And type my brains away
1. Because you know I think I neglected to mention to you that I was going to accompany J to visit his folks in Florida, then going on a three day vacation to Mexico...oops! Sorry about that! No internet for us on la isla. I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas/Hanukkah and New Year's Eve and didn't spend the latter up in the air with a bunch of disgruntled, stale-smelling passengers like we did.* But that's another entry and not really meant for Soft Communication. We like to keep things gruntle-free around here.
2. Because pictures say a...blah di blah di blah.
El Castillo, Chichen Itza
Sadly, my planned sacrifice of The Monkey was foiled by the new anti-climbing rules. We hope to re-schedule it at the still-climbable pyramids in Coba, perhaps in 2012.
Temple of the Jaguar at Chichen Itza
Mayan kitty detail.
Iguana chillin' at Chichen Itza.
An unexpected, to me at least, accent to the surroundings.
Sculpture en route to Ixchel temple ruins.
View from the stairs on the south point of Isla Mujeres
These stairs were right below the hurricane ravaged vestiges of the temple to Ixchel, Mayan goddess of the moon and the sea. My favorite sitting spot with my favorite travelling companion.
Sunset on Playa Norte
I loves me a beach scene.
3. Because a week or so prior to leaving, I started listening to a song sent to me by a friend ON REPEAT and it became the official 'December + Neon Lights + Xmas Dinner for 6 + Packing for a trip will make you INSANE' song. Inca Rag/Name Game by The Fiery Furnaces is something of an avant garde musical medley. Inca Rag being the jaunty travelogue duet (Hey! I'm sure there are other ones. Can you think of any examples, O Contributor Tavie?) and Name Game being the light "rocking" number. The guitar in it has real bite but the song itself can't help but be somewhat gentle, probably thanks to Eleanor Friedberger, she of the pleasant mid-range, with her singing-at-you-from-the-other-seat-at-the-library sort of delivery.
NB: I know little about the Furnaces and if you are the kind of person that relies on FACTS rather than FEEL, then proceed at your own risk since all I have to go on are my usual whimsical impressions based on the album selections I've heard. We cool? Super.
The songs of The Fiery Furnaces, especially a number like Inca Rag/Name Game, strike me as being nearest to the spirit of J.D. Salinger's Glass family stories, with their peculiar precocious siblings and obsessive detail, than any other intentional, overt homage out there. Say, for example, the tidy eccentricity of Wes Anderson's Tenenbaums. Let me make it plain that I don't think this is what the Friedberger's intend with their music; I don't believe they are actively attempting to be the Franny and Zooey of indie rock or emulate anyone AT ALL. It's just that their albums suggest this world of ferocious and rarified sibling creativity and the work that is born from that insularity is presented with SUCH authority that I can't imagine how you could NOT be floored by their efforts. And if not floored, then at least perplexed and left with the unsettling feeling that it's not the music that's at fault, it's just that you are simply too unimaginative to go along with it. This might be why they aren't more popular. People like easy comfort.
Song to seek:
Inca Rag/Name Game/The Fiery Furnaces (YST link)**
Buy Gallowsbird's Bark by The Fiery Furnaces.
* Do yourself a favor and don't fly on American Airlines. EVER.
** Thanks M.P.