Archive for January, 2010

there’s frost cakes in the carpet

January 31, 2010

This is the view from my window, looking towards downtown:

You’ll notice I haven’t used my car since the snow started Friday afternoon.

Snow makes the windows brighter, so much sun is reflected back from the ground. Now I understand the first line of AC’s “Winter’s Love”

I love this light in wintertime.

—which may be the best song ever written, in my humble opinion. (Besides “Hallelujah” maybe.) No matter where I am or how many times I’ve heard it, those harmonies and chords will change something inside me and lift my spirit. I wouldn’t say it like that if it weren’t true. Animal Collective has some really good, wide-ranging stuff.

I’ve been learning how to play “Doggy”/”Two Corvettes” from Campfire Songs and “Did You See the Words?” from Feels. The latter has one of the trickiest timings I have attempted to play. I don’t know exactly which it is, but the upbeat and downbeat are either equally emphasized or given alternate dominance from phrase to phrase, measure to measure. On the album version, the crash cymbal is never on the downbeat (with the bass drum, which is what your ears expect to hear) and the song is structured around this detail, but your head still wants to bounce with the boom-CHK boom-CHK instead of the CHK-boom CHK-boom. Avey’s vocal rhythms are so syncopated that you switch back and forth from hearing the down- or upbeat as the pulse. Oh and the harmonies are great, too.

Yesterday morning I went out and measured the snow in my front yard, and ended up between 5 and 6 inches. Which, if the professors are to be believed, makes this the heaviest snowfall in BG since 1987.

I just found out there’s a Boston U. basketball player named John Holland.

His number is 23, which of course was Michael Jordan’s number, but which also reminds me of Pope John XXIII and the mathematician John Nash, who during one of his psychotic episodes thought he was on the cover of Life Magazine disguised as the pope, because 23 was his “favorite prime number.”

My name is fraught with irrationality.

Can’t wait to turn 23!

storm of the month

January 27, 2010

I’m not trying to make this a “weather blog.” But as a student of meteorology, I am going to talk about the weather. And right now there’s a winter storm on the horizon:

From what I can tell, everyone’s flipping out because this is a rare atmospheric set-up that has the POTENTIAL to unload a foot or more of snow in places that usually never see more than an inch or two, if that. (For a more comprehensive look, visit Landon’s Fast Forecast.) As far as TV weather people are concerned, this is a great opportunity for ratings. Please keep in mind, that’s all they care about. I overheard someone today saying “you just can’t ever trust these people” and though she probably meant the broadcast weathermen, it’s too easy for the general public to dismiss forecasting as pseudoscience. I’ve also heard some old guy drawl “They don’ know, they jes guess like we do” which is very stupid wisdom. But true nonetheless. We’re just better at guessing than you.

Actually I’m no good at guessing. I’m not even an atmospheric scientist, really. I just like weather.

I think there is a relationship between consciousness and atmospheric phenomena. Not too sure about cause and effect, but weather patterns tend to reflect what’s going on “at the surface,” i.e. in our daily lives.

This week, we hit the ground running at school. And right off the bat, here’s this perfect chance for a winter storm, for everyone to observe and document. Co-incidence? Exactly.

I run the risk of ruining my meager credentials by making such claims. But hey, I say this is a blog about weird Fortean shit, anyway. Let your hair down, science.

colt 45 only tastes good when you’re stoned

January 25, 2010

First Day of the Final Semester. The sky went from sunny to snowy to sunny again. Even thunder could be heard in the distance. I walked out of my first class (Spanish…como se dice) into the  thickest, fastest-falling snow I’ve ever seen in my north-deprived life. It was accumulating on people’s clothes as they walked. You couldn’t see off the hill.

Yesterday, the Day Before the First Day of the Final (Tenth!) Semester, there was this cute lil’ tornado in Robertson County, Tennessee.

There’s a good chance for snow towards the end of the week.

This is January.

idioteque

January 24, 2010

I woke up at two o’clock this morning to a raucous party downstairs, and the mental realization that the rising pop starlet Ke$ha is the same Kesha Sebert I went to middle school with. She told me I stunk one day in English class. At that time in my life I was an emotional tinderbox, so I said “fuck you” then put my head on my desk and cried. (I’ve had many, many worse days since, but then it seemed like the worst day of my life, of course.)

Now, more than a decade later, I see her transformed into an actual MTV nympho like Katy Perry or Lady Gaga, on primetime commercials singing her worldwide No. 1 single “Tik Tok” which she co-wrote with Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco.

How should I feel about this? Ignoring the suspicion that I’ve died and gone to the outer layers of hell, I can’t help but laugh. She is making such an ass of herself.

There’s a possibility that someone reading this might actually be a friend of hers. Do you remember the talent show at Woodland? She sang “Karma Police.” I played this waltz on the piano (which later became “Ztlaw” at Austin Peay—it’s on myspace, man).

I’m not saying she isn’t talented. And to her credit, she apologized for saying I smelled like shit that day. I never held a grudge against her. I also never thought she’d be selling her sex, her voice buzzing through dance clubs all over the world, videos of her picking through trash on YouTube. It’s surreal.

Another thing that’s surreal is this spring-like storm in January:

January has April showers, and two and two always makes a five.

What a crazy storm! That’s three, count ’em three low-pressure centers! Just look at the isobars! The spiky blue testicle of winter descends upon the Great Plains! (Just one.) This is the same wave that dumped rain on California a few days ago, and spawned that “tornado” in Sunset Beach, Orange County. It was really cute.

bowlingreen

January 19, 2010

There are two hills in this town. The university sits atop one; the other has a water tower painted to resemble the American flag:

From the bathroom I can look out and see it peeking over the roof of the church next door to my house. It’s lit from below, giving it a metallic sheen. A ship hides in the belly of the water tower.

So when I relieve myself in the middle of the night, I can look upon the modern trinity of God, UFOs, and American infrastructure.

It took way too long for me to write that.

I used to be able to write a couple pages at once, skinny-dipping into streams-of-consciousness. I’ve never considered myself a poet. More like an efficient recorder of words that come one right after another, that don’t get hung up on tiny details, that never run out of things to say. I know that stream is still there because I can reach it while dozing, not dreaming but not really awake—sometimes I can view whole pages of words, a document of the subconscious, but of course I never remember what it said.

Maybe that’s the thing. It wasn’t really about anything. The conscious mind arranges the words into meaning.

“Roygbiv” from Boards of Canada’s Music Has the Right to Children has that voice loop, the “ay” sound, and there’s no telling what the sample’s really saying, so any listener can apply their own: “hey,” “late,” “face,” “shape,” “space,” “faith,” “fate,” “lace,” the list goes on.

It’s like that with the dream text. Latent thought. Meaningless, yet.

Having a holiday named after me would be bitchen. What do Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Saint Patrick, and Christopher Columbus have in common?

2.

January 18, 2010

Anyone walking down the street who happens to glance at the second story window of my house may see a bewildered face looking out at the sky, the trees, something. Hair unkempt, stubble, slept 11 hours last night, still in robe & t-shirt—that face, sipping coffee. Ah, worthlessness. It comes too easy.

Having exhausted the fantastic possibilities of playing music or writing books for a living, and the realistic one of forecasting the weather, I look for ways to end this sentence.

I’ve done nothing this weekend. Rode my bike Saturday, went to Garcia’s for a burrito and 40 ounces of Dos Equis Amber—because Kentucky only allows restaurants to serve alcohol on Sundays—the burrito was excellent—today I might buy a camera with the money I don’t have.

What is there to do? Why can’t I have a mission?

Four and a half months after my parents split and my mom and I moved to Tennessee, the April 16 Nashville tornado outbreak occurred.

The spring semester of my freshman year, a tornado hit Gallatin, but I was in Clarksville.

The spring semester of my junior year—the Super Tuesday outbreak.

Last spring a tornado hit Murfreesboro, but I was in Bowling Green.

Maybe this year I’ll finally see one.