31 October 2008

Cherry picking fun singles for Friday

It's not halloween-y but I like it anyway:

Mirah, Sweepstake Prize, from her debut album, You Think It's Like This But It's Really Like This, which i do not possess but think I might like.

(heh, I said weenie.)

The thing I really dig about Sweepstakes Prize is the 60s girl-group vibe of the opening notes of the song (chords? bars? I am so musically uneducated), and then the solo guitar adds melody and rhythm, which is maybe what picking and strumming is supposed to do, I just never thought about it before. Listen now 'cause I have no idea what the deal is with the site I've linked to but it seems pretty small and I'm not sure if the offered downloads are legal.

I also like Stray Dog and a Chocolate Shake, for straight up poppy goodness, and this video is reasonably amusing. By Grandaddy. I used to have a Grandaddy of my own. Now he's taking his dirt nap. I guess I could console myself with albums from the band but it wouldn't be the same.

And I had this stuck in my head last night at bedtime, which was a nice song to fall asleep to. The track is called He's Gone, by Leona Naess, from her self-titled album, which is another album I'd like to get my hands on.

All these songs are courtesy of the matchup created by the brilliant Pandora on my favorite Pandora station, which I listen to all day long - srsly, I don't know how I'd get through the work day without streaming music. Pandora is such a smart, smart piece of programming and analysis. If you can have a crush on a website, then I do. Here's my station

Edited to add The great American Napkin, by Summer Skinny, which is not a band I can find out a whole lot about. That link is to their myspace page, by the way, and The Great American Napkin is the second song on their playlist.

Update again: I keep forgetting songs! I also love Corvette by Golden Smog. I want Dave's band to cover this song because I think it would work really well with their style. his band does a kickass version of Jailbreak (Badfinger) and this would fit in nicely.

30 October 2008


Edgar Sawtelle. Love it so far. I'm about halfway through and this morning on the T I started to get nervous about the ending so I totally flipped to the end and glanced at it. I do that sometimes - I used to do it a lot but now I either read more authors I trust or I usually am less invested in the outcome or I can tell from the plot arc where the story is going. Probably a combination of the three. But Edgar Sawtelle is a big, fast read and I really like it - it makes me want to write fiction, especially since the author is a software programmer (I think) in his day job. Something high tech, anyway, and I found that inspiring. I'm in a high tech field! I like to write!

And one of these days, I will quit whining about how I want to write and actually start writing. Today might not be that day, however. I still gotta clean the litterboxes and somehow this Gordon Ramsey reality tv program which is on while I blog is mysteriously compelling.

Edgar Sawtelle is also an Oprah book, which for some reason I only realized just now (despite the fact that I think my copy has a sticker on it promoting the Oprah affiliation) and like all of Oprah's picks, it's a meaty book which is eminently readable and has a gripping story. Plus it's about dogs, the dog training sessions are my favorite parts. I am going to try to remember to send the book to my parents when I'm done, it's totally up their alley - they have a pair of corgis and I share a lot of common reading ground with them.

29 October 2008

why 30 rock should not be cancelled

... not like the shows that I like to watch usually do well commercially and critically, but never mind. This song is hilarious.

28 October 2008

excuses, excuses

So the blogging, she has been very light and infrequent, which I am totally sorry about, not only for anyone who’s checked back here fruitlessly several times in the past month (I recommend using a feed reader to save yourself some clicking), but also because I miss blogging. I like it. Even though I don’t have my new camera’s software downloaded onto the laptop (I dunno what the hell I did with the CD and manual that arrived with the camera but they’re gone and I haven’t had the energy to do really hard things like downloading the software from the company website), I could still tell amusing (maybe) stories about Simone’s butt.

But not having gotten my act together for the camera, it’s kind of an encapsulation of why I’m not blogging. Right now it’s taking all my energy to hold on and keep getting to my job and keep up my end on the housework (which I am also not doing a great job of) and the marriage and the cats. I am barely making it to yoga once a week, never mind voluntary things like getting up early in the mornings to write or getting it together to get the camera installed already.

Not writing is particularly sucky, because I actually have a fiction project in mind that I want to get into already, but somehow it takes everything I’ve got to keep analyzing and tweaking and optimizing for work instead of spending all day sobbing in the bathroom (I’m getting some assistance from Pedro the Lion – I Can. Not. Stop. listening to his melancholy pop songs about god. Plus he is a good lyricist, which I am always a big sucker for. Sad boys writing catching songs! Yay!)

There’s nothing obviously wrong in my life that needs to be fixed and about a zillion things I could point a finger at that could be causing the crazy – hormonal birth control, shorter days with less light, the economy, the election – and that’s just a small sample of the crap I worry about. I swear I have more wrinkles than I did this summer. This Onion article pretty much describes the way I feel all the time. Heh.

To sum up: I am crazed with anxiety, the cause is most likely biological, I don’t have a great deal of faith in meds – they do some of the heavy lifting but they’ve got serious side effects (I’m still taking them, though, don’t worry, I haven’t pulled one of those stunning logical leaps which says, “I still feel crappy despite these drugs so why am I taking them?” to which the obvious answer for the non-crazy is, “you’d be even moar cuh-razee if you stopped taking them” – all I can say is that it’s hard to think that clearly when you’re at the bottom of a well and can’t find the ladder.) Plus for me it’s really roller-coaster-y, so sometimes I’m at the bottom of the well and sometimes I’m like, “what well? Isn’t sunshine great?” and then I fall in and break a leg on the way down, oops.

Okay, so everyone reading this is probably freaked out by now, and you don’t need to be: it sucks to deal with this but it’s nothing new to me. Probably for my whole life I’ll be dealing with inexplicable periods of time where life seems not worth living. (Okay, that didn’t come out reassuring like I meant it to be.) What I am trying to say is that I’ve dealt with this before, lots and lots, and it sucks a whole big bunch but it never lasts forever and – on balance - I spend the minority of my time feeling this way, not the majority, and besides the meds I have lots of coping tools – yoga and therapy and Dave and emailing friends and hey, blogging, plus knowing that I’ve been here before – which helps a lot with perspective. And the cats.

Never underestimate the power of a serenely purring cat. Just knowing, while I’m at work all day, that there are four furry darlings waiting at home to give me nose kisses and get scritches and purr and purr and whine for food and knock shit over and bite me and run and jump and play, fatly or diabetically or kittenishly or with an irritable bowel (depending on the cat) – it helps.

my favorite pedro the lion song, which is actually not about god at all, I don't think

19 October 2008

blah blah blah about nothing in general

Oh man. I have been on fire this weekend, let me tell you. I did a pile of ironing yesterday and made black bread with wacky ingredients like instant coffee and cocoa powder. The bread was kind of fucked up, like tiny little doorstopping loaves of great density. I think I allowed the yeast to over proof, if that can happen. Oh well, shit happens. Then we went out for drinks and then bowling and then burgers and fries for dinner around midnight. It was pretty fun.

We overslept this morning (no surprise there) and skipped the early a.m. run to HellBasket, choosing instead to pay the Stop & Shop convenience tax, where you get the same amount of food but it costs 20% more to buy it in a store with wide, spacious aisles and ample parking. So after yoga and Stop & Shop I started cooking, namely a pot roast with root vegetables, a gingerly-star-anise-y plum chutney and a sauce made from the cooking liquid. Dave just needs to get home now so I can eat it already. I even got wine and lit candles and put a tablecloth on the table, it's all fancy-like. Oh yeah - while I was in the kitchen I also made tomato sauce for a lasagne planned for later this week. And I did the usual boring weekend things like laundry and dishes and catboxes, and now that I'm sitting down I'm not sure I'm gonna be able to get up again. Oof. Plus Zoe is sitting on my lap.

Among other things I didn't mean to do this weekend was misplace my phone. So if anyone is expecting a call from me, sorry and I will catch up with you next week. (Squinting santa fe-wards.)

09 October 2008


Probably everyone has seen this already, but check out this gorgeous video and just try not to choke up. Warning: the song will get stuck in your head.

Unrelated: I think I am finally starting to get the hang of the new job.

05 October 2008

Diet Bear Update

So I'm spending my Sunday afternoon just doing chores and watching HGTV and Inty has been, like, all up in my face all day and affectionate and finally I realize she wants food. So I go get her some food but because the others have all just gone on meal schedules today, they all race in hopefully. They all watched while I poured Inty some food and then put the bag away. I saw Simone's big googly eyes watch me carefully as I put the food away. Moments later, I heard a crash come from the kitchen. Heheheheheh. Poor Diet Bear.

Cat butt spectacular!

so no pictures, but only because I haven't figured out yet how to get them off my new camera and onto my computer. My camera did come with a CD full of proprietary software and a cord to connect it to the PC and even a manual, but I don't know what the hell I did with the manual, so I need to either download another or figure it out the hard way. Neither of those things will happen today since it's already 2 pm and me and the house are still dirty. I'm dirty from not showering this morning and then going to yoga class, the house is dirty from the usual flakes of litter everywhere and Simone's ass.

Yes, Simone's ass is dirtying the house. This is where things are going to get gross, so click away now if you're feeling delicate. We took Simone to the vet yesterday because she's been wheezing and because she had a skin condition (which has since cleared but she's still all scabby) and because she needed to have her anal glands expressed. She's been scooting across the carpet and Dr. Internet, assisted by Nurse Google, informed me that hard stools are necessary in order for cats to keep their anal sacs in good shape. (yeah, go ahead and click on that link, I'm sure you're dying to know more. I do love About.com, though.)

So Simone has been bogarting Pip's kitten food - which is what she was apparently allergic to, since during the kitten food time period she had this horrible dandruff, like big snowflakes of it, which was fucking gross. And since kitten food is so rich and fatty it gave them all diarrhea, which meant the litter boxes were even more dank and digusting than usual. It's not like we entertain often, but seriously, I would not have wanted someone to come over to the house during that time. So we just started giving them all Inty's low ingredient hypo-allergenic food (I figured Pip would survive) and lo and behold, Simone's skin condition cleared itself up. (Mostly. She's still a little scabby, but clearly healing.) And everyone stopped having diarrhea except who Simone (who showed some improvement but not enough.)

But Simone started scooting across the floor and her butt did not smell good and it felt like my house was covered in a thin film of cat butt slime, so I made a vet appointment. The internets all tell you how to express the anal glands yourself, but I'm telling you, it's worth the fifty bucks the vet will charge you. That stuff smells so bad, it's like a durian factory up in here. I'm burning so much incense, round the clock, that smoke billows out the doors when you come in from outside.

Anyway, so at the vet's they put a hilarious red hood thingie over Simone's face - I need to start bringing a camera to the vet, you all would have loved it - and squirted sacfuls of squid ink out of her - which is sticky and she runs away when I start up with the paper towels on her bunghole, which I guess I understand, and oh yeah, the reason she's wheezing is because she weights 15 pounds. When we got her, she weighed 13. She's gained like 15% since she got here, and she arrived tubby! She can't breathe, essentially, because her own fatness is crushing her lungs.

So now in addition to being called Simone Bear and Momma Bear, she's Diet Bear. We started her on the new regime this morning (actually they are all going to have to have their food regulated) and she is already following us around, meowing whenever we get near the kitchen and eying me mournfully with her big round eyes that look like googly eyes. Heh. I am evil for taking pleasure in this, even if it is for her own good.

And now, time to clean my disgusting house. You would never know that a cleaner came on Wednesday, it looks like two tornadoes had a fight.

03 October 2008

wine o' clock

Braless at last, I'm relaxing on the couch with a glass (not my first) of Chardonnay and Zoe on my lap, Inty on the armrest and Simone over at the end of the couch. Pip is digging himself smallish ass groove in the arm rest pillow. For a while I didn't know where Pip was - he turned my screen sideways and then took himself off. (Ctl + alt + up arrow, in case it happens to you and you need to turn it back.)

Lisa noted recently that taking your bra off is the best part of the day, and she's right. It's not like I find bras uncomfortable - I am way more uncomfortable going around outside braless - but there's something deeply satisfying about finally getting free of the tight elastic
band around your chest and feeling your breasts sink down to lie down, tiredly, on top of your ribcage.

The cats and I are all watching Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which I've never seen before but rented on Netflix on the strength of having a white nightgown in my little wedding trousseau that looks a bit like the one Elizabeth Taylor wears in the movie. I can't fit into it at the moment - my boobs, along with the rest of me, put on the annual summertime ten pounds as usual this year - but I should be able to wear it again come january, when it's totally not seasonal. Plus Dave is at band practice tonight, and since classic movies are not his bag, I've got the place, and the cats, to myself. The movie is a little tough to watch - I'd burned through my first marriage by the time I was 26, so it's hard to watch a movie about such a riotously unhappy marriage, but it's completely riveting, I'll give it that. Elizabeth Taylor has some awesome outfits, though, and she does not have at all what we would consider a movie star body, so that's kind of cheering too. Her figure looks a lot like mine. Especially as I slurp up more fattening wine. Om nom nom. Plus Paul Newman just died, so it's good to be watching him in his prime.