Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Found Text: On Body Image

  1. My hands are always cold.
  2. My eyes routinely switch between green and blue. I have photos to prove it as well.
  3. I'm slender and I have a curvy figure, that's weird for a guy right?
  4. I don't tan or burn. I can be out in the sun every day for six weeks without sunscreen and nothing will happen. I'm very pale.
  5. My wrist is less than 6 inches around.
  6. My toes face outward. And I'm a ginger.
  7. I can wiggle my ears. I also have a huge tongue and can lick my elbow.
  8. I have blood red patches of skin on parts of my body and a pitch-black part on my arm. The rest of my skin seems to remain tan, even without being in the sun.
  9. One of my toenails is extremely thick and hard to cut.
  10. My pinkies bend inward.
  11. I have the most feministic body a man can get.
  12. My arms feel almost no pain and what pain they do feel fades very quickly. The rest of me hurts just fine.
  13. I can put my hand behind my ribcage. It's not like I'm underfed, I just have a super high metabolism.
  14. I apparently have abnormally large nostrils. Or at least that’s what one of my friends keeps telling me.
  15. I produce a lot of salt crystals in my sweat, when it hardens in my pores it makes needle shapes. Thus every time I sweat I feel million tiny needles stabbing my skin. It's fucking annoying, especially since I'm the unlucky bastard to inherit that from my parents.
  16. My pancreas doesn't work anymore. Meaning I have Diabetes.
  17. I've got balls of steel.
  18. I also have a big, butterfly-shaped burnmark on my left palm that grows hair.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reading Nietzsche on my 31st birthday

Reading section 31 of Beyond Good and Evil on my 31st birthday....
trans. Marianne Cowan


When one is young one accords honor or contempt without the art of the nuance which constitutes the best profit to be had from life. And, as is quite just, one must do heavy penance for having attacked people and things with "yes" and "no," as it were. Everything is arranged in such a fashion that the worst of all tastes, the taste for the absolute, is cruelly teased and abused until finally man learns to incorporate some art into his feelings and to prefer, if necessary, to experiment with artificiality, like the real virtuosos of life. The anger and reverence that characterize youth seem not to rest until they can discharge themselves against them. The very essence of youth is falsification and deception. Then later, when the young soul, tortured by nothing but disappointments, finally turns on itself in suspicion (still hot and wild, even while suspicious and conscience-stricken)--how angry it is now at itself, how impatiently it rends itself, how it takes revenge for its long self-deception as though it had been a voluntary blindness! In this transition period one punishes oneself by mistrusting one's own feelings; one tortures one's enthusiasms by doubt; one goes so far as to consider one's good conscience a danger, one thinks of it as a self-obfuscation and a tiring of a more refined candor. But above all, one takes sides--basically and in principle--against "youth."--A decade later one comprehends that that stage too was--youth!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Apparently, about half of the music I listen to is drugs.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jayson Greene on Earworms

My Pitchfork colleague Jayson Greene just published a fascinating think piece on the concept of the "earworm" in New Music Box, the American Music Center's web magazine. I get quoted. Read it here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Capri Sun Also Rises

1. The shiny pouch makes you feel like an astronaut but always features something "summery" and "bitchin" like people in dark glasses rollerblading or windsurfing on a juicy wave of fruit. So you get the best of both worlds--space and fruit.

2. The little yellow straw is glued to the front of the pouch and breaks right off with a satisfying cartilaginous snap, like you're snapping some really fresh celery in half or something, with a sensation of "dryness" presaging the sensations of "wetness" to come.

3. You don't have to peel the plastic off of the straw; you simply pull it at each end and it breaks in two with another satisfying cartilaginous snap. What other popular, nostalgic beverage provides not one but two satisfying cartilaginous snaps in a row? Try producing a satisfying cartilaginous snap with a can of Tang crystals; you're screwed.

4. The straw is pointy on one end which makes it seem a little dangerous and you puncture a little round membrane or hymen in the pouch with it, which plays nicely off the preceding snaps, as a sort of fleshy thunk.

5. The beverage itself is thin and watery and seems kind of beside the point. 25% less sugar! But than what? An actual grape? A rollerblade? A giant sack of sugar?

6. As you take the last drink the pouch goes flat and airless in your hand, like you've sucked the last drops of lifeblood from some kind of metal turtle and left behind a necrotic shell. But much less nasty than that. And actually a metal turtle shell wouldn't compress, would it. This just goes to prove my old theory that there is no natural analogue for a flattened Capri Sun pouch.

7. If you press the straw to the inside of your upper lip while sucking all the air out of the empty pouch, it will suction-cup itself there and you can dangle it and swing it around from your lip, which as far as I'm concerned is a totally unique node in the sensorium.

8. When you're done dangling you can blow up the pouch again and it makes a rich crinkly sound. Once it's re-inflated it feels like something that should float off into the sky or at least bob ambivalently above the ground, like a leaking helium balloon. But I've only seen that happen one time.

9. When the pouch is inflated it looks like it's full of Capri Sun again, and you can ask your mom if she would like a drink, although she will be smart enough to recognize this sudden generosity as a trick and that will surprise you--you had not realized that she was smart.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wax Wroth Reading Series #3 audio

Tony Tost breaks it down

On Saturday, July 10, at the third installment of my Wax Wroth Reading Series, we bid farewell to our dear friend and favorite poet Tony Tost, as he and his family prepare to leave North Carolina for the Pacific Northwest. I've known Tony for something like 8 years now, and as I said in my introduction, he has been not only a huge influence for me, but an indispensable supporter, and he'll take my gratitude with him wherever he goes.

Tony is working on a book about Johnny Cash's American Recordings for Continuum Press' 33 1/3 series, and those who attended the reading at 715 Washington on this sweltering July night were treated to a long sneak preview of what I think will be the best entry in the series yet. The good news is that I recorded the whole thing. The bad news is that the oscillating fan periodically blows on the recording device and causes obvious problems. So please forgive the patches of poor quality, and enjoy a taste of Tony's breathtaking insights on Cash's mythic stature:

But wait! There's more.

Tony Tost and the So-Long-Tony-Tost Improv Band

After the reading, a few brave stragglers stayed on to send Tony off in style with a free-improv jam session. A few mp3s document the sweaty, melancholic clangor below. The players are Tony, Brian, Ashley, Chris, Julie, Alex, and the oscillating fan that kept blowing on the damned recorder because I was careless about that. I've taken the liberty of titling the whole thing "TUNING IS FOR SUCKERS TONIGHT":

Stay tuned for info on the next Wax Wroth reading, which will feature Tanya Olson and Julie Greenberg!