I wasn’t so sure about The National’s Trouble Will Find Me once the album became available for streaming in full from iTunes. The first five songs worked perfectly, and then the album’s pace and velocity became erratic. Then I listened to it again. And again. And again. I’m happy to say the album is excellent (and strangely, when you listen to High Violet after it, it resonates even more).
Part of my reluctance towards the new album came from my emotional connection to High Violet. I was loving all the songs that were released (and I could identify with “Demons” a bit, and “Don’t Swallow The Cap”). It’s a gorgeous album that I can only appreciate because I’ve lived a bit and I’m older. The 16-year-old version of myself would have been all “whatever” and then cranked up Smashing Pumpkins to about 12. And turned off the lights. And cry. Or something like that.
I went to Epcot with my girlfriend and her family for dinner this past Saturday and I learned that I really don’t do well with large crowds in theme parks until I’ve had a couple of drinks. It was the first time since 2006 or 2007 that I stepped foot in Epcot, or any theme park (the most subversive thing I’ve ever done related to theme parks was in 2002, when I read Lolita on the bus going to Magic Kingdom - Reading Lolita While In The Magic Kingdom might be my autobiography title in 2029).
A long time ago, Epcot had an attraction called The Living Seas. You stepped into an elevator and were transported to a cool undersea base. The last time I was there, I went to the attraction. When I looked down at the elevator, I noticed that we weren’t going down, but the floor was just shaken. From then on, Epcot was ruined for me.
I’m doing my talk (“Celebrating Our Failures”) at the Orlando Fringe Festival for the Sunday night session of Pecha Kucha. I had a blast doing this talk in February and I get to do it again. Buy tickets here if it hasn’t already sold out.
I was not part of the Fringe Poetry Smackdown in a performance capacity or judging capacity for the first time, after doing it since its inception in 2007. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I feel disconnected a bit from the poetry scene here. On the other hand, the disconnection is necessary for my sanity (and you’ll understand why after reading this recap of last year’s show).
I have a poem over at the For Every Year project, which you can read here.