A Winter Afternoon Shuffle

I love you, my little ipod…

Shall we take a short walk through an ipod set to shuffle? We shall.

1. You’re Not From Here – Lara Fabian
Have you heard of her? She is like the Canadian version of Celine Dion. You know, if Celine wasn’t the Canadian version of Celine. Ok, she is like her much less successful successor. Anyway, this song is haunting.
 Listen and Buy

2. United State of Pop – DJ Earworm
Mr. Earworm is a DJ, as evidenced by his first name. He mixed songs together. I think the hip kids call it a mashup. This particular “mashup” (I’m young and cool!) is all the greatest songs of 2010 pop. Although it begins with Kesha, so Pbbblt.

3. You Wont Suceed On Broadyway – Spamalot, The Broadway Soundtrack
The wonderous David Hyde Pierce sings this ditty to Dr. Frankenfurter himself, Tim Curry (So, come up to the lab…) about staging a Broadway show and how you need some jews and some gays. Either way, he references Streisand, so yay!
Listen and Buy

4. Appletree – Erykah Badu
The first year I moved home from College, (the lost year) I lived in my parent’s basement. I remember buying a computer (I didn’t have one in college – almost no one did (I’m old)) and exploring this new thing called the internet. I would light incense and listen to this album and chill. Now I recommend it for a quiet evening with friends.
Listen and Buy

5. Rejoice – Bec Jenkins
My girlfriend in college, and the girl I thought I was going to marry. That didn’t work out, which was for the best for both of us. Obviously. However, she could sing like an angel and she recorded a demo in college. We had just broken up, so I ended up buying this rather than being gifted it. Let me know if you want me to send you an MP3 of this. It’s pretty great.

6. Because Of You – Kelly Clarkson (Jason Nevins Acapella Mix)
Excellent Kelly song, completely stripped down to just the vocals. It’s like a primer on how to add effects to pop songs.
Listen and Buy

7. Whenever I Call You Friend – Kenny Loggins
Yes, I know it’s ancient. But listen to the backing vocals. Perfect! “Sweet love showin’ on some heavenly night…”
Listen and Buy

8. Face To Faith – Sandi Patti
I sang this when my first year Summer Ministries team went to Canada to perform. If there is anything in that sentence that doesn’t make sense to you then you did not go to ENC!
PS – Hi Sandi!
Listen and Buy

9. Superman – Prelude and Main Title March
When I was a wee bairn I used to take my mother’s “Pops In Space” record, stand in the living room with a straw, and conduct the hell out of this piece. Also, I wanted to fly. Also, I like his cape. Also, I have a little crush on Brandon Routh.
Listen and Buy

10. Better Way – Spencer Day
I can’t recommend this guy enough. His album Vagabond is essential listening. He’s a mixture of Chet Baker and Harry Connick Jr. Please go here and listen:
Listen and Buy

11. The Boy From Ipanema – Diana Krall
An excellent jazzy standard, twisted.
Listen and Buy

12. We Both reach For The Gun – Chicago Movie Soundtrack
Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes they both, oh yes, they both, oh yes, they both, reached for the gun, the gun, the gun, the gun, oh yes they both reached for the gun, for the gun.
Listen and Buy

13. My Body Keeps Changing My Mind – Karen Carpenter
From her unreleased solo album (until after she died). It’s a boogie disco confection that’s sexier than the Carpenters have a right to be.
PS – I love her voice. LOVE.
Listen and Buy

14. Older – George Michael
A sad, lush track about realizing that you can’t go back to an ex.
Listen and Buy

15. I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Wont Do That)
Come on. It’s over the top, it’s overblown, it’s flashy and glittery and bombastic. And awesome. It’s also TWELVE minutes long.
Listen and Buy

16. Cry Me A River – Michael Buble
This link doesn’t do the track justice… perfectly produced jazz pop of a classic standard. Just buy it.
Listen and Buy

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Das Plow

Hark! It approaches…

George came home from work last night, put on his giant snow boots, his puffy snow jacket, and his knit cap, and immediately turned around and went back outside to clear the snow from the Grady poopy area and the driveway. The city plow had gone by in the last hour, so there was a sizable mountain at the end of the driveway. An hour later, all was clear and he was warming himself over my homemade chicken nuggets. And no, my gutter-minded friends, that is not a euphemism for anything.

The thing about George and snow is that he hates to move it. Rather passionately, really. We have worked out a chore division that left him moving snow (I mow the lawn). He generally keeps the hate to a gentle simmer, but occasionally it will boil over to declarations of “That’s it, we are moving to a condo!” or “That’s it, we are moving to Arizona!” or “That’s it, we are moving after I murder the plow driver!”. You see, the city plow driver always does one last swipe after George has completed his removaging. Which necessitates one more expletive-filled de-snowing.

Last night, though, the snow had tapered off and our street was as clear as it ever gets and we felt that it would be ok. There would be no more passive-aggressive snow plow sneakery for the evening.

Later, I was in bed reading and he and Grady had fallen asleep (they both fall asleep in, like, 7 seconds (irritating)) and we were snuggled up under our 2 blankets, separate quilts and individual down comforters ready for a long winter’s nap.

Suddenly I heard the basso profundo of the city plow approaching. Really, city plow? Where were you all day when I drove* my wildly weather inappropriate car through Hothian drifts into my driveway? Where were you last Wednesday, when we didn’t get plowed until the snowstorm was completely over? And now? It has not snowed for 2 hours. Yet here you are, and I am going to have to break it to my husband that you gave him the present of an early morning workout.

From beneath the blankets, from beneath the quilts, from beneath the comforters a muffled sound works its way out to my ears, said so softly yet so filled with resignation…

…”God Damn It.”


* And by drove I mean that we (my car and I) careened from one side of the unplowed road to the other in a ballet of terror, my face stuck in a rictus of impending death and sure knowledge that if I live I will be paralyzed and George will have to care for me, Boxing Helena style.

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But where’s Bit?

Remember 1982? I do. I was in second grade, going to elementary at Lincoln school across the street from my house, hanging out with my church buddies Matt and Jason and Chris and Chris. (Yes, we were the three Chris’s. Bonus points if you can remember our last names.) My teacher was Mrs. Searway, my pants were corduroy (slim fit!) and my grouping was nerd. Back then it was still stigma-y. Good times.

My mother always tried to make my birthday parties something special. One year we took a group of kids to Funtown. One year we had a McDonaldland celebration. And one fancy year we partied at the Ground Round. (Not a banner year, no.) But this particular year we had a sleep over in our living room and watched crappy-awesome science fiction. And the centerpiece of said fete, the piece de resistance, was the sci-fi spectacular Tron.

Tron was futuristic and mind-blowing for a 8-year-old. I mean, they went INSIDE a computer! And they were all glowy and slim. And they fought on light bikes and with shiny frisbee. Since that day whenever I throw a frisbee, I imagine that it is a disk from Tron. Geek, I know.

It's bad that I want this, right? Would you still talk to me?

The supreme bad guy was the Master Control program. He was a giant red spinning computer head. Excellent! There was a journey and a minor bad-guy to defeat and a massive final battle and the good guy got the girl. It was everything that an 8-year-old would want (aside from the girl thing).

What? It was cool in 1982!

Yesterday Mom and I went to see Tron Legacy. I know that there have been detractors out there who don’t like this movie. To them I say: you are not the demographic. The demo for this movie is exactly who I am. The target demographic saw the movie in the 80s and loved it, and want to see more of the world inside the computer. Yes, the de-aging of Jeff Bridges is a tish creepy. Yes, we never see Tron’s face. But come on. Light cycles! Disk throwing! Computer battles, and a religious-creator allegory. It’s all there.

I want to love this movie so badly that I am willing to overlook all of the minor glitches and focus on the gorgeous world building and the fun journey story and the awesome clothes and I would totally wear.

Also, and as a final note, when Flynn’s son Sam goes into the old arcade and turns the power on, these familiar strains pump out into the theater. I defy you not to get excited. PS – Turn it way up.

Separate Ways

PPS – Bruce Boxleitner is still crazy hot.

Bruce Then

Bruce Now - Still foxy, Scarecrow!

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Merchant Ivory

…Is actually the name of two people, and not a seller of elephant tusks as I always assumed.

Lately our house has been very British. Tea and crumpets, croquet, bad teeth, the whole nine yards. And you should hear my excellent British accent. George simply loves it when I start in with it.

Me: Good Morning, Guvnah.

G: …um, ok. Morning.

Me: And what, pray tell, is on the docket for today’s Shhhedool?

G: Stop it.

'Ello. Me name is Madunna.

It is all because we have been simply steeping in Merchant Ivory films and period dramas. Simply steeping I tell you.

We watched Howards End a few days ago. Have you seen this movie? It is not, as I assumed, a movie about a man named Howard and his magnificent rear-end. Rather, it is about class struggle in Edwardian England. I know, I know, try to contain the unbridled joy. At the very least it starred Helena Bonham Carter, who I adore in spite of her teeth, and Emma Thompson, who I adore for Nannie McPhee. (Shuddup). Also, Anthony Hopkins chomps his way through the film. And there is a house named Howards End for some inexplicable reason.

Next, we marinated in The King’s Speech. I would watch Collin Firth do pretty much anything. He’s so genteel and kind and precious and mannish. Plus, Geoffrey Rush is there, speech instructing. And Helena Bonham Carter. Hi again, Hel! The movie was excellent, couldn’t recommend it enough. George even teared up during said speech. He thought I didn’t notice, but I did. I always notice. Also, hearing Susan’s British accent “attempt” during the ride home was exquisite. No one mangles an accent like my Suzie.

Mr. Darcy dresses to the left.

We started watching the new PBS mini-series Downton Abbey, starring Elizabeth McGovern, of many 80s things, and Maggie Smith, of many awesome old lady things, and a castle which I adore and want to live in. The jury is still out, but Graham Norton liked it, so I probably will, too.

And finally, last night, we watched The Remains Of The Day, with Sir Anthony Hopkins (of liver with fava beans and Chianti fame), and once again the regal Emma Thompson (of I-divorced-Kenneth-Branagh fame). The story revolves around a butler whose life is not his own; it is given over to serving others. And once he realizes that and makes a grab for happiness it slips through his fingers. Not really the feel good movie of the year (1993). Kind of dreary and sad, really. I guess not all movies can be Moonstruck happy.

I think that next I will rent Maurice. The major theme in these movies seems to be angst and the struggle to repress each and every inconvenient emotion, and of course that is true with this one, too. Plus, super gay Hugh Grant and Rupert Graves and hot man on man romps. Yay!

Hugh make the softest pillow...

Anyway, Chip Chip! Cheerio! I wanna really, really, really wanna zigga zig ah. Carry on.

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Diesel Gas

…Saved Our Lives

On Friday our oil company was supposed to come and put oil in our tank. You know, for heat. Grady complains if we let it go below 60 (whatever, whiner). But, they called and let George know that they could not make it until Monday. No problem! Except – whoops! Our oil tank runs out at just below 1/8th of a tank. (Side Note: does this mean that we have just less than 1/8th of a tank of sludge at the bottom? Ew.) So how much oil did we have left?

Of course when I got home from work I ran downstairs to nervous-nelly check the oil level because I was wondering if we were going to make it through the weekend. I was worried that we would freeze to death in our sleep when the oil puttered out and that we would be eaten by wild dogs and/or Grady. That’s reasonable, right? No? Hmm. You obviously have not seen Grady when he is chilly. Ga-Rumpy. Anyway, back to the story. Can you guess how much oil we had? Just about 1/8th.  So, of course, I calmly assessed the situation and handled it like an adult. Wait. No, I didn’t. I panicked and made plans for my viewing and funeral. Closed casket, due to the tiny Westie teeth marks on my face.

Suddenly, the siren call of the internets made its way through my hysterical over-reacting and good ol’ reliable Google answered my query. What else can I add to my oil tank in an emergency? Oh, Diesel. What’s that, internets? Did you say DIESEL? Yes, Diesel fuel from the gas station around the corner. Why is this a secret? So, George went to Aubuchon and bought a gas tank, and three trips to Sunoco later we were halfway to a quarter tank.

Not this kind of Diesel. Although, he would probably keep us warm, too.

Why does no one know this trick? Yes, it is more expensive than heating oil, but it is scads cheaper to buy 15 gallons of diesel than to pay the oil company’s “Emergency Delivery (silly negligent homeowner) Fee” of $150.

So there you are. We will never again pay for an emergency fill up. All thanks to the miracle of the internets.

…And my fear of being eaten by my 18 pound dog.

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