Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Soundtrack To Your Life Game

So I am trying to play along with the game Cutest posted on her blog, which is to come up with the soundtrack to your life. Here is how it should be done:

If your life were a movie, what would the soundtrack be?

1. Open your music library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc).
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every category (see below), type the song that’s playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button.
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool.

Right. So I opened up my most annoying player this morning and it refused to locate any of my music. So I unloaded all of the music from the library, and now I have reloaded all of the music to the library, and now it has frozen and given up on life. So hang tight another minute while I fiddle with it some more, and attempt to jimmy it into a state of functioning…

Now the rest of the computer seems to be freezing up…I know I have a lot of music, but COME ON!!! So I am actually writing this in Word so that I can save it periodically and hopefully not lose this, and then I will paste it into my blog. What a whole lot of bother to play a little game! My soundtrack had better be AWESOME. At this point, I may be willing to cheat to get it to be awesome. (No. I wouldn’t really do that. Not really. Yeah, I know it would be tempting…Really tempting…but you can trust me, right?)

Oi – we appear to be up and running. Here goes.

Here are the categories, and my results / responses:

Opening credits: Duemila- Massimo Priviero. Ha! It’s in Italian! BooYah! English translation: "There are two thousand nights / under my blue sky / there are 2000 streets / to breathe down below…" and it goes on and on with 2000 of everything, including "2000 years, if you want, (yours, for years, for us)", and 2000 jungles and 2000 bombs, and 2000 stars, and 2000 histories…so I guess that as far as being an opening credits number this tells us absolutely nothing about the life to follow, except that it’s in Italian! What a funny number 2000 is for everything.

Waking up: The Conqueror – Anne Dudley and Jaz Coleman. This is an instrumental from the album “Songs from the Victorious City” which I bought my junior year in high school and absolutely to this day still adore. Anne Dudley was half of Art of Noise, and I read a review of the album and saw she was involved and bought it without hearing any of it, which was absolutely risky for me back in the high school days when my music budget wasn’t what it is now. The album was done in Egypt and is based in Egyptian music (Jaz Coleman’s mother is Egyptian) and it is AWESOME. Plus, I’m waking up as “The Conqueror,” I guess. As long as I’m not waking up to face “The Conqueror…”

First day of school: Deliver Me - INXS. That is HILARIOUS because I STILL work in a school! Yeah. Really this song does not fit as it’s all about being fixated on somebody, and I just didn’t feel that when I was five. Fifteen, maybe, but not five.

Falling in love: Born of Frustration - James. Yeah. No comment. Except to say that you should get this song and listen to it within the context of me falling in love and you will probably laugh so hard you will roll on the floor while I try to evaporate into the paint on the wall.

I think my computer is laughing and in fits and it has just had a heart attack because the music player is frozen again. Really. Let me see if I can get it going…

I have rebooted the computer. It seems to be over its fit. Are you, dear reader? Can we move forward?

First love song: Radio Song – R.E.M. My first love WAS the radio.

Breaking up: Araku – Gervasio Martìnez and Mario Silva. This one is off a Smithsonian Folkways album called “Wood that Sings.” It’s a painful combination of a screechy violin and a strumming guitarish thing. Thankfully it’s only 2 minutes and 10 seconds long.

Prom: White Wedding – Billy Idol’s song covered by The Whip. OK. There was no prom at my high school. We had “Senior Ball.” I didn’t go. I went to a party instead and ended up spraining my ankle on a trampoline, then four days later I graduated from high school in a walking cast.

Mental breakdown: Deer-Ree-Shee – The Black Angels. So this is one of the songs on my computer that I don’t know if I’ve ever really listened to. I downloaded this album in May. It’s not bad. It fits here. It reminds me of Brian Jonestown Massacre meets a slightly softened Smashing Pumpkins. Lots of feedback and distortion, steady drums, and a sitar.

Driving: Palo Santo - Shearwater. This works pretty well. Sort of trancelike, though, so hopefully I’ve got a Red Bull handy, or I’ll end up in a ditch.

Flashback: It Girl – The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Yeah. When I think back over my life I realize that I have always been the “It Girl.” As those of you who know me well no doubt realize. Absolutely. No question.

Getting back together: A Survivor’s Tale – Anne Dudley and Jaz Coleman. 9705 tracks to choose from (I excluded the poetry) and here we are back in Egypt.

Wedding: Love is Blind – Annie Lennox. “Oh, Sugar! When ya gonna come?” …yep.

Birth of child: Miles Apart - Yellowcard. This has nothing to do with anything at all.

And the player is frozen again.

Final battle: Bend to Squares – Death Cab for Cutie. “Gravitated towards a taste / For foreign films and modern plays / But that machine could only / Bend to squares five to six times / Before your fingers came unwired” I don’t pretend to know what it means.

Death scene: Pilot Light - Mandarin. I’ll be right back. Got to check my stove and the battery in my CO2 alarm.

Funeral song: The Beekeeper (Live) – Tori Amos. Freaky appropriate for a funeral. Played on the organ and all. “Do you know who I am? She said / I am the one who taps you on the shoulder / when it’s your time / do not be afraid I / promise that she will awake / tomorrow, somewhere, tomorrow, somewhere.”

End credits: New Sensation – INXS. Funny, again, that of the 1017 artists represented in my MP3 collection, we are repeating anyone. But it’s a good way to end this. “You will find out / in the end / there really is no difference.” And that’s it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


So I've been craving wings for a couple of weeks, and tonight set out to fix that. There is an awesome wings place here with this jerk sauce that is the bomb. They also used to make biscuits that were just like mom used to make, but they quit selling them about a year ago, much to my chagrin. It has actually been almost a year since we've gotten wings, so tonight was a nice treat.

Anyway, between 3 of us we ordered 5 kinds of wings, including "suicide." The orderer of the suicide wings is a recent transplant from New Mexico. I'm afraid I've lived in this all-too-blandly-palated state for too long, and suicide isn't up my alley like it might have been several years ago. The girl who delivered the wings saw fit to comment on the suicide wings: too hot! So hot that they made her mouth numb for several hours, or something like that... Anyway, so New Mexico bites into a hot wing and promptly starts to hiccup! I have never seen that reaction to heat before, and it was painful to watch, although sort of humorous, not to be mean, but it was funny. New Mexico got through three wings and he had to call it quits.

And that should have been enough. Let's face it. I just don't eat heat like I used to. But no, no. All of that pain that I witnessed was not so much that curiosity didn't get the best of me. I grabbed a suicide wing and dunked it into a cup of blue cheese. Then I took a bite. Everything was ok for a deceptively long time, really, and then it started to burn. I did not hiccup. I died. The pain was so crazy. I picked up a fresh cup of blue cheese and went for a spoon, causing serious laughter from the others. It just hurt. Finally it started to abate, and I chased it with a "sweet & tangy" wing, and after a long long time I was breathing normally again. I did not finish the suicide wing. One bite was enough.

So I was driving home later and thinking about ice cream, which made me think about chocolate, which made me wonder--what would the suicide wing have been like dipped in chocolate syrup? I mean, dark chocolate with peppers inside is crazy yummy. So I wonder...

But until somebody new with a daredevil mouth moves to the region, I don't see any more suicide wings being ordered, so the experiment is on indefinite hold.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hey, Johnny Park!

No, it's not in chronological order, but here is the first installation from our trip. Can you believe it? These are some of the pictures that we took at the monumental cemetery in Genova. More pictures of the cemetery and of Genova at large will come later, with stories and in who knows what format.

Anyway. Today's selection. The music is Foo Fighters (thanks, Daryl) and the poem is Salvatore Quasimodo, a Nobel laureate active from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Staglieno cemetery is huge - the largest monumental cemetery in Europe - and I figure that front row tickets to watch the Resurrection happen there will be hard to come by. The show will be absolutely overwhelming and cool.

(I am trying various incarnations of the video - right now I'm trying YouTube, which is less choppy than just uploading the video straight to Blogger - it just is so choppy choppy. Sorry!)

Friday, September 19, 2008


Cutest says it be Talk Like a Pirate Day. I'll not be havin' much to say, but there be some divertment to be had on such a day, and here it is:

My pirate name is:

Bloody Bess Kidd

Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it's the open sea. For others (the masochists), it's the food. For you, it's definitely the fighting. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

And, me hearties, ye'd best be alert, for me pirate job be the Quartermaster. I'll be watchin' ye, I will....

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Crazy morning. I woke up to my alarm at 4 to write a test for my 3rd years for this morning. I didn't do it last night because I knew I would concentrate better at 4 and the test would turn out better (something about me being the craziest procrastinator in the world and me not being able to accomplish a thing unless I feel the pressure of the clock chasing me down). Anyway. I woke up, and seriously one of my first thoughts was that my jump drive was still in the computer at the university from class last night. It was the most rational thought. I hurried and looked for it in the obvious places here at home, then pulled on some sweats, ran a comb through my hair, and raced back to the university. Mind you, it's 4am. On a logical level, I knew the building would be locked, but there was just no way I wasn't going straight down to get my drive.

So I get there, and the nice thing about 4am is you can get parking right in front of the building, and of course the building is locked up, but sitting at some tables outside are the custodial crew, and they let me in, and I ran up to the 3rd floor and voilĂ ! there was my dear little jump drive.

So now I am at home and the adrenaline means that really I am writing the test even more quickly than I would have written it otherwise. I do need to get back to it now. So everyone have a nice day with little happinesses of your own.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


So it's been a quiet day and a quiet little evening. Which should make it the best of days and evenings, but it hasn't been. A couple of days ago on Facebook I got up the guts enough to ask a friend about the health of one of the most dynamic and amazing women I've ever known, not just in Italy but anywhere, and I have been walking on beds of nails anticipating the response - because on my trip to Genova four years ago when I saw her last, she was undergoing some serious treatment for cancer, and at that time her husband told me that the prognosis was short.

So this evening I got the message that she succumbed to the disease a few months ago, which meant that she lived longer than I had believed that she would, which makes me very happy for her wonderful family, but still I am mourning. Everything about her made you think of the sun, from her so-very dark, loving-that-time-at-the-beach summer complexion to her jumping eyes that matched perfectly her radiant smile. She was warmth in human form, so full of compassion and joy, and I am sad to note that for now she is gone from us.

So I have been doing quiet things - reading some poetry (That Kind of Sleep by Susan Atefat-Peckham, one of the books I picked up Labor Day weekend at the Freer), not about death, but about a loss of cultural identity that happens in one generation when a family immigrates to another country, and a short story by Italo Calvino, Pesci grossi, pesci piccoli (Big Fish, Little Fish), in which (spoiler ahead) a woman whose heart is broken stops crying after being saved from an octopus that was squeezing her neck with one of its tentacles. Sorry if I ruined that for anyone. Poetically (more spoiler) the man who saved her from the octopus hacked it up and gave it to her to take home and cook for dinner. So I liked that story, because I would like to feast upon the dead remains of the things that trouble me, especially if that meant eating octopus.

How much I would like to float a candle on a little boat out to sea tonight, or let a lighted paper lantern rise into the air. How much I would love to gather in at Genova with all of the people I love there. Someday. Speriamo.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Downside of Pictures, and the Silver Lining

So last night I stayed up late working on the pictures from Staglieno Cemetery in Genova. Yes, I AM trying to get my Europe pictures up! But I want them to be cool so it is taking some time! Anyway, now it's 5:20 a.m. and I just woke up from VIVID dreams of being in Europe. Not of being in one specific place, it was just Europe, and so very Europe, and I was looking at a map figuring out my day and running out of time to see everything, and then I woke up. Mercifully, it's Saturday so I don't have to face going in to work with my heart torn out and stomped all over with disappointment - the letdown I'm feeling is seriously and truly painful. Maybe I will try to go back to sleep and see if I can go back - or at least give myself the morphine of distance from reality!

Now that I'm thinking, though, today we should experience some hurricane rain - so today has its excitement too. It's not Europe, but it's Saturday (THANK HEAVENS) and a good storm is a fun thing. So today I guess the clouds are the silver lining. Maybe I can face reality after all.