Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Return, Square Pig, Driving, Record Club, Social Network

Its been a long time. I shouldn't have left you, without a dope beat to step to. step to. step to step to step to.

I could try to go back and recap what's been going on for the past several months in my life, but anybody who reads this probably is aware that I got married and am real happy and all that. Doing those types of things takes a lot of time out of one's schedule. I worked a lot on the train this summer and am now in Utah searching for a job for the year while I wait to hear back from some dental schools. Every day I apply to about 6 jobs and have got some interest but am still looking for the best fit. I will keep you updated on how the search is going. Right now we are staying at my sister and brother-in-law's place while we are job hunting. It is a transitory feeling, but hopefully it will all be equalized soon.

This summer I read: Conquest of the Useless by Werner Herzog, Metamorphasis by Franz Kafka, Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon, Superfreakanomics by Dubner and Levitt, The Quiet American by Grahm Greene, a bunch of graphic novels, and have started David Copperfield. So a good summer for reading.

I particularly enjoyed the Herzog book. It is a collection of journals he kept while he was filming Fitzcarraldo. They are for the most part a bunch of feverish rants about the jungle and his determination to get the boat over the hill. He approaches a mental breakdown several times, and when he finally succeeds he is indifferent about the success. I liked this resolution, it was not what I would have predicted. I was all set up for some last pages about the relief he felt that the hard parts were over and he had accomplished what he set out to do, but instead, he plunges into a sort of disgust...there is no sense of accomplishment, because all the work that went into this act is in his eyes insignificant. Through the entire narrative, he is venomous about how banal the jungle is. He is constantly writing about the indifference of rivers, how people die and the jungle just goes on steaming. There are some great images.

One of the images that I can't get out of my head, (much to the disdain of my wife, who can't stand when I tell people about it) has to do with what we have dubbed "the square pig". He writes,

"A pig in Palermo had fallen into a sewer shaft: it lived down there for two years, and continued to grow, surviving on the garbage that people threw down the shaft, and when they hauled the pig out, after it had completely blocked the drain, it was almost white, enormously fat, and had taken on the form of the shaft. It had turned into a kind of monumental, whitish grub, rectangular, cubic, and wobbly, an immense hunk of fat, which could move only its mouth to eat, while its legs had shrunk and retracted into the body fat"

This is a great metaphor...for what, I don't know...but I guess even creatures take the shape of their containers.

The drive down to Utah from Alaska was beautiful. There were lots of animals in northern British Columbia, including deer, moose, buffalo, and caribou. Natalie did not so much enjoy the drive itself. At one point she told me she would rather walk all the way then drive all the way. When I pushed her on this, she did not back down, which made it even more funny. She would have made a great pioneer. A couple times she suggested we just stop where we were and live there. Even I don't want to live that remote.

Over the summer, a few friends and I started a little project we are calling the armorie record club. It's a fairly common and simple concept. Basically, a bunch of us choose an album for the month, and then each of us do one or two songs from it and post them for people to download. So far, we have completed cover albums of David Bowie's Hunky Dory, The White Stripe's White Blood Cells, and Def Leppard's Hysteria. Currently we are working on the next selection, Neutral Milk Hotel's In an Aeroplane over the Sea. If you want to check out the tracks and download them for your Ipod, go to www.soundcloud.com/armorierecordclub/sets The tracks I have done are: Quicksand, Bombers, I can Tell, The Union Forever, Jolene, Gent, Animal, Love and Affection, Gods of War, and Communist Daughter. Enjoy, and let me know if you have a suggestion of a great album to cover and I will consider putting it in our monthly drawing.

I also have some other musical projects that should soon see the light of day, particularly some collaborations with Greg Santanna under the name of Pop Gun War.

If you want to hear the Armorie album we put together, here is the link to that.

That's my music news as of right now.

I saw The Social Network the other night, and it was great. Very dark and moody but great story telling and dialogue, and a pretty great illustration at the challenges of trying to fit in by changing the rules altogether. I would recommend it to anyone. J.T. isn't even dreamy in it.

I will be back with more later, including my escapades into Tai-Bo recently. it sucks.



Tina said...

So glad your back! Can't wait to hear about Tai-Bo! :)

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