Saturday, February 26, 2005

I never want to sleep in these hours leading up to the time where I absolutely need to be awake. I laid in my bed, thinking about my memories of Sicklerville, New Jersey, where I lived from as early as I can remember to sometime in first grade, and wanting to listen to The Mountain Goats' We Shall All Be Healed.

Mostly my thoughts are about a girl named Megan who had red hair and was baby-sat by the same woman I was afterschool and during the summer months and who I really liked at the time. My memories are of course vague, but I nonetheless hope she ended up being a good person. I was in kindergarten when she was in first grade. I was fond of her in a way that boys are fond of girls before they know what sex is but know that close relationships between boys and girls are both rare and incredibly important, something to be proud of.

After I moved out of Sicklerville I became close friends with a dude I'm now very different than. But the important thing about the story isn't the difference between our friendship in second grade and our friendship now, it's the period where we weren't that close (because I moved yet again) and when we started talking again to discover both of us liked They Might Be Giants and had similar relationships with our brothers.

When I got to Evergreen, there were these two people who were friends when they were both in preschool and ended up attending the same college and becoming roommates after an extended time apart.

These are the kinds of things I think about when I think about the people I will probably never see again.

I remember leaving Sicklerville around what must've been around Christmastime, standing outside an awning, in the hall by the front door, everyone else in the front room where there was no TV, but there was a couch and I would sit and wait for my mom to arrive when there was something I didn't want to watch on TV. (Also sometimes in that room there would be games of Mouse Trap.) I remember telling that room full of people, my babysitter and that girl Megan that just because I was leaving didn't mean I wouldn't be coming back, because my dad would still be living in Sicklerville. I didn't know he'd end up moving back in with his parents in Collingswood. I didn't know I was lying at the time. But when I think back on that memory, I remember a sickly moment, with not bright-enough lighting and a general unpleasantness.

A few years back my mom and I drove through the old neighborhood, where our house and that belonging to the babysitter still existed, and the whole town of Sicklerville had this horrible vibe to it that we could sense even from inside the car. Both my mom and I picked up on it, and we wondered if the people who lived there currently were able to feel it.
At the beach with roommates, thinking of bandnames. I came up with a lot, most of which I have forgotten and didn't get big responses. Most were long sentences more appropriate for song titles.

Anyway: Rhymin' and Gar-funky!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Went to the Mt. Eerie/Evens show. I talked with Ian Mackaye about whether or not Horses and Flowers were any good. In awkward form. I ended by just saying "I'm retarded." That said: According to him, Horses are good, he hasn't seen Flowers and thinks they've stopped playing and there's another band to form in the wake of Black Eyes called... Hand-Fed Babies or something.

The Evens were good. I'm retarded.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

This was something that almost worked itself into an earlier entry, but I didn't know where to go with it. I need to work this out.

Hunter S. Thompson is dead. This says many things about journalism, politics, and America. None of which I'm going to discuss, although I could.

But: I read Thompson's obituary for Nixon tonight, and I was reminded of something that applies today: Objective journalism doesn't get the job done.

Here's the quote: "Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism--which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful. "

This applies to George W. Bush and the fact that he was elected. And of course I would say that. But I mean fuck. There's a reason The Daily Show seems more accurate, despite Jon Stewart seeming like he simply actively wishes for more objective news reporting. Or something. I really don't even know what Jon Stewart wants. I know he thinks of the cable news punditry as something of a debacle, and you know, he's right.


What's the problem there? Is it the lack of intelligence? The inclination to be partisan hacks? That these people aren't shouting at the people in power so much as they're shouting at one another? Because the issue isn't that they're shouting.

Journalism should be less objective, because, in addition to the flaws Thompson cites, objectivity is inherently a lie. My friend Jason's ditched his journalism major for just this reason. (Jason, if you're reading this: Fucking scriptwriting? Fucking scriptwriting? No. If you'd met my roommate who writes screenplays this would be more clear, but fuck all that, the most importan thing is that film/video production means you can do it yourself. You don't need anyone to tell you how to fucking write, you need someone to tell you how to use the tools.)

But yes, I want to work this out. Maybe it's that the place for objective journalism is on TV, but the written word should allow for voices? (BTW, I think this would end up saving newspapers from low sales.) Right now it's the other way around. To see newspapers becoming more voice-oriented would in many ways just be mirroring cable news at this point, and that's an abyss that should not be gazed into. If the voice was a liberal one, that would be something of an alternative. The thing is with newspapers is that in the world I want to live in, the articles are very long. Long articles are hard to shit out overnight.

But no: I want to work this out. I want to fix journalism. I want to know what it is exactly that it should be. (In more ways than simply thinking it should be more informative. There's an easy solution there: Read The Guardian. Did you know the U.S. is creating ads for Pakistani television awarding money to those who catch Bin Laden and his cronies? Because I didn't. Until I read it in The Guardian. The Guardian also had a great Thompson obituary by Ralph Steadman, for those who enjoy reading such things.)

Also what the world needs now is more combative interviews with people in power. Actual combative interviews. No interruptions mid-answer to yell things, but a "You didn't answer the question" after they're done speaking wouldn't be inappropriate. These come off well in print too.

I want it worked out to the point where there's an actual solution and then I want that solution to happen. Come on you fuckers. Some of you are smart.

I've got plans for things that are hatching like eggs in my brain as I type this but I really don't want the fruit of all my bluster to just end up as a zine.

Monday, February 21, 2005,,1416055,00.html

U.S. soldiers who've fought in Iraq and Afghanistan can take ecstacy in order to combat post-traumatic stress. It's an experiment on the part of the FDA to see if it works, and American fighting forces get to be the guinea pigs.

It's funny that this this was in The Guardian (and it's kind of old news, I found it on the Arthur blog) and not an American newsource, but, well, yeah, there's probably reasons for that. I wonder what the reaction will be once people hear about it.

Oh and while I'm being political: Remember before the election when The New York Times reported that Bush was in a meeting with big donators and said his big thing following the election would be a move to privatize social security? And then the White House denied it, and most people didn't talk about it, but the fact that it was the New York Times (as everyone knows: A bastion for the American left. They're in New York. The "New" in the name has been replaced with "Jew.") was somehow taken as making it disreputable, not like it's the most respected paper in the nation or anything. And then, after Bush won the election, he started talking about "Social Security reform," i.e. privatization?

Next car with a bumper sticker that says "I don't trust the liberal media" is getting its tires punctured. And by next I think I mean "all of them forever." (What's funny is that the media really should be more liberal, what with it being filled with people who went to college and should be informed as to what's going on. That's why I find it funny when conservatives also talk about the liberalism of academia and college teachers: Dude, they're smart. They might be out of step with the rest of America, but they know what they're talking about when they are.)
Hunter Thompson died. I heard about it and just started contacting people I thought would care. My roommates were gone so I just called Star 69 and told the people who called the house last, while telling people over AIM. It was too much for me to really process, but I had to get it out. Then I walked the streets to tell other people in person, and on my way, I yelled the news to groups of people, who should've cared, but probably just thought I was insane.

It's weird to process things like this. I feel much the same way I did when ODB died, deaths that the news tends to bring out the insensitive "what-did-you-expect" side of people but I am deeply moved by. I'll feel better when the details come out. People who do shitloads of drugs but survive, and are entertaining about it, should live forever. Let's call it the Keith Richards rule, although if he were to die, I wouldn't give a shit. He's an old man. (Doing drugs doesn't kill people. Being awesome kills people.) Hunter Thompson was only 67. (He's the kind of guy that no matter how old he was, he would still only be that age.)

He also had a bit of that Johnny Cash old-man monument thing about him. These are people who live forever because they're old. But then they end up not living forever, as that is not how life works.

I wonder if there's a note, and I wonder how it reads if it exists, which is a weird thing to put on somebody.

I imagine cause of death having something to do with being in a house filled with guns while on drugs and seeing the things on the news. Which was the case for awhile. I don't know. When something's that inevitable, it seems like it'll be avoided after he's made it so long.

Reading other people's responses seem to postulate that he was just killing himself because that's the way he should die, rather than be claimed by old age, or cancer, which it seems likely he could've had.

I saw a documentary where he made plans for what to do after his death, to cremate him and fire his ashes in a rocket from a statue of a fist with two thumbs.


May he rest in peace.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I wrote something tonight which I'm going to work into a piece of literary criticism/music criticism for my independent contract. It's one sentence but it sums up a lot, serving as both a guide to life, a guide to writing, and an explanation for why I will never send my mom a short story of mine to read, despite the fact that such a gesture would mean a lot to her, regardless of the storie's content. (Another reason is that just the gesture would mean a lot to her, regardless of the story's content, so her judgements would mean nothing.) It's also a big key to an essay about Lifter Puller and The Hold Steady:

The trinity of debauchery of sex, drugs, and rock and roll that boring people like to think makes them interesting is but a poor substitute for the combo of sex, death, and blasphemy that's necessary for a story to even kind of matter.

If anyone can think of any exceptions to that rule, I'd like to hear them. I write this all the time but no one ever takes me up on it. And granted, I don't have a comments section, but I'm easy enough to get in contact with. I guess people might just think I'm being smug, but no, seriously: If there are flaws to my broad sweeping statement, point them out. The key is to define "blasphemy" really broadly, but I think that's fair, as it's a catch-all term.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I stopped reading The Plague, because it's really not very engrossing. Half-pathetic, because I was the one who put in on my syllabus, but there were books on all syllabuses I didn't finish. For example: Billy Budd is on my syllabus for my Saturday class, and I just don't think it's going to happen. Something Happened is compelling as anything though, despite the subject matter (upper middle-class people are unhappy) being both done to death and not particularly interesting. Alan Moore has said in the past disparaging things about the British literary canon, its inclination towards the comedy of manners because it was what the critics could relate to at the time, and there's a lot to this. But Something Happened is really good, and it's not like I don't read a lot of the other less critic-approved works.

Season three of Curb Your Enthusiasm destroys the previous two seasons, which I enjoyed but might have thought a bit overrated due to lack of laugh-out-loud moments. But season three is just... Ah. Golden.

Deerhoof are coming to Olympia in March, as is Bad Education. Yeah.

I wrote a piece about Vanilla Creme Frosted Mini-Wheats for the New Food Reviews section of the McSweeney's website. It was rejected, albeit politely. It's not genius or anything so the rejection's not that crushing. (although to be bitter about it: Right now in the new food reviews there's a thing about Pabst Blue Ribbon, which I mean come the fuck on) I'll run it here, so you can learn what I think about said breakfast cereal:

They're not as sickly-sweet as you imagine. After the quantum leap that occurs when you've taken a chunk of shredded wheat and made it agreeable by applying frosting, any other change is just going to be (metaphorical) frosting. So the addition of vanilla is more of a slight variation than an actual improvement, possibly the most subtle of changes to ever occur in a breakfast cereal. However, it's enough to give it something of an edge over normal Frosted Mini-Wheats, at least in my mind. There is the possibility that this opinion might just be my love of the smell of the bag talking. When one opens the plastic bag surrounding the cereal and breathes deep, they are overwhelmed with pleasantness. The aroma is that of the hair of a ex-girlfriend in dreams that are sort of about how you've thrown away every good thing you've ever had, but are mostly just about vanilla.

Monday, February 07, 2005

So it's coming up on 6 AM as I begin my typing, and I haven't gone to sleep. I'm awake, is what I am. Rather than try to get sleep, I'm going to catch an early bus and do some grocery shopping. I am going to weird up my mind.

But as of this moment, I am going to talk about records, like I'm nerdy and coked up at 6 AM and I just found out someone else at the party is really into The Mountain Goats too, wow, that's so awesome, YOU'RE so awesome.

Fucking Pitchfork and other people are making lists of the best records of the first half of the decade, a bad and gross idea in many ways (although funny in others, like when The Arcade Fire chart in the middle of the list when a month ago they were the best thing of 2004, ha ha ha) that I nonetheless feel the need to respond to. No rankings, just thoughts on music as they come to me.

First off Radiohead's Kid A, the default list-topper. It almost makes sense until you realize that two songs on it suck ass, they're sequenced right next to each other, and In Limbo isn't that great of a song either. Sorry kids but I'm just not that high. And I fucking got this record straightaway, or at least, you know, the good parts. It is indeed a very good record, but I mean shit.

Modest Mouse's The Moon And Antarctica is a better record, came out earlier the same year, and has many of the same moods, but expressed in a variety of different ways. It also has Third Planet on it. It's the work of people staying prolific as opposed to taking a few years off. I like thinking that the next Modest Mouse record will actually be their Kid A though, as they attempt to alienate all the fuckers that like the new record more.

Boredoms Vision Creation Newsun. Dude fucking Boredoms. Alex and I were talking about taking the cheapest form of transit down to California when they play in May. Fucking Boredoms dudes. Give it the fuck up. They own.

Lifter Puller's Fiestas And Fiascos came out in 2000, I just heard it thanks to John Darnielle being all "You have to hear this record, it's indie rock, you'll like it" and lyrically it kicks ass. It's got some flaws, like the one song where the one dude's all "yes yes y'all" but sometimes I feel the urge to say "yes yes y'all" just as a LFTR PLLR reference. There was some talk on the Last Plane To Jakarta forums about the best lyrics of 2004, and there were lots of Hold Steady quotes until someone said that going with Craig Finn is practically cheating, like people asking your favorite superhero and you say "God." I'm writing a paper about Craig Finn's lyrical acumen and power with fractured narratives kind of now.

The Mountain Goats- All Hail West Texas. No shit, people like his other stuff better? This one is kind of a no-brainer, I think, all lo-fi but a concept record so it gets a narrative going so shit hits harder. Source Decay is a great song, The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out Of Denton is a great song, Color In Your Cheeks... Most of this record is a dude with an acoustic guitar and a voice and a tape recorder, except one song has a MIDI keyboard. The phrasing of lines and the melodies is what puts this record all those other bullshit "listen to the lyrics" records, but I mean fuck: When shit is sparse, those lyrics have got to carry a lot of weight. This is a minimalist record for people who like lyrics.

The Wrens' The Meadowlands. No one I've met likes this like I do. My fondness for the sound of nineties indie rock is unstoppable. This is pretty much it in terms of being a nineties indie rock record. It ditches obtuse non sequiturs and a vibe of contentment for disappointment. It's kind of emo but it's kind of middle aged. Record deals and relationships all falling apart. If you have the inclinations towards that sound that no one is even making anymore, this is going to affect you. That it's going for being emotionally affecting, heartbreaking actually, just puts it all the more over-the-top for that mood.

Deerhoof: The most true thing of all the things on Pitchfork's list was Nick Sylvester saying that Deerhoof are the best band. Yeah they are. Holy God. Sadly at this point they haven't made the best albums, although I like Reveille more than the others because it nails their sound. But I saw them live too, and the drummer is a madman and the frontwoman is adorable and they just own. The only competition for best band is The Boredoms and Liars. Their lyrics are the most "lyrics don't matter" of all lyrics, ESL haikus about fictional creatures who kidnap children and take them to dreamland or something.

Liars: People talked shit on They Were Wrong So We Drowned but it still sounds like Liars to me. And Liars kick ass. The first record is kind of better. The Fins To Make Us More Fish-Like EP is better still. The rhythms persist as does Angus Andrews yelling shit. The shit he yells is what goes through my head when I want to impersonate crazy people. I like I like I like I like jai alai. The hallway ceiling, it's just four feet wide. I saw this thing in Magnet where they were asking people about how laws should be changed and the things that Angus said were this great combination of being smart and non-cliched. He had a five-point plan, which included things like benefits for people who don't own cars and only showing news made from a foreign perspective, and taxes for fast food like liquor and cigarettes are taxed. They compete with Deerhoof for being the best band, but their albums are better and more coherent.

McLusky: Rock music. They broke up now. Do Dallas is their best record, but I like a lot of their other stuff. They might've been one of the best bands if they were weirder, didn't break up, and I had seen them live. But they're all loud guitars and profane sarcastic lyrics and these are things that rock music should be.

Les Savy Fav are kind of like that too. But they didn't do anything as good as McLusky Do Dallas. Also: How did the Emor EP make an albums list?

Enon are friends of Les Savy Fav and have a dude from Brainiac in them. When I was talking about The Art Project I cited influences like Brainiac and Liars as things to aim for. Enon are like Brainiac only they exist right now and have this girl singer sometimes. Get The Letter Out is a fine fine song.

Daft Punk are shitty. I wanted to write about that earlier, but I got distracted. I also hate their respectability, from some people. They are trash. Much like the movie Orange County uses the song "butterfly" by Crazytown as a signifier that certain people are bad people and you have good reason to hate the world, Daft Punk is the soundtrack to a certain moment which I kind of had twice. I'm in the backseat of a car on a hot summer's day, got myself a headache. There are other people in the car who I am feeling alienated from and don't understand our friendship. The reason Daft Punk is the soundtrack is because that's what on the car stereo for real, exacerbating all my thoughts.

Microphones/Mirah: I think Advisory Committee is the best of all the records Phil Elvrum's involved with. Mount Eerie is good in that it's got all of his people on it, and feels like a big statement of purpose, but has moments of tedium like Kid A. If I really wanted to big up Olympia, I'd say Mount Eerie was the best record of the first half of the decade in that it's the best depiction of the Olympia community. It even includes people who suck! But Advisory Committee... Um, Mirah will pretty much forever be the sound of my freshman year at Evergreen, methinks. I like her voice, I like her songs. Her lyrics have this preoccupation with people coming and going and being missed which is the kind of thing that you can relate to when you're having yourself a freshman year at college and at the end of that year, a handful of the people you really liked (including the one who first lended you a copy of You Think It's Like This But Really It's Like This) move on. Also Mirah is from Philadelphia originally but then moved to Olympia and went to my college. Also I saw her live and talked to her. All of this is more biography than criticism, but yeah Advisory Committee gets big ups. Big fucking ups.

The Blow's Concussive Caress is really good too. So is the Poor Aim EP which most people haven't heard. I think that the Hit Factory album is going to blow the fuck up though. Seriously. Gonna' be huge. Get the hell out of the way of the volcano.

The White Stripes' White Blood Cells is yes. Yes yes yes. Not the what all rock music should be of McLusky, but it's what The White Stripes should be in a way that Elephant totally fucking wasn't.

I am swearing lots. You don't know how many times I've restrained myself. Profanity seems like the best way to talk about music, though. It's extreme and it simultaneously negates itself and doesn't need to be there while getting across a good deal of emotion that couldn't be expressed otherwise. Really, profanity is the linguistic equivalent of music, and that isn't even getting into the beauty that is inventing profanity combinations and swearing well, saying things like corpsefucker and dicksock and ass-fag.

Is This It was okay, you know. Okay.

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead's Source Tags And Codes really isn't as good as McLusky Do Dallas. I never even compared the two until just now, but there you have it. It's good though.

Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is a thing of beauty. Better than anything else they've done. The only close comparison is Loose Fur, really.

I used to like Sonic Youth's Murray Street but I just listened to it again and wasn't feeling it so much. Still better than Sonic Nurse though by a good wide margin.

The Dismemberment Plan's Change has its moments, but not enough. The best are the ones that seem the moodiest, but there are all these songs that go for big hooks and end up sucking.

Animal Collective are rather good indeed. My interest in writing this list is waning.

The Beauty Pill put out some great stuff that no one bothered to hear.

As did Black Eyes. But these are two very different bands.

Both were on Dischord, home of Fugazi's The Argument which is the best thing they've ever done. I don't like it now as much as I did at the time I first heard it, but that doesn't mean it's not really fucking great.

Manitoba's Up In Flames, The Notwist's Neon Golden, first Shins record, Broken Social Scene's You Forgot It In People, Mouse On Mars' Idiology. Maybe there'll be a second post where I talk a lot about all of these things. The Mouse On Mars I should listen to more because I know that it's great, whereas the other things I've kind of overplayed. Manitoba Up In Flames was the best thing to come out in 2003 and in fact, made that year in music for me but looking back, there are other better records. It's just that they were less innovative. So Up In Flames wins the album of the year contest but there's times when I'd rather listen to McLusky or somesuch thing.

Also: rap music, I need to listen to Supreme Clientele more, but a lot of people are giving that praise and I'll just agree. I have this tendency not to respond to the genre as much as I respond to other things, as I'm sure you all know.

I totally won't write a follow-up to this, as most of the music I can say things about I did. Mainly I wanted to talk some shit and say some praise.

How sad is it that Dischord and K are pigeonholed and neglected? A lot of their stuff is shit, yes, but that's what gets the coverage and becomes the stereotype. I figure it's the regional label thing, which in many ways is a bad idea. But I mean: No one talked about Black Eyes (although they probably did in DC) and no one talked about The Blow outside of Olympia. This is music which largely denies the label's stereotype while at the same time no not at all. I shouldn't even be grouping these two entities in with one another. Whatever. The next Blow album should be huge and Black Eyes broke up already.

Oh and Matmos put out some great records, despite Drew Daniel liking Daft Punk and Bjork and not listening to Radiohead and generally, just listening to music wrong (this is sarcasm mostly) except for that made by his friends and a surprising diversity of tastes outside of the stuff he's most drawn too.

But mainly fuck music ranking. These are the best records in their respective micro-genres and moods. The mood I'm in most aren't even represented by any of this music though, which is kind of funny. Although maybe it's the Lifter Puller record.

Shitty thing about the Pitchfork list is how many good people they have access to didn't do a list. The new nineties list is more consistent because there are more good people and less total fucking tools. Also: there were other people doing similar lists but this bit's phrased as a Pitchfork response because generally they are the ones I most agree with, and have good people working for them, a confidence I don't have in many other things.

Oh and Destroyer's Streethawk: A Seduction was really good at what it did too.

I'm going to go buy groceries, I think.
Reading of The Plague isn't going so well. It's somewhat dull and my focus wanders. Camus was a dude who I was interested in reading more work by after The Stranger, but even that isn't the most interesting of books, and doesn't really suggest a great body of work. Still, I threw it on my independent contract reading list. I have to read Melville's Billy Budd for my Saturday class this week, and once I'm done with all that, I'm moving on to Heller's Something Happened, which I look forward to. This is all in addition to the fact that I should be tearing shit up with the writing.

I saw A Very Long Engagement. The criticism that most of the people are throwing against it is similar to the complaint people had about The Life Aquatic, in that it's bullshit complaints that people who are fans of the directors expect. This is not to say I liked A Very Long Engagement as much as The Life Aquatic... My mind wandered, there's a lot of plot and I didn't understand it all except in broad strokes. Frequently there were characters on-screen that I didn't know what their connection was to the other characters. Every shot in the film is beautiful. It's not as good as Delicatessen. There might be some problems that stem from the fact that the film's an adaptation of a book. Bad Education is playing at the Capital Theater later this month, and my hopes are high.

American Dad, the new cartoon from the creator of Family Guy, is fucking horrible. Take all the ham-fistedness and stupidity and attempted offensiveness of Family Guy, only apply it to politics instead of pop culture. Then drop the density of pacing and the occasional long go-nowhere anti-humor bits. I've said in the past that Family Guy was pretty funny, but the people who were really into it are bad people. I wonder what they think of this. It's really stupid, but it's also obviously terrible, and the politics are those of the left. (Family Guy seemed to attract a lot of right-wing fans. It just had a generally poorly-informed fanbase, and while this show doesn't seem particularly nuanced or informed- it's people who've come to similar conclusions as I but don't necessarily know all that I know- it does have viewpoints that the majority of America, and by my reckoning, the majority of Family Guy fans, don't share.) I can't imagine people liking it unless they are retarded. And if they're conservative, they'll be turned off, retardation or no.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Dave Hitchens and Alex Tripp both have given me positive reviews of the story I finished. This is comforting, to say the least.

I should be going to see A Very Long Engagement soon. Eagles are playing in the Super Bowl, and although I'll be watching a french film instead of the big game, I nonetheless hope for their success.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Oh the night we had. The day we had! The past twelve hours were some kind of amazing. In the afternoon, two of my roommates began tripping on DXM. During this time, I finished the paper that I have to hand in tomorrow, and made large amounts of headway on this short story I was writing, as I listened to Bright Flight by the Silver Jews and Beauty Pill's Cigarette Girl Of The Future EP. These were great albums for the mood I was attempting to get across. Soon I'll finish the short story, and I think I'll put Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea on the stereo. The last time I listened to such a record was, weirdly, the last time Alex did DXM, as I was in the room when it was on the stereo and Soul Calibur was on the television. Months ago.

But, Alex walked in as I was typing away my short story, and once the Beauty Pill EP was done, all of the good roommates who are currently living here went down to the beach. As we walked out the door, we heard the sound of a party that seemed like it was raging, like it might actually be a good party for the first time in Evergreen party. We continued to the beach. A group of people walked by and were all "where are you going? We're going to the PARTY!" and we laughed them off and made our way into the woods. There was a lot of comedic riffing on the walk. It was a good night for the woods, a good night for the beach, a far cry from the creepy vibes there've been in the past. There was some thought that the tide might be up, as the waves were loud. But no, that was not the case, and we stood on the beach and saw bright flashes like explosions in the sky in one isolated spot on the other side of Puget Sound. I stood on the beach, peed once, then sat on a branch for a while and wondered about what was going on. There was a moment where I counted off two thirty-six second intervals between the flashes, but once this was announced, the flashes occurred with less frequency. This added still more mystery to these things that the first thought out of our mouths said were UFOs. Before this attempted to find a pattern where there was none, I said that we should make piece with everything, and Alex said that it was a good night for it. And it was. I'm not really getting across the full extent of it, but there was a good feeling in the air. These are the nights of Neutral Milk Hotel (and the days of Animal Collective and Boredoms) and ending short stories that strive to communicate what it feels like to be connected with life.

Today I also read an amazing interview with Alan Moore about craft while listening to Alan Moore interview Brian Eno. This is mentioned, for those who know about Alan Moore and Promethea 12 and all that, as a prelude to the next bit.

A few nights ago Loren had his tarot cards read and the tower came up. The tower is being struck with lightning. This is what that feels like.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Today there were Netflix. We watched Mr. Show, laughed, and in doing so, got called racists by our new roommate who thought one bit went too far.

The bit in question was about Hitler clones becoming servants of Holocaust survivors as a reparation for the Holocaust.

It was hilarious. To us.

But to him? Offensive!

So we all got called racists. Including me, the Jew, and Evan, the Asian.

What minority is he, you ask? I didn't know. So I asked him if he was gay, or black. He said "No."

Then I pointed out that David Cross was Jewish. He maintained that the skit was racist.

Later on, during another Mr. Show skit, there was a reference to the Vonnegut novel Hocus Pocus. Alex said it was the only Vonnegut novel he had read. To which the new roommate replied "Not even Catcher In The Rye?"

So we set him on fire.

We also watched Dead Leaves, described by someone on the internet as the most bugfuck anime ever. It can also be described as next level shit. It's coherent kind of, in that it's largely a vehicle for extremely well-animated (but bugfuck insane!) violence propelled by annoying characters who you're supposed to think are badass for their attitude. It's poorly written. But it's good in the way that extremely violent japanese animation should be. It delivers on a certain level. Asking the characters to not be annoying as hell is almost asking too much, especially when you're asking for something to meet the incredibly vague criterion of being next-level shit. Dear lord, was it fun. I enjoyed it the most when none of the characters were talking, and they didn't really talk that much. It's the kind of violence that makes you giggle and go "holy shit" and "fucking awesome" to your friends that you watch it with. People who are into shit like Dragonball Z but not shit like Dead Leaves (like our new roommate, coincidentally) should be shot on principle.

Was the best thing about that last sentence how I used two different meanings of shit to prove my point and expected the reader to just read along and know what I meant by my tone, or when I talked about how my new roommate should be shot?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I or someone else I live with really needs to buy floor soap because right now I'm just mopping with hot water which isn't doing shit and the mop is getting mildewy and spreading mildew around is probably worse than the peedrops that hang out around the front of the toilet.

This is one part note to myself, one part note to roommates, but I think it's a pretty accurate representation of my life and how I live it to those reading elsewhere.

Finished reading the Marquez but already wrote my comments in a letter and it would be cheap to reuse. Let it be known (throughout the land!) that I have read Marquez and am smart and literate and have a dick the size of a damned canoe. And maybe I can't compete with the people who've read Dostoevsky and have dicks the size of yachts, but surely I'm better than all those people who only read Tom Clancy and have dicks the size of vaginas.