Some students at Wilcox County High School in Wilcox, Ga., are planning what will be their school’s first-ever racially-integrated prom. I hate that this is something that has to happen but love so much that they’re doing it. But of course it’s tricky. Like the white-only and black-only proms that are held every year, the integrated prom is planned and funded independently from the school and so far ticket sales are flagging. They’re looking to fund this year’s prom and leave enough in the kitty that seniors can plan another one next year, too. If you want to help, they’re accepting donations right over here. Or you can buy a chicken plate! I want these kids to get, like, “Veronica Mars movie”-level cashmoney. It’s such a small thing, but such a big thing.
Just realized it’s been just about ten years since I first heard this record. It was sometime in January or February of my senior year of high school, in between hearing back from colleges and deciding where I would go; Joe and I had been dating for a few months, and I think he burned the CD for me. I have a very specific memory of driving in my van (!) from his parents’ house back across town to my parents’ house, merging onto 153 and driving up out over the Chickamauga Dam while this song played. A lot has changed since then but “world’s biggest necklace!” made me laugh then and it makes me laugh now. I also just realized I’ve always had a very specific mental image that pops into my brain along with that line, and it’s of a woman wearing a necklace—like, definitely a big necklace, maybe a bigger-than-average necklace, something you might call “chunky,” but definitely not the world’s biggest. But for some reason Bob Dylan himself has never seen a necklace that big, so he’s just really impressed.
It’s great what our brains do with music, isn’t it? Brains and music and time.
I don’t remember being totally insufferable at age 17, but I just found the .csv files of my high school LiveJournal on my hard drive and they seem to indicate otherwise.
Here’s one particularly painful excerpt of an entry posted at 4 P.M. on January 31, 2002:
At any rate, now I’ve discovered El Greco, and when I’m in the mood I think I may change my desktop to Christ Driving the Traders from the Temple from this Jackson Pollock thing I have up now.
Also I’ve succumbed to a rather persistent desire to download Radiohead songs, and now I think a bit more highly of them. The end.
I was listening to “Fake Plastic Trees.” My mood was “lazy.” A few entries earlier, when I wrote something about the paper I didn’t want to write about Ethan Frome for my American Studies class, my mood was “exanimate.”
Thank you and sorry to everyone who had to deal with me then, and thank you and sorry to everyone who has to deal with me now, because I’m sure one day I will look back on everything I wrote at age 27 and also want to club myself over the head.
Here’s that El Greco painting I was really into, by the way. I don’t remember if I ever made it my desktop background (?!) but if I did I’m sure it really livened up Ye Olde Maddux Familye Compaq Presario.
I watched the trailer for The Great Gatsby yesterday, like I guess everyone of a certain stripe did, and what struck me most about it was that when you finally see Gatsby, I didn’t see Gatsby, I just saw Leonardo DiCaprio. It was a weird letdown. The rest of the trailer is like this tiny beautiful pounding world but every second he’s on the screen—and this is all happening in less than two minutes or whatever, of course—I am just ripped right out of it. I didn’t even know I had feelings about this casting choice until now. So I was thinking about this, and thinking about who I might have liked to see as Gatsby more than DiCaprio, and that’s when I realized that even when I read the book (in high school, and not ever since), I had in my mind a picture of what all the characters looked like, but even when the image in my mind didn’t match up with the casting of the role (for some reason I always imagined Tom Buchanan to be much older, rounder, and redder than Joel Edgarton—not sure why), it was less jarring than seeing an actual person, any actual person, physically embodying Gatsby. Because overall I never formed a picture of him in my mind. He was just a generally man-shaped blob, a shadow with a smudged-out face. I was never able to get a grip on him. Which I guess is maybe the whole thing. Although if I had to pick how he would be rendered on the big screen I guess it would be via Kate Beaton illustration. He could interact with all the live characters like the weird penguin dance scene in Mary Poppins! But with more gin.
Wilco — “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”
It’s somehow been ten years since this record was released, which means it’s somehow almost been ten years since the summer I spent working at Marble Slab Creamery, dreaming/freaking out about applying to college in the fall and trying to figure out how to get Joe to be my boyfriend. At the tail end of that summer break, just before my senior year started, I had two impacted wisdom teeth removed and I laid around for a week afterwards, doped up on painkillers and playing this record on repeat, not on purpose but at first because I could hardly move to change the CD so I just left it on a loop, and then because it just felt like the absolute best thing I could be doing, for then and for all time.
Source: SoundCloud / mateodesign
Ben Folds Five - “Eddie Walker”
There’s a new Ben Folds Five song streaming over here and it’s OK I think but mostly I am thrilled at the nostalgia k-hole it’s pushed me into. Naked Baby Photos was the best part of the fall of my sophomore (freshman? I’m forgetting the musical timeline of my life! WHAT IS HAPPENING, am I an old now?) year in high school, music-wise, I think, but never made it onto my iPod or any computer I’ve ever owned so I tend to forget about it but “Eddie Walker” might be my favorite BF5 song. OH MY GOD I JUST TYPED BF5. It has been maybe ten years since that happened. I love today.
Songs some of my girl friends and I were obsessed with in 11th and 12th grades, which raise a number of questions about our lives at the time but also explain quite a lot
- “Potiphar” from Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (original cast recording)
- “Peel Me A Grape” by Diana Krall
- “Les Champs Élysées” by Joe Dassin