bschaller at ltoa dot com
Wednesday, December 31, 2003

What Dreams May Come and Other Such Nonsense

... And all of my time fears are turning my days into daymares
And I live daymares reliving nightmares
of what taunted my past...
-Saul Williams, Sha Clack-Clack

Your thoughts may be your own, but your dreams are not. The origin of dreams is a great mystery to people. Humans have spent centuries trying to interpret them and make sense of the after hours mind wanderings. After last night I want none of that. Saying I am a vivid dreamer is like saying Christina Aguilera is a little slutty, a massive understatement. When people tell me that they do not dream or that they don't remember their dreams, I don't understand. I dream in full color, 3-D, complete story arcs, and scene changes that make taking drugs in Requiem for a Dream look slow. I am used to this. It has been this way all my life. Last night was a completely over the fucking top. I woke up exhausted after seven hours of sleep and completely wigged the fuck out. I could try and explain it. In fact I even thought starting a separate blog just as a dream journal. I have decided this is not a good idea. Don't get me wrong, but if I am freaked out, I don't even know what other people will think. You won't get the full picture but I will try and provide a brief overview. It starts out with me and 5 or so friends who were familiar in the dream but not reality and I moving to South Carolina and doing some work as a team on the water. The details of that a little fuzzy right now, but it's not terribly important. I do remember meeting a girl that we all hung out with too. Then it cuts to what I think is the Manhattan ghetto. It centers around a neighborhood with a bar and a couple of project-like apartments. The main cast if you will is a large group of hooligans, skaters, punks, and what have you. There is also a small segment of preppy people too because it is apparently cool to live here or something. All I know is I am not from here. And I am here because I am with some girl who is actually with some other guy who is abusive and a total loser. The craziness comes at the bar when a fight breaks out with loser guy and one of the punk and gets carried out to the streets and turns into a fucking riot. Something on the order of Do the Right Thing sans pizza joint. This goes on for a while and really graphic. Disturbingly graphic. All of this is going on and I am at the going with the random girl back to her hole in the wall apartment and then her loser boyfriend guy comes there and breaks down the door and more fighting insues. And in the middle of these scenes there are random sex scenes too for what I am sure is no good reason. And then sometime a little later I wake up asking myself what the fuck just happened. I know that I have not been able to remotely do it justice but it was fucking whack. I have no idea where this came from. It might have been the combination of legal amphetamines, beer, and the fact that I just started reading Catcher in the Rye. Who the fuck knows. If somebody could shed light on this and why my dreams are so fucked up, I'm all ears. Now on a much lighter note. I found the most randomly cool thing on the web today, mail order real pet penguins. Penguin Warehouse will ship you your very own pet penguin of your choice for the low, low price of 1500 to 2500 dollars. You should check this site out it is almost too strange to believe. My favorite is how they ship them. I hope I have not rambled on too long today. I wish everyone a happy New Year and I will talk to you all again in 2004. Cheers. B

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Guilty Pleasures

Two posts in one day! I must be really getting into this whole blogging thing. I do, however, have an explanation. You see I picture myself as circa 1962 feature writer for your hometown paper who drowns himself in whiskey at the local pub on 3rd and Chestnut while brainstorming about his next feature topic. The other day I was brainstorming, not so much in a whiskey haze as in my car, and I came up with a lot of good ideas for posts. With Christmas and book and movie reviews getting in the way I have not had time to blog about them. So I have decided to hell with it, I am posting this anyway. I kinda got this idea from Group Hug when I saw their motto: "The only people who really know me are about a million strangers". Now I have to be somewhat modest and assume that very few if any strangers read my blog (Spread the Word!) and that my dear friends are the only ones who come here to either enjoy my ramblings or silently mock me. One thing I really do enjoy about the whole blogging process is comments. I have decided that I wanted to write a post about my guilty pleasures in hopes that others with comment and either anonymously or proudly post theirs as well. Sounds fun to me. Most of you already know my number one guilty pleasure: Dawson's Creek. Or in a broader sense, the WB in general. Now don't get me wrong, I am no Sabrina or Rita fan. However I have been known to watch an episode or two of Everwood, Smallville, or dare it say it Gilmore Girls (dude, Lorelei is hot). I guess there is just something wrong in my head that I drawn to cheesy teenage shows, but God damn it they are entertaining. Now I know the normal thing to do is step back and say that they are only entertaining because the girls are hot, which is true. But I will go one step further and admit some of the plots are even good too. I know, I know, I have stepped over the line on this one. But in the name of journalistic integrity it must be done. See, I have gone out on a limb and shared my deep, dark secrets. Time for you all to play along. It is way more fun if we all mock each other. Beeler, Jon from Boston, I expect comments from both of you. If you want to extend the fun go to Google and search for "Guilty Pleasures", apparently I am not the first to blog about it. Please enjoy the communal mocking, God knows I will. Also on a completely unrelated note the picture for this post is from a man named Hugh Macleod who does art on the back of business cards. You can find more at his site Gaping Void. You can also expect a fresh new card posted every week. Until tomorrow, or later today, have fun confessing your deep dark secrets to my alter ego, Father O'Flanagan. B

Review: Lily Burana's Strip City

In my voyage to become a Bookslut, I have been reading quite a lot lately. My latest adventure into the literary world has been Strip City. Strip City is the memoir of Lily Burana, a former exotic dancer, who on upon deciding to settle down and get married, has a sudden urge to revisit her former life to reconcile her demons. As an added bonus she decides to take us along with her by documenting her travels. I must admit that when I first picked up the book, I expected some shocking expose by an "I have no regrets, take me as I am or fuck you.." kind of stripper. This was not the case. I must also admit that ever since the first time I was taken to a strip club I have found them most strange. I mean that in just about every way possible. It is a strange mix of a testosterone-driven urge to see naked women, a sense of feeling sorry for the exploited girls, a wonder at either the strength or resign the girls must have, and a sense of honesty about the whole experience. The last one may be surprising to some of you, but I still say that a strip club, next to a casino, is one of the most honest places you can find. Reading Strip City gave me some new insight into a world which I don't think I am fully capable of understanding. Burana does a good job a humanizing her story and experience. She tells about girls who fall into convenient stripper stereotypes of single-mom and uber-feminist, but she also goes beyond some of these same old cliches. One of the only issues I had with the book was her word choice in the prose. It is a good story and a moving one as well, but she seems to try a little to hard sometimes. I don't know who she is trying to prove herself to, herself or the reader, but when you use words like "Faustian" or "somabulatory" and "pussy" in the same sentence it just seems kind of out of place. If you can get past her high-brow literary references and need for words longer than ten letters, you actually do get a good story. Aside from a little insight into a subculture that none of us will experience first hand, you are able to relate to one lesson at least: The past is not a tourist destination. If you really want to go back a relive the past, you must be prepared to deal with everything that goes with it. This book makes that point as well as the character of Rob Gordon does in High Fidelity when he decides to call all of his old girlfriends. This is a dangerous road and one that is to be taken with caution. All that said, I found this book an enjoyable read and would recommend it. If you have some hang up about exotic dancing and are turned off by that, you should read this book even more. These girls are the ones that have fallen through the cracks, shining a little light on them is a good thing. B
Monday, December 29, 2003

Holiday on Ice

First off, I would like to thank David Sedaris for the title. I would like to think myself more creative, however I just don't think I can find a title more fitting. So here we are at the onset of week two of the winter holiday extravaganza. Week one sure was interesting. First off I would everyone had a merry Christmas. Mine was spent with my family all day Wednesday and most of the day on Thursday. I decided that I was going to go listless this year and only make minor suggestions for gifts. This actually worked out better than I expected, I was actually surprised on Christmas morning. This was added to the already pleasing 11:30 at which we began to unwrap presents. All in all not bad. After more time with the fam, I hooked up with Brie and we went to go see the new Peter Pan movie. The visual effects of the movie were entertaining, but the plot was pretty much nothing new. It was the exact same Peter Pan story with no new twists or insights. As Gus Van Sant has taught us: The only thing worse than fucking up a perfectly good movie/story by making changes, is to make it exactly the same. On Friday is when the real celebrations start sounding off. After being out till 3 in the morning on Friday, 5 AM on Saturday, and not falling asleep until 4 AM last night my sleep patterns are completely messed up. However it was really to see everyone and enjoy some holiday merriment. I am sure this week will entail much more merriment. I am now going to pass out under my desk. Hope you all have a fun Monday as well. B.

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[daily dose of imagery]
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In Heavy Rotation

Pernice Brothers: Yours, Mine & Ours
Air: Talkie Walkie
The Bens
Johnny Cash: Cash Unearthed
Squarepusher: Big Loada
Gomez: In Our Gun

The Screening Room

Mystic River
Swimming Pool
The Cooler
Big Fish

Summer Reading List

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

Radio! Radio!

NPR (try it, it's good)
Pacifica (God Damn Hippies)
Fresh Air
This American Life
WOXY FM Cincinatti

Fun Places to Go

Google News
Senses of Cinema
Home Star Runner
Film Threat
Okay Player
Group Hug
Exquisite Corpse
Poetry Slam Inc.
The Criterion Collection
The Digital Bits
DVD File
The Onion
80's Cartoons
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The Way-back Machine
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 /

Staff Art Selection...

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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