Hi, The point (if there is a point) of this blog is to post liner notes and playlists of mix CDs originating from moi and hopefully fanning out into a chain of mix CDs. If you get a CD from me, make me and a friend one, and email me some liner notes and I'll post them. Then your friend should make you and someone else a mix CD etc etc. Maybe it will work PS If you want to be on my knit list, let me know what you want and I'll see what I can do!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Stockholm Syndrome

After being home with my son for a few days, I'm convinced motherhood is a special case of Stockholm Syndrome. I have to admit, I'm kind of glad to be back at work. It's hard to relax when you can't do anything without interruption, and my son is the master at yelling 'M-O-M! M-O-M!' in a semi-urgent voice then when I answer, saying something like 'I love you mom' or 'Look at the cats' or something else that's simultaneously inane and affectionate so I can't get mad at him.

Now that he's back at school, I can make goo-goo eyes at his after-school counsellor for whom I have a little Mrs. Robinson thing. I suspect he flirts with all the moms, and why not? It's actually a little galling to realize Anne Bancroft was only 36 when she was Mrs. Robinson - just a baby cougar.

I did knit half a sweater while I was off, though, and started reading Belle de Jour, the diary of a London call-girl who also blogs. She's a pretty raunchy girl, but I have to say, it reads a bit like those skeevy stories in Penthouse forum. And I can't help thinking she must be a seething mass of chlamydia and genital warts if half of what she writes is true. I actually think it's a very clever marketing campaign - she's advertised herself as uber-kinky and GGG (per Dan Savage - good, giving and game), so she can probably up her rates a bit, and make the most of her limited shelf life.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Black Friday

George Best has died, from alcoholism. I don't know why this has made such an impact on me; maybe because he was a throwback to another era where a talented, gorgeous, witty, womanizing bad boy was feted, and not manicured into some milquetoast, uncontroversial Ken doll. And there's something tragic and mesmerizing about having such talent and squandering it. Someone like him is the antithesis to the grim, Puritanical, joyless striving that seems to be so endemic to our times, and I wish there were more like him.

His liver transplant was pretty controversial, especially as it became apparent he could not stop drinking. And now the NHS is proposing banning hip and knee replacements for the obese. Is this the thin (no pun intended) end of the wedge? This seems unfair - hip or knee replacement is no picnic, and deciding who is 'too fat' for surgery seems so subjective. Somehow, the concept of fat-but-fit does not seem to have cottoned on. I personally believe the rise in obesity is a direct result of the rise in dieting and people over-eating out of guilt, and I think this punitive, judgemental attitude towards heavy people is horrible, and guaranteed to make matters worse.

Anyway, my recommendation for a quick ego-boost is to look at your E-Bay feedback scores. Wow! I'm a great e-bayer! Super communicator! A++++! TRUST ME I am THE BEST! I can't help it, it just makes me feel better reading them, maybe because they're so over the top.

I was looking at Salon the other day (the unpremium version), and I had to watch an ad before the ad you have to watch to enter Salon. That just seems unfair. I really hate the pre-mercials (yes, that's what they're called) where they have a link that's something like 'Click here to learn more' that appears about 30 seconds before the link to Salon appears. So often I click that in anticipation of the one to get into Salon and have to watch some junk about Lexus or Marriott hotels or some other company I am certain not to patronize. I should just pony up the thirty-five bucks for Premium - but hey, I'm Scottish.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Once Upon A Time...

Here's a couple of news items that sound exactly like something out of a fairytale - a tiny village that lies at the foot of a mountain, which is so dark and gloomy in the winter that it uses mirrors to bring warmth and light to the villagers. And a rarely blooming, bad-smelling plant which draws crowds from miles around.

I really hate those St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign. It's a good cause and everything, but the extreme close-ups of celebrities on a movie theater sized screen are just distressing to me. What is the deal with celebrities and bad skin? SJP, Morgan Freeman, Ray Romano (dude, could you at least shave for a public service-y announcement?). Bad skin, all of them.

I love the knitted DNA (scroll down to the bottom). Or maybe a nosecone which looks kind of fairytaleish in a medieval Heironymous Bosch-y way.

Apparently, spanking your kids makes them more aggressive and hostile. Well, duh. There's also the whole issue of parental anger and spanking being a manifestation of it, rather than a considered punishment. It's pretty hard to be mellow if you know you're going to get whacked upside the head if your mom's day sucked. I would venture to say most spanking is an exasperated spur of the moment thing rather than a considered parenting strategy. Though there are books that tell you how to do it right.

The last survivor of the World War I Christmas Truce has died. I always thought it was so weird that after a day of embracing the enemy and seeing them as human beings that the next day it was war as usual. It's also a reminder of the power of the individual; if those soldiers had the belief that they had that power, could they have changed history? Or do we always instill our leaders with that kind of authority but never ourselves?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


My absolute pet peeve (Caution: reading through that link might make make you a little cranky), to which I react way out of proportion to the offense, is people who pull up right outside the grocery store to drop off their significant other to go shopping. Invariably, they are driving some big ass SUV, and invariably, the dropee is not very old and usually fat. And everyone pushing their carts out to their own car has to dice with death because they can't see around the behemoth parked there. It smacks of some weird kind of chivalry where you don't give a fuck about anyone except your nearest and dearest.

And it's also symptomatic of a certain sense of entitlement, that somehow walking across the parking lot is too good for them but not too good for everyone else. And I just hate people who feel entitled.

Speaking of grocery stores, who buys gravy in a jar? . By definition, you are eating the meat that matches the gravy (chicken or beef), so is it so hard to make it from scratch? It just looks so revolting, all cold and congealed in the jar, like a Fear Factor challenge.

While I was cutting coupons, I noticed some of the coupon recipes. They are so fucking lame. Pumpkin pie with vanilla pudding and Cool Whip? Brie with a mixture of apples and nuts (so far, so good), and a nice dollop of 'I Can't Believe It's Not Butter'? Does anyone ever make this stuff, and more to the point, does anyone ever eat it?

What I can definitely eat is what my sister sent me: some goodies from Scotland. Eating a Caramel wafer takes me back to being ten and going to my Grannie's.

I'm watching Gilmore Girls and it strikes me that it's been a long time since I saw Sookie in something other than her chef clothes. Which is a shame, because I totally use her for wardrobe inspiration; my son thinks I look like her, and she's zaftig like me, and I think her clothes are ever so cute.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Tomorrow I will be 43 years old - I can't believe I'm that old. I thought I would have it all figured out by now. Actually, what's more meaningful to me is it's ten years since my annus horribilis (2 'n's people), the (hopefully) worst year of my life. I've been thinking about it a lot recently, and I'm still not really over it. Here's what I learned that year:

  • It's far lonelier to be in a bad relationship than to be on your own
  • When you catch your spouse with anti-nausea medication and pills for the DTs, they ain't for acid reflux
  • Always check the MIDDLE of your check book for missing checks
  • If you haven't received your tax refund by August, chances are it's already coursed through someone's veins
  • If someone you work with pursues you manically, even though you are going through seperation hell with a baby, RUN!!! You're not that wonderful - they're just that desperate.
  • Sometimes, you are better off never knowing the gruesome details, especially when they involve one or more of the following: infant son, illicit drugs, your money, bad parts of LA

    Anyway, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why I am so close to my son, and why I'm so conflicted about the idea of a committed relationship. I hope this will change at some point, but I haven't really had a compelling reason to so far, other than friends nagging me that I should date or try and meet someone. Mykull and I have decided that, should that day come, my profile should be 'Overweight, immigrant single mother'. That'll reel 'em in.

    This is a fun quiz. Apparently, I think in a stereotypically feminine way - that is, can't read maps or manipulate objects spacially, but can read faces and empathize. Not only that, but my scores are very high on the girly stuff. I'm sort of bummed about it, to be honest, which is probably also a feminine thing, to value masculine traits more than feminine.

    Speaking of feminine, check out this attempt to help the environment. I can't say I've ever been aware of my breasts being cold, ever. My arms, my legs, my midsection (especially since I'm 5' 10" and most of it is in my torso, thus tops are never long enough), and sometimes my ass if I sit on a wall or something, but never, ever my boobs (which make handy earmuffs if you're that way inclined).

    Anyway, here are some famous people who share my birthday who seem way more Scorpionic than I (Chris Noth, Gerard Butler, Jean Seberg). Some pretty damn good looking company.

  • Monday, November 07, 2005

    Farmer's Market

    I think there are only two more weekends at the Durham Farmer's Market. Mykull and I have developed a cozy little Saturday morning routine. First, we go knock on our friend Milton's door (he lives opposite the market) and usually wake him up. Then we get coffee and carrot raisin muffins and either sit in Central Park or on Milton's porch. Then we talk about the issues of the day and people watch.

    This week, we were sitting on Milton's porch (while he wasn't there) when some guy parked his big ole ugly SUV right by Milton's mailbox. This while there were plenty of parking spots in the Farmer's Market parking lot. So we wrote him a little note (on the back of some lyrics for a music recital I went to a little while ago, which added a nice touch). This is what the note said, because we believe in a higher parking power (I'm sure Mykull will correct me if I missed something):

    Dear Child of God:
    God in His infinite wisdom has provide a parking lot for you to park in. Also, God appeared to me in a vision and told me you should drive a smaller car. Have a blessed day, love, your Brethren in Christ.

    Then we secluded ourselves and waited for him to come back. Of course, he didn't but it didn't stop us giggling about it.

    I hope this will finally put all the Intelligent Design bullshit to rest. Although, I think this is often served up as just a more palatable form of creationism because creationism boosters recognize it's totally wacky shit.

    I'm sad that John Fowles has died. I went to see him at a book reading when I was in my twenties, and I just wanted to throw myself at him and tell him: 'I want to have your genius cantankerous babies, never mind that you're old enough to be my grandpa'. I love The Magus and The Ebony Tower. And this was a much better book than the movie. Though I do have a sneaking suspicion that the description of him being 'cantankerous' may have been being kind.

    In Britain, they just celebrated the 400th Guy Fawkes night. This basically celebrates an unsuccessful attempt at terrorism, and is sort of all mixed up with Halloween in my childhood memories. I grew up in a fishing village, and they would use up all the out-of-date flares from the fishing boats as fireworks, and have a huge bonfire on the beach and cook potatoes and sausages in the embers. Fireworks seem so much better to me on a cold, twinkly night than on a warm, muggy one.

    I saw Capote, and I highly recommend it. I think everyone has heard that Philip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal of Truman Capote is amazing, considering he looks nothing like Mr. Capote. But I also thought the cinematography was absolutely stunning, though it makes me never want to live in the mid-west.

    I see that Stacked is coming back for a second season. I think Pamela Anderson is quite pretty, in a sort of trollopy way, but her plastic surgery is heinous. And being Jessica Rabbit is a young woman's game. There comes a point where slapping on more makeup doesn't make you look younger but just makes you look like a trannie, especially when your breasts are big orange globes of fakitude, and Pammie has definitely passed that point.

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    Ho! Ho! Oh no!

    I noticed when I was driving home today, that one of my neighbors has already started to put up some Christmas decorations. Un-freaking-believable. My son has barely made a dent in his Halloween candy yet, and my porch is still displaying pumpkins in their prime.

    Scooter, as seems to be common with so many right-wing politicos, has written a steamy book. Though his book crosses the line into downright skeevy and deviant.

    I think of Republican sex as something like this, embracing all those weird, ancient anti-sodomy laws that are still around. However, it seems that the rabid pushers of family values have an exotic , disturbing secret life. And yet, someone like Alito is nominated to the Supreme Court. I guess you don't have to worry about abortions if you're fucking a deer.

    Even though I have been eating plenty of chocolate lately (thanks to the Great Pumpkin), I am still looking for this, which is the dog's bollocks.

    The Guardian has an interesting article about an endlessly fascinating website that addresses ethical dilemmas. There are some fabulous questions on there - like 'What is the definition of love?' and 'What is an irrational action?'. I don't know why I find this so interesting - I guess I didn't spend enough time getting stoned and staying up all night talking about this stuff when I was a student.

    I just saw on TV, that the Today show is going to do a piece on the Da Vinci Code. That book is just the most craptacular thing I have ever read, and not only is it incredibly popular, it has spawned a whole series of books about it. I must admit, the religious stuff is pretty interesting but the plot is so super cheesy - albino monks? beautiful French cryptologist? - that it's hard to take seriously. But I realize I'm way in the minority in this, seeing as it's been on the best seller list for a gazillion years.

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    It's downhill from now on...

    I was going to post a picture of the kitty-litter cake I made for my pumpkin carving party, but the picture wasn't so hot. But trust me, it looks enough like the real thing that I have never actually eaten it. But now Halloween is over. It's the perfect holiday - no presents, not much decorating, no cooking marathon. Just walking the streets in funny clothes soliciting goodies. My son was a pill-crazed doctor with red-paint splattered scrubs, and looked totally cute. And garnered about 9 pounds of candy with not a single Almond Joy, which was to be 'my' candy as he doesn't like coconut.

    I think Mr. Goodbar is a very weird name for a candy bar. Which came first - the movie or the candy? In any case, I have a major sugar hangover from eating all those teeny weeny candy bars that together make up 3 or 4 regular size ones. I want to detox!

    I was telling my neighbor that I liked Halloween because it reminded me of Hogmanay, which is like Halloween for grown-ups. It's a Scottish New Year celebration where you carry around a bottle of booze and walk around and drink from other people's bottles and if you fancy each other, have a snog. It's the perfect way to celebrate when you're twenty-something and your hormones outweigh your germ phobia, without getting into too much trouble.

    I read the excerpt from Maureen Dowd's book, Are Men Necessary in the New York Times. Usually I really like her, but I just thought this piece was so silly - high achieving smart women are missing out on love and kids because they're too intimidating, and younger women are rejecting feminism. Err, but who on earth would want a man who values compliance over intelligence, and what about the fact that women can actually take care of themselves these days, and don't have to end up in loveless marriages because being single is untenable? Plus the silly militant-Birkenstock-wearing feminist vs. pretty, groomed man-catchers dichotomy is annoying. And it's pretty insulting to men as well, as if all men want a Barbie doll with an IQ at least 30 points below theirs. Anyway, I don't know why there's so much angst about being a single, middle-aged woman, because, to be honest with you, I think only about a third of all marriages are at all enviable and the rest range from boring to abusive.

    Kitty Litter Cake
    1 spice cake mix
    1 large packet vanilla pudding
    1 package vanilla sandwich cookies
    Green and blue food coloring
    1 bag large Tootsie Rolls
    Bake the cake as directed on the box. Mix the vanilla pudding as directed on the box and crumble in the cake. Spoon into a foil sheet cake pan lined with a wastebasket liner. Crush the cookies until they are fairly well crushed, and color with about a half bottle each of green and blue food coloring. Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the cake, keeping back about half a cup. Unwrap 7 or 8 Tootsie Rolls. Melt in the microwave and shape into cat poo shapes - about 8 seconds for a firm poop, 15 seconds for diarrhea. Roll poops in reserved crumbs and arrange in an organic manner on the cake (half-buried, hanging over the edge). Serve on a newspaper with crumbs scattered around and a brand spanking new cat litter scoop. A few mini-turds on the newspaper is a nice touch.