Sunday, November 26

Takin' The A Train

My Thanksgiving Weekend: An Essay
Thursday morning my parents and I set off of the Eastern Shore. The drive down was nice. They even liked the mix I made (with one exception). This is not unusual but I didn’t expect them to enjoy, it wasn’t really to their general taste. My dad now really likes Aimee Mann and my mom loves Echo and the Bunnymen. This amuses me.
When we arrived from what could be described as a relaxing drive into utter chaos. My mother’s family is large and boisterous might be the kindest word. There 25 people in my grandparents rather small house. That was fine. I don’t dislike my family (in small doses). As the evening progressed the libations flowed quite freely (leaving casualties of Bacchus in it’s wake). One of my aunts didn’t quite make it to the table. It took no less than thirty minutes to round everyone to say grace and eat. By then the Turkey was room temperature and the mash potatoes were almost cold. I was not pleased. The up side was the stuffing might have been the best I’ve ever had. It was an early night and we retired to our hotel at around 10.
Friday was not nearly as pleasant. The number of people actually grew by 10. How this happened I could not say but it did. The food was better but my patience with my family wasn’t. We went over for breakfast after a bit of shopping (a sweater and books for me, my dad got the last season of The West Wing on DVD too) and descended on a madhouse from some Dickensian novel; hungry children, adults so hung-over they couldn’t function and the stern eye of the watchman making everyone a bit nervous (my step-grandmother, who I love but is intimidating as hell). I tried to find a quite place to read but there was none. I tried to go outside for some peace and quite and there too was the never ending throng of humanity. Always with questions, a never ending stream of the same three inquiries; “Who are you texting?” (“None of your business”) “So…how’s school going?” (“It’s fine, I like my classes. They are really interesting…[and as I’m about to say more they lose all interest and walk away]”) “Why do you have that pained look on your face all the time Greg?” (“Because unlike everyone else in this family I can’t justify drinking hard liquor at 10am…straight”). It went down from there. My Grandfather saved me though. He talked to me about history, philosophy, wine (the enjoyment of not the chugging), what books I’m reading and what I’m going with my life (more than just “I’m fine”). We spent most of the night drinking scotch (Johnnie Walker Blue Label) and talking about Beat poetry and German philosophy. The title of the post is a refernce to his link between Duke Ellington and Ginsberg that I was baffled by. I loved it. He and I are about the same. That redeemed all the annoying stuff that really shouldn’t have matter. So here is your Thanksgiving lesson gentle reader; holidays are for family and eating too much and being crazy, but don’t get caught up in the Yule-tide bullshit. It isn’t worth it…

It is a heap of work and school until my last exam on the 19th (I think that is the date; my teacher keeps moving it). Papers and obligation abound but all I can think about is the bed waiting for me in Southern Maryland this weekend. It isn’t Monday yet and Friday can’t come soon enough. Time to work on my paper about a dreamer, a cad, a deeply insecure boy trapped in circumstances and responsibilities beyond him (or anyone), and a man who wanted so badly to do right all he did was wrong. Wilson makes my heart sick. If I can fuck up as beautifully as him I could call my life complete and well lived. The road to hell is truly paved with the good intentions of misguided idealism. What a way to go though.

Tuesday, November 21

Hooray! St. Mary’s was wonderful. Wine, woman and song. The first and last are always in abundance but the second was truly delightful. The Wine was a Kendal Jackson Cabernet and the song where primarily the new Game which is maybe the best rap album of the year. Doctor’s Advocate (the title track) is in my humble opinion the best slow rap song to be released since whenever Bone Thugz were last good. Anyway enough about all that. Home and busy now. My bed seems so much colder than before. I haven’t felt this way in a long time. Ever maybe…
It’s a short if hectic week. Test today, which I should have studied for a little more, it’s on WWII though; I’m not too worried. Then work where I’ve become the executive hand-holder. The job would be slightly better if the hand-holing were not as critical to getting everything done. I does feel nice to be wanted though. Thursday I’m off (of course) and going down to bowl and see family and drink Blue and a bottle of wine that my Grandfather has been talking non stop about for ages. Something esoteric and French which has me almost as excited as the Blue. I wasn’t looking forward much to this whole ordeal but it will be nice I think. Just not the same.

Listening to Christie Front Drive Self Titled (how is Dirt that good of a song?)

Friday, November 17

Please Drive Faster

It’s been a crazy slow day at work today so went to Google Maps and worked up my ultimate road trip. Here goes:

95 Down to Raleigh from there old Route 66 starts (its now called Interstate 40…WTF). From there it’s a clear shot to the sunny Pacific. At around Palm Springs I’d have to take 10 to L.A. and swing by Riverside to see Shah. Then it’s a combination of Route 1 and 101 all the way to Seattle. You my know it was the Costal Highway. From Seattle (after the obligatory cup of coffee) its across the Northern States on 90 to Boston (swinging by Fenway and Southie) and back down 95 to D.C with a quick stop off in New York to see my cousin and got to the MET. There would have to be a stop over in Austin to see friends and I have some family in St. Louis. Otherwise the only thing I want to see the road and hole in the wall dinners. No point of destination. No point. Only the journey. Seeing all the little cities and towns that ring a bell and conjure something within our social consciousness. There is no other country like the US and I have seen only a fraction. This pulling west was what had drawn us forward. “We looked over the hill and saw fire. We crossed the Atlantic and flew. Human history is based around a timeline of exploration.” This is deep in my blood. I want so desperately to do this right now, just pack up and leave , not tell anyone and drive for a month…maybe next summer or the one after.

“Every man should see the desert before he dies…”

Monday, November 13

Only Shallow

I had a damn good weekend. I seem to start off every post on Mondays with some sort of construction like that, but it is true none the less. Short version: Off work early, Fredrick, 495 sans traffic at 5 (I know, crazy), St. Mary’s, good weather, Guitar Hero II for most of Saturday, other good things too, drive back kind of shitty.

I have my new car!

My job seems to actually be safe, not just the tentative conclusion I drew last time. The real test will be after my Mom leaves though.

New Game album comes out Tomorrow. Should be great.

The entire Orchid discography is now in my possession, now for Braid.

It is raining and it is Monday. I love days like this, no joke either.

Short but sweet, I shall endeavor to post something else this week with slightly more meat.
At the moment I am listening to Loveless by My Bloody Valentine.

Tuesday, November 7

Loft Party / Opus 62

So I’ve come to a few interesting conclusions today:

1.) My quest to eliminate subjectivity is ridiculous and thinking that I’ve made head-way is almost sinister in it’s absurdity

2.) I wavered in my trust of music until I heard Chopin’s 15th Prelude followed by his Nocturne in C Sharp Minor…Jesus, that will make you believe in the divine again.

3.) Commercialism and radicalism in the culture wars are not the only sides to choose from. That makes me very happy; you never hear about option three though.

4.) Orchid is smarter than I thought. This also makes me quite happy. I’m still trying to figure out if they are smarter than even that, if only I could figure out arrangements…

5.) People younger than 90 don’t vote at 7 in the morning…I should have assumed as much

6.) Harry Truman was funnier than I thought he could be.

7.) Until about two days ago my pretension was a crutch; now its more like a decorative walking stick.

8.) The title of the blog is once again true…this time it isn’t due to outside forces. I was sick of all the sunsets.

That was more than a few but whatever…Thank you Teddy! I didn’t realize a German from the 50’s could teach me anything about aesthetics. Boy was I wrong.

Listening to Schoenberg for the hundredth time. It seems like the first though…

Monday, November 6

Seven Seperate Kids, Seven Separate Fires

I watched a bunch of movies this weekend. Some good, some not so good. I figured since there was no wild debauchery this weekend I would fill everyone in on my meaningless opinions on the matter.

The Omen: I actually wanted to see this! I know, what the hell is wrong with me? I hate horror movies. Well I figured anything with Julia Styles wouldn’t be that terrifying (if only because I could imagine her in Save The Last Dance). It was suitably creepy. The little kid was perfect and there were a few good scare the bejesus out of you moments, but if I could handle it you know it wasn’t that great…(3/5 stars)

Land Of The Dead: your all shocked now I know it…2 horror movies in one weekend. I love the zombies though. Romero’s commentary on communism or collectivism or how people just plain old suck was truly the corniest thing I’ve seen in a long time! The metaphor was extended beyond all imagining. They even made the Zombie Leader (yes they can think now…) look like Lenin. Fun but not for the light of heart, you really have to love a bad Zombie flick to sit through the whole thing. (2/5 stars…for the normal people; I’d give it a 3/5)

Memento: Its old and everybody’s already seen it for the most part but I hadn’t and it was incredible. The director (same guy who did The Prestige and Batman Begins) is one of the most talented storytellers of our age! That is in no way an overstatement either, the movie is one of the most bizarre things I have seen and somehow he pulls it off. If anyone hasn’t seen it yet I won’t spoil anything but seriously: rent it. (4.8/5 Stars one of the best movies in its genre)

Art School Confidential: Not the movie I was expecting but funny one the less. It is a murder mystery and while the characters are a bit hacky it was fun and since I know most of those people in some form or another (or am, myself, one) I enjoyed it. John Malekevich is totally the best part of it, I think that might be every art teacher that ever put brush to canvas…(3/5 Stars)

Friends With Money: Skip it…the pacing is terrible and the characters are just too clich├ęd to be believed. I didn’t even watch the end of it. This is partly because I fell asleep and partly because I didn’t want to watch anymore. The fact that I fell asleep should be a strong indicator of my opinion to begin with. (1/5 Stars)

Going down to St. Mary’s again this weekend with Mike. Tests to study for and work to do. It seems like I’ll be keeping my job for the time being…busy but not boring. Studio 60 is on tonight! YAY!