Monday, December 3, 2007

Songs that Saved My Life Podcast

I did a little podcast with some of my thesis poems and some music that went with them. And then I forgot how to podcast for real, so here's the file. Download HERE. I will warn you, it's kind of long (like almost an hour) and I kind of can't read...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Criminal Intent

Lately I’ve been obsessed with Law & Order: Criminal Intent. I would catch it on cable when there was nothing else on every once in awhile. But I quickly realized it was not the show that I loved when I DVR-ed it and got an episode with Julianne Nicholson and Chris North. I was shocked to find I could not get through five minutes of Nicholson’s annoying, freckled face wispiness. (By the way, Nicholson was born and raised in Medford, MA.) Although Nicholson bugs the shit out of me, it’s not her that kills the show for me. The truth is I don’t even like cop shows. I never have. I never watched the original Law & Order and I don’t even like Special Victims Unit. I don’t like the Shield and I used to get seriously annoyed whenever my father would force me to watch NYPD Blue or some shit. What I love about Law & Order Criminal Intent is simply Vincent D’Onofrio.My love for D’Onofrio is not new. I’ve seen pretty much every independent film he’s ever done. I even considered enduring The Cell just to see his face. D’Onofrio ranks up there for me as one of my top five favorite actors in both my lust for them and their immense skill. But what is it about him that makes even a pile of shit movie bearable to me? And what is it about say Winona Rider that will kill Dracula, one of my favorite stories, for me? I have no idea about the latter situation except to say that she can’t really act her way out of a paper bag and her defense of her shoplifting in recent press articles makes me want to vomit. I mean, yes Winona, you didn’t hurt anyone, but how much fucking money do you have? Do you really have to steal? And if so, couldn’t you at least been a little modern day Robin Hoody about it? But I am getting off my favorite topic as of late… Vincent D’Onofrio. Through my work as a music journalist and my experience with my friends who have encountered some degree of fame, I have learned a few things about the nature of fan mail. Most people who get fan mail say that a lot of the letters are prefaced with a disclaimer along the lines of, “I am not one of those crazy fans, but I've always felt connected to you somehow,” which of course they are because otherwise they would't feel the pull of some imagined connection with a stranger. Also, I've been told by some friends that the fan mail can range from just crazy to bat shit crazy. (By the way, I recently learned that the original of that saying is because bat shit fumes can actually make you crazy.) Anyway, what does this have to do with Vincent D’Onofrio? I discovered while googling him for the 100th time in my life… we share the same birthday!I mean, I had always known I shared a special connection with Vinny D, but now I know what it is. I mean we’re cosmically linked by our birthdays. I mean people born on June 30th are sensitive, intuitive, talented individuals. Vinny and I share that deep, brooding, slightly dangerous air—as if at any moment we could burst into tears or a blind rage. We both care passionately about our work and humanity. If you read any of his quotes or follow his career, you will see that he chose integrity over money, just like me. It must be the birthday that truly does bind us together. It must be why I love him enough that I could quite happily watch him read the phone book.I was content to go with the birthday phenomenon until I realized one thing. Vincent and I also share a birthday with Mike Tyson. And suddenly my theory is blown. Because as much as I would like to believe in this theory so that I am forever psychically linked with D’Onofrio, I can’t fully believe in any theory that associates me in any way with the ear biting, wife beating, face tattooing psychopath. So it’s not our birthdays that cause me to feel that special connection with Vincent D’Onofrio. It has to be something else. I am determined to find out what it is. Perhaps I will write a fan letter of my own. But mine will go something like this…

Dear Mr. D’Onofrio,Let me preface this letter by saying, I am one of those crazy fans. In fact, I am bat shit crazy. And incidentally, I know where that saying comes from quite well because I live in Austin, TX where about a million bats fly out from under a bridge every night. I do not think the bats have any bearing on my state of mind though, as I am originally from Boston, MA and I have been crazy a lot longer than I have lived in Austin.Anyway, I am writing because I have always felt that we share a special bond. I have always connected emotionally with your work. I originally thought that this connection was based on our shared birthdays, but it’s not that because frankly we also share a birthday with Mike Tyson. And well, you know how he is… So could it be something else? Do you perhaps secretly love Dawson’s Creek? Do you have a non-verbal learning disorder as well? Maybe you also really love miniature foods? Do you write poems? I think Mr. D’Onofrio that we should get together to get to the bottom of this. I afraid that if it is the birthday, then you and I could be headed down the ear biting path as well and I think its best we work together to avoid this. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope to hear from you soon.Sincerely,Little Mean Girl

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Avenue P As it Ought to Be

For Christmas, my sister made copies of some CDs we'd listened to as children. Actually in my childhood they were on vinyl and while I would have preferred to find them again on vinyl, since I no longer have decks or a record collection, CDs will have to do. Since I uploaded them to my ITunes yesterday, I've been listening to Really Rosie on repeat. There is something haunting about listening to the songs from your childhood.

The strangeness of it has sucked me in to the point where I've hardly noticed the crumbling of my life outside of work. I wonder if it's the short-livedness of having a life outside of my job (I know, not a word) that makes its demise so easy to take. Or perhaps it's Nilsson's words from "Me and My Arrow," off the Point which makes it bearable... "And if we make up, just to break up, I'll carry on. Oh yes, I will" The lines are thrown into a song about Oblio and his dog Arrow and in the context of the story of the Point, they make no sense. It's a little aside that Nilsson threw in, perhaps for himself or as a slight jab to an ex girlfriend. Who knows. The lines poked out at me today when I was listening.

My parents were hippies. It's probably obvious by their selection in children's music. Although my kindergarten teacher was also a hippie because she made us sing "Chicken Soup with Rice," nearly every morning. In fact, it was this song which brought me great comfort in kindergarten. I already knew the song from listening to it in my playroom. Since I couldn't use scissors and I was painfully shy and already labeled as slow, the song was one thing that allowed me to feel OK about the transition from home to school. I knew the song and the other kids did not. It's as if Carole King had followed me to school to make everything all better.

And she's followed me to Austin. My sister burned the CD and I carried it around in my bag for months before finally uploading it yesterday. And then I was stuck with Carole and Rosie on Avenue P. And I couldn't leave. Not even when life and normalcy forced me from the house and into normal social conversations. I wanted to stay on Avenue P. I wanted to hear the crackle of the vinyl as it echoed off my messy playroom walls. I wanted to feel the cold of the unfinished concrete basement floor. I wanted to smell the dried play doh on the table. I wanted to grab my toy tambourine and put on my mother's heels and sing at the top of my lungs. "I'm a star from afar. Off the golden coast. Beat the drum! Make that toast! To Rosie the Most!" I wanted to see if I could figure out where it all went wrong. I wanted to know if Carole King remembered what I forgot. I wanted to see if she could make it all better again.