Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I love my family, but this Thanksgiving will not have Gourmet tendencies. I'm not sure what to think of the crock-pot stuffing that will be served. And though I enjoy, in a sentimental way, the picture above, I'm BYOCS (bringing my own cranberry sauce). Let's just hope that the roads are not so icy that I can't get away to work out or get some air or whatever, and that everyone remembers their very best Thanksgiving mountains. That, and their own personal stash of alcohol.

Enjoy your holiday!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Things I've heard this week:

1. "I don't want to be old and dried up when I'm like 30. (pause) But you're not like that, ma'am."

2. "I dreamed I had candy in my pants."

3. "The mouths of the people will drop. open."

4. "You, as the conductor, are in full control of your musicians."

Who said it?

a. Sexy musical artiste
b. my son
c. a grocery bagger
d. one of my preschool students

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Love Story

I love Taylor Swift. A few months ago my daughter found out about a song and video that I found at once catchy, if not a bit fluffy. That would be "Love Story." See how pretty and unskanky Taylor looks -- sorry, you have to click to see....

But then. Last week we're riding home from who knows where and we hear a song on the radio. From the opening riffs, I guess it is Taylor Swift and impress my children. My daughter and son both knew the song - they told me it was "Our Song" from Taylor's first record. And I listen closely and hear:

"Our song is the slamming screen doors,
Sneakin' out late, tapping on your window
When we're on the phone and you talk real slow
'cause it's late and your mama don't know
Our song is the way you laugh
The first date "man, I didn't kiss her, and I should have"
And when I got home ... before I said amen
Asking God if he could play it again"

In a choked up voice, I squeaked out, "Oh."

Is that not the cutest capture of high school? DUDE. And her voice! Clear, straight tone, unstrained, and NOT NASAL (Yes, Miley Cyrus, I'm looking at you...you and Ashley Tisdale.).

Our Song - Taylor Swift

The 3 minute pop song is my life's soundtrack, and y'all know despite my indie tendencies I'm not averse to folks like Justin and Beyonce and Gwen and Madonna - if they keep to their tight, edited little frothy concotions. Taylor has done it and without the annoying, repeptitive twang of today's country (sorry if I'm offending...maybe my new fascination will help me to be more open-minded).

So I get home after wiping away tears of music love and nostalgia, and open up a New Yorker that's sitting around.

And Sasha Frere-Jones loves her too! His article, like a lot of his, is a gushfest and almost too critiquey, but he knows more about her than I do, so I enjoyed it. Also, read how much better he describes "Our Song".

" 'Our Song' ” was not Swift’s first hit, but it was the first to stop me in my tracks. It’s a breezy recounting of frustration, streaked with simple phrases so conversational that on first hearing they fly by without registering. For example: “He’s got a one-hand feel on the steering wheel, the other on my heart.” Not one hand here and another there; first comes a “one-hand feel,” and then the asymmetrical “hand”—on someone else’s heart, not his own. The song’s tension is that Swift and her man don’t have a song to call their own; its genius is that they never pick one—their romance is the song, and both characters get a chance to narrate. Swift, the writer, also gets to transubstantiate; their song is their life as she describes it.

Now, I should warn you not to watch the video for "Our Song", cause remember that unskankiness? Yeah, apparently she didn't konw how to avoid it on the first album. Taylor's new release is obliterating the charts, iTunes, etc. etc. so you'll hear more of her, obviously, and good thing, too. I have given my full approval for my children to follow her career. Let's hope she continues to let her music do the talking.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Carlos and Reggie, Guppies. Carlos has a blueish hue...he is a Turquoise Guppy. Reggie is a Tuxedo Gold or some such. They seem very pleasant thus far. I feel sorry for them. The children love them.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Now that Scrabulous is gone, Facebook doesn't hold as many wonders for me. I've tried promoting events on there, and keeping up with organizations that I work with/volunteer for, but it really doesn't seem to serve that purpose, as I am not in high school.

The purpose it has served, however, is to render meaningless the phrase "whatever happened to?" I now know what happened to Greg, he with whom I had a tense hook-up one night in college. He was broody, smart as hell, little, and strange...so of course I was completely intrigued. Despite my pseudo-edginess, I was perhaps needy at the time, so you can imagine the scene both that night and the days that followed. My roommates nicknamed him "F.O.G.", for "Fear of Greg". His arrival in classes or the cafeteria was noted by their poking me and saying in a spooky voice, "The F.O.G. is rolling in...."

Last I saw Greg, his then-girlfriend was flinging his belongings out of a 2nd story apartment window whilst screaming obsenities. Now I know that he lives in a hip urban center, is into Mingus, the New York Dolls, A Confederacy of Dunces and Tristam Shandy, and is going to a birthday party this weekend. Granted, I knew about the music and books already, but did I need to be reminded?

I also now know what happened to Mark, and I'm happy about it: a fun and wry wit from high school, he has his PhD and teaches history at a nearby venerable institution. We're meeting for lunch next week. Mark would be the fellow that made our chemistry teacher, whom we called Mick Jagger (and for good reason) say, "Silver nitrate will turn your hands black, even you Mark!" I can't wait to ask if he remembers this moment.

I guess I just want some mystery to my past. I wonder if I'll ever again have those surreal moments of bumping into someone from your old life. I literally bumped into a guy I used to know once...in Manhattan! Pete had taken me to a fraternity dance in college. He was handsome, fit, smelled delish, and an amazing dancer. On the night of our date we enjoyed a super-long, very public, fantastic makeout session....and then we just resumed our friendship. When I ran into Pete many years later outside a Broadway theatre, he was thrilled to introduce me to his new boyfriend. He still smelled and looked great: he just had bigger muscles and gel in his hair.

I'm sure he'll friend me soon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I was a secret policy wonk this past election season. And I say secret because I hid it from my family. My husband is a well-known political junkie, and I just didn't think our house/family/social life would survive with two of us in the house. So I started a few rituals: whilst making dinner or before everyone got into the kitchen for breakfast, I would watch CNN non-stop. In the car, no more jazz - just NPR. (Or, in the days before the economic meltdown, Rush Limbaugh. I kid you not.) And I became a devoted follower of Nathan Silver.

FiveThirtyEight was fun, impressive for a non-numbers gal, and generally a calming influence for someone who worried about certain races going certain ways, that they certainly did not. Apparently, I'm not alone in Loving Nate - check out the NYTimes, Newsweek, and Facebook.

So now the election is over, and Nate Silver is worried people won't care about politics anymore. But as my friend Linda said, now is the time to put the shoulder to the wheel. I'm taking down my political signs today (don't blame me for leaving them up for a week - those on differing sides from me in my 'hood have done the same and I suspect won't take them down anytime soon). I'm ready to recommit to helping people in my circle, to advocate for those less fortunate in my community, and to try to keep our own family economics from imploding. I'm proud and happy - and especially grateful that gender and race seemed to be non-issues last week (especially in my state!) - but I won't be a pompous, gloating ass about it. Starting now!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008