Cat Toys Need Names

Early Aught Mix I
February 8, 2012, 1:20 am
Filed under: "When I forget how to talk, I sing", Words Words Words | Tags: , , , ,


I was really excited the other day when I happened upon an old mix CD I’d made years ago, just before Napster was brought down by big government.  I was looking for new sounds, and I had a lot of time on my hands, so one by one, I downloaded this mix of unknown artists and burned them onto a CD.  The majority of the songs on Early Aught Mix I remind me of a spiral of water slowly twisting down a drain.  It starts with a psychedelic, Beatle-esque rock tune from Apples In Stereo and continues with an odd, uneasy, pin prickly instrumental from Badly Drawn Boy.  After which, the Cowboy Junkies provide a mellow cover of The Velvet Underground’s Sweet Jane.  This mix was my introduction to quite a few bands and subsequently led to the discovery of hundreds more based on the sounds I preferred therein.  I tried to find at least 2 selections for each (some only had one song available).   Here’s the track listing by title and artist:

Strawberryfire – The Apples In Stereo
Thinking of You – Badly Drawn Boy
Sweet Jane – Cowboy Junkies
Miss Misery – Elliott Smith
No Name No. 5 – Elliott Smith
I Am A Scientist – Guided By Voices
Jane Of The Waking Universe -Guided By Voices
I Talk To The Wind – King Crimson
Red – King Crimson
Flower In December – Mazzy Star
Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
Return To Sender – Mojave 3
This Road I’m Traveling – Mojave 3
Brown Eyes – Red House Painters
Things Mean A Lot – Red House Painters
I’m Waiting For The Man – The Velvet Underground
Heroin – The Velvet Underground

The slow, peaceful tune I Talk To The Wind was the first King Crimson song I’d ever heard. I thought, “hey, these guys are kind of mellow — I can really dig this on a rainy day in October.”  The second King Crimson song I’d ever heard, Red, definitely toppled my initial impression.  If music were manifest into physical form, my guess is that Red would take I Talk To The Wind into a dark alley, and stab it multiple times with a broken bottle just before dousing itself in gasoline and setting itself on fire.  Red needs to see a psychologist about its Christ Complex.  Released 5 years after the tune I Talk To The Wind, and following King Crimson’s third disbandment, Red is an evil, proggy creature, full of tension and ascending frustrations.  It makes sense that it sits in the middle (peak) of this mix — like a triangle balancing on its apex.

King Crimson inspired this post, but I’d also like to extend an honorable mention to two other bands:  Guided By Voices and The Velvet Underground, both of whom added just the right amount of lo-fi grit to this period of musical discovery.


Like, ZOMG, I have a blog!
January 27, 2012, 1:18 pm
Filed under: Words Words Words | Tags: , , , , ,

I’m a liar.  I’m lazy, and I don’t know what’s good for me.  I’ve not kept any of my promises to provide blog posts on a regular basis.  Alan’s new-found interest in blogging reminded me that I have a blog that I should be utilizing. There are people out there in the world with similar interests with whom I should be connecting.  I mean, who doesn’t name their cats’ toys or listen to awesome music?

2012 seems like an appropriate year of resurrection for this “sw33t blagh”.  Wilco has a new album, Dr. Dog is releasing a new album next month, fIREHOSE is reuniting (as well as Ben Folds Five), and all sorts of other stuff.

And then, there’s Phish.  There’s always Phish…

There’s always money in the banana stand.

Cars III

*Yawn, it’s morning…stupid, boring, nearly winter weath–ERRRRRRRRR, CRASH!!! GRRRRRRR, VRROOMMM, BOOM!!

WHAT THE WHAT!!? That’s our lawn!!!

Overheard: “You didn’t have to do that! I’m here for you, it’s OK, just let me know and we can talk anytime. There was no reason for that”  *big hug*


the neighbor’s car…whoa

and the neighbor’s lawn

OK, now let’s gawk at the car on our lawn again:

Smile for the birdie!!

OK, so, here’s the sequence:

The SUV person drove through our neighbor’s yard (to the left of our house), plowed through our neighbor’s car (blue) in their driveway, skidded through our yard, hit our tree and bounced back about 2 meters from the impact.

The airbags deployed.  The driver (not shown) and the cockatoo (shown above) were OK.

Let the Tiger Woods jokes begin…

Cars II
October 22, 2009, 2:45 pm
Filed under: Words Words Words | Tags: , , ,

Our car woes continue. We’re lucky to have something to drive, for sure, but that doesn’t mean karma should go around creating obstacles for us. When I spend all morning at a funeral, then get into a car accident that afternoon on the way home, I think it’s bad karma overkill. I was in a four car pile up–second in line from the front. The person in front of me had a trailer hitch attachment which blasted a hole into poor Alan’s already battered front end. No damage to the back. I’ve got a touch of whiplash and an attitude.

I’m still waiting for my own car. In the last update given, we were told the $400+ in parts that I bought don’t fit. My buddy Kurt believes my car may have been created in the early half of its release year–then, halfway through the year, they created new parts because blah blah blah, words words words, my car sucks.

I swear I’ll get back to the heart of the matter concerning this site. I just needed to vent again. I’m seriously going to talk about The Flaming Lips in a few days.  Then we’ll get into some Monsters of Folk or The Duchess & The Duke, alright? Phish tickets, for Cobo Arena in Detroit, go on sale this Saturday at 10am. Set yourself a reminder. OK. Peace.

First concert babble

Recently, Alan’s little sister (12) attended her first concert.  It was a Miley Cyrus show.  I won’t be critical…my first show was Luther Vandross. Certainly, young girls need to find their own musical road to follow. Alan’s first show was Garth Brooks. He’s not much of a “new” or “young country” fan now, but I can see how that type of rough-and-tumble music influenced his current tastes.

It makes me wonder what type of influence Miley will have on Lauren in the long run.  Will she always be attracted to bubbly pop, or will she rebel against her younger self and become a heavy metal goddess? In the 80’s, I only listened to what my folks liked–Rick James, Michael Jackson, 70’s R&B, and what ever was force fed to me by MTV (yes, they actually played music videos at one time).  I listened to a lot of R&B in the 90’s and early 00’s as well. I happen to think that era was the rebirth of R&B–En Vogue, Babyface, Jill Scott and tons of R&B boy bands like Boyz II Men. Now, it’s all too fluffy for me. None of the newer R&B artists make as much of an impact in my world as they did then. But I realize I’ve changed a lot since then…

So, maybe I’m just getting old? If rock n’ roll enthusiasts were stifled by naysayers in the 50’s, we would have lost out on a lot of great music. So, by trying to push the youth away from the teenscene machine are we just delaying the inevitable?!  Will the kids growing up today consider the Jonas Brothers to be the Beatles of their generation!?  Ahhh, nooo, make it stop!!!!

Next: The Flaming Lips — Embryonic

October 13, 2009, 10:37 am
Filed under: Words Words Words | Tags: , , , ,

So, ever since the accident, my great-grandmother has been in and out of rehabs and emergency rooms.  After the stroke, she was weak and unable to walk on her own. There was no one in our family that could care for her properly so we left it up to the professionals. When she was unable to progress at the rate expected by Medicare (the speed of light), we had no choice but to place her into a “nursing home”–we couldn’t afford continued rehabilitation on our own. Unbeknownst to us (and the doctors, surprisingly), she’d developed a blood clot in her leg which traveled to her heart last week and caused a cardiac arrest. EMS arrived to keep her stable. Her heart stopped 4-5 times total before she was revived and placed on life support at the hospital.

She was in and out of consciousness for over a week; we were told the hospital could only keep the ventilator tube in her throat for 10 days. Yesterday they took it out, after which their goal was to make her “comfortable” by pumping drugs into her system to slow her breathing and prevent distress. She passed away this morning. She was 94.

She was totally awesome, and I’m going to miss her dearly.

October 8, 2009, 6:50 pm
Filed under: Words Words Words | Tags: , , , ,

Sometimes I wish I lived in an area where at least 90% of my necessary daily destinations were within 10 feet of me. But, alas, I need reliable transportation in order to remain a productive member of society. I bought a Buick from a car auction a couple of years ago.  It lasted about a year and a half before the fuel pump assembly broke. I was in school, I had no rainy day funds or disposable income, so I let it sit in the driveway for about year. I’ve recently graduated and now my priority is to regain my transportation independence.

Which brings me to this week. I finally got enough funds to fix my car!  Or so I thought.  The $350 quoted to me last spring for installing a new fuel pump assembly has nearly doubled due to my neglect.  The fuel lines are rusted ($200), the filler neck is corroded ($80), and the battery, I’m guessing, is completely dead ($70). The shop will still fix it for me but I may have to wait until next payday to get it back.

Anyway, I’ve been sharing a car with “Alan, the boyfriend” for almost a year now!  Sunday his car stalled. It may have been a battery, starter or alternator issue, who knows. It all translates to more money being plucked from our money tree to make sure the problem is completely solved. I blame autumn.

Monday we got it working again. Yaaay! I don’t recommend it, but all we did was bang on the starter with a wrench.

Tuesday, he hit a deer on the freeway.  Boooo. The driver side front quarter panel is dented, the left headlight is FUBAR, and the ripple effect also put a dent in the door.

Have we finally insulted the car gods to the point of retribution? If so, I guess it’s not unwarranted. Do the 500+ walnut pods falling from our neighbor’s tree (incessantly pounding our cars) have anything to do with this series of unfortunate events? I bet they do. It acts as reminder: when it rains it pours.