Archive for the 'a few of my favorite things' Category

Things I saw today: Gir “I’m running! I’m running!”

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

I’d never seen Invader Zim before but after aaronsw linked to the doom song I’ve fallen totally in love with Gir .


This is me after Voltage coffee (the best coffee I’ve ever had).


“Hi baby!”
—-

addition after talking to Kris (and saying it reminds me of Grace):

“I’m dancin’ like a monkey!”

Just because it’s awesome – Citizen Cope

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

I’ve been slightly obsessed with Citizen Cope (Clarence Greenwood) lately. I’ve really liked the few songs I’ve had of his and earlier in the week I bought several albums. Today I bought another. Gorgeous stuff – layered, slow, a beat which makes my head and shoulders move and what a voice!


Citizen Cope – A Father’s Son

Look look what you’ve done
Not to become your Father’s Son
Before that day, day, day is done
You’ll get your day, day, day in the sun

and


Citizen Cope – Off The Ground

When you and I
Were so far
We were so far
Away from here
All my life been gambling times
Been evading mines
Away from here

Just because it’s awesome (“all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us”)

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I got the opportunity to use a quote in conversation to a colleague about a difficult work situation which a friend and former colleague once said to me at the right time:

Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.

– Lord of the Rings

Just because it’s awesome (Portishead)

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

I rarely listen to iTunes on shuffle but today on a whim was listening to some random stuff and was reminded how gorgeous Portishead’s “Roads” is. It’s layered, simple and achingly sad:

I remember in 2008 when Third came out being absolutely mesmerized by “Machine Gun”. I must have listened to it 20 times in a row on the day I first heard it. It makes my heart race slightly andI find it both disturbing and beautiful which is kind of a rare thing in music.

Also worth checking out is “Chase the tear” which they did for Amnesty International.


update 6 March 2010

Yves brought up another fantastic Portishead song and video: We Carry On. He very correctly described the song as hypnotic, loud and sad. The video is uniquely beautiful and almost distressingly dark.

Just because it’s awesome (Gotan Project – tango)

Monday, February 1st, 2010

This video inspired me to take tango lessons (with a well-matched partner such fun, fun, fun!)

The song is fantastic and the video is graphically beautiful and additionally awesome for having M/M and F/F as well as the more traditional F/M couples. Such a beautiful and sexy dance.

dream house (decorating castles in the sky)

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

ffffound is an amazing collection of images – a subset of which is interior design and amongst which are several I find very appealing. I realized I had started to kind of pull together images of some kind of alternate reality dream house.

What’s interesting, I suppose, is how close and perhaps moreso, how far, the above are from how I’ve decorated my own real house. One big difference is I’d never have a animal skin rug. I also really favor red oriental rugs (as opposed to neutral or rugless floors in these pictures) and display more artwork – features I love but which detract from the minimalist vibe I seem to desire.

Things I heard today (Jacqueline Du Pré -Elgar Cello Concerto)

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Someone whose taste in classical music I admire mentioned Jacqueline Du Pré via twitter and since it was through him I first heard Glenn Gould, I decided it was worth looking into.

I found, Elgar Cello Concerto 1st mov:

It’s lovely – somber and beautiful (and trivia: the woman is the basis for the movie Hilary and Jackie). Also via twitter, Thomas recommended another version (w/ a different conductor). I need a few more listens to try to understand the difference.

And since I mentioned it, here is Glenn Gould, Goldberg Variations:

I’ve listened to these for hours, night after night. I don’t know much about classical music but even I can hear the subtlety, the mastery he brings. I’ve listened to other versions to compare and the difference is appreciable – something in the timing, the smoothness, what I’ve heard described as the importance of the space between the notes. I’d read about these ideas before but it wasn’t until I heard them that I actually understood.

Just because it’s awesome (The National – you know I dreamed about you)

Saturday, December 5th, 2009


I am a huge fan of the band The National. I’m consistently moved by the music, the lyrics and especially the vulnerability and deep, soothing voice of lead singer Matt Berninger.

Baby We’ll Be Fine:

He paints such a picture: “I put on an argyle sweater and put on a smile. I don’t know how to do this” and “I pull off your jeans, and you spill jack and coke in my collar. I melt like a witch and scream”. I love the line: “All we’ve got to do is be brave and be kind” (possibly less of a plan than a plaintive hope?), shining out amongst cascading repititions of: “I’m so sorry for everything”.

Green Gloves (audio only):

Lovely harmonies, lovely singing, soft and deep. In a song about friends (“I have arms for them”), I love the whimsy of: “Cinderella through the room. I glide and swan cause I’m the best slow dancer, in the universe” (check out how good the song is live, too, starting around 0:58).

maybe my favorite of their songs, Slow Show:
.
I see my own inner worries in the line: “God, I’m very, very frightening. I’ll overdo it” But it is the beautiful and haunting refrain at the end: “You know I dreamed about you for 29 years before I saw you. You know I dreamed about you. I missed you for 29 years” that can make my heart ache, still, after listening to the song for years.

Just because it’s awesome (Hugh Laurie’s “The Gun Seller”)

Monday, October 26th, 2009

I love Hugh Laurie. I’m a fan of him in House, MD and I adore him, as I’ve mentioned before, in Jeeves and Wooster. Fry and Laurie is brilliant and he was my favorite part (and quite a revelation after knowing only Bertie) in Peter and Friends. Not only is he a fantastic actor he’s also an amazing writer.

In his first book, The Gun Seller, the opening just stuns – I can’t think of another like it:

Imagine that you have to break someone’s arm.

Right or left, doesn’t matter. The point is that you have to break it, because if you don’t…well, that doesn’t matter either. Let’s just say bad things will happen if you don’t.

Now, my question goes like this: do you break the arm quickly — snap, whoops, sorry, here let me help you with that improvised splint — or do you drag the whole business out for a good eight minutes, every now and then increasing the pressure in the tiniest of increments, until the pain becomes pink and green and hot and cold and altogether howlingly unbearable?

Well exactly. Of course. The right thing to do, the only thing to do, is to get it over with as quickly as possible. Break the arm, ply the brandy, be a good citizen. There can be no other answer.

Unless.

Unless unless unless.

What if you were to hate the person on the other end of the arm? I mean really, really hate them.

This was a thing I now had to consider.

I say now, meaning then, meaning the moment I am describing; the moment fractionally, oh so bloody fractionally, before my wrist reached the back of my neck and my left humerus broke into at least two, very possibly more, floppily joined-together pieces.

The arm we’ve been discussing, you see, is mine. It’s not an abstract, philosopher’s arm. The bone, the skin, the hairs, the small white scar on the point of the elbow, won from the corner of a storage heater at Gateshill Primary School — they all belong to me. And now is the moment when I must consider the possibility that the man standingbehind me, gripping my wrist and driving it up my spine with an almost sexual degree of care, hates me. I mean, really, really hates me.

He is taking for ever.

His name was Rayner. First name unknown. By me, at any rate, and therefore, presumably, by you too.

I suppose someone, somewhere, must have known his first name — must have baptised him with it, called him down to breakfast with it, taught him how to spell it — and someone else must have shouted it across a bar with an offer of a drink, or murmured it during sex, or written it in a box on a life insurance application form. I know they must have done all these things. Just hard to picture, that’s all.

Rayner, I estimated, was ten years older than me. Which was fine. Nothing wrong with that. I have good, warm, non-arm-breaking relationships with plenty of people who are ten years older than me. People who are ten years older than me are, by and large, admirable. But Rayner was also three inches taller than me, four stones heavier, and at least eight however-you-measure-violence units more violent. He was uglier than a car park, with a big, hairless skull that dipped and bulged like a balloon full of spanners, and his flattened, fighter’s nose, apparently drawn on his face by someone using their left hand, or perhaps even their left foot, spread out in a meandering, lopsided delta under the rough slab of his forehead.

I mentioned the book in conversation the other day and found an excerpt and was blown away again reading it so wanted to post some of it – though I really recommend reading the whole thing.

The writing is so good – funny and beautifully crafted – combining violence and tough guy swagger with aching awareness of his own failings like the best of Raymond Chandler (and that’s saying a lot). Global poltics, espionage and a little love story (or two) are thrown into the mix. The story is good but it’s the writing (“unless unless unless”) that just sings.

Remember – this is his *first* book.

Just because it’s awesome (Arctic Monkeys – I bet you look good on the dancefloor)

Friday, October 16th, 2009

It’s *snowing* in October in Boston. It’s dark and cold and the thing this day really, really needed – I noticed when walking down the street with my shoulders hunched against the wind and rain – the thing which really reformed the morning was Arctic Monkeys: ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’.

So starting a new theme: just because it’s awesome….


Arctic Monkeys at Glastonbury, 2007, lyrics