brothercyst: January 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Came into town to use the internet and get some food. Habitation in the woods is wonderful. And productive.

Just some things--

Donkeys, which bellow at me when I feed them and sometimes try to kick each other in the head, but which are very sweet.

One-eyed dog, also sweet.

Aerial dance studio in the house where I'm staying.

Wood stove. I feed it hourly.


Monday, January 14, 2008

betty davis, etc

Today I heard the most excellent singer I'd never heard of: Betty Davis. Husband of Miles Davis. Maybe-girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix. And her own albums are viscerally, startlingly good. Particularly choice songs include "Anti Love Song," "If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up," "Game is My Middle Name," and "In the Meantime," all from her self-titled album, which can be bought on iTunes. I'm late to the party on this. How had I never heard of her before?


This weekend I worked on Midnight Picnic and read Revolutionary Road. I had never read it before; it is a very meticulous and precise book about (in part, and most interestingly for me) psychological maneuvers that people in relationships use against each other. Yates seems very cold and disappointed in people.


My friend Erin started a blog. I like it.


Somebody from Per Contra emailed with this link: a new writing contest.


I also went to Brighton Beach and ate Russian food and walked on the glass-covered beach. I had shoes on, and it was fun.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

crowley, dems, list

Michael Dirda wrote a comprehensive appreciation of John Crowley. Crowley, who now teaches at Yale, is one of the best living novelists. (Dirda has said that his favorite novelists are James Salter, Crowley, and Russell Hoban. I am with him on the first two but have not read Hoban.)


I wrote about the Democratic primary.


I'm depressed and worried, I feel like making a list.

My favorite movies of the decade so far, in approximate order:
  1. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik)
  2. Oldboy (Park Chan-wook)
  3. (tie) Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky) and There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  4. War of the Worlds (Steven Spielberg)
  5. seasons 4 & 5 of The Shield, with Forrest Whitaker and Anthony Anderson
  6. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (Park Chan-wook)
  7. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch)
  8. The Departed (Martin Scorsese)
  9. Irreversible (Gaspar Noé)
  10. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón)
  11. (another tie) The Bourne Supremacy and United 93 (Paul Greengrass)
  12. Undertow (David Gordon Green)
  13. Grindhouse, theatrical version (Tarantino & Rodriguez)
  14. parts of Inland Empire (Lynch)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The milkshake line.


"Each day Robert dressed himself in a fine suit, or a blazer-and-trousers combination. His hands were eighteen inches long. His head was like a fifty-pound Brazil nut with a face. You and I don't know about these diseases until we get them, in which case we also will be put out of sight. "

from Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson, of course.


I like this video of Regina Spektor singing the Hotel Song.

It's a good song and she's beautiful.


"Out in front of the abortion building picketers shook drops of holy water at us and twisted their rosaries around their fingers. A man in dark glasses shadowed Michelle right up the big steps to the door, chanting softly in her ear. I guess he was praying. What were the words of his prayer? I wouldn't mind asking her that question. But it's winter, the mountains around me are tall and deep with snow, and I could never find her now."

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I am re-reading Jesus' Son.

"Are you hearing unusual sounds or voices?" the doctor asked.

"Help us, oh God, it hurts," the boxes of cotton screamed.

"Not exactly," I said.


Today I went to see Boogie Nights at the excellent Paul Thomas Anderson retrospective put on by the Museum of the Moving Image. It's one of my favorite movies. The "Rahad Jackson" scene. The scene where Philip Baker Hall tries to convince Burt Reynolds to switch from film to videotape. The Colonel.

Before the movie started, a bespectacled old man caused a scene ("He assaulted that girl!" someone yelled; "I saw it," barked an already-approaching security guard; "Define assault," said the old man) and was escorted out of the theater to a chorus of jeers and angry good-riddances.

Later I ate a press toast and watched the debates.

Friday, January 04, 2008

the woods

Soon I will be going away for a couple weeks. Staying at a house in the woods and taking care of some animals and feeding a wood stove to keep the house from freezing.

I will be, mostly, alone. Internet contact will be minimal. I'll be out in the woods a lot. And indoors writing. It'll be like church.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

PTA retrospective

Paul Thomas Anderson retrospective at the Museum of the Moving Image. I'm going to Magnolia if I can get in. Cosanguinary obligations complicate this.


i have returned to the city. after a pretty ghostly early-morning drive.


i posted this a while ago, i think, but--go here and play around.

also, look at this.

thanks to bess.