Thursday, March 30, 2006


Michael Silverblatt has been hosting Bookworm on KCRW for about 50 years now. I read somewhere that he hosts the show out of his apartment. Which brings me to this: Please, please someone get him a new microphone. Or teach him how to enunciate for radio. I've heard he's a brilliant guy but I can't understand a word he says.

Somehow, I always understand his guests.

This is funny. Adam, we'll miss you in the Final Four. Welcome to the NBA.

Speaking of the Final Four. Here are some predictions, infused as always with non-sports minutiae for my non-sports-minded reader(s):

Florida vs. George Mason: I know that the University of Florida is in Gainsville and it's Florida State that's in Tallahassee but still... I want to further address the Mountain Goats album Tallahassee. There's an amazing song - one of the softer subtler tracks - called Peacocks. John Darnielle begins by describing a scene involving the title birds:

I hear them squeal
I see them preen
Fans all spread out
Neat and clean

Simple and pretty and direct. Based on the lyrics of the other songs, he's likely describing the home he shares with his soon-to-be-ex-wife, juxtaposing the beauty of peacocks with the misery of his life.

He ups the sweetness factor with a guitar melody that's the musical equivalent of a peacock spreading his/her wings. You can practically hear the exposed colors in the music.

Later in the song, after singing (tenderly) of sleeping late in the heat with the woman he wished misery (death!) upon just two songs earlier, he continues:

Then a sharp breeze kicks up
I hug myself hard

How come there's peacocks

In the front yard?

And it's those last two lines of the verse that get me. The way he says the words "peacocks" and "front" blow me away. I heard it for the first time Sunday and for the twentieth time this morning and I play it over and over and over again. He just wants to know why they're there!

Sun's all prickly
On my neck

When the helicopter passes

We both hit the deck

Hands grasping and groping

Seizing opportunity

Right where it lies

The sky will fall

We will rise

And then it ends, the guitar strings no longer splaying in the north Florida wind. Florida 72 George Mason 65.

UCLA vs. LSU: UCLA is the archrival of my employer. UCLA teased me into thinking I would get not one but two jobs during the "Unemployment Spring" of 2004. Their second best player looks like Mark Wahlberg. LSU is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Many New Orleans-area residents relocated to Baton Rouge. The team's players seem like nice guys who helped out greatly in their fellow Louisianans' time of need. UCLA 72 LSU 46.

Final Game - Florida vs. UCLA:
UCLA is the greatest defensive team in the history of college basketball. UCLA 68 Florida 49.

(Aside to Los Angeles Unified School District students who walked out of class earlier this week in protest of anti-immigrant legislation: Good work)

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