Who knew that the best thing I'd listen to all month would be a Toots and the Maytals cover of Radiohead's "Let Down," from OK Computer? I got the album, Radiodread, from the library; it's a collection of reggae and dub covers of the songs on OK Computer, and while Citizen Cope's rendition of "Karma Police" is predictably lackluster, Toots' "Let Down" is so good that, as I told Michael, who recommended the track, you kind of forget about the original and just surrender to the new wonderfulness of the cover. Taking a song as beautiful and sad as "Let Down" and finding a whole new kind of beauty in it is pretty great; Toots' voice is so sunny, and the arrangement so naturally reggae-ish, that it makes you appreciate the original even more in retrospect. But not while you're listening; it's all Toots until the song's over. Just lovely.
In other news, I went to Dunshee House Thursday night and picked up a lovely Christmas tree:
For the first time ever, I picked the first tree I saw. It was just perfect; I even surprised the lot attendant, who said: "You're making my job too easy!" Also bought a wreath and affixed it to our front door, and added a big red ribbon today. As if that weren't enough holiday cheer, I made stockings today with cheap, disappointing gold glitter glue and strung some lights in the front window. Not sure why I'm so determined to do Christmas up right this year. Maybe it's because I'll be in town, and thus around to appreciate my own handiwork. Maybe it's because last year I was out of town for nine days around Christmas and only had a small tree at home. And maybe, just maybe, it's some kind of weird, ahead-of-its-time paternal instinct kicking in, like I'm practicing for one day decorating the house for kids. Heaven help us.
Just to keep things somewhat balanced, I went to a very nice Chanukah party last night in the neighborhood, hosted by some friends of my friend Elana. Just a great time: latkes, singing, and a game of Apples to Apples, which is awesome, by the way, in case you haven't played it. I'm still miffed that my play of "Jack the Ripper" for "misunderstood" didn't win, but I guess you had to be there to know what the hell I'm even talking about. Good times, though.
Today I chatted with a prospective member of the writing workshop Elana and I are starting in January; it went very well. Tomorrow it's lunch with folks from my monthly Buddhist group, then a trip down to Burien to see another member of the group in a Christmas play. And then, if no one prevents me, I may somehow decorate my house for Christmas even more. Or maybe buy a menorah. That would probably be a good idea.