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Two Days in the Life - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Two Days in the Life
Recently, a number of people I respect have started to use Twitter. Although I can understand its appeal for them -- it's one of the few internet applications that is suited to the constraints imposed by run-of-the-mill mobile phones; the content of individual entries can be absorbed in a few seconds -- I have yet to be won over myself. The interface gives me the same bad feeling that MySpace does and the mandated concision reminds me of the pain I felt when trying to compress a style I'd developed for 400-word music reviews into half that space. If I'm going to overextend myself further in the realm of new media, I would rather write things that go into more depth than my entries here, not less.

Still, I do like the idea of chronicling one's cultural excursions in a forum where the flesh of fact matters more than the clothes it wears. So here's my best approximation of twittering, in which I tick off the last forty-eight hours:
• Watched Mean Streets at three in the morning because it was better than lying there waiting for the sun to come up

• Woke up threadbare from the excessive stimulation of the previous night. Teaching after dark means too many Monster drinks. But the stars were spectacular.

• Wrote midterm for Literary Analysis course. Ten short-answer questions this time instead of my usual five. Longer tests take longer to grade.

• Met with colleague, musing with her on the damage wrought by parents and how it is displaced onto one's partners and progeny.

• Discussed reason for car failing inspection with our mechanic. As usual, the blame rests on the sensors rather than the sensed.

• Showed the same sequence from Apocalypse Now over and over. With sound. Without sound. With sound but no picture. More useful for my students than the rest of the exam, in the long run.

• Began reading Michael Herr's Dispatches again as they wrote their essays. Like On the Road transposed to a war zone, minus the belly rubs.

• Rode the bus home, knees jammed up against front wheel well. The woman who sat down next to me, hard to place in time, smelled like gum. And she lingered there long after other seats had opened up.

• Listened to my portable music player impatiently as the trip dragged on, switching from new records to all-time favorites. Joy Division and The Cure. The live version of the latter's "Faith" is as sublime as I recalled.

• Made two turkey sandwiches for dinner. They didn't sit so well. A little bus sick?

• Went to bed early, but managed to insert a few more tape flags into Please Kill Me before drifting off.

• Slept fitfully. Dreamed behind a deadbolted door.

• Put Animal Collective's new record in the car's CD player this morning. It sounds intrusive at any volume. Does that make it good?

• Jogged in the pool. Perhaps it's time to leave off the quotation marks.

• Ran into the Locals Only guy at Zia. Going to a record store now feels illicit, like it's something only people with problems do.

• Ate a fair simulation of Grape Nuts with yoghurt at Wild Oats for breakfast. What is becoming of me?

• Made jokes in meetings, like I did when I didn't yet dread going to meetings. Strange to spend all day in the Department two days in a row.

• Opted for Big Star on the walk to the car. "September Gurls" came on right after I exited the underpass. Is there a more perfect example of power pop?

• Came back to Beyond Bread after dropping daughter at martial arts. I'm becoming a regular. I hope I don't look like one.

• Returned to the dojo in time to see the day's last lesson, American Girl named "Nellie" in tow. Propped her on the floor between the legs of my chair and the one next to me so that her eyes would stay open to take in the spectacle.

• Dined with daughter at Yoshimatsu, nursing a tall Asahi and trying to figure out what the woman across from us at our semi-communal table was reading.

• Had a large hot chocolate at Starbucks on the way home, a decision I would later regret, since the agitation it imparted made me sit down to write this.

• Decided to pass on tonight's Animal Collective show at the Rialto because A) I'm going there to see the New Pornographers and Lavender Diamond tomorrow; B) I just wasn't in the mood to drive all the way back downtown; C) I realized, in listening to their new Strawberry Jam album again today that I just don't like them enough to merit overriding my first two considerations

• Did enough dishes to not feel guilty in the morning, including two of our three French presses

• Sat down to write this entry
Had I been using Twitter, this entry might have broken into a dozen separate entries. Personally, I'd rather engage with longer structures. But I suppose it's possible, though unlikely, that I will one day change my mind.

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Current Location: 85704

17 comments or Leave a comment
tommix From: tommix Date: September 21st, 2007 07:02 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Sweet sugar lops!

And we saw Animal Collective at the smaller, more intimate Solar Culture with better sound and beer in a backpack, so I think we're in the black.

Of course, anytime we see the New Pornos it's anticlimactic because it's not Neko's house. She totally wanted to hump us.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 21st, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
You, my friend. Not us. Sadly, I was not the object of her desire. Then again, I didn't chip in for beer, either.

It's hard to top Solar Culture. That much is true.

See you later today. . .
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 21st, 2007 01:10 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Hey! I'm Not Your "Colleague"

Let me know if you see my child at New Porn with his new girlfriend. Maybe you can harass him some more. God knows he harasses ME enough.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 21st, 2007 02:02 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Hey! I'm Not Your "Colleague"

I surely will!
celebrian_3 From: celebrian_3 Date: September 21st, 2007 02:25 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
You're going to see New Pornographers. ::sigh:: Wish I could afford concerts right now.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 21st, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I have a sense of obligation where the New Pornographers are concerned, stemming from the experience I describe here.
celebrian_3 From: celebrian_3 Date: September 21st, 2007 08:12 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
There's no sense of obligation for me, just an enthusiastic, though plaintive, wish to be there. I wonder how many more chances I'll get to see them. I only got into them a little over a year ago and this is the first time they're coming anywhere near me. :-(
celebrian_3 From: celebrian_3 Date: September 21st, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Shit. I'm just going to have to find a way. The more I think about it, the more pissed off I am to miss it. You may just see me down there this evening, after all. I'll have to see.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 21st, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm sure a little cash incentive could be arranged!
celebrian_3 From: celebrian_3 Date: September 21st, 2007 10:17 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I remembered that I'm getting my quarterly overtime check next Friday--extra cash! Yay!
siyeh From: siyeh Date: September 21st, 2007 03:15 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I like the longer format. I was going to go to that concert, but I have soccer and writing....
It was good to see you on campus. Makes it seem like a more pleasant place. Hopefully we can do lunch next week.
flw From: flw Date: September 21st, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)


I was saying the exact same thing about record stores. Exactly the same thing. Exactly. I even did it from inside your body. I was inhabiting your essence at that very moment. That is so creepy. Ask alsoname about it. Or better yet, let the answer come to you as if by magic.

This is an excellent post.

I remember walking out of Zia and thinking, "Who goes to record stores anymore. What is wrong with you people? Is something wrong with your iPod? Being 'into' music intimates that you have expendable cash... I feel like one of those guys who is over fifty and still into comic books or something. I feel kind of dirty."

Of course, I wasn't using language to think all that, it was a drifting series of rapid impressions that ran down many tangential threads and swirled and transformed until I wasn't thinking about the central thought anymore, but was just left with a vague sense of nostalgic guilt.

Remember when there were record stores on every corner? They used to be everywhere, man!
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: September 21st, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I haven't listened to Electric Version enough. I don't know why. I really like Neko. And I like this entry. Not for its minimalism exactly. For its accreted minimalism. Or something.
From: catfishvegas Date: September 21st, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
You made the correct call on the Animal Collective show. I came away completely unimpressed, as did the brother who's been a fan for a long time. Tonight's show, on the other hand, should be great.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 21st, 2007 10:09 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Whew. I really enjoyed their Solar Culture show last time. But Solar Culture had a good deal to do with that.

I'll look for you.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 21st, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

In MY day...

I like to read this entry and a lot of your other recent entries in a crotchety old man voice. Try it!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 21st, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: In MY day...

Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for my voice to change. But once I have my Peter Brady epiphany, I'll definitely give your suggestion a twitter.
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