Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Lyrics Game, Part 2!

This time, the theme is: songs from CDs I took with me to Christmas!

I'm doing the first lyrics, first song with lyrics I can make out well enough to transcribe, as long as the first lyrics do not give away the name of the song, which would be indicated with "...". Some of these should be extremely easy. Some might not be. Um, and some aren't so much lyrics as samples or talking or what have you. Post your answers in the comments to receive credit: song title and artist. Album title if you know it.

ETA: The contest is now over, due to lack of responses. I'm adding the answers now.

1. "Liar, liar, with your pants on fire." Tom Waits, "Heart Attack and Vine"
2. "Gonna find a way to get home strong, gotta find a way back home." Mojave 3, "Bluebird of Happiness"
3. "I stepped onto the (unintelligible)way. I was looking for the pirate ship." Slint, "Breadcrumb Trail"
4. "He's just what people say he is." Plan B, "Rich and Greedy"
5. "People say they ain't got ... I got ... They go like this." The Gossip, "Rules for Love"
6. "... brings the dawn in. It's just a restless feelin' by my side." Velvet Underground, "Sunday Morning"
7. "This ... plan is random at best. This ..., how much more can I take." Built to Spill, "Strange"
8. "When I sat down on the bed next to you, you started to cry." Wilco, "At Least That's What You Said"
9. "Inside you're pretending, crimes have been swept aside." Portishead, "Mysterons"
10. "Thought I felt a chill, thought an underrated skill." Lambchop, "Daily Growl"
11. "Here comes the hardest part, but I don't need you, I can break my own heart." Track Star, "Feet First"
12. "Buy more stock in ... Millionaires will always woo." The Magnetic Fields, "Roses"
13. "My name is ..., my mother birthed me down a dry ravine." The Decemberists, "Leslie Anne Levine"
14. "Whoa, baby, you can walk, you can talk, just like me." Talking Heads, "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel"
15. "Don't fall in love with me yet, we've only recently met." The Magnetic Fields, "Absolutely Cuckoo"
16. "It's a ..., this life. Tryin' to make ends meet, you're a slave to the money, then you die." The Verve, "Bittersweet Symphony" (for the record, i cannot fucking believe no one knew that one.)
17. "..., mistakes, misfits. Raised on a diet of broken biscuits." Pulp, "Mis-shapes"
18. "Hey, I can't find nothin' on the radio. Yo, turn it to that station." REM - Radio Song (Aja)
19. "Have you ever been all right? Set up every single night." 764-HERO, "Oceanbound"
20. "If travel is searching, and home what's been found, I'm not stopping." Bjork, "Hunter"
21. "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine." Patti Smith, "Gloria"
22. "You walked into my house last night. I couldn't help but notice a light that was long lost still burning strong." Beth Orton, "Stolen Car"

This is missing three albums, two because the lyrics are too obscure to hear, and the other because it's too freaking obvious to believe ("Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band").

Because I'm unoriginal...

The Christmas Round-up of Champions -- Listmaking 1 and 2.

I gave away very few gifts this year, because I have been mostly unemployed, and also I suck, and also I had no idea so many people were going to give me gifts.

Mom: a 75-piece Dremel tool set for her birthday (shared with Margot), stocking stuffers including a few strange greeting/postcards, fat-free candy, Altoids gum, smelly soaps, Burt's Bees lip balm, and David Sedaris's Holidays on Ice
Margot: two books, "An Unquiet Mind" by Kay Redfield Jamison and "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut. She loves books about mental illness and has never read Vonnegut, which I thought was a horrible oversight on her part.
Paul: A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More
Kahnya and Putyda: three Dr. Suess books, "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish," "Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?" and "A Fish Out of Water." I read the first two to Kahnya at bedtime, which she enjoyed. I also made Tida a sock creature that looks very strange.
Kevin: we exchanged gifts a few weeks ago, actually, but I gave him the Seinfeld box set, a book about hiking trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and a pair of slippers.

So, now contrast that with stuff I got, and from so many people! I feel loved. And rude for not reciprocating.

Mom: Always a generous Santa. I got an 8" chef's knife, kitchen scraper, some cookbooks, another 6 months of Netflix, all four seasons of Mr. Show, the Nikki McClure 2005 calendar, a heated lap blanket, probably several other things I am neglecting to mention, and of course, the beach house and the food and the driving to Seattle when she didn't need to just so I could see my friends before I went home again. On top of that, she gave me $100 to "have fun" on New Years Eve. I am a lucky girl.
Margot: candy and other small goodies, licorice for Kevin, and two books, "Naked Pictures of Famous People" by Jon Stewart and "May Contain Nuts," which has several comedic pieces in it.
Paul: "Left of Cool" by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Kahnya and Putyda: no gifts for me, they were just cute and I got to hang out with them and aren't babies precious awwww.
Kevin: master of the practical gift I am too cheap to buy myself, he got me a fabulous toaster oven and a new computer case into which every part fits so the power supply isn't propped up on a piece of cardboard, hovering over the open case. This one also lacks ex-boyfriend karma and is pretty silver.
Kevin's dad: "America: The Book" by Jon Stewart and others for my birthday, and a warm and fuzzy fleece-type jacket for Christmas.
Kevin's mom: a heated blanket so I stop shivering in bed and subscriptions to two of my favorite magazines, Bitch and Seed.
Sarah: a pretty scarf and some nice smelly soap
Sarah's mom: bath gel and a scrubby
Josie: soap and a scrubby
Uncle Ken and Aunt Deb: a pretty purse
Kevin's sister: warm socks

I think that is a fairly exhaustive list. In less tangible gifts, I was able to spend time with Josie and Christine down at the beach, which was a lot of fun, and then they took me to the bus station so I could go to Olympia and spend time with my aging grandparents. The next evening, I got to go to Seattle and see my Uncle Ken, Aunt Deb, and cousin Sheila, who is my age and contemplating doing a teaching program in Japan after she graduates with her English degree this year. Then I got to spend a few hours with Jana, Lindsay, Graylan, and Chris, see Jana and Chris's truly fabulous new place, and eat at Neelam's on Greenwood, which was every bit as good as I remembered.

I may have more stories later, but until then... I'll post another stupid lyrics game in a bit. Maybe this one will be easier.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The end.

Since I'm leaving in a couple hours for the holiday, the Lyrics Game is now over. Aja won with four answers, and Julie came in second with three. Congratulations, guys! You win the satisfaction of knowing you were right!

1. Frank Black - Los Angeles*
2. Minus the Bear - Monkey!!!Knife!!!Fight!!!*
3. Thirft Store Junkies - Thrift Store War
4. Local H - Bound to the Floor*
5. Carly Simon - You're So Vain*
6. Old 97s - Nightclub
7. The Impossibles - This Is Fucking Tragic*
8. The Pills Kick In - Apologize
9. Super Furry Animals - Juxtapozed with U
10. Gravy Train - Hella Nervous
11. The Mountain Goats - See America Right*
12. The Refreshments - Banditos
13. Built to Spill - Girl
14. Ben Folds - Make Me Mommy*
15. Rjd2 - Ghostwriter*
16. Blondie - Divine
17. Luna - Friendly Advice*
18. Dead Kennedys - Chickenshit Conformist
19. AC/DC - TNT
20. Ween - Piss up a Rope*

The asterisk indicates ones that were guessed.

I don't have much to tell, except that on Sunday, Kevin and I went to Point Lobos with his mom for her birthday and saw a freakin' WHALE. It was a gorgeous day to boot.

We had no work today, basically, so I came home around noon. Kevin is supposed to come home at 3:30 and take me to the airport. I am hoping I can avoid checking my luggage, but I think it might be just slightly oversized.

Friday, December 17, 2004

The Song Lyric Game.

My brother did this, and he hardly listens to any music with lyrics, so here's my list. These are taken from a playlist sitting in my home directory. For fun, let's just use the first lines of the songs.

Post your answers in the comments and if you lack a blogger account, please leave your name. I'll try to cross these off as they're answered.

Also, you get extra points if you discover any mishearings (i.e., "'scuse me while I kiss this guy.").

1. "I met a man, he was a good man, sailin' and shorin'..." Frank Black - Los Angeles (Aja)
2. "'It's getting late,' she said. She touched my face. 'Let's stay out late as we can.'" Minus the Bear - Monkey!!!Knife!!!Fight!!! (Julie)
3. "They're fightin' on the aisle and they're fightin' on the floor."
4. "Born to be down, I've learned all my lessons before now." Local H - Bound for the Floor (Aja)
5. "You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht." Carly Simon - You're So Vain (Mom, who won't post a comment)
6. "1,800 miles from this ol' nightclub, a girl is turning 22 today."
7. "We've come to feel so cold." The Impossibles - This Is Fucking Tragic (Aja)
8. "I could be wrong and still I argue when I'm weak."
9. "It's easy when you know how to get along with a..."
10. "You make me nervous."
11. "I was driving up from Tampa when the radiator burst." The Mountain Goats - See America Right (Aja)
12. "So just how far down do you wanna go?"
13. "Sitting 'round the railroad station, reading books 'bout intimidation."
14. "Oh, mommy, she touched me, mommy!" Ben Folds - Make Me Mommy (Christine, because Kevin was too lazy to come post the ones he knew)
15. "B-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-back again my nizzle." Rjd2 - Ghostwriter (Sammy was close enough)
16. "Not of this world, entirely."

And four more to round it out:

17. "Cover my face with roses, cover me head to toe." Luna - Friendly Advice (Julie)
18. "Punk's not dead, it just deserves to die."
19. "See me ride out of the sunset on your color TV screen."
20. "My dinner's on fire while she watches TV." Ween - Piss Up A Rope (Julie)

Some of these are a little obscure, while others will be obvious to certain individuals. Have fun.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Tomato soup.

It's delicious and worth waiting for, although I don't know why I did.

I've been wanting tomato soup and grilled cheese for two days now. I just needed to make the soup, which is... insanely easy.


-olive oil/butter (for sauteeing)
-one medium or two small onions, minced
-two or three cloved of garlic, crushed and minced
-a bay leaf
-large (28 oz.) can of tomatoes--the best would be a Muir Glen Organic fire-roasted variety, but you can make do with a lesser canned tomato as long as it's packed in water and not puree.
-appx. half a can of tomato paste
-diced zucchini or other vegetable, if desired
-1/2 c. dry white wine or sherry
-salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

Saute the onions and garlic in oil/butter until softening, then throw in the zucchini, if you're using it, and the bay leaf. Open the can of tomatoes and drain all liquid into a 1-quart measuring cup. Top off with water until you have 3 cups of liquid. Set aside. Now chop the tomatoes if they are not already diced and stir them into the pot along with the tomato paste. Then add the wine and liquid, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer for awhile. Add salt and pepper shortly before serving. Tastes good with a dollop of hummus, too.

So that's what I had for dinner, along with a bit of salad and a grilled cheese--sprouted wheat bread with some of the Mediterranean blend cheese from Trader Joe's.


Monday, December 13, 2004

"Moreso" is not a word and other lessons learned.

I'm 23 now, and I can admit when I've made a mistake.

"Moreso" is not a word. Until today, neither my boss nor I had any idea that was the case. We'd both used it as a word many times, then today the subject came up, so we consulted several dictionaries and Google, all of which shot us down.



We spent my birthday in Santa Cruz, mostly with Kevin's dad and his girlfriend. We hiked around Nicene Marks for a couple hours, made curry, and ate a crazy chocolate mousse cake thing from a local bakery that was to die for. (Really. It could probably kill you. But it was really good.) Then Kevin and I did a little Christmas shopping at Bookshop Santa Cruz and visited his mom before heading home in the wee hours of the morning.

I convinced him to come see I Heart Huckabees with me on Sunday afternoon. It's playing at the second run theater for a trifling $3.50.

Also, his coworkers have set up a website where they can ask him questions about being vegan. They call him Tofu. It's very amusing, but I'm not sure I'm at liberty to share the link. And also, it's Monday, which is a night of extremely terrible network TV, and I am watching probably the worst of the lot, which causes me to yell at the TV.

There are two work-related holiday parties this week, one of which requires me to dress up and socialize in the evening. Obviously, Kevin is not going to join me, because he doesn't do that kind of thing. The other one is a lunchtime potluck and Secret Santa gift exchange. I got a present for someone I barely know. I'm going to make hummus and bring pitas and pearl tomatoes.

This is a very boring entry, no? I don't know. There's isn't that much to discuss. I should go make some food involving this odd assortment of vegetables floating around my kitchen: beets (with greens), cauliflower (which I chopped up and froze yesterday, so it's not an imperative), zucchini, spinach, mixed greens, snow peas, and a yam. I'm thinking of roasting a few of those things, or making a beet-based soup and cooking some barley. I don't know.

GOD I hate these fucking McDonald's commercials. Almost as much at the Old Navy Christmas jingles. Those make me want to throttle my TV.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Songs that made my year.

Not a best-of list by any means, just music that got to me. That had an attachment.

1) "The New Year," Death Cab for Cutie. I started off 2004 by traveling to Asia and getting my passport stamped for the first time. The song is appropriate, and the album it's from kept me company on a few lengthy journeys from one point to another. They may be a Northwest band, but this song and this time I will forever associate with southern Thailand.

2) "Cry Me a River," Justin Timberlake. Am so not kidding, either. Heard this so many freakin' times during my three weeks abroad, I couldn't help but like it. Actually, it could be another Justin Timberlake single, for all I know, I just can't remember the names of any other song.

3) "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," Neutral Milk Hotel. In a blatant attempt to revive my ailing indie cred... heh. During my two months of doing nothing before spring quarter, I picked up the guitar again a few times. This song's chord progression is simple (G, Em, C, D) and I always go back to it. It's all I can remember anymore.

4) "A Cautionary Song," the Decemberists. Or anything off Castaways and Cutouts, really, although I am fond of their most recent album, too. I forced my mom to listen to it on our long road trip for the 100 miles I drove I-80 across Nevada.

5) "Fit But You Know It," the Streets. I can't explain my attraction to this song. Gabe sent me the album, and I listened to it, liked it, but mostly forgot it, until this song got airtime on KEXP, and it got stuck in my head on a pretty regular basis.

6) "Hummingbird," Wilco. The more I listen to Wilco, the more I enjoy the shit out of them. They're just fucking good. This song is all super Beatlesque, but the harmonies are lovely.

7) "Mad Bombers," Plan B. I rented the movie "Network" and realized the voice samples in this song are from that movie. Awesome. Also, I saw Plan B perform at Bumbershoot after the Laptop Battle--who knew you could perform music with a laptop?--and they were pretty rad.

8) "Monkey Gone to Heaven," the Pixies. Because it's the motherfucking Pixies, and I saw them, bitches.

9) "Such Great Heights," the Postal Service. Oh, god, this goes on every indie chick's list from this year and last, but whaaaatever. It's great city driving music.

10) "Hallelujah," Jeff Buckley. Who would've known my mom and I could find common ground in music (aside from certain Beatles albums and Simon and Garfunkel)? May he rest in peace.

11) "Found a Job," Talking Heads. Hee. If you're not doing what you love... then something isn't right. Words to live by, especially when you're desperately seeking employment. And direction.

12) "See America Right," the Mountain Goats. I did a lot of driving this year, and I listened to one Mountain Goats CD repeatedly. It wasn't this one, but I still like the song.

How should the year end?

I can never go home again.

I'm not saying that like I can never go back to the Pacific Northwest and see people, or like I'd never even consider moving back. I just mean it in the philosophical sense, that home is an idea, and once you leave, you can never get it back.

It's a weird feeling, knowing you've left what felt like home. Knowing things are now different, I mean, really different. And that, in a small way, I have to mourn that idea of home, just as I did when I left Portland, as I did when anything major changes. A part of what was will never be again.

I'm getting used to it still. San Jose isn't a place I can really call home. Maybe someday, but right now, it's just the place I am. Kevin is more than the person I'm with, of course, but the place itself lacks that sense of meaning that makes a home. My whole identity, at least, many superficial parts of it, have been so altered that it will take time for the dust to settle and my self to re-emerge.

I know this is right. I know that it had to happen. I took graduated steps out of the nest and into adulthood. The order and the time were right.

Here in my room, I am surrounded by reminders of home. The sheets on the windows I used at the two previous houses. One was from my freshman dorm, the other from my sister's childhood bed. A poster in Russian from Christine, another of the Gossip, a band I saw with several friends on multiple occasions. A sketch of San Francisco my dad drew when he was in college. The vibrating hula frog my parents brought me from their last vacation together. The sarong I bought in Kuala Lumpur for too many ringgit, no matter how much haggling Meesh and Winnie tried. Dozens of framed pictures, mosting scenery, from car trips, family vacations, and old neighborhoods. A sculpture I made in 8th grade, my two best friends at my side; a painted dish from an ex-boyfriend's friend in Ann Arbor; a ceramic kitten from the Japanese teachers I worked for one summer. A collection of music that marks almost every day of the last nine years.

I keep these things around to let myself believe some part of the home I left still exists.

But here, it's as though I am barely born. The youngest in the office, alone and lost and hardly fearless in my navigation of these suburban streets, finding my way.

There is ration, and there is truth. And I hope I can measure out the appropriate amounts of each as fuel in the journey onward.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Temperature out of control.

This morning, it's 47 degrees Fahrenheit inside my house. I did not want to get out of bed, but I also can't stand to stay in bed with nothing to do when I'm no longer sleepy.

So I got up and turned on the heat, just enough so I don't freeze my leg hairs off (although perhaps that would be a reasonable hair removal method), came in here, and realized Kevin had moved my computer from the old case to this shiny new silver case, in which every component fits. It was a birthday or Christmas present.

See, last night, we both decided we weren't sure if our gifts to each other were reasonable (given the other person's gift) or extravagant, so we just got it all out of the way. I know. But we weren't going to be together on Christmas and, really, what's waiting another week for the birthdays? I know. Dorks.

The other thing he gave me was a nice convection toaster oven. I baked potatoes. Now I can make toast in the mornings without having to struggle with the lever that always pops up three times, then stays down until my toast is practically burned. It has a dehydrate mode that requires an additional set of racks, but that is still cool. I could make my own dried fruit! Why this excites me, I have no idea.

I gave him the Seinfeld box set (it was on sale at Fry's, but still a lot...only it's a much better deal as a set than as individual seasons), slippers, and a book on hiking trails of the Santa Cruz Mountains, which I hope we can use in the spring. His gifts to me were more extravagant, but in proportion to income or how much we'd normally spend on gifts or whatever, it came out even.

Okay, and the thing everyone actually cares about: work. Well, maybe you don't. Maybe you're just glad I'm not going to be whining about the wretched job application process anymore. Maybe you think I can't complain about being broke (but mister, you'd be wrong). But I'm going to tell you anyway.

Work is going to be a good thing. I like the people I'm working with, including my boss, in whose office I sit. The job has a steep learning curve and I can tell I am catching onto more and more every time I get my hands on something. At first I felt very, very dumb, but now I am pretty sure I'll get it. My boss tells me it will take six months to a year to learn everything, or enough that things will be truly my responsibility. (Not that I won't go full-time for that long, just that's how long it will take to really get it.)

It is almost a culture shock to be in an office with grown-up people all of a sudden. The politics of people at school are wildly different, in my experience, and the pool is a lot smaller. I am also the youngest person there, which gets a certain amount of ribbing. People take hourlong lunches to a variety of nearby establishments. Everyone complains about traffic. I don't know. I've grown up with a certain set of unconscious and conscious expectations about the office environment, so it's weird to step into that reality.

That, and the thermostat tends to be way up there, so stepping into the chilly noon or evening is kind of pleasant.

Coming home to it sucks, though.

Especially the water. No wonder I don't want to do the dishes.