Sunday, January 01, 2006

"The commercial was better"

Happy new year, Dizzyheads!

Hopefully you're still wearing those stylish "2006" specs, the ones where the zeroes are the eyeholes. (What will we do when we finish with the Oughts?)

Some culture highlights from 2005—

Books: discovering and/or devouring the oeuvres of Richard Stern, Rachel Ingalls, B.S. Johnson, Sue Townsend; Love Creeps (Amanda Filipacchi); John Cotrona's indie Lost Positives; finally liking (or "getting"?) Bret Easton Ellis (Lunar Park) and Chuck Klosterman (Killing Yourself to Live); numerous books bought that of course I haven't read; rediscovering Labyrinth Books; Sarah Manguso's story in that McSweeney's that looks like a bundle of mail; Ben Marcus's Franzen essay; those civilized litblogs Light Reading and Weekend Stubble; Seth's Wimbledon Green; Jane Yeh's Marabou.

Art: Odilon Redon at MoMA; Duncan Hannah at James Graham; Marcel Dzama at David Zwirner; Shirin Neshat at the New School Believer event; Cory Arcangel at PaceWildenstein (also committing "Friendster suicide" at the Believer's P.S. 1 event); anonymous paintings of monkeys in tuxedos at some painting store on the Upper East Side.

Music: Sufjan Stevens show at the Thalia (walking past Symphony Space on Broadway one Friday, saw that he was playing two shows, was able to standby for a ticket—just wonderful, one of the best shows I've seen, and it also made up for the problematic Paul McCartney show I'd seen earlier in the week with my buddy Euge); albums by Devandra Banhart, The Hold Steady, Clap Your Hands etc., New Pornographers, Hot Hot Heat, babyshambles, Fiona Apple, Franz Ferdinand, Death Cab, Beck, Wolf Parade; What Made Milwaukee Famous; mixes people made me; links to great weird videos; "Love Is for Lovers" by the dB's and "Why Can't I Touch It" by the Buzzcocks; that "Lazy Sunday"/Narnia thing; the new Enya—just kidding.

Movies: We've already gone over this, but let me plug The Century of the Self.

TV: Watching series that I'd missed—Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared. An intriguing/hilarious 15 minutes of How I Met Your Mother.

Dance: Uhh...Astaire & Rogers Collection—Volume 1.

Dreams: This one was transcribed on May 18.

In my dream we are in Italy. There is a building designed to look like it is falling that I keep thinking is falling. You can only see it from certain angles.

A young man walks by with a dog, explaining that his "best day" occurred when he was walking the same dog while a teenager. He had met a "cosmopolitan" older woman—who suddenly takes over the narrative...

...explaining how she went to rummage sales and bought "big sticker" items "for a song" for her apartment, later giving these items to her "loverboy." She turned out to be quite plain-loooking, with frizzed hair and sunglasses. The guy is still in love with her or maybe has disappeared.

I then buy a videogame but it turns out to be a whole game system. I'm worried whether I can (a) bring it back legally to the States and (b) use it once I am stateside, due to the difference in electrical current.

On TV is a commercvial for—an SUV? sneakers?—in which a pale reedy fellow mouths along badly to Chumbawamba while his carpool driver navigates increasingly dangerous street scenarios, causing the lip-syncher to break into a blood-curdling scream at intervals. They vault over a cliff...only to be rescued by some strange, surprising bit of geology (known as an "air tunnel"). But finally the vehicle crashes, a weird end to a commercial...

...except that it segues into a made-for-TV movie, starring two ex-SNL members. I don't think I continue watching, thinking, "The commercial was better."

A man with hockey gear, on a bus, gives his dog a piggyback ride. Everyone comments on how good the dog is and how it thinks it's "flying."

We're in a hospital that snubs us.

A Filipino family's house? The maid—or mom—works where the stereo is—the people in the basement (her boss/husband, in particular) have been complaining. Outside the window, on the rainslick grass, we see a cat, a squirrel, and some third animal, all quite close to each other.

Someone keeps saying she almost got an apartment in the falling building. Outside we can see the domed tops of the city.


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