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Showing posts from January, 2010


Design of a Decade: The Albums

A little bit late into the new year, but nonetheless...

After listing all of the individual tracks that have thoroughly entertained me and left an imprint on my life during the last 10 years, I realized I had to take a look at the albums I continually set on repeat. And since this past decade was what I consider The Beginning of the End of the Album, it was somewhat of a challenge to find discs I owned that stood out as complete, rich pieces of work. After all, we now live in the Age of the Single where it's all about how many hits you can get on the radio and how many digital copies you can sell on iTunes. And ask yourself this: How often do you buy an actual album on which every single track is just as awesome as the next, not a single filler song tempting you to press that skip button?

These are my top 10 from the last 10 years, albums that, I believe, have wonderfully encapsulated the 2000s. While I've offered my reasons for their sheer brilliance and enjoyability, I have al…


Picture It

We'll find a quiet place where we can talk and share our dreams. We'll browse through bookshops, stop at a cafe and call it day. We'll take a road trip to a destination we've always wanted to visit and stop at a roadside diner where we'll befriend a waitress who insists that we try their blackberry cobbler. We'll accumulate hundreds of friends in common on Facebook within a matter of months, and they'll become our unofficial family.

We'll develop the ability to read each other's minds but never assume what the other is thinking. We'll learn to communicate fully and be honest with each other. We'll tell each other things only a few know - or no one knows. We'll always have our respective best friends but will ultimately be each other's best friend.

We'll be invited to birthday parties and social events, and when one of us can't make it, questions will be asked, speculations will be made. We will each act as a bookend to an amp…


What I'm Reading

If this guy's considered "the poet laureate of Gen X," then I'd like to be the rep for Gen Y.

I purchased the 2008 reissue of this novel back in March of last year at a Seattle bookshop. The cover was different from the one shown here, and I was guilty of having judged it so quickly. The stark white, titleless front featured a heavily pixelated Nintendo-like character of a comatose patient with a red heart hovering in the top corner. Intriguing. I turned it over and found the title on the spine.

The synopsis had me hooked: On a snowy Friday night in 1979, just hours after making love for the first time, Richard's girlfriend, high school senior Karen Ann McNeil, falls into a coma. Nine months later she gives birth to their daughter, Megan. As Karen sleeps through the next seventeen years, Richard and their circle of friends reside in an emotional purgatory, passing through a variety of careers — modeling, film special effects, medicine, demolition — before finally…


My Current Theme Song

Now playing on heavy rotation on my iPod:


Introducing Mike Gayle

Yet another reason why I love all things British.

Only a few of Mike Gayle's books have been released here in the States, which is a shame and begs the question: Do his publishers fear we Americans won't get his style? Do they think his stories will get lost in translation?

The overall message that runs throughout Gayle's very readable novels is this: Life is messy and has no clear answers. His protagonists range from twentysomethings nursing broken hearts to thirtysomethings being slapped in face with the realization that reality more than just bites, it stings and eventually leads to pleasant surprises long after the pain subsides. In other words, they're so human it hurts. Very Nick Hornby-esque if you will.


The book that made me a die-hard fan: Dinner for Two. A music journalist loses his job, lands a gig as a "love doctor" for a teenybopper magazine, shelling out advice to puppy-lovesick tweens, and discovers he has a 12-year-old daughter as a result of a …