Friday, December 09, 2005

Winter, etc.

First off, I'd like to state my continued holiday album of choice continues to be Chris Isaak Christmas.  It combines just the right amounts of sentiment, schmaltz, and jingle bell backgrounds.  As other reviews have noted, there's a pretty good number of songs on this disc written by Mr. Isaak himself, and they blend in very nicely, with the exception of "Hey Santa!".  This exception isn't a bad thing; the song is just considerably more uptempo, with a little "Ring of Fire" feeling to it.  If you don't like Chris Isaak, this disc is unlikely to change your mind, but it's worth a listen.  It makes me glad to think of my daughter growing up hearing these great songs every year, to the point where hearing them brings back all those childhood Christmas days.  We also enjoy the Time Life Treasury of Christmas - it really is as good as it looks on all those commercials, as long as you make sure to get Volume One.  Volume Two, also two discs, has about three listenable songs.  Elvis Christmas, Nat King Cole Christmas, Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas (if you don't have this one, seriously, what are you doing?  essential Christmas background music), John Denver & the Muppets Christmas round out the listening.
 
The office is near abandoned today - between the storm "raging" outside and having the entire afternoon open with the cancelation of our holiday party, people are fleeing.  I'm here with paperwork and e-mail.
 
Am back reading "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" after finishing his "after the quake " short stories and after slogging through Millet and I'm pleased to say it gets better and better.  Where did I read that his writing can often be very "Twin Peaks"?  This one has that feel - the waking dream of everybody, laid bare.  The review found at the link above is certainly not inaccurate, but this is one of those books that is hard to summarize, and the more you say about it, the less you're actually saying about it, if that makes sense.  This synopsis, for the UK edition, gets at it more and also really tells you nothing about what is happening:
 
Toru Okada is an apparently happy man - his domestic routine seems familiar and comfortable. Admittedly, he has recently quit his job, the cat has disappeared, and a strange woman has begun to bother him with explicit phone calls. Then one day his wife does not come home from work.
 
That's it - and yet, since that's not really it at all, that lack-of-being-it represents a lot of what the book itself is about, at least so far. 
 
Put down the eggnog!
 
Truly: if you must complain about the snow before March, move south.  It's not rocket science, the whole brake-pumping thing.  Why sully the enjoyment of snow that others look forward to with your whining and your bad driving and your complete paralyzation by one inch of snow? 
 
"Nice weather," she grumbles.
 
It sure is!

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