Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dear Basia (and Danny)

I have every album you have released in the states. I consider myself a fan.

So... I hate to say this, but I was disappointed by your latest album, «It's That Girl Again». Which is a real shame since it was you two who did most of the heavy lifting on the incomparably good «Matt's Mood».

I was especially struck by the obvious key changes in "Someone for Everyone", "Blame it on the Summer", and "Winners". I mean, come on... you two are much better songwriters than that. Why did you decide to rely on cheap key changes in those songs? Ugh.

Look, you two are still awesome. Perhaps you need to spread your wings a little bit further for musical inspiration.

Let me end on a positive note. Basia, I melt when I hear your voice. Whatever has happened, your voice is muy sexy. Basia and Danny, you still can create great music. There are some great tracks on your album (despite its inconsistency), which means you two have something to build on for the future.

And finally, thanks for getting back into the music game. It's been too long. I hope your next album will be sooner rather than later.

I will be buying that one too, with fingers crossed.


Nota bene

Not sure why, but the thirty second song previews on Amazon don't do the songs any justice. Not sure why? Bad compression maybe?

iTunes on the other hand... those previews are fairly reliable.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It Happened One Night

I saw this depression-era classic, It Happened One Night, last night, and immediately after I came to a much better understanding of my grandparents. I cannot explain it, just suddenly my grandparents' mannerisms and humor made a lot more sense.

The story is maudlin, the characters irascible, the humor heartfelt, the acting sublime (holy cow did I underestimate Cary Grant's acting chops, and Claudette Colbert really shines), and the whole thing works. And it works because it is infused with an ethos that is both pragmatic and ethical. There is more wisdom in this movie (informed by the day to day struggles of a generation during the great depression) than in most philosophy books.

My favorite scene in the movie was the discussion of piggy-back rides. Both hilarious and observational.


The return of Hoovervilles.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jonathon Wilson

A thinking man on the importance of fullbacks.

Wilson in his article points to this description of Dani Alves by Sid Lowe, which is probably the best written anywhere:
And right-wing. And just about everywhere else. Roman Abramovich decided €30m was too much for a defender but Alves is not just a defender. He's a one-man band wearing cymbals on his knees, a drum on his back, Johnny Cash's harmonica strapped to his gob and Barça sweatbands on his wrists like a 10-year-old suffering a Peter Withe fixation. He offers killer passes and crunching tackles: a screeching lunatic kid, perfect technician, tactical genius and - let's face it - sneaky little cheat, all wrapped into one hyperactive ball. A footballing Sonic the Hedgehog.

Economic blackmail

FedEx: no unions or no planes.

iPhone email

Now that I have an iPhone (which is great, btw), I am now more aware of all of the crappy email lists I have somehow gotten on (none of which I have signed up for)... since they are not filtered out by the iPhone's email reader.

I shouldn't complain too much... my isp does a good job of filtering out viagra, cialis, and Nigerian scam spam.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the conspiracy

I am a slave to possibility —
you might, perchance, tell me that you love me.
I keep my cell phone always at my side,
check my email more than I should,
read every billboard, check every paper,
and glance from time to time to see if there
is writing written in the sky.

Patience is not a virtue for lovers —
time and distance are ancient enemies —
I am helpless against this desire
to sate my thirst of you,
thus, I conspire.

Monday, March 23, 2009


I'm a slightly blurry picture taken
two years ago — my cheeks are flush with wine —
I smile, but not with my eyes; often
I'm the photographer, but not this time.
You stand with friends, arms around each other.
Your picture shows a party in progress.
You face the camera with much laughter,
with friends, with joie de vivre, with a red dress.
I barely know you, but still I love you.
At least, I love the idea of you.
I'm smart enough not to believe my heart,
but wise enough to think the world of you.
I say too much, but my eyes bespeak true,
for you live life as your heart's work of art.

Tottenham vs. Chelsea

I saw the Tottenham-Chelsea game yesterday, delayed by 30 minutes due to a suspicious package, and it was a cracker. Going in I thought Chelsea were the stronger team, with a reinvigorated Drogba and the return, in sensational form, of Michael Essien. After yesterday's game I was shocked to see how weak Chelsea were in the midfield. Was Ballack having an off day? Would it have made more sense to shift Essien and Ballack at half-time?

I don't think that this game should be blamed on Ballack necessarily... the only time Belletti seemed to have an effect on the game was when he was booked. Ashley Cole seemed to be a presence, although at times he was out-hustled by Aaron Lennon.

Also, Tottenham were definitely up for the game -- every time a Chelsea player had the ball for more than five seconds he was surrounded by three white shirts. Tottenham were organized and were the better team. Redknapp is definitely not my favorite manager, but he must be doing something right. Maybe in the next season, Tottenham may challenge the big four. Definitely something to hope for.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


"As soon as I come up with a character, I want to start drawing them in pajamas. I don't know what's up with that." -- the ever-amazing Shaenon K. Garrity of Skin Horse and Narbonic fame.

I just received book six of Narbonic and am going to spend today reading through the entire series from the beginning. Definitely a noble endeavor.