Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Flannery O'Connor
Flannery O'Connor wrote your book. Not much escapes
your notice.

Which Author's Fiction are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

It figures--I'm not much of a fiction reader anyway, but I've never read anything by O'Connor. Anyone got recommendations? EDIT: My, you all love some "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," don't you? I'll look for the short stories--thanks.

Monday, July 25, 2005

A couple times now, I've had the pleasure of hanging out with Chris Piuma, Portland, OR resident, musician (he's in a band called the Minor Thirds), longtime ILXor, and a really cool guy all around. What I didn't know until tonight is that he's an avid cook, and has a blog where he notes the relative success or failure of the dishes he makes. "Dishes" is probably not quite right, actually--breads and baked goods predominate, at least in the four months or so's worth of archives I've read so far. The posts are short and to the point, but his love for trying stuff out and his general good nature make it a lot of fun.

I'm reading it with a degree of envy, actually--not just because I've seriously curtailed my sugar and starch intake over the past year thanks to the high-blood-sugar doctor's warnings I detailed some time ago, but because this weekend I've had a weird jaw problem. For some reason my right jaw has become disaligned a few times over the past year or so--sleeping on airplanes has been a conspicuous contributor to this--usually by what feels like a good amount of distance. I remember reading that the tongue feels things as being a lot larger than they actually are, and a similar thing occurs with the mouth as a whole. Usually, it feels like the distention of the jaw is about an inch or so (obviously this is impossible given the contours of my head, which is actually pretty small in proportion to the rest of me). This is followed by a lot of extremely painful mouth movements in an attempt to put the thing back in place; this can go on for ages, and always ends with a sharp movement that crunches it back in place, which hurts exactly as much as it sounds times four.

Friday morning, though, was different. Instead of having it feel completely out of line, it was more like a millimeter compared to the usual inch. But that millimeter was sharp and acute; attempting to clench the right side of my teeth together felt like having a needle stuck between my jawline and my ear. Through the day, I brought my molars down slowly and gently, working up to where I felt comfortable attempting to chew, and my lunch (the sashimi platter at the newish Japanese place downstairs, which I have at least once a week--I'd do it more often if it weren't so pricy) went fine, though the softness of the food probably had a lot to do with it. Around six o'clock, though, I bit down without thinking about it and nearly hit the ceiling: after about four hours of inactivity, the pain had redoubled and the area hurt worse than ever.

Naturally, I called my mom. "I'm thinking of going to ER," I said. "Do you have insurance?" she asked. "Yeah, through work," she said. "Do it!" she replied. I then called Group Health's 24-hour nurse line; they said a visit would be fine and that, in the meantime, I should take Ibuprofen and eat soft food. "Do you have a blender?" she asked. "You should get some yogurt and bananas and make smoothies." I don't have a blender, but another suggestion seemed decent enough: scrambled eggs, which I like but don't eat very often. "Just relax your jaw and eat soft foods and it should be fine."

I cabbed home with the intention of dropping my things off and heading to the hospital. After I got in, I realized something: I had something better than Advil--I still had the Vicodin I'd been prescribed post-surgery last fall. I took one, drank some water, and read. Later, at 3 a.m., I foraged to the nearby, 24-hour Mecca Cafe and ate a plain omelete with cheese and some hashbrowns. Two nights later, my jaw still hasn't relocated itself entirely, but it's a lot better than it was. I've also eaten enough eggs to fill an aviary and some bananas as well. But if my mouth is still not working perfectly by the time this Vicodin runs out, I'm heading to ER to see what the fuck is the matter.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Yesterday, I was the guest on local NPR affiliate KUOW's The Conversation, discussing mixtapes. The show is available on that link as either RealAudio or MP3, if you're interested. Thanks to host Ross Reynolds and producer Jeannie Yandel for having me.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Run for cover, kids: the infamous Alex in NYC of ILX (and other) infamy, has started a blog. I don't agree with the guy about . . . anything, really (musically speaking at least) but he's probably provided me as much entertainment as anyone else on the Internet over the past few years. This should be fun to see evolve. (edit: apparently, someone thinks I was "ridiculing" Alex and/or his blog. um, no.)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Douglas made me do it:

What is the oldest article of clothing still in active use in your wardrobe?
I think the dark blue/white-ringer T-shirt that's about a XXXXL that I got about six years ago is still there. It's one of the only things that still fits me from that period. (I got fat, jack, when I moved to Seattle in '99--desk job, Thai food, that was the end of it.)

If you were to pass along to a child (offspring, godchild, favorite young person you hope to influence for the better) a lifelong passion for one thing, what would it be?
I basically agree w/DW's answer but I'll be specific: food. Not as in eating exorbitant amounts of it, just that you should enjoy it and be able to taste it for what it is. Reading, too. Music? I'm too close to that as a passion to be very good at convincing people who aren't inclined to agree. The other two seem more neutral (and universal) to me, as subjects.

What's the one website or periodical that you read which nobody would expect you to?
I don't know if there is one, really. I used to cherish an issue of Relix with a long-ass interview with Dick Latvala, the now-deceased keeper of the Grateful Dead vaults, so maybe that one. (It's long gone now, from my collection at least.)

Does there ever come a point when [insert interviewee's occupation] becomes kind of arbitrary to you?
Yeah, constantly. I think I have a really good idea where I'm headed most of the time, and coming up with creative solutions is seldom difficult, but at least once a week I sit down and wonder, What the fuck am I doing this for? [this, btw, was my contribution/question]

What is one album/book/movie you have not heard/read/seen but which you really should to be doing what you do, and how do you work around that?
Most movies, most books. I'm not especially well read, nor do I know that much about film. There's also lots of canonical albums I don't know at all. One example, off top of head: I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight.

What superstitions do you follow or have you made up for yourself?
I try to not be superstitious at all, which doesn't mean I have none. Maybe the old "wait two days to call a woman after you've gotten her number" one.

What happened the first time you danced?
In public, I felt like I was letting something go; it was exhilarating. I'd danced in private, at home, in my room and whatnot, but I was always afraid of letting people see it. I think my aunt Dani made fun of me once for the way I danced ("You look like a spaz" was the approximate quote), but that in itself didn't make me self-conscious. I also realized that I had a pretty damn good sense of rhythm, and a couple moves. I still do, though I dance a lot less than I probably should.

What was the first piece of art (book, song, film, painting, building, etc.) that changed your life? What happened? How do you regard that work now?
The Book of Lists. It set me on the unfortunate course that I follow to this day.

If you could choose to understand one thing in much greater depth than the other, what would it be -- your roots or your current surroundings, and why?
Current surroundings, though I am perpetually fascinated by roots, probably to my detriment.

How do you like your eggs?
Over hard.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

This is horrible.

This is extraordinary.

Nothing but love to London.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

CD-R Go! 2005--First Half
1. Annie: “Heartbeat” (Vice)
2. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: "How Long Do I Have to Wait For You?” (Dap-Tone)
3. Tori Alamaze: “Don’t Cha’” (Universal)
4. 50 Cent: “Hate It Or Love It (G Unit Remix)” (Aftermath/Shady)
5. Amerie: “1 Thing” (Sony)
6. Basement Jaxx: “Oh My Gosh” (XL)
7. Lady Sovereign: “Random” (Casual)
8. M.I.A.: “10 Dollar” (XL)
9. The Chemical Brothers: “Hold Tight London” (Astralwerks)
10. The Field: “Love vs. Distance” (Kompakt)
11. Of Montreal: “Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games” (Polyvinyl)
12. The Decemberists: “We Both Go Down Together” (Kill Rock Stars)
13. Kelly Clarkson: “Since U Been Gone” (19/RCA)
14. A Frames: “Eva Braun” (Sub Pop)
15. The Hold Steady: “Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night” (Frenchkiss)
16. Keren Ann: “Nolita” (Blue Note)
17. The Mountain Goats: “Song For Dennis Brown” (4AD)
Total time: 76:39

Wrestled with including Annie since she won Pitchfork’s poll and the song placed 32nd in Pazz & Jop, but decided to anyway since the song/album came out in America a month ago. I’ll probably replace “Dennis Brown” with “This Year” or “Dance Music” (the latter is more likely, its brevity would allow more space for other stuff); the main reason I went w/”SFDB” is that it was close to hand and I figured I’d be honest enough with the concept, limiting myself to songs I’d already included on previous CD-R Go!s for SW. No R. Kelly this time because I went for songs I’d played a ton, and even “Chapter 2,” my favorite “Closet” part, doesn’t get spun that often chez moi.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Can I really be the only person on earth (who actually likes indie rock) that hears the Ponys and Willowz records as the most defeated, deflated, flat, pitter-pat dull-sloppy boring-ass wastes of time of the year (that weren't neceesarily preordained as such, e.g. the Paul Anka rock album or the Black Eyed Peas or NIN or whatever)? These albums sound exhausted, which is not the same as exploring exhaustion as a theme (see Maxinquaye, There's a Riot Goin' On, Metal Box, Vocalcity, Exile on Main St.), it means they're every bit as precious about their own lack of ideas and/or reason for existing as Unrest, which rockisback did not actually need one of, much less two.