Things that I love right now!

1. An afternoon off playing skeeball.

2. The amazing insight and writing on this blog.

3. Our potted herb garden.

4. Anticipation of digging into the new fuel friends summer mix.

5. Not having any work trips that require travel in the near future.

6.  The lovely system of fans that my husband devised to get the cold air from downstairs to upstairs in our ancient house.

7. Popsicles.

English Turtle

We went to the school carnival last night with the kids and their friend E.  E is the bomb.  She is sweet, but she also gets shy SD to find her inner goofy.  And I found a new hobby – photographing the kids as if they were in a 90s grunge throwback band named English Turtle.  E obviously is the lead singer – she naturally posed when I said “ok, look like an alt band”.  SS and SD took a little more direction – but I think this photos really capture the artistic depth and ironic goofiness that is English Turtle.


Rock my *$(#$#*^%% socks off!

Below are some women who have turned my frown upside down recently. I have always thought that disregarding people based on appearance is a bad thing to do. All the time disregarding my own value because of my size. I have internalized the assumptions about what I can’t do, can’t say, can’t count on from the world because I am not together enough to be a “normal” weight. I even have put on a pedestal attractive (thin) people who seem to like me DESPITE my appearance – that their ability to “overlook” my weight is a sign of their superior character. Oh, for f’s sake.
I have been collecting in my mind inspiration – women who show me that amazeballs doesn’t have a size…

1. Mellissa McCarthy. I have loved her from the moment (on Gilmore Girls) her face fell when Lorelai pointed out that she (Sooki) hadn’t had a date in years. I connected to that moment – her character and her as an actress – from that moment on. I have not been able to watch her new thing, Mike and Molly, because I am afraid it would heap on sterotypes that would make me cringe – but I still love her. And when she won for best actress at the Emmy’s I was thrilled. Funny doesn’t have a size.

The good:

The great:
Melissa McCarthy on SNL

The sublime: Her skirt-falling-off story on Ellen.
Melissa McCarthy on Ellen

2. Brittany Howard in Alabama Shakes. Fucking fuck fuck fuck. I know I should use my words, but I can’t find them… FUCK! I mean…!!!!!!! She kicks ass… and is kind enough to let those white boys kick ass with her. I love her, love this song, love her clothes, love how she plays guitar, love her hair, love that the world I live in contains this kind of awesome. Being a rockstar doesn’t have a size.

The good, the great, the sublime:
Alabama Shakes on Conan

3. Of course, Adele. I do love her voice and her music, natch. But I registered for the Army of Adele in Forever Service to her Excellency after watching the clip on 60 minutes below. Who raised this woman? Please write a book on parenting IMMEDIATELY. Did I wake up in Neverland? Is Adele the second coming? Insight doesn’t have a size.

The good:
Adele talking body image on 60 minutes

The great:

The sublime: Margaret Cho serving up some ass kicking’ to Karl Lagerfeld. “When you say we are fat, you murder our grace, and we’ve already lost so much to begin with.” TEARS. FLOWING.

In the spirit of these women, my therapist-approved commitment is to stop making fun of how I look to get in the nasty comments about my self before other people do. These women own being awesome and I can too.

A Good Evening Ahead…

I have spent all day working… but I have a great evening ahead of me…. DH will walk through the door in a few minutes and I will:

1. Not do laundry.

2. Cook a simple but good vegetarian dinner.

3. Settle into Blue Nights to read for an hour or two, while listening to the new Fuel Friends Autumn mix.  Every day would be perfect if there was always a new Joan Didion book and Fuel Friends mix.

4. Watch The Trip with my husband.

It is fall, I got an extra hour, and I am choosing to be happy.

American Treasure!

Since the Fourth of July, I have been ruminating on American treasures.  DH and I spend a lot of our time ensconsed in UK media.  DH consumes almost exclusively news, music, television, and radio from the Mother country.  And I (sometimes begrudgingly) have come to love lots of it, most notably James May wandering around drinking things and the BBC 4 News Quiz.  But I still get my nose bent when these shows “slag off” the US.  We are such a diverse, big land, that painting us all with one brush is not only unfair, but inaccurate.  But that can be said about all humor that pokes fun at any group of people, even playfully, so I get over myself.

But I still wanted to create my own list of examples of American treasure – things that seem uniquely “us” that I love.  And the timing is good as we just got back from a loooooong roadtrip where we saw LOTs of the US.

1. Tom Hanks’ neck
2. Jeff Tweedy’s voice in “She’s a Jar”
3. Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s garden in Omaha
4. The CJ Cregg character in The West Wing – especially the episode when it is her first day as Chief of Staff
5. The San Francisco mix from Fuel Friends – listening to it when driving 75 on the interstate while leaving Nebraska and driving into Wyoming
6. The sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
7. Listening to baseball on the radio, drinking a bottle of cheap beer
8. Hawaiian pizza (with fake ham, of course)
9. Wait, Wait! Don’t Tell Me podcasts
10. Lauren Graham being awesome in Gilmore Girls or Parenthood

I encourage you to come up with your own list, especially right now when there seems to be a preponderance of idiocy at many levels of our government and society.  But don’t let the BBC know I said that.

Cheers 😉



A couple years ago I got rid of my CD rack downstairs and put all the cds in two big shopping bags.  With every intention of burning the CDs and selling them.  The bags consisted of only a smidgeon of my full CD collection – pared down to my favorite artists and my mix CDs.

Luckily I am finding that about 3/4 of the CDs have already been imported – which makes sense since it is my favorite stuff.  So I am working through the 30+ CDs that still need to be imported.  And finding some fun stuff….

There is The Bootleg Searies – Volume 1: The Quine Tapes Velvet Underground 3-disc set that I leant to a friend so long that I eventually had to send an impassioned e-mail to get it back.  Today I opened the cardboard sleeves to find that it delightfully still smelled like my friend’s pot.  I am imagining him smoking pot and listening to the discs over and over again while indulging and I feel sorry for asking for them back.  Once I burn them, that set will be finding their way back to him, not 1/2 price books.

There are the 16 (!) Ani DiFranco discs which I had blessedly downloaded all but the Living in Clip live 2-disc set – which is by far my favorite of all of hers – and I will be so glad to be able to grab my iPad and get “Joyful Girl” performed live during a bad day at work – without the crappy realization once again that that song hasn’t been imported yet.

10 unimported Paste Magazine samplers – now are much easier to import because Gracenote has them in their database – not true two years ago when I tried to import them and I did about 5 with manually entering the songs and artists before giving up.  I have Paste Samplers from when Paste was a magazine and sent you CDs in the mail with the subscription.  The most recent sampler I have is #31 – they now go up to 65!!

4 (!) years of annual music exchanges with M & S – now all imported and tagged and put into a great playlist.

Lots and lots and lots of great mix CDs – that I am going to do up right with importing, putting into playlists and scanning and associating the cover artwork:

1. 30th Birthday mix CDs.  I had four parties for my birthday – one for each decade and for the 00s, 90s, and 70s parties, I have CDs.  I have two CDs for the 90s – one of my favorite music by women and one of my favorite music by men.  I have my favorite songs of the 00s – through 2004 when my 30th occurred.  And one disc of cool 70s songs that my uncle made for me with a picture of me as an adorable bald 1-year old.  He also made me a shadow disc called “What Uncle Charlie Could Have Done” full of really bad 70s music that is also staggeringly awesome.

2. Four volumes of mix CDs of the favorite songs of me and my bandmates when we were in a band together.  So glad these aren’t lost to the sands of time.

3. Two volumes of music about language and hating one’s job that I made for my friends B, S, and I when we all had editing jobs and would spend all night in the office together editing hundreds of pages of text for tight deadlines.

4. The sweet mix CDs my husband made for me when we were dating.  My favorite is entitled “Science, Travel, Silliness”.

5. A mix cd of weirdly awesome techno dance music that a young man made for me to thank me for hiring him.  That man no longer is young, but the music still is too hip for me.

6. A CD of “theme” songs that I made for myself when I needed inspiration during a tough time.  Can’t believe I thought some of theme were “me” – but it is a nice little personally, if not egoticstally, historic disc.

There were a lot of mix CDs that I had made – mostly breakup songs – that I didn’t keep.  But I am keeping the best.


I have an iPad.  There.  I said it.  I have been on the delivery side of more than one rant about how technology is too prevalent in our free time – how we have forgotten how to have conversations or read or just be still because of all the bleeps and bloops.  But dernit, I love my iPad.  But, still, please do not read texts while having a meal with me.

Here are the top reasons I love my iPad:

1. Puzzle games which keep me from eating in the evening.  They need just enough concentration to keep me from concentrating on all the crap I would like to eat.

2. Travel companion – I don’t need multiple books and an iPod – it all is there at my fingertips.

3. Workout companion – music, books, tv shows – all to keep me moving.

4. Easy email access.  The phone is too tiny for me to successfully write and read emails – and I will never be good at that tiny keyboard.  And powering on my home PC requires me to step away from whatever I am doing.  So now those days I have to (unfortunately) be chained to my email I can do it wherever I am – giving me more free time.

That being said, I am conscientiously trying to limit the amount of time I use the cursed thing.  And if you ever are in a conversation where I am talking about any sort of electronic device as if that is something interesting to talk about, please slap me.

My Jam: Running With the Wolves by Cloud Cult!

I became obsessed with MGMT’s Time to Pretend… the theme of leaving life behind to embrace not middle-white-america-normalcy appeals to me… especially the more I become undistinguishable to this flabby uninspiring group.  But the music transports me out of mortgage payments, worrying about the future, and cubicles…

and so does this song… and it does it with a lot less electronica.  Delish.

“left our cubicles in little flaming piles… I need to feel something different for just a little while!”

My Jam: Black and Milds by Cataldo!

Another rockpopfolk delicacy.  Yumm.  And another song sung by and about people much cooler than I am or have ever been.

“How many years until we rest under new sturdy walls?  I wonder.”

(Thanks I am Fuel.  You are Friends. for keeping me young… as long as I have you, I won’t have middle-age.)