Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

J. D. Salinger dies and I was Holden Caulfield once

growing up in Mexico my required high school reading was very different from the American one, we didn't read Shakespeare, but Cervantes for example, etc. so Salinger came late into my life

i remember back in 2003, 2004, i was living very harsh times in San Diego, i was unemployed, broke, and going through a mid-life crisis, having to roommate with a dear friend in order to be able to pay the rent, but it was not only the money situation, but in general my personal life, i was angry, confused, looking for direction without even knowing it... so one day, looking for meaning and help, i went to Downtown Mental Health, i got a shrink for free and antidepressants and sleeping pills, the whole American dream, sort of speak... the place was rather depressing, i was the "happy" case of the institution, if you ever dare to step your head on a government free mental health facility, you'll see that there is mostly homeless people there, hard-core drug addicts, old people with Alzheimer, and very sad cases, but i wanted some direction, some help... and it was on those days that i read The Catcher in the Rye... couldn't think of better timing, me rebelling to the world, looking for direction, Holden rebelling to society, to adults and life... i remember reading the book outside the mental health facility while waiting for my shrink appointments.... it was delightful, full of crisis and bad moods, i was my own Holden!!!

those days are long gone, and thank God i got off those pesky antidepressants and sleeping pills earlier than hooked, i used them for barely 7 months, and i was very happy to realize i didn't need any pills to be myself... yet sadly psychiatrists and psychologists, specially the ones handling the bulk of humanity give you pills rather easily, in my case, i just needed to get over myself, exercise, find a job, and go on with my life, instead of barking at it endlessly... as i thankfully did, & surely "with a little help of my friends", thankfully...

anyway, i learned much from those days, i went through things that i didn't have to face while i was growing up in Mexico City where my mom was always there to rescue me, i wouldn't change those days... and now i only need a couple of yoga meditations, a long walk, a good song, & an occasional carrot cake (or apple pie with some hot black café or a delightful black té) to calm down & smile at life, and myself

but oh dear! how i miss sometimes the personal drama, not that i look for it anymore, but those intense feelings, even if awful, were rather deep, it was an exhausting adventure to be myself, day after day... and, overall i miss Holden, feeling so loony like him those days

rest in peace J. D. Salinger, i thank him for creating this full-of-Angst teenager, with who we can all relate, specially while questioning the crazy 'order' of society, all the strange things that happen in this world, and the rules we impose ourselves, for portraying so well those days when you really "are in trouble" and the impermanency of things, of life...

Salinger is dead, yet Holden Caulfield will forever live in the hearts of any tortured souls, teenagers like him, or old like me, out there

here a couple of my favorite Holden quotes

"What I like best is a book that's at least funny once in a while...What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though."

"Goddam money. It always ends up making you blue as hell."

"Boy, when you're dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody."

-J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Eternal... rocks!!

after a couple of months of having it
and many times of listening to it...

i can say that i am finally acquainted with
Sonic Youth's The Eternal
all i have to say is: WOW!!

i love ALL of Sonic Youth albums,
yet the latest albums have been OK
i think Murray Street was the last of the
latest favorite albums they put out...
Sonic Nurse and Rather Ripped are good,
but not superb, not for my taste
they are good albums,
but they don't completely "rock"

The Eternal... rocks!!

to confess, since Washing Machine,
i haven't been blown away by them
i've been very happy that they haven't sucked
and that they are still very good
at what they do, in spite of the ripe age...
sure they have appeared in Gilmore Girls
and Gossip Girl TV shows
but they have never disappointed me!!
their solo projects are solo so great!

now The Eternal... is a great Sonic Youth album!!
it tastes like the "old ones", even like Sister!
every single song in The Eternal reminds me of
why Sonic Youth were, are, and will be
my freaking favorite band!!
the album sounds like a lot of Sonic Youth albums, yet like none
each song reminds me of a different stage on the Sonic career
i feel they "consolidated" themselves in this album
there are elements of Sister,
entrances that remind me of Evol
and angry punkness like in Confusion is Sex

The Eternal feels punk, feels trashy, yet polished trash...
it's catchy trash sometimes, but still trash, noisy, and good!
like a rock album should be
it sounds like the good old Sonic Youth from 'back then'
i mean, some hard-core fans could argument that punk
shouldn't be catchy... but wasn't Diamond Sea
a ballad after all??? at least the first 5 minutes of it...
and then, a sea of diamond noises followed
Sonic Youth's best songs have always been catchy
but for me, that's one of the huge accomplishments
to create a song, a melody,
out of those freaking noises and feed-backs
it's the most structured and beautiful noise one can think of...
anyway, i feel about Sonic being old and yet good
as we say in Mexico:
El diablo sabe más por viejo que por diablo.
The devil knows more due to being old than by being the devil...

now i only regret having arrived late to the past show in January
i can't wait to see them live again!...
Lee Ranaldo was barely 5 steps from me
ahhh i wish i was there again!!
and i wish one day i could hug Steve Shelley and tell him
you the best drummer in the world (that is after you Beto!!)
and to Lee, that he's the last of the beat poets
holding a guitar instead of a pen

little sample? Kim Gordon as punk as ever
sings the opener track Sacred Trickster

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Conan O'Brien

since i moved to the US, back in 2001
i stayed late to see what Conan O'Brien was babbling about
i learned 'funny' English and to laugh with him very late at night

Conan was one of those symbols from New York City for me
and then they moved him to Los Angeles to do the Tonight Show
i was somehow sad 'cause i relate Conan with NYC
but it was OK, after all i don't care for Jay Leno
nor for any other late shows or talk shows anyway...
i am a PBS viewer, and a Turner Classics Movies fan
with some dose of Law & Order SVU now & then
and other silly stuff
(hey!! nobody is perfect!)
but from late night TV i only cared
for this quirky skinny tall red-haired man
who used to write for The Simpsons

and now... after getting him out of NYC
they are bringing back fat simpleton Leno
to the Tonight Show
and leaving Conan with plenty of money
but without a TV show...

am gonna miss Conan!!!
and his great irreverent sense of humor
tomorrow is his last show
TV was bad,
it just got worse...

Monday, January 18, 2010

leisure tea

after reading this relaxing tea-advice
give yourself some time
to drink a tea, or to let time go by
and to listen to this lovely relaxing song Sienna by Kiln

The Namesake

another good film
The Namesake

the film is based on Jhumpa Lahiri's novel
a while ago I read her fantastic collection
of short stories Interpreter of Maladies
a Pulitzer winner book, superb and
soulful writing about Indian immigrants living in USA

apparently her novel The Namesake wasn't as good as
this collection stories, yet the film is very good
I would recommend you to watch it...
& for a good review please
check ID's blog here

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The class / Entre les murs

the second film of the year
and another great one!

The Class - Entre les murs
will touch anybody who ever has been to a school
the teacher, the students, their relationships
the glory of an education system, and its many flaws
all portrayed so naturally that, in spite of being in French,
takes you back to the classroom of your youth

i won't say more since i am not a good reviewer
but the man who wrote this review is,
& here the trailer but as one of the comments in youtube said,
"This trailer doesn't accurately represent how truly awesome this movie is."

watch it! watch it! watch it!
you'll love it
a high-class film, superb dialogues
that were improvised in many cases
while following the plot of the book
written by François Bégaudeau
who plays himself in the film
as Mr. Marin, and just like in high school,
i am in love with the teacher

and while you watch, remember,
the young students in the film are NOT actors
they are actual students from Dolto High
a high-school in a not-so-romantic neighborhood of Paris

a last recommendation, if you watch it on DVD
do not fall into temptation of watching
the dubbed version in English...
it is much better on the original French version
with English subtitles, it's wide-screen too
so the subtitles do go over the film,
but on the horizontal black bar below

and the irony!
to think i had this DVD at home for 4 or 5 months
and never watched it before
'cause i was too busy with my CSS "class"

Friday, January 01, 2010


the 1st film of the year
this beautifully told story!

i started watching once
knowing that it had a 'good soundtrack'
and 'a good story'
but after a couple of minutes
i realized the jewel i was watching

with superb music writing
and fine singing
this story took my heart by surprise

if you enjoy music and appreciate
a lovely story, please watch it
you'll like it

hope you had a 1st great day of 2010