i've been reading short stories [writing]

[the zagat history of my last relationship // noah baumbach]

Bring a “first date” to this “postage stamp”-size bistro. Tables are so close you’re practically “sitting in the laps” of the couple next to you, but the lush décor is “the color of love.” Discuss your respective “dysfunctional families” and tell her one of your “fail-safe” stories about your father’s “cheapness” and you’re certain to “get a laugh.” After the “to die for” soufflés, expect a good-night kiss, but don’t push for more, because if you play your cards right there’s a second date “right around the corner.” [continue]

[a young girl in 1941 with no waist at all // j.d. salinger]
The young man in the seat behind Barbara at the jai alai games had leaned forward finally and asked if she were ill and if she would like to be escorted back to the ship. Barbara had looked up at him, had looked at his looks, and said yes, she thought, she would, thank you, that she did have kind of a headache, and that it certainly was awfully nice of him. Then they had stood up together and left the stadium, returning to the ship by taxi and tender. But before she had gone to her cabin on B deck, Barbara had said nervously to the young man: “Hey. I could just take an aspirin or something. I could meet you on the deck where the shuffleboard stuff is. You know who you look like? You look like a boy who was in a lot of West Pointy pictures with Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler and—when I was little. Never see him anymore. Listen. I could just take an aspirin. Unless you have something else—” The young man had interrupted her, saying, in so many words, that he had nothing else to do. Then Barbara had walked quickly forward to her cabin. She was wearing a red-and-blue striped evening gown, and her figure was very young and sassy. There were several years to go before her figure stopped being sassy and just became a very pretty figure. [continue]

[on seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful april morning // haruki murakami]
Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.

One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street.

"This is amazing," he said. "I've been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you're the 100% perfect girl for me."

"And you," she said to him, "are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I'd pictured you in every detail. It's like a dream."

They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It's a miracle, a cosmic miracle. [continue]

[the region of unlikeliness // rivka gilchen]
It’s not as if Jacob wasn’t lovable in his own abstruse and awkward way. I admired how much he read—probably more than Ilan, certainly more than me (he made this as clear as he could)—but Jacob struck me as pedantic, and I thought he would do well to button his shirts a couple buttons higher. Once, we were all at the movies—I had bought a soda for four dollars—and Jacob and I were waiting wordlessly for Ilan to return from the men’s room. It felt like a very long wait. Several times I had to switch the hand I was holding the soda in because the waxy cup was so cold. “He’s taking such a long time,” I said, and shrugged my shoulders, just to throw a ripple into the strange quiet between us.

“You know what they say about time,” Jacob said idly. “It’s what happens even when nothing else does.”

“O.K.,” I said. The only thing that came to my mind was the old joke that time flies like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana. I couldn’t bear to say it, so I remained silent. It was as if, without Ilan, we couldn’t even pretend to have a conversation.

There were, I should admit, things about Ilan (in particular) that didn’t make me feel so good about myself. For example, once I thought he was pointing a gun at me, but it turned out to be a remarkably good fake. Occasionally when he poured me a drink he would claim he was trying to poison me. One night I even became very sick, and wondered. Another evening—maybe the only time Jacob wasn’t with us; he said his daughter had appendicitis—Ilan and I lay on his mattress watching TV. For years, watching TV had made me sick with a sense of dissoluteness, but now suddenly it seemed great. That night, Ilan took hold of one of my hands and started idly to kiss my fingers, and I felt—well, I felt I’d give up the rest of my life just for that. Then Ilan got up and turned off the television. Then he fell asleep, and the hand-kissing never came up again. [continue]

LINK: most of salinger
LINK: and this about old j.d.


hanne hvattum [photography]

click them. words later...(?)


freeman transport [bikes]

freeman transport exists based on that old adage about doing something yourself because you want it done right. nathaniel freeman, an artist, and benjamin ferencz, a designer, don't like to leave home without their bikes, which is why their custom track frames are built to travel. each bike comes with an airport-friendly 26" x 26" custom waxed-leather travel bag made by billykirk, and can be fully assembled and disassembled using only one tool. if you can't splurge for the whip, they also sell t-shirts and wallets.

retroreflective bright bike [bikes]

from gizmodo:
michael mandiberg turned his ride into the bright bike by layering it with adhesive scotchlite 680, for a dark-as-the-batmobile look by day, and a safe reflective glow by night.
thanks, eric. ride safe dudes.

LINK: buy scotchlite 680 here


pilobolus [friends]

m. i think i see you...


merry christmas [video]


athens riots [photography]

riots rage on in athens following the fatal december 6 shooting of 15-year-old alexandros grigoropoulos by a police officer. click the photos to chase links. some are the same, roll over to sift.

LINK: a warning?
LINK: this and this (via btbn)


mug shots of the year [photography(?)]

words would only muck this up further.


silver jews on the future

yankees sign iraqi hurler

In their latest bid to beef up their pitching rotation for the 2009 season, the New York Yankees today signed Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi to a three-year deal worth $32 million.

The right-handed al-Zeidi, 28, impressed the Yankee scouts with his performance in Baghdad yesterday when he threw both of his shoes at President George W. Bush.

While neither of the shoes hit their target, both throws "had great velocity and good movement," said Yankee owner Hank Steinbrenner.

"The first shoe was high and outside but the second one was right down the middle," Mr. Steinbrenner said.

The Yankee boss said that he was also impressed with Mr. al-Zeidi's fighting spirit when Secret Service agents tackled him.

"That could come in handy when we have a series with Boston," he said.
(via huffpo)


taipei thundercat race II [photography // bikes]

mine aren't up yet, but click the photo for some good ones.


metal heart [video]

by kieth loutit.

r.i.p. bettie page


snowflakes (don't call it a winter playlist)

i miss looking out the window and seeing snow; there's something to be said for the metaphysics of scarves, hot chocolate, frosty windows, rosy cheeks, and the like. here's a different take on the snowflake...

DL: julie doiron - snowfalls in november
DL: mountain goats - snow song
DL: bob dylan - winterlude
DL: fleet foxes - white winter hymnal
DL: damien jurado - ghost in the snow
DL: arcarde fire - cold wind
DL: ra ra riot - winter '05
DL: au revoir simone - fallen snow
DL: animal collective - winters love

taipei thundercat race [bikes]



mercedes helnwein [art]

when i bring the pulp novel out of obscurity, i'm going to get mercedes helnwein to do my cover art.


adolf wolfli [books // art // insanity]

charles bukowski said, "john fante was my god." had he been lucid enough or worldly enough, in spite of his own fervent piety, henry darger might have paid similar homage to adolf wolfli. numerous parallels exist between the two debatable savants: as a patient at waldau, a swiss mental asylum, wolfli created a 25,000-page illustrated narrative that stretches from the fantasy of his afflicted past far into the future; darger, an extremely staunch recluse, generated more than 30,000 pages of autobiography and technicolor fiction accompanied by hundreds of illustrations and collage. click an image or the link above and expect to lose track of time.

LINK: not entirely unrelated
(via int)


wrapped up in books

i've been wading through book news and noise all morning. here's some:

l. gordon crovitz ponders the fate of great books in his wall street journal op-ed...
those who wonder about digital media shortening our attention spans usually fret about businesspeople glued to blackberrys or students multitasking through homework. for another measure of how our society has changed, consider this new-product launch from april 15, 1952:

the scene is glitzier than steve jobs releasing the latest iproduct: a black-tie gala in the jade room of new york's waldorf-astoria hotel, attended by rockefellers, vanderbilts and a representative of the queen of england. what's being launched? a 54-volume set of books, with 443 works by 74 authors totaling 32,000 pages of small type... [continue]

from 'fought over any good books lately?' (new york times)...
jocelyn bowie was thrilled by the invitation to join a book group. she had just returned to her hometown, bloomington, ind., to take an administration job at indiana university, and thought she had won a ticket to a top echelon. “i was hoping to network with all these women in upper-level jobs at i.u., then i found they were in the book group,” she said. “i thought, ‘great! they’ll see how wonderful i am, and we’ll have these great conversations about books.’ ”

ms. bowie cannot pinpoint the precise moment when disillusion replaced delight. maybe it was the evening she tried to persuade everyone to look beyond oprah winfrey’s picks, “and they all said ‘what’s wrong with oprah?’”[continue]

'best of' lists: new york times' top ten // washington post // the guardian // salon

DOWNLOAD: belle & sebastian - wrapped up in books [mp3]


jim denevan [art]

A // B

the avett brothers [music]

the avett brothers aren't afraid to keep it simple. as a result, they make good, honest, slow music. these are songs full of pleas, harmonizing, dumb luck, old girlfriends, subtle twang, flat tires, plunking, camp fires, sitting in cars in parking lots, smiling while singing, summer dresses. there's also a banjo; call that the kicker.

LINK: their space
DOWNLOAD: avett brothers - swept away [mp3]
DOWNLOAD: avett brothers - kind of in love [mp3]


today, mostly

free music! [music]

from matador.com:
our spring intended play label download sampler was a huge hit, so we’re doing it again. just like before, you get a track from one of each of our current and upcoming releases...get a zipped file of all 13 tracks plus front and back artwork, and burn it yourself (or just listen to it digitally).

track listing:

1. A.C. Newman - There Are Maybe Ten Or Twelve
2. Belle and Sebastian - The State I Am In (BBC Version)
3. Jennifer O’Connor - Here With Me
4. Shearwater - The Snow Leopard (Remastered)
5. Lou Reed - Caroline Says, Pt. II (Live)
6. Mogwai - The Sun Smells Too Loud
7. Fucked Up - No Epiphany
8. Jay Reatard - An Ugly Death
9. Jaguar Love - Humans Evolve Into Skyscrapers
10. Pavement - Cataracts
11. Brightblack Morning Light - Oppressions Each
12. Times New Viking - Call & Respond
13. Condo Fucks - What’cha Gonna Do About It?

while i'm at it...

DOWNLOAD: andrew bird - the water jet cilice [mp3]
DOWNLOAD: cat power - dark end of the street (aretha franklin cover) [mp3]

x rays

LINK: ouch.


greg miller [photography]

miller on miller:
I use a wooden K.B. Canham 8x10 Camera. Besides the obvious technical benefits, such as sharpness, I use the large camera for two reasons: it forces me to interact with my subject and it disarms the dynamic of going up to strangers. It does the latter by being obvious. It is the opposite of hiding from people. They often see me before I see them which accelerates their trusting me.


family ties [hijinks]

i don't know what 'home for the holidays' means where you come from, but in the snowy hamlet of dodgeville, wisconsin, all the young folk get together at corner taps on the wednesday before thanksgiving to swill milwaukee-made ales and swap stories about bar fights. then a few of them try to pick up where they left off with now-married old flames and end up doing some bar fighting for old times' sake. well, this year my youngest brother jeremy (at right, with other brother, eric) went out and did quite a lot of the first bit, as i understand it, and in the wee hours following stumbled home to mom and pop murn's abode. as a result, i got the following email from my dad. enjoy.
rule violation

in the early hours of this morning (around 4 am, november 29) jer broke the no sleeping with the parents rule (after coming home from a night out). i was asleep next to your mother and i felt a butt pushing to get in my side of the bed. i wondered who it could be but kindly moved over to let it in, moving mom as well, expecting a practical joker. he quietly went to sleep next to me. when the alarm went off at 5 (i had to work at lands end at 6), i lifted the covers off he and i, climbed out, covered him back up and never heard a sound out of anyone.

the future of books

from james gleick's op-ed in the new york times:
as a technology, the book is like a hammer. that is to say, it is perfect: a tool ideally suited to its task. hammers can be tweaked and varied but will never go obsolete. even when builders pound nails by the thousand with pneumatic nail guns, every household needs a hammer. likewise, the bicycle is alive and well. it was invented in a world without automobiles, and for speed and range it was quickly surpassed by motorcycles and all kinds of powered scooters. but there is nothing quaint about bicycles. they outsell cars.

novel as that sounds, i find it to be well said. comforting, even. gleick, a member of the authors guild, takes the lemons-to-lemonade position on a recent ruling that will allow google to digitize millions of books, a move that threatens to deal the publishing industry another potentially devastating, digitized blow.

LINK: about that most amazing staircase