Archive for the interesting things that caught my attention Category

A Long Sentence from a Renounced Novel

Posted in Books, interesting things that caught my attention, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , , on 11/13/2012 by alex c

“And if sometimes Hebdomeros let himself be too trusting, that signified neither that he was an innocent nor a fanatic; he wanted to believe: he forced himself to believe that such and such a man was intelligent; and then he solemnly stated so among his friends and acquaintances and tried to dupe himself; and yet he knew that in reality it was not just exactly like that; among those with the anxious irritated expressions, among those impotent and annoyed intellectuals who feared and hated irony and true talent and haunted certain cafés where they arrived carrying under their arms, like a relic, the latest volume of their favorite poet, who was inevitably and like them impotent, sterile and constipated, and in whom they recognized themselves perfectly, but whom a benign fate and a combination of circumstances had brought into prominence, giving him the swet illusion of fame, those who then placed the adored volume, printed in a few numbered copies, of which the middle of each page of Japanese vellum was disfigured by two or three short lines of pseudoesoteric foolishness and pretentious twaddle, in all those whom he recognized at once by certain exterior signs which never failed him, in all these manufacturers of superfluous art and literature, men with suspicious expressions, whose mouths had never laughed with candor, Hebdomeros sensed a binding; he sensed that a knot prevented them from moving their arms and legs freely, from running, climbing, jumping, swimming and diving, from recounting something with wit, from writing, painting—in a word, from comprehending.”

—Giorgio de Chirico, Hebdomeros

“Just Screwin Around”: King Buzzo On Writing

Posted in interesting things that caught my attention, math-rock, music, poetry, random with tags , , , , , on 05/13/2012 by alex c

The best laugh in the business.

Tuva or Bust: A Richard Feynman Adventure

Posted in interesting things that caught my attention, people to watch for, random, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 04/01/2012 by alex c

“Why I Laugh?” Poetry Readings & Audience Feedback

Posted in essays, interesting things that caught my attention, poetry, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 03/29/2012 by alex c

As both a co-host of a poetry reading series and someone who has lately attended a fair amount of readings, I’ve begun to notice certain reading trends. The most notable one, and one that more seasoned readers and reading-goers probably recognized long ago, is the inherent connectivity bias an audience develops with more humorous readers. At our Mental Marginalia reading last night, of our five readers, the work of three tended away from overt humor, often eschewing it entirely. The other two poets utilized it extensively, which isn’t to say they used it as a crutch, but it was a heavier element in a broad emotional mix. These latter two received the most immediate and obvious audience reaction (though all five readers received very positive reactions at the end of their “sets”).

This makes sense. People laugh at funny things, so there’s always a straightforward way to know what worked. When that element isn’t present, it’s much more difficult for an audience to outwardly demonstrate their affinity for a particular poem. People tend not to applaud after each poem – unless it’s totally mind-blowing – which I’ve always found a little bit too polite, but I think it also stems from the fact that if people did do that, it would be very obvious when something failed, whether intentionally funny or not.

Failure is a good thing, though. Continue reading

Or A Reasonably Close Approximation Thereof

Posted in interesting things that caught my attention, Lists, music, random with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 01/27/2012 by alex c

Haha, eight isn’t a very high number.

The alcohol content of this Double Bastard Ale I’m currently drinking is 10.5%.

I’m gonna go outside now.

Mankind for the Music of Wine Fresno

Posted in interesting things that caught my attention, music, poetry, random with tags , , , , on 01/19/2012 by alex c

I’ve Been Looking Busy for Years: A Memoir

Wine Fresno’s the king of this goddamn valley
thick tuft of parent hair
we on only uppers
and downers
Say it with arrogant sonofabitch
pouring off the end of your nose
All my memories have cottonmouth
*see p.8
You don’t need to comb, I’m doing that for you with my hands
you don’t need to cut your hair, soon enough I’ll have eaten it all
that’s about 13 years
worth of tea
Wine Fresno will get you high and let you know
Paul Provenza spelling bee champion
can’t a fella just dream of the idea of San Francisco?
Good ol’ Fidel Chavez
Soon I’ll have that patent for my spring-measuring machine
Pool of potential role models full of white collar workers
Hey hungry, got this ClifBar
The wrath of a bunch of epic
Wine Fresno sold naked pictures of your sister
on the internet
Good people, the kind you’d want to die
in an orgy with

New Musical Friends I Made In 2011

Posted in interesting things that caught my attention, Lists, math-rock, music, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 01/13/2012 by alex c

Near the end of 2011, as I was ruminating about my favorite albums of the previous three hundred fifty days, my thoughts couldn’t help but gravitate toward all the new older music I had been turned on to over the course of the year. A few months back, when I wasn’t working a whole lot, I got a little obsessive with my music cataloging and tagging. Once you get into the grit of that, you start to notice patterns in listening, in collecting, in traversing histories, et cetera. So when I decided to compile my own year-end-best list, I thought I would do a full post on some of the other new material that happened to be released during a previous calendar. Sure, I wanted to have this done over a week ago, but I’ve been both extraordinarily busy of late and it was also just fun to go back and have a bunch more listens to all this stuff. (I plan on continuing this practice, as it also happens to be a great memory aide.) So what follows is basically alphabetical accounting of my favorite non-2011 music I first heard in 2011.

AnacrusisManic Impressions (1990), CoronerMental Vortex (1991)

As far as I could tell, 2011 was a major year for two already-hot metal trends. So much of what made people’s year-end lists was either “doom”-y or “black[ened]” or some combo. I can’t say I eschewed those trends in my listening habits at all, but one thing I did do was some thrash history homework. At some point in late spring I got an old Voivod album I hadn’t yet heard, Dimension Hatross, that has since become my favorite in their catalog. Not long after that I got turned on to Swiss prog-thrashers Coroner. I had always been under the mistaken impression that these guys were a hair metal band, but whoa was I way wrong. A similar mistake was made with Anacrusis, whom I believed a crust band or something (c’mon, the name totally sounds like a crust band!). One could simply say Anacrusis were the American apex of this triad, so that’s what I’ll do. Both bands wrote technically-adept, yet infectious, songs with sweet guitar riffs (and solos!) and flow-savvy rhythm sections. No, I don’t really know what “flow-savvy” means, but I’m thinking melodic basslines that are interesting in their own right (Cliff Burton style) and drummers who never overdid the flash but were some happy [triangular] medium between Lars Ulrich’s technically-limited solidity, Dave Lombardo’s davelombardosity and a generalized math-tastic choppyness. Every metalhead worth her salt probably knew these two bands inside out already, so consider me “caught up” now. So good. Continue reading

Wanted: Oral Hygienist for Gift Horse Dentist

Posted in interesting things that caught my attention, music, poetry, random, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , , , , , , on 09/07/2011 by alex c

Everyone knew someone who had wandered aimlessly and ended up a jackass.

–Jennifer Michael Hecht, Doubt: A History

Oh, there they are, the sirens. I heard all the yelling, I can still hear it faintly. A couple hours ago there were two gunshots and then a dog barked. There’s no way to know, here in my apartment, whether the events were at all related. I still hear yelling, mostly young female voices. They could be having fun, the sirens have been muted if they’re still around. That was about two minutes ago. On a slightly different note, for the past few days I’ve been reading about Doubt yet listening to the music of metaphysical French Satanists. Don’t quiz me, I don’t understand metaphysics. I was never good enough at maths to get far in normal physics, but I at least understand the concepts. Except anything quantum, which we’re not supposed to understand, unless you’re a quack, in which case you can relate it to spiritual matters. And that brings us back to metaphysics, doesn’t it. Well, the yelling has ceased. Maybe somebody got stabbed. I’d rather not be stabbed, but I guess it’s not necessarily something I get to choose when it comes down to it. I get stabbed or I don’t get stabbed. Hopefully somebody yells.

Maine Blueberry Porn

Posted in interesting things that caught my attention, random, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , , on 09/05/2011 by alex c

My father picked these in an hour on our relatives’ ranch. I kinda hope that at some point in my life I am given the opportunity to swim in a giant vat of blueberries (Maine variety preferred). Then, after I’m done swimming, the blueberries are baked into sundry delectables that only I will eat because nobody wants to eat blueberries that I swam in. Everybody wins, but mostly I win.

The Gif that Keeps on Giffing

Posted in interesting things that caught my attention, people to watch for, random, the universe will wreck you with tags , , on 08/30/2011 by alex c