Lady Gaga, Daryl Hannah, “Rocks”

  1. Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster
    purchased 5/5/17, released 2009
    special picture disc edition
    Side A

    Listening to records again in my new apartment—that I’ve had since 2012—changed my relationship with music more than Spotify did. For years music had been albums, first on vinyl, then on cassette, then on CD, then on itunes.  For me it was always albums. Sometimes I purchased a single or even off of itunes a single song. Being practical it never made sense to buy only the song if the whole album only cost a few dollars more, even if, after listening it turned out every other song was terrible.Then came itunes to ruin the record industry.  Not because people found napster and other methods of getting music for free, but because every time I updated my itunes software, (which itunes FORCES me to do. I HAAAAATE every update that has ever happened to itunes. I mean there has to be some sort of advertising deal that FORCES me to look at the album cover instead of just viewing the artist name. WHAT THE FUCK? Let me make that decision. Do not force me to look at it. It’s MUSIC. And the album cover might be art, but that’s not the art I’m purchasing. If I want to look at the cover art I will. don’t waste space on my devices for artwork I’m not interested in.  I just want to listen to it. So shitty and marketing.) itunes deletes all my music, can’t find the path to it anymore, AND more importantly deletes all of the content of the playlists.  I have about 60 playlists with no songs in them. Really Apple? You can invent a device that can tell traffic all around the world and you can’t write a recovery program for songs in playlists? Come on.
    Now there is Spotify, where we hear music. If it’s not on Spotify, we don’t. Lemonade?  What’s that?
    So now I never bother to purchase music except in album form. I sit home read or write and stack up a bunch of records on my old stacking record player, sometimes all Bach, or all Elvis Costello, and sometimes a whole bunch of stuff mixed up.
    I have never considered purchasing a Lady Gaga record; picking up this one at Bene’s surprised me. Did I fall for the picture disc? I AM a sucker for packaging. Hintron told me I didn’t have to pay for it if it didn’t play on my oldie machine.
    But it does.
    And it’s GREEEEEEAT.
    long live pop music and fabulous women

  2. Daryl Hannah, R.I.P.
    1998 Ford Ranger Splash Edition, December 12, 2012- April 6, 2017
    dh on truck

I bought Daryl Hannah in a fever. In the two months since the hurricane and the death of Red Car, I’d been vehicleless, while being homeless and then moving onto Coffey street apartment. At night, I’d sit on my cold air mattress and bid on Ford Rangers on ebay. Most of them were going for $8000 or more so the $3400 I paid for DH didn’t seem like much until Dogsill and I drove up there to pick her up. Rusted, broken, smelling like a 1980s crack den of cigarettes, and already showing her electrical problem, she’d been hard used and not cared for at all.
The purple bubble lettered “SPLASH” on her side would go tomorrow, I said right then. Instead, by the time I arrived at Chuck’s birthday party I already knew to call her Daryl Hannah and it was going to work.

In the last five years I’ve driven her to Minneapolis twice, to Buffalo countless times. She’s been to DC and to West Virginia, and to Chicago. She’s driven through rivers and through snow.  Her flatbed has been my campsite many an night. I will miss sleeping there.
Perhaps you will be an organ doner; maybe just your tires.
RIP old truck.

3.  Rock Climbing at Brooklyn Boulders
http://brooklynboulders.com/brooklyn/
April 5, 2017 Brooklyn Boulders on Degraw Street

What the fuck is going on in between 3rd and 4th Ave in Gawanus? There is a Crossfit, and something that looks exactly like a Crossfit but who knows what it is called. A giant fencing place, a yoga place and then the Brooklyn boulders, where nerds go to climb.
It’s pretty fun. If you’re into that kind of indoors that you pay for thrills.  Better than say a rollercoaster or something, because you have to climb up yourself, and it’s scary and when you do it you feel kinda proud but not tough and definitely not tuff.
The problem with places like this—and the shuffleboard place and all the rest of the adorable easy indoor sports for new York city is that they are for people who aren’t interesting enough to be entertained by their own minds.
I don’t hate this. It’s probably better than yoga and the rest of the bullshit one has to do to stay fit if you live in a city, but so darn uncool. And unpretty. Probably one could do the clothes so they weren’t all pink and neon, our instructor, Stacy wore tasteful gray, but colors indicate the difficulty of the rock climb.
I haven’t grokked this yet; it’s a puzzle, not a sport. That’s the first thing to understand. Or maybe a game. Like a crossword, bowling, or golf. Not about essential athleticism, but about learning the challenge—unlike real rock climbing where it’s man against nature—figuring out how to climb a manmade structure.
So this gets a yes, but I only went because Glo won a gift certificate, you know, because climbing is for nerds. There was a kid who worked at the wine store who went every night, but he’d just moved to New York and had no friends. There are a lot of people climbing, and it’s definitely the kind of place where one would make friends, so it’s social.
If I do stop drinking maybe I become a climbing nerd, though staying home and reading sounds more fun.

Everyone’s a Critic

  1. David Howe’s “Everyone’s a Critic” Class at Pioneerworks
    April 4, 2017
    https://pioneerworks.org/education/everyones-critic-writing-reflex/I’m a fan of David Howe as a person; he’s always provides some insightful commentary when I run into him around the neighborhood, more bombastic in the late night at the Ice and more erudite during lunchtime at the Fort, though I’m not sure the content might be interchangeable if not the tone, so taking his class at Pioneerworks—the first class I’ve wanted to take there—seemed like it would be a good way to get me thinking and writing more critically about art. (And by critically I don’t necessarily mean negatively—although I often hate, I love just as often—I mean by using strong words to express thoughtful ideas, not just childish nos.) I think that I’m pretty good at this, expressing why I feel what I do, but sometimes I think it can come out as just—as the cokehead/lawyer says “being a hater.”
    I don’t know anything about contemporary art. Each month ArtForum arrives and I look through about half of it and then get overwhelmed by the pile of magazines. If I wanted to know more I could, I think, so why don’t I? A lot of it is free. Just go see it. Perhaps I will commit because of this class.
    I don’t know what I expected, but I have found several times that taking a class like this, involving students choosing to take a class for personal interest instead of necessity, that the breadth of the students impresses me more than any at Columbia. I don’t know why this surprises me; It’s New York Fucking City after all. Smart people in this class. Effective insight.
    I think it’s going to be good.
  2. S-Town Podcast by Brian Reed and This American Life
    April 4, 2017 (released March 28.) Episodes 1, 2, and half of 3
    https://stownpodcast.org/Ok, I’m into it.
    So this isn’t going to be anything but one or two observations so far, because it’s going somewhere, right? It’s telling enough of a story that we know is not the story that we’re drawn in, but why?
    Reed introduces S-town by saying a guy, John, contacted him with several newsy horror items from his hometown in Alabama and thinks someone should come investigate this. Reed blows it off, but does look into the stories, one that a police officer has been arresting women and then sexually assaulting them, either on the side of the road or in jail, the other that a rich kid killed another person in a bar fight and got away with it. When he confirms that the first story is true, he is intrigued, not because it’s totally fucked up that women are getting systematically raped and/or assaulted like its fucking Santa Maria from fucking 2666 (read: Juarez, Mexico) but because it might mean the crank writing the letters could know about a real murder.
    Now, I’m coming from watching 2 straight weeks of Buffy  so I’m pretty numb to “fictional” death, so maybe I don’t think one white trash guy beating another white trash guy to death in a bar fight is as big of a deal as A SERIES OF WOMEN BEING SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BY ONE POLICE OFFICER AND MANY PEOPLE KNOWING ABOUT IT AND IT NOT BEING STOPPED.
    Fuck you and your casual misogyny. The story barely even registers with Reed. It’s like he’s been told that there was a teenager stealing condoms from the Duane Reade who is getting away with it no big deal.
    The world really thinks it’s more outrageous that two inbred idiots beat each other and one of them perhaps died–even if it sounds like both of them earned death–than that a person with a gun systematically raping innocent women?
    The “murder” interests Reed, not the other story, although we can tell from episode one that the podcast is not about a murder—or that murder, I am only on episode 3—it’s about John.  About John and the wacky ways of the white trash in Alabama?  Is that what I’m hearing? Because I think I might be watching daytime TV, just told with an NPR voice.  And we know what I think of NPR.  I’m not sure yet.
    Like I said, I’m only on episode 3.
  3. Bruce Springsteen, Born To Run
    Book and audiobook. Read April 5, 2017, listened to the beginning last week
    http://brucespringsteen.net/news/2016/springsteens-autobiography

    My sister checked this out of the library in Santa Cruz a couple of weeks ago and texted me how good it was, so I ordered it to the Red Hook library; (I’m getting good at using the BPL for fun books, not just history books.) Anyway, the day I picked it up, I ran into StJ and showed him what I am reading, him being a Jersey boy and all, and he said: Great Idea, but I think I’ll listen o the audiobooks so I can listen to the Boss read it.

    They’re different experiences and I wasn’t sure how I wanted my Born to Run experience to go, especially because I meant to share it with Molly, who had read it.
    I do feel glad I listened to Bossypants, and Springsteen’s career is about his voice.
    So I got the audiobook, too.

    Kinda wish I hadn’t.

    Because, in the first three sentences he says he grew up “literally in the bosom of the catholic church.”
    Except that the church was two blocks away.
    I know he’s a rockstar, not a grammarian. But come on.
    I KNOW the literally issue is a boring old issue for word nerds, I know one of the dictionaries, I hope it’s just Webster’s and not the OEC, put literally in to mean, i don’t know, whatever the fuck lazy people want it to mean, but it still means literally and not “kinda.”

    Because if words don’t mean anything then they mean nothing.
    I know it’s a conceit that we have agreed that this symbol: “3” means the number three (and can get more metaphysical than that.).  But if literally means anything it means exactly that one thing.  The Catholic Church doesn’t have a “literal” bosom. Women can’t even be fucking priests. And we won’t even get into the idiocy that the only woman Catholics consider good was the one who never had sex and somehow got herself knocked up anyway. I don’t know why anyone is even considering this malarkey.  But,  I would let him have it, “literally the bosom of the Catholic Church” if he were raised by nuns or something. Which he wasn’t.

    So maybe if I had read it, and I hadn’t heard his voice say “literally” out loud, I might have not been so put off by the use of literally when he meant nothing. He could have just used the bad metaphor and skipped the adverb.
    …But then…
    What the fuck is up with all the flowery language in this book?  I know he’s the boss, but is he a really bad writer? I’d figure him for some laconic Raymond Chandler or  bad? I’m only to the chapter when he first sees Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show, but that’s a bad chapter.
    and Caterwauling? The Boss does not use the word “caterwauling.”
    Unless….unless that was something his mother yelled at him, which isn’t impossible.  His mother was a legal secretary; she probably had a decent vocabulary.
    The jury is out.