Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Carpet Of White

One of my most vivid memories is seeing snow for the first time. It was just after I had moved to the States. I was getting ready to go to class (Macroeconomic Analysis, I'll never forget). I stepped out of my house and felt the the white stuff crunch under my shoes. It was no more than a mere inch, but it utterly transformed the neighborhood and landscape. I forgot all about my class, went right back indoors, pulled up a chair to the bay window, made myself a large pot of chai and for the rest of the afternoon, just gazed.

Last night, when I got into bed and turned out the light, the bedroom stayed brightly-lit from the moonlight reflecting off the first snow. It felt so good that I had trouble falling asleep for a long time.

This morning, I'm at a (different) bay window, chai in hand, iBook in lap, offering up a handful of linkies:

  • Robert Christgau's annual turkey shoot is always a hoot. This year's edition leads off with his knocking the stuffing out of the new Burt Bacharach album.

  • Michel Legrand is, of course, a freakin' genius. A huge bag of goodies, in the form of the Thomas Crown Affair soundtrack, is generously available at Flickhead's. If you'd rather not get it all, you should at least score the two vocal tunes: "Windmills Of Your Mind" sung by Noel Harrison and "His Eyes, Her Eyes" by the melodiously French-accented Legrand himself. Precious.

  • Brian reminds me how much I love The Bad Plus. And they even have a blog! This entry, on matching up writers with bands, is inspired.

  • Screen capture quizzes this week: Fine with Aaron's but Filmbrain's has me stumped.

  • Interviews dredged up from the Salon archive: Haruki Murakami, Susan Sontag. (via Rake's Progress).

  • Ten writers admit to the things they've taken from Joan Didion.

26 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

Glad some of this first snow fall made it over to Buffalo for you Girish. I pretty much did the exact same thing the other night; turned off all the lights and sat by the window listening to Bach's Orchestral Suites, watching it all dance in the air. I live in the city, so the orange sodium lighting reflects off all the snow and makes for a surreal orange glow-- can be the middle of the night and almost as lit up as day time.

November 19, 2005 10:49 AM  
Blogger girish said...

I have to say: that version of "Windmills Of Your Mind" even inches past the great Dusty Springfield version on Dusty In Memphis, and that is saying something.

More goodies: two really nice mash-ups at The Pop View. The Pharrell Williams/Tribe Called Quest meld sounds unbelievably seamless. And makes you realize that the Lou Reed bassline from "Walk On The Wild Side" can be sampled forevermore and it would sound hot. Every time.
Tribe got there first though.

November 19, 2005 4:33 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Totally missed the boat on this: had no idea Pat Metheny made an album with Jaco Pastorius.
Xanax Taxi has mp3's.

November 19, 2005 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Hillis said...

Hey, I stumped you a little bit at least! You made the same mistake that 5 others have, in turn giving you a score of 66.67 percent this week.

Signed, your sneaky quizmaster.

November 19, 2005 4:41 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Aha. Trick question, as my students might say.

November 19, 2005 4:47 PM  
Blogger Tuwa said...

I took Joan Didion's purse. I used her lipstick to write obscene messages on the mirror in the men's bathroom.

November 19, 2005 6:05 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Hmmm. Reeeally?

November 19, 2005 7:19 PM  
Blogger Tuwa said...

Sorry, I'll try to put a lid on the frivolous comments.

November 19, 2005 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Peter Nellhaus said...

There are times when I miss snow. There is no clear cause and effect in what I did, but for some reason, when I lived in Denver, the night of the first December snowfall I would watch "The Maltese Falcon". I did meet Michel Legrand through my mother who was interviewing him for the Denver Post. I heard later that he appreciated having someone ask him about his music for "Bay of Angels" instead of his Hollywood scores.

November 19, 2005 8:59 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Tuwa, don't you dare.
(Put a lid on the frivolous comments, I mean.)

November 19, 2005 11:00 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Peter, you need to start blogging about your mom. She sounds pretty darned hip.

November 19, 2005 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Peter Nellhaus said...

I can't really blog about my mother (this is starting to sound like you and me and Almodovar), but hey, she got immortalized in Variety.

November 20, 2005 10:47 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Peter, I'm so sorry to hear.
But it sounds like she was one rockin' lady.

November 20, 2005 10:50 AM  
Blogger phil said...

hey girish:
they say that inuit tribes have multiple words for different kinds of snow; i think we in buffalo should too.

i have only recently come to an appreciation for winter, which i think is due to the fact that i often walk to school in the cold, and after awhile, if you're moving around, its not so bad.

i love walking in new snow, especially the chunky, fluffy kind that looks like falling cotton or shredded cloud. it falls so quietly. and hangs in the air like a sheer and shimmering curtain. its beautiful.

November 20, 2005 4:38 PM  
Blogger Tuwa said...

No snow here. We had some in North Florida once, about ten years ago--enough to stay frozen on the ground, I mean--and I remember being surprised by how dirty it all looked. Obviously most places where it snows get more than that first bit.

November 20, 2005 4:48 PM  
Blogger girish said...

I remember taking a family vacation as a kid to Kashmir. It was summer but we could see the Himalayas and their snow-capped peaks from a long distance. Technically, it was the first time I ever saw snow, but I never got close enough to it for it to count.

November 20, 2005 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Darren said...

Tuwa, it snowed in north Florida in March or April '93. I remember because I spent that day with some friends, painting the inside of a home in Tallahassee. And I remember that because I spent most of my time flirting with the woman I later married.

My favorite snow memory is February '79. My older sister's best friend came over for lunch after church and ended up staying for three days because we got four feet of snow. The single image that's stayed with me is opening the front door of our house and looking up at the surface of the snow. I wasn't quite seven years old, so the four feet had me by three or four inches.

Knoxville gets the perfect amount of snow for me. Each year, we'll have two or three days when I can sit inside by the fire and watch the snow fall. But then it melts a day or two later.

November 20, 2005 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Filmbrain said...

Girish - You are not alone in your stumpedness. Very few people managed to get this week's quiz, which sort of surprised me -- this is one that everyone has seen. (Or at least I think they have. . .)

November 21, 2005 8:33 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Ah, that makes me feel better.
"That everyone has seen...": this intrigues me now. I just assumed I hadn't seen it.

November 21, 2005 9:09 AM  
Blogger girish said...

The conversation on literary adaptations continues at Chuck's place.

November 21, 2005 9:41 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Cool.
Edith Frost, a singer I like a lot, keeps a blog.
I first heard her on a Pine Valley Cosmonauts record, The Executioner's Last Songs, all country songs about murder, hanging, and the like.
The guest vocalist roster on it, in addition to Edith, includes: Rosie Flores, Neko Case, Steve Earle, etc.
Edith does the Merle Haggard-via-Gram Parsons "Sing Me Back Home".
Great record.

November 21, 2005 9:51 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Fascinating article by Jane Fonda in the Guardian.

November 21, 2005 9:54 AM  
Blogger Tuwa said...

Filmbrain, it's driving me crazy. It looks like a levitating pencil, which had me guessing Shadowland, even though I've never seen it, so I looked it up to make sure the time was right for it--and it's never been made into a film. Eh.

This is better than Christmas.

November 21, 2005 11:20 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Tuwa, I know of at least one instance when Filmbrain has embedded an anagram in the "alt" message/title of his image.
So, hover that cursor over the image and see what you come up with. (Driving you a bit crazier, that's all.)

November 21, 2005 11:46 AM  
Anonymous jmac said...

Very beautiful snowy memory, very beautiful writing...

November 21, 2005 1:26 PM  
Blogger girish said...

jmac, i love your site.

November 21, 2005 2:52 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home