Saturday, October 22, 2005

Batting average

The Dizzies went on vacation, grabbing a pile of CDs for the trip. On our last jaunt, we exhausted the three albums we brought (which we now possibly never have to listen to again), and so the selection was perhaps overambitious this time around. With apologies to Nick Hornby's "What I've Been Reading," here's the playlist for last week (augmented by frequent tunings-in to WEQX in Vermont):

Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense
Pulp, Different Class
Death Cab for Cutie, We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes
Guided by Voices, Bee Thousand
Death Cab for Cutie, Plans (x2)
Rilo Kiley, More Adventurous (x2)
New Order, (the best of) New Order
Garden State soundtrack*
Beck, Sea Change*
Belle & Sebastian, Push Barman to Open Old Wounds (disc one)

*These were on at a low volume, as we were trying to figure out the right road back.

Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks: Spouse ejected this one after first verse of "Tangled Up in Blue."
P.G. Wodehouse (read by Jonathan Cecil), Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves (on five CDs): Listened for about three minutes while waiting for spouse to check out of hotel.

Beck, Guero
Cat Power, Moon Pix
The Clash, London Calling
Clientele (various)
Marvin Gaye, What's Going On
Two mixes
Van Morrison, Veedon Fleece
Ron Sexsmith, Other Songs
Frank Sinatra, A Swingin' Affair
Susie Suh (self-titled debut)

* * *

Readingwise, I told myself I'd only pack two books, which somehow became four. These were:

John Bellairs, The Face in the Frost
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Adolescent
Zadie Smith, On Beauty
P.G. Wodehouse, Mr. Mulliner Speaks

I made decent headway in all but the Dostoyevsky, which I don't think I actually opened on the trip. So far, so good with Frost, Beauty, and Mulliner—I think I'll finish them.

My favorite bit of reading, though, was from the Hill County Observer: "Home sweet hibernaculum: Bats swarm at a Vermont cave as winter draws near," by Caitlin Esch. I leaned that "a mere 50 bats a year will consume 30 million insects." The focus of the piece was Mount Aeolus, near Manchester, Vermont: "A cave on the mountain is the hibernaculum where more than 23,000 bats spend the winter."

There's too much fascinating stuff here to quote, so I'll restrict myself to this passage:

Deep within the cave is a stone bowl that's often referred to as "the sink." The sink is filled with the undissolved bones of bats who met their maker within the walls of the cave.

"The bones are anywhere from a few years to a thousands of years old," Corradino said. "There's nothing to break down the bones in the cave. They could be up to 10,000 years old—as old as the last ice age."

* * *

We stopped by MASS MoCA on the way back—a great space, which currently has two exhibits well worth catching: Cai Guo-Qiang's Inopportune (featuring nine white Fords, most of them suspended in the air with sprays of light pouring out of them like fireworks) and "Becoming Animal: Contemporary Art in the Animal Kingdom" (pièce de résistance: Mark Dion's enormous walk-in birdcage—in which real, very cute birds interact, or don't, with heaps of books, all of which have an animal/nature theme).

* * *

In other news: Thanks to Chrita Marri, proprietor of the comics-centric (and Veronica Mars-besotted) blog Crisis/Boring Change, for helping out with the "Links" section in the margin.


Blogger Chris Tamarri said...

You say "Veronica Mars-besotted like it's a bad thing.

And: Stop Making Sense might be my favorite long-distance drive album of all time. But that's just me.

2:13 PM  

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