At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Bought my tix for Nagoya, Japan. Travel dates: April 29 to May 8.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Tom Waits talks about his twenty favorite discs with The Observer. Not surprisingly, Trout Mask Replica is high on the list. I like Tom Waits' music a lot better once he decided to become a Captain Beefheart impersonator.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

When Plainview gets too boring, go to Lubbock and spend money--that's been my policy since moving here. The boring details:

The Book Inn on 34th--copy of D. T. Suzuki's Zen and Japanese Culture--$8 (conversation with owner on the book trade included at no charge).

Ralph's Records on 82nd--Billie's Blues by Billie Holliday, Let Love In by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Underground by Thelonious Monk--$20.

Crossed Keys--enough supplies to last me a couple of months--$100.

Nirvana Indian Restaurant on 80th--Lamb Vindaloo with Vegetable Samosas and a bottle of Kingfisher--$25 (Americanized but okay)

Movies 16 on 52nd--screening of Bride and Prejudice--$7.25 (Americanized but okay)

Bride and Prejudice was a good idea in theory; Bollywood movies can be campy fun, and contemporary Indian mores are similar (from what I've heard) to those of Austen's society (i.e. the emphasis on status and matchmaking). But in execution the movie really didn't come off. The really fatal flaw is that the two central characters, the homologues to Elizabeth Bennett and William Darcy, were so blandly written and acted that I couldn't feel any real interest in their relationship. (Nor did I think the famous Aishwarya Rai to be as stunningly beautiful as I had heard.) Another disappointment was that most of the musical numbers were Westernized. The two songs that were in Indian style and dialect kept getting overlaid by dialogue, as if the filmmakers didn't think American audiences could tolerate too much exotica. Some of the secondary characters were funny, though, especially the "Mrs. Bennett," a plump, querulous Indian matron, and the "Mr. Collins" (who in this version is a goofy nouveau riche Indo-American who drops hip-hop slang in a Delhi accent). Summing up: take it or leave it.

The weather was perfect today, so after church I opened up the doors, let the cool air freshen up the place, and turned to Jane's original. Great stuff, even if I can't believe people ever spoke in such polished sentences.