Wednesday, October 19, 2005


(In McSweeney's style, and because all the cool kids are doing it)

1. "Volcano" - Damien Rice. Sure it's one of his best known tunes (even though yrs trly didn't hear it for the first time until two weeks ago--thanks 99X!) but it's still a great one. The opening violin riff reminds me of cool fall nights by a bonfire.
2. Bonfires. The smell, the fun of stepping away, getting a little cold, and then getting close--and maybe, just maybe, jumping like a little kid if a spark comes your way (especially if this is a drunken bonfire). They're just great, and this a great time of year for them.
3. Taking a day off. From school, from work, doesn't matter. Don't go, offer a plausible excuse if needed (implausible ones may seem more fun, but they're more apt to get you fired too). Do nearly nothing on your day off: read a book or several in the park or quad, or just sit on your porch. Attempt still life drawings and drink some good wine. Cook something that requires lots of time to simmer (but isn't so difficult it seems like work).
4. "Stop the sun" - Elysian Fields. I've thought and thought trying to come up with reasons why Jennifer Charles is not world famous, and the only answer I have is that she must not want J-Lo level fame. There is no sexier voice out there, period. Plus she writes great lyrics and can sing. It sounds cliched to say, but she is a living, breathing definition of a modern-day chantuse.
5. Tailgating. It's nice when football season starts, but at least down south it's still way, way too hot to drink much more than ice cold beer. But once the leaves change and the temps stay away from the 80s and 90s, then you can fire up the grill, throw on some brats, hot dogs, steaks, chicken, shrimp and burgers (though obviously not all on the same grill--unless you're loaded) and kick back with a nice whiskey drink.
6. Dazed and Confused. Still a damn good movie. And there aren't many movies with Ben Affleck in a featured roll you can say that about..
7. Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs - Chuck Klosterman. Yeah, I'm a late comer to this one...I guess because while I enjoy sex and cocoa puffs aren't bad, I'm not a huge drugs fan--but put them together and damn..!
8. Driving on a sunny day with the windows down and Matthew Sweet playing on the stereo. It just fits together so well. If you have a convertible, even better (though I hate you a little for it)...if you have t-tops...shave the mullet and buy a new car. Please.
9. The Soups 1-1-1 at Harry Bissette's. You know going in that 2 out of 3 are going to be nigh-orgasmically good (the gumbo and crab bisque) and the third usually is amazing too--but the surprise is what puts it over the top.
10. A good kiss, preferrably outdoors. Not a drunken smooch, or a sibling-esque peck on the check, but a true, moving, serious, passionate embrace of the lips.

And now, some Anti-Recommendations:
1. "Laffy Taffy". Take sounds from the video game Pong. Add a beat up drum machine from 20 years ago. Add rhymes so week the Yin-Yang Twins would be embarrassed and you have this song. I don't know who does it, and I don't want to know.
2. Any book "reviews" by Jon Franzen. The guy's a twit, and reviews should consist of more than just bitching about things you don't understand.
3. The new season of That 70s Show. I hope I'm wrong about this one, but trying to carry on without Foreman (Topher Grace), with pretty much all the "kids" out of high school has that bad, late seasons of 90210 feel to it.
4. The World Series. I'm a Red Sox fan, I may be biased...but the sooner it's over, the sooner we get new episodes of Family Guy, The Simpsons, House and The OC.
5. "My Humps"-Black Eyed Peas. Of all the euphemisims for breats, why pick what Quasimodo has on his back for one? Terrible, simply terrible.

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