February 1, 2008

The Weeklies #21

The Weekly Best Moment. Any moment I wasn't working. There were about three of them.

The Weekly Celebrity Death. Margaret Truman. Turns out she led a pretty darn interesting life.

The Weekly Reads. This week I read Rock On: An Office Power Ballad by Dan Kennedy. Kennedy is a funny guy. He writes for McSweeney's so he is, by definition, talented and hilarious. Rock On chronicles his career in the record industry. For a year and a half, Kennedy worked for Atlantic Records. And what he found was that the record industry was far from the cool industry of his dreams. Instead it was pretty much like any other business with Office Space-like annoyances. And asshats and massive layoffs. I liked Rock On. The only issue I had was that it was barely focused. It was more of a 200 page comic riff. Which is fine but not quite what I expected.

The Weekly Music. I mentioned Grace Potter & the Nocturnals a few weeks ago. I just wanted to check and see if you'd bought the album yet. If you haven't, you're missing out. You're also missing out if you haven't checked out Band of Horses' second album, Cease To Begin. It's all kinds of emo and multiple shades of brilliant. Finally, I'm willing to bet that Marah is the best band most of you have never heard of. Their latest - Angels of Destruction is fantastic. It's pretty much what would happen if Elvis Costello became obsessed with early Springsteen. Yeah, it rocks.

The Weekly Schadenfreude. Schadenfreude is slowly becoming synonymous with Britney. I might just have to permanently rename this category in her honor since she's such a driving force. This week, she's back in the hospital to treat her big ol' case of crazy. She's truly the celebrity who keeps on giving. Oh, and you'll all be stunned to know that Sly Stallone admitted to using performance enhancing drugs. Color me shocked.

The Weekly Celebrity I Assumed Was Dead. Maximilian Adalbert Baer, Jr., also known as Jethro Bodine. He made the news this week.

The Weekly Hypothetical Question. A stranger walks up to you on the street and tells you she knows the day and way you die. Do you get the answer or do you walk away? Why?

Posted by Chris at February 1, 2008 6:44 AM

I walk away. My mummy always told me not to talk to strangers, especially if they are offering to predict my death.

Posted by: Loth at February 1, 2008 7:14 AM

Walk away, even if they know the truth I would assume they were lying to me.

Will go check those albums. Thanks for the tips.

Posted by: Nat at February 1, 2008 7:21 AM

a stranger, eh? I'd probably walk away and then obsess (darn all of a sudden I can't remember how to spell) about it for months.

Posted by: ocdcontrolfreak at February 1, 2008 7:27 AM

I would laugh at them and walk away knowing they were lying, because I am going to live forever.

Posted by: SciFi Dad at February 1, 2008 7:36 AM

1) Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are flippin awesome. They've been playing them for a while up here in Boston on the indie channels.

2) Is the day and date I die effected by my knowledge of it? Does me knowing it - and thus potentially behaving differently - effect it?

3) Happy Friday everyone!

Posted by: Caitlin at February 1, 2008 7:44 AM

1) Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are flippin awesome. They've been playing them for a while up here in Boston on the indie channels.

2) Is the day and date I die effected by my knowledge of it? Does me knowing it - and thus potentially behaving differently - effect it?

3) Happy Friday everyone!

Posted by: Caitlin at February 1, 2008 7:44 AM

I was sad to hear about Margaret Truman! I've enjoyed her Capital Crimes books. Of course, then I read an article that said she only wrote 13 and wrote her last in 1996, so I'm wondering who the heck wrote the 10 that have been published since then!

And for your hypothetical, I subscribe to the "ignorance is bliss" theory of life and death.

Posted by: jaime at February 1, 2008 8:01 AM

RUN away. Some things are best left unsaid.

Posted by: Alissa at February 1, 2008 8:12 AM

walk away and obsess for one moment

and then wonder if that person could also tell my when my next raise is due

Posted by: mikkie at February 1, 2008 8:12 AM

Jethro is still alive? I had to read that article just to make sure.... he looks like a casino builder, doesn't he... like Jack Nicholson in Mars Attacks.

Posted by: august at February 1, 2008 8:26 AM

I wouldn't find out because then I'd spend all my time obsessing over that one single point in time, thus blowing the rest of my life, no matter how long or short it may be. I'm much more in the "take life as it comes at you" camp. It's funny you brought this up; I had a similar conversation with a friend earlier in the week about there are some things we say we really want to know but at the same time, knowing them makes them...less important, somehow.

Britney makes me sad and anxious. I'm afraid she's not going to get the help she really needs and that this whole saga is going to end very, very badly.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at February 1, 2008 8:28 AM

I would run away, assuming that the reason this person knows is that she is planning to kill me herself. I would imagine that if you said, "Yes, I'd like to know," she'd say, "Follow me into this deserted warehouse basement..."

Posted by: Leah at February 1, 2008 8:28 AM

I walk away. I already know I'm dying at 92. Known since I was 10. Don't care if it's true, don't care how. And don't subscribe to crazy.

Posted by: Poppy at February 1, 2008 8:41 AM

I'd walk away. I have too many crazy things going on in my life to have another worry placed on my head.

Posted by: daisy at February 1, 2008 8:43 AM

Ooh! I get the answer and then I party like it is 1999. I would want to know, morbid curiousity.

Posted by: Nanette at February 1, 2008 8:48 AM

I'd walk away. If I had that thought in my head I would obsess about it forever. Then my life would be about trying to get things done before that date and that's no way to live.

Posted by: Jennifer at February 1, 2008 8:54 AM

i love band of horses. cease to begin is great. love love love

Posted by: ali at February 1, 2008 8:55 AM

I would probably laugh at the her and think she is crazy (maybe she's like Desmond (LOST!), though and can see the future because of some magnetic explosion in which she was involved...okay, that's far fetched. Did I mention LOST!). I don't know what I'd do then. I guess it would depend on her appearance.

Posted by: Arwen at February 1, 2008 9:04 AM

Tis' better not to know, Grasshopper!

Posted by: Maribeth at February 1, 2008 9:12 AM

Walk away. Either they're seven kinds of crazy, which I wouldn't want to deal with, or they really know when I'm going to die, which I wouldn't want to know.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 1, 2008 9:24 AM

I may be one of your few readers who remembers both Margaret and her parents. I always liked her and I've probably read most of her mysteries too.

I would walk away too. Remember "Appointment in Samarra"? What good could come of knowing and then spending the rest of my life running?

Have a great weekend and don't forget what I said about Groundhog Day.

Posted by: ann adams at February 1, 2008 9:26 AM

Someone told me that the other day actually,

I walked away.

I'm a New Yorker.

Posted by: Dani at February 1, 2008 9:39 AM

I would walk away. I would obsess about the date/time/place and never enjoy all the moments leading up to it.

Posted by: Christina at February 1, 2008 9:50 AM

Keep on walking...that knowledge won't change a thing!

Posted by: Steff at February 1, 2008 9:51 AM

Hi there. I'm new to your blog. I found you through Ms. Fish :)

You question is interesting. I would probably walk away but, GOD, the anal retentive, control freak in me would be PISSED. Heh.

Posted by: NotAMeanGirl at February 1, 2008 9:54 AM

I would walk away, because WTF? And then I'd be freaked out.

Posted by: Fraulein N at February 1, 2008 9:59 AM

i've read on and off for awhile, and i know that you are on antidepressants. britney's big ol' case of crazy may be in the public eye, but that girl is suffering inside, and that should be shown some respect.

Posted by: at February 1, 2008 10:25 AM

Walk away, man. Walk away. I don't need that kind of information poisoning the rest of my life, even if I'll be dead in five minutes.

Posted by: Kelly at February 1, 2008 10:26 AM

I'd ask that stranger where my copy of Me Talk Pretty One Day disappeared to, because THAT'S something I'm interested in knowing.

Posted by: GreenCanary at February 1, 2008 10:29 AM

Dammit, Jethro.

After listening to some of the clips for Band of Horses, it looks like you've sold me again, O musical muse.

Get the answer. I've been in a tangentially similar situation and, while an argument can be made that knowing something ominous is on the horizon tends to take some of the color out of life, it also makes you focus on spending your time doing things that you truly enjoy and that make life worth living. Perspective is a gift and nothing provides perspective like mortality.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at February 1, 2008 10:29 AM

I would walk away. I'd rather not have the knowledge hanging over my head, even if it was that I die at 99 in my sleep, having lived a full life, and my last days having been spent happy and fat surrounded by grandchildren. (which, incidentally, is my choice of ways to go..)

Posted by: suze at February 1, 2008 10:30 AM

I walk away for 2 reasons.

1. She's probably full of $hit.
2. I don't want to know.

I don't go through life like a 17 year old thinking I'm invincible but I also don't worry about every teeny tiny thing that might kill me. I like living my life just as it is and when my time comes, ready or not...
Did I mention that she's probably full of $hit?

Posted by: SassyPants at February 1, 2008 10:34 AM

Your hypothetical question: I wouldn't mind knowing when I'm going to die, but my Dad wouldn't be happy if he knew. I told him once, years ago, that I had a feeling I knew how I would die one day, and he told me I shouldn't ever say that -- that if we THINK it, we can actually WILL it to be the case. I don't know if I believe that, but there it is. :)

Posted by: Zandria at February 1, 2008 11:25 AM

There is no reason to ever live in ignorance regardless of reasoning. You should always use all information to your benefit...even if people who are ignorant appear happy. I just think the educated are truly happier. So - even if I couldn't change the future, I still want to know it.

Posted by: Charlise at February 1, 2008 11:48 AM

If you like the new BOH album--which was not as good as the first, but still pretty darn good--you'll want to check out the Grand Archives EP when it drops at the end of the month. The lead singer of Grand Archives used to be in BOH before Matt and Ben had some lady troubles and Ben packed up BOH and moved them all to South Carolina.
The fact that the drummer of Grand Archives is a good friend of mine has nothing to do with anything--Grand Archives has been driving people out here crazy. They got picked up for the last Modest Mouse tour after playing one show where they didn't even have a full set. Plus, they haven't contemplated selling a song to Walmart, which nearly made me break up with BOH.

Posted by: samantha at February 1, 2008 12:23 PM

I would TOTALLY find out about my death! Because I am a control freak like that. If I was all like la di da, I don't have to know ... 20 seconds later, I'd be kicking myself for not finding out.

Why, HELLO! I'm crazy, how are you?

Posted by: moo at February 1, 2008 1:03 PM

I think I'd have to walk away. I would spend so much time dreading the impending date/time that I wouldn't live life to its fullest in the meantime.

Geez, way to make us all aware of our own mortality on a Friday! :)

Posted by: Liz at February 1, 2008 1:16 PM

Hmmm...gotta say I'd walk away. I'd be too afraid it would be a lot sooner than I am ready for!! Yikes!

Posted by: Bridget at February 1, 2008 2:18 PM

Britney, all kinds of mess there...

Hypothetical question? I'd have to walk away as well, because I would live in a frazzled mess for the rest of my life waiting for it to happen.

I actually have taken care of a patient who claimed to know how people would die. I ignored him for fear that he would slip and tell me.

Posted by: crookedeyebrow at February 1, 2008 2:31 PM

Pfft. I already know how I'm going to die...

In the library with a candlestick.

Posted by: Tink at February 1, 2008 2:48 PM

Best Moment: I was totally in this boat. Thank goodness the boat made it to shore. Get the hell out - let's party!

Music: A guy and I at work are totally in love with A Fine Frenzy right now. Might wanna check 'em out.

Schadenfreude: Poor Britney... But hey - did you hear that apparently Angelina Jolie is preggo with twins? Can't wait to hear if that's real or not. I love celebrity gossip.

Hypothetical Question: I'd ponder it, but I think I'd walk away. I know me. I know I'd count every damn day until the day I died. I mean - you couldn't prevent it even if you knew about it, and even if you did try to prevent it, maybe you trying to prevent a hypothetical death actually ended up being the thing that killed you. I'd rather not know. One day at a time. Live life to the fullest. All that jazz.

Posted by: Emily at February 1, 2008 7:37 PM

Walk away. Something can be said for the element of surprise, after all.

Posted by: Melissa at February 1, 2008 9:22 PM

Walk away and live like you know it will be tomorrow. Cliche? Maybe. But still a good idea.

Posted by: Kelly at February 1, 2008 9:25 PM

I'd walk away, that is something I just don't want to know.

Posted by: Adi at February 1, 2008 10:47 PM

Denial, I walk away, why, thats how I live the rest of my life, so why ruin a good thing?

Posted by: Shannon at February 2, 2008 3:08 AM

I'd walk away ... unless they had candy!

Seriously, I'm afraid if I knew that I had a LONG time left, I'd procrastinate more, and if I knew that I had a short time left, I'd be so panic stricken that I wouldn't get anything accomplished.

Posted by: Dana at February 2, 2008 7:18 AM

Britney is almost too easy though.

I'd so walk away. I don't care if it's in a week or I'm going to live to be 124, I don't want to know ahead of time. Too much knowledge isn't good for the brain...at least not that kind of knowledge.

Posted by: Phoenix at February 3, 2008 12:23 PM

Obviously you are into music, books and such... I came across a cool site today that apparently gives you the scoop on what's good - but not necessarily all hyped up. Maybe you've heard of it? www.veryshortlist.com

My little link-tip for you and the readers. Enjoy!

Posted by: Holly at February 3, 2008 9:04 PM