February 8th, 2008

full life

(no subject)

1.  After I read "On The Road" in college, I started getting obsessed with the idea of the road novel, and desperately wanted to drive cross-country.  I never ended up actually making the trip, but I still was into the idea as a fiction, and eventually came up with a scenario where a twenty-something guy, disillusioned and aimless, decides to get in his car with nothing more than a carton of cigarettes and a quarter.  He flips the quarter at every intersection, and wherever he is when he runs out of cigarettes is where "fate" has destined him to be, to figure out his purpose, or whatever.  I never actually wrote a word of this, other than talking about the idea in my various journals, and I think the only ending I ever came up with was that the guy wound up stranded in the desert, starving to death.  Anyway, that's not the point; the point is that this book has already been written.

2.  I found out about this book through this Stereogum thread about Beck's lyrics.  There's a comment there that reads:  "Of course the lyrics are great:  aleatoric verse = the new ontology."  Since I'm in a bit of a lyrical drought (as is always the case), and since I'm supposedly working on recording an album this month and lyrics would come in handy at some point, I started looking around to see what I could learn about Aleatoricism.  At this point, I feel like it would be just as productive for me to simply take a random page out of a random book, photocopy it, cut out all the words and rearrange them.  Getting back to the point - I've always admired people who can make nonsense sound cool - Beck's always been able to do it, as has Stephen Malkmus, and I've never been able to do it.  I have a hard enough time putting words together that are supposed to mean something, and when I've tried being abstract and surreal, I sound fucking retarded. 

3.  That said, I am actually writing lyrics again, this time for that Neu-ish song I was working on the other day (which now sounds a bit too close to Wilco's "Spiders/Kidsmoke", goddammit).  A friend of mine took herself off of Myspace without telling anyone, and I got a random email from a friend of hers wondering if she'd died.  My friend wrote a poem about it, and as it happens, I'm also writing lyrics about it; I'm sure someone will now tell me that there's already a song called "You Were A Ghost".

4.  Speaking of the album I'm supposedly making this month, I guess I have to come up with a new name, since M42 is probably a little too close to M83.  Son of a bitch.  I can't even be deliberately obscure without committing plagiarism.  Have I mentioned that the greatest lyric I ever wrote - a lyric which is based on something that actually happened to me - is also the name of a band (which I'd never heard of), and is also a lyric in a Replacements song (which I'd also never heard of)?  Maybe I should stick with instrumentals.

5.  So tired.  Was out last night doing a meet-and-greet with another prospective guitarist/songwriter for my friend Joe's recording project; we  were booked into the smallest rehearsal room I've ever seen.  Cramped quarters aside, I had a blast - this guy is really, really good, and he has one of the most beautiful Fender Strats I've ever seen (green, with matching headstock!), and is a super nice guy and I'd like to think we'll play rather nicely together.   The only bummer about the evening was that I got incredibly self-conscious as the night went along - this guy is rather good looking, and I felt like a total schlub.  I've gotta lose some weight.  And see a stylist and get some new clothes.

And yet, for all this whining, I'm actually in a good mood today. 
full life

but wait, there's more

6.  I am amused sometimes at how willfully ignorant I can be about something, only to then learn about it and suddenly become slavishly devoted to it.  I remember, back when I was working in the dawn of the dot-com era, thinking how unnecessary e-mail was; I remember being openly hostile towards "Metrocards" when subway tokens worked just fine; I remember not having any idea what an mp3 was, and then, eventually, not ever imagining I would own something as insipid as an iPod.  And until last week, I could not have cared less about RSS feeds.

I sorta knew what RSS was (not that I could break down that acronym even now), and there were a couple websites I cared about that updated somewhat irregularly, and which had RSS feeds on LJ, and so rather than obsessively checking the sites all the time I would see them on my friends list.  However, RSS updates cluttered the hell out of my friends page, and not every page I was interested in was available on LJ. 

I can't remember exactly why I decided to investigate this last week - maybe one of you posted something about it - but I decided to check out Google Reader, and within 30 seconds of poking around I suddenly figured out why RSS is so awesome.   Especially when using Firefox.  I found the Google Reader app for Firefox, and now my ADD knows no bounds. 

That said, I do kinda miss surfing around.  I appreciate how wonderful it is that I'm notified every time one of my bookmarks gets updated, and that I can read everything I want to read in one place, but:  Google Reader is just text, and some of the sites I've RSS'd are visually pleasing.

Still, though, now that I've made the leap (about 3 years after the fact), I can't imagine life without it.  All that's left is some way to carry this stuff around with me whenever I'm away from the internet for any extended length of time, except that almost never happens. 

7.  I gotta give a shout out to Hale and Hearty Soups, who have been rocking my lunch hours all winter.  This week, I'm all about lentil.  Wednesday was the Black Lentil with Double Smoked Bacon, and today was the Italian Lentil with Pastini (which for some reason isn't on the menu right now, even though it was there 2 hours ago).

8.  I also have to say:  where the hell is Bill Simmons this week?  The Patriots lose the Superbowl, he makes a bleary 4-AM post the morning after, and then... nothing?  All week?  No "Seven Steps of Acceptance"?  No "Conspiracy Theory"?  He's selling his Randy Moss jersey on eBay, and that's the only thing he's written since early Monday.  Weak.  Totally weak. 
EDIT: Well, there you go.