-known pop song, but it felt good here and I like the unplugged version very much.

4. The Shins--Gone for Good. Again, another fairly well-known tune, but I dig it. It's a song about a transitional time and there's really nothing quite as transitional as the fall.

5. Simon & Garfunkel--Old Friends. I wanted an S&G song and it took me forever to decide which one was the most appropriate. Again here, I've included a song that lyrically speaks to the theme of change.

6. Sufjan Stevens--Romulus.

7. Iain Archer--Canal Song (End of Sentence).

8. The Decemberists--My Mother Was a Chinese Trapeze Artist. I may still strike this.

9. The Walkmen--Another One Goes By.

10. Billy Bragg & Wilco--Remember the Mountain Bed.

11. The Long Winters--Ultimatum.

12. Bob Dylan--I Want You.

13. Elliot Smith--Needle in the Hay.

14. Jolie Holland--Ghost Waltz. The only girl!

15. Ryan Adams--My Winding Wheel.

16. Iron & Wine--Naked as We Came.

17. Wilco--Say You Miss Me.

I think I just realized that Wilco is my favorite band. I was never able to answer that question before. My favorite solo artist has been Ellis Paul for the past five years or so. But I've always answered "early Police" when people asked me my favorite band.

My favorite band is Wilco. Just FYI.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Cake Mistake

Last night after a family friend's wedding, my mother told me of a ridiculously silly old wedding superstition that she learned in her youth.

When the wedding cake is cut and passed out in a wrapper or napkin for guests to take home, you're supposed to put your piece of wrapped cake under your pillow. Then, whoever you dream of in the middle of the night is allegedly the man who you're supposed to marry.

I did this, mostly as an experiment in absurdity.

I remembered my dream this morning. I had a foggy/unclear dream mainly involving one of my best guy friends. He's gay.

This is just like Prom.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Books Are [In] My Bag

Today I visited Berea Library's "Friends of the Library" book sale. It was one of those rare dealies where they hand you a paper grocery bag upon entry and whatever you can fit in it, you get to take home for a mere dollar.

Days like these remind me why I should probably try to stay alive.

I thought I'd create a post detailing the many gems that I snatched up today. The sale seemed pretty picked-over, but I was able to procure a great deal of decent (and some indecent) literature. I also found a few prize CDs. Here's the grand list:

1) Dante's The Divine Comedy. A paperback prose translation by H.R. Huse, Copyright 1954. I have a copy of this'n already, but I really liked the annotations in this one. It has a lot of personality and really sweet cover art. Pitchforks a-plenty!

2) Maurice Sendak's Higglety-Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life, Paperback Copyright 1967. In this "children's" book, the hero of the story, a mutt named Jennie, renounces her possessions and goes on a journey to discover the meaning of life. Heavy, man.

3) Bob Colacello's Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up, Hardcover Copyright 1990. This actually doesn't look that great, but having a Warhol book on my shelf couldn't hurt.

4) Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s God bless you, Mr. Rosewater, Paperback Copyright 1965. I haven't read this and I'm genuinely excited about doing so.

5) Anne M. Raso's New Kids on the Block, Paperback Copyright 1989. Yea, it's an NKOTB classic with "fabulous photos inside" AKA pop trash!

6) Frank S. Caprio M.D.'s The Sexually Adequate Male, Paperback Copyright 1952. It's got case histories about impotence! Sold!

7) A gift for James. Secrets!

8) David C. Cooke's Better Bowling For Boys, Hardcover Copyright 1963. This book was owned by someone named "Nikki" who wrote his/her name on the inside cover. I always thought Nikki was a girl's name. This made it okay for me to buy a book explicitly targeted toward boys.

9) Jeremy Daldry's The Teenage Guy's Survival Guide: the real deal on girls, growing up, and other guy stuff, Paperback Copyright 1999. The irony of books with titles like these is that if you're a guy and you're caught reading them, it's probably less likely that you're going to survive a severe ass-kicking. This fascinates me so I grabbed it. My favorite section of the book is in chapter two (Surviving All the Changes in Your Body.) It's called "Plumbing (Masturbation, Wet Dreams)" and it's just after "Greasy Hair" and "Being Stinky." Awesome.

10) Munro Leaf's El Cuento de Ferdinando, Hardcover Copyright 1962. The original English translation of this children's book is Ferdinand the Bull. It's one of my dad's favorite stories, so now I can torment him by dangling a version that he can't understand in front of his face.

11) Ben Franklin's Wit & Wisdom, Hardcover Copyright ? This book is lame. It's basically a collection of witticisms from the Poor Richard's Almanack. I like Ben Franklin so I picked it up. Whatever.

12) John Osborne's Look Back in Anger Paperback Copyright 1974. One of only two plays that I got. I've never read this one and I should.

13) Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Hardcover Copyright 1949. My favorite play! I was lucky to find it because it was mistakenly categorized as "Horror and Science Fiction." Ha.

14) The Pocket Book of O. Henry Stories Paperpack Copyright 1948. I haven't read O. Henry in a long time. I used to really admire him. Now I can revisit whenever I want to.

15) The Jesus And Mary Chain Hate Rock 'N' Roll (1995.) A CD.

16) Spike Jonze's Adaptation (2003.) VHS. Every time I go to a library sale or to Blockbuster, there's a dirt-cheap copy of this movie. I even saw a bunch of them at Marc's one day. I'm taking this as a sign. I really liked Adaptation and it was free today so I might as well own it.

17) J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey Paperback Copyright 1961. This was the prize of the afternoon. I am happy and incredibly psyched to read this one.

18) John Beecroft's Kipling: A Selection of His Stories and Poems Vol II Hardcover Copyright 1956. I always liked Kipling.

19) William Faulkner's The Faulkner Reader Hardcover Copyright 1954. He writes his own foreword in this sucka'.

20) Darby Conley's The Get Fuzzy Experience Paperback Copyright 2003. I can't believe this didn't sell before I got to it. What a score! Get Fuzzy is fantastic.

21) Grace Catalano's New Kids on the Block Paperback Copyright 1989. Ideally, I would have found two NKOTB books from different stages in their career. Oh well. You work with what you've got.

22) Sol Gordon Ph.D.'s How Can You Tell If You're Really In Love? Paperback Copyright 2001. This book looks as though it was never opened and it still has a Borders price tag on the back. This is the same author who wrote the book Why Love is not Enough.

23) Denise Johnston (ed)'s Cats, Cats, Cats--I Love Them All Paperback Copyright 1987. This is a sort of animal rights book, but the title just kills me. Don't kill the cats though,or Denise Johnston will find you and own your face.

24) Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Hardcover Copyright 1943. Good times.

25) Moulin Rouge OST (2001). A CD. I like the soundtrack better than the movie.

26) Shawn Colvin's Whole New You (2001). A CD. Go, Shawn Colvin. I'm a folk nerd.

27) Cornershop's When I Was Born For the 7th Time (1997). CD. Track 2 = Brimful of Asha. Oh yea.

28) PUSA's Self-Titled Album (1995). I lost my copy of this years ago. Everyone had this sucka back in the day. Now I've got it again, and it's just about as scratched up as my original copy would be by this time.

29) Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, April 2000. This is really lame. I just picked it up because it was on a "free"table and it's almost Halloween so I guess I have a sweeter spot for Hitchcock these days.

I also got five free vinyl records and I made friends with two gentlemen in the record room. We exchanged trivia about the Captain & Tenille. It was swell.

Enough literature. I'm going to study math now. Eesh.

Monday, October 9, 2006

A light is waiting

I realized today that Full House is absolute crap.

It's not even bad enough to be good. What was I thinking?

This is possibly one of the worst sitcoms ever created.

I can't say much more right now. I'll come back with some worthwhile analysis later on. But for now, this revelation alone is blogworthy.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Strangers in the Stacks

I have a collector's nature. I keep things in plastic, I leave tags on, I save heaps of ticket stubs and theater programs, I have four closets, etc. I also revisit things. There are some books I've read at least five times, and some movies I've seen at least forty.

I also have this thing where I collect people. This man I met at a pet store when I was twelve, a girl named Amy who indexed her poems as she wrote them in the back of a lined leatherbound notebook every Thursday at Arabica in Pleasant Valley. Mark, a stocky kid with thick glasses who was hypnotized at an orientation program my freshman year and who I've been secretly observing ever since.

And today I thought of a gentleman I met at the Brecksville Library in the middle of the summer, one night after work whilst I was picking up a few essentials. Here is a transcript from my other blog giving a detail of what occurred:

I was browsing through the movies, just looking for some new films to watch because I realized I was going to have more time at home this weekend and I always like to be well-versed when it comes to cinema. I picked up a few movies and went to stand in line at the check-out. There was some sort of altercation. A woman and her two girls were having a battle of wits over whether or not their copy of "Madeline" was in fact overdue, since they had allegedly just turned it in tonight. They were arguing for a good two minutes when I started to get antsy. Now normally, I'm such an impatient person that I wouldn't hesitate to just reshelve the movies and come back another time but just as my weight began to shift away from the counter, a voice distracted me from my nervousness. "I'm sorry but I can't help noticing--are those shoes in reference to the film, "Me and you..." "Me and You and Everyone We Know? Yes they are!" I interrupted him excitedly, pleased to death that somebody had actually picked up on my reference. See, several years ago at Marc's I found a pair of flat-soled brown corduroy tennis shoes for a few dollars. I bought them, wore them a few times, but then inevitably another pair of hot new tennis shoes took their place and my brown cords got stuffed in the back of the closet. This year, however, I began wearing these shoes religiously. My wardrobe has grown to be overwhelmingly brown so they're practically essential these days. In the movie, "Me and You and Everyone We Know," the main character is a kind of performance artist. She's an intense romantic, almost to a fault. When a charming and mysterious department store shoe salesman encourages her to buy a pair of pink flats, she does, and creates a moving artwork by writing "Me" on one shoe and "You" on the other and then films her feet from above, gently caressing each other. It really is a beautiful moment in a cleverly-crafted film. So I expressed my excitement to this strange man with the well-kept gray hair, thinning, but appearing to be quite soft and smooth. It had the appearance of being pressed flat and then shaken out, which made sense to me after I noticed the shiny, sleek motorcycle helmet nestled under his left arm. In his right hand, he held a copy of the Robert Duvall film "The Apostle." I mentioned that it was an interesting choice and he explained to me that it was a revisit because he had recommended it to a friend and remembered how great it was. I thought I was the only person to frequent the library and check out films that I've already seen multiple times. We chatted. We chatted about "Me and You and Everyone We Know" and about how we weren't sure what to think of the girl for being so brazen with a man whom she just met. (Metafiction?) He smiled endlessly. His round wire-rimmed glasses caught the light so I couldn't look into his eyes the whole time. Then I finally got called up to the counter, checked out my three movies, and left. I turned around and said "bye." And then passed through the Stanley Power Assist doors into the parking lot. His bike was parked right outside to the left in the closest spot to the door. On the way out of the parking lot I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw him leave the library, looking left and right--I assume for me. I kept waiting for him to come up behind my car driving up 21. I turned before he could catch up to me and I lost him.
Today in my Religion & Film class, we discussed "The Apostle," which was the film that this strange man was checking out of the library the night we met (and the night we parted.) It's so strange that I still feel a connection to him so many months later. I was familiar with "The Apostle" before seeing it in class and before I met my stranger. Still, I wonder how much longer I'll think of that gentleman's face whenever I see "The Apostle" on a shelf at the video store or at the library, or even whenever I see Robert Duvall.

Because, you know, I see Robert Duvall a lot. That dude is everywhere.