Thursday, December 23, 2004

A Hodgepodge of Miscellany

I've been a lazy bastard and therefore haven't been able to put together a coherent enough thought to put together a proper blog, so I thought I'd just do some spitballin' and give a random sampling of the last few weeks inside my melon. I can't promise that it will be as brilliant as Larry King's USA Today column, but what young writer could be expected to reach the prosaic altitude of that literary jabberwocky? Wanna hear it? Here it go:

+ I have watched the movie Dodgeball at least 8 times in the last 14 days. I assure you I am not exaggerating. I saw it in the theater the second or third week it was out and I loved it. Then I rented it and all the good jokes came back. But after the half-dozenth time, I'm catching nuances I never really caught before. You probably think I'm an idiot, and you're not wrong, but I think Dodgeball is destined for cult classic status. Interesting tidbit: the director, Rawson Marshall Thurber, also directed the brilliant "Terry Tate: Office Linebacker" commercials for Reebok.

+ Our fortnight of dominance and Clark's Ale House trivia Wednesdays came to an end today. We had tied for first place the last two weeks, but tonight we were undone by a holiday theme with a positively bah-humbug team. We had some key mistakes, but we still hung tough. Plus, we got to drink good beer cheaply in a great bar. Team BoHall will return and we will be angry.

+ A CD I have been listening to a lot is The Creek Drank the Cradle by Iron and Wine. Apparently Iron and Wine isn't a group and isn't two guys named Mike Iron and Steve Wine. It's one dude (I think his name is Sam Beam) and his first album sounds like it was recorded as a 4-track demo, but the music and the songwriting is just gorgeous. Lots of songs with a folky southern sound that is not twangy at all. Just beautiful. It captures such a sense of loss and loneliness, but also faint hope. I don't have the latest album, Our Endless Numbered Days, yet, but I can't wait to get it. It reminds me, if this makes any sense at all, of "All the Real Girls," a beautiful film directed by David Gordon Green (and to a lesser extent, the same director's "George Washington"). Southern, but not fraught with down-home cliches or phony bombast. It's gentle and taps into real-life emotions. The south is only a setting for universal anguish in the film and the album, not a contrived character in and of itself.

+ I'm back into "black person" rap. For a while I was hardcore into the "backpacker" school, which basically meant white people rapping. Your Sage Francis, your Eyedea and Abilities, your Aesop Rock, Anticon, Buck 65, what have you. I still really like it, but for a while I was shunning the other stuff for this breed of whiteboy hip hop (and if you mention the letters M&M to me, I'll tell you to get the fuck out of my face, rookie). I was in a more cerebral place then, lyrically. Now, I'm back into the grooves and into the anger that I grew up with. It feels good to be back.

+ The new year always makes me feel cautiously optimistic. I feel so much hope, so much excitement every January 1. I'm not sure why, but I always have. 2003 was categorically great for me, so I knew that it had to take a downturn in '04, which it did to a certain extent. 2004 is probably the most eventful year of my life, in terms of major events, both good and bad. It's been a real whirlwind over the last 12 months, and I can't believe how fast it's gone. I really hope I can get my bearings back in 2005, because I feel very off-kilter right now, like I'm in limbo somehow. It's as if someone threw a ball up in the air, and right now I'm at the apex, only to come down on one side or the other. Sounds like a horoscope, I know, but that's where I am. I'm excited and terrified at what 2005 has lined up for me.

+ Arrested Development is clearly the best show on TV. Nothing else is even close, in my opinion. The episode a few weeks ago where everyone was walking like Charlie Brown with their heads down was comic genius.

+ Our basketball team had a strong showing the other night. We did lose by 15, but we were respectable in every phase of the game. Our defense and rebounding is much improved, our ball-movement is exponentially better, communication is improving. Here are our problems, still: only a couple of true shooters on the team, severe height disadvantage, some ball-handling errors (though that's been offset somewhat by our strong passing of late). We aren't getting bullied inside anymore, we're much more physical, and our transition game is improving, though still not great. We won our first game last week by forfeit, but we're improving and playing is starting to become fun again.

+ I think I spend far too much time in front of a computer. I do it all day at work, and then I come home and much of the time I'm back on it here. I'm not a computer freak or anything, but instead of watching tv or something after work, I find myself feeling much more at home at the keyboard. Maybe it's making me asocial and depressed to a certain extent, but I can't seem to stop it. I mean it's fifteen minutes until 1AM on a school night and I'm still on this damn thing, aren't I?

+ I'm going bald and I'm getting old. This makes Billy very unhappy. I have a good head for baldness, I'll always say, but I don't want to rush it. I wish I could afford Rogaine or one of those damn hair-grower products, but I'm sure I couldn't. This upcoming in a month and a half will be my last birthday in my 20s. That is a sobering reality for me. I remember my 20th birthday, never thought back then that I'd be where I am now, for better or worse. I'm too young for a mid-life crisis, but maybe I'm having one. Being out of shape doesn't help. I wish there was a way to hate food. Maybe if I start cooking it myself...

+ I have to be up in six hours, and right now, that doesn't feel like a lot. I wish I was already asleep...


d. dunford said...

You used the word "spitballin'" and the phrase "prosaic altitude of that literary jabberwocky" within a sentence of each other. Dunford approved.

I've only heard "Naked As We Came" by Iron and Wine, which was a free download from I dug it. How does the rest of the album stack up in relation? I keep meaning to see "All The Real Girls" but haven't had the chance.

I picked up a DVD which you would appreciate: definitely, check out "Bill Hicks Live." You'd get it, methinks - makes me wish I lived closer so I could lend my copy to you and have someone to talk to about it.

Bills rule!

Bill said...

The best Iron and Wine songs to download if possible (legally, of course) are 1) Bird Stealing Bread, 2) Southern Anthem, 3) Upward Over the Mountain, 4) Promising Light and 5) Cinders and Smoke (new album). I don't know if you're familiar with Hayden, but it's like his low-key music, but more folky. And the voice is much much more low key, like he's almost whispering it. It's a very good album, but all the songs sound exactly the same. I don't mind that, though.

I do like Bill Hicks, I have an old CD of his (one track, probably downloaded from the internet) and it's pretty good, but I know his material is really really funny. I think he's 1000x better than someone like David Cross or George Carlin when it comes to quasi-political humor. Too bad he's dead now.

Bill said...

Oh yes, and the Bills DO rule. I'm praying for a playoff spot. Never in my wildest dreams did I think they would salvage the season to this extent. If they make the playoffs, a full blog post will be a-comin'.

d. dunford said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
d. dunford said...

You should see the DVD. Seriously, Bill, it's right up your alley.

I just wrote this entire post about how I've been drinking and was worried that you didn't read it, but then I hit the "refresh" button, and whammo, there was your response. So, to summarize and revise, I do NOT hate you, and do indeed sympathize with your baldness concerns.

Then again, why wouldn't I sympathize with your baldness concerns? Ye gods, my hairline started receding at 19. It's been 8 years since, and I'm easily as sexy as I was when it started leaving me (which is, to say, not at all).

I saw "Life Aquatic" this evening. Your thoughts?