24 February 2004


It's funny how, when you're walking along the street and pass someone, there's basically three things that'll happen. The other person will smile and nod or say hello, they will stare resolutely straight ahead or down at the pavement, or they will stare at you in a hostile or suspicious manner. I was walking down to the shops before and the postie did the latter. What, did someone sneakily tattoo a swastika on my forehead when I wasn't noticing or something?

It lead me to think that at least there's some small amount of justice in the world, in that people end up with the faces they deserve. Yes, the postie in question had one of those pinched, mean, and sour faces that shouts 'miserable bastard' out at you. Needless to say, I smiled cheerily back.

I then wondered what kind of face I'm going to end up with. I'm perfectly capable of being a miserable bastard as well. If I'm in a good mood, I tend to be in a terribly good mood and annoy everybody around me with stupid jokes and inanities. If I'm in a bad mood, I tend to be in a really bad mood, scowling at everybody and annoyed at everything, especially the petty little things. Yep, that means I'm pretty obnoxious no matter what mood I'm in. Charming, eh?

I'm listening to Nick Cave's Let Love In at the moment. I've been listening to Johnny Cash's American Recordings III and IV (Solitary Man and The Man Comes Around) a lot recently, and it's been a bit hard to get back into Nick Cave. Poor old Nick definitely comes off second best in the Cash/Cave duet of Hank Williams's 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry' on IV. Johnny's cover of 'The Mercy Seat' on III is just so much better than the original it's not funny. He had an amazing ability to take other people's songs and make them his own. For me, the stand-out covers on both III and IV are 'I Won't Back Down' (Tom Petty), 'Solitary Man' (Neil Diamond), 'One' (U2), 'I See A Darkness' (Will Oldham), 'The Mercy Seat' (Nick Cave), 'Hurt' (Nine Inch Nails), 'I Hung My Head' (Sting), and 'Personal Jesus' (Depeche Mode). I could listen to 'Hurt' over and over again (and sometimes do).

I got the third and final book from my Amazon order yesterday - Marilyn Aronberg Lavin on Piero della Francesca. I think I need to assemble different art historians' interpretations of 'The Baptism' and 'The Flagellation' somewhere (watch out, imaginary readers, it could well be here) and try to reconcile them or something.

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