Thursday, November 19, 2015

Memoir Outtake: Thanksgiving

I stared out to the Quarry Lakes as the BART train rolled into Fremont. The small lakes shimmered in the sunlight. A majestic heron stood on a grassy bank. Up above, a V of Canadian geese appeared to fly to the sun. John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things” played from my iPod. I picked it because I felt happy and sappy, heading home for Thanksgiving. The song packed an emotional wallop. We had history. Three years before, I had traveled through much of South America by bus. I remember riding through the countryside from Uruguay into Argentina listening to “My Favorite Things.” I stared out the window as these beautiful trees that graced the highway swooshed by. When Coltrane soloed during the song’s outro, I began to cry to myself. The melody he plays during that final verse is excruciatingly beautiful; it sounds like a eulogy, a call of profound gratitude as though Coltrane were ascending into the sun’s light, turning back and expressing through his saxophone: it was a good ride. Listening to him play, staring at that Argentinean countryside, I simply cried because I felt so fortunate to have the opportunity to travel, to see foreign lands, to feel such beauty.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Goo Goo G'joob!: My Top 10 Favorite Beatles Songs

About a month ago, my good friend Chris and I were strolling through Central Park. Since we're good boys, we made a pilgrimage to Strawberry Fields. Once we paid our respects to one of the greatest hippies ever, I mused that it would be difficult to whittle down my favorite Beatles songs to a top 10 list. A few days later, at a bar in Brooklyn, I told my homie and fellow blogsmith, Justin “Ticket to Ride!” Goldman about this thought I had. Two pints deep, copping a fluffy buzz, Justin did not hesitate to ask the bartender for a pen. “Let's do this right now,” he said, or something like that, and off we went. Within a few minutes, this is what we produced: