Sunday, December 30, 2007

I promised the Mixtape Playlist

I had a nice evening last night. K.D. and E. and I went out for sushi and then drinks and deep discussion about - among other things - eyebrow maintenance and laser hair removal. It was pretty fun, except that it's winter break, and our favorite dank, dark imbibing joints were filled with 12 year olds playing Wii. (Okay, they weren't 12. They just seemed that way to me.) That of course led to me being a little dry-throated and stiff when I woke up today, so I decided to do what I always do on mornings like these - head to the corner store, buy a magazine, a LifeWater, and crackers, and hole up until I can't stand the smell of my own hair any longer.

When I looked out, though, it was snowing heavily and relentlessly, and I figured a bit of fresh air and exercise might do as much or more for my disposition than People magazine and Triscuits. I slammed a glass of water, grabbed fleece everything and my iPod, and went for a little jaunt in the snow.

I live fairly close to a lovely National Historical Park, but sometimes I forget that, and so on when I actually do make it down, I am always awed and delighted by it. Today was no different. The waves were breaking through a thin skim of snow and a crust of ice onto the dusted shore, and the cloud cover was so heavy, I couldn't see the islands that lie barely offshore. The second I hit the entrance for the park, I dialed up the mixtape playlist, now entitled Songs For Wooing, and this is what I saw while I listened:

Mahna Mahna, Cake
Dream a Little Dream of Me, The Beautiful South
I Found a New Baby, Squirrel Nut Zippers
This Can't Be Love, The Hot Club Quintet*
Bei Mir Bist Du Shoen (how do I make the umlaut?!?), The Puppini Sisters
I Love You, The Pipettes
That Great Love Sound, the Raveonettes
Robot Love, the Phenomenauts
Please Don't Touch, the Meteors*
Tokyo Storm Warning, Elvis Costello and the Attractions*
Heart Sized Crush, Devil Doll
Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken, Camera Obscura
Don't Get Me Wrong, The Pretenders
Call Me, Blondie
Oh!, Sleater-Kinney*
Pop In, Pop Out!, The Plascticines*
Looking At Me, The Vesties*
Rock and Roll Girl, The Muffs
Penny, The Dollyrots
Apply Some Pressure, Maximo Park
Pistol Grip, The Blakes
Kissy Baby, Heavy Trash
She Put the Hurt on Me, The Have Nots
Act Nice and Gentle, The Black Keys
Anti Love Song, Betty Davis*
Get Up Offa That Thing, James Brown
I Can't Get Next to You, Al Green
It's a Sin To Tell a Lie, Jimmy Smith*
Hope There's Someone, Antony and the Johnsons
Ruby Warbler, Myshkin's Ruby Warblers*
Looks Just Like the Sun, Broken Social Scene*
Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key, Billy Bragg and Wilco
Everyday, Buddy Holly and the Crickets
Passionate Kisses, Lucinda Williams
She's An Angel, They Might Be Giants
So In Love, (artist unknown)*
Pitter Patter Goes My Heart, Broken Social Scene*
In The Wee Small Hours, Frank Sinatra

*These are the ones that didn't make the time cut for the mix. It screws up the pacing a little in some places, a lot in others, but overall, the final list is pretty good. I'd date me, if someone gave me these songs. Actually, these songs, in this particular order, would make me think the person was psychic, or that Kismet had a hand in, and I would immediately claim that person as my own.

There were a few songs that didn't make the cut at all, because I couldn't quite figure out how to make them seamless. I did listen to them all, and, damn. You guys have good taste in music.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The week between Christmas and New Year's feels like lost time.

I hope everyone had a really good holiday, or at least at holiday that didn't make you contemplate alcoholism or fratricide or ill-advised, impromptu visits to your hometown hair salon that you haven't visited since you were thirteen for a good reason.

And speaking of thirteen (check out that segue!), there are lots of bloggers jumping on this little bandwagon lately that has you penning a letter to your thirteen-year-old self, saying the things you really wish someone had said to you. I haven't been tagged to do this, technically, because I only have three friends who blog, and they are all too kind to force me to do these sort of pointless exercises. I thought, though, that there might be some merit in this address, so I am partaking.

Dear Thirteen,

Shit's really fucked up right now, huh? Don't flinch, I know you hate coarse language, but in a few years you'll embrace the power of a good expletive, and you'll never look back. Right now, you feel alienated, lonely, and scared. Right now, you have chronic nausea and headaches that you won't tell anyone about. Right now, you have a very pregnant 18 year old sister with a serious disease you don't really comprehend. Right now, you are a helpless cork bobbing in a very angry ocean.

Here's the good news: Shit's gonna get better. You will be very far from the family you love so much, and you will learn to live outside of someone's shadow, and things will be okay.

And the bad news: Shit gets worse before it gets better. Evidence of your childhood will disappear, and the man who was a better father than your real father will disappear, and you will never have enough. And then things will improve, and then worsen, and then improve, and then worsen, and very probably this will be the pattern for the rest of your life, but. But. You are a strong girl and you will learn to shout FUCK YOU with the best of them.

Here are some things to cling to: 1) All those books everyone teases you about reading? Other girls are out there reading them and drawing the same conclusions.

2) The way you obsess over movies and music? Vast knowledge of popular culture makes you very interesting to talk to at parties.

3) The family that doesn't get you and sometimes marginalizes you and involves you in dramas you don't understand? You will eventually distance yourself from all the crap and learn to love them for who they are. Be warned: they will never get you, they will always marginalize you, and the drama is unstoppable.

You don't realize it right now, but someday you'll think you're actually kind of pretty. Someday you'll have a functional, mature relationship the likes of which you've never yet seen. Someday, your kids will not have a perfect Christmas, and it will still be enjoyable and they will still love you at the end of the day. Someday, you will take stock and realize that there are people who love you on both coasts, all the way to the corners, literally. So hang on. The bad stuff is fleeting, and the good stuff is pretty damn good. Plus, when you grow up, you'll like alcohol, which helps.

Eighth grade is almost over, and Darryl Piersaul noticed you, even if you don't think he did. The Indigo Girls will release Closer To Fine this summer. It will be the first tape you ever buy with your own money. There are only a few more months until you leave Kentucky forever, and only a few more years before you live close enough to the ocean again to hear it roar. Hang on; you're almost there.

Love, me.

By the way, the asthma gets better when you move out of the city, the headaches resolve when you're pregnant with your first child, and the nausea fades sometime in high school, until the first time you fall in love. It's a doozy. Be prepared.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I'm not the only one!

God, if you're as lame as me, you just got a picture of Melissa Etheridge pasted onto your cerebellum. Sorry.

No, I meant, I wrote that post a little while ago about country music, and I actually ended up going on and on about how fucking great Huey Lewis and the News is, and then today, I stumble on this:Huey needs your help!

This guy wrote this like the same week I was talking up the Huester! Go figure. I am tuned into some kind of collective conscious regarding popular culture. One that reveres the completely awesomeness that is The Heart of Rock and Roll (boomboom. boomboom.), 'cuz it's still beating.

ETA: There are more than two of us, and one of us is not afraid to say what we're all thinking.

Also, I am working on editing down the Mixtape playlist. I used it for a radio show last week, and so it was two hours long. Way too long for a real mixtape. I am working on getting it to playable length (we don't want to bore our imaginary object of affection, after all) and then I will post it on this very blog. I know you all are waiting with baited breath. If you're really nice to me, maybe I'll even give some insight into why I chose the things I did. That means leave me really sweet comments about my good taste.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Okay, so you aren't much for participation.

With the notable exceptions of Bryner and La Fab, you guys really suck at playing Mixtape. I liked all of the songs they suggested, and would like to amend my original submissions to say: Instead of Not Fade Away, Maybe Baby and also please add Achin' To Be by the Replacements and Here I am by Al Green. I could play this game for the rest of my life. It's almost as much fun as Sitka: The Movie.

I know some of you are checking in just to see what sorts of crafts I am up to. Well, I'm not going to show you because they're presents, like for Christmas, and you can't peek! So quit trying. I will say that I am tempted to make up this pattern in that hot pink shantung I bought last holiday season. I won't, though, because I am frantic trying to finish off the pressies that need to be mailed away before the Postal Service acts to thwart my attempts to have them arrive in time for the holiday. I still have slippers from last year pinned together waiting to be sewn.

If you are finding it difficult to enjoy holiday music, and you enjoy swing or rockabilly, may I suggest you listen to the Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas CDs? They are properly festive without being CHRISTMASSY. Make yourself a Prancing Elf or just a chocolate martini while listening. You'll be in the spirit in no time.