Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Biased Milk Hotel

(This post meanders, and has no real point. Consider yourself forewarned.)

If I hear an Albany resident under the age of 40 say, "That is my favorite. album. EVER." I immediately know what they're talking about, without even looking.  

'How could you possibly know that?' you say?  
You only talk to people who have the same taste as you! you say?

Nah, because it's always the same. (I say.) Without question, the most frequently-named favorite album ever is 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.' by Neutral Milk Hotel. I think that most people, when confronted with choosing a favorite album would balk and wave away the question saying, "Oh, I could never choose." But folks who have fallen head over heels in love with this album are quick to put it in position #1 with very little hesitation. Best ever. End of story.

And it is, but I wonder if it would have the same effect on me today as it did when I was 19 and about to be on my own, supporting myself for the very first time. Would it have buoyed me through that time (simply by distracting me from the major changes I was going through. I barely remember the transition period, but, boy oh boy, do I remember listening to the hell out of that album during it) in the same way? I really don't know. When it comes to other art forms, like movies, I usually feel that they have a time and a place. I never saw 'Goonies' as a kid and probably never will, because it will never be as magical to someone pushing thirty as it was to all the eight year-olds who watched the VHS on repeat until the tape broke.

When I first heard, 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea' I distinctly remember thinking, "Alright, well, there it is. If I die in my sleep tonight, I haven't missed out on this and no one will be able to take it away from me." That is a powerful piece of art, right there, to evoke that emotion in the heart of a kid. That feeling doesn't come around too often, for me, anyway (other inspirations being Joanna Newsom albums and anything written by Robert Pirsig.) That feeling where you're actually scared someone's going to try to take this thing from you. It's precious and, I'm telling you, 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea' will give you that feeling. But I guess I'm biased.

Good News

Back in June there was a violent mugging outside my apartment and the offenders were caught pretty quickly. Two of them were also involved in a beating that left a man fighting for his life. Sad to see people so young lose their freedom, but I'm incredibly glad that they've been convicted. 20 years is a long time to think about what you've done, for sure. I hope they learn something.


(Thanks to Erik Morton for passing this along.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

(Mori)Bus Philosophorum: Bus Graffiti

You guys, get ready for the most offensively hardcore bit of bus graffiti I've ever come across. It's so tough, I'm putting it after the jump. Prepare yourself for...

And for That, I'm Thankful

I'm going to try to dip my toes back into the blogwater, here, with a little reflection on what has made me thankful this year.
  • The interwebs, seriously. No other time in history has been so democratic, thanks to them. You can rant, rave, or have a radio show. No one or everyone may be reading or listening, and that's OK.
  • My friends and family, who are all intelligent and devastatingly good-looking. Some of them really know how to cook, too, and for that I'm truly thankful.
  • The fact that, even though I can't take exotic vacations or prance with the stars, there is always food in the pantry, water from the faucet, and electricity powering everything. This is something I think about every day, to be honest, because there have been times when that was not the case.
  • All of the art, music, beauty, pathos, tragedy, and triumph that surrounds us, always. What a beautiful world we live in.

Together Again...FOR THE FIRST TIME.

You've probably been wondering, "Is Leigh in rehab again or something?" Surprise! No. But you're sooo funny. I was, in truth, taking a...sabbatical from the blog. It was getting to be a little too heavy for me, and a little too specific. Back when I started writing it, everything was just off the cuff, whatever came to mind and there was a freedom to it that I really loved. Then I started feeling like I had to write about the bus and keep things bus-centric, and people were assuming I actually knew what I was talking about (there was a post about sidewalks where I referred to "city planners" and people were all, "City Planners don't do that!" and I thought, "I just meant the people who...you know...plan...the city? Lowercase.")

It had become more of a chore than a lark. I went off in a different direction and started writing a semi-anonymous blog called Girlfriend in Progress, and that's been fun. It's been a great exercise in swallowing my pride, mostly, because the topics are much more personal.

Anyway, I'm going to get back to my totes whatevesies attitude towards the blog, and just write about what's entertaining me or on my mind. Sometimes it may be about the bus, more often than not it probably won't be. We'll see.

Oh, and P.S. I now have the domain name http://www.leighcummings.com to organize everything.