Random Thoughts

  • Yes, it’s been a while. Hoxsie is still going strong, but there are only so many hours in the day, and at least one of those hours is spent binge-watching “Gilmore girls,” which somehow I missed completely when it was on the air. Currently kicking myself over that, but the good news is that now I get to experience its brilliance for the first time.
  • “The Basic Eight,” Daniel Handler. Again, how did I miss this? I always love his books, but wow . . . this is an inventive novel. Just so different, interesting, intense, real, and well-written. He always creates worlds I want to live in, and books I wish wouldn’t end.
  • An old picture of what was likely a roasted chestnut vendor on South Pearl Street in Albany led to thoughts of the old days when that beaver-mad town, founded on the wealth of pelts, was chock full of vendors of beaver-on-a-stick, beaver jerky, castor canadensis oil . . . And then I realized there was just no way to make that thought funny or interesting, but I still couldn’t get the idea of streetcart beaver-meat vendors out of my head.
  • I once had the brilliant idea that music could be saved if we enforced a three-album-and-an-EP rule. Once a band was signed, that’s what they got to do: three albums and an EP. After that, they’d have to break up. Why? Let’s face it, most bands barely have three albums of good material in them. Having a set limit would forced them to weed out the crap and put their best foot forward, and they’d focus on creativity if they knew they were only going to have a limited oeuvre. I never worked out how to deal with really good bands that had way more good songs than that — The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Squeeze, Elvis Costello — so there were still some kinks to iron out in my new world order, which would result, somewhat ironically, in less New Order.
  • There is a reason I don’t often sharpen my box saw (and that’s not a euphemism). The teeth are tiny, the angles precise, and the work quite boring.
  • Work on a dining room table is proceeding apace. Much old pine, recovered from a rehab at 9 First Street in Troy, is being planed. There’s simply no other way to come by 3″ thick old growth, tight-grained pine. You know what doesn’t like to come out of Civil-War-era pine? Civil-War-era nails, that’s what. I like to assume they came from Henry Burden’s nail factory, and that whoever made them may have been buried in the Nail Factory Cemetery, because that’s how my mind works.
  • I’m re-reading “The Great Shark Hunt” for the first time in many years. If I had stayed in journalism, I could only have been constantly disappointed that I wasn’t the next Hunter S. Thompson — unless of course I had become the next one, in which case I’d probably have been disappointed in myself.
  • Bonded with younger daughter over our love of “Quadrophenia.” I can’t understand how people can even listen to “Tommy” when this incredible dark, beautiful¬† masterpiece exists. The Who really stand out because each member was simply incredible, innovative, and unique, and that album is just phenomenal. There was a time when the story maybe meant a little too much to me, but I remember overnight bus rides to Schenectady with a tape of Quadrophenia blasting into my ears (on what was called a “Walkman,” kids) as the sun came up over the Thruway, and that album resonated deeply with me.
  • THIS: 23-member Mucca Pazza, playing an insane Tiny Desk Concert. If you don’t enjoy this, you’re dead inside:

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