Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Believe it or not I actually did things last weekend. It was super strange because I am definitely not one for doing things. It was really nice though. Maybe I should do things more often. Actually, this month seems to be rather full of things. Maybe I don’t have a lot of things for a normal person to go through but my plans contain quite a bit of things for a person like me.

Last weekend I went out with friends, saw two movies, went out to brunch, cleaned the house, and had company. Wow. What a lot of things.

After work on Friday Lakeiya, Carla and I went out for drinks. Sorry, Monica, I know I told you nothing was going on but by the time I knew something was going on you had already left work. I tried calling and stuff. We went to Maxim’s, which is a place full of bogusness and free food. I say bogusness because the music is exactly the same every week and it is rarely anything I want to listen to. The crowd is not my crowd, although there is nothing particularly wrong with them. The drinks are cheap and strong so I have no complaints. The free food seems ok. I can’t eat most of it as it is meats. I can eat the bogus nachos. They have a bunch of chips, nacho cheese food, jalapenos, tomatoes, salsa, and lettuce. You can make a pretty good plate of bogus nachos with that stuff. When I got home I was delighted to find out that Tony had got us tickets to The Simpson’s Movie in Evanston. YIPPIE!!! I have only been waiting to see this movie since I was like nine. Was it worth the 19 years of waiting, maybe not exactly, but it was really good and I enjoyed it a lot. My favorite part was the girl sitting behind us that exclaimed, “He’s so STOOPID!” every time Homer or Cletus did something stupid. Maybe not every time but you get what I mean. The movie was a lot of fun though. I highly recommend it.

Saturday we decided to sleep in and then go to brunch at Diner. Diner is a place down the street that I think is actually called Deluxe Diner but the Deluxe is written much smaller than the Diner so we just call it Diner. Tony thought the sign that said Diner said Eat really big instead for years. He was totally wrong. I had a waffle, which was strange because I always have hash browns with cheddar and a biscuit when we go to Diner but I wanted something different. Diner is incredibly average. I would never go if it were not two blocks away. Since it is I enjoy going a lot. I always say, “A good day starts with Diner”. We hung around the house for a while and then decided we would go see Ratatouille at the cheap theater down the street. $7 first run shows, $5 for a matinee or with a student ID. On Wednesdays they give our free popcorn if you bring your own bag. You even get one refill. Tony and I had a long debate about what kind of bags would be appropriate to bring. I think they mean brown paper lunch bags but we thought brown paper grocery bags would be much funnier. The movie was absolutely delightful. I highly recommend it.

We slept in on Sunday, duh, and then Dave said he was going to come over so we cleaned the house a little bit. It is much better now. Dave took his sweet ass time coming over but it was fine. I took the time to make falafel. However, I didn’t measure carefully and had to add bread crumbs so they wouldn’t fall apart and they were still a little mushier than the last time I made them. Maybe I didn’t cook them long enough? They were still tasty! Dave came over and we all played Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds and Tony beat the game! Awesome. Then Dave read our tarot. It was a lot of fun. I was thinking about Tony’s birthday present and my fears thoughts and feelings about the situation were financial ruin. The feelings of those around me were that I was financially secure and didn’t need to worry. If by those around me they mean Tony the tarot was right on! After it was done he jokingly asked if I was thinking about his birthday. I said yes. He told me that it wasn’t worth stressing over that much. I think it is because 30 is a big birthday and stuff. Whatever, I’ll figure it out.

Wow that was a long post about nothing. Huh. Sorry.

1. What if the show didn’t go on/ What if we all got jobs and got to bed before dawn/ What if Old Joe had to retire/ What if all the stagehands were let go or fired

2. I do it for the joy it brings/ cause I am a joy-ful girl/ cause the world owes me nothing/ And we owe each other the world

3. All the world just stops now/ so you say you don’t want to stay together anymore/ let me take a deep breath babe/ If you need me, me and Neil will be hanging out with the Dream King

4. You’ve taken the fun/ Out of everything/ Making me run/ When I don’t want to think

5. Every night out for love/ Get my strength from the man above/ God of pistol God of steel/ God is here behind my wheel

Monday, July 30, 2007


The Manic Monday word for today is MISS. To view other Manic Monday participants check out Mo at It's a Blog Eat Blog World.

There are a lot of things that I miss. Some of these things them are people, some are places, some are inanimate objects, some are feelings. People and places can be visited. Inanimate objects can be brought out of storage. Feelings, however, can rarely be recaptured once they are gone.

The feeling of summer vacations, carefree and unending left at about age eleven. After that summers got to be too long. I ran out of things to do. The warm days lost their interest and a cardboard box no longer held hours of entertainment. There weren’t enough stations on the television to keep my interest and the friends I spent past summers with we no longer next door. I could recapture glimpses of that carefree feeling in the summers that followed. Some days felt like they could go on forever as if I would never again have to do anything but the feeling was fleeting and I would realize that I wasn’t being “mature” or maybe would be distracted by a cute boy.

I miss those days. I think that vacations as an adult carry almost a desperate quality to them. The idea that you have to regain a snippet of that carefree unending feeling of weightlessness before you are forced to return to the daily grind pushes you to relax to the point of exhaustion. You know your time is limited and you know what you are returning to. By the time you are able to lose track of the date you have to snap back quickly because the date of your return is right around the corner. It doesn’t stop us from trying though. Any mere taste of that childhood freedom is a beacon of hope. That the feeling still exists somewhere out there, you just need to grab it.

I miss flying. From seven to seventeen I could fly, metaphorically that is. I could always escape on the ice. The cold wind blasting into my face brought tears to my eyes. They weren’t tears of sadness or even tears of joy; they were tears of speed. There came a point where that feeling of flight became a chore and I lost the joy. I knew it was time to quit. But I missed it. In college I tried to recapture that feeling, the tears would still come but not as often and not as strong. I couldn’t fly as fast or jump as high and the work that I would have had to put in to recapture that feeling was too much for me to handle at that point. I simply didn’t have the time. Even today I toy with the notion of getting back on the ice but I know I would be even more disappointed than I was seven years ago and I have even less time to bring that feeling back.

Not to say that there aren’t new feelings that I feel privileged to have and that I am sure I would miss just as much were they to leave. They are everywhere. Some are very comforting. I guess the feelings I miss are the ones that leave you wide open. I miss not being a grown up. Even though there is a lot in my life that is still wide open, I know that the time I have to take advantage of all that life has to experience is slowly fading. Even though I don’t know all the specifics, I have a general idea of where I am going. I like that general idea, it feels good, but I miss not knowing and I miss having all the time in the world to make up my mind.

I put 90% of my music back on my iPod. The only things that I couldn’t put back were things that I got before my computer crashed so they aren’t saved on my hard drive and were only held in the iPod itself. At least I know what those things were so that I can get them again. At least there is enough on there to have a proper shuffle game. Here we go.

1. Hey Mr. Tough/ Don’t you think we’ve suffered enough/ Why don’t you meet me on the dance floor/ When it’s time to time time. Mr. Tough, Yo La Tengo. Identified by Monica

2. All aboard/ The night train/ Miami, Florida/ Atlanta, Georgia, Raleigh, North Carolina. Night Train, James Brown. Identified by Johnny Yen

3. Good morning Worm, Your Honor/ The crown will plainly show the prisoner who now stands before you/ Was caught red-handed showing feelings. The Trial, Pink Floyd. Identified by Johnny Yen

4. I’m so happy cause today I found my friends/ They’re in my head/ I’m so ugly that’s ok cause so are you/ Broke our mirrors. A song by Nirvana that my Mom doesn't know the name of but then recalled that it is Lithium.

5. Sittin in a park in Paris, France/ Reading the news and it sure looks bad/ They won’t give peace a chance/ That was just a dream some of us had. California, Joni Mitchell. Identified by Mom.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Today a horrible thing happened. My iPod was slightly destroyed. I think that I will be able to fix it but I am slightly nervous. Lakeiya’s (you can see all posts that include Lakeiya here and the most important one that indroduces her here) last day at the office is today, “sob, cry, wail,” and I made her three CDs to send her off on her way. One is full of soul, one is bubbly happy and fun, and the other isfull of really good songs. They are great CDs. I hope she enjoys them half as much as I do. I wanted to make sure the playlists were on my iPod so that I could enjoy them. I wasn’t sure if they were getting added properly so I synced them to the iPod. MISTAKE!!! It erased everything but those playlists. I should certainly know better but I was half asleep and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Of course my iTunes library is still intact. However, there are some songs on there that I can’t play in iTunes for reasons unknown. It can’t find the source file or something. Anyway, I think I can still put them on the iPod but I’m not sure. I know I can’t put them on CDs. I am so worried. All my Wesly Willis might be lost. Much of me Belle and Sebastian is also in that same boat. I’ll have to wait until I get home to be sure but keep your fingers crossed for me and for my shuffle game. One good thing to come out of it is that I can now clean up my iPod and get rid of all the crap that ended up on it.

Tomorrow my Blog will be one year old. It also happens to be Lakeiya's birthday. I don’t typically post on Saturdays and tomorrow will probably not be an exception to that rule. Because of that, I wanted to give this page a happy birthday a little bit early. Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting and making this a happy page. It has become more than something to do to keep me from being bored. It has become something I enjoy and has grown and has allowed me to be introduced to some interesting people. Happy Birthday to you, my Almost Interesting friend and to you my Certainly Interesting but Soon Departing friend.

The one unguessed song from this week:
These are the games that we employ/ I am a girl and you’re a boy/ No matter what you said to me/ I didn’t have the energy. happens to be “The Chair That Squeaks,” by The Rapture. I wouldn’t have known it either.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I have been tagged with a Stuart Smalley Meme that Blog Antagonist created. The theme of the meme is, of course, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, I like me. You have to list ten things you like about yourself. Being a somewhat self-deprecating person (although not so much on my blog) I found this a very hard task. I actually thought about just not tackling it at all for fear of not coming up with ten things. I will come up with ten but some might be pretty stupid. The ten things can be physical, mental, or whatever. Because I’m not all that brave, mine are going to be more mental or whatever than physical. I’m not all that proud of the physical right this second.

1. I have the ability to be truly empathetic. I don’t always use this ability because I can be a bit of a jerk but when it is needed I can empathize with the best of them. People often define empathy as the ability to imagine going through what someone else is going through and thereby understanding their feelings. That only scratches the surface. To truly empathize you have to deeply understand the other person because the way they feel about the situation depends on all their personal history, which is obviously different from yours and see how having their life experiences would change your opinion of the situation. Let me give a real clear cut example. Someone is in a hysterical fit because they misplaced and lost twenty dollars. You imagine losing twenty dollars and can see yourself bummed out and upset and depending on the week maybe slightly stressed but you aren’t in conniptions. Then you look at that person’s situation, they have three children no food in the refrigerator, the rent is due and the power is about to cut off. That twenty means a lot to them. I think empathy is a term many people take very lightly but to truly be helpful to someone you have to take it deeper.

2. I am funny. I’m no comedian and if I set out to make someone laugh I will probably do embarrassing dances or mediocre funny faces and not be all that successful. However, just as far as general conversation goes I tend to be a little bit funny. I think the people who really like me think I am more than a little bit funny. I’m not as funny as some; Monica and Tony have me beat hands down on that one. But I am funny. I also have the ability to pull funny out of bad situations (always remembering that some bad situations can’t be turned into laughter cause of the whole empathy thing) and that can be a good thing.

3. I take care of others before taking care of myself. I realize this is not necessarily a good thing in general. There are times when it can be downright detrimental to my personal wellbeing. Yet, it is something I really take pride in myself for. Not to say that I am never selfish because that would be a lie. I just try to care for those who really need me as much as I possibly can. I think that is one reason I tend to keep friends for a long time.

4. I have a nice smile and I use it. People tell me about my smile all the time and I would have to agree. I am a big smiley cheeseball. I like to see other people smile and me smiling is part of that. I like to see people happy.

5. I’m a thinker. I like to listen to many different ideas and take them all in and think about them and decided which parts I like and which parts I think are suspect. I like to write about what I think about and I often don’t share those thoughts because they are relatively difficult to articulate. I like to think about the nature of reality and humanity, the balance of nature and machine. I think about things I know are true and will impact the world and I think about the mystical and the magic that is surrounding us all. Thinking rules.

6. I am content. Like taking care of others first, this can be a dangerous one. Contentment can lead to apathy and that is never good. However, I have spent so much of my life not being content that it feels incredibly good to say that I am.

7. I like my feet. My feet are incredibly ugly as far as feet go but I have grown to like their grossness and oddities. I like them because they are small and shoes look good on them most of the time. I like them because they have memories and battle scars from everywhere I have been and everything I have done. I spent years and years hating and being scared of all feet (many of you already know this) and I no longer fear toes. Some toes I even like.

8. I trust my instincts and I don’t regret my decisions. If I have a gut feeling about something I’m going to go with it and I’m going to be right. I think that I know what is best for me in the long run and that I’m not going to sabotage myself or do things that I don’t want to do. My decisions often defy logic but I am ok with that. If I feel something is right I have to go for it. I certainly have steered myself in wrong directions before but I have always learned something from going the wrong way and that is ok.

9. My taste in clothes truly reflects me. Back in the day I dressed in a way that I thought would make me “cool” or make me fit in. By Jr. and Sr. year of High School I was pretty much over that. Once I went to college I didn’t look as strange as I did in High school because everyone at Sarah Lawrence is kind of a freak. Since college I have calmed down somewhat and settled more into myself and my clothes have calmed down as well but some days I know it is time for a Mushroom Dress. I’ll take friends opinions into consideration but when something is right for me it just is right and I have to go with it.

10. In general, I’m a cute girl. Sure, half the weight I lost last year is back and I’m none to pleased about it but at least it isn’t all back. I think I’m relatively well proportioned even though my proportions are bigger than ideal. I like my face a lot and I have nice hair that goes boing. People think I am younger than I am (although not much younger as they used to) and that makes me smile. Cute is a just fine thing to be.

Ok that was incredibly difficult. By thing 5 I thought I was pretty much done with everything and I had to stretch a little (see #7) but after finishing I kind of want to smile. I’m not tagging anyone with this. It is just too hard. However, if you want to do it you should. I will admit that you may feel pretty happy with yourself when you are done.

I forgot my iPod at home today!!!! Oh No!!!! so I can’t add any new songs to the shuffle. Here is the one still unguessed from yesterday.

1. These are the games that we employ/ I am a girl and you’re a boy/ No matter what you said to me/ I didn’t have the energy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


There are 38 days remaining until our office move. The moving coordinator is trying desperately to instill a sense of urgency in the staff but we just don’t care. It isn’t that we’re apathetic, although we are. It’s simply that it is hard to get excited about moving to a space that you have only seen on a large piece of foamcore. It’s a nice looking piece of foamcore and all but it just isn’t the same as actual space.

Our initial task is to put dots on things. Red dots are for items that are going to be thrown away and green dots are coming with us. The thing is, since I haven’t seen my new office, I don’t really know exactly what I want to bring with me. I have a big table that holds all my teaching materials. My boss seems to think that it should go. However, if I don’t have it I don’t know where I will keep my teaching materials. Will they get me a new table? Is there room for a table in my new office? No one seems to have answers for me.

The Executive Director and the Moving Coordinator suggested that I keep my desk. I told them I can but the bottom left drawer doesn’t open. They said I can put a red dot on it. Although I am excited at the prospect of a new desk, I am having visions of arriving to my new office and being deskless. I also have red dots on all my file cabinets because they don’t lock or they have locks and no keys. We are now to be required to lock all cabinets containing private information. Duh, we should have been doing that already. At least my office door is always locked so I feel a little better about the confidential stuffs in here. Anyway, I am picturing myself sitting in my chair, the only piece of furniture with a green dot amid a pile of student files, teaching materials, and random desk crap. It sounds awful.

I also don’t know how I can get the rest of my stuff ready for the move. I know I am supposed to purge things but the problem is that I don’t really have all that much to purge. My office, which I inherited, has all these old pictures on the wall of students, employees, and employers gone past. I know who maybe two of them are. If it were up to me, the pictures would all get red dots. I don’t want them in my new space. I don’t think I can throw them away though. Maybe someone else will want them in their new space? I just don’t want to deal with stuff that isn’t mine. In addition to the pictures I have a bunch of books, magazines, and assorted gunk that came with the office. I guess I can just toss it. That will feel kind of nice.

The biggest hassle about the move is that I have to take all my shoes home. The Eight or so pairs of heels that live under my desk are quite happy there and don’t’ really want to be carted back to my apartment and then brought to the new office. I thought about throwing them in the moving bins we will eventually be getting but we have been instructed to bring home “personal items”. I would assume that includes my shoes. If there is room in my bins they are so going in there. Screw it.

One wind song left. Four random new ones.

1. I listen to the wind/ To the wind of my soul/ Where I’ll end up well I think/ Only God really knows. The Wind of my Soul, Cat Stevens. Identified by Mood Indigo

2. Once I had a love and it was a gas/ Soon turned out had a heart of glass/ Seemed like the real thing, only to find/ Mucho mistrust, love's gone behind. Heart of Glass, Blondie. Identified by Katrina

3. Oh Elise it doesn't matter what you say/ I just can't stay here every yesterday/ Like keep on acting out the same. A Letter to Elise, The Cure. Identified by Danielle

4. These are the games that we employ/ I am a girl and you’re a boy/ No matter what you said to me/ I didn’t have the energy.

5. Can you hear them/ The helicopters/ Are in New York/ No need for words now/ We sit in silence. This Mess We're In, PJ Harvey featuring Thom Yorke. Identified by WLFG

Monday, July 23, 2007


I have been a little lax in my Manic Mondaying and I thought people may have begun to catch wind of that fact. However, as the word today is Wind (he he), I thought I would do a special shuffle with songs that have something to do with wind. If I can pull it off, that is. I also wanted to do a meme that With Love, Fat Girl had up that was all about Harry Potter. I promise this will be my final Potter post.

1. Butterbeer or Pumpkin Juice? Butterbeer, without a doubt. I like beer. I like root beer. I think I would like butter beer. Nice creamy beer is never bad. Pumpkin juice would taste too much like pie filling I think. Pie filling is good but beer is better.

2. What's your wand? The Elder Wand of course

3. What would be your Hogwarts house? I’ve been sorted a few times by a few different hats, although we know there is really just one. Every time I come up Gryffindor

4. If you were an animagus, which animal would you be? A bear cub and I would never grow to full size.

5. Which character do you resemble best? I don’t seem to recall any Black Jews in the Potter world. In fact, I recall very few Black characters at all. The only one I remember at all is some boy. I also don’t recall any Latina characters, I kind of look like them sometimes. I’m going to have to go with Padma Patil (Ron’s date to the ball in Goblet of Fire). Indian is as close as it gets for me.

6. What position would you play at Quidditch? Bludger without a doubt. My aim is no good and I’m not particularly fast but I have a heavy hand.

7. Pet? Scabbers or whatever that rat’s name was. It just figures my petwould be some evil little shit.

8. Which teacher is your favourite? Professor Trelawney for sure. She is a total dip, although she has a little power here and there. She cracks me up and the main characters have very little use for her. She is 90% comic relief.

9. What would your patronus be? Giant Mr. Snodgrass (plecostomos) I don't think anyone else has had a fish so mine would be super cool.

10. Which disgusting Bertie Bott's every flavoured bean would you be willing to try? I might try a meat flavored one just so I could see what it would taste like

11. Which Hogwarts room would you love to visit? The headmasters office, provided I get to use the pensive of course.

12. Favourite Harry Potter moment? The one at the end of book seven where...just kidding. I am going to go real classic and say when the letters flew into the cabin in book one.

The Wind songs are here and boy oh boy are they easy.

1. Catherine liked high places/ High up/ High up on the hills/ A place for making noises/ Like whales/ Noises like the whales. The Wind, PJ Harvey, Identified by Brooke.

2. After all the jacks are in their boxes/ And the clowns have all gone to bed/ You can hear happiness staggering on down the street/ Footprints dressed in red. The Wind Cries Mary, Jimi Hendrix. Identified by Johnny Yen.

3. In the chilly hours and minutes/ Of uncertainty/ I want to be/ In the warm hold/ Of your loving mind. Catch The Wind, Donovan. Identified by Mom.

4. How many roads must a man walk down/ before you call him a man/ How many seas must a white dove sail/ Before she sleeps in the sand. Blowin' In The Wind, Bob Dylan. Identified by Mom.

5. I listen to the wind/ To the wind of my soul/ Where I’ll end up well I think/ Only God really knows.

The songs from last week are as follows:
1. Down in the cellar in the Boho zone/ I went looking for some sweet inspiration/ Oh well, just another hard time and with Negro affectations. The Boho Dance. Joni Mitchell

2. I just wanna fuck bad bitches/ all them nights I never had bitches/ Now I’m all up in that ass bitches/ Mad at your boyfriend ain’t you. Fuck You, Dr. Dre

3. Well showing how it used to be/ So hard/ This hard /Used to get those kicks for free/ But now I’m towing the line. Multiply, Jamie Lidell

4. Oh we could rock/ Or we could bomb/ Or we could try/ Like super hard. Let’s Run, Le Tigre

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Don't worry, there are no spoilers here.

At about 10:30 this morning I was awakened by the doorbell. Tony opened the door and came back with a package. "The mail lady told me to enjoy my Harry Potter," he said. "I wanted to tell her it wasn't mine but I didn't." I thanked him and I was suddenly wide awake. It was reading time.

I sat in bed and read. I went out to the living room and read while watching the World Series of Pop Culture. I took a break to go out for brunch. I came home and read. I read for a long time. At about 9:30 I took a break to make some dinner. At 10:28 I was done.

Now I can go into the world and not worry. I was afraid that if I waited too long I couldn't help but have the ending spoiled by someone. Now I can go into every conversation without hesitation. I can open every blog and read every newspaper. When I hit stumbleupon on my browser I don't have to worry. It's all good.

Friday, July 20, 2007


It has been a few weeks since a proper Foodie Friday and I felt it was time to bring out one of my staples that I surprisingly haven’t posted yet. I’m talking stuffed mushrooms.

-1 container large mushrooms, (you can do it with the regular ones but that is a lot of stuffing action) washed, stems removed and diced
-1tbsp olive oil
-1 stalk celery diced
-1 medium onion diced
-2 cloves garlic diced
-1tsp rosemary
-¼ cup bleu cheese crumbled (can be made without or with more, brie also tastes mighty good in these)
-3tbps vegetable stock for stuffing and ½ cup for cooking in
-¼ cup (if I remember correctly but I could be totally wrong) cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

-Preheat oven to 375
-Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan
-Add onion and cook about 5 minutes
-Add celery and garlic cook about one minute
-Add mushroom stems and rosemary, cook until tender, about 5 minutes
-Stir in bleu cheese and cook about 1 min until well blended
-Add bread crumbs and cook for about 1 min
-Add 3tbsp vegetable stock and stir until ingredients make a nice paste type substance (you may need to add more crumbs or stock as this is all from memory and I haven’t made them in over a year)
-Spoon filling into mushroom caps placed in a large baking pan
-Pour stock into baking pan making sure the bottoms of the mushrooms are well covered
-Put in oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes
-Baste with stock a few times during the cooking process to make sure they are nice and juicy

I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about my work. Sometimes I don’t feel I do a very good job of explaining what it is that I do. Basically I teach a Customer Service Certification course at a workforce development focused non-profit and manage a contract for the state making sure our files are in order. However, my class and contract are part of a much bigger whole. It is an important whole and it doesn't get talked about very much on here. A prospective film person did a pro bono video for us and I figured I wanted to share.

1. Down in the cellar in the Boho zone/ I went looking for some sweet inspiration/ Oh well, just another hard time and with Negro affectations

2. I just wanna fuck bad bitches/ all them nights I never had bitches/ Now I’m all up in that ass bitches/ Mad at your boyfriend ain’t you

3. Well showing how it used to be/ So hard/ This hard /Used to get those kicks for free/ But now I’m towing the line

4. Oh we could rock/ Or we could bomb/ Or we could try/ Like super hard.

5. I know what you want/ The magpies have come/ If you know me so well then tell me which hand I use. Yes, Anastasia. Tori Amos. Identified by Brooke.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I finished War and Peace the other day. I was thoroughly unmoved. Although the book certainly had its strong points. Tolstoy was examining relatively recent events that shaped his world and he did so with grace. I actually found the War sections of the book more interesting than I thought I would. Regardless, I was more drawn to the Peace parts and the interconnections between various families. At the same time, I didn’t find either topic particularly moving. I much prefer Dostoyevsky's proletariat people to Tolstoy's aristocrats. If you haven’t read this book and plan to please be aware that there are some spoilers ahead. They come very soon in-fact. Stop reading unless you don't care.

In the footnotes of one of the first chapters, I was told that Pierre and Natasha would be the main characters in the book. Knowing how Russian Literature of the period tends to work, I assumed that this meant they would be love interests. I wasn’t surprised to find that the entire book led up to them getting married. The sad thing was that their marriage seemed to ruin both of them as interesting people. However, since they get together at the end of the book, you don’t have to suffer through much of their downfall.

Natasha was a trip in her own right. A beautiful wonderful girl whom everyone loved, she found her stimuli in singing, dresses, boys, and the occasional hunt. She was boy crazy from the beginning and, I believe, was about 9 or so when the book started. I think the boy was at least 16. I don’t really remember; it was thousands of pages ago. I think Pierre was in his late twenties at the beginning of the story. I know that differences in age were a different story in those times and that in some places they still aren’t as big a deal as I think they are. Even so, it grossed me out and made me hope that my supposition that they were to be wed would prove to be false. Throughout the book this girl did nothing but talk about boys, fall in love with Borris, go to balls, fall in love with Andrew, wait for Andrew to return, fall in love with some other Prince whose name I can’t remember but he got limbs cut off and then died, fall into a deep depression because Andrew left her, Reunite with Andrew on his deathbed and rekindle their affection, mourn his death (which was necessary so her brother could marry his sister), and fall in love with/marry Pierre (Andrew’s best friend). Those happenings took about seven hundred pages.

The other eight hundred pages were about the Napoleonic wars. While that information was relatively interesting, I could have read a history book and been spared some of the fluff. Then again, I wouldn’t have got the philosophical discussion about the nature of man and the nature of war. The idea that I found the most fun was how the people who plan for and execute wars never are truly in charge of them because victory depends primarily on the mood of the people on the front lines. It is a rather obvious premise, but interesting to explore nonetheless. The discussion of why certain battles were won and others lost was also of interest. Those looking back on history claim to see the planning and foresight that goes into turning the tides of war and tend to give generals too much credit and ignore all the chance occurrences that truly drive the course of action. It made sense to me.

I could have got all that in about three hundred pages or so. Maybe four if I want a lot of detail. No matter, I’m done now and I never have to read it again. After my first attempt succumbed to boredom I was determined that my second would be a success. I refuse to be conquered by another piece of literature. I will not have another Ulysses.

I am now reading The Areas of my Expertise, by John Hodgeman (sorry Monica I know I was supposed to give it to you). Something totally made up that I don’t even have to read in order sounded pretty good. It is.

1. Down in the cellar in the Boho zone/ I went looking for some sweet inspiration/ Oh well, just another hard time and with Negro affectations

2. I just wanna fuck bad bitches/ all them nights I never had bitches/ Now I’m all up in that ass bitches/ Mad at your boyfriend ain’t you

3. Well showing how it used to be/ So hard/ This hard /Used to get those kicks for free/ But now I’m towing the line

4. Oh we could rock/ Or we could bomb/ Or we could try/ Like super hard.

5. Waiting/ On a Sunday afternoon/ For what I read between the lines/ Your lies. Interstate Love Song, Stone Temple Pilots. Identified by Johnny Yen

Monday, July 16, 2007


The Pitchfork Music Festival:
Three (although I only went to two) days of awesomeness (and some disappointments as far as music quality goes). But all in all an awesome time. Monica got me a ticket for my birthday which was totally awesome. I would have gone anyway though.

I go pick up my tickets so that I can sell my Friday ones to Morgan and Cheryl because I don’t care about Slint, Gza, or Sonic Youth. Apparently I should care about Sonic Youth because “if I knew then I would know,” but I don’t know so it doesn’t matter. I then go home and chill out to prepare for a weekend of fun.

I wake up later than I planned but early enough to get there by 5pm to see Iron and Wine. I was actually early enough to see Grizzly Bear and I am glad I was because what a fun group of guys. I need to get some of their music and listen to it. They had great harmonies and made funny faces while making the harmonies. I could see their faces because we had the most awesome spot right up against the rail on the left side of the stage. Ah yeah. Iron and Wine was up next. I had been a little afraid that Iron and Wine would be too chill to put on a great show but boy oh boy was I wrong. That concert was AWESOME. Sam has a beard for the ages; the album cover with little birds nesting in it is an accurate representation. A poor lady stood for hours trying to get a picture with him but didn’t. Then it was time for Clipse. They aren’t the greatest Rap group I have ever seen but they can certainly rock a mic and put on an excellent show. The little white kids knew every word and were incredibly into it. I enjoyed myself as well.


Sunday was THE DAY. I was incredibly excited for two bands, although I was disappointed by both. Band one was Brightblack Morning Light which, as Tony said “doesn’t even make sense.” They are a group of ridiculous hippies with sticks and feathers and hippie smells. Yes, we were close enough to smell them. The problem was that their equipment wasn’t working and their set-up took too long and they only played for about 25 minutes and things weren’t even working during that time. They were still fun though. Then we headed over to the main stage to stakeout a spot for Of Montreal. Jamie Lidell was playing before them and Monica said he was supposed to be good and I was excited even though I knew nothing about him. His set started and I had a new hero. The man was INCREIBLE. His voice was like Jimmy Ruffin had a baby with Prince, Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder. The only thing was this baby came out white and scruffy complete with gold smoking jacket and turban with streamers coming of it. Needless to say I wasn’t expecting the voice when I saw him. He was a literal one man show. It was just him and his sound board. He mixed tracks by laying down vocal pieces and created complex beats. He had energy like you wouldn’t and that voice was awesome. I think he may have been the highlight of the festival and that is strange because Of Montreal is easily one of my favorite three bands. I’m not saying Of Montreal didn’t put on a great show, because they did, but I would have liked to see them play longer and play older stuff but I shouldn’t have expected that given the constricts of a festival. As Tony put it, “they put on an old fashioned rock show,” they had costumes, theatrics, jumped all around, and the lad singer got mostly naked. That’s what it’s all about. After the show Tony and I walked around and sat down to listen to half of De La Soul before I had to head home and sleep before my class this morning. We should have stayed though because after De La Monica and co. got backstage and met Jamie Lidell and Of Montreal. Crap. Oh well.

All in all, it was a great festival. I am a new shade of pink, but it is fading into a nice brown. I have the worst farmer tan in history and have a glasses tan to boot. At least I wear my glasses all the time so people don’t notice the big line down the middle of my face.

1. She’s a witch of trouble in electric blue/ In her own mad mind she’s in love with you/ With you. Strange Brew, Cream. Identified by Mom.

2. Down in the cellar in the Boho zone/ I went looking for some sweet inspiration/ Oh well, just another hard time and with Negro affectations

3. I just wanna fuck bad bitches/ all them nights I never had bitches/ Now I’m all up in that ass bitches/ Mad at your boyfriend ain’t you

4. Well showing how it used to be/ So hard/ This hard /Used to get those kicks for free/ But now I’m towing the line

5. Oh we could rock/ Or we could bomb/ Or we could try/ Like super hard.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I don’t know if you remember the case of the Jena Six. I first heard about them around December of last year. I remembered once I read abou them again, but it struck me how I had forgotten about it for so long. Here‘s a summation of the situation taken from the transcripts of a Report on the Jena Six by Jacquie Soohen, from an upcoming feature documentary by Big Noise Films.:

In September, a black student asked to sit under a tree where the white students sat; the next day three nooses were found hanging from the tree. In October, a black student was beaten for entering a private all-white party. Later that month, a white student pulled a gun on a group of black students at a gas station, claiming self-defense. The black students wrestled the gun away and reported the incident to police. They were charged with assault and robbery of the gun. No charges were ever filed against the white students in either incident. Then, in late November, someone tried to burn down the high school, creating even more tension.

Four days later, a white student was allegedly attacked in a school fight. The victim was taken to hospital and released shortly with a concussion. He attended a school function that evening. Six black students were charged with attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, on charges that leave them facing between twenty and one hundred years in jail. The defendants, ranging in age from fifteen to seventeen, had their bonds set at between $70,000 and $138,000. The attack was written up in the local paper as fact, and DA Reed Walters published a statement in which he said, "When you are convicted, I will seek the maximum penalty allowed by law."

The first of the Jena Six has been found guilty of aggravated battery and conspiracy. He is set to be sentenced July 31st and is facing 22yrs.

My favorite part of the Soohen transcript, which you can read fully here, was a comment by Barbary Murphy, the town librarian. “We don’t have a race problem. It’s not black against white. It’s crime. The nooses? I don’t even know why they were there, what they were supposed to mean. There’s pranks all the time, of one type or another, going on. And it just didn’t seem to be racist to me.” Maybe it is just me, but nooses are never just a prank. Nooses in this scenario certainly aren’t a prank, they are a threat. For the town librarian to be that ignorant of history is just a bit disturbing.

The black students attempted to stage a non-violent protest a few days after the nooses were hung. The school responded by calling the police and the DA. District Attorney Reed Walters told the students, “I could end your lives with the stroke of a pen.” He made good on his word.

I’m not saying the students shouldn’t be punished. In my experience suspension and expulsion are typically the result of in-school fights. Occasionally charges are brought but I haven’t ever seen anything this severe. Although the charges were reduced for the young man who has been convicted, other students still face attempted murder charges. In reading the transcript of an interview with the parents of the Jena Six I learned that the aggravated battery charge (which involves a weapon) was based on the use of a tennis shoe as a weapon. Some of the students are still in jail because their families can’t afford the incredibly high bail that was set. It also appears that some incredibly shady courtroom dealings (like the court appointed lawyer working with the DA) were going on in the first trial and the family plans to appeal but can’t afford another lawyer.

It seems that crazy cases are popping up left and right, Genarlow Wilson, Shaquanda Cotton, and now the Jena Six. Who knows what else crazy is going on that we just haven’t heard about yet?

Monday, July 09, 2007


As everyone knows I love TV. TV is a great friend to me. Lately, a new show has found its way into my world. This show is HBOs Flight of The Conchords. This show is so incredibly fantastic and wonderful I can't even tell you. Instead I'll have to show you. I tried to tell Monica about it and she was interested but when she saw it she became REALLY interested.

The band, Flight Of The Conchords, has apparently existed for some time and plenty of concert clips are available on YouTube. The clips have nothing on the show though. Everyone who doesn't have HBO should get it for the sole pleasure of watching these fantastic guys do hilarious things. Sometimes shows I love tend to get cancelled because people don't know how awesome they are. I doubt that will happen with this show because HBO usually gives programs a few seasons to get started. Plus, I have seen people caring about this program and there have only been 4 episodes so far. Just in case, I want to do my part to spread the word.

From the website the premise of the show is as follows:
Bret and Jemaine have moved to New York in the hope of forging a successful music career. So far they've managed to find a manager (whose "other" job is at the New Zealand Consulate), one fan (a married obsessive) and one friend (who owns the local pawn shop) -- but not much else.

This pretty much sums it up, except for the fact that they tend to burst into song a few times an episode. It also doesn't talk about how incredibly adorable Bret and Jemaine are. Then again, many people either don't care how adorable they are or will think I have lost my mind. Most of the time the songs are in their heads but sometimes they are legitimately singing. Their songs aren't just any songs either, they are wonderful hilarious insane songs that make you want to die and stuff. I can't wait until they incorporate "Albie (Racist Dragon)" into an episode. I wish I could show you more general clips from the show but most of the things you can embed are songs. The songs are particularly great though and I like to have some cohesion in my posts so here you go.

Now, before you start thinking how you don't like musicals or things where people randomly break into song you should just take my word for it. It's awesome. The clips are nice and short (about a minute and a half each) so it won't even take up too much of your time to indulge me.

1. If You're Into It. (Episode 4. Yoko. This episode is currently available for viewing on the website)
Bret wrote this song for his girlfriend Coco with the help of Jemaine. Bret's original version had been 2 hours of very off the wall things that Bret would do for Coco. You know, the typical climb the highest mountain kind of stuff. Jemaine pointed out that Bret probably wouldn't do most of those things and suggested he make the song more realistic. They talked about what Bret knew about Coco and decided they had enough material for a song. This is what they came up with.

2.Hip-Hopopotamus vs. The Rhymenocerous (Episode 3. Mugged)
Bret and Jemaine are in the process of being mugged because their manager had them out there bad and looking like obvious tourists. They thought about their rap identities and figured if the muggers knew who they really were they would not be mugged. The muggers just wondered why they were dancing and mugged them anyway.

3. She's So Hot, Boom (Episode 2. Bret Gives Up the Dream)
Bret gets a job holding signs to to supplement the bands income as they have not had any gigs. He gets really into signs. He also meets Coco. At this point, Coco is not yet his girlfriend but he sure does think she's hot. Boom.

4. Robot (Episode 1. Sally)
Murry, the band manager, has decided to make a video. Unfortunately his only video camera is on his cell phone. Ugh. The budget is a bit tight so they had to make costumes. Meanwhile, Jemaine tries to date Bret's ex-girlfriend Sally.

I hope you enjoy these clips a quarter of as much as I enjoy the show. If that is the case you will love them a lot.

To continue my obnoxious plugging of this great band I will give you three random songs by Flight Of The Conchords

1. The aforementioned Albie (Racist Dragon)

2. Part-time Model

3. Bowie Song

sorry for the many videos but if you have made it this far you obviously know these guys are incredibly hilarious and you are happy I included them.


Manic Monday for today is 7. To check out other takes on the theme visit Mo

I was initially stumped as the topic has never before been anything other than a word. While seven obviously is a word, it is more so a number. I thought and thought about what 7 meant to me. The one thing I kept coming back to was Prince’s song “7” from the album lovingly referred to as symbol.

I have always loved this song. How can you not what with the awesome music and utter coolness that is Prince. When I saw him in concert back in 2004 he played the song during his acoustic set. I hadn’t really thought about the song being played that way but it worked so well. It was easily the highlight of the concert for me.

One of the things that gets me about this song is the many ways that it can be interpreted. There is the obvious Biblical imagery that harkens to the seven cycles of events in the Book of Revelations but Prince is never that simple. He then juxtaposes that interpretation with the idea that after defeating the 7 that we will come into an age of enlightenment full of education and peace. I haven’t read revelations for a while but I don’t think that is what is supposed to happen as all the good people are supposed to be gone and stuff. Then again, it has been a while since I read it.

I also have heard talk that the song refers to the 7 countries with nuclear capabilities (this is before North Korea became #8) and I kind of like that idea. With intellect and savoir-faire we can smite the possibility of global destruction. Sounds good, right? There are 7 Continents and I suppose if the label and separation of Continent was destroyed there could be a unifying global federation (like in all the future movies) and that could theoretically bring about an age of enlightenment. If we were no longer concerned about geographical divisions and had to work together as one world things would supposedly have to change. Of course there are many other 7s. Deadly sins, days of the week, wonders of the world, major world religions, dwarves; but I don’t think they make as much sense in the song. Maybe the deadly sins but I don’t know if Prince would be the one to talk about the downfall of lust. Maybe it’s just an awesome song that makes you want to dance.

Coincidentally, the single reached number 7 on the US Pop charts.

I was able to find a video of an acoustic version of the song from his 2004 tour (although it was from the Iowa show and not Mpls) for you all to enjoy. You can make your own conclusions of its meaning from that.

And now to reveal the songs from last week’s guessing game.

1. I think I’ll walk to the moon/ I don’t think I’ll be back soon/ I’ll take some water and time/ And I’ll be fine/ Yes, I’ll be fine. Walk To The Moon, Persephone’s Bees

3. Stop the bus/ I want to be lonely/ When seconds pass slowly and years go flying by/ You gotta stop the bus/ And get off here. Jackson Cannery, Ben Folds Five

4. Canyon girl/ ‘neath imaginary skies is beckoning/ in a fictional world/ I fear I got no business being in. Canyon Girl, Fruit Bats

5. Well I’m coming through your window/ I see your family there/ Well I’m the midnight creeper/ When I go creepin’ ya’ll better beware. Midnight Creeper, Eagles of Death Metal

That group of songs kind of makes me want to wear floods and small jackets. Maybe a rainbow belt and a polka dotted head band for extra coolness.

Friday, July 06, 2007


I have nothing delicious to write about on this particular Friday although I did just consume a delectable albeit overpriced quesadilla at Macy’s. In defense of it’s over pricedness it came with a salad, but not much of a salad. Yet, once I was done, the deliciousness of the marinated mushrooms, poblanos roasted with onions and Chihuahua cheese made me feel better about the price. It was essentially worth it. Yum.

Last night I had a very strange dream. I was back at school and it was the day before graduation. There were instances of stress-filled debauchery everywhere you could turn. People were breaking down, hooking up, and throwing up around every corner. A large portion of the dream took place in the public restroom. There weren’t many public restrooms at school and certainly not any of this size. The way the doors were arranged made no sense. One stall opened into the next, people talked while handling their business, gender separation was out the window, and dogs were abundant. It was a strange bathroom.

One of the oddest things about graduation was that people from both my High School and College were there. A few people that I never went to school with at all were there. Regardless of that fact, we were all graduating. The weirdest thing was that I had no idea what we were graduating from. Even though the dream took place at a school I don’t think it was a school graduation. I remember shady snippets of the earlier parts of the dream and they were more focused on parties and celebrations of achievements but not scholastic ones. Maybe we were graduating from life?

I miss graduations. I miss having a set end date by which time you will have exhibited your knowledge of a particular subject or subjects and that learning will be recognized. People that come to see you will be proud and will shake your hand. They will be there for you and your achievements. You are the center of attention at graduation. I don’t care if you graduate last in your class there are always some who don’t graduate at all. With graduation, even being the worst is something to celebrate. Not so with life.

In the greater experience that is life, your achievements are rarely recognized. Or, if they are, only a select group of people care. Instead your achievements are expected and seen as part of growing-up. If you get a promotion or a new job people might give you a pat on the back and maybe a piece of cake but the same outpour of support, excitement, and adoration just isn’t there. Instead people are jealous. They wonder why it is you and not them that gets the cake. They wish you well on your journey while they contemplate taking your stapler. You know you have the good one.

I guess if I want that overwhelming positive feeling of achievement while embracing and saying good-bye to a stage of life I better get my butt back to school. Even so, I know it won’t be the same. For adults things are just different. Everyone has their own agenda and even when it comes to education they do it differently. I’m never going to live in a dorm again. I’m never going to another school dance. I’m not going to participate in any of those activities that bring people together because I can’t. If I could I don’t even know if I would want to. I’m done with that.

So what was my dream telling me? Was it saying I am ready for a change? Was my mind telling me that I have reached the point where this stage of life can teach me no more and I have to move on? Was it just a really random dream that was made up of all the other dreams I had over the course of a long night that got jumbled together between the tones of the alarm and meant nothing? I may never know. I just know it made me feel warm and cozy and part of something old on it’s way to becoming something new.

1. I think I’ll walk to the moon/ I don’t think I’ll be back soon/ I’ll take some water and time/ And I’ll be fine/ Yes, I’ll be fine

2. There lived a certain man in Russia long ago/ He was big and strong in his eyes a flaming glow/ Most people looked at him with terror and with fear/ But to Moscow chicks he was such a lovely dear. Rasputin, Boney M. Identified by The Doc. Who is incredibly cool for knowing this insane mess.

3. Stop the bus/ I want to be lonely/ When seconds pass slowly and years go flying by/ You gotta stop the bus/ And get off here.

2. Canyon girl/ ‘neath imaginary skies is beckoning/ in a fictional world/ I fear I got no business being in

5. Well I’m coming through your window/ I see your family there/ Well I’m the midnight creeper/ When I go creepin’ ya’ll better beware

Thursday, July 05, 2007


There is nothing like having a day off in the middle of the week to throw off your schedule. I am now wondering why I didn’t think to take today and tomorrow as vacation days. It would have made so much sense. Maybe I’ll take Monday? Maybe not.

I’m not complaining. I was happy to have the 4th off of work. It is what was supposed to happen. It allowed for some BBQing and that is something that I don’t get to experience too often. Our apartment has a very small back “porch” type area and we aren’t allowed to grill. There was a plethora of fantastic food to be had and more beer was drank that probably should have been possible. For most of the day there were seven people there. Three more showed up later but they didn’t drink much at all. I think there were 60 beers purchased and at least 50 were drunk. That comes to around 7 or so beers a person. It doesn’t seem possible that I drank that much because I barely felt a buzz but I also usually had a beer. I was there for 8 hours. I suppose anything is technically possible.

One thing that really can’t be beat is grilled corn on the cob. Corn was the real motivation for the BBQ. Other foods are just dandy but not much beats the deliciousness of a hot fresh off the grill butter covered cob of grilled corn sprinkled generously with chili powder. That’s the stuff to use people. Salt is for suckers. The meat eaters brought some meat and the boys from Ohio were pretty adept at grill-mastering. That meant that Jamie, our usual and “competent” grill-master got to spend more time chillin'. That’s how it should be.

There were dogs there. Jamie has a French Bulldog and Jaclyn has a Boston Terrier. The two are tremendous friends. They romp and play and are easily the most entertaining thing at any gathering. Unfortunately, their playing leaves them both relatively moist, what with the biting and licking and all, and they like to play underfoot. I am a little freaked out sometimes by moist dog. I know they don’t go around peeing on themselves but you never know. They had a whole yard to romp in and they romped under our feet on the patio. We moved the table into the yard to catch some shade (which terrified me because I know the yard gets poopy) and they romped under our feet in the yard when there was a whole patio to romp on. Dogs are funny. What attention whores they are.

Sometime soon I am going with Monica to find her a doggie. I am really looking forward to it. I am also looking forward to the day when Tony and I can get a dog. We have to get a different apartment first (I am 90% sure) and that is sad because our place is the absolute best. It has a dishwasher. Tat might not be major to some of you but that is big stuff to me. I’ve never had a dog. Tony has. I have my perfect dog in mind but Tony is more of the just find a good one and take it home type of guy. Because of my allergies I think I can be a little pickier and get the dog of my dreams. I hope I hope I hope I can get one eventually. How cute would I be walking this thing around? The Welsh Corgi is my friend. I would take a Cardigan (with tail) or a Pembroke (no tail see above). They are both utterly adorable.

Song 1 is the only one left after the first shuffle. Katrina is one the right track with Green Day. That should bring out the title.

1. Something’s on my mind/ It’s been for quite some time/ This time I’m on to you. Fuck Off and Die (F.O.D), Green Day. Identified by Monica.

2. I got a letter form the DMV the other day/ I opened it read it/ It said they were suckers/ They tried to tell me that my license was suspended/ I got offended for a minute then pretended. Mr. Officer, The Pharcyde. Identified by Monica.

3. I think I’ll walk to the moon/ I don’t think I’ll be back soon/ I’ll take some water and time/ And I’ll be fine/ Yes, I’ll be fine

4. Mommy had/ A little baby/ There he is/ Fast asleep/ He’s just/ a little plaything/ Why not/ Wake him up. Stay Up Late, Talking Heads. Identified by Mom.

5. There lived a certain man in Russia long ago/ He was big and strong in his eyes a flaming glow/ Most people looked at him with terror and with fear/ But to Moscow chicks he was such a lovely dear.

Monday, July 02, 2007


The Manic Monday topic for today is Independence. To check out the other Manic Monday participants go visit Mo.

When I think about independence I think about growing up. I think about setting out on your own and not needing the watchful hand of your parents as much as you once did. I think of being able to take care of yourself in a mature and healthy manner. Then I think about all the people who think they are independent and aren’t.

Many people would define independence as not having to rely on others. I think that is a little far-fetched. We all have to rely on some things other than ourselves to maintain a comfortable life in this world. Even the independently wealthy have to rely on their trusts and their stocks and the market to maintain their independence. To be 100% independent you would have to live on land you own, grow your own food, make cloth from your animals, and sew your own clothing. While that type of independence was once attainable, it just isn’t practical today.

I don’t think independence means only relying on yourself to make ends meet. That just isn’t the way our world is designed. Instead independence today has a lot to do with responsibility. It has a lot to do with “making it” and being well-organized. It doesn’t mean that you don’t ever need help. It just means that you can take care of yourself most of the time.

I remember many times when I thought I was independent but wasn’t. The most obvious example was my 18th birthday. I graduated from high school and turned 18 on the same day. I thought I was large and in charge. Despite the fact that I had been awake for 72 hours, my independent mind told me that I didn’t need a ride home after my all-night Sr. party. I was wrong and my car paid for it heavily. Then, when my parents and sister pulled away from my dorm I thought I had certainly arrived. I didn’t need anyone. Let’s ignore the fact that my housing, food, and education were being taken care of. Let’s ignore the fact that my grades Freshman year were less then ideal because I wasn’t forcing myself to focus as much as I should. I still thought I was in control. I did ok. But there were nights when I needed plenty of help.

Even after graduating and moving out on my own I don’t think I was truly independent. I needed a lot of help the first six months or so. I did ok. I eventually got a decent job and needed less and less help all the time. By the end of year one I could confidently say that I was independent. Looking back, I think I technically was. However, I wasn’t anywhere near where I am today.

I am now a master of balancing work and play. Maybe that is because as I have gotten older I don’t want to play as much as I used to. I like to think it is because I have grown up and know better. I am comfortable in knowing that, while my life might not be ideal it is still mine and that no one can change things for me. I have to do it myself. Sure, I know that if I fall on hard times people will be there to take care of me. I’ll always have my support network and I am more than grateful for that. I just like to know that it is relatively unlikely that I will need it. That, I think is the true meaning of independence.

Let’s guess that song!

1. Something’s on my mind/ It’s been for quite some time/ This time I’m on to you

2. Like the latest fashion/ Like a spreading disease/ Kids strappin’ on the way to the classroom/ Getting weapons with the greatest of ease. Come Out And Play, Smash, Offspring. Identified by Janeylynne

3. Now somewhere in the black mining hills of Dakota there lived a young boy named Rocky Racoon/ One day his woman ran off with another guy/ Hit young Rocky in the eye. Rocky Racoon, The White Album, The Beatles. Identified by Johnny Yen

4. Look at the sky turn a hellfire red/ Somebody’s house is burning/ Down down down down. House Burning Down, Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix. Identified by Mom.

5. Deaf dumb and blind boy/ He’s in a quiet vibration land/ Strange as it seems his musical dreams/ Ain’t quite so bad. Amazing Journey, Tommy, The Who. Identified by Johnny Yen

It is quite possible someone could get this entire shuffle. If they do they are automatically admitted into the Cool Club.