Friday, October 31, 2008

End-of-the-month Playlist

So I got this idea from Tom Fuller, an old friend from high school. My friends Nate and Natty were heading over to a party at his place early in the month, and I joined them. Almost everyone was partaking of an 80s-song themed Power Hour, but I stuck with drinking a few bottles of one of the yummier beers since my middle name might as well be "Lightweight". I also got very sad whenever a particularly fabulous 80s tune got cutoff at 60 seconds. Here's a shot of the fridge after some major inroads were made on what I lovingly refer to as "piss beer" (sorry Coors and Bud. And anything people south of San Diego call "beer". Look, I'm from Colorado, went to college in Oregon, and studied abroad in Austria. I know what beer is!):

I should add that drinking anything but a really light beer while doing a Power Hour is probably grounds for immediate sterilization so that inferior genes are not inflicted on future generations. So I am in no way criticizing the purchasers or drinkers or said light beer. I'm just saying it can't touch my chocolate stouts.

Anyway, Tom told me that night about a cool thing he does on his blog every month where he lists the songs he's listened to the most. Seeing as it's October 31st, here's my first annotated playlist:

1. Estelle's "American Boy" with Kanye West.
Estelle - Shine - American Boy (feat. Kanye West)
Totally addictive. I get to sing along with it in an English accent.

2. 3Oh!3's "Don't Trust Me"
3OH!3 - Want - Dont Trust Me
First heard it on 93.3 and then was sad that my local music showed up on a Hills episode, not to mention as a 10 year old's ringtone in my parents' neighborhood. Not so sure I'd find these particular lyrics appropriate for my kids, but ok. Points for the band name being my area code and for the fact that a Fairview kid and Boulder high kid are in it together. Additional props for the "Tell your boyfriend if he's got beef that I'm a vegetarian and I ain't fuckin' scared of him" line. Very nice.

3. Brandi Carlile's "The Story"
Brandi Carlile - The Story - The Story
I have this thing where I think love stories aren't real unless people fight and go gray together. Thus The Notebook totally does it for me. Also "The Story" is fun to sing very loud. From here on out I depart a bit from the pop scene.

4. Grateful Dead's "Truckin"
Grateful Dead - American Beauty - Truckin'
This song stalked me all month. I'm not joking. It showed up in Patagonia while I tried on a "Vote the Environment" t-shirt and was on 97.3 as I drove home from class, not to mention showing up way mores times than is statistically likely in my iTunes lists. It's ok though, 'cause I like it lots.

5. John Mellencamp's "My Sweet Love"
John Mellencamp - Life, Death, Love and Freedom - My Sweet Love
I love songs about women who bushwhack their way through life, leaving oozing sap and awed faces behind. "You're the woman who knows exactly what she's doin', you're the girl who ate the apple off the tree." I also like apples. And if anyone ever imprisons me naked in a garden and tells me not to eat fruit off a certain tree, I will immediately take a big bite. And then chuck it at their head.

6. The Dixie Chicks "Wide Open Spaces"
Dixie Chicks - Wide Open Spaces - Wide Open Spaces
Now see, this is how I know I'm not cut out to live in a city or a cloudy state for too long. I'm a big sky kind of girl, and while I don't make a habit of tromping into the wilderness all the time, I like having it close enough to escape into. This country gets too built up, I'm buying me a cabin in Montana. It's also about growing up, which I think we're all still trying to do.

7. Paul Simon's "Late in the Evening"
Paul Simon - Negotiations and Love Songs 1971-1986 - Late in the Evening
A quintessential song of summer. We've had these long, warm, sunny Indian Summer days this month, and this came on the radio as I was cleaning out my car with the speakers blasting and the breeze blowing my hair. Perfection.

8. Steely Dan's "Reelin' in the Years"
Steely Dan - Can't Buy a Thrill - Reelin' in the Years
Actually a pretty sad song, but very catchy. Reminds me not to dwell on the negative, whether thoughts or people. Life's short, only got a hundred years at the outside. Spend it being happy, making others happy, and having fun!

9. Os Mutante's "A Minha Menina"
Os Mutantes - Everything is Possible! The Best of Os Mutantes - A Minha Menina
I first heard this song on an NPR bit about how the band sold out by allowing the song to be used for this McDonald's commercial. It's a cute commercial though, good job McDonald's advertising people! Portugese is cool, if trippy.

10. Robert Plant and Allison Krauss's "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)"
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand - Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)
Whenever I listen to "My Sweet Love" I want to hear this song next, and vice versa. There are way too few awesome duets. I vote for more.

11. Head for the Hills' "Harvest Moon"
Head For The Hills - Robbers Roost - Harvest Moon
More local music - started in Golden and now based out of Fort Collins. A little topical bluegrass as the seasons change.

12. KT Tunstall's "Other Side of the World"
KT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope - Other Side of the World
I got to see Tunstall live at the Folks Fest this summer, and I loved this song. iTunes Genius spit it back at me this month, and I love it even more. It has a beautiful melody and a nice version of the breakup story - just two people on opposite sides of the world whether literally or figuratively, and a girl wanting to grow.

13. Belle & Sebastian's "Judy and the Dream of Horses"
Belle & Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister - Judy and the Dream of Horses
I looked this song up because of this Etsy piece by Emily Martin. I was already curious about Belle & Sebastian though, because there's a Gilmore Girls episode where Lorelai asks Rory where her Belle & Sebastian shirt is. As usual, GG was way ahead of the curve - B&S are all over the soundtracks for Juno and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Anyway, I'm pretty sure this song was written about me. The lyrics are eerie in their accuracy.

14. Dan Craig's "Goodnight Darlin' "
Dan Craig - Skin Grows Thin - Goodnight Darlin
Local singer/songwriter I heard at the Folks Fest. He's pretty cute, too. Here are some choice lyrics: "Goodnight darlin' and dream about New York tonight, the subways and the midtown lights, the way to call you home"; " Rest your mind you know, Phillie's the best friend you'll find, you can lay your head between her rivers like a mother's open arms/ And if you're tired well Boston knows the way you're wired, you can ask the cops in Cambridge how they keep their horses warm"; "Or take flight up over the mountains Utah's out of sight, there's miles and miles of space out there for you to make your mark." Good writing.

15. Debussy's "Clair De Lune"
Claude Debussy - This Is Classical - the Universe's Best Easy Listening Album of All Time - Clair de Lune
What can I say, Edward played it for Bella. Listening to the notes is like floating in salt water or slipping between fresh white hotel sheets after a day of playing in the mountains. Or walking into my clean and waiting room after being gone for weeks or months. Mmmmm.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

NaNoWriMo Cometh

Yes, that's write (haha - *cough*) I am once again diving into the fray. 50,000 words in 30 days. How hard can it be, really? I can definitely write 1,667 words a day in November. Heck, Thanksgiving ALONE could equal several cornbread stuffing and pecan pie-fueled chapters. Every book I have ever read on writing says that the main obstacle to creating something shiny and gemlike is failing to put anything on paper in the first place. Especially if you have some basic grasp of the English language, which I so do.

Also, I have an ace up my sleeve this year. Two aces. Their names are: Peter Terry and Jennie Peterson. Haha! Didn't expect to see that, did you Jennie? Let me 'splain. Peter will be encouraging me by churning out depressing and awe-inspiring quantities of words daily, thus causing me to feel guilty and inferior, which I will work hard to channel into feeling competitive, and I will then write lots too. I will not give into the urge to channel my inferiority into getting a pedicure and reading the latest issue of Vogue. That will not do. Rather, I will dive headfirst into novel-land and create something enchanting.

Now Jennie will be helping because she has WON the position of moderator and browbeater on the private writing blog Peter and I are going to start! So exciting! There were many qualified applicants, but she took the cake. Her duties will include dreaming up clever writing assignments (eg. describe your character's joints and how they function in detail; what was your villain's 7th birthday like; do a 30 minute sprint session in which you detail your character's ideal mate; etc.). Now, I have a feeling Jennie is going to actually kind of love this, because my current plans call for Peter and I to do all of our writing inside Google documents and give permissions for each other and Jennie to read along. Scary, but it will mean accountability, and Jennie can then think up fun assignments for us to do. Note: "figure out what happens next" and "finish your book" are invalid assignments. Also, I figure this will appeal to her inner secretary and teacher personalities.

I'm excited. Woohoo NaNoWriMo!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bird by Bird

So I'm re-reading bits of Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird right now, and I love it, And her. And writing. And I don't write enough, and in a way that's just sad. Like a grandiose, poignant sort of way, like a bird that can fly but doesn't. Because, in the end, I am rather good at writing when I try, and the only reason I haven't cranked out volumes upon volumes of whatever is because I don't sit down to try very often. Well, that and the fact that as a woman in the 21st century I am in fact allowed to work and have such addictive pleasures available to me as Paris Hilton's New BFF (it's On Demand on Comcast and is truly amazing - unending hilarity) and the entire internet. No wonder Austen and the Brontes churned out novel after novel - they had nothing else to do! Or anyone, for that matter.

Of course, like everyone else, my writing is impeded by the charming delights of the radio station Lamott calls KFKD (say it out loud) telling me on the one hand that I'm the next Messiah and on the other that I am a putrid sore upon the surface of an otherwise pristine planet. It's difficult to write through that. Anyway, I know I have said it before, but I really do want to write, and I think I ought to just sit down and do a bit every day. It's fun. Later. Sort of like lifting weights is nice, later.

For now, I will write about myself. It's traditional. It's a blog. The odds of you reading this if you don't know me are pretty slim, and you may enjoy basking in the world inside my head. Come on in, the water's fine.

At the moment I have multiple friends going through breakups with long-term boyfriends. Don't worry, I am not going to get specific about any of it, friends. It's sad to watch and hear about, but it is making me feel a bit better about not having the slightest chance of going through anything similar anytime soon. First, I would need to locate someone I would call a boyfriend. Then, I would need to call him a boyfriend for long enough that we could wander over into "long-term" territory. Subsequently we would have to break up. To really do it right, I would have to be the dumpee, and actually be upset about it. It's a long road. It's at least two years away. And I like that.

I have this scary theory that this is how women start dating those really unattractive guys who are super nice and about as interesting as a baked potato. To clarify, I don't expect to see my friends do any such thing - they're my friends because they're more likely to enter a threesome with an Italian and a bisexual Israeli or to perhaps experiment with lesbianism or start sleeping with adorable 20 year olds who need beer money. But I think we all do know what I'm talking about. The biological clock starts ticking, and suddenly an intelligent, attractive, interesting woman is dating Homer or Peter. It's a travesty. And I'm sure these women are not able to stay faithful for long. Or if they do, they sell their souls and whatever modicum or creativity or self respect they still had. So, ladies of the world, the ticking of your biological clock is not a reason to marry a loser. It is a good reason to find a nice sperm donor. And you might as well handle the procedure the old-fashioned way, while you're at it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WW - Rocky Mountain National Park, Moraine park

WW can also stand for Where's Waldo - Waldo being a big bull elk.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tim Minchin

Hilarious. I find the existential crises inherent to being lucky enough to live in a fancypants developed country really, really amusing.

Oh oh, and this is lovely.

And this is is actually pretty sweet and cute:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Belated Wordless Wednesday

I will get better at this, I swear. I also know what I want to do the last day of each month . . . wait and see.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ski Porn

I'm going to Teton Gravity Research's new ski porn flick Under the Influence this Friday at the Boulder Theatre. Advance tix are $12.50 and at the door it's $14.50.

Here are further details.

And here's the trailer.

Also, A-Basin opens tomorrow, Wednesday. Who wants to go up Friday, Saturday, or Sunday?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Mouse in the House

So about a month ago, when I got back from Ecuador, we had a minor mouse infestation. It wasn't too bad - essentially they were hanging out under the kitchen sink, which is where I saw mouse droppings and cleverly discerned their presence. I have lived in places with mice before, and live traps are pretty much the most pointless thing ever, so war was declared. My family is in the habit of making a loud announcement in the vicinity of wherever we're putting the traps down, just in case one of the mice is out of Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of Nimh or something. So I did that: "Get out now and no harm will come to you and yours, I can't be held responsible for what happens otherwise, but you may die happy - this is organic peanut butter, very nice" sort of thing.

My dad brought over the McGuckin death traps and I would check under the sink twice a day and throw a mouse in the trash. Notable variations to the theme include the day I caught two baby mice (so sad) and the time I heard a trap go off and stupidly went to investigate and found that a mouse had half-escaped and was having some sort of brain hemorrhage. I won't go into detail, but it was seriously traumatizing. For me, as well. Just the day before I had been discussing the need for a tiny little shot gun in case I needed to perform any mercy killings. Anyway, eventually I stopped catching anything, and the timing was perfect, because my parents were invaded the same week. They had special scout force mice wandering the entire house in stupid places.

Just to clarify, both my parents and I are very clean about food. Yes, there are crumbs on the floor in the kitchen, and food in the kitchen, but no one does the weird leaving around food thing that other people do. So gross! So, when these mice were parading around the living room at my parent's house, it's not like there was anything good in there. All the good stuff is in the cupboards in the kitchen. The most exciting thing was when they had a mouse up on the headboard of their bed! Yes! It made scritchy noises and then jumped off the headboard and bounced off my father's head. He did not inform my mother of this as she would have immediately booked into a hotel.

Anyway, I came home the other night and no kitties came running to say hi like they normally do. I walked into the living room and Annie was intently staring at Sam intently examining a corner of the room. This corner had a sort of open metalwork globe thing in it, so you could partially see behind it but not really. Anyway, I glance over there, see nothing, and assumed they'd treed a spider or something. But they kept freaking out, boxing with each other over who got to sit closest, meowing and looking very excited, general merriment. So I roll the ball back, and there is a little house mouse with HUGE eyes staring up at me. I rolled the ball back (much to Sam's dismay) and went downstairs to confirm that my roommate Tina's mice were safe and sound. Judith and Matilda were fine, so I came back up and tried to decide whether to commit musicide or catch it in a mason jar or pick it up by the tail or what . . . and THEN, the mouse ran out from behind the metal globe thing, over to the sliding glass door which for some reason was slightly open, Annie tried to catch it, and the mouse escaped her to find itself stuck between the glass door and the screen door. So, at that point I just reached through and opened the screen door enough and it got out onto the deck. Annie was then pissed at me and spent the next hour trying to get me to let her outside. I am hopeful that the mouse somehow conveyed to all its friends and relations that our house has scary, albeit incompetent, cats.

So, the sad part of the story is that Sam never saw the mouse leave the corner, and now he spends a significant portion of his day watching it and scratching around there and meowing at me to make the mouse reappear. It's very tragic and funny to watch. I may have a viewing party.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I stole this idea from Jennie who stole it from someone else. Look! Bangs!

Monday, October 06, 2008

But not as cute as Pushkin

I'm working through the Gilmore Girls for the second time, and I'm in the middle of one my favorite seasons. Logan is telling Rory to call him Master and Commander and there a lots of shots of Luke lying around in bed with Lorelai with his shirt off. Good, good season. Everything will get all screwy soon, but there will be a pink Birkin bag. Etc. So happy. Right now I'm doing homework and watching the episode referenced in the post title. I watched one of my all time top two episodes the other day: You jump, I jump, Jack.

I want to have a party where people can't use the letter e, drink champagne, dress up in ball gowns and bungee jump hand in hand holding umbrellas . . . .

Ooh wait!

Real time update: Logan and his friend are fake fighting in a Yale classroom over Rory! Finn has entered in a policeman costume and is breaking it up . . . he's lecturing her . . . the 16 year old prospie is there . . . oh, that was beautiful.

And now - Paris is speed dating! Ahahaha, she talks like my internal monologue when I have low blood sugar. It's good that people can't read minds, really. "I don't see one person in this room who shouldn't be sterilized immediately."

Ok, I have to actually just do homework. Lame. Bye bye.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Poem of the Day

Pic is of the board at Mountain Sun a month or so back. Makes me want to learn to fly an old plane.

This poem was in last week's Writer's Almanac, and I like it very much. Although it makes me very sad too. It really fits my dad, except that thankfully he is still around to talk about ratchet wrenches. And thingamabobs.


My father always knew the secret
name of everything--
stove bolt and wing nut,
set screw and rasp, ratchet
wrench, band saw, and ball
peen hammer. He was my
tour guide and translator
through that foreign country
with its short-tempered natives
in their crew cuts and tattoos,
who suffered my incompetence
with gruffness and disgust.
Pay attention, he would say,
and you'll learn a thing or two.

Now it's forty years later,
and I'm packing up his tools
(If you know the proper
names of things you're never
at a loss) tongue-tied, incompetent,
my hands and heart full
of doohickeys and widgets,
watchamacallits, thingamabobs.
~ Ronald Wallace

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right . . .

"How about a magic trick? I'm going to make a pencil disappear . . ." Oh, what a great scene. So marvelous. I found that bit hilarious, which may indicate that I am all dark and twisty inside.

Confession: I am mostly writing this blog entry because I wanted to use the title. I've been playing around with the iTunes Genius function and it's just great. Keeps throwing stuff at me that I love to hear on the radio but never remember to add to my collection. Of course, the genius had its first major fumble today as well - I created a playlist based off of John Lennon's Imagine and it put a Britney Spears song on there. I think it was Lucky. The genius still needs some socializing.

In other news, my DVR is stubbornly resisting recording new House episodes, and I keep forgetting that it is failing to perform its one function in life, and I keep having to watch them online. This is generally through something called MegaVideo which likes to click me through to AdultFriendFinder and shows me pictures of busty women who desperately need makeovers. It's annoying. But that PI on the show is so yummy! Mmm, yummy. Also - House as a cheerleader = priceless.

I have a very clever idea for an Etsy shop. I'm not revealing it on the interwebs yet, but oh, is it clever. I've locked in a store name and a gmail account, so we shall see soon! I'm excited. I want to see if I can have more than one shop - I know they each need a separate e-maill adress but I don't know if they crosscheck other stuff too. I'd like to keep this brand separate from my other ideas. It's just too clear of an idea to muddy with other crazy thoughts. Can you imagine if I actually managed to make some money on Etsy? How random and how great would that be? I never even considered such a thing, but this just might sell.

Today in my Planning Issues and Processes class we were discussing transit, and the group leading the discussion asked if the congestion in LA was as bad as it was in the 70s (yes) and asked what alternatives there were. A clever guy at the back of the room was like, "Yes, the alternative is called Colorado and Texas." Oh California, you crack me up. Now go home. I keed, I keed. But seriouslt, the number of incredibly thoughtful and intelligent people in the program is amazing and humbling. I've got a lot to learn! I'm going to do a little mini-project this week for my methods class and sit outside various Whole Foods and King Soopers and see how many people leave with reusable bags vs. plastic or paper. I wonder what I will find? I'm thinking the Boulder Whole Foods, S. Boulder King Soopers, Superior Whole Foods, and Louisville King Soopers. I have like 4 days, so yeah. I could do something up at RMNP tomorrow instead, like maybe interview elk. "Hello, Mr. Bull Elk. Is the bugling getting you any? How do the ladies like your rack? In humans it's the ladies who have the racks, har har. Oh, just a little people humor, sorry." Yeah, I think doing something with the elk might be more wildlife study than planning oriented.

I will leave you with this moment of zen, and the inspiration for the foray into the hills. Pic is from the Folks Fest in Lyons this summer.