I think this is the tenth year I'm hauling out my music collection in a manner of speaking to go over songs that from this day on I'll hear and remember the past year. Every high, every low, every middle-ish sort of okay moment I was grateful to have.
Sure, Love Song by Sara Bareilles and So What by Pink made my list, because I'm a girly little girl. Nan and Mum ended up liking I Kissed A Girl by Katy Perry and Out of Our Heads by Sheryl Crow, but then there were songs I liked just because they were bizarre, like We're Brothers Forever by Reynaldo Lapuz. What? You didn't see that? Don't watch Idol? Then you may not know how fantastic David Cook is.
Part of my eternal paradox is that I'm rabidly active in politics AND I watch American Idol. Crazy, I know, but
Cookie David Cook made it worthwhile. His new album is great, the track Bar-Ba-Sol ended up meaning quite a bit to me not only because the lyrics are frikkin' fantastic.
There are people and cats and dogs and birds I've loved and places I've been in every one of these songs, so it's not just me spouting the names of albums that came out, no. Chinese Democracy finally arrived, for instance, and a week later the title track came on the radio and I didn't recognize it as one of the new ones. That's not how these songs end up on my list. I'm giving you the ones I'll never forget.
With the sort-of exception of We'll Go Walking by The Silver Seas, which was the first new song heard in 2008, and I can't say I've heard it since. I seem to recall liking it though.
I'd like to yammer on, but time's ticking away, so enough of that, here's some videos to songs you can use to recapture 2008 if you ever feel the need to:
Invisible Man - Joe Jackson
Conquest - White Stripes
What's On Your Mind by Madrugada
Whole Thing - Big Blue Ball featuring Peter Gabriel
Gravedigger - Willie Nelson
Liverpool 8 - Ringo Starr
This Is Not America - Ahn Trio
Supernatural Superserious - R.E.M.
Declaration (This Is It) - Kirk Franklin
Sentimental Heart - She & Him
Violet Hill - Coldplay with Brian Eno
Stamp Your Feet - Donna Summer
Salute Your Solution - The Raconteurs
Pork And Beans - Ween
Shut Up And Let Me Go - The Ting Tings
Not Now But Soon - Imogen Heap
I'm Good I'm Gone - Lykke Li
Going On - Gnarls Barkley
4 Minutes - Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake (I think we've covered my love for Madonna already.)
Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis (The link is to the routine the song was used for on So You Think You Can Dance, which is how this song got into my head. Really. Mark was neat.)
Damaged - Danity Kane
Cry For You - September
The Only One - The Cure
Thirty-One Today - Aimee Mann
Crazy - Violent Femmes
Borneo - Firewater
Next Life...Let's Just Wave to Each Other - Kevin Bartlett
Head Down - Nine Inch Nails
Human - The Killers
Circus Cosmos - Alu
Byrdgirl - Matthew Sweet
One More (Or Ten) - 7 Seconds of Love
It's Alright - Dar Williams
Carry Your Heart - Catherine A.D.
You Don't Know Me - Ben Folds and Regina Spektor
Another Way To Die - Jack White and Alicia Keys
Love Is A Stranger - Martha Wainwright
Loosen Up - The Shaky Hands)
Numba 1 (The Tide Is High) - Kardinal Offishall f/ Keri Hilson
Tickle Me Pink - Johnny Flynn
Shine On Me - Chris Dane Owens
Chasing Pavements - Adele
Kaiser Chiefs - Never Miss A Beat
20 Dollar Nose Bleed - Fall Out Boy
Live Your Life - T.I. featuring Rihanna
And then...my number one all time frikkin' favorite forever and ever...Viva La Vida by Coldplay. I loved it from the teeny bit that played in the Apple ads, then Mum loved it, then it snowballed into a life of its own.
I have a lot of great music to look forward to next year...new Imogen Heap, U2, Scissor Sisters...now if everything else in the year can be as great. That's my wish, everyone. Hug your loved ones, enjoy what you do, don't sweat what you don't get to do, and be well.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I think this is the tenth year I'm hauling out my music collection in a manner of speaking to go over songs that from this day on I'll hear and remember the past year. Every high, every low, every middle-ish sort of okay moment I was grateful to have.
'Allo everyone, I'm running late but it's all for a good reason. Just want to wish you all a very happy, healthy 2009, hug your loved ones, enjoy what you do, don't sweat what you don't get to do, and be well.
*sends the love to those who have gone before*
Monday, December 29, 2008
I cannot believe the 25th anniversary of the greatest moment in my personal music history came and went and it took a late-night intervention by last.fm to remind me. Shameful, I know.
For Christmas of 1983, I was given a radio. My very own radio. It was from Sears, and it had a broken tuner. That was sad, but the second one, the second one...oh the times we had. I also got the first shipment of my Columbia House record club
crack cassettes, Private Eyes by Hall and Oates, the Flashdance soundtrack, the soundtrack to Return of the Jedi, and then two albums I didn't even realize my family knew I wanted--because even I didn't know they were the ones I'd been obsessing over for the past month or so, After Eight by Taco and Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) by Eurythmics.
Also included in the box was Lionel Richie's self-titled solo debut, the only one I used to lie and say wasn't part of the original six just so I could listen to Olivia Newton John's Greatest Hits Volume 2 instead.
To make up for missing the taking up of my main drug of choice (next to cats, which is a condition I was born with), I'm going to subject you to the videos for the main hits off each of these glorious works. Note how the only version of You Are I could find totally lacks Lionel Richie. Hmm.
I suggest you let all these load and play them at the same time. Because that's a good approximation of living in my head on a good day.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Even though every FM radio station in New York ceased playing Christmas music--and The Hanukkah Song--at the stroke of midnight Thursday, it's still Christmas for like, 9 more days. And that is the story I'm sticking to in order to show you my lovely collection of musical holiday time pieces.
I've mentioned my Christmas Tree Watch that plays the Lambada before, if you know me it's legendary, even...but only now, thanks to the glory of technology, can I share the magic with you. (And yeah, I know the timekeeping part has ceased to function, that's not what I wear it for. It's right twice a day, anyway.)
Festive, yes? For actual timekeeping, however, we turn to our musical snowman clock, which was marketed as playing a different Christmas carol every hour on the hour for as long as the lights stayed on. The idea of that bothered me, as you might imagine it would if you were positioned directly underneath something that spontaneously burst into music regardless of how those beneath might feel.
I ENDED UP LOVING THIS CLOCK. Here's why:
Every hour on the hour, baby. SPROING!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
It snowed last weekend. A lot. It wasn't fluffy nice snow you can scoop up and eat, either, it was the sharp killer ice that likes to make you stick to it if you go outside nekkid. Not that I know anything about that as I have special snow pants which I totally got on sale for like $10 in Modell's back in 2001 and that was the greatest deal ever in all my life because those pants deter the coldest of cold. Shame I don't have a similar article of clothing for my face. Not that it matters, because the pain of frostbitten nostrils is insignificant next to the horror that is SHOVELER'S HERNIA. Not that I'm complaining, I actually did really good for a long time before my innards all gave up and went wherever they wanted.
It was the holiday season, and Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of not only my first obscene phone call, but the 20th anniversary of the horrendous death of the daughter of the nurse of the surgeon who happened to be removing a tumor from my boobie that very day. Lockerbie, kids, never forget it. I'm not kidding. I didn't know any of this as I was alternately unconcious and sharing my Jell-O with my Uncle Gene, but he knew, and he told my mum. It was, in my lifetime, one of those days I'll never be able to fully comprehend, possibly because of the Valium, but most likely because it goes beyond storytelling.
Nan found a movie called Subterano about a bunch of Australians trapped in a car park with a crazy killer toy, and then she found The Curse Of El Charro, which is about a bunch of girls trapped in Mexico with a crazy ghost. Lemmy from Motorhead is in the movie, so you Lemmy completeists get on this, but skip it if endings where the hero gets a crappy hand dealt to them pisses you off. One the one hand, we saw a movie with video game characters skipping out of a carpark into a sun-shiny day with mountains and oceans and happiness, and on the other hand we have one of those HERE'S YOUR REALITY endings that pisses me off. Dammit, if I ever defeat the bogeyman don't be locking me up in the nuthouse--at least don't forget my headphones.
We ate scrambled eggs, oatmeal and soup to prepare for the insanely large meal we were about to eat on Boxing Day, and this resulted in lower blood pressure for the two-thirds of us with high blood pressure and helped get rid of my totalbodyheadcramp. Not satisfied, I spent Christmas day running amok with a vacuum, traumatizing the Puppy and gathering every wayward dustbunny and also a little pink felt ear from one of the toy mice. It was like an offering to appease the vacuum god Euroreckhoover. Must have worked, because writing this last bit of this last week in review for 2008, I'm pretty happy with the way things turned out. I started this month terrified of the future, spent the first weeks trying to change what I could, and now I got to introduce my cats and dog to my aunt, uncle and cousin, and my mum and Nan cooked a meal like the olden days of army dinners and the oven didn't cut off and gas us, and of course my hernia tried to complain but eff it. This week was good.
I can't believe the year's down to four days. Countdown time begins in 48-ish hours!
Next week I'm going to be doing something different on Saturdays, something I think is going to be more amusing. To me, anyway.
Friday, December 26, 2008
If you're actually reading my blog on the day after Christmas, I owe you more than a video or a pissy diatribe about how cruel time can be. Unless of course you got the RSS feed going and it's February 2010 when you read this, then I have no idea how to feel. I'm happy, I hope you're happy too.
At this moment I'm probably having a grand old time catching up with family I haven't seen in ages, and if I'm lucky I'm not coming off like Nell to them. I've eaten a lot of cookies, though, you never know what the sugar will do to me.
Icey the groovy snow DJ, however, is having trouble finding a place to spin her ice platters. You know about Icey, don't you? The good little children of the village got together one weekend and smoked some mistletoe, and when one decided to hang his headphones on the snowperson he was relieving himself on, Icey sprang to life, knocking the unsuspecting hipsters to the ground with a blast of chill music.
The children laughed and followed Icey across town, mainly because the headphones were those ludicrously priced noise-cancelling headphones--but they were enchanted! Magic noise-cancelling headphones, once worn by Chris Botti himself on a flight over Ibiza! Icey made out with a traffic cop and unfortunately ended up melting on the Manhattan streets because that steam is a bitch on the icicles. As she dripped down the street her little charcoal briquette mouth called, "I'll be back again someday, donate my carrot nose to the hungry!"
No one knows if the ex-investment banker who ate Icey's carrot nose knew the adventure his food had, but the owner of the headphones vowed never to pee on snowpeople ever again.
Keep that in mind when the mistletoe is being passed around, kids.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I'll spare you my emo moping today and show you a picture I drew for everyone to have a Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Solstice, Merry Christmas, God Jul, Cool Yule, Happy Al-Hijira, Great Festivus for the rest of us, Happy Kwanzaa, and enjoy the rest of the year, have a good time doing whatever you do, and don't get burnt. ♥
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I seem to be playing a lot of videos right around now. That's because I'm really only here in spirit right now and videos are easy for me and entertaining for you. I hear it's the Christmas time in the land, as well as Chanukkah, Solstice, Festivus, one of the Eids--and Kwanzaa is coming up too, and if I were to write something meaningful here it would only spiral into the realization that there are less of my loved ones living this year and I'm having Ramen noodles for dinner. But I like Ramen noodles, and I'm grateful to have my family and a house to put some of them in, and knowing my cats and dog are healthy is my Christmas present. Knowing all the people I've known that the thought of can now cause me to lock myself in the bathroom on Christmas Eve sobbing unabashedly into a handtowel is a present, too. Really. They must have been good ones to get that reaction out of the cold stone that is my heart. I'd prefer to be laughing with them, actually. I bet at this very moment you'd prefer me to be doing that as well.
I was listening to WFUV one night and heard Another Christmas Song by Stephen Colbert and it amused me, because Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart helped get me through this year, and they have my unending gratitude and occasional outbursts of actual laughter. I hear there was a holiday special involving Colbert, and hopefully by the time this post goes live I've seen it and will be so delighted by it that I come back and change that whole first paragraph.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I like the crazier Christmas songs, you know. So when I happened upon A Christmas Duel between The Hives and Cyndi Lauper I hit the Internet to find out what this new madness was and share it with all of you because I wuv you all. Behold!
Monday, December 22, 2008
True story, one year a guy decides to make his nephew believe in Santa by dressing up as Santa and climbing over the fence to serenade the kid. Only he had the wrong house. Nan was very polite about it and let him out the gate but...that was odd.
Who wants Christmas music? No, who wants fun Christmas music? Who wants Don't Shoot Me Santa by The Killers? WHOO!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
My weekend pilgrimage to Monkeys for Helping always gives me fuel to face the world again, and one of the greatest things I've seen there recently was this Space Giants parody featuring Tim and Eric. I second Recon's wish that they'd make more of these, because this is pure greatness.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Monday the weather was gorgeous. It seemed every dolt in town noticed this also and was out racing to get to the beach, but then it rained and got colder. Still, it was nice to head into winter with one last reminder that the world will keep spinning and give us a good memory once in a while if we're lucky.
I took Rite-Aid's generic knock-off of Sudafed. This, I think I've mentioned, makes me love the world for a limited amount of time, and then it makes the world very annoying and wobbly, but it also makes me not fall asleep behind the wheel and scream when air touches my skin, so that's good. Had I really done these reviews of exactly how my weeks are laid out, there would have been a lot more of this kind of boring honesty, and that gets old fast. Three or four weeks, to be exact.
As the days whizzed by getting shorter and shorter, I did a lot of snow shovelling and staggering around clutching my chest, and Last.fm and Quick Fire Pool amused me while I was doing all the stuff I do indoors, and I took a lot of pictures of the snow and my cats and dog--which I'm constantly aware of how lucky I am to have--and was grateful this week was a lot quieter for my family.
Nan found a lot of movies but I'm not sure of the titles. Two were actually the same movie (Holiday Affair), remade after 50 years. Movie film holds up way better than VHS, you know. I hope DVD holds up longer than VHS because the copies of some family videos I've been putting on DVD the past few months better not frikkin' deteriorate any further or I will really give up on the idea of chronicling anything and just go live in a cave.
I thought Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor was really good. It's a Mummy movie, you know, if you like them--as I do--you'll love it. I was terrified of this one in theory, too, because half the cast had changed, but it's a completely different story and I guess it either got me on a good day or it was just that good. I also avoid IMDB message boards like one of Imhotep's plagues, so I've found I enjoy movies a lot better that way.
Friday, December 19, 2008
As autumn and this week of me reminiscing about video games I've played to the point of hurling draws to a close, I could pull out any number of games that gave me the ol' twinkly brain, caused my mother's eyelids to twitch, hurt Nan's thumb, or even caused the three of us as one to shout out obscenities at the screen as we once again sent little vikings or busty broads to their doom over and over and over again.
But I thought I'd go sappy.
Looking back at everything I did as a kid, I'm sure I'd be classified as a few things now that I just figured was the way I rolled, but back when games could be played beginning to end in a few minutes, I had a ritual. The last game I'd play before I put the Atari away had to be Superman. It relaxed me, I guess. Even if I'd never see the end of River Raid and even if I had to face the random real world afterwards, I always had Superman. Nowadays it's Quick Fire Pool, but just about every night in the '80s, no matter what, this is what I was doing:
I would like to state for the record I played the game WAY better. I used to finish the whole thing in under two minutes, get back into the Clark Kent disguise, touch Kryptonite, and wait outside The Daily Planet for Lois to come to the rescue, then just as she'd get close I'd jump in the door so she'd follow and the game would end with them together. Aww.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
You may be flabbergasted that I can actually come up with a week's worth of video games that have given me some of the most vivid memories of having my head in a vise, but if there's one thing I have going for me, I don't quit. Even when I'm driving and start spacing out from the sun bouncing off the dashboard into my very visual cortex, I keep coming back for more, like a...like a...hey, admitting I'm a video game addict is easy, admitting I played The Towering Inferno all the way through from beginning to end and sort of "won," although another building just went and caught fire and I didn't even get a little 8-bit ditty to recognize my hard work.
I found a hilarious review of the game and watching it I realized the migraine triggers were one thing, but I also have a thing about fire. A bad thing. I suppose that's the secret to beating the game: total batshit obsession compelling me to put out every last flame. I used to mourn the divers that didn't make it in Seaquest too.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Turns out there are a ton of videos games that I can trace my childhood migraines to. Jedi Arena (one of Parker Brothers wild Star Wars games) in particular stands out because we had to drive really far to get it on a hot day, and on the way home we were nearly involved in a collision, but when we got home...oh, when we got home...Nan and I played this until we both got sick.
Rather than subjecting you all to some strangers playing the game, I found another commercial from the past, and I don't remember this one either, but check out those dueling gamers. LOLirific.
You see where they show the game? With the lightning going back and forth? Every so often the "training droid" thingy in the center of the screen would decide it was going to unleash a Sith storm of crazy all over the place, and sometimes I wonder if there were any other kids out there who loved this game so much they'd go throw up and come right back for more.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I was a little video game addict in my day. Back then, pong paddles were real pong paddles and little green stick men were real little green stick men. They were real to me. *cuddles the cold plastic Atari*
Continuing the theme of games I loved so much even though they triggered migraines, I found the ad for Journey: Escape, which cracks me up, and not at all because of the weird off-tune live version of Don't Stop Believin' at the end. Really. I totally do not remember this commercial, but man did I help Journey Escape a billion times as a kid.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Who remembers Master of the Lamps?
I do! I sucked at levels 2 and 3 so bad, but boy oh boy did I love playing this thing until I got migraines that would send me off my chair. The great thing is I finally got to see the end thanks to YouTube.
First, this is how it used to go for me, complete with horrendous wipeout near the end of the big cosmic tunnel:
Who remembers the crazy long time it used to take to load video games. You kids today don't know how...oh right, downloading's pretty slow, too, isn't it?
Who cares, this is the exciting ending! I waited 22 years to see how this went!
...wow. What a...catchy tune. WHOO-HOO!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I taped Stephen King's Desperation off the Sci-Fi channel for us to watch, and man am I sorry. No, it was okay in a not-as-good-as-The-Mist-but-better-than-Rose-Red way, but I had forgotten King's got it in for animals and holy hell there is some imagery right off the bat that even horrified one of the characters. Then it gets worse (I'll leave it up to you to decide whether I mean the scare factor or the story, because even I'm not sure). But you know, it's King so even a not-great King TV movie is better than some other movies I can't think of right now.
One incredible bit of lost continuity that made Desperation worth watching for me had to be the first person to get shot onscreen is shot near another dead body, and throughout the rest of the movie there's only one body in that area and the character who gets shot onscreen is never seen again. O_O At first I thought it meant impending heroics, then I thought something grosser happened, but then...he was just never seen again. Things like that in movies fascinate me.
It was really windy the next day, which is why I got to write two whole paragraphs about a movie we saw. I also used the indoor time to decorate the tree, and I call it a tree because I observe more than one holiday, so it's got birds and angels and Santas and Snoopy and pictures of my cats and dogs and unicorns and I sometimes like to piss off sticklers who think it's important that one holiday wins (being nice to people wins). It's a tree. I decorated it. I had PMS at the time but the 12-minute Salsoul orchestra Christmas medley was playing on the radio as the cats chased each other around so it all balanced out and it looks quite lovely.
Then we watched School of Rock, and THAT...THAT was a fantastic movie. OMG, how did we go so long not seeing that? Fun frikkin' movie and even the kids were great, and I can be bad when confronted with a movie full of kids, but these were like, actual kids. Amazing!
The Last Mimzy also had kids, and a cute bunny, and Roger Waters singing an amazing frikkin' song. I always suspected cute little bunnies would have a hand in saving the world, and this movie ends happier than Watership Down.
I could leave much of the rest out, but I wrote it when I was really tired and that's when I get honest, so here goes. My current reason for being rather bitchy (as you may have picked up) is not merely the holidays, as it's never just the holidays, but family stuff. Health stuff. From all angles. This week The Fluffy One gave us no choice but to take him to the vet who saved The Puppy's walking parts in the hopes of saving his eating parts. My head has pretty much been on backwards for a few weeks about this and my uncle's kidney stones and Thursday will come to be known as Tauruian poking day, during which hunk men born in April have to deal with undeserved crap. I hope the day does not catch on and become any kind of tradition.
This week I also learned that butter is not the correct response to cat seizures. No, really! Who knew? I mean, I kinda knew, but it's like that line from Mr. Mom about whatever it takes. This week that ended up for me being covered in pancake-smelling hairball medicine and for The Fluffy One being full of barium to light up the sexy intestines. It was worth it, of course, because my cats are worth being a crazy cat lady for. There was a happy ending to the freakout this week. Of course everyone who ever wanted to see me get my come uppance for picking on how many treats the cats get had a good laugh, but then the diagnosis was possible food allergies SO THERE.
I honestly got little else done because I went into the same sort of fight-or-flight freakout mindset that my last blog back couldn't overcome when my little flannel-loving man widowed my left arm five years ago and I wouldn't be talking about it at all except that it's the truest part of my life and it wouldn't be fair to not be honest about it, even if it seems like I'm talking in code (I'm not). Hi, my name is Lynda and I'm a crazy cat lady.
You know what else is a pretty good movie? The Dark Knight. That was one of the movies we most wanted to see when this year began, and not to get all serious but after all this year has brought and taken away, getting to see the movie with my favorite people around me in our house was sort of fantastic. Now I get to say I talk like Batman when my hernia acts up. HAHA
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
A while back my aunt saw Halloween cats and knew I'd love them, because...you know...I like cats. She they would give my guys an interesting story to tell, and in the time from when she sent them to me until the time I forgot to show her the video of their reactions, I based a comic on it and have finally uploaded the video for all the world to see.
Behold, The Great Peril, which had a much different working title.
I totally wanted to put the dramatic prairie dog sting over the bit at 2:10 where The Slinky One turns around and turns on the lasers. Alas, the bitrate of the sound file did not agree with anything.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
For every odd beastiality movie Nan finds, Mum can find crazy '60s, '70s and porno movies. Like In The Year 2889, Suspiria, and Spider-Babe. So last weekend when she found God's Gun, a western about a priest who comes to avenge his brother. Both characters are played by Lee Van Cleef. When he shows up, voices go, "BAAAAAA!" and if that doesn't sell you, here's the trailer courtesy of YouTube:
More and more Christmassy things started popping up, like the marathon of Peter Falk as an angel movies, A Town Without Christmas, Finding John Christmas, and When Angels Come to Town.
My fifth weekly post went up at Type Your Culture, and if you think I haven't mentioned that blog before it's because I was waiting until I was able to update my blogroll to include it. However I haven't been able to update my blogroll because Blogrolling.com is still doing some sort of secret tweaking that includes not allowing access to blogrolls.
I've been posting to a blog called Type Your Culture, and I realize I'm the last person to define a culture, but there I am on Wednesdays, the girly white New Yorker who can read Spanish but obviously still can't write it (aspiro, for instance, either means I aspire to do that someday or I suck for not keeping those synapses alive). The blog is just starting out and its goal is to get views from all cultures, so spread the word.
Then I guess I got sick. Or something. I don't know. It wasn't enjoyable. Two symptoms are rambling incoherently.