Before mercury, my blood used to fill thermometers.

Friday, December 6, 2013


Lately, my preferred use of lists is to pressurize: things to do, books I want. I do this for the reason Umberto Eco surmises people list, which is to make infinity comprehensible.
And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries. There is an allure to enumerating how many women Don Giovanni slept with: It was 2,063, at least according to Mozart's librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte. (Der Spiegel, 2009)
When I was younger I loved to list my favorite books/films/albums because I could not believe there were any that I loved so much and wanted to display them like trophies, especially since, in the wee small hours of the internet, finding these things was hard won. I was lucky, in a rural village, pre-internet, to even become aware of David Lynch, and my whole purpose in early blogging endeavors was to shout that relief from the rooftops.

Now I hope I will not stop encountering things worth loving. I'm so grateful that every last one keeps swimming my way or that I collide with. This year, I continued enjoying books and films, but music has been harder and harder for me to love every year, I've been feeling. This year really reversed the trend, after Fiona Apple's Idler Wheel. That is the minute part of what I want to impart about this year: The Blue Jasmine soundtrack — especially "Blues (My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me)" and "A Good Man is Hard to Find" — the On the Road soundtrack, Jean Ferrat's "Ma Mome," Marie Laforêt's "La Moisson," Maurice Chevalier's "Sweepin' the Clouds Away," miscellaneous Delerue and Pink Martini, the Real Jazz and Symphony stations on XM Radio, the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra's "Rite of Spring," the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Chorale La Chateau's "Abyssinian Mass," and Jacques Dutronc's "L'idole" most of all.

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