Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I once read part of Stendhal’s The Red and the Black and loved it. Unfortunately, I lost it before I even got a fourth of the way through. What struck me was that, even in translation, how contemporary the novel was, making it totally readable with not a hint of being dated (it was published almost 200 years ago). One of the hallmarks of a classic is that it reads like it was written yesterday-something about illuminating the universals...

As someone says to the protagonist Julien: 'Truth is austere, sir...You must take care to guard your conscience carefully from this weakness: Excess of feeling for vain exterior charm.' Quite so: dialog like that makes one realize that at least someone has really thought about this crazy life.

Since this Stendhal fellow is soooo cool, I thought I’d borrow the title of his memoir for my journal, just for awhile.

P.S. Found it, finished it, loved it-considered the first 'modern novel' in the way it deals with the complexity of the human condition given the world we now live in-read it!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Dacha Chillin’ Top 10

Go to the lake, chill at the dacha, watch the flowers grow, and relax. Here’s a list of musical choices guaranteed to please, in no particular order.

Zero 7: When it Falls (not talking about the beer on the carpet)
Air: Moon Safari (give it a few tries-one of the best)
Morcheeba: Who Can You Trust? (good question, eh)
Love & Rockets: Sweet FA (hard to find, try Amazon for used)
Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (aka the Hillbilly OK Computer)
Thievery Corporation: Mirror Conspiracy
Tosca: Suzuki or T.A.C.
The Beatles: Abbey Road (as fresh, original, and chillin' as the day it was released)
Radiohead: OK Computer (or anything by Radiohead)
Cat Power: You are Free

Note: So what is a dacha, you ask? It's very easy to explain. It's just a cabin--sometimes a shack. But it is difficult to understand that it's not just a cabin and much more than a shack for most. This is the place to escape from the rash and the problems of a city. The place where kids grow up like grass...a resort and a slavemaster…a pleasure and a disaster...a lifestyle... a sweet curse.