Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dylan in the Heart

For those who haven't heard, let me be the first to break the news: Bob Dylan has put out a Christmas album. Yes, that Bob Dylan. Yes, Christmas songs.

Seriously, I'm not even kidding, and if you know what's good for you, you'll find some samples of this album to listen to--Dylan's death rattle doing Christmas classics like "The Little Drummer Boy" and "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is not to be missed, even if the latter sounds a bit more like a threat than a promise, and songs like "The First Noel" sound like a clear challenge to Tom Waits, the former king of singing-as-a-continuous-low-growl. Oh, oh, oh, and your life is not complete if you haven't heard him croaking through the Latin lyrics to "Adeste Fideles," sounding for all the world like a child fake-speaking a foreign language.

So, Mr. Dylan, congratulations, and a strong showing indeed. And for Dylan fans like myself, I've got some ideas of other territories he could explore:
  • He could make like a high school choir and try some madrigals! This album would feature songs like "My Bonnie Lass, She Ain't Goin' Nowhere" and, probably, would use the magic of recording technology to have Dylan sing the songs in full SATB parts: scratchy, amusical, tuneless, and bass.
  • Along the same lines, for those who want to expose their kids to Dylan early, there's always the possibility of Tangled Up In Red, Yellow, and Blue, on which Dylan covers every from Barney to Raffi, perhaps with a side trip through the ABC's and the primary colors. Haven't you always wanted to hear Dylan sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" in a round with himself?
  • As CBS used to put it, "nobody sings Dylan like Dylan," to combat the Dylan covers which were all over the airwaves in the 60s. Well, it's time for Dylan to strike back and sing everyone else like Dylan! On Like the Rolling Stones, Dylan covers his favorite non-Dylan golden oldies, infusing them with his signature sandpaper vocals, leading to brilliant mash-ups like "A Hard Day's Night's A-Gonna Fall." Everyone will get satisfaction from these gems!
  • Broadway, Broadway, Broadway! On Positively 42nd Street, fans can get 525,600 minutes of Dylan, as he covers everything from "Memories" (can't you just hear him caterwauling now?) to "Seasons of Love." Dylan as Andrew Lloyd Webber has always wanted to hear him!
  • Remember that born-again phase in the 70s, when in songs like "Jokerman" and "Gotta Serve Somebody" Dylan seemed somewhat confused about whether he believed in Christ or had become Christ? Well, be confused no more: he believes in Christ, and so does the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! On their joint album, Just Like a Mormon, Brother Dylan drawls his way through "Come, Come Ye Saints," slower even than any church organist would take it, mumbles the words and butchers the to "Adam-ondi-Ahman," and gets "High on a Mountain Top," if you catch my drift. Though Dylan can hie to Kolob with the best of them, the real highlight of the album is their group rendition of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," because, really, why hasn't the MoTab recorded that already?
There you have it, folks: new Dylan albums to await. Pre-order them now, while supplies last, and remember: all proceeds go to charity!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Say cheese

In our fridge right now we have:

1 block fresh mozzarella cheese
2 tins crumbled feta cheese
1 tin crumbled goat cheese
1 block pepper jack
1 block paneer
1 block halloumi

plus the usual assortment of fresh vegetables--broccoli, cabbage, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and carrots.

When did I start eating so well? Apparently I am now both in Berkeley and of Berkeley. Pondering this, I feel a strong urge to stock up on peanut butter M&Ms or candy corn just to balance out the disgusting foodsnobbishness of our fridge.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Why couldn't I get THAT day over and over and over?"

I got married more than a month ago and I still have not posted any pictures. Clearly, I am a failure as a blogger. (Then again, I got arrested in Vietnam more than three months ago and I still have not posted any pictures of that either. I think that makes me a winner as a blogger.)

But wait no more! 9/19/09, to me, was just like that old song, you know, the one by the Dixie Cups: going to the chapel, and we're gonna get married...

By "chapel" I of course mean "temple."

The sky was blue (whoa whoa whoa):

And we'll never be lonely anymore:


There's not much to be said about the actual wedding ceremony--it was short and sweet, just us and our parents, we both remembered that the right answer is "yes" rather than "I do", and let's not go into how Mike giggled the whole time--so I'll move into the really good part, the reception. My mom was the wedding planner extraordinaire,

did I mention that I wore my mother's wedding dress?

and all I said I wanted from the party--this is true--is that I wanted to have fun. I've been to far too many weddings where the bride and groom stand in a receiving line, clearly not enjoying themselves, to want to repeat that for myself. And thank you, Mom, I had a blast. And how could I not? We held the party at a place that looks vaguely like the buildings on Tatooine:

It's a science museum, so in addition to having a great view

it had a wedding whale

a giant model of DNA

rock structures that can be shifted to replicate earthquake effects


a stream that can be dammed up

and plenty of other fun toys.

And if that location weren't cool enough on its own, we added to it with flowers and saris

a gamelan troupe

tons of food, gathered from American, Korean, Indonesian, Arab, Indian, and Vietnamese restaurants, to represent the countries in which we've lived

and a dessert table that was almost buckling under its own weight.

And so we whiled away the afternoon, on that sunny September Saturday, singing

and dancing

and karate kicking

and hanging out with the cardboard cutout of my missionary brother

and being carried in chairs

and being tossed on a blanket.

Yes, friends, I had fun. To channel Bill Murray from Groundhog Day: That was a pretty good day.

[thanks to my cousin Margaret for the pictures]