Sunday, December 07, 2008

What I Was Like Inside My Head

How did I spend my weekend, you ask? Oh, I don't know. Just hanging out with Laura Lippman and David Simon, that's all! I do not believe it would be too unseemly or gossipy to report that I dined with them at City Grocery and Taylor Grocery (not to be confused with City Grocery) and the Ajax Diner, at the latter of which I had the privilege of hearing a disagreement between them over the meaning of a specific line of dialogue from THE WIRE. And in my head, I was like, "Wow! I'm having the privilege of hearing a disagreement between Laura Lippman and David Simon over the meaning of a specific line of dialogue on THE WIRE! I have never been happier and also I am freaking out!" But on the outside, I was all, "Hmm. Interesting point." But I didn't say it with words! I used the method of concerned and thoughtful nodding. (I will also mention that at the City Grocery bar, David Simon wrote down something John Currence said on a napkin!) We went to Rowan Oak as well, where we were allowed to manhandle Faulkner's personal possessions with obscene abandon. For example, I found a copy of the Italian literary magazine BOTTEGHE OSCURE, which at one time was edited by my friend Eugene Walter. I opened it up and sure enough there was Eugene's name on the masthead. I showed it to Tom Franklin (who also knew Eugene, and who was hosting Lippman and Simon for the weekend) and we stood there and marveled for a minute and thought about deep stuff. I can't speak for Tom but he was probably thinking something like, "Isn't life interesting!" (though he is not inclined to use exclamation points). Hey, do you know someone else with whom I went to Ajax and Rowan Oak? Neko Case, that's who! Remember, she took a picture of me sitting at Faulkner's typewriter? Read all about that, and more, in the brand new Oxford American 10th Anniversary Music Issue, which should be at your local newsstand right now. I could not possibly list all the fine writers and musicians paired up in this extraordinary package of wholesome goodness, which has a great cover photo of Jerry Lee Lewis (not to be confused with Jerry Lewis) looking as if he's on the set of the final episode of TWIN PEAKS. So what I will do is just list any musician or writer in the issue who has been mentioned on the "blog" before. There are lots of musicians and writers in there that I SHOULD HAVE mentioned here before, but to list them now would be cheating, and anyway I do not want to spoil the fun of discovery. But here, let me whet your appetite for the brand new Oxford American 10th Anniversary Music Issue by tossing out these names: Roy Blount Jr. -- William Gay -- Elvis Presley -- Greil Marcus --Peter Guralnick -- Kevin Brockmeier (wait until you read his piece!) -- Michael Martone. Well, I don't know what to say. That's not too many, and nearly all writers. May I cheat and mention just three perennial "blog" "faves" that have never been mentioned here before? Mose Allison, Little Walter, and Love....With Arthur Lee. And there are so, so many more. So many you won't believe it! Many you and I will hear for the very first time and with whom we shall fall in love. And I believe I forgot to mention that a double CD comes with the magazine so you can hear all the music you've been reading about. Down below, Jerry Lee. Up above, Love. (But not the same Love. It's complicated! Read the magazine.)