Good things to read.
Sabbath’s Theater by Philip Roth. Philip Roth is a rather polarizing figure, and this is one of his stranger novels. Pathetic and depraved does not even begin to describe the depths of the book’s main character, Mickey Sabbath. Roth had a bit of renaissance in the late nineties with books like American Pastoral, I Married a Communist, and The Human Stain, but I think Sabbath’s Theater is the real gem.
Too Loud A Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal. The book’s main character, Hanta is a guy who saves rare and banned books while working as a waste paper recycler. All sorts of literary gems pass through his press, and he can’t bear to crush them. The books become his education and his world.
Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy From Mars by Daniel Pinkwater. I remember first reading this book in elementary school. It was so surreal. The main character, Leonard Neeble, is completely bored by Junior High, and his failing grades land him into therapy. His therapist allows him to smoke cigars while chewing bubble gum. The real psychedelia ensues when Leonard meets his buddy Alan. I still can’t believe I checked this thing out of the school library.
Good things to watch.
Message to Love – The Isle of Wight Festival. It is amazing that so much of this footage sat unedited for decades. Murray Lerner shot it in 1970, but the majority of the material didn’t see the light of day until 1995. The entire collection is worth watching, but the Miles Davis performance is a real highlight for me. The band at that show was insane: Mile Davis,Jack Dejohnette, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Dave Holland, Gary Bartz, and Airto Morea. All those dudes were in the same band.
The Colors Trilogy by Krzysztof Kieślowski. All three films in this trilogy are stunning and will completely crush your soul.
Good things to use.
A Cooper CS-104 mixer. This piece of equipment is only going to be useful if you are recording audio out in the field and you want it to sound more awesome than the next guy. Cooper Sound is no longer in business, but their products are still widely used because of their superior design and sound. There are tons of portable mic pres and mixers with more bells and whistles, but to my ears this unit is the best.
Rhodia Pads. When I need a pen and paper for note-taking, my preferred notepads are their graph ruled, staple bound orange pads.
Garmin Edge 500. I’m a cyclist and my Garmin helps me obsessively track all my rides and their associated data. I won’t be getting paid to ride my bike anytime soon, but I love data. If you upload your data to services like [trava, you can also find new rides based on other riders’ routes.
Connect with Michael on Twitter, @Sepulchra.