About Me

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New York, New York, United States
"Life isn't divided into genres. It's a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mixtape # I lost track (pun intended!)

Since Blogger removed my Phoenix post (the dastardly wretches) I feel the need to post something music-related. This is kind of a cop-out but it's just a tracklisting of my latest mixtape.

1. Matt and Kim - Daylight
2. Thirteen Senses - Into the Fire
3. Ben Gibbard with Feist - Train Song
4. Bon Iver - Brackett, WI
5. Air France - No Excuses
6. Coconut Records - Nighttiming
7. Empire of the Sun - Walking on a Dream
8. Fridge - Cutup Piano & Xylophone
9. Greenskeepers - 15 Minutes
10. Jack Conte with Aphex Twin - Bright Eyes cover
11. Mason Proper- Lock and Key
12. Passion Pit - Sleepyhead
13. RAC - Sleeping Lessons
14. The Broken West - Auctioneer
15. The Way It Is - At the Party
16. TM Juke - Life, Rain, Fall
17. Ulrich Schnauss - Suddenly the Trees are Giving Way
18. Venice is Sinking - Ryan's Song

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


It's been a good day :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Line of Beauty

21-year-old Nick Guest has graduated from Oxford and is moving in with the Feddens, a wealthy family of London society, whose patriarch is a member of parliament. It is 1983 and Nick is venturing shyly into homosexual forays while avidly pursuing and admiring the glamour of high society.

This book is astounding. From Hollinghurst's complicated spill of sentences, the reader is introduced to the glittering, yet sickly superficial world of the London elite. Nick is at the center of it all, at first as a shy and awkward naif, and then transformed into a preening "don" as he learns to mimic the airs and graces of the wealthy. He fondly believes he is pursuing this "line of beauty" by become one of the elite, but is unaware of the inherent crassness of these people. He is blinded by their charm, their false lustre.

While reading this book, it came upon me suddenly that the pursuit of beauty is an admirable thing, no matter what you believe beauty to be defined as. However, it cannot be denied that beauty cannot and will not return the favor. What you find to be beautiful is generally aloof, cold, and far-and-away. Think of a vista of sweeping mountains, a moving song, even a beautiful person....you're never very warmed by the beauty..in fact it almost provides a cold chill -- it is deeply alluring, yes -- but still heartbreaking in the knowledge that it is unattainable.

This was the message I gleaned from Hollinghurst's wonderful story. And never did I feel preached at...Hollinghurst wrapped his conceptioins in gossamer layers of wit, subtlety and delicious humor. A book worthy of many re-reads and most certainly worthy of the Man Booker Prize.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Coney Island video circa 1905

This video is both intriguing and highly amusing at the same time. (Especially when the ladies all pile into the "charabanc" and open their parasols.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Excerpt II

From "Homeless"

I wake again in an unfamiliar room. It’s dark. I’m on a soft mattress. There’s dusky blue light seeping in from behind the heavy drapes to my left. I sit up in bed and realize I feel better than I’ve felt in months. I smile. I’m dressed in a soft, cotton nightie. Swinging my legs off the bed, I encounter a pair of cushy purple slippers adorned with yellow pansies. I slip my feet in and smile wider. I flick on the lamp by my bed and look around the room. All the furniture is a deep and rich mahogany; the bed I’m sitting on is a four-poster covered in a butter-yellow spread. The carpet looks creamy and thick. I pad quietly over to the window and draw back the gold drapes. A sliding glass door is before me, leading out to a small balcony. I step out.

The summer night air is soft, warm. I look out into the distance and my breath is momentarily taken away. It’s as if all of Central Park and Manhattan is before me. The sun is setting in vivid streaks of ambers, maroons and flashing gold against the backdrop of the deepening azure sky and the winking lights of the Manhattan skyscrapers. The tips of the tallest trees are lit with the flames of the dying sun; the depths of the park enveloped in gloom. From this high, even the ever-present din of the city is muted; lovely almost in its ceaseless rushing. A waterfall of sound made to caress the ears.

A sudden color catches my eye. The dual lights of the Empire State Building flashes on. Blue and white these past few summer weeks. Soon to be blue, white and red as July nears. The warm breeze plays lightly with my hair and kisses my bare shoulders.

I lean with my elbows on the balcony for countless minutes, drinking in the beauty. My life in New York has been one of heightlessness. I am constantly grounded, drawn to the earth by my poverty and wretchedness. Some mornings, I wake up burrowed beneath newspapers, old jackets; entrenched in the very earth, it seems. Momentary respite is gained from crossing bridges, but even then, I often feel the city looming luridly above me, threatening to swallow me whole. Here on this balcony, I feel as if I own the city. All of its wonders and filth and degradation and humanity and noise and splendor. It’s all mine.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Which way to the D?

Hahaha, don't worry. You could go any direction and find the D train.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The World According to Garp

The World According to Garp begins with the decision of Jenny Fields to have a child in a most unorthodox manner. She's indifferent toward men and derives no pleasure from the thought of married life. Therefore, she endeavors to impregnate herself in a manner where she will never again have to contend with a man. And thus, TS Garp is born. Garp grows up to be a writer. The rest of the novel is peppered with a few of his "short" stories meant to give the reader insight into Garp's own peculiar intuitions.

My lame "synopsis" really didn't do justice to this amazing novel. I first read it at 18 and now at 25, I find that the book has much more meaning and substance. The best thing about Irving's writing is that he's so blithely WEIRD. His characters say and do the strangest things, however, Irving is probably the only author that writes so true to life. Garp and all the other main characters are almost painfully real and you can't help but form a keen attachment to them.

As Irving says in his introduction, this novel is his way to express a father and husband's many fears. Death, loss, sorrow, rape, infidelity are all wrapped up in this whopper of a novel but it reads at a truly wonderful, breakneck pace.