14 February 2014
Some seasonally-appropriate tunes for all of you who are trapped inside walls of ice and already opening the second bottle. Here’s love as: something you can lock out, or be invulnerable to if you’re cold enough, or not human; a curse, a poison, a way to get revenge; ten gin-and-tonics; some kind of joke; a hungry bear.
1. Unbelievers // VAMPIRE WEEKEND
2. I’m gonna lock my heart // BILLIE HOLIDAY
3. Nothing but a heartache // THE FLIRTATIONS
4. Misery loves company // BLACKFEET BRAVES
5. Aftermath // SZA
6. Ice age // HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS
7. Standard bitter love song #8 // THE MOUNTAIN GOATS
8. We sink // CHVRCHES
9. Stepping over hearts // INSIGHTFUL
10. Get lucky // DAUGHTER
11. Gin & tonic // BRENDA BUTLER & THE FOXIONAIRES
12. No one’s gonna love you as much // NICOLE WILLIS & THE SOUL INVESTIGATORS
13. I don’t believe you // THE MAGNETIC FIELDS
14. Don’t fuck around with love // THE BLENDERS
2 December 2013
Fact-checking detritus from various freelance assignments last month, culled from a lifetime in service to the truth.
From Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing: “Raised in a Kauai geodesic dome by two surfing parents, Keala Kennelly has an untouchable reputation as the sport’s most fearless tuberider. […] Breaking rank from the girlish ‘surfette’ look that all but defined women’s surfing in the ’90s and early ’00s, Kennelly was a leather-clad and tongue-studded nightclubber who moonlighted as a DJ and often looked, as surf journalist Alison Berkeley put it, like ‘a sinister Disney cartoon character.’”
27 July 2013
Here are some sentences I read in print recently and liked enough to go to the trouble of copying out:
‘You still have a queen,’ the lady checking museum tickets remarked. ‘So why don’t you cut her throat? Kings and queens are pointless, cost a fortune.’
Famously, when opening his club, The Establishment, in Soho in 1961, Cook remarked that he was modeling it on ‘those wonderful Berlin cabarets which did so much to stop the rise of Hitler and prevent the outbreak of the Second World War.’
‘We learned to tap a keg,’ declared Representative Steven Palazzo, a Mississippi Republican and Sigmi Chi brother, who then yelled a cheer as hundreds of FratPAC donors applauded.
Mr. Shuppert disputed Ms. Ward’s charges, attributing the ‘sex noises’ to the garden’s full-throated bullfrogs.
Many here say the tango’s blending of passion and brooding perfectly expresses the Finnish soul.
In the entrance to the exhibit we see a video of punks ‘pogoing,’ which was a dance that was jumping up and down.
If, after a second highball, it brought tears to his eyes, he would recommend publication.
14 May 2012
Four months into a day job polishing wineglasses (rarely filling them):
Champagne smells like burnt toast; Riesling, hot tar or gasoline. A certain dry Tokaj, on the nose: orange Gatorade. Wine can smell like violet candies, menthol cigarettes, jalapeños, and nail polish remover. It can taste like fresh-cut grass, beef jerky, and licking a chalkboard.
People get weird about wine—self-deprecating jokes about how they don’t possibly know as much as you, or jockeying displays of expertise to impress their dates, or sudden strident displays of opinion. A seven-hundred-and-fifty milliliter bottle is, among other things, an agricultural product derived from grape juice; a good way to get liquored up with a friend; a luxury good, like a designer handbag; and an internationally-traded commodity, like pork bellies.
Farmers planted vines on steep, rocky slopes because the land wasn’t good for anything else; wine was the lunchtime drink of peasants. Champagne only exists because the climate wasn’t right for straight-ahead wine, so they had to fuck with the process to make something drinkable. The village council of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, convinced that their vineyards were being raided by extraterrestials, passed a law in 1954 prohibiting the “flying overhead, landing, and taking off” of flying saucers or cigares volants (flying cigars).
Malbec is overdone. Slovenia overperforms. Tannins do not get along with goat cheese. You can switch back to white after a bottle of red, why not? You feel acid at the hinge of your jaw, residual sugar on the tip of your tongue, tannins in your gums. The American oak barrels in which Rioja is traditionally aged make it smell like dill and coconut suntan lotion. A bowling-pin bottle shape called a ‘skittle’ takes its name from an English lawn game.