Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Whither Art The Groupies?



I need to stop writing about The Teenagers lest this place become a fansite. Consider this the last entry in my Franco-pop obsession... at least for a while.

So Jason, Brian, and I went to see The Teenagers last night at Abbey Pub and I am now officially smitten. As much as I am loathe to admit this, I bought their brand of lithe, pseudo-earnest electo-pop hook, line, and sinker. If they were a milkshake, I would drink them... I would drink them all up.

Part of what I love about these guys (and the French in general) is that there's a total lack of the self-conscious machismo present in so many American male musicians. Even American indie bands that attract gays and straights alike are usually pretty clear on whose team they bat for whether that means telegraphing sexuality through the way they dance or an affected misanthropic attitude. Not so with The Teenagers who have an unabashed lust for life and aren't afraid to swivel their hips to prove it. They revel in the minutia of American popular culture and don't apologize that that's a decidedly "un-French" or "un-masculine" thing to do.

For me, watching them last night was pretty GD relevatory; I only wish that they had more material so they'd play longer AND that they they'd ditch their awful openers. I won't even mention those names here since I don't want people googling for shitty bands A and B finding this page. A definite highlight of the show was when they called all the ladies in the audience up on stage during Homecoming and had them sing the cheerleader part - as I was stepping out of my SUV - but I was slightly annoyed that most of the girls didn't know even a quarter of the lines. I mean, get with it ladies... whither art the groupies?

Oh, and did I mention these guys are down to earth? We met up beforehand to take advantage of the Abbey Pub's Tuesday night burger and beer special and who was dining at the table next to us? The Teenagers.

It's times like that that I want to break out my French, but since my français is just about as good as their anglais, I think it best to refrain. I don't want to embarrass myself with some hastily thrown together syntax, much less get myself blacklisted like I did with PJ Harvey. Drinking and celebrity meeting don't. mix.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

An-ti-ci... pation.

A couple of things I'm really excited about right now:

Tonight:


The Teenagers

You can't imagine my anticipation at hearing these guys over-enunciate English words.

Next Week:


The Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute Gala

Theme this year? Superheros: Fashion and Fantasy.



umm, who gave the Met my number because they've most certainly got it. This is the one New York society event that I would kill to go to. The White House Correspondent's dinner is a joke compared to this, even though Holly Hunter did really kill with her ensemble in Broadcast News - and when I find it, I'll post it.

I also really love that Anna Wintour has already said that socialites and actresses better not puss-out with their outfits, otherwise they won't find themselves in Vogue next month. Good to hear that Winny has a sense of humor about these sort of things.

Next Month:


Jeopardy!

Brian will be auditioning for Jeopardy next month (sorry if I've outed you) which I'm super jealous about since it's always been a minor dream of mine to be on that show even though I'd never win. Apparently they have a qualifying online test once a year which I missed out on, but which Brian got a call back for. Better start practicing your button pushing skillz now though... you don't want to be like Lynn Redgrave and not know how to work your buzzer. Em-barr-ass.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Improvisational Photo Booth


Just like Tyra says, we're all smiling with our eyes.

Last night was Leah's birthday party at Holiday Club. I think we keep going back there because it has a B&W photo booth and well, you just sort of want to take goofy pictures when you get drunk and you remember you only have maybe ten good years left on you. Then you cry into your piña colada.

What could've been a total disaster when we found out that the photo booth was BROKEN was solved by none other than the birthday girl herself. Lee Lee had this brilliant idea about taking pictures in the photo booth with our own cameras and that totally beats the shit out of waiting around for like ten minutes and spending about just as much cash on four pictures. Don't get me wrong, nothing tops an old fashioned B&W four-set, but this method is really gonna get me through the rough patches.

The rest of last night's pictures can be seen here which, like a good boy, I have uploaded and am now informing the attendees of since they all vowed to hunt me down if I didn't do it (Fret not Caitlin: I still have your pictures waiting in a queue). I created a new Flickr account just for this very occasion although I've also promised myself to merge my accounts one of these days since I'm up to three at this point and that's just wrong.

Oh, and I also found this - not to be viewed on a full stomach - in my refrigerator this weekend. It's a roux that I made about three months ago. I knew it was in there the whole time, but since it didn't smell and I have a morbid fascination with dishes cum science projects, I just decided to let nature take its course.

I think it may actually be bleeding in that pic which, again, is horrifying/exciting for me.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

YES!

Let the "shitting a knife" searches begin!



I really should send Tina Fey a thank you note for this.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Been On The Grind Since My Butt Sex Party



So I got my grubby little mitts on Madonna's new album and while I'm not blown away, I'm not entirely disappointed either. Clearly her best tracks are those done with Pharrell, but what I'm most excited about is a song called Dance 2nite - pardon the #2 - since it features a sample of Teena Marie's I Need Your Lovin'!!!

Say what you will about Teena Marie, but it's pretty GD à propos of Madonna to sample Marie on this her, R&B album. Teena Marie is one of the first and only artists to ever successfully crossover to from the Pop to R&B markets... strike that... other artists have done it sales-wise, but Marie is the only one to be embraced whole-heartedly by both markets and not be laughed at:

Funky Groove II sélectionnée dans Musique


So, in honor of taking what's old and making it new again, I've finally gotten around to compiling a muxtape showcasing some of the best and brightest remixes out there today. Some tracks take songs that I hated in their original form and make them transcendent, while others do the seemingly impossible task of improving on what was already near-perfection. Case in point: Lil' Mama's Shawty Get Loose has been my jam as of late, but when I heard the remixes that mash it up with MSTRKRFT and Fedde Le Grande... I just about shat myself. I should also mention that I love this song for an incredibly base reason: Every time I hear Lil' Mama sing the lyric I been on the grind since my butt touch potty - an ALREADY gut-busting line - I hear, I been on the grind since my butt sex party.

I went around for a week and a half singing the latter lyric in my head before I finally looked it up... but we already knew my mind was in the gutter nine times out of ten.

Do You Know Where Your Administrative Professional Is?


I thought I'd dress up for this most auspicious of days.

The last time I was an administrative professional before today was way back in 2006. At the time I was working for a boss who regularly strolled around the office telling people he felt poopy in between taking swigs of this weight loss / detoxification elixir that he bought over the internet for some ungodly amount. If memory serves, I'm pretty sure all I got for Administrative Professional's Day back then was a heap-load of sass, and while I enjoy sass, a Starbuck's gift card would've been nice too.

That's why I'm super excited about today. Even though this "holiday" is a complete joke, I'm more than happy to reap the benefits. So far I've come away with a - no joke - wad of cash, and a Starbuck's gift card from an entire department that pooled its money. This more than makes up for yesterday's shitfest of a day and further reminds me why it's always a good idea for me to keep my attitude in check while at work since you can, apparently, catch more Pike Place Roast with honey than with vinegar.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Insult / Injury

Let's pour a little more salt on this wound:

The Nisei Lounge and Copyranter are no more.

Cry For Everything Bad That's Ever Happened


Van Gogh's Postman was, I'm sure, much kinder.

I'm going to preface this by saying that I realize that the incident I'm about to recount isn't really that big of a deal, but after a morning where I had to listen to my co-worker scream at his bank about overdraft charges for a half hour (I feel ya brother), and because I've had something stuck in my right eye all day long... I want to cry right now. And I never cry.

Anyway, I just had the worst lunch break possibly ever. I had to go to the Post Office over on Adams and Dearborn to mail out this book that I put up on Half.com over a year ago, but had completely forgotten about. So some library in Fort Wayne, IN buys it from me and next thing you know I'm standing at the counter at the P.O. waiting for disgruntled postal employee #3075 to help me ship it "Media". I could tell he was obviously not doing his job correctly from the get-go since this was the first and only time I've shipped something Media and haven't been asked what the contents of my package were. Whatever though, small slip up on his part and frankly, I don't really care.

But then I go to pay with my debit card and because I know the post office is such a stickler for proper identification I show him my ID without him asking and he gets all Bitchy Mc Bitcherson when I tell tell him that I'm going to be using it as Credit: Don't show me your ID, it's a credit card. I'm sorry, but the last time I checked, it was a fucking courtesy for me to show you my ID unsolicited. And we've all had shitty jobs pal, but back in the day, if I was having a bad go of it and had to ring up customers I thought unworthy of my time and energy, I just made vaguely nice and sent them on their way.

When shit like this happens, I can't even summon anger, I'm usually so flabbergasted that someone would be that rude. So I have a tendency to do the equally "rudest" thing my WASP upbringing taught me: I act like I'm better than them. 95% of the time I don't feel like I'm better than other people, but once they've gone and done me wrong, well, all bets are off. I sort of chuckled when he shunned my ID and then I asked Shitty Mc Shiterson if he was having a bad day to which he replied, No, but now I am.

Right, I get it... this is the post office, so ex officio this guy gets to be a total fucking prick but I don't get to acknowledge that or anything. Such is my lot.

Oh, and the Trader Joe's rice bowl I had for lunch was horrible. I need a drink.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Love Among The Khakis



I just booked my flight to go home on Memorial Day weekend. It's an incredible relief since I've been putting this off for about a dozen reasons, but mostly because I didn't want to shell out the $350+ it was going to cost me. Luckily I found a pretty sweet deal which has me flying into LAX - thank god as I'm sick of Long Beach and its rinky-dink airport - and this trip also has me visiting Oklahoma City on the way back. Even though I'll only be visiting their airport, I still plan on adding it to the list of places I've "been".

I never go home in May and I never travel on a major holiday weekend, but I'm doing this for my friends Mike and Silvia who'll be getting married the Saturday before Memorial Day. Mike and I used to work at the Gap in Studio City together and Silvia started working there just as I left. Long story short, Mike and Silvia worked the fitting rooms together, fell in love, and there you have it - a match made in Gap heaven. Their engagement photos even include a few of the two of them gallivanting around with a Gap shopping bag in tow. Intellectually, I understand that it's pretty cringe-worthy material (as most engagement photos are), but since it's Mike and Silvia and they're so GD cute together, I kind of love it.

Their impending nuptials also have me thinking about how all my close friends either worked with me at the G-A-P or I've met them through "Gap people". I mean, I guess that's bound to happen since I worked there for close to five years, but it still seems somewhat odd. I suppose since I didn't go away to college and the majority of the time I was in school I was working either full or part-time, Gap was my major social networking forum during my early twenties. I've talked a lot of shit about the company in my time, and while all of it's well deserved (see: sweatshops, exploitation, wanton consumerism), I don't often acknowledge what a great place Gap is for sexually confused young men who aren't quite ready to come out. I'm not going to go so far as to say that Gap "helped" me come out, but it did provide a place where I was able to meet other 'mos of all stripes, as well as an atmosphere where I didn't have to second guess myself if I wanted to discuss last night's rerun of Golden Girls with a coworker.

As Mike and Todd can attest, I was once a wee 19 year-old newly hired Gap employee covered in a thin layer of fag, but thanks in part to the many other 'mos who I've worked with and I still call friends - as well as the ones who called off and then never showed up to work again - I'm now a 26 year-old ex-Gap employee covered in a thicker, slightly more viscous layer of fag.

It's no wonder that so many people actually believe that Gap stands for Gay and Proud. Granted, those people are idiots, but despite all of Gap's homosexual tendencies, Mike and Silvia are proof that straight love can still bloom in retail.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

*Update*

Hot Chip post below; now with pictures!

Friday, April 18, 2008

We Were The Pipettes



If this is true, I am so uber sad right now. Not that it wasn't bound to happen or anything since no one, not even the British, can sustain this level of pop fantastic-ness.

From PandaToes:
...prepare to have your day ruined: the Pipettes are, in all practicality, breaking up. RiotBecki and Rosay are peacing out to do what they do (make music elsewhere, I guess). R.B. never was my favorite, but the departure of Rosay is absolutely devastating.

Seeing The Pipettes at The Empty Bottle last year - for only $10 bucks and before their album was available stateside - was one of the single most transcendent concert-going experiences I have ever had. I've never seen a group get an audience going like that before or since, even if it was in a venue the size of your living room.

In The Bleak Midwinter indeed.

Hot Chip Will Make You Gay


This photo's blurriness matches my impaired judgment last night

Quick post today because I am dying right now. Remind me never to go to a Hot Chip concert, followed by a Hot Chip DJ set, and then attempt to show up to work the next day at 8am. hhmmph... sadness mixed with pain...

Last night was phenomenal though. Hot Chip rocked me severely, but I was a little befuddled by the crowd they attracted: Aging Lincoln Parkers, a smattering of club kids / ravers, homophobic frat guys. No joke about that last guy either since Leah and I had to school some douche who announced that he thought the music was making him gay and not in a funny, ironic way.

The show also had this Circle of Life backdrop which I could only attribute to Hot Chip's profound love for the Broadway musical The Lion King. I have pictures of it on my camera - which I'll upload later - but let me just put it this way, every time there was a lighting change it looked like sunrise over the Serengeti. That's cool though since I've always wanted to get my dance on in Africa.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Is This What They Think Of Us?



Never one to shy away from awesome displays of bad taste, like the lovely confection seen above, Southwest Airlines is slated to bestow Illinois with the latest in their series of planes honoring each state:



That's, umm, really nice Southwest. Thanks for thinking of us. Can't wait to see California's entry with a giant picture of a bear mauling the plane.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Good Old Fashioned Heist



This past weekend Leah and I went to see Flawless which I've been strangely dying to see ever since I first saw the trailer for it months ago. It's been available on my On Demand since the beginning of the new year because it's a Magnolia picture and they have that jacked distribution schedule which allows for simultaneous releases on multiple formats... Talk. About. A buzz kill.

Anyways, my prediction for this movie was that it was going to be pretty awful by "normal people" standards, but I was going to love it regardless since I have a tendency to do that with Demi Moore movies (even my 82 year-old grandmother was won over by Striptease though she did only see the TBS version). WELL, I'm happy to report that I did love Flawless for all the reasons I thought I would: visually, it's one of the most satisfying films of the last couple of years what with all the period sets and fantastic fucking costume design; heist movies (much like sex and pizza) even when bad, are still pretty good; and London is, well, London.

What surprised me most about the film was how it actually turned into a little bit of a feminist / socio-political manifesto. It was like the fucking Feminine Mystique meets Blood Diamond divided by Rififi. I was only disappointed by some old-age makes-up and a really unfortunate montage that came about towards the end. I was like, come on people... if Titanic taught us anything it's that you can't pull that shit off no way, no how.



Most of the reviews I've read about this movie complain that it's slow, overly-long, blah, blah, blah, but I say suck it up oh ye of short attention spans. That's precisely the point... heist / suspense movies of the era invoked here are long and drawn out for a reason. Go rent Charade and then call me when you wake up during the end credits.

It's worth noting also that Leah and I got into a fight before the movie even started over whether it took place in the late fifties or the early sixties based on the costume design cuz that's just the sort of thing we do. You see, ever since my sister came out to visit last year and we all took in an exhibit of Christian Dior's The New Look, I now think I'm an expert in the area of fashion history. You'll be glad to know, however, that Leah and I both won - sort of - since Flawless takes place in 1960.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.


Read a book, read a book, read a mutha-fuckin' book.

I wanted to put a really awesome picture I found of Julianne Moore in all her naked glory at the top here, but that would probably get this site marked as "adult" and it's really not at all relevant to this post.

All is dreary here in Chicago, but it's been a good day none the less. This morning Brian and I took in brunch at Orange and I remembered yet again how much I love that place. Fruishi, while sounding incredibly unappetizing and gimmicky, is to die for. He said he wished he had a camera so he could food blog the experience of eating fruit paired with sticky rice - he was being facetious - but I was really fucking glad that I was somewhere where no one was taking pictures of their plate.

I realize the necessity of people who do that sort of thing for a living to make their websites graphical and engaging, but after witnessing firsthand the wrath of a restaurant owner who didn't want pictures of their food being taken - and reading this article in the Chicago Reader - I tend to side with the no pictures policy. It's one thing if you're having a birthday party and you're at the sort of place where party pics are encouraged over a plate of hot wings, but it's a major boner-killer to be on a date or something and see the dipshit next to you adjusting his aperture so he can get the perfect shot of his soy-miso-vegan-paprikash.

Afterwards I got my Chicago Public Library card for the first time after having lived here for close to three years. The library didn't have the book I wanted, but the trip wasn't a complete bust since I found this awesome "Read" poster on display of David Bowie jumping in the air while reading Dostoevsky's The Idiot. That particular novel has been the bane of my existence for the last month but I'm not giving up on it since I'm on page 600 of a 700 page tome. It WILL happen. Maybe I just need to call Nichole up and have her get me that particular poster for inspiration. If David can finish it while doing a grande jete, the least I can do is finish it while laying on my bed.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Like Shitting a Knife


I got somethin'a say.

Last night Leah and I went to see a preview of Tina Fey's new movie Baby Mama at the AMC River East. The movie started at 7 which left me virtually no time to go home after work and it was really disgusting weather out yesterday, so I didn't feel much like taking in a movie. But after some dinner at Pompeii on Ohio - did you know they'll soon be offering a full wine and beer menu, making them even more lunch-date-worthy than before - I felt rejuvenated enough to laugh at a pregnant woman for 90 minutes.

The audience was really atrocious when we got there, but I suppose free movie + AMC River East = trash-fest 2008. It was like being at the Taste of Chicago, only indoors and with fewer varieties of food. There was this horrendous Eurotrash crew sitting in front of us who thought it was appropriate to bring their dinner from god-knows-where into the movie theatre. I now cite watching the chick in front of me pick up her burrito/sandwich thing with her dragonlady nails as one of my most harrowing experiences of the last week.

The movie was total shit enjoyable, but not as amazing as I wanted it to be. It's definitely Tina's answer to The 40 Year-Old Virgin except this is The 37 Year-Old Childless Woman With An Amazing Career. Fret not, though, since Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are still absolutely hilarious when they're paired in scenes which, thankfully, takes up about 3/5ths of the movie. In the end I'm glad that we went since I learned two really important lessons: Tina Fey has amazing gams and having a baby feels like you're shitting a knife.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Valley Girl: For. Like. Ever.



I have such a profound love / hate relationship with the San Fernando Valley, one that in many ways owes much to the movie Valley Girl which turns 25 today. I am 26, making me just over a year old when this movie came out and ohh how it has haunted my every interaction with persons not from Southern California and sometimes, yes, even those who are from the Valley.

For years I resisted the assertion that I was "from the Valley" since I was born in Glendale and grew up in the foothills, but I realize this is a murky subject indeed. Wikipedia says that Glendale "lies at the eastern end of the San Fernando Valley" but since it's such an entity unto itself, I don't really buy that it's part of of "the Val". The Valley has always had an air of mischeif and carefree fun associated with it, while Glendale is very much Squaresville, U.S.A. I suppose it's hard to be cool though when you're surrounded by the indie-bastions of Silver Lake and Echo Park to the south, the old money of Pasadena to the east, and the mega-star-wattage of Burbank to the west. But if you want to experience one of the best Cuban bakeries West of the Mississippi, then Glendale's totally your place.

At any rate, even if you haven't seen the movie, you know the stereotypes: big hair, leg warmers, bangles, frequent mall excursions, needless and excessive use of the word like. These days it seems like everyone and their mother (literally) throws around like innappropriately... even if they hail from Terra Haute. Every once and a while I'll be told I sound "Valley" and depending on who's saying it, I take this as a vaguely homophobic slur, since the men who populate Valley Girl or Val-dudes as they call them, sound more like wasted surfers from Orange County and not so much like their female counter parts.

In reality, the "Valley accent" has always been feminized and made the default sound for idiotic characters from SNL to The Ali G Show. This, despite the fact that two of the women who had the most to do with popularizing this stereotype - Moon Unit Zappa and the Julie character from Valley Girl - couldn't be less like your "typical" Valley girl. They've got things like, uh, career longevity, and uh, wit, and ummm, integrity. It's slightly mystifying how homos and Valley girls became conflated - pehaps it's their mutual affinity for being part of a consumer culture - but let it be known that when I open my mouth, that's not val-speak you're hearing; it's the sound of a cock hitting the back of my throat.

I can't believe that I'm about to say this, but the LA paper The Daily News has a pretty good article today on where Valley girls are 25 years later and who their modern counterparts are. No surprise that Valley girls are no longer just annoying white girls, but now there's a helluva lot of annoying Latino girls, annoying Asian girls, and a few annoying black girls. Meanwhile, the elder statesladies of the Valley are still hanging out at the Sherman Oaks Galleria, but this once great mall is now an outdoor mixed use shopping experience that barely has any stores and comes complete with the world's shittiest Arclight Cinema. My how times have changed.

My favorite moment, though, comes when the reporter for the Daily News asks some young Valley-ites how they identify these days:

But Sonia and her friends Natalie Beron and Emelia Nuryyeva, also 15, say they don't call themselves Valley Girls anymore.
Ventura Kids, maybe. And in a way, they say they wish they were from that time.

"A lot of girls are really mean nowadays," Sonia said.


Uh, and they weren't back then? Sonia my love, rent Valley Girl just for my amusement and witness the scene where Julie's supposed best friend Loryn sleeps with Julie's boyfriend Tommy at a houseparty. Ugh, totally brutal.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Oh, Wow



My friend at work and I have this running joke that if anyone over the age of 40 asks one of us what kind of music we listen to, we say: Rock and Roll. It's just too daunting a task to try and explain to someone who probably doesn't really give a shit the myriad vagaries of music that is not Top 40.

I'll be the first to say that I have a bias towards all sounds electronic, but the first quarter of 2008 really has been ruled by electronic music or artists borrowing heavily from the electronic sound. Cases in point:



This is why it's so fucking exciting that someone finally released a good-old fashioned rock album this year!



It's not nearly as dirty as No Wow or Keep On Your Mean Side, but I've never been a huge fan of tracks entirely composed of distorted guitars anyhow (and is it any wonder that Jamie Hince is the spitting image of Lou Reed?).

What this album is, is a perfect example of how a band is supposed to evolve without losing their base sound/fans/integrity. Odd, too, that on a lot of tracks Alison Mosshart sounds like Liz Phair's younger, gruffer sister (see: M.E.X.I.C.O.) - you can almost imagine that this is the music Phair would be producing now had she not gone down the primrose pop path post Guyville. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Midnight Boom is also completely amazing since it was inspired by the 1967 documentary Pizza Pizza Daddy-O about school kids' clapping games and songs. This is heard most blatantly on the track Cheap and Cheerful whose video has me wanting to make sweet passionate love to The Kills.

Long story short: Go. Buy.

And, uh, anyone up for some Miss Suzy Had A Steamboat?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Today's Special


Don't you like my kicky new magenta pantsuit? I call this my "weekend look".

I have today off under the auspices that I'm doing my taxes, which is completely true, but I also decided to take an entire "personal day" just because I've been feeling more than a little put upon at work lately. There's some jacked up situation going on with the phones that we just discovered yesterday, which explains why I've basically been doing everyone's job for the last two months i.e. I spoke with another department before I left yesterday and that rep's exact words to me were, "God, I thought we were a lot less busy lately."

Blech. Baby needs a day off and now I've got it, except that now that my W-2s are all recorded and filed, I'm sort of wondering what I'm going to do with myself. I found out about a going away party - in a very round-about way - that I wasn't invited to and one that I really have no reason to be invited to/want to attend, but much like the wanton socialite that resides deep within my heart... I was pissed I didn't receive notice. I thought about crashing, but that would be more than a little presumptuous, so I'll just drink with friends at home and shit-talk or go to a bar with friends and do some shit-talking there. Easy-squeezy like.

If the weather holds up, there may be a barbecue going on in the courtyard of my building hosted by... well, I don't really know by whom, but each week we seem to know one more new person who moves in so someone's got to bring the brats, right? Whatever... I'm not the host so I'm not worrying about it. I'm just attending.

It is worth noting, however, that we did finally push out our previously preggers neighbors and in their place a couple of guys just moved across the hall on the first of April. They seem fun, and they don't have children in tow, so I'm all about making their acquaintance. I'll even save them a hot dog from the BBQ.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

L'Etranger or Suck My Dealbreaker



Last week the NY Times book blog, Paper Cuts, had a post on the seven deadly words in book reviewing. Generally, I agree with what they had to say - that poignant is incorrectly used all the time, that eschew sounds clunky when spoken and leads to its overuse in the written word, that there's been very little lyrical writing since the 19th century - and I was surprised to find myself so free of annoyance while reading a Times article on books since Rachael Donadio's piece on Literary Dealbreakers made me want to gouge someone's eyes out. Maybe it's because that article appeared in the paper's hard copy and so they felt like there was some need for pretension, but Donadio's article... nay, the comments... were oozing with self-importance and naked egotism.

I was talking with a friend of mine about the "Dealbreakers" article last night and we both agreed that it's not one book here or there that determines whether or not a relationship is worth pursuing; it's a pervasive history of bad taste that is the real dealbreaker. For instance, if I'm at gun-point and someone is asking me what my literary dealbreaker is, I'm second-ing one of the wittier commenters in saying "the sports page". However, that's obviously not a real dealbreaker for me since I once dated a rabid sports fan for about seven months. In that time I learned a lot about baseball, got to go to a boatload of Cubs games for free, and never once had to argue about who would get which section of the newspaper first on Sunday morning.

I have always had issues with Harry Potter fans, but I've only gotten halfway through the first book so who's to say I'm not missing out on some magnum opus? What was actually most offensive about this article - more than the douche bag commenters - was the illustration used to telegraph a would-be date's horror at seeing Albert Camus' The Stranger in some guy's back pocket.




Ahem... let it be known that I thoroughly enjoy The Stranger and have read it three times in English (the Matthew Ward translation is the best) and once in French. To anyone who has a problem with that... Suck. My. Dealbreaker.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

So Haunted



I have been seriously derelict in my self-imposed blogging duties and while there's part of me that's happy about that since it means I've got stuff going on, there is also part of me that's dismayed since this is one of the only forms my writing has taken in about the last two months. I had lunch with a coworker today and we talked about doing what you love which, admittedly, I'm not right now, but I'm okay with that for the time being. I can't forget though that I write, I want to write, and I have to make it my second job.

I suppose I've also had trouble writing on here since the things I want to write about - both exquisite and utterly depressing - aren't really suitable for mass consumption. And who am I kidding mass consumption? Please... the only people reading this blog are ones I know and they get the added benefit of reading about my obsessions, and then having me regurgitate them again over drinks. Whatever. Good friends listen, okay.

It is nice, however, to update friends and family far away as to what I've been doing without having to call them everyday. Not that I don't want to call them everyday. I'm just bad about that sort of thing.

So for today - and just for the sake of a post - I'll say that Cut Copy's album came out yesterday and it's already one of my favorites of the year. I CANNOT WAIT to see them when they come to Chicago next month. Buy their album, and make your life better.