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!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Happy Hogmanay

Phew! I feel it's quite a slog from Thanksgiving through to the New Year. I kind of find it hard to summon up the enthusiasm for New Year's, unlike when I lived in Scotland, when everything started later and you basically got two weeks off from work, and so you weren't completely stuffed by rich food and celebrated out by December 31st.

Anyway, I think I'll take a page from Minty's playbook, and recall some of the media type thingies I enjoyed this year:


I LOVED the mix CDs I got from people, and I'm looking forward to getting some more from those of you who haven't made one yet (hint, hint). Of the live music shows I saw this year (Aimee Mann, Sigur Ros and the Stones), Sigur Ros was by far and away the best. And I'm bummed I didn't see the Pixies when they were here. I also really enjoyed seeing the St. Nicholas cantata at Duke Chapel with the Choral Society of Durham, and the Durham Children's Choir (one of whom is my son).


My favorite movie of the year was Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Wererabbit. I want a dog like Gromit. Luckily, I didn't see too many movies this year as there seemed to be a lot of really sucky ones, though unfortunately, I did see Mirrormask.


Thanks to Mykull, I got tons of reading done: I really enjoyed Emotionally Weird, On Beauty, Little Children and A Portrait of Yo Mama as a Young Man among others. I could not make it through Specimen Days, much as I felt I ought to.

Before the festive season vanishes for good, this is the most heinous card ever (via Metafilter). Makes you wish the War on Christmas was well and truly lost. I never want to see a camel with lipstick on again.

And here are my predictions for 2006:

  • Katie Holmes will give birth (silently) to Rosemary's baby
  • Delay and Rove will be let off the hook to slime another day
  • Further chipping away of our civil liberties
  • Super annoying Crazy Frog will cross the Atlantic (I love the ubiquity of pop culture phenomenona in the UK; it just doesn't happen here). And I love his little froggie weiner.
  • I will make good on wagers I had with various people about life being more interesting than it turned out to be this year. Though I suppose nothing much happening is better than bad stuff happening.

  • Sunday, December 25, 2005

    Merry Christmas!

    I have to say, I had just about as good a Christmas as possible without my family being here. On Christmas Eve, we took Mykull to the airport (I love going to the airport on a holiday, even if I'm not going anywhere), and then my son sang in Duke Chapel in the early evening communion service which gave me my opportunity to belt out Christmas carols. Then we came home and had some beef stew which I had made in my crockpot - I think the secret is to use the cheapest beef possible and cook it for like ten hours or something. Then one of my neighbors came to visit, and after he left, we read 'The Night Before Christmas', and sang 'The Twelve Days Of Christmas' and made each other laugh. And we put out milk and cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer (even though he's way past Santa age, we still like the ritual). I know it sounds so friggin' wholesome, but I love it.

    Then on Christmas, my son was absolutely delighted with his Gamecube, and his new game. A friend of mine who has just returned from Hong Kong came over and we had a pretty good meal - roast capon, mashed potatoes with Boursin, roast parsnips, brussels sprouts, orange-cranberry sauce with Grand Marnier, stuffing and gravy, and I also made some wild mushroom-roasted garlic-truffle tartlets because she is vegetarian. We just had a nice conversation while we ate, and then we all ended up playing with the Gamecube which was fun. And all the dishes were cleared and in the dishwasher by 6:30, while I had a nice cup of coffee with rum and cream.

    And now I'm stuffed and sleepy and warm and happy. I hope everyone else had as good a Christmas as I did!

    Monday, December 19, 2005

    Cabbages and Queens

    Wasn't that a lovely speech the Prez gave last night? I paraphrase: 'People are dying so we can save lives'. And I love the line: 'We attract the terrorists by ignoring them'. Damn. I've been giving my son bad advice about bullies.

    Here's the Jib-Jab summary of Bush's year. Wonder what further damage he can do in the remaining week and a half of this year?

    I can't stand those 'He went to Jared' commercials they have every Christmas, which look like they've been hanging around since the eighties judging by the shoulder pads and jewel-tones the diamond encrusted shrew-matrons are wearing in them. The ads are so chintzy I was convinced that Jared was a local business with a small advertising budget, but actually, they're a big chain. Plus the name reminds me of this guy.

    Rolf Harris just finished a lovely portrait of the Queen. It looks like it was painted from a kit. Though it's a tad more flattering than this. I think the Queen is looking more and more like Mary of Teck. I don't know why I care except that the Queen's Speech is such a part of British Christmas that I kind of miss the old bat this time of year. We used to time Christmas lunch for 3:30 in the afternoon, right after her speech: 'Mary Christmas end Gawd bleass us awll'.

    I just love Happy Tree Friends. My son actually told me about them; he watches them at camp, which makes me wonder what I pay $40 a day for. But then, I don't suppose I can really complain because we watch them together and laugh our asses off.

    Monday, December 12, 2005


    Wintervale is, apparently, the new politically correct term for the Christmas season in the UK. I'm getting so fucking tired of all of this. Just call 'it' whatever floats your boat (Christmas, Happy Holidays, Wintervale, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa), do your best to be respectful of other people's customs, and don't throw a hissy fit if other people accidentally call it the wrong thing, or wish you something you don't believe in. And if you want to exercise your spirituality, volunteer at the soup kitchen or make a donation to charity or go buy groceries for an elderly neighbor. Just don't get your panties in a wad about nothing.

    I'm very bummed about no clemency for Tookie Williams. And a little baffled by the talk of redemption and such. What about the fact that the death penalty is flat out wrong? I think it's wonderful that Tookie Williams has found a positive purpose in his life, and has had the opportunity to do some good with his books and speeches. But that really is irrelevant, and all the debating about it is a diversion from the fact that taking someone's life is wrong, whether as a criminal act, or an act of 'justice'.

    On a much lighter note, this, via metafilter, is hilarious - it just goes to show the power of a dirty mind. I can't imagine how dirty the mind was that looked at the source pictures and zoomed in on the ambiguous part. Dirtier than mine, and that is truly saying something.

    Tuesday, December 06, 2005

    O Tannenbaum

    We put up our Christmas tree this weekend; this is my favorite part of Christmas. Then it's the music; then the food; then the lazing around; then the presents. My son told me it made him sad that it was just the two of us this Christmas. Whoa fuck. My edifice of sisters-doing-it-for-themselves was temporarily dismantled for a couple of hours and I had a secret cry. Then in the mail that day, I got a catalog for 12 Muses Cruises which depressed me even more, as obviously I am on some mailing list somewhere as being chronically single and therefore likely to be an 'open-minded woman'. Not that there's anything wrong with that at all, except for the fact that I am probably only score maybe a one in 'open-mindedness' on the Kinsey scale.

    But then on the same day, I got an e-mail from one of the dads at my son's old school which was very complimentary ('Oh, Marianne, how can I convince you that I adore you?') and made me feel better.

    And if I feel too sorry for myself, I do my Cockney Christmas schtick, which always makes me laugh (if no-one else):

    'Cor Blimey, we'll have a right good Christmas, we will. The master'll send us some food from the big 'ouse, and he'll give us an 'arf day, he will, right after we get back from church. And you won't 'afta climb no chimneys neefer. And 'er ladyship's given us an orange for Toiny Tim, seein' it's 'is last Christmas an' all. Oooh, we'll have a fair ol' do, we will'

    Anyway, I've seen a couple of interesting ideas for Christmas presents:

    The Bulge. Looks like they don't have the European hooded version. This will go down (har-de-har) a treat at your next corporate gift exchange.

    Kitschy Christian gifts. I like #4, the Nativitimer, for making sure you leaven your bread for just the right amount of time.

    Speaking of Christianity, I have been kind of intrigued with an ad on Metafilter for a book. That guy's face is so calculatedly Jesus-y. I can just imagine him with the stylist for the photo shoot: 'Errr... could you matte up my beard a bit more so I look like I've spent 40 days in the desert and am completely non-materialistic? Did you get that beatific smile? I think a middle part, don't you, to get that Last Supper vibe? Easy on the make-up, don't want to look like Osama'.

    I saw a link to this article about stay-at-home feminists on Bitch Phd, which basically states that women have a disadvantage in their careers because they take on the housework. Very interesting. I personally believe the problem is not with women doing housework or believing it's their job, but in the fact that maintaining a family and looking after children is chronically undervalued in this country. I think farming out household chores and childcare to those further down the economic ladder, as suggested, is not the right approach, but it is a very American one. Maybe we should all embrace the lazy slut within (or without).