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, May 28, 2006

A Philosophical Question

My son absolutely cracks me up sometimes. We were in the car the other day, and he asked me 'What does a booger smell like, mom?', which made me laugh and laugh and laugh. Because really, who would know?

I'm amazed at how the internet can stretch out people's allotted fifteen minutes of fame. This man accidentally ended up on air as a pundit en route to a job interview on the BBC. Though I have to say, a lot of times pundits just restate the bleeding obvious, but with authority and confidence. Especially the financial and health pundits. Though I like Suze Orman, because she touches on the psychological aspects of money. And what qualifies this man to give advice about health and money?

I'm trying to be more mindful about consumption; I'm not doing fabulously, but given that I have a raging sweet tooth, I'm trying to eat this chocolate rather than more contentious brands.

It's been twenty years since Newsweek's infamous study. What I can't get over is the whole focus on women - like men don't want to be married? I think every single person in the world dreams of meeting their soulmate, but (Western) women now have economic power which changes the imperative of marrying from need to want. Very definitely a positive development for everyone concerned, I would think.

And I can't even say anything about the earthquake which is unspeakably tragic. Please consider making a donation.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Entertain Me...

There's this competition that happens every year in Europe, the Eurovision Song Contest, which is a cheesefest of spectacular portions. It always features the cruddiest music ever, with the odd gem. Also featured are the very best in shiny, tight catsuits and other nationality transcending fashions.

It was compulsory viewing for me and my sisters growing up, when we were little and thought glamor was measured by how shiny your lipgloss was, and how high your platform boots were. For some reason, this year's competition registered on my radar, probably because the contestants were so ludicrous. The winners sound like Alice Cooper with laryngitis singing the theme song to an anime cartoon.

This is pretty entertaining. Hard to believe the Sex Pistol's interview was considered shocking at the time, because they said 'Fuck' and 'Shit'. It seems so tame now, when Pete Doherty does things like this.

Women now are apparently all regarded by the government as pre-pregnant, and are supposed to treat themselves accordingly. So basically, the premise is that because so many pregnancies are unplanned, women should just act like it's likely to happen. Of course, as it gets harder and harder to obtain contraception, maybe this is actually becoming true. The only upside is maybe I can get my son to clean the cat's litterbox, as cat poop is like kryptonite to pregos.

Here is a nice summary of a woman's experience of a British summer. I'm still guilty of the last three every summer.

I finally got to meet Jenny, who is beautiful and funny and charming. Jerry, you are the only holdout from my People list....

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Oh Mother

Well, it's Mother's Day, and fittingly, I am channeling my inner Ma Walton, waking up to a houseful (four) of kids. Even though it's more work, I absolutely love when kids sleep over at my house. It makes it feel so cozy, and I like making chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for them, which I would never do for just myself and my son. My son had his birthday party yesterday, which consisted of putting up his soccer goal and his volleyball net, making some birthday treats, ordering in some Chinese and staying the hell out of the way of the kids.

I saw something really weird; my son was goofing around with his friends, and I noticed him doing the exactly the same kind of funny dancing schtick with them that my ex-husband used to do, which of course he has never seen. So bizarre.

The other thing that intrigues me about my son is I think he's popular. I was never, and will never be, popular (or unpopular for that matter). I think I'm just kind of a quiet eccentric, which is ok by me.

Here are some family values I can really get behind. And here is the logical conclusion of Bush's anti-women, anti-sex education, anti-contraception and anti-abortion flavor of family values (even though it's in the UK, but you know what I mean).

Two awesome visionaries bought the farm recently, J.K. Galbraith and Jane Jacobs. I think if I had known Galbraith, I would have had an almighty crush on him; arrogant, charismatic, and an advocate for the underdog. Sigh. He wrote a critique of the American way of life, The Affluent Society, which took issue with living in affluence amid public squalor, and was involved with implementing the New Deal.

Jane Jacobs was an aficionado of urban life. Not the faux communities that seem to be the mode now, but real urban life, with neighborhood hangouts and corner shops and real characters.

Some wonderful person scanned Rosy Grier's Needlepoint for Men and posted it on Flicker. Needlepoint and knitting both use graphs, so I could knit from those charts, and I am absolutely itching to knit a Samurai bag.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Lost Weekend

Bad Twin, a book written by a passenger of Oceanic Air Flight 1815, the crashing of which provided the premise of the 'Lost' TV show, has knocked The Da Vinci Code off the top of Amazon's best-seller list. Mykull has been drawing me into his Lost obsession, which could easily describe a goodly portion of my weekend. So in addition to the TV show and this book, there is a slew of websites, some red-herrings, some made by fan-boys, with hours and hours of diverting links and clues.

I have to admit to not watching for a while, but now my interest has been re-piqued. I think my favorite character is Sawyer, because his dialogue is like the drifter in the black hat in a bad Western right before he rapes the sheriff's daughter in the hay loft ('Well, well, well, lookee here').

Do you want to depress yourself? Find out how little the average CEO has to work to earn your salary. Then you can read the stories on the website about corporate exploitation of the 99.999 out of 100 workers who are not CEOs.

Why don't they do the Beltane thing here? I personally would enormously enjoy seeing a festival like this in the Bible Belt. With lots of naked blue people gyrating around a fire, worshipping the almighty, sturdy, erect Maypole. Maybe this is where The Blue Man Group originated.

My parent's part of Scotland seems quite comfortable with paganism - there's a witch in the next village over from my parents, and she is quite the respectable pillar of the community.

I really liked Jenny's pictoral manifestation of her emotional state. Mine for a PMS-y rainy day would be a peeled snail walking a tight-rope over a bucket of acid. But I can't find a picture of that.

Friday, May 05, 2006

All work and no play

I saw this interesting post by Germaine Greer in the The Guardian.

Her premise is that most women's leisure activities are a variation of work (shopping, grooming, cooking etc) and I'm not entirely sure I agree with her.

I do totally agree with her about shopping; I hate going to the mall, and I hate shopping although I love clothes. I think going clothes shopping with friends is the most mind-numbing, boring, spirit breaking activity in existence. Which is why I don't do it except as an occasional act of love.

Grooming things like getting your hair done or manicures are pretty enjoyable, in my opinion. And honestly, I think the physical difference when you get your hair or nails done is pretty minimal; it's more of a psychological boost. Whatever anyone does to me, I still look pretty much the same, more's the pity, but I feel better.

And I have long held the opinion that looking down on 'domestic pursuits' is kind of anti-woman, given that we have historically cooked and cleaned and sewed; I much prefer this perspective. I like cooking and sewing and knitting; I like that I don't HAVE to do it, but that I can, and it makes my life a little cozier. And I appreciate men who can do these things too.

I think you could make the argument that 'male' leisure past-times are also variants of work in that a lot of them are basically hunting in one form or another.

Here's my list of leisure activities I do enjoy, that I do too little of these days. I've omitted the carnal ones because they're a given, and trump anything else on this list.

  • Getting mildly buzzed and listening to good music, either live or on CD
  • OK, this one's lame. Board games, especially those with some charade-type component. But only with people I know well.
  • Being on a boat with a beer at sunset.
  • Climbing a cold, windy Scottish hill with a flask of spiked coffee and then boiling eggs on a propane stove for lunch.
  • Seeing some challenging, thought-provoking performance.
  • Reading a good newspaper with a giant pot of coffee by my side.
  • Sledding with my son and then coming inside for hot chocolate.
  • People watching in a city square or park or piazza.
  • Hiking all day with friends and then going home and making a huge pot of pasta and drinking too much wine with said friends.
  • Snoozing in a hammock.
  • Travelling somewhere I've never been, with no itinerary and no plans.
  • Getting a giggle fit. I make no apologies for the dorkiness of this list. On a related note, my work as a mom is worth $86,010, according to Though I'm kind of a crappy mom, so maybe it would be more like $70,000. Still, not shabby!

    I'm just waiting for the Christian Right to ban the tritone interval. It always sends a pleasant shiver up my spine whenever I hear it.

    I guess they're too busy trying to boycott The Da Vinci Code movie. I want to boycott it too, but not for religious reasons; just that it's based on a crappy, crappy book written by a total hack (who is two years younger than me!) and Tom Hanks hair in it skeeves me out.