Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolutions and stuff.

1. Listen to smart people.

Read this quote: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” -- Albert Einstein

Remembered to look forward, keep planning, plotting, scheming and cultivating the good stuff.

2. Write stuff down.

Where does all that stuff in my head go if I don't? I go back and read old journals and am amused at the gems that would be completely lost if I didn't write 'em down.

3. Take care.

I'm no longer in the throes of eternal youth. Gotta maintain or I'll die, and that would so suck.

I don't Even Know You But I Hate You*

TB gives a lotta linklove to this lady here, of whom I have become an anonymous Internet fan.

Hey there, Spliffe, think I'm creepy? (I kinda am, sorry about that.)

Anyhow, I thought of you this morning as I broke out the iPod for the morning commute and decided that I must fire up the most cheerful music possible to get me through the day -- and landed upon that most airy confection, the delicious, cream-filled, sugar-topped beats of one mister JT (whatcha got for me).

And I respect it when you (and those of my peers you're currently representing in my mind, as an unelected official -- I appointed you. Congrats on that.) say:

And Justin Fucking Timberlake is a joke music producers are playing on the listening public. 'I know, let's buy some crap boyband dancer with a smurf voice and park him in front of some good beats. People will think he's not total shit and buy all his albums. It'll be hilarious!' And it is.

I respect what you're saying.

But I love pop.

And JT -- he is the king of my pop addition.

And, as a girl who clawed her way out of the fields of Southern Indiana propelled by the sounds of everything from the Beatles to Jane's Addiction, I understand the need to cling tenaciously to the integrity of quality rock and roll. I get the need to cleave the masses into designations (worthy/not worthy) based upon the music they listen to.

And if it means I'm not worthy, then so be it.

I will not cower in the shadows; I will not be intimidated; I will not fear your scorn.

I will stand proudly and say "I love Justin Timberlake, Goddamnit."

Happy fucking New Year, people.

*I don't hate you. This just popped into my head, because it was one of the most prominent phrases woven throughout my early-to-mid twenties. It's from an Eve song that Johnny and I heard one time. Literally. One time. When he had a beat-up old white Taurus that he used to deliver Dagwood's sandwiches to stoned frat boys throughout Bloomington. When he would come visit me in my Chicago studio apartment, unannounced, and take me on weird adventures, many captured on his super 8 (JT - think we could digitize that shit? Would love to revisit, eh?). Anyhoo, it was the same day we heard Jumpin' Jumpin' for the first time as it blasted flatly from the boom box sitting between us on the bench seat (don't know what happened to the stereo in the dash).

(I'm rambling like an old man now, ain't I?)

The next song we heard was this stunning missive.

We were hungover, the day was one of those sapphire bright sunny winter post-snow reflective sparkling freezing gems that exist only in Chicago.

And she just jumps right in over the sweet twang of a guitar with "I DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU BUT I HATE YOU. HOW YOU LIKE IT IF MY GIRL TIED YOU DOWN AND RAPED YOU."

We were stunned with delight. An anthem was born.

Over the years, it morphed in our minds as a screaming punk masterpiece -- we sang it, our friends sang it, we pretended the neighbor's dogs were saying it to us as we walked past, and we didn't hear the song until years later, when the Internet brought us the miracle of FREE STOLEN DIGITAL GOODS.

Johnny and I, drunk one night identified and downloaded it -- and were treated to the greatest disappointment since Santa.

Eve was totally singing it wrong.

What the hell was this? The song had melody? It was slow tempo R & B?

Eve, I don't even know you but I hate you.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Safe enlargement of trouser mice

Thanks, Spam! You've now introduced me to my absolute favorite new term, "trouser mice!"

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sketch of yesterday

Billions of people on the Earth, millions in the cities I occupy, crammed into trains for our morning and evening commute, skilled at averting our eyes and plugging our ears with music to create our own sense of personal space --

how could I forget? There are still wide open swaths of prairie land in Southern Indiana. Dad and Sally have staked their own claim outside of Booneville, they dug a lake. They take us out on a brisk, impossibly sunny day to show it off -- Dad in his new black and chrome monster-ish pick up truck.

Sample dialog:
Rachel: Dad, what happened to the red pick up?
Dad: It turned into this one.
Me: Look, Rachel!! It's a Duelly!
Dad: I need it to pull the horse trailers.

Dad has a big brass antique cowbell strapped to the hitch on the back.

Me: Why does dad have a cowbell on his truck?
Sally: Oh, he had to! The other one got stolen!
Me:. . .
Me: But why?
Sally: Oh, he thinks it's cool.

We drive and drive, Sally and I in her SUV behind Dad and Rachel in his monster truck (each with a border collie in the back-seat) until we're driving down long black asphalt roads bisecting fields of bright green winter wheat and brown, brittle truncated stalks of dead corn. Eventually, Sally turns onto a barely-maintained gravel road -- the kind with wheel tracks and grass growing between them. She noses her SUV between two trees into a field of grass surrounded by brush. It has been raining for days and there are flashes of standing water between blades of grass.

Rachel and I are not in the right footgear for this terrain.

We sit in the car while Dad and Sally disappear into the brush to check on the drain for their newly-dug pond.

They vaguely point at areas of their acreage where they will eventually build a barn, a house.

Other people's parents dream of condos in Florida. My dad is plotting his mobile chicken coop, talking about goats.

He has recently read the Omnivore's Dilemma. He climbs back in his massive gas guzzler and lectures us on corn consumption. We head over to the farm where Dad and Sally keep their horses, for now.

It's a series of massive grass fields dotted with piles of fertilizer, bales of hay, and low fences. The horses roam the fields at all times, they graze the grass and roll around in the mud. We drive until we see them in the distance.

Sally pulls out a bucket of feed and starts shaking it, to tempt them over to us. They summarily ignore us. From where we are parked, we can see nothing around us but fields, trees, and the horses. The wind is whipping across the plain and we huddle together while Sally yells for them.

Altogether, they have five horses, but this little group is three -- they eventually notice the presence of treats and amble over to us.

They have massive, muddy hooves and thick, shiny coats. Sally points them out, giving us their names and short descriptions of their personalities:

Buddy - Their first horse, and the sweetest.
Thunder - He kicks sometimes. He's just a colt, really, only two.
Fred - The oldest one. The biggest. He's just an old fart.

They came up close and it occurs to me again how removed from nature my life is -- these animals are massive. I put a hand on Buddy's flank -- he's so warm. They have long necks ropy with muscles and huge, languid eyes. Thunder approaches us and releases a huge snort and whinny. His eyes are red-rimmed and aggressive. Rachel puts out a hand and he sniffs it. The wind turns our ears red and makes our eyes water. The horses turn from us and resume eating from their piles of feed. There is no one else around us. The dogs, trapped in the trucks, whine to get out and herd something.

It's time for us to go. On our way out of the fields dad points out some birds -- wild turkeys. Huge, unusually sleek fowl with long necks that run shockingly fast.

There are twenty of them in all.

We cuddle with the dogs in the back seat and watch the landscape change as Dad navigates us through the backroads back in to town. The houses get closer together. Strip malls with garish neon break up the subdivisions. He deposits us at our aunt's house and kisses us goodbye, for now.

We climb out into yet another realm -- the suburban reality of our Mom's family.

I forgot my camera. So I paint this picture, instead.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Are You Feelin' Cool?

Download Firefox 3 Beta 2 I am SO ADDICTED to the Awesome Bar, people!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me (and the Annizon)

There was an onslaught of birthday wishes, and I was a little moved. And happy.

And Maria put together this fabulous postcard for everyone to hear on NPR.

And cried a lot late in the evening. And Anne said

this is what I do on my birthday too.

And I said, you're my best friend, my most sublimely well-tuned
companion. Why on earth can't we be in love with each other?

She said, Yeah, that's just how it is.

We nodded sagely to each other and I hugged her fiercely when she left.

When we parted from our embrace, she smiled hugely and said, "I'm so
fucking tall. It's awesome."

It's true. She's over six feet. My head fits perfectly in the crook of her neck.