Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Make It So: Like Jean-Luc

It is a widely known fact that I have the best friends in the world. You probably think your friends are pretty great, but I guarantee mine are better. Here is some proof. Last week, Marissa came over for the Do-It Club and told me to close my eyes and hold out my hands. And this, my internet friends, is what she placed in them.

I yelped like Coco the chihuahua does when she sees a lap she has access to. Marrissa was looking through the Strand's clearance shelves and found this treasure: a non-fiction book on how to manage your business or your life or something by using the example Jean-Luc Piccard, captain of the Enterprise in Star Trek: the Next Generation. 

I fucking love Star Trek: the Next Generation. I love it because I watched it as a youngster. I even got some action figures from Santa one year. My dad still has them somewhere in his ridiculous mansion. In all seriousness, trying to divorce myself from nostalgic feelings, I think this is a really good show!

It's interesting to watch now in the golden age of television, where protagonists from Don Draper to Leslie Knope are deeply flawed and often making huge mistakes. It is refreshing, even if it is a little old-fashioned, to have a main character who always has a clear sense of right and wrong. The show could easily be preachy and moralizing, but somehow it's not. Also it has Worf, who is awesome.

Here is the table of contents:

And the nerds who wrote it:

When I was leafing through for it and there were two pictures in it!

I'm not sure if the dude in the pictures is the same dude. Well, it's the same dude in this instance: 

Where are these people where they are getting a formal-ish portrait taken while wearing Hawaiian shirts? I do like how they're in space though. It's appropriate considering where I found them. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Put It On Repeat

I have both an addictive personality and a short attention span. I get stuck in patterns where I become super obsessed with something for a short period of time and then lose interest. It could be a television show, a food, sheets made out of a cotton alternative .... you name it. A couple of years ago there was a span of about six months where I only wanted to listen to Blur and eat spaghetti. And that was also all I wanted to talk about. I am surprised by the end of it I made it through with any friends left.

Here is a short list of things that I have been super into since the beginning of 2012: Ranch dressing, The Hunger Games (Team Peeta), this super caffeinated tea that you're supposed to abstain from if you are pregnant, DrawSomething, Star Trek: The Next Generation, ZombieFarm, rice krispie treats, Pearl Jam, and this video.

The area where this obsessive/throw-away paradigm shows itself most clearly is music. I tend to find a song and then, for lack of a better phrase, listen to the fuck out of it. So here, in no particular order, is a taste of some songs I have kept on repeat at some point in the past three years or so.

"Love Interruption" by Jack White

This is the most recent song I've had stuck on repeat. I had forgotten how awesome Jack White is. This song is the perfect balance of romantic and gross, Baudelaire for the 21st century.

"Give Me Just a Little More Time" by the Chairmen of the Board 

This song is sort of the opposite of "Love Interruption" in a lot of ways. I love it on its own merits, but it is special to be because of a moment I shared with a couple of my friends last fall. Jens Lekman samples in the "Opposite of Hallelujah" and the last time we saw him live,  he did a mash up and cute lil' dance to it. It was so sweet and perfect, I thought my heart was going to explode. And if it had, I would have been fine with it. What a great way to go!

Also, this song is now featured in a Swiffer commercial, so you can listen to a truncated version occasionally on television! And Kylie Minogue did a terrible cover it in the '90s for some reason!

"Mad Redder" by Yeasayer 

I can't really articulate elegantly why I like this song. Also, the video is upsetting in a way that I have time articulating.

"Lust for Life" by Girls

I love this band so much. I'm putting up a live version because the official video for this looks like an ad for a version of Instagram that is only available to inhabitants of converted lofts in Bushwick. It distracts from how lovely, sad, and weirdly hopeful the song is.

"Love You Like a Mad Man" by the Wave Pictures 

I made my mom a mix CD a couple years ago and included this song. She was like "I love this song! Why have none of my friends heard of this band?" and I was like, "First of all, none of your friends are cool. They are Dutch engineers, which might be the least cool people in the world. And secondly, I saw them by accident in a small venue in Montreal, so it's not like they are famous." The circumstance in which I discovered this band is best described as a hipster circle jerk: 
  1. We were in Montreal. 
  2. We went because this guy my friend Anya knows wanted to see the band that opened for them, which he claimed was his favorite band. He missed seeing both bands because he was out seeing a third band. I asked him if he had seen his supposed favorite band before, he was like, "Of course not! This is the first time they have played live ever!"
  3. The guy from 2 was wearing an ironic sweater featuring an aquatic mammal and we met him eating vegan BLTs. 

Anyway, this is one of my favorite kinds of love songs. The message is basically, "I love you a lot, but I am not exactly good at life right now. Sorry, I guess? I'll get you a nice present if I ever get a hold of some cash." Also, when we saw the Wave Pictures playing, they caught us giggling at the lyrics and giggled back at us. And as I stated numerous times in the past, I love a grown man who giggles. 

"Joan of Arc" by OMD 

I love myself some esoteric early '80s synth-based shit. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark did such a great job with it! And despite being a bunch of very old men from Britain, they put on one of the best shows I saw last year. Their most famous song might have been really sentimental, but their best songs are about history and science and telecommunications. 

"Swim Until You Can't See Land" by Frightened Rabbit 

Frightened Rabbit makes the best sad songs, but this isn't one of them. I like songs that has a "You can do anything" message, but still assumes you will fail because I like contradictions and being sad. I also like imaging what it would like to actually swim until you can't see land. I'd most likely drown and die. The last time I attempted to swim in sea water, the waves literally knocked me over and pulled off my swim bottoms. And I was about 15 feet from shore. 

Special Fleetwood Mac Section!!!

I have been listening to Fleetwood Mac almost exclusively for about a month. I can't really explain, but I was reading this really awesome book called I Love Dick, which is sort of a memoir about how this woman instantly falls in love with an acquaintance named Dick. She and her husband become creepily obsessed with her new feelings and it all ends weirdly. It seemed like Fleetwood Mac would be an appropriate soundtrack to it. And I've been experiencing a "Mac Attack" ever since. It got so bad at one point, on a Friday night, I made two of my best buds watch Behind the Music: Stevie Nicks on YouTube with me. Molly Jane fell asleep in the middle of it.