Tuesday, May 24

Short Cut

Because I haven't listed any songs lately, I thought I'd do a speed round of the 30 Day Song challenge that I seem to be doing in 60 days. I'm listing three tonight in the interest of catching up.

Name a song from a band I hate:

Well there are a few bands that I'd call Lucy repellent but I thin I'll go with Yes. I can't stand Yes. In fact, my brother and I joke that "Yes means no." Here is a particularly annoying song from the ironically named Yes: (It literally upset me to have to look this up and listen to a few bars of it. Blechh!)

Name a guilty pleasure song:

Ooh, that's a tough one. I have so many guilty pleasure songs that I stopped feeling guilty about them. Here is one that I have had a freakish fondness for lately. I don't know why I'm suddenly loving it so much... it just happened

Name a song that nobody would expect me to like:

I think I've got to go with Gold Digger for several reasons. First of all, Kanye is an undisputed dickhead. Secondly, like so many songs out there, this one is a misogynistic train wreck. Possibly the very worst offense? It samples a Jamie Foxx impression of a kick-ass Ray Charles song. All of the above should spell out instant hatred from me but I just can't help myself... I like this one. *Hanging head in shame*

Monday, May 23

In defense of country

I was raised in a rather loud household. Not only did we speak loudly but we all listened to different kinds of music. Every corner of our house seemed to have some sort of music loudly playing. As a result I learned to be accepting of all types of music. I learned at an early age that you really can't help what you like and don't like. Some music you learn to love while others are love at first sight (or listen).

My Dad loved classical music and classic rock. Mom took a shine to country music and show tunes. My brother liked rock and punk. I liked all of the above and even learned to enjoy jazz. I didn't come to love show tunes until much later in life when I finally had the opportunity to see musicals in person. Love was born. I was a big time concert goer when I was in high school and college but that habit was eventually replaced with seeing live musicals and theater. I only recall Mom and Dad going to a handful of concerts in my childhood. I do, however, vividly recall the very first time I heard the phrase "ape shit". Dad used it to describe my mother's behaviour at a Waylon and Willie concert in the 70's. Mom apparently "went ape shit!". Dad said he'd never seen her act that way in all his life. I must have been impressed because I remember the comment so fondly.

Which brings me to my current obsession: Outlaw Country. I have gone ape shit over the Outlaw Country radio station on Sirius/XM Radio. I've tuned in from time time time with no real love lost until recently. A couple of weeks ago I caught Shooter Jennings Radio Show and fell in love. I've also become a fan of Steve Earle's show. Even the silly country girl morning show plays some killer tunes. On my commute, and later at work, I heard kd Lang, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Lucinda Williams, Marcia Ball, Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, Mojo Nixon, Hank III, Allison Krauss/Robert Plant, Buddy Holly, Merle Haggard, Southern Culture on the Skids, and (of course) Waylon Jennings on Outlaw Country. I assure you, my day was better for it. Where else on earth can you hear that kind of killer mix?

Now, I admit that I thought the idea of satellite radio was bullshit when I first heard about it. I was then given a free three month subscription when I purchased my car. I've been sunk ever since. I can't tell you the ridiculous sense of freedom a new car, GPS and satellite radio gives a girl. Honest to God, you feel like you can take on the world with that magical three pack goin' on. When I had a nervous breakdown/meltdown a few weeks ago, I hopped in my car and drove out to the desert. My satellite radio made for some fantastic company along the way. When I arrived back home I was like a new person and listening to everything from La Boheme, Mahalia Jackson and Johnny Cash had a lot to do with it.

I hate to be a pusher but I must say that I highly recommend satellite radio. I can honestly say, if given the choice, I would seriously consider taking my satellite radio over cable tv. I know that's just plain crazy talk but I can tell you that more and more I've been tuning into my online radio connection instead reaching for my remote after a long day at work. If you ever have a shot at some sort of free trial of subscription radio, you've gotta try it!

Saturday, May 14

What fresh hell is this?

This morning I woke to a day perfectly clear of plans. No obligations, no work to do, no pre-arranged plans, nothing to do. It's my favorite condition to wake to. Of course, this meant I had a decision to make. I gave some thought to taking another drive and considered driving up the coast with my camera. I thought about driving to Ojai and back for a trip to this place. Then I thought again. Instead of a mini road trip I decided to roll up my sleeves and clean out the garage. Not the fun choice but I've been meaning to do it for months and it was going to be a cool day, probably the last for several months.

The poor garage has been in a state of chaos ever since Mom and Dad redecorated the front of the house. Dad and I cleared most of it out about a year ago. After I switched bedrooms the garage took another hit. Only one car has been able to fit in there with the other junk. Mom has insisted on me parking my car in the garage since I have the newer car. This, of course, makes me feel guilty so I thought a garage clean up job would do us all some good.

When I began, the garage looked like this:

When I finished, a few hours later, it looked like this:

The pile in the back needs to be dropped at Goodwill. I also need to find a hazardous household waste drop off location for about a dozen gallons of paint and old varmint poison. Most of the stuff just needed to be stacked, donated or trashed.

Of course, the garage was Dad's domain so he was all over the place. I managed to get though it all without crying. Most of Dad's stuff either makes me wonder or makes me grin. I had forgotten about this:

I discovered this before Dad died so I could confirm my guess as to what it was. Can you guess? The window in the garage is a favorite hangout of spiders. It's a sticks with a glob of spider webs at the end. We never open that window so it's a safe, place to spin a web with some nice diffused light. God knows how many years ago Dad started twirling spider webs around the stick. It now looks like a giant Q-tip. It's a disgusting nightmare but just the weird kind of thing Daddy would do, so it stayed.

I also found this disturbing object:

It's very old and I assume it's something my beloved Papa picked up on one his journeys in Africa. It seems to be some sort of elaborately decorated billy club or nightstick made of wood and leather. I don't know the story behind it but it's either moving to Mom's room or out with me when I by my house. A girl could do some serious damage to an intruder's noggin with that thing.

I came across this stupid flag from one of Dad's old job sites:

I was NOT amused by the irony.

I then came across this:

Anyone who knows me knows my story of owls and why I love them. Long story short, every time I see an owl it's like recieving a little wink from Daddy. This was the first thing I saw in the first box I opened. I was happy to see it after the dumb flag made me so mad.

As I stacked boxes I firmly grabbed what I thought was an old strip of rubber to pull it from a some loose packing tape. You can't imagine the scream I let loose with when I realized my mistake.

I had actually grabbed the dried out carcass of a lizard who had died getting stuck on the tape. I ran in the house, washed my hands abut 18 times and returned to the job at hand. Soon after, Mom returned home. I showed her where I had moved things then noticed a mouse dash behind a box. I swiftly kicked the box smashing the mouse between the wall and the box. Mom screamed, I did move pretty quickly, and walked away. The mouse sort of stumbled out from behind the box and faced me. He stared at me for a few minutes then I watched as he turned to face the wall as if to say "I need a moment to myself before I die, bitch." It was kind of brutal but I was jumpy from the dead lizard attack and that poor mouse showed up at the exact wrong moment. A few minutes later a bird dive bombed my head as it flew into the garage. Mom was getting the mail and said "Wow. Your Dad is really having some fun with you today!" I think she was right. I also think Walt Disney's interpretation of animal life is bullshit.

Next I recovered one of my all time best gifts to Dad. Behold:

I know, it looks bizarre but it's actually genius. It's a bug vacuum. It expands to about four feet long and can suck up bugs and spiders without anyone having to touch them. It's great! With summer coming I was happy to see it again. We will be needing it.

One of the most bizarre finds of the day was this masterpiece:

What is it? It's a butter knife that's been taped to the end of a pole. I have no idea why it was in the garage but it was clearly made my Dad. I can't imagine why he needed such a thing but he apparently felt the need to keep it around. We later described it to one of Dad's old friends. He thought maybe Dad used to the get wasp's nest down or something like that. I'll never know but I'm keeping it around because it makes me smile just like that clean garage does. A trip to Ojai would have been more fun but I'm glad I stuck around and got the place straightened out. I feel much better for it.

Monday, May 9

I'm gonna pretend you didn't ask that

Today's question is: Name a song from your favorite band.

Trouble is, I hate the "name a favorite" question. I don't believe in favorites. I believe in liking many things at the same time. With that said, I'll happily list A song from ONE of my favorite bands.

Here is a song I like called Driftwood by a band called Travis.

Wednesday, May 4

30 day song challenge (done in more like 60 days)

Name a song that makes me fall asleep.

Well, the white noise of rain recordings are what technically puts me to sleep. However, I do have a few musical options when its time for bed. I love to listen to a Charlie Haden and Hank Jones album called Steal Away. It's a bunch of lovely old spirituals but it's apparently so obscure it can't be found on YouTube. I also like Rachmaninoff's Vespers but my all time favorite music for drifting off to sleep has got to be Chopin's Nocturnes. I don't recommend all of those minor keys if you're feeling at all depressed. These tunes could finish you if you were already feeling melancholy. If, on the other hand, sleep is what you're after, Chopin is the ticket. (I mean that in the best of ways.) There are 19 or so Nocturnes to choose from and you've probably already heard them all. Here is one you may know: