Wednesday, March 29, 2006


feeling today.

Today, I left the house carrying a banana and two packs of balogna. As I stepped out of the car, I realized I had bread waiting for me in the car, and I was going to meet friends for dinner and have a burrito. So I arbitrarily decided I would only eat things today that I can wholly sum up with words that begin with B. I had trouble at the vending machine, because I wanted trail mix. There was a Baby Ruth, but that's two words, and one begins with R. Mae and K asked: weren't there any Butterfingers in the machine? (I didn't see any.) What if there was flour in your banana bread? (That's okay. "Banana bread" is sufficient to wholly describe a thing of which flour is just a component. But if I wanted extra flour with my bread, that's a negatory.) You can have butterscotch? (Right, but not butterscotch candy.) Then Long-J stopped by and somehow we devolved into a conversation about Klingon weblogs.

But then I went to Chipotle, and I wussed out. I did get a buritto with black beans and beef. But then: toppings. I asked for the berde salsa (yeah, it was a stretch, but I got what I wanted), and then broke down and asked for my habitual corn and lettuce. Spanish wouldn't have helped (maĆ­­z y lechuga). Bummer.


Well, I know I'll be rereading my copy of The Cyberiad tomorrow. There are very few authors whose honesty and completness of vision I respect as much as his.

Requiscat In Pacem, Stanislaw Lem.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Defective time-traveler

So I set my RSS reader back up. I hadn't touched the thing since I moved at the end of last year.

Matthew Baldwin at Defective Yeti blog must have some good taste. Not long after I started re-reading The Time-Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, I see it on his best of 2005 list. Sure, I'll grant the book's critics that the characterization was weak in spots, and it may be much more satisfyingly believable in its central conceit than in the characters emotions, but I enjoyed it too much to notice those flaws the first two times I read it. I like the Ulyssean part of it, the journey. Its twist on and old story is nice: the wife is waiting for or husband to come home, but sometimes she has him there while she's waiting. At least Niffenegger handles writing about the paradoxes better than I can.

Most of my enjoyment I'm sure comes from my identification Henry. After Henry first meets his eponymous wife-to-be, Claire, she realizes how selfish and self-destructive Henry is compared to the older him she knew so well. Henry tells Claire, "Stick with me, and sooner or later, he's bound to appear. That's the best I can do, though."

I want to say that to my girl. I don't have the proof backed by unintentional violations of the laws of physics, but I believe that living life well will make me a better person. I'm rereading The Time-traveler's Wife for its optimism.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Also about music,

I didn't want to forget to mention that Ali Farka Toure passed away last week.

For a slightly different pace than last post's rap, I have the CD he did with Ry Cooder, which I like immensely. One of our local radio stations already broadcast the Afropop Worldwide show that included most of a live concert. If you're quick, you can still catch the podcast.

As a fair warning, if you really don't care for the Afropop Worldwide program, Toure's music is probably not going to do it for you. If you do like it, don't skip out on the late Fela Kuti and his son, Femi. (He came to the 9:30 Club not that long ago. I should have gone, but I didn't.)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Music was just on the tip of my tongue

Okay, no it wasn't. There was no way I was going to remember this guy's name until I got back home and looked at my stuff.

Lyrics Born, dammit. The only page Google returns that has the snippet of lyrics I was thinking of that isn't some scummy lyrics page is this review of "Same !@#$ Different Day". The track is "Do That There".

Ladies and fellas,
I was hella bored
So I pedaled hella hard
To a seminar
In Zanzibar,
Ben & Jerry, tennis star,
And Pat Benatar
Ridin' on my handlebars

While I swear I saw some off-hand comment comparing Aesop Rock and Lyrics Born on some blog I linked to off of Tucker's site, I think I heard it first on NPR, of all places. It was in one of the Fresh Air reviewers' best of 2005 list.

Not that Ken Tucker (no relation) doesn't do a good job, but hearing him review rap on the radio is pretty damn incongruous to say the least, and the little icon photo on the NPR web site isn't helping: Ken Tucker

As for the music itself, the Aesop Rock comparison isn't completely unfair, but Lyrics Born takes himself and his lyrics much less seriously. I think Aesop Rock is better more consistently — Lyrics Born lets slide a few that shouldn't — but it's nice not having to be as cerebral all the time. There's a sample of "I'm Just Raw" in the review at NPR, if you want to give a listen.