The Birthday Post, Part Two

This blog has a proud tradition whereby, anytime it’s my birthday, I’m allowed to drop the usual contrived charade of trying to contextualize whatever it is I want to write about and just present it as is. Thus…

Once my friend and I were watching the The Silence of the Lambs and commenting on how riveting the acting is in exchanges like this one between Anthony Hopkins and Jody Foster (click image for clip):

Suddenly, we got preoccupied by trying to image the worst two actors to cast for the role, those whose talents (or lack thereof) would most detract from the dramatic suspense. “Heather Locklear…” my friend suggested. “… And William Shatner!” I countered. I wish I had the time. energy and savvy to create a knock-off version of the above clip with Hannibal Lecter’s lines delivered in Shatner’s halting, hammy, melodramatic delivery: “THE SILENCE……….. of the lambs”.

Similarly, the only time I went to Burning Man (2004), we dutifully trooped over to watch the Man being burned, but found it off-puttingly sanctimonious and high-handed (again, click for clip):

Particularly, the new-agey, nouveau-Tibetan music being played in the background seemed to be laying it on a bit thick. After a while, to lighten the mood, we started discussing what would be the most inappropriate, mood-ruining music to pipe in through thousands of mega-watts, eventually settling on “The Heat Is On” by Glenn Fry. Subsequently, we discovered that people at Burning Man really, really don’t like it if you continuously shriek with laughter while the Man is being burned.

So, there’s my birthday wish for this year: some personal, metaphysical YouTube where these two clips exist side-by-side.

Personal Jesus?

My wife handed me three CDs from her teenage collection last night and asked, “Which one of these do you want our son to listen to in the car?” (She’s going nuts listening to the same album of kiddie songs over and over again, thus wants to introduce some variety). The options:

A. The Who’s Greatest Hits
B. Suzanne Vega
C. Depeche Mode

After a moment of serious reflection, I heard myself saying, “Depeche Mode. I want my one year-old son to ride around town listening to Depeche Mode.”

Vintage jazz covers, part four

Here’s the final installment of those classic jazz covers, another round of photo-based designs. There’s a lot to like here, but my favorite thing has to be the woodcut pelican overprinted on top of photo for Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All-Stars (whoever they were).

Also, it’s a shame that Jack Jones’ “I’ve Got A Lot Of Livin’ To Do” contains too many words to qualify for TK’s First and Probably Only 6-word Memoir Contest.

So long, old friend

For my money, Berlin is the best place around. A friend of mine who lives there was once describing the feeling of relief that comes over him every time he returns to Berlin after a trip– that “Ahhhh, I’m home” sensation. I thought about this for a second and said, “Actually, I feel that way and I don’t even live there.” There’s just something about the place that feels so comfortable– for a city that was once the worldwide headquarters of Evil, it sure has gotten awful hospitable in recent years. Plus, there’s tons of cool cultural stuff going on. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you about much of it because I almost never wake up before 2pm when I’m there… but it’s heartening to know that its there anyway.

Two things I did manage to do while I was there: get a burrito at the Mission-themed Tacqueria Dolores, and buy a new wallet. Here’s the spent husk of the old wallet…

… and here it is sitting next to a mostly-eaten Tacqueria Dolores burrito, having just been officially decommissioned (I did the switcheroo to new wallet while eating the burrito):

There’s nothing that you put so little time into selecting but then wind up spending so much time with as a wallet. This sad, battered one had been with me since 2004 (?) and has gradually deteriorated into the leather equivalent of a wet paper bag, loosely enwrapping its contents. When a 1000 crown note nearly fluttered out of it a few weeks ago at the beer garden, I decided it was time for a change.

Having tired of a the default black leather look, I selected a more jaunty one this time around, black with red stitching and a zippered change purse area (this is a big deal for me, as having too much change slushing in my pockets is a constant condition in my life and one that I feels undermines my general credibility). Granted, it’s a bit womanly. In fact, I think it is a woman’s wallet. But I feel good about it so far, and think that this new era of my life is off to a promising start.

Now, if only I hadn’t left my house keys in Berlin…