Saturday, December 31, 2005

Adios, MMV... won't be missed, really, and while 2006 scares me in many, many ways, and I can only hope that I'm strong enough to handle what life's about to throw at me, how the very ground beneath me is about to be wisked away and replaced with something else, etc., I think I can survive it, because I've got the greatest friends and the greatest family anyone could ever wish for. And; gotta have good old

Texas is the reason I'm hung up on You

Listmania '05: Everybody do the Concensus

It's that glorious time of the year again:

Orlando Weekly:
Baltimore City Paper:

Friday, December 30, 2005

What I Got For Christmas, Vol. 1

Dave Eggers, How We Are Hungry (McSweeney's) I feel like this is cheating a bit, this posting about a paperback book that I'm not even finished reading yet, only like 90 pages with over 130 left to go. And yet. I purchased Hungry in Selinsgrove with Christmas cash two days before Christmas, several hours prior to receiving some life-altering information (more on that in a few days) I didn't see coming at all, said info arriving when I was in the middle of the story about childhood friends vacationing together as adults in a Latin American paradise.
Anyone who's read Eggers before -- his Might/McSweeney's work or his contributions to "the literature" -- is familiar with his tendency to slather seriousness with silliness, a bit of sugar to make the nastiest medicine go down easy. I haven't revisited A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius because his handling, or embellishing, or idealization, or whatever of his parents early deaths and the aftermath just seemed too glib, too opportunistic. Even looking at the cover of the book on my shelf -- that pretentious crimson curtain shrouding a blue sky -- makes me a bit uncomfortable. Maybe that -- that and the fact than I'll be 29 in less than a month, that this major life shift is imminent, that my life has changed in so many ways, etc. -- is why Hungry, with its relatively carefree whimsy, reads to these eyes like a big flashing road sign that shouts "SEE THESE PEOPLE, THESE SILLY CHARACTERS WHO SAY AND DO AND WORRY ABOUT TRIVIAL THINGS? SEE HOW THEY SCURRY, THEY ACHE, THEY LUST, THEY FEAR, THEY LIVE? YOU ARE NOW BEYOND THIS LIFESTYLE, LIKE IT OR NOT; YOUR LIFE IS NOT YOUR OWN." Suddenly, Eggers' cloying and viewing of circumstances from too many ridiculous angles feels less like a stylistic tic he needs to squash and more like a strength, a subtle device he uses to elicit pangs of poignant, nostaligic sadness, memories of moments you'd forgotten, of people, of situations, of places and sensations, all at once unimportant or considerably reduced in import in the face of the present. So yeah, it's a great book, so far anyway, but if you're gonna read it at my age, steel yourself.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A purely rhetorical question...

If one's heart is close to frowning, can a smile on one's face -- sustained over a long period of time -- turn the heart's expression into one of pure happiness, joy, acceptance? Is it silly to believe this is even possible?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Links to some of my work; I haven't figured out how to add them in the margin as of yet.

The Pitch Weekly:
Miami New-Times:
The Baltimore City Paper:

In lieu of actual discourse: a link and a few words of introduction.; an oldie but goodie, even all these years later.

As many venues as there are available to me to pontificate about things that are of interest to me at this point in my life, orphans still get stranded and lost -- the book no-one's interested in a review of, the 20-year old record just discovered which warrents comment, the sole, dusty gem-tune lodged in a promotional hunk-of-coal, the nebulous insight inapplicable anywhere else, whatever. This seems as good a reason as any to start a blog, albeit a blog that won't host mp3s or teem with insider gossip and on-tha-scene-scenester tidbits and long, labored reviews of jazz re-issues.