bschaller at ltoa dot com
Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Orange you glad I didn't say Banana!

One may ask themselves: "What does a music snob listen to to get into the holiday spirit?" I assure it is not Jim Brickman or anything on the Windam Hill collection or for that matter the RuPaul Christmas album. I must admit I have heard all of these way too damn much. But I guess that is what you get when you work in a mall music store during Christmas and your manager happens to be the most flamboyantly gay man since Liberace. No, for a music snob like me there is only ONE Christmas album: The Vince Guaraldi Trio's A Charlie Brown Christmas. I have always hated Christmas music, mainly because I found it trite, tacky, and for the most part just bad. However the artful jazz of this album is really good. For the first time an off-key children's choir sounds oddly charming and soothing. It almost sounds how sitting by a fireplace drinking hot coco staring at stockings hanging over slow burning coals feels. That is no small accomplishment. However with Christmas there always is a Grinch. My Grinch of 2003 award is a tie between GW and his buddy Tom Ridge. Nothing gets people in the holiday spirit like raising the "Terror Alert" level to Orange. I still don't fully understand the "Terror Alert" levels being as the number of terror attacks under Orange that we have had are the same as every other level: Zero. For probably the first time in your life you can get on plane for your holiday trip and simultaneously dream of grandma's homemade gingerbread and worry about becoming a Kamikaze Death Missile. I say this is nonsense. My fellow Americans I urge you to go on with your lives and aside from more pestering at the airport, don't give the Orange nonsense another thought. I recommend everybody go out and get themselves a Christmas cookie and throw on the smooth sounds of Vince Guaraldi and enjoy your holiday. B
Monday, December 22, 2003

Life with the Finches

For the first time in a long while I actually read an entire book from cover to cover in under 2 weeks. This is an amazing accomplishment for me. For those of you who do not know, I have ADHD rather bad. Even if you did not know, this probably does not come as much of a surprise. About a month ago I started taking meds for it and it is going great. I think this is what led me to be able to actually get through a book. I liked being able to read so much I am already half way through another right now. The book I read is Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. The book is a memoir of his childhood. This is one of the craziest stories I have ever read or watched. The sheer fact that this guy survived his childhood is nothing short of amazing. This book is full of very black comedy, this that are so absurd and disturbing that all you can do is laugh. I won't go through details of the book save for two things. The first is that young Augusten's first sexual relationship is with his mother's therapist's 33 year old "adopted" son. The second is the therapist's family, the Finches (by who Augusten eventually gets adopted), bible-dip all the time. Since this concept was new to me too, I will explain it. Bible-dipping is basically like a cross between talking to God and a Magic 8 Ball. What you do is ask God a question, then open a bible to a random page, and then with out looking you put your finger on a random word. That word is you answer. I thought that was real funny. I am also half tempted to try it. I highly recommend this book as it is a very entertaining read. After finishing Running With Scissors I have started reading Strip City by Lily Burana. Expect a review of this soon. B

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Summer Reading List

Don DeLillo: White Noise
Tony Morrison: Beloved
Jack Kerouac: On The Road
Sarah Vowell: Partly Cloudy Patriot

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NPR (try it, it's good)
Pacifica (God Damn Hippies)
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Google News
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10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003 / 10/19/2003 - 10/26/2003 / 10/26/2003 - 11/02/2003 / 11/02/2003 - 11/09/2003 / 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 / 11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003 / 11/30/2003 - 12/07/2003 / 12/07/2003 - 12/14/2003 / 12/14/2003 - 12/21/2003 / 12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003 / 12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004 / 01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004 / 01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004 / 01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004 / 01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004 / 02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004 / 02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004 / 02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004 / 02/22/2004 - 02/29/2004 / 02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004 / 03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004 / 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 / 03/21/2004 - 03/28/2004 /

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Edward Hopper: "Rooms By The Sea"

Things To Do...

Open a Record Store
Take up Digital Photography
Take up Kayaking
Buy a Sail Boat
Start a music site better than these guys
Start a Band again...
Start a Leroy Neiman collection
Take up Yoga

My Most Recent BlogCritics Posts

Thirteen: Teen Vice in Inde Film
The Bens: 4 Track EP
Johnny Cash: Cash Unearthed
Don DeLillo's White Noise
Mystic River: A Real Contender
On The Road With Dean and Sal
Learning Modern Classics from Penguins

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