Saturday, December 28
i'm trying my hand at some of gogol's short stories, but they don't do to much for me. maybe i'll finish the collection and then it's time for the corrections, which is exciting. i got that and infinite jest, as asked for, for x-mas, for my january's dose of mannipean or should i say "hysterical realism." hope i don't od. like i said, i finished ttt in time for the movie.
strangely, the film leaves off the last six or seven chapters' worth of action. so when it ended it was a weird jolt, even though i should have realized it was getting way too long (i didn't, so that's good sign.) i can't really say if it was a good movie or not, or even compare it to the first one. i enjoyed the experience of seeing it, but it was more about the dialogue of film/book. whereas the novel is about 50% travelling, 30% conversation, 20% battle, the film was more like 20%/10%/70%. not necessarily bad, except that the dialogue seems forced and cheesy because everything except the most important lines are cut out, including a lot that might clue people unfamiliar with the first episode into what's going on. some more odd changes, that weren't too successful in my book, although it's interesting to see ben's comments, because some of the things he likes (aspects of the ents and elves) are mostly a product of changes from the tolkein.
more movies: tonight i saw heaven, tykwer's latest, which was a disappointment. great opening scene, and some interesting issues at stake, but it was pretty conventional, not very engaging. admittedly i dozed off for a couple minutes in the middle. well, at least we had a nice meal after, at 2vine. not a bad movie, but with a too-see list as long as mine, not up to snuff. his best is still wintersleepers. last night we rented dangerous lives of altar boys, which is very fun. and the other night (in scarsdale) i finally got to see the last waltz, on the dvd copy which bobby gave to michael. it's really really good. (but as my dad points out, ultimately it's just a concert movie - it certainly doesn't compare to stop making sense.) also fun is the totally aimless post-concert, pre-encore jam (w/ ringo, neil, dr. john, stills et al) which is the only outtake from the movie.
i took a lot of trains. six in one day (lancaster to 30th st. to trenton to penn station to times square to grand central to scarsdale) (in five hours to be exact) was the record. the short first leg (amtrak) cost more than the whole rest of it combined, if only because i reused my njt ticket that had not been collected a few days earlier. sometimes it's kind of amazing that they still have trains.
it's allergy season (i think, allergy season for me means anytime i'm not at swarthmore. maybe i'm allergic to houses.) the worst was at cordy huber's (hannah's grandma), the last night when all the family was there. i did the dishes and watched waynes world 2 on tv, and i was wheezing and uncomfortable. vick's vap-o-rub and fresh air helped some, but i still slept little and fitfully. 7pad and 99cros are not so bad as that, but occasionally it flares up. oh, i'm fine.
my cd burner is in high demand these days. bobby copied 40+ (literally) of my cds, and dan used it for duping everyone donny hathaway live at the bitter end and a few copies of our small-but-good powerpoint/photoshop caper (11 van der linden, 7 fingers picking, 5 papers due, 1 guilty martha, 0 smushy licenseplate). right now i'm toasting up a few mix cds. one for martha (we listened to her other two on the crowded drive home yesterday) and one "2002 highlights" disc for whoever wants a copy (let me know and i'll send one over.)
yep, i'm doing that year-end thing that us music nerdos love. the two major annual lists of interest to me, pitchfork's and amazon's, historically big future-shopping indicators (the latter especially), are both out. and interesting. i so far own seven of each top 20 (including the only 3 overlaps.) i tend to agree with the pitchfork list more, but the generally spotty and haphazard amazon list has some really keen picks (mali music, tullycraft, radar bros., reindeer, and, er, the polyphonic spree?). and they put e.c. at number 3. and at least they got #1 right (should be a no-brainer, what's wrong with you pitchfork?) cornelius was totally slept on. i'm not sure of my list yet, but here's a first stab at a top 10:
1. super furry animals, rings around the world
2. wilco, yankee hotel foxtrot
3. cornelius, point
4. cex, tall, dark and handcuffed
5. rjd2, deadringer
6. talib kweli, quality
7. keith fullerton whitman, playthroughs
8. elvis costello, when i was cruel
9. chemical brothers, come with us
10. tin hat trio? sleatter-kinney? blackalicious? hot hot heat? hrvatski?
i need to hear the books, max tundra, and solomon burke albums. and i still haven't had a full listen through the spoon, mirah, or flaming lips albums. conspicuously absent - albums by los lobos and the roots, two of my very favorite artists. they, along with beck and dj shadow, failed to completely deliver. well, this really was a great year for music, especially hip-hop (i just got the missy album too). lots of weird two-album releases, lots of "elder statesmen," and all more nyc bands. not much country though. i still don't get the whole trail of dead thing, and only sort of the electro revival. but i'm really digging the "idm with acoustic guitars" movement. right-o.
well, it's quarter to three now, and i probably better get off soon, since we're leaving (for real this time) at 8 tomorrow morning. i'm very excited, in that understated way, for what's to come: a week (give or take) of snowy solace at wanakena. skiing, scrabble, snowshoeing, and sweating; cooking and the corrections; family (nucleus + zoe, from tomorrow until tuesday) and friends (ben! ester! most of all, rebecca! plus two bonus friends - taking over tuesday until sometime tbd.) given that it now seems a virtual impossibility for me to get a license before break (because of road-test scheduling-lags), i'm in less rush to get back to roc-town, so i may hang out in new york for a while (at least long enough to see rae, who's apparently becoming my yiddish surrogate mother?) or even the long-insinuated potential trip to boston. time tells.
either way, you won't hear from me again until after the new year. let's make it a good one.
so there's this kid
he mash it up all over the place
with the dub plate pressure
all up in your face