Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sometimes You Get The Blue Potato, Sometimes The Blue Potato Gets You

Sometimes life surprises. Because sometimes you get blue potatoes—deep indigo blue potatoes—for dinner. Hey, I went Christmas shopping today and found the perfect present for my brother. It's beautiful, shiny, red, and fits in the palm of your hand. It does not play music, it does not feed the cat, it does not accept a cheque in lieu of cash. "Let the circle be unbroken"—that's my only clue. It's a gooder, though! This was me getting my Christmas shopping done early, by the way. Work keeps calling the house, and on Thursday Friday I'm going to be at both places for a total of fourteen and a half hours. So glad exams are done, yeah?

"Carbon Paper Skies" + Shelley Short There's a certain singing style that is perfection (all styles of song have their perfections, of course). This song by Shelley Short is one of the more obvious examples of such clarity. "Take me down where there's no one else around / Tell me things, tell me things". A man with the strange name of Larry Yes provides the male backing-vocals (don't worry, his voice was made for unremarkable lanes and tall goldenrod). I don't know who sings the female backing. This piece is from her debut album Oh, Say Little Dogies, Why? (2004). This song is a pool of music in a field, and a girl sitting on a fence. Someone was flying a kite not half an hour ago, and the nearest house is over a mile away. Her next album will have maybe one of the best precious titles of the upcoming year—Captain Wildhorse (Rides The Heart Of Tomorrow).

State Of Fear + Michael Crichton Doestoevsky was a pragmatist (I think), but he would probably have forged a strong community of redemption between himself and others before he picked up this book. Thomas Hardy would have frowned mightily and composed a bitter elegy describing how The Implacable English Moorside would never notice either global warming or the hearts of men. Chinua Achebe would merely comment acidly upon the plight of the headstrong Inuit and the refusal of any nation to take responsibilty for the destruction of the atmosphere. Me, I just picked the book up and started reading. The book is junk, of course. Events happen in wildly improbably fashion. Characters believe the stupidest lies. Plot-point follows plot-point. There should be more novelists like this. This book is a great read. Canada, btw, is sprinkled all over this book—Alberta and British Columbia, Montreal and Vancouver. That's just a side-note, though, a drop in the definition of exotic to people who live outside this country. Crichton is a good first-time read. I've never read any of his novels twice, but I've never started one of his books and not finished. Doestoevsky, Hardy, Achebe, they're brilliant. Crichton keeps me turning the pages.

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