hearts wrapped in blankets

I don't know sh** about love.

And I don't pretend to. Valentine's Day has never really meant anything to me, except that I could probably expect some chocolate hearts from my mom. I'm 26 years old now, and I've never "celebrated" Valentine's Day with a significant other. I'm not whining or complaining, just merely stating a fact. Besides, I'm far too messed-up to be involved with anybody right now, or anytime in the foreseeable future really.

MP3 Kings of Convenience - "Love Is No Big Truth"
Honestly, I have been so bitter & depressed over the last four years or so, it's not suprising that I haven't been out there on the dating circuit. Heck, I'm amazed my friends still bother to hang with me at times. Even before that, during my college days, my intense self-consciousness & general lack of self-esteem never made me a real winner with the ladies anyway. So I'm plenty used to being alone by now. I've got much bigger issues than a lack of companionship, believe me. And I'm not thrilled about them either.

In "Love Is No Big Truth," Eirik & Erlend, aka Kings of Convenience, have crafted what seems like an anti-Valentines song. Its lyrics speak of love being driven by genetics, as we are all "simple selfish beings." So much for true, selfless love. But the song, from last year's Riot on an Empty Street LP, is revealed to be something else by the end with the line, "Another view of what there is to it, getting me through it" followed by a repeated refrain of "I'll never need it again, not again, not again." Eirik & Erlend don't necessarily take this logical, more cynical view of love, but they are trying to convince themselves of it anyway in order to get through the heartbreak.

MP3 The Radio Dept. - "I Don't Need Love, I've Got My Band"
So I'm not out there meeting girls, but I do spend a heckuva lot of time fiddling around on this blog, which will have its first birthday in a little less than a month. I've never really kept a journal or anything, so this thing was pretty much started on a lark, but over time has become something I devote a good deal of thought & effort toward, something I care about.

But I also know that it's a little ridiculous & somewhat sad to feel that way about something inanimate, even if it happens to be clickable. I keep coming back to a particular Jenny Lewis line in "It's A Hit," when she sings:
Any asshole can open up a museum
Put all of the things he loves on display
so everyone could see them

Isn't that what this blog is? It's basically a collection of stuff that I like. So I'm that asshole, right? I try not to take any of this stuff too seriously, but yet I'm still spending hours upon hours pasting URL's & typing other nonsense into Blogger, not going out and you know, getting on with my life.

I suppose a blog is a way to express one's self, much like the titular "band" in this wonderfully fuzzed-out track from The Radio Dept. I got turned onto these Swedish indie-popsters through Mystery & Misery, 3hive, Pop77 and Bob Mould late last year & have been tracking down songs ever since. This song is off the 2003 Pulling Our Weight EP (read the PopMatters review), which apparently is difficult to find, so you might want to get it from the band's home label, Labrador (scroll down). The Radio Dept.'s debut LP, 2003's Lesser Matters, is also available from XL & Shelflife records.

MP3 Stars - "Look Up"
Even though I'm somewhat keeping to myself, I don't even know if I actually feel "lonely" anymore. It's been so long since I've met someone that I could be interested in, since I've had any kind of "romantic" feelings stirred up in me, that I've sorta become numb to it all. Heartache is no longer an issue. But I do miss being open to those kind of feelings. The pleasure I take out of all the other things I like has been dulled as a result, and I wish I could find something to be truly passionate about again. I used to enjoy being enthusiastic about stuff, or at least I think I did.

I envy the hopeful romanticism of Broken Social Scene pop-offshoot Stars. The blissed-out, heart-on-their-sleeve melodies of Amy Milan, Evan Cranley & company almost always bring a smile to my face. Stars' 2003 album Heart may be a bit cheesy at times, but its earnestness manages to win you over. "Look Up" is almost cinematic in how its chorus explodes out of each verse, exuding a kind of joy I'd love to reconnect with. The latest Stars LP, Set Yourself on Fire, finally gets a US release on March 8.

I'm still able to get in touch with my inner-romantic, though I do find it difficult at times. But I did I feel it while watching Tim & Dawn finally come together at the end of The Office. I felt it during the opening sequence of Eternal Sunshine, in the brief moment when Joel looks upon the beautiful, peacefully sleeping Clem before jostling her awake after a long drive, when she instinctually takes his hand in hers. It's what keeps me watching the ever-erratic ER after all these years, hoping that Carter & Abby will find their way back to each other. It's what fondly recalls the newness of Ross & Rachel during the first season of Friends (before they ruined them). It's what remembers watching Before Sunrise late at nite as a teenager, tearing up when Jesse & Celine share that intense embrace, as if they will never see each other again, before excusing their way out of it. It's what keeps me looking for new music to inspire me, keeps me going to see bands in search of a sublime experience, and keeps me coming back to this blog.

random notes for valentines day

My apologies for getting this up so late. It took a while to finally finish.

My best thoughts & wishes go out to Air America's Randi Rhodes, who is having surgery today. Here's hoping that all goes well & she gets well soon.

A (not so) fond farewell to Flip Saunders, long time head coach of my beloved-yet-woefully underachieving Wolves, who was fired over the weekend. Head honcho & hall of famer Kevin McHale reluctantly steps into Saunders' role, drawing the unfortunate task of reviving a team that's shockingly under .500 before the all-star break. Good luck, Kev.

Didn't watch 'em. Don't care. Happy Valentines Day. Hoobastank.
| this is just a tribute »
| i'd sell your heart to the junkman »
| i never ever stopped wonderin' »
| the only man i can trust right now »
| i got a bad religion and a forty-five »
| dance dance dance to the radio »
| all the furniture is in the garage-uh »
| neither much worse nor much better »
| i'm gonna whittle you into kindlin' »

Anonymous Anonymous @ 2/14/2005 07:36:00 PM:

happy valentine's day jon jon.    

Blogger mr gilbert @ 2/14/2005 07:43:00 PM:

thanks angie. my best to you & your fiance.    

Blogger Scott @ 2/14/2005 09:04:00 PM:

fuck valentines day.    

Anonymous Anonymous @ 2/14/2005 09:07:00 PM:

happy vday jon,
The nice thing about how the KDHL clan celebrates it, is that its not so much about love for your signifigant other, but more about love for family, friends and all. Its one big love fest :) I think this is why I never have had an issue with it while I was single, cuz it was about love and candy, not being in a relationship. Enjoy those chocolate hearts.    

Anonymous Anonymous @ 2/14/2005 09:51:00 PM:

you do a wonderful job with this blog, it's obvious you care about it. happy valentines day! and so many people are alone on valentines day, it's an overcommercialized holiday anyways.    

Anonymous Anonymous @ 2/14/2005 10:37:00 PM:

a very thoughtful and introspective post. (and as always, with good music -- very much in a soundtrack fashion this time). doesnt that KoC album cover convey a thousands words? . . . . valentines day is over(rated). cheers.    

Anonymous Anonymous @ 2/15/2005 02:14:00 AM:

Same sentiments as everyone else. Here great quality writing too, my man.    

Anonymous Anonymous @ 2/15/2005 01:36:00 PM:

You may be putting your thoughts on display, but you're not an asshole. Thanks for the most interesting post that I read about VD Day.    

Blogger Dennis @ 2/15/2005 02:57:00 PM:

Any asshole might be able to open up a museum and put all of the things he loves on display so everyone could see them, but that asshole's museum would be terrible. It takes a whole lot more than an asshole to entertain 800 people every day, who choose to come back to see what the latest additions to the collection are. There are not very much blogs I actually READ, but yours is always worth the time. Thanks.    

Anonymous Anonymous @ 2/16/2005 09:57:00 AM:

whoa whoa whoa, 'set yourself on fire' still isn't out in the States? March 8th? That's a crime. Wow, being Canadian gets better every day.

great site by the way.    

Anonymous Anonymous @ 2/16/2005 09:59:00 AM:

Can I recommend
Chromeo - Mercury tears
for that list. This song had me by the balls most of fall.

Blogger Paul Irish @ 2/21/2005 06:22:00 PM:

Man, it's tough.

So, I've been dating this girl since like.. the summer. She is hands-down the most gorgeous girl I've dated.
She's a huge music fan with her ear to the ground as well. However our taste never crossed paths too much.
Regardless, we had a great time together, though we kept things without a "title" and through January, we started spending time together daily. It was pretty fantastic, even though our compatibility wasn't totally there. But shit. having someone is alright by me.

So, our musical taste converged on the Kings Of Convenience. It was cool to share that. Very cool, you know.
So they had a show planned in the area. And this girl... she went with another guy. We had a fight. We didn't talk. Then we talked. We kinda made up. But now things have fallen and its fair to say we're through.

"Love Is No Big Truth" was her favorite. As a result, it came to be one of mine. So if any song were "our song", this would be it. And I felt compelled to write out this story, mostly to help me exhale big and feel okay to be done with it all.

[pause] [laugh] [big exhale]

Thank you, Jon. :-]    

Blogger Paul Irish @ 2/21/2005 06:47:00 PM:

Also, thanks for being one of the first to fix your link. Much appreciated.    

Blogger eve @ 3/21/2005 03:07:00 AM:

i searched for STARS and apparantely u had a link..would like to thank u for the link cuz i've never heard of them before but today i did..and they're great!
thanks again.    

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