Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Speedboat & Rattlesnakes - Renata & Lloyd

For me, it was very exciting news when The New York Review of Books reissued Speedboat by author Renata Adler last month.

"Nobody died that year. Nobody prospered. There were no births or marriages. Seventeen reverent satires were written - disrupting a cliche and, presumably, creating a genre. That was a dream, of course, but many of the most important things, I find, are the ones learned in your sleep" 
 Castling - Renata Adler

Speedboat won the Hemingway Award for Best First Novel in 1976.  It's a piece of fiction unlike anything that I had read before. It's a collection of seven disjointed stories that at first don't seem to have any relation to each other yet somehow find a way to fit. For me it's very much like an album you would listen to again and again that somehow ends up telling a complete story in the end. 

This seems very fitting since I was introduced to Speedboat in 1984 through the music of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions and their first album, Rattlesnakes. On this collection the song 'Speedboat' is one of the many outstanding tracks on this album.  Lloyd was in the news recently when it was announced that he will be releasing a new set of music this summer that was crowd funded by his fans. Over the years he has assembled a great body of work that is definitely worth a listen.

"She looks like Eve Marie Saint in On The Waterfront
As she reads Simone de Beauvoir in her american circumstance
Her heart, heart's like crazy paving
Upside down and back to front
She say ooh, it's hard to love
When love was your great disappointment"
Speedboat - Lloyd Cole

I really appreciate the visual storytelling of both works and think that you will too. If you are looking for some enjoyable music or a good summer read (and really isn't it nice to have both) I strongly recommend that you look into Renata Adler and Lloyd Cole. I feel like they are both old friends that I've known for years that are always there for a good story and some fine music as well. Thank you Lloyd and thank you Renata - I'm your fan.

Friday, April 5, 2013

It's All Fleeting

The recent announcement of the end the RSS tool Google Reader caused quite a stir to a loyal (myself included) and devoted user community. If things continue as planned Google Reader will become another product that has been discontinued that will be missed by many.  Now with news of Roger Ebert's passing and the passionate reaction to so many that were influenced by him it reinforces how fleeting things are.

From day to day there's uncertainty around the length of time for so much of what is a part of your routine such as:

  • The current team you work with will be intact
  • The co-worker whose work you appreciate and you enjoy working with will be working with you
  • The person you've heard great things about but have had the time to introduce yourself
  • The opportunity to reconnect with a former colleague or friend you've been out of touch with
  • The new product or service that people are talking about  
Perishables are one of the few things that have a clearly stated expiration date from the start. You know when the product needs to be used and (most of the time) you act accordingly and find the right time or way to use them

Things don't last - it's just how things are
If you like something the best thing you can do is share it with others. Become an advocate. Reach out to others around you to make a connection as they may not be there the next time you think about it. Take the time to reach out directly to the company as well to tell them what you like or how it can be approved. They want to hear from you. It's one of the best uses of social media. Act now to share what you care about. Also take the time to tend to those local connections by reaching out directly. People like to hear from others - it's human nature and it's what helps with getting the necessary traction for things to keep moving forward.

Things will remain fleeting.  Before I head off to use my Google Reader I'll ask one simple question: What is one thing that you will advocate today?