Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Five Months Later

Thank God I didn't buy a Great Dane puppy. For reference, this isn't the same specific dog, but this is likely how big she is now...

(And also beautiful.... if anyone ever wants to *give* me a blue, female Great Dane puppy, I might not be able to say no...)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cannibal Resource

But we are

Still counting on cannibal resource
Ok, open your eyes
I think you're more than a terrified witness
Behind the arbitrary line

Can it ask a question?
Can it sing a a melody?
Can it be interpreted?
Or is it more than what the eye can see?

Great song. Great album.

Monday, February 22, 2010

32 Love(?) Songs

If mixed CDs are the new love letters, than this is mine (unsent).

Vol I.
01). Bob Dylan- Rambler Gambler
02). Arcade Fire- Born on a Train
03). Kimya Dawson- Loose Lips
04). Bob Dylan- One of Us Must Know
05). Low- When I Go Deaf
06). Wilco- Pick Up the Change
07). Neil Young- Four Strong Winds
08). Modest Mouse- You're the Good Things
09). Bob Dylan- All Along the Watchtower
10). Modest Mouse- Little Hotel
11). Hank Williams- Lost on the River
12). The Magnetic Fields- Papa Was A Rodeo
13). Rhianna- Umbrella
14). Wilco- Box Full of Letters
15). Neko Case- Knock Loud
16). The Sundays- Wild Horses
17). Yo La Tengo- Sometimes I Don't Get You
18). Built to Spill- Shadow of the Sun
19). Neko Case- Now It's Like We Never Met
20). Ugly Casanova- Cat Faces

Vol. II
01). 22-20s- Things That Lovers Do
02). Paul Simon- Graceland
03). Fiona Apple- The Way Things Are
04). The Magnetic Fields- Things We Did and Didn't Do
05). Frank Black- You Can't Crucify Yourself
06). The Magnetic Fields- I Can't Touch You Anymore
07). The Kills- Gypsy Death & You
08). Fiona Apple- Carrion
09). Frank Black- If Your Poison Gets You
10). The Isley Brothers- This Old Heart of Mine
11). Frank Black- Strange Goodbye
12). Neko Case- Outro With Bees

Post-Script: In an update to an earlier post, my friend Megan just completed her version of the Bitter-Break Up Mix (which you can find here).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Black Mirror

New layout, still under construction.
New title because I didn't like the old one. I don't really like the new one either. Maybe I'll change the title with every new layout. Bah.

Megan, if you can fix that eye-sore of a poorly repeating background, please do.

This Is The Story of How We Start to Remember

And how we never really forget.

Has there ever been a more perfect song than "Graceland?"

Actually, the entire album is pretty damn perfect.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Postcard From a Waitress in Sylva

I used to think the reason I haven't accomplished anything with my life was a lack of time.
Today I played Mario Kart for five hours and unlocked two characters.
I felt like I had accomplished something.
I'm starting to think there's a flaw in my reasoning.

I sat outside the restaurant I work at tonight and smoked a cigarette while drinking some wine. A seedy looking bearded man stopped his over-sized truck to rev his engine and wave at me, then sped off down the street at a rate of approximately sixty miles an hour. I think this was somehow intended to be a compliment and I felt sad.

The women I work for recently suggested cutting our waitstaff shifts by more than half. When I attempted to lament the unfairness of this she said "Not to sound harsh, but sometimes that's what happens when you chose to wait tables." I still can't think of a reason she's wrong.

In the box of candy hearts left over from Valentine's Day, I found one that said "Let's Talk." My co-worker and I came up with about five different ways that phrase can be a precursor to something bad (or sad), but none for something happy. We also received a package with the phrase "Do not destroy" stamped on the front and decided that's generally good advice for everything.

Audio Obsession: Wild Beasts- His Grinning Skull

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Book of Love (Is Long and Boring)

The book of love is long and boring
And written very long ago
It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we're all too young to know

Due to a series of recent events, I find myself puzzling more and more over the nature of love, or at the very least, relationships. At first, I chose to believe that my sudden inclination towards romantically-minded philosophizing was not related to Valentine's Day. However, I'm willing to accept that some degree of cultural brain-washing has occurred, forcing me to consider these matters on this, the day that celebrates the marriage of love (or at least hormones) and capitalism. So I apologize, dear reader(s?), if this entry seems contrite, but try not to judge it too harshly for it's untimeliness.

The subject of cultural brain-washing (forgive my possibly incorrect punctuation there) is actually at the core of what I have been thinking of late. Specifically, I suppose I am looking for a cultural source to blame for my completely fucked-up views on the matters of love, relationships, babies, marriage, etc, etc. This, of course, is not difficult to find.

The first target of my scapegoating is without a doubt Walt Disney and the mental mind-fuck that is every Disney princess to ever be created (*ruling out any that may have come into existence after I stopped watching Disney movies in the mid-nineties. So, if the Disney company has somehow created a strong feminist role-model for young girls since then, I stand corrected (and shocked)). Here is why:

Point A: These movies teach us that there is such a thing as the perfect guy. There is not. They teach us that there is such a thing as love at first sight. There is not. Both personalities and relationships are flawed and take work-- these things are not instant and they are never perfect. But worst of all, these movies teach that the perfect guy will not only serendipitously appear without you seeking him out through your own endeavors (including bad dates and failed relationships), but he will save you, again and again. Fuck that.

Point B: These women teach that as fucked up a girl as you are, the perfect man will still love you through no effort of your own. Take the Little Mermaid for example. In a blinding show of both co-dependence and stalker-mentality, this girl abandons her family and her home to follow a man she doesn't even know at all. These are not qualities that make you attractive, ladies.

Yes, blaming the Disney Corporation for making you naive is a banal complaint; I am aware of this. In fact, I've been aware of this specific mental mind-fuck since I was a teenager; however, it was this awareness that led to complete rejection of the entire idea of happy ever after--- leading to Cultural Scapegoat #2: Breakfast at Tiffany's.

My complete infatuation and over-identification with this story is undoubtedly the source of much of my scepticism towards romance. I even love the happy ending added to the movie adapation simply because it was the first happy ending that, even at a young age, even before I had read the original story, I absoultey did not believe. Personally, I've always thought this was the intention of the film-- give the 1960s movie audience (hell, any movie audience) the ending they crave, but make it seem as unlikely as possible. Because that is what happy endings are-- as unlikely as possible.

However, the part of Breakfast at Tiffany's that always resonates with me in Holly's conversation with Doc at the bus station when she tells him she cannot leave with him:

Doc Golightly: I love you Lula Mae.
Holly Golightly: I know you do, and that's just the trouble. It's the mistake you always made, Doc, trying to love a wild thing. You were always lugging home wild things. Once it was a hawk with a broken wing... and another time it was a full-grown wildcat with a broken leg. Remember?
Doc Golightly: Lula Mae there's something...
Holly Golightly: You musn't give your heart to a wild thing. The more you do, the stronger they get, until they're strong enough to run into the woods or fly into a tree. And then to a higher tree and then to the sky.

How very true.

There are, of course, plenty of other scapegoats, too many in fact, when in truth none of them really matter. A scapegoat, after all, is nothing but a diversion from the real culprit-- which in this case is of course me.

People often compare love to poker. I think this is one of the silliest analogies ever. Poker is, after all, a game of chance and odds. Love, at least in my opinion, is not a game at all, and it is less about odds than it is about pure hard work and compromise. And while in poker you may be able to take bad cards and bluff your way to a winning hand, you can never take a bad realtionship and bluff your way to a happy ever after. As much as you might like to try.

However, I do relate my one recent love-lesson to poker, specifically to something someone very important to me taught me when he was first teaching me to play poker: Once you fold it, let it go. Don't second-guess yourself; don't even look at the cards because it doesn't matter. While I have mastered this in poker, this lesson applied to love is much harder to learn.

To conclude, I've realized once again what I've known all along: No one understands love more than Stephen Merritt. So I leave you with one of those 69 wonderful love songs. Happy fucking Valentine's Day.