September 28th, 2010


Yesterday morning I was talking to my shrink about a bad panic attack I had on Friday.

What happened was on the way to the bar I went to the tabac to get my copy of the International Herald Tribune and they didn't have any newspapers at all because of a strike the previous day.

Needing something to read from the bar I ran over to the English language bookstore which I thought was closing in a matter of seconds. Luckily there were several people in line to buy books so I had some time to look around and find something decent.

By the time I bought my book I was about 20 minutes late on taking my nightly Xanax which I usually take at exactly 7 p.m. when I get into the bar. When I got to the bar my usual table - which allows me to keep my back to the wall and feel safe - was occupied so I had to sit in the middle of the terrace which always feels dangerous to me.

That's when the pain started ripping through my chest and I broke out in a cold sweat. I went into the bar and took my Xanax and then downed two beers in under five minutes while talking to my friend Jody who owns the bar.

As soon as I finished that second beer the entire panic attack ended as abruptly as it had started, which was weird because there is no way that the Xanax or alcohol had any time to have any real depressive effect.

"That's because drinking beer and taking Xanax are Communion for you," she said. "It's not the drugs that are important. It's the ritual. You associate beer and Xanax and your friends and being in the bar with things being right and the things that happened before with things being wrong. If you usually drank lemonade at the bar it would have had the same effect. And, don't forget the power of talking to a friend."

Exile On Main Street Deluxe Edition

So, the local Virgin Records finally got the new Deluxe Edition of Exile On Main Street.

For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a new version of the classic Stones album with some cool photos and 10 new tracks. Eight of them are tracks record during the Exile sessions and the other two are alternative versions of "Loving Cup" and "Soul Survivor" also recorded at the same time.

The pictures rock and document exactly how shitty the conditions they were recording in were.

The new tracks are very interesting. The best of the bunch is "Following The River" - one of those blues based numbers with gospel girls singing in the background that represents the type of shit the Stones do best when they aren't simply trying to create a hit single.

The alternate version of "Loving Cup" is fascinating. They slow the song down and take out the dramatic effects from the standard edition and it ends up being a sad song instead of a hopeful song.

The less said about the alternate version of "Soul Survivor" the better.

"Dancing In The Light" is a good example of the Stones during their Hillbilly Rock thing, and "Pass The Wine (Sophia Loren) has them hitting their stride with a nice rock/jazz mix.

All in all, a Stones fan would find the tracks essential and nearly any rock song is going to find at least three or four of them to be awesome.

Cutting Edge

I realized this morning that I was out of cologne and Rome Girl was almost out of Chanel #5 so I set off to the Store Around The Corner That Sells Smelly Things.

Rome Girl wanted me to get Chanel Allure Homme Sport, but the lady there told me they only sell that in the Spring and Summer because it's "not a Winter scent."

Whatever. I buy cologne only so I'll smell somewhat less like cigarettes so I don't care that much what I wear as long as it doesn't make vaginas spontaneously go dry.

The lady talked me into the new Jean Paul Gaultier scent "Le Male Terrible."

It wasn't a hard sell with that name - what dude doesn't want women to smell him and think "That's Le Male Terrible."

Anyway, I got it and it seems to smell nice, but the interesting thing is when you open up the packaging included as a free gift is a small coke razor blade that you can attach to your key chain. It's about a third of the size of a regular razor blade and would, I have to admit, be perfect for cutting lines of blow, but useless for anything else.

I'm certain that's handy for a large section of their target market place, but can you imagine the meeting where they decided to include that?

Rome Girl Is A Genius Sometimes

"I like the new Exile On Main Street tracks because they are best when they are messy," she said. "The messier the better."

And, yeah, I wish I had come up with the word "messy" to describe the way the Stones sound when they are doing their most interesting stuff.