Monday, March 29, 2004

So, in Twix commercials, it always shows both Twix coming out of the wrapper. This led me to try eating two Twix at once. I recommend doing this. It's way better than just eating one at a time, like "normal people."

Saturday, March 27, 2004

I guess I didn't actually write about Seattle, as a town, and my impressions of it.

Showed up on the bus in the middle of the fancypants district. I later made my way back through this area, after the show, on the way to the youth hostel. It's not quite as fancypants at 1 AM, and there are people out who you don't want to slow down to talk to.

One of these people just asked me what was going on. I kept walking.

Another one asked me for change. He was standing outside The Lusty Lady, looking to go inside. No fucker, I'll give you money to buy food, not to put into machines so you can look at a vagina.

I saw a very limited range of Seattle. I now know where two major venues are, which helps. Didn't get any food there. Got a ride in the cab of a guy who talked about the grunge movement, which I disparaged. He pointed out: It was angry music, always good, and it was blue-collar music, always good. Apparently some dude from Soundgarden rides in a lot of cabs.

Seattle, unlike Olympia, doesn't have a public transit center. Granted, this could be because while Olympia has a downtown that consists of maybe twelve blocks, Seattle consists of districts, each with their own sights to see and scenes to be a part of.

If I go again: I will go only when it is warm, and only with other people. I won't say in a youth hostel, rather, we will walk the streets throughout the night until the buses start running again.

I like the streets at night. This isn't a Seattle-exclusive thing, it's just me, and my interest, and why I wouldn't have any problem walking through those streets at night, were I not alone.

Granted, the streets at night are really only cool when you are by yourself.

I should really investigate more of the different districts, find places to eat, etc. I don't know if this will ever happen.

So now: This is the Saturday of the week of Spring Break. Now comes the waiting for people to come back, either today or tomorrow.
OK, so: Seattle and the Liars show.

The first opening act was a band called Nordic. Really bland. Like, so dull. It turns out one of the members is Aaron Hemphill's brother, which I guess explains their prescence on the bill. Still, very dull. The band seemed to exist for no other reason than to make you think the singer was hot. Then I realized that that was probably not the reason the band existed, they were just bland, and had no real reason for existing. I can easily see this band becoming popular, because I have no faith in humanity.

The second band was Young People, who were fucking great. Short songs that changed up a decent amount. Very minimalist trio, as opposed to Nordic, which had... six members maybe? Maybe seven? Anyway, the arrangements switched up. The first two songs featured two guitarists, with the drummer singing. Then the drummer took the bass, for one song. Then one of the guitarists went back to the drums, with the singer remaining on bass. Then she switched it up, and played a violin, or some other small stringed instrument. It was played for dissonance, not melody. Then she played a metal pot with a mallet. Really fucking great stuff. Because of the approach, I got the impression that their lyrics were probably really good as well, which doesn't seem like it makes sense, but I got that impression. If I had money, I would've bought their CD. As it was, the only thing I could afford were Young People panties, but I probably wouldn't have gotten that much mileage out of them. But yeah: Young People = Great. The members seemed to all be in their early thirties, but the lead singer was nonetheless lovely.

Then there was The Get Hustle, who were loud. Liars later described them as "some next level shiznit" which I guess is kind of true. Their drummer was pretty good, when he was being tight with the rhythms, which were interesting, but then there would be times where he would "rock out" at the end of a song, and- bah. They had a keyboardist, who I believe had the keyboard attached to a turntable- I have my theorys for what this was, but they're not based in anything. What was played on the keyboard was very distorted, making up for the lack of distorted guitars. They had this drums/keyboard arrangement, but were pretty metal. This was provided by the distortion and the lead singer, who was- I don't know how to describe her. I was not in love with her, as I was with the singer from Young People. I was pretty much in love with everything about Young People. They were fucking cool. But yeah, singer from The Get Hustle was an excessively tattooed woman with bad hair. She would scream and holler and be like Karen O only loud at all times. She wanted to rock. They were a loud band. I guess they were idiosyncratic and distinctive in terms of arrangement, but... I guess I'd call them art-metal. If art-metal hasn't already been coined, to name other things. Dissonant rocking. Fucking loud. Maybe if it had been quieter I would've liked it more. Well, the vocalist was still pretty over the top, her whole deal was being loud. I didn't like the vocalist, although I did like imagining her beating the shit out of the singer from Nordic. Because high school was so recent, I imagine they had a rivalry and hated each other. Metal girl and boring, fashion woman.

Speaking of fashion people- I think some came in during the show. Very slick people, who seemed like they didn't belong. Like they were going to some danceclub, and then decided to stop in and see how the other have live. By the other half, I don't mean the poor, I mean the dirty and unkempt.

It was Angus' birthday. I tried to sing Happy Birthday when they came out, but they came out to the sound of feedback, and crowd noise. The band: Aaron was dressed like a gay pirate, on the drums. He had an American flag pattern half-shirt. Julian was all normal. Angus came out, with back to audience, wearing a green shirt with a tail pinned to it, and he had some kind of hood or something around his head, keeping all hair in front of his face for the first song. This came off afterward, but hair was often in front of his face, as it is long. He had glasses drawn onto his face. All songs were from the new record, except for two that were new. Although I suppose those could've been from the There's Always Room On The Broom single. They rocked ass.

To people who say that the new record has no grooves, and isn't danceable: No, it is. It still has drums, and the drum rhythms are often quite tight. True: there is a lot of feedback as well. Both of these aspects came to the fore during the show, along with tape effects. It was awesome.

At the end, someone in the audience was talking about how they thought the singer's antics were dumb. The person they were with explained how it was just done to make them seem not approachable, like you're not at an Elliott Smith show. They stood by their opinion that it was dumb.

It wasn't dumb. It was fucking rocking. They might not have been talking about Angus' antics, they could've been talking about Julian. Julian said some stuff that could be construed as assholish- "we apologize for the technical difficulties. No we don't, we don't apologize for anything." "to the person who said something about singing a capella: fuck off" "this is the awkward part of the show, where we're done, but we have one more song to play..." He went into a bit about how encores are bullshit, everyone knows what's up, amps don't even get turned off, there was a line about how "encore is just French for predictable at this point." And then they played They Don't Want your Corn They Want Your Kids, and left the stage to the sound of feedback. They didn't play very long. Other highlights- talking about how in honor of the Seattle, they wrote some good rock songs. Good rock songs means power chords to open, and then feedback. Aaron seemed the most amiable, making jokes and stuff, but none of the band seemed like assholes to me, and this is coming from someone who thinks that Sub Pop are assholes.

Would it have been better to see them when they had a bassist? I don't know. Like, it would've been great if they had done some songs from the first record. But still, the grooves were still there, and now there was feedback too. Dancing and noise. That's a concert that leaves you satisfied.
Just got back from Seattle. That was really fucking expensive. And cold. $12 tickets, $8 for the bus, $7.50 including tip for the bac driver when I got to Seattle and didn't know how to get to the show, and then $22 to stay at a youth hostel, where I only got six hours of sleep. I also went into Wendy's for food, paid, then saw the bus outside, so I ran to catch it. I thought it came early. It turned out it was just stopping there and would come back to the bus station in twenty minutes. And then there was an old woman that smelled. So that sucked.

You know what was cool though? The show. Hell yes. Not really in a mood to talk about it right now, but later I'll try to write about Seattle and the show. It's just hard now, with memories tarnished by the last eleven hours.

Friday, March 26, 2004

First off: I should really see a doctor in regards to my spine. I'm thinking a pinched nerve. I am really not looking forward to the prospect of getting one of those scoliosis crazy metal things, but that's a fate I've been avoiding for awhile, so maybe it'll catch up with me, or maybe I'll avoid it yet again. Either way, should see a doctor. But tomorrow/today-after-I-sleep? Fucking Seattle. Going to see Liars.

But the reason I'm up late. I was doing laundry, decided to buy soda from the vending machine, then decided "I should write a comic script." And I kind of bashed one out. So much easier than Shoppe, which, by the way, I had a breakthrough with, and now know what I'm going for. But this is- it's exactly the kind of thing I wouldn't want to be pigeonholed into writing, really, and it's in a similar vein to the McSweeney's submission for the August Van Zorn prize. Shoppe is looking like something I'm just going to submit to McSweeney's (regular issues) by the way, and is something I'd want to get more into. Smart writing, with eccentricity, and a heart. But the thing I wrote today, that flowed out of me like water? Just a goof. It's my stab at the "awesome" school of writing. I hope everyone knows what I mean when I say that. It's the kind of shit that's awesome but not "good," that's fun and passionate but not arty. I think that eventually it might have some "heart" too, an emotional core, but not yet. Right now that's just hinted at. It might have some pacing problems, too, but for now, I'm happy that this was something that I wrote SO FAST. SO FUCKING FAST.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Writing. I am really not doing that much of that, in the ways of fiction. Or in the way of blogging anything of interest. The thing I wrote last didn't quite make sense in a lot of ways.

The days have been nice, and I've been walking around Olympia. Went to Goodwill, and didn't buy any pants, as was my goal. I've tended to avoid buying stuff.

But fucking hell, I have no kitchen. I can't cook anything, which would save me money. I was able to take advantage of someone else's kitchen and the food they had- I got to fry up some steak, which was nice, tasty, free, and aggressively unhealthy.

But all the on-campus food services are shut down, so the meal plan and its fake money is useless. I need to use the real money, with real trips to the ATM, which are frequent. I bought two books for class yesterday, which required me to take sixty dollars out of my checking account, fuck fuck fuck. I hate taking money out of the checking account.

I did lose those Ebay auctions though, which is something of a mixed blessing.

Not going to buy any books for entertainment purposes in Olympia while on break though, which is a smart thing to put on myself but really limits the entertainment.

I sometimes do sit-ups. This is my one form of exercise. I used to be fairly good at it. But now I'm just as bad at it as I am all other forms of physical activity, which is worrying. I used to be a competent swimmer as well, but at some point that fell apart as well. I'm also worrying that my scoliosis (which I was never treated for besides chiropractic treatments that never officially ended) might be becoming more of an issue, which would suck.

My body is betraying me. And so's my mind and my bank account, and none of these things were that great to begin with.

I've been wanting to sleep more, there's so little to do besides stare at the computer screen (although I've put limitations on myself there as well, to stop me from checking sites all the fucking time) but when I lay down sleep doesn't come. I've also been wanting to wake up early enough to go to this cafe downtown that's only open for breakfast, but... Waking up early means there's more of time to fill in a day, and more meals to eat, i.e. more money to spend on meals when you could just sleep a lot and only need to eat one meal.

Which- I guess my sleep goals would kind of turn me into someone clinically depressed, which is a vicious cycle, and it's good that my body's fighting that.

There needs to be some way to spend my time. I might be going to Portland and I'm going to try to go to Seattle. Where I will spend money but fuck it. I need to keep busy.

I seem like I am one of those people who are afraid of thinking. But that's not it. When thought comes, I welcome it. But there are times when you need things to do. And when there's nothing to do, and those times come, that's when boredom hits.

Boredom won't stop punching me in the face.

Monday, March 22, 2004

A lot of times, critics/reviewers get a bad rap. And it seems to be for the wrong reasons. The response thrown against them is that "criticism" is innately destructive, it tears things apart, reviewers are too negative. Which- I'm not a fan of constructive criticism of my work. And it's true that a lot of reviewers are fucking dumb, have bad taste, or just miss the point a lot of times.

But that's not my problem.

My problem is the tendency of reviews to be too positive. Music criticism is different, what I'm talking about is mainly film/comic book reviewers. Ones who all too readily give out the half-assed recommendation. Partly it's done just out of a sense of boosterism, but I think a lot of it has to do with thinking you have a weird audience. Like- the Ebert thumbs up/thumbs down thing. He gives out so many goddamn thumbs up out. They're not even recommendations, they're just awards for general competence. I guess it's for an audience that sees a lot of movies. I try to limit my recommendations to stuff that was actually really good, that actually impressed me, as opposed to just "it wasn't bad." I don't even think I've ever recommended Boogie Nights to anyone, in terms of "you should see Boogie Nights!" Boogie Nights is pretty good.

This is of interest to no one, really, but I was thinking about it tonight instead of falling asleep. It wasn't keeping me awake, but it occupied my thoughts.

The blog thing pretty much just covers movies I've seen, so the idea of recommendation there is blurry. There are movies I've liked so much I've told people I don't know that well to see. Which seems to be what reviewers should limit themselves too. This is my point. I'm amazed that reviewers aren't more cynical. Or maybe they're so cynical that their standards are just really low. Like "yeah, go see The School Of Rock. It's as effective a way to waste time as anything else. Better than suicide."

I don't recommend things half-assed, at least not to the general public. There are times when I'll like a movie and say to someone in particular that I think they will enjoy it, that's an option that critics aren't afforded. Which I guess is why I don't recommend things in this blog, just log my thoughts and tell certain people in particular that I think they'll like something.

But yeah, the last three movies I watched.

Army Of Darkness: I think that Richard Rodriguez does this type of thing way better than Sam Raimi. Rodriguez does it with more glee, less tongue-in-cheek cliches. Shit: I never talked about Once Upon A Time In Mexico, which is surprising, because I had a review for it: I expected RETARDED. and it delivered. I liked it.

Casablanca- I have heard the "maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life" throughout my entire life. This movie was fine. It's a classic. Didn't really speak to me at all.

The Grand Illusion- by Jean Renoir. I think I liked Rules Of The Game more. What I liked about Rules Of The Game was the beginning, where the pilot gets on the radio and just expresses disappointment that the woman he made the flight for wasn't there. That was my high point. It just seemed real to me. Anyway, The Grand Illusion has a weird structure. Another classic, but less of a classic than Casablanca. No one's really obligated to see this one.

The dumb philistine in me just really connects more to modern movies. There are some exceptions to this rule. Dr. Strangelove holds up really well, especially as a comedy. I have no idea how that happened.

Did I ever talk about how I watched The Third Man and got it confused in my mind with Touch Of Evil, which is probably way better? The Third Man had its moments. I remember at the beginning, thinking it was cool, even though it had this really fast timing- People talk about movies now being all fast and shit, but seriously, a lot of older stuff just has this rapid-fire timing, (like The Producers, which is all vaudeville and as such didn't work for me, except for the Springtime For Hitler performance) and Orson Welles was good in it. I guess The Third Man was okay.

I watched 12 Angry Men too, when I was researching the fifties paper. Another one I'm not sure I talked about, but I liked it. Not recommending it though. Not recommending any of these movies on the merits of me liking them, just because they're classics.

In the realms of dumbshit- bidded on stuff on Ebay. Thought it was like and the debit card would reduce paperwork, but no. I'll have to use the mail. Hoping I lose the bid for Brainiac's Bonsai Superstar. The seller lost the liner notes, and I'm still kind of sure I could find a copy of Bonsai Superstar in Philadelphia.

I've decided to stop buying things over the internet altogether. My original idea was I'd do it to build up my credit, but for some crazy reason it all just automatically comes out of debit, which is nice in that it stops me from the paperwork bit of buying stamps and envelopes and all that bullshit, but leaves me with no credit history.

Ebay was a fucking dumb idea on my part. I didn't bid much, or on anything that I don't really want. But Ebay- it's me realizing I'm dumb. No more buying things over the internet. The McSweeney's subscription can only be bought online, so that's OK, and that was the most expensive thing- actually more expensive than all the other shit combined, and it was 55 dollars. So I'm not really doing anything that retarded. But still- time to stop.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Woke up earlier than I expected today. I was planning to catch a screening of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, but I woke up early enough that I actually caught the first screening. I suck at the criticism but it's something I always want to attempt- It didn't exactly start off weak. It started off with some confusing moments, but that's to be expected, you stick it out. It also didn't start off with any kind of Gondry imagery that you would expect. This came later, after it all starts to come together and make perfect sense.

And it's good. There are moments that I would describe as poetic. Not really poetic, actually- My exact thoughts as I was watching the movie were "this has so much goddamn poetry to it," which maybe you get the difference and maybe you don't. It's romantic, a romance. Not just the love story aspects, which are there, but- the relationship is presented in a very real way. And the movie takes the romantic view of them as being worthwhile as opposed to taking the fatalistic stance that they're not. This worked for me. It'll work for you, maybe. It has a bit of a bittersweet ending, which always seem much less bullshit to me than a happy ending or a downer ending.

Other movies I've watched recently- I saw Brewster McCloud, a Robert Altman film he did after he did MASH but before McCabe And Mrs. Miller. Bud Cort's in it. Apparently, the original title on the script was Brewster McCloud's Sexy Flying Machine. So I think that's a nice pitch for it. If that had been the title, it would have sold itself. But it also has my favorite final frame of any movie, and it's pretty good, on the whole. I think I'm going to watch Nashville next week, as I discovered the school has it in its library. I enjoyed that Brewster McCloud.

Alex loaned me Army Of Darkness and John Carpenter's The Thing. Haven't finished Army Of Darkness yet. I started watching it, then stopped caring. The Thing is pretty effective. I split up the watching of that one too, but that's... The Thing is just solid. My brother watched it this past summer, but I was asleep at the time. He was really into it though. He rented The Fog, which was done before The Thing, and I watched that on the couch with some other people. The Fog is pretty crappy. It doesn't really jump out at you as being terrible, but there's nothing cool about it. The Thing has some very nice effects, and I guess it kind of scared me in parts, even. Not enough to produce an audible response, or actually provoke fear after the fact- There are certain moments that are just kind of unexpected, and in the sequence that follows, I was just feeling the movie more. Moments that brought up the adrenaline, that made my eyes widen a tad.

Got The Grand Illusion and Casablanca out of the library, which will be viewed following my completion of Army Of Darkness.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

I just bought a subscription to McSweeney's. This might have been dumb, what with the whole being-poor thing. But: Kind of a bargain, if you think about it. I'm sure it will make me happy when it comes in the mail. Well, once I get back to Philly there's a large possibility my brother will yell at me for being fucking retarded, but it doesn't matter. The last thing I ordered through the internet, Brainiac's Bonsai Superstar, I got a refund for. That's the thing with apparently- only half of the orders actually occur.

Also working on writing stuff while other people are gone for break. Writing makes me feel writerly, like I'm not just full of shit whenever I talk about wanting to do it professionally. I like feeling writerly more than the actual writing, I'm thinking.

Other plans for the next two weeks: Go to Goodwill and buy some pants. See Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind the day it comes out. See Liars the following week. Maybe see if I can get in a car that's going to California, but that's the least likely of all these things. Maybe do volunteer work somewhere? I've never done that. Doing so will both not just make it easier for me to get into heaven, but also easier to get into a job in Philadelphia. I also like the idea of doing volunteer work because it seems, to a certain degree, like dropping out of society. Which is the whole writing thing as well, I guess. But to do both? To do all kinds of work not-for-profit? I think that sets up a nice precedent that I might need to fall back on, of just saying "fuck it, I'll do volunteer work, subsist on donations and try to sell my writing."

This is me living in a fantasy world. Not even a fantasy world I'd want to live in, actually. (the preferable fantasy world involves me making money from writing.) God, what the fuck?

In reality, I've realized that after I graduate, the only job I will probably be able to get is writing for some kind of men's magazine, or "lad mags" as they are apparently known in Britain. That's what you do with a liberal arts degree and an ability to make dick jokes now, if you can't finance your independent film. And who the fuck can finance an independent film? My future is totally writing for Blender.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

The latest in the realm of plans to fall through:

I was offered a place to stay in California over spring break. I have a free plane ticket from Christmas on USAirways. USAirways doesn't fly up and down the west coast. I'm going to stay in Olympia over Spring break. I'm still planning to see Liars in Seattle on the 26th.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Haven't gone to sleep yet. Spent night at the beach with a girl. This, of course, means nothing.

Got some free pizzas and soda like twelve hours ago. Then had that food stolen. Got offered weed because I was pretty pissed about the fact that my food was stolen, and just the general "I should get high" thing. I declined. Also due to the stolen food, I've started locking my doors. I put in the wrong key all the time because I'm not used to using the key to my door.

Really nice day yesterday. I heard about job openings downtown, which I'll investigate today. I shaved a half-hour ago. As long as I get sleep and my eyes aren't bloodshot as hell, I guess I'll look OK. I like thinking that I seem like somebody who would be competent and is not a dick. I might be deluding myself. More likely than not I will just get job applications that I will have nothing to write on, instead of talk to people that I can kind of bullshit. The structure of this entry is to get progressively longer paragraphs out of progressively less-interesting-to-the readers topics. Next up is comics.

Went to the comic shop on wednesday, and kept it pretty indie. Bought Forlorn Funnies 5. It splits the content into "funny" and "forlorn," like forty pages a piece. A flipbook, with both sides having two different titles that come together to form one: "My love is dead, long live my love." The funny half was better, although not that consistent, and the forlorn side had one moment (the first story). Also picked up a copy of the rare, controversial, not-very-good Skin. It's about a kid in 1970s England who was a thalidomide baby (ask me about it or do research) that is also a skinhead. Also picked up Absent Friends, which was disappointing, and Promethea, which was kind of lackluster and I like more in theory than in practice. I really anticipate it and am let down every time. Which is to say that, like pretty much all the other comics mentioned in this paragraph, (or, um, my life) it was disappointing. An exception would be Street Angel, which is just kind of goofy but had two people get hit in the face with swords, in a moment which I appreciated. Also speaking of comics: That Abhay Khosla guy I gave a shout-out to bought Be A Man (maybe partly on my recommendation, I don't know) and he too liked it. I consider this a victory for me, even though it wasn't.

I don't have victories.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Just wanted to say thanks to Olympia people. Evie liked the short story I posted yesterday. I also finished up my story which I'm submitting for that contest mentioned a few weeks ago, and sent copies to Loren and Alex, both of whom liked it. Alex wrote a great fucking review in e-mail form, while the rest did the AIM conversation bit.

As a bit of quid pro quo, I'm going to tell Alex here that I liked the song "Now It's The Assholes That Come Out At Night," and to everyone else I'm going to mention that the song title is a paraphrase of something I said to him while walking the streets of Olympia en route to Deerhoof.

So yeah, thanks for the kind words. It means a lot. Granted, you are my friends and therefore kind of biased, but you're people that I know are smart so that makes up for a lot.

Other people have said nice things about my writing in the past as well, so thank you.

Very happy right now, and very awake as well. Have an oral presentation tomorrow, which I need visuals for, which I'm going to get before class. I might have to wake up early. Which would also mean I would have to go to sleep early. But it's past the point of that happening now, and I'm still very awake.

I feel kickboxing.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

So, hey, the last bunch of posts have been quite nerdy, haven't they? All about movies I've seen and bands I like. I realize that no one really expects any different, because this is only read by people who talk to me and know that my life is not that interesting. But still: I posted a list of Criterion DVD covers I liked, and critiqued Pitchfork reviewers. These could be described as new lows. But that's my life, sad to say. So now I grace you with my fiction. This was something I wrote a few days ago, at night when I thought I was going to be sleeping, but no, I don't do that. I guess it turned out all snapshot fiction style, in that there's no plot. And the characters don't have names. Which isn't necessarily snapshot fiction. Maybe this makes the story more shallow. Maybe that's the point or something.

Just realized that I could do literary criticism maybe, but only for my own writing. That's not really a skill. If any of you can do the literary criticism for other people's work, feel free to do so. Anyway, without further ado:

Rubberband Summer: a love story

Her bones were like a guitar line underneath a skin of tape hiss and feedback, or so that was his metaphor. She looked the way he wanted to look. Not the female aspect, the jagged angular aspect.
He was skinny and that was fine. He didn’t want to have a six-pack, he wanted his skin to be able to be sucked in so his ribs stuck out. He wanted to look bony. He dressed in tight undershirts tucked into loose-fitting cargo pants. He had maybe three pairs of pants, and his shirts were packaged in prewrapped sets of three, sometimes shoplifted.
As dusk fell he pulled out a champagne bottle from his pants’ largest pocket. They drank it in a field that was only a thicket of trees from some business complex parking lot.
They were exactly what the other wanted to be, and they worked perfectly as a couple because they were viewed as a unit that shared the best qualities. She wanted to seem like she was an enemy of the rest of society, when in reality, she would be embraced by society as there was nothing particularly objectionable about her. He wanted to seem attractive. Together they were both those things, they were the kids of the future, both barely legal and perfect in every way.
They had nothing to say to anyone so they spent all their time together, bouncing like pinballs off of everything, saying the obnoxious shit solely for the other’s benefit. It was their last summer to be young and stupid and everything felt like it was on fire. Two months ago they’d graduated from high school, one month from now they’d be on separate coasts. They acted sad that their relationship would end but really, what they had was a moment in time, destined to end as soon as life ticked on.
So a bottle of champagne, lifted in a toast to newly-quit summer jobs. He used to pump gas, for they lived in one of only two states in the nation where self-service was not an option. She still worked at a movie theater.
They got drunk as they talked about nothing, that is to say, the grass. The drunker they became, the more nothing dominated the conversation.
They didn’t have sex that night, as they had that afternoon, on the bed belonging to the parents of one of their friends. Instead they fell asleep in the grass, holding each other ever tighter as dewdrops began to form all over their skin before the sun came up.

That's all. Oh, and that's copyright 2004 Brian Nicholson. don't even try to steal it. Well, you could steal the plot, as it was maybe cliched. But don't steal the good lines. You know the ones I'm talking about. There are like three. The first line and the last two paragraphs. The rest is kind of bullshit. The dude has my shallowness. Write what you know and all that. So if the only thing that feels authentic is that, there's a very specific reason for that. That being that it's the only thing that I didn't bullshit out of other people's work. I'll leave you to play "name the influences" as me doing so would really ratchet up this post's nerdiness level.

I like the idea of someone reading the story, liking it, then reading my thoughts and I convince them it's actually crap because they didn't like it that much to begin with. I can actually see that happening by me naming the good bits. If the highlights aren't highlighted, you just remember the story in terms of the highlights and think of it as being consistent. But, no, not really consistent at all.

No one's going to give me any criticism on this, now that I think about it. I wrote a love story. No one's going to even admit they read it. Did you read it? If so, you're gay. Or female. And if you're female, you probably had problems with the shallowness of the characters. Oh wait, everyone has problems with that, because it kind of shitties up the story.

No one ever talks about the blog, actually. Which is funny, because a lot of it is written so I don't have to bring it up in conversation. Or at least that was the original intent.

Oh and since this post really did become quite nerdy, I'll end by saying that my problem with Advisory Committee is really just that my mp3s are very low quality, and that Cold Cold Water, when heard on a decent stereo, kicks ass.

Sometimes I write these entries to have strong ending sentences. This time I just rambled on. No one reads these like essays anyway, so I'm sure the strong endings are neglected. Especially what with their being other entries, directly below it, that you need to check to make sure you haven't missed anything.

I'll steal an ending from the band Beulah, because song lyrics are nerdy, like me:

I'll fight, if you want me to fight.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

I've watched some movies recently. From the library, Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing, Jean Renoir's Rules Of The Game, and Francois Truffaut's Jules And Jim. All were good. Rules Of The Game had a cast too large for me to wrap my head around, but there was a lot to like.

I also saw Starksy and Hutch in the theater, to undermine any allegations of pretension. Not as funny as you'd want it to be, but still pretty funny. Exactly what you'd expect.

I just watched The Triplets Of Belleville. That's really good, so pretty, funny in parts, etc. It looks fucking amazing. Sometimes the character designs take a turn for the grotesque as opposed to the cute, but yeah that movie worked for me on like every level. Not a fan of some of the character designs, but most frames of that movie are so pretty.

Next paragraph gives some spoilers, and is also my little pitch to get you to see it. This movie had- old people with molotov cocktails, men in black, frogs being eaten like popsicles, homages to 1930s Fleischer cartoons fueled by opium, stolen paddleboats, and a reimagined Statue Of Liberty.

And 95% of it is FUCKING GORGEOUS.

I also ordered a copy of Brainiac's Bonsai Superstar from (out of print, and they had it for ten dollars) and downloaded Destroyer's City Of Daughters from Soulseek. There's also someone new on the iTunes network, from whom I stole a lot of stuff- Sonic Youth's Dirty reissue, The Television Personalities, Kraftwerk's Computer World, live Can, Gang Of Four, Magnetic Fields.

Most writing for the quarter is done. Oral presentation on Monday which I'll need to get some visuals for, but now I can focus my writing on that short story, which is still kind of stalled, but I need to finish it this week. And that seems doable.

Also upcoming: Spring Break, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Liars show.

Going to see Kill Bill again with Alex right fucking now.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

This is nerdy, but I guess I kind of already talked about it a few months ago. Pitchfork redid their best of the 90s list. At first, I thought this was bullshit. To a certain extent, I still do. But the second list is pretty much indisputably better. The first list was insane, just some of the most random records. The second list has more diversity, and as such, has more classics and less completely random records. The word "random" gets overused a lot, usually in the wrong context, but there's no other way to describe it.

The first list had such a narrow scope that most of the list had this quality of "maybe that's some great forgotten record." But more times than not, that was not the case. Looking at it now, it has more of this quality of "The Spinanes? Really?" I bought the Spinanes record in question on their recommendation, and it's good but generic. The new list... much better. Even though I might not really be feeling Illmatic, it seems like it should be on a best of the 1990s list, whereas, say, Heatmiser shouldn't. It's obviously not a perfect list, by any means. But for the second list, the individual lists are archived, which is really useful. You can really work out who's completely full of shit and not smart at all, (Chris Ott) and whose tastes align with yours. (Matt LeMay and Rob Mitchum both gave the number one slot to Neutral Milk Hotel, and even though Mitchum ranked both Pinkerton and a Braid record really high, that makes me trust both of them a lot for any recommendations in the future) On the new list, there's only one indie rock record that seems to come out of nowhere: Destroyer's City Of Daughters, but it turns out that's one that surfaces on the good writers' lists pretty much exclusively. It's out of print, but I'm working on getting it off Soulseek.

The old list also had Smart Went Crazy's Con Art on it, in the number 99 spot. I bought it. Didn't like it that much... There's some good lyrics, but it's really busy, and Now We're Even is a lot better... Now We're Even would probably be my pick for one of those great forgotten indie rock records of the decade, by my reckoning. It, too, is out of print.

Of course, now they have new writers whose tastes are unknown quantities.. One of whom reviewed the upcoming Beauty Pill record today. And according to him, its not very good. I have no idea. I'll have to pick it up, either when it comes out, or more likely, when I get back to Philadelphia. The review does mention that the record lacking harmonies is a waste, (as the band has two good singers, one male and one female, just like Smart Went Crazy, and when they used harmonies, it ruled) which I'm inclined to agree with.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Next quarter's looking nice. Got my syllabus today. Books on it include White Noise, Catch-22, Nickel And Dimed, (interesting subject matter but apparently it sucks and is really condescending, but I don't mind having to read it) and a Studs Terkel book about race. Really looking forward to White Noise. I remarked that I really liked Catch-22, but think it's a bit tricky to read in a week, and someone attacked me. No, I liked the book a lot, and I'm not illiterate, but it's LONG.

I will probably not re-read it, so not much of an issue for me. I also have a copy already paid for, so that'll save me some money. A lot more novels next quarter, and a lot less books in general.

And that guy who attacked me, who also got pissed when I said I hated Huckleberry Finn and wasn't a fan of Twain in general? Not going to be in my seminar, it looks like. I'm also transferring back to a seminar with a better leader.

People who go to real colleges don't know what I mean when I say "seminar."

Downloaded the upcoming Mirah record, C'mon Miracle, off the internet. I don't think it's Phil Elvrum produced, and on the whole not as sonically interesting except for a few songs. Kind of a return to the more singer-songwriter stuff of You Think It's Like This But Really It's Like This. Which I actually liked more than Advisory Committee, but that was mainly due to the songs being better. This new record only has 11 songs, and it seems maybe slightly more slickly produced, although that could just be these mp3s having a higher bitrate than the others. The songs on this one are okay. "Jerusalem" annoyed me... it was political. "Look Up!" is fairly noisy and probably my favorite on the record in terms of production. I'll listen to it more. My stance right now is that it's good but not great, and I think that Mirah could probably make a great record. I like her more than Phil Elvrum, as the songs are better. Not really a groundbreaking opinion there. I guess my groundbreaking opinion is that I don't think Cold Cold Water is the best shit she's ever done, I probably prefer the stuff from the first record... Cold Cold Water maybe too showy in the production, I like songs. The songs that are really good and tight but have the good noises at the periphery, as opposed to being the focus, are probably my favorite. This record does have a couple of those, (like The Light) but generally, most of the songs go the acoustic guitar/string instruments arrangement route. I also would've really liked it if this record had the diversity of the pop of songs like Don't from the Ragazza Bop comp and Oh! September off of the songs from the black mountain project. Just one to spice it up or lead the record off or something. Oh, and there's also the large possibility that I'm full of shit because I haven't listened to it enough. It turns out Jerusalem does have some cool sounds on it.

I really want that 3-disc Ennio Morricone box set.
My computer's head is now unfucked.