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!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Books and Values

My son and I went to the Ann Patchett/Allan Gurganus discussion about what you can and can't teach young writers. I was so proud of my son that he was attentive and engaged by the discussion. He's so frigging awesome.

Ann Patchett talked about her friendship with Lucy Grealy, who suffered with a facial deformity, which really struck some chords with me. For one, I was ashamed of my countrymen when she described an incident in Aberdeen (where I went to school) where Lucy was taunted about her deformity. Ann's sensitivity and insight was very moving to me, and the subsequent discussion about ethics really interesting.

One of the hard things about being a mother is seeing my son, who is kind and sensitive and creative and very perceptive of other people's needs, grow up in a world where these attributes, are, for the most part, not valued. I was very glad for him to go to a public event where two people who exhibit those characteristics are celebrated and heard.

It does make me mad that we use all kinds of shortcuts for evaluating people; for kids, it's grades and athletic prowess; for women, looks; for men, money and career success. And we focus far too much on fixing those things so that we fall into the 'acceptable' category, and things like integrity, kindness and intellectual curiosity sometimes fall by the wayside. Raising a child who values these more ephemeral attributes, but who also 'passes' in regular middle-class society is a continual challenge.

Anyway, onto something lighter; here are Mykull's excellent liner notes to his excellent mix. As always, his taste is impeccable; I love that Mykull is firmly in touch with his inner Euroslut. Morrissey looks fabulous these days – maybe his break with celibacy with some Italian bloke suits him. I do have to take issue with the 'token Scottish band' – what about the Delgados and Belle and Sebastian, hmmm?? And I used to think Beck was sexy, in his Midnite Vulture days, but not anymore since I found out he's a clam.

Scientology is a passion killer in the same league as male ponytails or dungarees.

Mykull's CD

Sexual ChocolateHot ChipBest. Lyrics. Ever. "Give me some of your darkest, creamiest chocolate. Tastes like chocolate never tasted before. I need to try some of your richest chocolate. I can't take this chocolate yearning baby no more.".
Chirpy Chirpy Cheep CheepLushThis song, by the original band, was on the soundtrack to Breakfast on Pluto. The movie where Minty and I turned to each other during every song and said, "I really love this song." Here Lush makes the bizarre pop song dreamy and creamy. Btw, what twisted fuck writes a song about a baby bird whose momma and poppa have disappeared?
I Will See You in Far Off PlacesMorrisseyMORRISEY, I MUST HAVE YOUR BABY CHIRREN!!!!
Calleth You, Cometh IlThe Ark I loveth them.
Stacked CrookedThe New PornographersSome day I am going to create a mix CD of indie workout songs. Neko Case's soaring voice on this tune will make you run twice as fast and lift twice as much.
The Power Is On!The Go! TeamAnd this song will make you run ten times as fast and lift ten times as much.
Take Another Little Piece of My HeartDusty SpringfieldI totally would have had sex with Dusty. Too bad she was a big ol' lesbo.
Tits on the RadioScissor SistersI've never thought about it before, but it is so true: there are no tits on the radio!
Song for SunshineBelle & SebastianPretty pretty pretty pretty pretty. (Notice the iambic pentameter rhythm.)
I Wanna Be AdoredThe Stone RosesI don't know why, but this song means more to me than anything. If I had to choose between the existence of this song and my dad, I would choose this song. (But I suppose that's not fair—I would choose a deaf albino toad over my dad.)
All You Need Is HateDelgadosThank God I finally have plenty of something I need.
WormsBeth OrtonCutest lyrics ever: "Worms don't dance / they haven't got the chance." (Well, her worm might not dance, but mine totally does.)
Destroy Everything You TouchLadytronTheir new album sucks monkey butt but this hit single is classic.
1969Boards of CanadaToken Scottish Band
KokoGoldfrappI find it fascinating when a dance diva sings like an opera diva.
In the Waiting LineZero 7 (Koop Remix)I was going to put Sia's "Breathe Me" on this mix but then I knew it'd make Pinky and Minty cry, so I decided to use a song from Sia's earlier band, a song beautifully remixed by the luscious Koop.
Ghettochip Malfunction (Hell Yes)BeckTo anyone out there, including many of my female friends, who think Beck is sexy: Ick. But is his music sexy? Hell yes!
Bonus Mystery Song for Minty!!!!! Mystery Artist!!!!!Remix by Depeche Mode & Fatboy Slim!!!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Knitty Gritty

Well, you all know I will try and knit just about anything - I just found a new source of inspiration. I don't know where this knitting obsession came from - a lot of it is mental; I actually think it makes a big difference to my state of mind, and helps make me the reasonably calm person I am most of the time. Plus homemade socks are awesome! Let me know if you ever want a pair...

Some other things that I find therapeutic are doing this blog thing, though most of the time I don't say anything of much import, and music, which I crank up whenever I do dishes and housework (which is a fair slice of my free time). Exercise helps a bit too, but not as much as those other things.

Why is this man getting some? He just had a highly publicised affair (how bourgeois) with his secretary, who is 23 years younger. I swear, it's a man's world. A woman of the same age and equivalent attractiveness would not be knocking boots with her young male secretary, I'm pretty sure.

These commercials freak me out. If you haven't seen them, they feature a car of people (usually a Benetton-like mix of colors and ages) chatting up their wives, or the movie they just saw, when suddenly out of the blue they slam into another car. My knee-jerk reaction is not favorable to VW - now VWs and crashing are inextricably linked in my brain, instead of VWs and pot, or VWs and bobos or VWs and mystery solving teens.

I totally want to pimp a snack for cooking club some day. It would be great to pimp a giant Peep (a Peemp?), even though they are completely inedible.

Here's a concept - a Christian sexual aids store. I was more than a little disappointed that there were no actual Christian sex toys. Just don't use the Angel Gabriel condoms - they totally don't work.

My son saw this gadget that translate your cat's meows. I don't need a gadget to tell me what my cats want:
6:00 am smelly butt in my face = Get up and feed me bitch
Sitting on computer = Get up and feed me bitch
Stare = Get up and feed me bitch
Well, you get the picture...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

My Turn!

Isn't that what Andy Rooney says or something? For some reason, I have a big spike in visitors, and after reading Jerry's post about what particular quest leads people to his blog, I decided to look at my sitemeter. I hardly ever look at it, to be honest, because I want to know exactly who is looking and how much they liked it, and the cheapo free version doesn't really tell you that.

What it does say is that lots of people find my blog by searching for this picture and this one. In all different languages. I probably just doubled my visitors in this very post.

I expect if I just type the words: 'Mom' 'Foreign' 'Double D' 'Pre-teen Son', all of which are words which could conceivably come up in any of my posts, I will bump up my score some more. Let's wait and see.

I thought the Swiss were the biggest chocolate eaters in the world, but no: the Brits have them beat. And that's with me living outside Britain. Oh well, I guess the Swiss are good at other things.

As promised (threatened?), here are my liner notes. If you want a CD and didn't get one, let me know and I'll happily burn for you

Marianne's CD

Waterloo SunsetThe KinksThis is my favorite Kinks song. Somehow it makes me feel nostalgic for a life I haven't lived. And it's nice to have a dirty old river in a song that's not the Mississippi. I wonder whatever happened to Terry and Julie.
So Long, MarianneLeonard CohenMy ex-hubbie would sing this song to me, clapped out old hippy that he was – strangely prescient. I like that you can totally tell that Leonard Cohen is Canadian- he definitely says 'aboot'. Did you know he used to date Rebecca de Mornay – talk about an odd couple.
Hunted by a FreakMogwaiA Scottish band that has channeled depression and social alienation and twistedness into a beautiful thing, like so many other Scottish bands. It's our greatest national treasure, next to our award winning nutrition habits and whisky.
I Want A Little Sugar In My BowlNina SimoneForget about milkshakes and humps and licking backs and cracks, this is such a great expression of female sexuality that is tons more erotic. Strange to imagine Nina grew up in this red state.
Sex DwarfSoft Cell A great work-out tune, though the Lakewood Y is sadly lacking in sex dwarves.
So SadThe SoftiesA sweet, wistful song about the decline of love. The perfect soundtrack for self pity. Not that I ever indulge in that.
You're The Best ThingThe Style CouncilThis song makes me want to fall in love with someone, it's so fucking romantic. I love Paul Weller's voice – it's so distinctive.
Party Fears TwoThe AssociatesAnother Scottish band and one of my favorite songs ever. Completely uncategorizable and completely brilliant.
The FuneralBand Of HorsesI downloaded this and really like it. It's sad but definitely not sappy. I bet they're awesome live.
The ReaperHIMA great cover of a great song. But it does need more cowbell.
Word On A WingDavid BowieStation to Station is my favorite Bowie album. And I think this may be my favorite song on it, even though it's about the baby Jesus.
The Windmills Of Your MindDusty SpringfieldSinging this is just about akin to singing the phonebook, but Dusty could pull it off. Let me ask you – is the jingle in your pocket or the jingle in your head?
The NurseThe White StripesThis song polarizes people – I really like it. I just imagine Meg White being a Nell-like creature on the drums, and that mixed up with the cheery marimba and the paranoid lyrics, just make for a great song.
Cuts Across The LandThe Duke SpiritI downloaded this on the strength of the name expecting to find something I would hate, but I actually like it a lot. They're from London, and sound old-school in a good way.
Melt Your HeartJenny LewisA lovely redhead with a lovely voice singing a lovely song about the stupid things we all do.
Black CabJens LekmanI don't know anything about this artist at all, but I like his voice which has a Jonathan Richman quality to it. I just like this song dammit.
Blunt Picket FenceGiant Drag It's hard to believe Giant Drag is just two people. I love the guitar on this./
MarianNouvelle VagueA great cover of Sisters of Mercy. Honestly, I'm not egotistical, I just like this song. Some songs are definitely improved by a bossa nova beat and being sung phonetically by a French chick who has never heard the original.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Minty The Minx

Hooray! After a long hiatus (and a bunch of no-shows), I have a new mix CD from Minty! And I have one in the pipeline which I will probably post in a week or so. I love it - a good representation of Scots on it, plus some songs I haven't heard plus some songs I liked and haven't heard for ages. I forgot how much I like that Elvis Costello/Burt Bacharach CD that came out a wee while ago. And Mark Knopfler really is from Scotland - I had to look it up but he really is!

In unrelated news, I want to claw my eyeballs out, and plunge them in a bucket of icy water. I hate pollen.

Anyhoo, here are her delightful and informative liner notes:
Minty's CD

I think it's Going To Rain TodayRandy NewmanI promise they won't ALL be sad songs, but this one is.
Mad WorldMichael AndrewsI loved it when Tears for Fears did it, but this version from Donnie Darko is really great. I find it kind of funny. I find it kind of sad.
Wond'ring AloudJethro TullSee, I told you they wouldn't all be sad. "And it's only the giving that makes you what you are". Ian Anderson is the first of three on this mix who were born in Scotland. My grandmother was born there too.
Wicked Little TownHedwig and the Angry InchI love Hedwig, and I kiss the ground that John Cameron Mitchell walks on.
May You NeverJohn MartynAnother of those Scots I like so much. One question, though: How can you be in a barroom fight without losing your temper?
Accidentally Like A Martyr Warren Zevon This was one of the few non-wacky songs on the album "Excitable Boy". Jackson Browne and Karla Bonoff sing background. They were probably all high on cocaine. Ah, the 70s.
To Sir, With Love Lulu The theme song from one of my all-time favorite movies. It was hard to believe Lulu was one of the poor kids in the movie - she had a lot more cute outfits than the others did, and lots of big earrings.
Each Coming Night Iron and Wine It's like Sam is whispering this one right in your ear. And his gigantic beard is tickling your ear.
Suzanne Leonard Cohen My mom loved Leonard Cohen. This was one of her favorites.
The Tiny Goat The Gothic Archies Sad and funny at the same time. If anyone's good at that, it's Stephin Merritt. The beginning of the goat-themed portion of this mix.
Your Belgian Things Mountain Goats I don't have anything clever to say about this one. All Music Guide calls it "cryptically lovely". I concur. End of goat theme.
The Dangling Conversation Simon & Garfunkel I may pretend to be an indie hipster, but I'm really a closet folkie. Shhh - don't tell anyone!
This House Is Empty Now Elvis Costello OK, so this one's REALLY sad, but Elvis sings it beautifully.
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) Nancy Sinatra Sonny Bono wrote this. Quentin Tarantino used it in Kill Bill, Volume I. Picture Nancy Sinatra in her groovy white boots.
This Girl Is A Woman Now Gary Puckett & The Union Gap I used to adore Gary Puckett, but looking back I think he was kind of a creepy perv. I mean, all his songs are about boinking underage girls. I'm pretty sure "she's learning to live" means "she is having sex with me"
Bitches Aint Shit Ben Folds I know it's kind of uncool to like Ben Folds, but I just can't help myself. And you KNOW how much I like the swearing, so of course I fucking love this.
Father and Son Cat Stevens Ooops there's my closet folkie coming out again. But this one was in Harold and Maude, so it's cool.
Haven't We Met? Mel Torme I was six when I first heard Mel Torme, and I've loved him ever since. What an amazing voice. He melts me. This begins the Romeo and Juliet portion of the mix.
Romeo & Juliet Dire Straits See how I put those together? I'm so celver. Mark Knopfler is from Scotland, too. Did you know that?
Hallelujah Jeff Buckley Another Leonard Cohen song. So many people have covered it, but I have a special love for this version. RIP Jeff.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Above the Influence

Well, I guess they just announced the finalists in the Webby awards (however relevant or not they may be anymore), and I saw the Above The Influence website is one of the nominees.

Every single time the ad where the kid tries to put his fist in his mouth comes on, my son and I both try to jam our fists in our mouth. Every. Single. Time. One of these days, one of us will end up in the ER and have to explain the Above The Influence ad made us do it.

Some of the nominees that also caught my eye were:
Beastblender, with rather a limited roster of beasts, but cool idea. Watch Me Change (flash), complete with porno sound track and cottage-cheesey looking bodies.
Maori Showbands; somewhat of a niche.
Off the Map, kind of cool outsider art.

I also took a look at McSweeney's, (is this affiliated with Dave Egger's McSweeney's?).

I always think they publish the Best Crime Writing books, which they don't. I absolutely love these books.

Well, anyway, I found this article about sleep positions, and I'm sorry, but I find it hard to believe that any couples ever sleep like this, unless the guy is on top and fell asleep mid-coitus. I sleep on my front in the 'freefall' position, which apparently makes me brash, gregarious and thin-skinned, whereas I believe myself to be unbrash, ungregarious and thick-skinned. Plus we are approaching the time of year when my feet have to hang over the side of the bed with no covers, to remain that way until about September. What does your sleep position say about you?

The host of Desert Island Discs is leaving after many years. This show is like the killer app for radio - it is such a fabulous concept, and I love looking at the playlists of people I like.

Here's something interesting - there is not one single camper van (aka RV) in the whole of Britian for the month of June. They're all off to the World Cup! I think a fish and chip van following that caravan could clean up.

Last but not least - yay! And just for a change, he doesn't look like a portly Spy-Vs-Spy

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Easter is fast approaching, which I think is the official end of candy season (Halloween through Easter). But Easter's not just about chocolate bunnies and jelly beans (though this bunny is pretty fucking awesome, and I LOVE cream eggs). It's about Easter baking. That Simnel cake looks a little light on the marzipan, in my opinion. Marzipan - glaaargh. I have the taste buds of a 75 year old woman - marzipan? mmmmm! oatmeal? mmmmm! prunes (which now seem to have been unnecessarily glamorized as dried plums)? mmmmm! oxtail soup? mmmmm! milky tea? mmmm! ginger? mmmmm!

This carousel, built from kid's drawings, is the coolest carousel I have ever seen. Though I have to say, I think it might induce nightmares in the overly sensitive. My favorite is the mutant chihuahua. Not all of those animals seems to provide a natural seat.

Tartan Day in New York was a washout, which is somehow fitting. Typically Scottish both meteorologically and philosophically.

Poor Leif Garrett. The years, and the drugs, have not been kind. He used to be such a fresh faced cutie.

Here's a concept - a village without children. So who can these old biddies take out their curmudgeonliness on? Are they going to shoo each other off their lawns, and who will they rip off for oddjobs?

I am so looking forward to allergy season ending. This week, I made the mistake of taking Claritin D. How can a drug make you simultaneously a zonked out zombie and irritable as all fuck? And manages not only to dry out your nasal membranes but every other moisty membraney thing in your body? And gives you the most psycho nightmares ever? The day after I stopped taking it was like a rush of dopamine and serotonin and oxytocin (which I always get mixed up with oxycontin) all at once.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Fool's

Well, so far I have neither perpetrated nor suffered an April Fool's joke. Here's some of the jokes I've seen this year:

Chris Martin turning his back on Tony and turning Tory. The thing is, I can just imagine Gwyneth turning Tory. She seems like a Home Counties matron in training, with her blonde hauteur and general snootiness, and I'm sure that rubs off on Chris, who seems a bit impressionable.

Tony Blair is painting the famous black door of 10 Downing Street red. More likely to be blue, or maybe brown to match his nose, don't you think?

Via Metafilter, Google romance, featuring contextual dating with ads that will enhance your romantic experience. As an aside, doesn't it strike you that computer dating is sort of like diet clinics - if they really work, their demise would be certain? Just their existence means they don't work.

April Fool's jokes played the day before for expediency's sake, like this one in Indiana, sort of lose any funniness. Kind of like getting a box of chocolates the day after Valentine's, when they're on sale.

I have to admit, I have a particular disdain for uber-geeky April Fool's - like this one. They are just too corny be funny - they're funny like a joke your teacher tells, i.e sort of inoffensive and non-controversial and therefore lacking in humor.

This is not an April Fool's joke, but the comments to this article about some guy who has cats who wishes he didn't are interesting, given the British reputation for being animal lovers.

This is a disturbing candy - training pills. To get the young 'uns used to popping stuff through the foil. At least it would take a while to eat them, whereas I could snarf 26 M & Ms in one handful, no problem.