Wednesday, September 30

Long day

Today I had to go downstairs to the dreaded commissary for a take away lunch to eat at my desk. *sigh*. I hate eating at my desk but I'd missed a lot of action while in an all-morning meeting and had some catching up to do.

After lunch, at around 1:30, my work neighbor turned to me and implored "What is wrong with this day?!" I couldn't put my finger on it but she was right. There was a distinct reek of tension in the air and it was getting to us. A high-ish level person got disgusted and slammed her door, which is unheard of, startling us all. The big boss was shouting out names from across the floor asking people to join him in a meeting. Then, as if all was right with the world, it was time for our September birthday celebration. Once a month we all get together for cupcakes and acknowledge everyone with a recent birthday. Somebody in HR always prints out descriptions of that month's zodiac signs and somebody has to go up in front of everybody to read them aloud. I'm relatively new to this group of people at work but I've already been nailed twice to read it aloud. Today was one of those days.

After cupcakes we all smelled a heavy layer of smoke wafting around. Turns out a fire broke out nearby, just in time for the "Red Flag" alert. The smell was making us sick.

The whole day was filled with a non-stop sense of unease. I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I can't shake the feeling that something bad is going to happen. I hate this feeling because I'm often right. I hope it's just a response to a hectic day.

Yesterday, on the other hand, had been such a nice quiet day of going to a few meetings then spending the afternoon getting my desk cleaned up for the onslaught of work to come in the next few weeks. I'm glad I had that time to get organized but man... It's gonna be a rough few weeks, I can already fell it. These are the weeks that all I want to do is get home at the end of the day , put on my pjs and go to bed. I'm off to do that right now. Time for Ken Burns' Nation Parks again. That has calmed me these past few nights. I hope it helps tonight.

Sunday, September 27

Why are the sad stories so fascinating?

I read a review of this book in the NY Times today. It is SO on my wish list this year. I had never heard of the Collyer Brothers but I am intrigued.

BTW, if I hoard anything it's the NY Times Book Review section which explains why I only got around to reading the review today.

Saturday, September 26


When I was a child of the seventies, living on a cul-de-sac, playing hide and seek and running around barefoot all summer we had some interesting neighbors. I didn't know this at the time but Mrs. S was a battered woman and not the only one we lived around. Mrs. L was an alcoholic. There were a few normal neighbors. The I's were a lovely family whose daughter babysat for me and my brother. I was very good friend's withe the A's daughter and we had many sleep overs. And then there were the P's. The P's were super-neighbors, at least that's how they seemed if you were a child of the seventies. I don't recall what kind of day job Mr. P had but, in his spare time, he invented things. Not goofy amateurish things but innovative machines that turned into patents that are still being used to this day. The man was a genius. I learned about the FDIC $100k insurance limit because of the P's. One day Mr. P got a check so big, for one of his inventions, that he had to go from bank to bank depositing $100k at a time so his money would be insured. After one deposit he came back into the bank and asked if they would validate his parking. When they said "No" he promptly closed his account and took that $100k to another bank. That Bank Manager was very sad. When Mr. P bought a car he got all the way to the point of signing for it when he stopped and said "Where's my discount?" "What discount" said the salesman. "Well," said Mr. P. "You put your dealership logo on the back of my car without my permission. I figure that kind of advertising must be worth at least $30 a month." The dealership removed the logo from the car.

My favorite memories of the P's have to do with their cool house. They were the only ones on the block with a pool. They had the pool and a pool house built before they moved in. We used to ride our bikes around the giant dirt hole before the pool came in. Mr. P was a Pepsi junkie. I'm not talking about your average soda addiction. I mean Mr. P LIKED Pepsi. A Pepsi truck would actually make a U-turn on our street, park and drop off about 4-6 cases of Pepsi every other week. The P's opened an arcade for a while and when it closed they just brought the pinball air hockey machines home to sit in the garage. I can tell you that was the best summer ever. We would go to the P's to swim, play pinball and drink Pepsi for hours and never need so much as a quarter to do it. We just walked across the street the best house in the world. I mean who could ask for better neighbors?! My parents were good friends with the P's. They used to play bridge late into Saturday nights together. When a new babysitter brought a bunch of friends over and started a party it was Mr. P who came over, told her off and brought us to his house where Mrs. P gave us home made cake and let us watch Love Boat. They were nice people.

We eventually moved away when my Dad got a promotion. Our families exchanged Christmas cards but we eventually lost touch with the P's until about 10 years ago. Mom was reading her morning paper, as she does every morning, and came across an article about a Mr. P who had been convicted of some sort of sex crime and was going to jail. Mom couldn't believe it but the details were awfully close to the Mr. P we used to know. She decided to call Mrs. P to check in and see how they were doing. Mrs. P answered the phone and began crying immediately after recognizing Mom's voice. Poor Mrs. P. It seems Mr. P decided to show his grandsons some x-rated videos and teach them how to masturbate. I know, it's gross and inapproriate and criminal. Let's just say Mr. P sons and the State of California frown upon what he did. It was all true and Mr. P was going to jail for about 10 years. Mom went to lunch with Mrs, P a few times but so much time had passed and they didn't have much in common anymore so they again drifted apart. We would often think of them while driving past the trailer park Mrs. P now lives in since we pass it on the way to my brother's house. We also wonder how Mr. P is doing. He wasn't in the best of health and we wondered if he was even alive or not. We also know that pedophiles don't exactly do well in prison. We hear they are the lowest of the low in there. I'm sure these past years have been very difficult for the P's but what could we do?

Nowadays the most difficult thing Mom and Dad are having to deal with is the hassle of having their house redecorated. (Well, to be fair, Mom had some vision trouble but her health is otherwise very good as is Dad's.) The stucco has been removed from the ceiling, the walls have been painted and carpet and plantation shutters are about to be installed. The hardest thing Mom is going through is the fact that she hates the high gloss white paint the painter's put on her shutters and doors. She was pacing around very upset about what to do about the despised shutters the other night. She didn't sleep much but was getting ready for her day the following morning when the phone rang. It was an automated voice requesting a collect call from a prison somewhere asking if she'd accept from Mr. P. Here it's important to understand my mother. Mom and I tend to like the off beat crazy folks of the world. We don't think those folks should have to hide. Maybe it's a Southern attitude, you know, bring out your crazies and seat them in the parlor with the rest of the family. We also happen to be very curious people. Needless to say, Mom couldn't resist a call like that. Curiosity won out and she quickly accepted the collect call. She immediately asked when Mr. P would be getting out and how his health was. Turns out he's had a couple of bypasses and his diabetes is a problem but he was getting out this Monday, that was why he was calling. Mrs. P recently moved because she lived too close to a school. Registered sex offenders cannot live within a certain distance of schools. When she got her new phone set up it had a bock on it that he couldn't get through. He needed to speak with Mrs. P to give her instructions on how and where to pick him up on Monday. Mom said she'd call Mrs. P and have her take the block off her phone so Mr. P could call her tomorrow. She also told him that if he had any more trouble calling Mrs. P that he could call Mom and she'd pass along any messages or instructions he might have. Mom said she actually felt sorry for him, like he didn't get to talk to people much and he was hesitant to hang up the phone, but what do you say? Again, it's all very sad. What Mr. P did was wrong and God only knows what else he did in his life but when it's a person you know only as a good neighbor from many, many years ago it's hard to get your head around the whole thing. Mostly we feel bad for Mrs, P. What a nightmare she has lived through. I was proud of my Mom for being so open minded. It can't be easy to get a long lost friend to accept a collect call from a prison. Mr. P never would have gotten a call through Dad, not because Dad hates him but, because Dad would have heard that automated voice and would have hung up before he knew what it was about. Mom said she would have felt terrible if Dad had hung up on the message and the P's thought Mom and Dad hated them forever when it was really just automated voices that dad hates.

Part of me wants to know what exactly put Mr. P behind bars. The other part of me just wants to remember him as a quirky, Pepsi drinking super genius who used to be the nice man living across the street with his nice family.

When Mom started freaking out about the super-shiny-glossy-white shutters I said "Calm down! It's not like you have to go spring your pedophile husband from the clink on Monday." Mom just looked at the shutters and, without a trace of irony, said "I don't know. Glossy white shutters are pretty bad."

Mom, I love you, but you're loopy.

Tuesday, September 8

Rip off (?)

I ordered that Beatles remastered albums set from Tower Records online. Unfortunately I've received no info on the shipping status. Do you think I've been ripped off? You'd think they'd send some word even if it was to say I had to wait weeks and weeks for my precious set. Also, they were selling it for about $40 off the other prices I saw online. It's all feeling sort of suspicious now. Dang, wouldn't it suck if I just gave some online scoundrel $200 from my credit card?


I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 7


Remember yesterday when I was talking about Brian Boitano and his great recipes? Well brace yourself for a completely different subject: Pro Football!

I'm really more of a baseball gal. However, the sound of football in the background of a house means fall is here and that always makes me happy. I used to like football a bit more than I do now. These days pro football often seems to be an endless series of interferences and penalties. When I was a kid I remember watching games that actually moved along without constant ego trips erupting on the field. And that awful grandstanding after a touchdown? The worst! I always think, dude, you just did your job so settle down. I also wonder what would happen if I did a little dance after each successful meeting I had? How obnoxious.

More recently I had adopted the Green Bay Packers as my football team of choice. A good friend is a fan and taught me about them while I helped her adopt the LA Dodgers. I like the fact that the Pac is a publicly owned team and that they still play in an ancient stadium. It's old school and I like that because it reminds me of the football from my childhood when I'd hear Dad shouting "TOUCHDOWN!" from anywhere on our cul de sac.

Tonight I went to my brother's house for a family bbq. While there, Michael and his wife turned me on to a new reality show called Hard Knocks. It's an HBO reality show/documentary that follows a pro football team and it's rookies during training camp. This year they're following the Cincinnati Bengals. We watched the first episode and I really liked it. It features the business side of pro football and all of the heartbreak. Man is it harsh! I watched as player after player was cut from the team. Oh, and there is no skirting around the cutting process. A couch comes to the cut player's room at the crack of dawn and basically says you have 24 hours to get signed, if you aren't signed then you are a free agent... good luck with that. When one rookie asks why he's being cut, the coach says "We always cut players around here because of ability. I'll need your play book." Ouch! That would be like HR coming to me one morning and saying "You suck. Give me your laptop."

I also learned that The Cincinnati Bengals is a family run team. That alone makes me like them. Then I found out the Bengal's EVP is a woman and I was sold. She's seriously tough. She happens to be the owner's daughter but, again, it's a family run business and she definitely knows the biz.

I've always enjoyed a good behind the scenes pov of an interesting business. I like Deadliest Catch too and I'd have never guessed that about myself. Macho men are NOT my idea of a good time even on tv but DC and HK are both so entertaining. I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed Hard Knocks. Even more surprising is the fact that I plan to watch rest of the episodes on demand. I may even root for the Bengals this year. Who knew?

Sunday, September 6

You're Welcome

Imagine my surprise: I'm flipping through cable channels yesterday and came across a new show on The Food Network called What Would Brian Boitano Make? Well, hells. I gotta check that out.

Brian was hosting a party for a bunch of roller derby divas. Turns out these derby girls love them some bacon. They love bacon so much they made bacon-tinis. A bacon martini? God knows I love bacon but even I would draw the line at a bacon-tini. The good news was that the theme of the show was BACON! Yippee!!!

Brian proceeded to make some of the most delectable looking bacon appetizers imaginable. Here they are:
Take a look at tell me those don't look delightful. WTG Brian Boitano, I'm impressed. You're giving Paula Deen a run for her money!

(This post is dedicated to Kathleen, Shandon and Howard. Enjoy!)

Saturday, September 5

The US of A(wesome!)

This is why I heart the internet.

Friday, September 4

On the Bright Side

As mentioned in previous posts, I've been particularly crabby lately. It's mostly work related. I'm lucky enough to genuinely like my job. I find my work challenging and it's always changing so it's never boring but lately I've been terribly annoyed and irritable. I'm not ordinarily an angry person so this state of mind has been bothering me.

I work for a company that is smart enough to invest in lots of classes for it's employees. The best classes I've taken have taught me to recognize a person's "communication style" and how to "flex" my communication style to that of those I'm trying to "influence". Learning about communication styles has not only been interesting but something I can use in my personal life as well as professionally.

However, all of these learnings have not helped me pull myself out of my funk. Unfortunately, understanding a person's motivation is only making me more annoyed because I'm able to see how insecure and selfish some people are. I won't go into details but some people are SO LAME!!!

I'm thanking God that it's a long weekend since I really need one. I've been working on a project at work for some time now and it's finally finished and ready to be presented next Tuesday. I'm proud of what I've pulled together and am actually looking forward to the meeting but I think it's all gotten to me.

I was talking about this to my friend Tony tonight. Tony is one of the most upbeat people I know. He's also a realist and is someone I can tell almost anything to. His suggestion was to watch some Mary Tyler Moore shows and A Star is Born (the Judy Garland version of course!). I think he's right. We also decided that I should do some reading and cooking. It's time to seriously chill out, eat well (and by well I mean healthfully) and not worry about it all.

I think world events are getting to me too. I swear I can feel my blood pressure go up when I hear a word about health care or war or how conservatives are mad that the President wants to address the kids of our country. It's all so awful. What's wrong with everyone? I wish people would stop operating from fear. It never gets us anywhere, unless, of course, you're a Republican. In that case fear can be very beneficial.

Anyhoo, I saw Liza Minnelli at The Hollywood Bowl the other night with Tony and it was one of the nicest nights I've had in a while. Nothing but cute, polite boys and loads of Liza fabulousness! It was a really good time. I think I need to focus on the fun stuff and not worry so much about the bad. So, with that in mind, I think I'll try to keep this little ditty in mind, at least for the weekend:

I can't help it... it makes me laugh. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 3

Where have I been?

After my Ode to the LP post I decided to listen to some classic music. I've been particularly crabby the past couple of weeks and I recalled that sometimes the right music can improve my mood. Last night I put on my fancy Bose headset and listened to the Beatles songs on my iPod in shuffle mode. It was great. I didn't sleep much but I did notice lots of fun new things upon carefully listening to those songs. I enjoyed Paul's awesome bass licks on She Came in Through the Bathroom Window. I'd never noticed it before but Paul sounds amazing on that song. (.. and yeah, you heard me. I referred to Paul's playing as "licks" and I meant it. I reserve the right to refer to the guitar as an "ax" later on.) I also loved hearing Hey Jude and Penny Lane up close and personal. (By the way, any of my friends out there who may survive me, I have a request for you. Will you please make sure that somebody plays In My Life at my funeral? I'm serious. I don't mean some attention-whore standing up front with a guitar lamely plucking away and singing. No! I want The Beatles recording of In My Life played at my funeral and I want it dedicated to my family... especially Jake and Alex. Yes, it's a sort of depressing thought but I want it known. Make that happen for me, will ya?)

Oh! I was also reminded of what an eff'd up song Run For Your Life really is. Don't let your children listen to that one OR Happiness is a Warm Gun. Kids are cute but they don't seem to understand irony. Oh, and Revolution 9 will certainly cause brain damage to any self respecting kid so steer clear of that one too. (Thanks a lot Yoko.) It would, however, make for a pretty funny ring tone.

Anyway... I thoroughly enjoyed my little meditation on The Beatles and suggest you give it a go.

On one hand, listening to a Beatles shuffle mix is a blast. On the other, its somewhat disturbing. I know the later Beatles albums so well that when one song ends I hear the next in my head before it even starts. When you're listening to an iPod shuffle and the wrong song follows the last it can confuse your brain. I listened to 96 Beatles songs between last night and today at work. I loved every one of them.

When I got home my niece called to say "I'd like to order a pizza with cat poop on it." I replied "Wrong number!" . I did, however, need to talk to my brother and they seemed to be in the car so her call was convenient. The conversation went something like this:

Lucy: "Ask Daddy if has any more Beatles CDs than I have."
Niece: *mumble* "Daddy says he has A Hard's Days Help and Night."
Lucy: *stiffling a laugh* "Ok, thanks. Tell him I need to borrow them."
Niece: "Ok. Daddy, Aunty Lucy says she needs to borrow those CDs."... "Daddy says he wants to talk to you."
Michael: "Dude! You know all The Beatles albums are being remastered and re-released on September 9th, right?"
Lucy: "What?! I thought it was just that Beatles Rock Band game that was coming out."
Michael: "No! All of the remasters are being released in a big boxed set."
Lucy: "Crap. That's gonna cost me."
Micheal: "Yeah. Hey, I listened to the entire White Album the other day and... *shouting over his shoulder* "Alex! Ear muffs!" (His way of telling her to cover her ears.) *whispering into the phone* " ya know, some people did their best work on serious drugs."
Lucy: "Yeah, I've always said that some of the best music out there came from heroin and cocaine. Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, the Stones... everyone rocked when they were stoned!"

(Disclaimer: Don't get me wrong, I do not condone drug use but there is no denying that some seriously great art has come from the stuff. Of course, it never ends well but that zenith sure can be inspired while it lasts.)

Well hells, back to my imminent remastered Beatles set purchase. I hopped online to search for the scoop on the goods. It seems the remastered Beatles albums can be bought individually OR in a mono boxed set OR a stereo boxed set. I repeat... hells! What am I supposed to do? I read up on it all and decided the more expensive mono version might be a good way to go. The clarity is supposed to be excellent and it is the way they were originally recorded. Besides, I've always hated Paul singing in one ear while Ringo drums away in the other.

I then called a friend who works at a record label. I figured he must know a thing or two about old school recordings. Surely he'd understand the difference between the mono and stereo sets and have a solid opinion on the matter. (His wife, who I know much better chanted "Nerd! Nerd! Nerd!" in the kitchen while we spoke. I don't deny it. I am most definitely a nerd.) Well, my conversation with the record label friend just made the decision more difficult. Turns out he's buying BOTH the mono and the stereo sets. He explained that the early recordings were, of course, originally mono but that they are also the only recordings The Beatles were around to consult on, so that's a plus. He went on to say that, yes, we were supposed to hear tons of never-before-heard details on the mono remasters. On the downside Abbey Road (my favorite and the one I had to buy in the 80's as a UK CD import) is not included in the mono set because it was only released in stereo. DAMMIT! However, the remastered stereo CDs include documentaries on each disc going through the making-of that particular album. DOUBLE DAMMIT! What the hell am I supposed to do?

Did I mention that these sets are NOT CHEAP. Both are well over $200 each. I can barely justify buying one much less both. I tend to be more of a fan of the Beatles' later records. We all love the early music but I never felt compelled to buy any of it because it's so frequently heard in day-to-day life. I have LP and CD copies of Revolver and everything released after wards. Beatles fans have long complained about the poor quality of the currently available CDs. Meanwhile, I'm happy to finally have a reason to buy all of The Beatles CDs once and for all. The fact that they are remastered makes the set downright irresistible.

I told my brother I'd buy the mono set if he'd buy the stereo set. We'll see. I keep changing my mind. I really want to see those album documentaries. I'm nerd enough to enjoy multiple viewings of them. But... oh, I don't know. Apparently all versions of the sets are sold out for God knows how long so I've got time to make up my mind.

Wednesday, September 2


I had lunch with some colleagues from New York. They were asking if it was always this hot this time of year and why it was burning up every time they visited in late summer. I explained that yes, it's always this hot this time of year and will remain so deep into October. "We don't acknowledge September except to send our kids back to school." I then explained that So Cal is always burning up at this time of year because we haven't had any rain since last spring and there is nothing but kindling on our mountains.

They then wanted to know where all the smoke was. "I was in Vegas yesterday and could see it rolling in from my hotel room." Again, I explained, "You don't see it because you're in it." The son seemed surprised. I told him he was lucky that he was far enough away to not smell it. He seemed surprised at this detail as well.

I then went a bit further (maybe too far). I told them that I thought New Yorkers, as much as I love them, are a bunch of pansies. I broke into a girlieman impression of a New Yorker flailing hands in the air "Ooooh, it's snowing. Oooh, it's so cold! Oooh, Willard Scott told me it would be sooooo coooooooold!!!" Whatever. Turn on the heat, bundle up and gimme a break. "At least you see your disasters coming." I said. Try rattlesnakes and bears in the backyard, burning hills that later turn into dreadful mudslides and top it all off with some earthquakes for good measure. They nodded in agreement. "Yeah, I'm a city boy. That's too much nature for me."

Harumph. That's what I thought. Bunch a pansies.

Tuesday, September 1

Olden Days

My brother and I tend to communicate most during my morning commute. His kids are off to school and his wife teaches so it's usually a good time to catch him for a minute. The other day we were discussing his recent acquisition of an album collection from one of Dad's old buddies who had finally decided to get rid of his rather bulky album collection. If Michael (my brother) and I have one thing in common its a love of music... well, that and The Dodgers. Both loves come from habits my parents established when we were kids but seem to be long gone these days.

Michael brought the 4-5 boxes of albums home and began searching through them. He found lots to love in the collection. While he was flipping through the records his kids crowded around and asked what those were and what he was doing. He told me he tried in vain to explain the lost joy of buying and listening to records. He described the olden days of spending hours in a record store listening to new releases over the store sound system and carefully selecting a new record to buy with the limited allowance he had. He told them about his favorite old record shops (Poo Bah's, Record Jackpot, Moby Disc, Rhino and Tower) and how after a shopping spree he'd bring home the new record (s) and listen to them over and over again while reading the liner notes and lyrics. He went on to tell them about the ritual of listening to albums with friends, of sitting in a sea of records and covers on the floor while you talked and laughed with your best friends. He then got sort of sad thinking that they'd never have that experience. Record stores are barely hanging on and flipping through CDs has never felt the same as flipping through racks of records. And forget about admiring album artwork. Talk about a lost art! Kids today may listen to an iPod mix of music but most are busily hunched over their phones texting friends and ignoring the ones right in front of them. Michael's right, those days are over and it's really too bad. I know I sound like a granny lamenting the lost days of radio but I believe that while technology has done a lot of good it has also robbed us of some pretty nice times.

I grew up in a very loud house. There were only four of us but we were loud. Much of this was due to eclectic tastes in music. My Dad loved classical, Mom leaned towards show tunes and Waylon and Willie, I liked pop and rock while Michael liked rock and, later, punk. Like I said, it was loud at our house. Up until the age of about 10 my Dad would wake us up with Wagner playing on his old Fisher stereo to about 11. Our beds would practically bounce across the floor it was so loud. Dad liked us all up and at 'em by about 7:00 am. At the time it bugged me but it did eventually make a morning person out of me. I got to know a lot of classical music. Dad would play Copeland and ask "What do you hear?" I'd shout "A bird!" or "A storm!". It was actually pretty cool. Because of Mom I happen to know most of the words to Funny Girl and The Red Headed Stranger. Kudos to both ma and pa!

When we got older Michael and I would share much of our music. I always say that when college sent Michael and I our separate ways it broke up one of the best records collections around.

Michael and I are less than 2 years apart so we had some friends in common. I remember very well sitting on the floor of Michael's room with the all of the lights out except for his red lava lamp at our parties while he played DJ. We listened to Pink Floyd, The Cult, The Sex Pistols, The Beastie Boys and God knows what else. I remember hating Bruce Springsteen until the day Michael sat me down and said "Dude, I'm telling you you're really going to like this. I think you're a Springsteen fan waiting to happen." He played "Thunder Road" for me on Dad's stereo and waited for my reaction. He was right, I fell in deep love with Springsteen that day and spent the next decade going to every Springsteen concert that came to town. I also got way into REM, U2, The Replacements and bunch of obscure college bands who later disappeared.

To this day Michael knows what music I'll like. He occasionally sends me suggestions via iTunes, but again, it's just not the same as having him sit across from me waiting for my reaction.

When I was in high school I liked to turn off all the lights in my bedroom on the night of full moon. I'd open the sliding glass door that led to the back yard, lay on my back, hang my head out the door and listen to music on my headphones while staring skyward. I can't remember the last time I did anything remotely like that with my iPod. I mean I listen to my iPod when I can't sleep but it's not the same. I did, however, turn off the tv while writing this and turned on my Moody mix. (What's a Moody mix you may ask? It's my favorite iTunes playlist full of stuff like Beck, Air, Muse, Hem, Keane, Portishead, Richard Hawley, Wilco, Zero 7 and lots more. I bet Shandon and Norm are wondering where the hell was that playlist on our last road trip, since I made them listen to my 70's mix. Sorry guys! Better luck next time.)

My brother and I used to also make killer mix tapes. (Don't worry, I won't go off on a lost-art-of-mix-tape-creation here, but I remember it well.) One mutual friend still has one of those mix tapes and says her kids know every song on it. She tells me that it's worn thin and is now barely audible. I can't believe it's still hanging on. I now make mix CDs for that friend. About a year ago she called in a panic. "Lucy! My kids don't know who the Beatles are! Can you make a mix CD of your faves for us?" I told her that not knowing the Beatles was child abuse and promptly made her a killer mix. I am happy to report that her kids now have a clear understanding of the Beatles. It was the best intervention ever.

I still have all of my vinyl, Beatles and all. I've even kept all of embarrassing records. Unfortunately I'm in need of a turntable. I got a great portable turntable for Christmas a few years ago but the needle broke (Michael?!). I now want one of those turntables with a USB connection so the music can be transferred to my iPod. Ironic, huh? A friend at work is encouraging me to get a Kindle but I think a turntable might be a better investment at this time in my life.

I recently filled a thumb drive with music for my niece and nephew that my brother would not approve of. My nephew lost it. That or my brother disapproved so heartily that he made it sleep with the fishes. I'll never know. Either way, a thumb drive is no replacement for a well compiled mix tape and I know it.

It's strange, on one hand I love the portability of having my entire music collection in one little device. I often think about how the concept of an iPod would have blown my mind when I was a kid collecting my babysitter's cast off copies of Tommy, Captain Fantastic and A Night at the Opera. On the other hand I miss sitting on the floor (it was always the floor wasn't it?) with friends talking and laughing while listening to those old records. Maybe I'll get that turntable and start having listening parties when I buy my condo. Hmm, we'll all have to sit on the floor since I won't have any money for proper furniture. Come to think of it, that really doesn't sound so bad does it?

Last weekend I caught a segment on Wilco on CBS Sunday Morning. They showed the lead singer jamming on guitar in his son's room. Later in the segment I saw that kid race across screen with a copy of Television's Marquee Moon tucked under his arm. I now know what the phrase "It made my heart sing" means. I thought that Jeff Tweedy might be the best dad in the world. He's my people. With dads like Jeff Tweedy and Michael out there maybe there is hope after all.