Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ink Blot

Their pages held them, supported them with their papery strength, even as the weight created tiny tears in the fibers. The words were all strung together, the bottoms of "g"s hooking around the tops of "f"s, creating lines of ink that were virtually unbreakable. The words lifted them up, showing how things were, are, and might be, stating fact, opinion, and speculation. It became a veritable safety net. Webs of ideas and theories and statemements adn comments stretched out beneath them and kept them from falling. Sometims they fell anyway. Then, at least, the words usually caught them before they hit the ground.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"How strange it is to be anything at all..."

[Edit, January 25, 2008:
Welcome. I've noticed that a lot of people Google search the phrase "Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all" and come across this page.

I don't know what you're looking for, but my guess is that NMH's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" from the album of the same title hit you, as it did me, like a ton of bricks. I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's probably the best album I've ever heard. Ever.

That song, in particular, served as inspiration for one of my song compilations. I make these, as a hobbby, about monthly. You've been unfortunate enough to come across this, the third entry on FOA, where I showcase the collection of songs in my brain in July of 2007, which, incidentally had a lot to do with Neutral Milk Hotel.

As Rich so accurately pointed out to me, it's been ten years since the release of Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. It still has this power over me. It's the album to which I compare all albums. And I've probably mentioned it here at Fear of Arthropods 15 times.

Since July, the site has grown exponentially. I encourage you to poke around. If NMH is what brought you here, then you'll be glad to know it's been pretty much the inspiration for the type of music I seek out, as well as the types of music I make into silly little mixes (see below).

"What a beautiful face
I have found in this place
That is circling all round the sun
And when we meet on a cloud
I'll be laughing out loud
I'll be laughing with everyone
I see
Can't believe
How strange it is to be anything at all"]

Original post:

July's mix of the month:

1. Department of Eagles - "Sailing By Night"
2. The Shins - "Young Pilgrims"
3. Radical Face- "Along the Road"
4. Neutral Milk Hotel - "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"
5. Radiohead - "Exit Music (For A Film)"
6. Of Montreal - "Gronlandic Edit"
7. Of Montreal - "A Sentence of Sorts In Konsvinger"
8. The Decemberists - "The Engine Driver"
9. The Shins - "Mine's Not a High Horse"
10. Regina Spektor - " On the Radio"
11. Maria Taylor - "Clean Getaway"
12. Voxtrot - "The Start of Something"
13. Coldplay - "Kingdom Come"
14. Neutral Milk Hotel - "Holland, 1945"
15. Radical Face - "Wrapped In Piano Strings"

It's brilliant, I promise.
Oh, and let it loop around to the beginning when "Wrapped in Piano Strings" me.

"can't believe
how strange it is to be anything at all"

Sunday, July 1, 2007

"Well, that seemed uncalled-for."

She was jarred awake from a heavy, hot, late-afternoon sleep with fireworks in her eyes. The phone rang loudly and unnecessarily a foot from her head, all the lights inside its '90s transparent plastic shell flashing against its primary-colored component parts. She blinked. Her heart raced and her blood turned to adrenaline as she looked around and tried to return her breathing to normal. She had been dreaming about nothing and about everything. She followed roads that went nowhere, walked into room after room only to find no one with whom she needed to meaningfully make eye contact. This was not dissimilar to her waking life. If you had asked her, she may have been unable to say at which point she had fallen asleep. Even the real world felt like dreamland to her these days.

Sitting up blearily, she realized she had napped in absolutely all her clothes. Her hair still held its pins and her hook earrings remained securely in place. She hadn't moved a muscle as she slept, worming her way through labyrinths only internally.

He was there.

She was alone and he was there and it only took her five to ten full seconds before her mind reached him and a weight descended upon her. So much admiration and resentment simultaneously occupied her thoughts, it was almost impossible to fill her head with anything else. He was there. She wondered in spite of herself what he was doing at that moment, and her frown deepened. She had so much that was all her own - was none of this good enough to hold her attention, to make her independently happy?

Her body ached from the hours of inactivity and she stretched, rolling her head from one side to the other, maybe hoping just a little that some of these excess thoughts would fall accidentally out of her ears as she did so, and be kicked under the bed and forgotten. These ideas certainly should have been disposable ones, expendable and the equivalent of extra cargo. They were simply that - baggage.

A loud dial tone issued through the answering machine in the other room and echoed around the house, bouncing off all the same hard surfaces that made it an ideal spot for musical acoustics. The clock ticked and the fan whirred and she tried to will alertness into herself, letting the sleep haze wash away gradually, eroding like waves lapping at a seashore. It was odious to return to a reality she was so ambivalent about, to re-realize where she was, who she was, and what she didn't have.

[title from "A League of Their Own"]

more than four legs at a time = bad

i fear arthropods. i don't know why. no, i do know why. i find them creepy because they are segmented and leggy and much faster than one would expect. i make no apologies for this.

in much the same way, this collection of thoughts will be segmented. it will scurry from place to place, and may or may not give you the willies.

some will be fiction, some will be memoir, some will be stolen. i will, without warning, take pieces of other people's creativity and reproduce them here (appropriately cited, of course).

so, i attempt to recreate mental textures on paper.
and perhaps i will do so much faster than one would expect. maybe in this way, i am much like an arthropod.

except i don't have an exoskeleton. and i only have four appendages. ok, i'm not at all like an arthropod. fine.