Uncategorized

Sexuality

Billy Bragg – Sexuality

The headlines have been giving me headaches and making me angry, depressed, and scared. Sometimes I feel fired up and come out swinging, other times I am just overwhelmed by it all.

Today seemed like a good day to spin this 24-year-old (yet still eerily topical!) Billy Bragg song and watch Kirsty MacColl throw a pie in a stodgy old lawmaker’s face.

Advertisements

Today is the Day

Yo La Tengo – Today is the Day

It was snowing as I drove to work this morning. Of course it was. I was driving in the snow, making do with my phone-streaming-Bluetooth combo which was playing some ok music but not exactly what I want, and suddenly I thought, that’s it. I give up. You win, winter, you win.

My eyes stung. A heaviness came over me. It’s like I can feel the weight of all the snow, dragging me down. It’s cumulative, you know? If it could just melt a little in between storms, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. If it could be even close to an above freezing temperature on the rare occasions when the sun does make an appearance. I’m not asking for a lot. Sure, I want the snow to be completely gone, but I’d settle for a day that’s 35°F and sunny.

I can’t go away. I can’t quit winter. I just have to live with it. Today is the day it got the better of me. You defeated me, winter. You made me cry. Are you happy? Is that what you wanted?

The Only Place

Best Coast – The Only Place

Dear New England Winter 2015,

Fuck You.

XO,
Ellen

Seriously, I’ve had it. I never truly considered LA as a place I could ever live for all the stereotypical reasons. I’ll admit to being an east coast snob. But I watch this video and…I just want to cry.

Blizzard warning in effect, snowplow scraping by; I want to live in LA and be a music supervisor and own nothing heavier than a jeans jacket. Sigh.

Next stop, Hawaii.

50 Words for Snow

Kate Bush – 50 Words for Snow

I’ve got 50 words for snow, but not one of them is nice.

Earlier this week that blizzard that all the New Yorkers complained was a bust, dropped close to two feet of snow on us. My kids had an early dismissal from school on Monday before things got bad and my daughter has yet to go back. More snow is forecast for Sunday night/Monday morning.

My main concern was that we would lose power. The last time a blizzard moved through here it switched over to freezing rain and then back to snow again, which resulted in lots of downed power lines. It’s one thing to lose power in hurricanes (that’s happened twice – Irene and Sandy), but when there’s no power and the temperature outside is below freezing, it gets cold inside, fast. I was not eager to repeat the experience. I bought food we could eat cold, I made sure we had flashlights ready, I left the heat up overnight. Luckily nothing happened, except all that snow that needed to be shoveled away.

I don’t find the snow pretty. I am incapable of seeing anything other than hours of shoveling, the inevitable melting and re-freezing creating ice rinks in the driveways and on the sidewalks which in turn leads to twisted ankles or wrenched backs. It depresses me. It stops being bright and white after one day and instead is gray and brown with hard, dirty chunks everywhere. Why can’t we hibernate like bears? Just sleep through it all and then come out of it when the weather starts to get nicer.

Soon I will have had too much and I will start dreaming about Caribbean Islands and Hawaiian vacations. I’d even settle for California or some other place with no snow but yes, palm trees. In the end I will be lucky to find a greenhouse I can stand in for twenty minutes. Spring can never get here fast enough.

Blood Bank

Bon Iver – Blood Bank

Look at that album cover. Brrrr. It doesn’t matter that I know exactly what I’m getting out of winter in New England, I am never ready for its arrival. It’s not that I’m caught off guard, I just live in denial until the last possible minute. Why spend one second more than you’re forced to thinking about it?

I don’t really wish I could join the legions of people who love winter, or even those who tolerate it well and think it can be pretty. I am very content to continue singing the praises of spring and summer. And one thing’s for sure, if I ever moved to someplace that doesn’t have winter, I would never miss it. People have questioned me on that one but I have lived through more than enough winters to last me a lifetime.

As I sit here now, wrapped up in a blanket, the wind is blowing down the chimney and rattling the glass doors on the fireplace. Snow is falling and pelting the window screens making an icy sound. So it begins.

What’s Going On

When the world starts getting crazy, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say when I start feeling like I just can’t handle this crazy world (’cause it’s not like this level of shit isn’t happening all the time), I turn to music.

As I’ve been watching events unfold this week, I just kept thinking to myself, what’s going on? I mean, what the fuck is going on? How is this 2014? How is this the US in 2014? And this song kept starting up in my head. Is it the Vietnam War or is it Ferguson, MO? Does it matter? And how sad is it that a song written over 40 years ago is still so relevant, so needed?

I hesitated to write this though because I felt like, who really needs me commenting about this. My one small voice doesn’t count for much. But my online friends were writing about looking for good things in trying times and doing what we can to make things more positive, and about acknowledging our privilege and in doing so, maybe at the very least helping to amplify the stark differences in our worlds.

Music is always there for me to express what I can’t manage to say on my own. It brings people together and finds common ground. I can’t stand the divisiveness that’s so present today. I’m confounded by the amount of hate I see. It’s belittling and stupid for me to say, hey everyone, chill out and listen to this song.

At the same time, because music does this to me, because it has the power to change me, to educate and inspire, I am going to say, hey everyone, here’s a song I’ve been listening to lately. I’ve been crying and trying to understand how the world can be so unfair. I’ve been unable to go to sleep watching Twitter for the word on the streets. I’m listening to these lyrics, I’m listening to your voices, and I’m trying to put a little love out there to chip away at all the hate.

Father, father
We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what’s going on
What’s going on
Ya, what’s going on
Ah, what’s going on

Thanks, Marvin.

Fourth of July

Galaxie 500 – Fourth of July

Happy 4th everyone. It’s a rainy day, no parades, no cook-outs, no fireworks, other than the natural kind. I’m going to visit with family and enjoy the long weekend. See you on the flip side.

Manhattan

Cat Power – Manhattan

I was down in New York mid-week, a quick overnight trip, and I’m still thinking about it. Normally when I go into the city I stay at my sister’s in Brooklyn if I’m going out at night or, like last month, just meet up with friends in the day and head back home before it gets too late. This time my husband was coming with me to see a play and he’s allergic to my sister’s cat so we needed to find a hotel. It was my frustration with the hotel situation that prompted me to think of the LCD Soundsystem song earlier in the week but now, after being there for 24 hours, I’m in love all over again.

I left in 2000 because my job was awful. I had an abusive boss who yelled at us constantly, I was just scraping by, and at the end of the work day, I’d trudge through crowds of tourists outside our Times Square office, then take the subway for an hour to my apartment in Bay Ridge. I liked Bay Ridge fine but living that far out in Brooklyn meant I didn’t do as much in Manhattan as I would have liked.

This time we stayed in Manhattan. The play let out at 9:30 and then we went looking for dinner. After dinner we walked back to the hotel, and walking through Times Square wasn’t awful like it was when I was dodging people looking up while I was trying to get to the subway. It was a spectacle, tacky and flashy, but beautiful all the same. It was a warm summer night and it was perfect weather for being out. I absolutely love, love, love being outside at night in New York in the summer. I don’t even mind the smells.

It’s hard to imagine living there now, right now, with the kids at their ages and the impossible cost of living. We couldn’t afford it, plain and simple. But I miss living there, being immersed in it and having everything just outside your door.

I know lots of people who don’t like New York. It’s too loud or busy or overwhelming. It’s hard to explain exactly what it is that I love so much. There are problems, I’m not blind to them, but there is still this pulse that I haven’t felt in any of the other cities I’ve lived in. I see it in some of the scenes captured in this video.

Happy

Pharrell Williams – Happy

It might seem crazy what I’m ’bout to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break

Happy Daylight Saving Time! This is my absolutely most favorite day of the year! More than Thanksgiving. More than Christmas. From the day we have to set the clocks back in the fall until today, I am a grumpy, despondent person. Now, I can breathe again. I am a room without a roof and I can see the freaking sun still there in the sky!!

I know a lot of people hate switching their clocks. I get it. But you’ve been led astray. The problem isn’t DST, it’s standard time. What you hate is that slightly jet laggy feeling some people have for a day or two. Do you hate that it’s still light out when you get home from work? Probably not. You see, if we never switched the clocks back in the fall in the first place, we would have had all of this daylight, all of this time! We wouldn’t have had to suffer in darkness all of these months. Yeah, it’s dark in the morning but in the depths of winter, it doesn’t matter. There’s no consolation that the sun comes up at 5 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. because you’re asleep either way (or, if you’re not, what are you doing waking up that early?). But the fact that sunset would be at 5:30 instead of 4:30? Huge. That’s huge!

Yes, I’m not a morning person and I work in a windowless office, I hate winter with every fiber of my being and all of the darkness. Today marks winter’s death knell. The bell tolls for you, winter, get your sorry, frozen ass out of here! We are ready for warmer, longer days.

And don’t even start about your hour of sleep. Please. If you really can’t handle a simple hour, then please go to bed an hour earlier the night before. Or try this. Don’t move the clocks forward when you go to bed, wait and do it when you wake up. You woke up at 7 a.m. this morning? No! You actually slept in until 8 a.m.! See how that works?! It’s all good.

Why do we keep these stupid farmer’s hours anyway? We are no longer an agrarian nation. Why on earth does the bus for the high school kids roll past my house at 6:30 a.m.? That’s barbaric. We do not need to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to get the milking done before the poor cows are ready to burst. I have been informed by my children that their friends eat dinner at the geriatric hour of 5:30 p.m. and they all think our dinner time of 6:30 (ok, sometimes it’s more like 7, or 7:30) is very late. It’s called continental. Or urban. You would never catch anyone in New York City eating dinner at 5:30.

So please, don’t hate Daylight Saving Time because it’s beautiful, love it for the extra daylight it just gave you. Love the beginning of the end of winter.