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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2006-04-29 - 1:00 p.m.

Happy Birthday, Chris Arnade!

And in case I don't write tomorrow, Happy Birthday Andy Mattina. You are both good men and deserve much excellent birthday hoopla.

As friends and even casual observers can attest, I am a smeller of books. I can't pick up a book--be it one that I'm currently reading, or one that just happens to be sitting there--without inhaling deeply of its glorious odorific charms.

I was thinking of making a regular feature called "Best Smellers" but a) they all smell good to me and b) it's really difficult to capture the scent of paper and ink in words.

And sometimes the aroma goes beyond its original source, and a book will have picked up hints of its previous reader's life: the faint residue of cigarette smoke, made tolerable by time...spilled coffee...sand.

I have a small stack of books that, in addition to their native scent, are redolent of the massage oil I accidentally spilled on them 7 years ago. I love those books even more because of that.

And don't get me started on new-magazine smell. Ah.

This is one reason why I will never quite embrace the idea of electronic text. Reading is such a sensual pleasure.

Saw Fanfare Pustule at Barbes last night: what pure, limb-wigglin' fun. I've never seen Barbes so sweatily packed with dancing fools, but this French brass band is irresistible, making short work of the pop canon.

We tried to get them to come to karaoke afterwards, but the language barrier became insurmountable, and even if one's English is good and one is sober, it's hard to understand how to get to Hope and Anchor in Red Hook.

They are playing, apparently, in McCarren Park in Williamsburg tomorrow at the PS 132 Kite Festival, but I can't find any reliable information about it, except a little on the Hungry March Band's website.

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