Soul Quenched

Listening to White Rabbits (It’s Frightening) What do you get when you bring together three college friends for a weekend without kids and husbands, or (if you’re me) kid and endless piles of work? You get Mayhem with a capital Crazy! I exaggerate. We never needed the bail money we had set aside. We couldn’t have been more disparate of interest or temperament at 19 yet, twenty years (give or take) later, Kathleen and Jen are two of the brightest stars in my sky. When in college we were pretty much oil, water and some other substance that doesn’t mix with oil or water; now we have endless topics to discuss, we amuse each other with tales of our children’s antics, we are completely on the same wave-length. They are among the first I go to when I need insight, a reality check or a belly laugh. It took us twenty years to grow into the people we needed to be to be blessed with such richness of friendship, and it was so worth the wait. They came to NYC to visit last weekend. We did a bar crawl of Lower East Side favorites, dined at Taco San Loco, WD-50 and Pastis, and I made them a mix of all NYC bands, both old school Sonic Youth to new school Grizzly Bear. That mix will forever remind me of one of the best weekends I’ve had in a very long time. I’m still grieving that it’s over. Talk of the all NYC bands mix brings me to my latest joy: blip.fm. I’ve found my online home: a site that...

Infected

Listening to: America’s Next Top Model on TV My beloved nose piercing has been grieving me. I noticed a little bump growing next to it a few weeks ago that seemed to grow bigger or smaller depending my mood, the lunar cycle… I couldn’t figure it out. After some early morning online research I found out that it’s a common side effect of nose piercings, and even has a name: “The Bump.” Something about scar tissue, infection, allergy to stainless steel and/or the Apocalypse — it just sounded horrible. Fellow Bump victims offered all kinds of folk remedies to remove this thing, but no one surefire solution seemed to exist. So I fell back on my own folk remedy: worry passively. Surprisingly this seemed to work. Then out of nowhere The Bump grew. And grew. And got purplish and black and the size of a bloated pea. This happened over the course of about 6 hours. After a few minutes of applying hot compresses to it I swear it growled at me. I went to bed praying that overnight it would complete its evolution and crawl off my face. I started working at a full time contract position a couple weeks ago, so when I woke up the next morning I was horrified at what I had to bring to work with me that day — a big, blackish-purple growth on the left side of my nose. I gave The Bump and myself a pep talk. “If I’m extra friendly people won’t notice!” I told us brightly, knowing in my heart that it was a lie as black as...

Inexplicably upbeat

Listening to: AIR (Moon Safari) Before I launch into my usual self-involved review (Vampire Weekend, with my vote for best album of the year), I feel compelled to share a bit about my parents latest visit. First off, they kicked some IKEA ass. My parents and I carried about 600 pounds of painted wood pieces into my house and voila! two days, a mild fainting spell, several forceful streams of profanity, and some impromptu marriage counseling later, a kitchen table and chairs. I couldn’t even stay in the room while they were putting this stuff together, mostly out of guilt and a strong work aversion. If it had been me on my own I would have unpacked the box, looked at the piles of wood, the millions of screws and bits, and that damn allen wrench, poured myself a large glass of bourbon, cried, and then just used the box as a table. But, they are sports, or maybe just crazily resolved. Either way, the table and chairs look great! And so sturdy! This in spite of all the extra pieces left over after the assembly. I’m afraid to look too closely in case the whole thing’s being held together by tape or gum or bitter determination. So in between avoiding the furniture assembly and cooking large, pacifying meals, I unpacked boxes from my recent move, and as I did I collapsed them into piles which my dad would then carry down to the basement. By Day Three of our super fun weekend my dad’s good humor was beginning to slip, and the grumbling and muttering became increasingly audible...

Happy yet Perplexed.. Happlexed? Perplappy?

After 15 years of lamenting the lame commercialism of NYC radio, I am thrilled to my core to find WFUV waaaaayyy down at 90.7. Where did this station come from? I mean, besides Fordham U? Was it always tucked away playing new indie and alt music and I somehow never landed on it during the 7,000 times I’ve circled the stations in search of anything that wasn’t spit out by a computer play list or paid for by a corporation? In any case, we have found each other, and I am in love. I actually caught myself staring out the window this afternoon daydreaming about WFUV. It was the show “This Is Only a Test” that caught my attention this past Friday night. The show is a teaser for the roll out of new programming for the fall — more indie. I’m sooooo happy. I got into my car after yet another first/last date with a guy off the online dating site I’m currently being disappointed by, and was completed shocked when the dial landed on what sounded like actual real good music. Shocked. I kept listening, afraid to turn the station or even touch the dash board in case I’d somehow tapped into Radio Brigadoon. Song after song, all good. All stuff I hadn’t heard before THAT I LIKED by artists I knew and some I DIDN’T. Heaven. I was in heaven. I even stayed in the car after arriving at my house to finish out the song that was playing: We Are Rock Stars by Does It Offend You, Yeah? Heaven! I rushed upstairs, downloaded the album...

Senescent

Listening to: the ‘easy listening’ station on cable I was lying on the couch in the fetal position clutching my cramping belly (note to self: a gallon of Coke and a basket of onion rings does not a good lunch make) when my daughter (4 yrs old) says, “Mommy, I need some soft music.” I change the channel to jazz and she said it needed to be softer. I turn down the volume. “No, Mommy, soft like in my bedroom when I need to sleep. This little fellah [she points down to her stuffed animal] needs to take a nap!” So I put on the easy listening station and within 20 seconds (no joke) I’m sound asleep. I woke up about a half hour later to find her crashed out on her Dora couch, one arm slung over Snoopy, her hair spread out around her like a static-y blonde spider web. I’m afraid to turn off this magic music for fear she’ll wake up. She hasn’t napped in months. It’s not even that bad, this music; it’s kind of hum-able and inoffensive to the ear. It’s easy to listen to. Easy listening. Makes me think, that house dress my 80-year-old neighbor wears… that looks really comfortable. A pair of knee-highs, some slippers, my hair set: easy...

Resigned

Listening to: This Mortal Coil (Blood) This birthday was a big one. One that ends in a zero. I decided to ease myself into it by throwing a birthday party six weeks before the actual day, to give myself both practice saying my new age and another reason to drink besides The Usual List of Stressors. About 24 of us met up at 3Forty Grill in Hoboken, a gorgeous, dark, waterfront lounge where you pay for ambiance with $12 martinis (tip: Thursdays are half-price martini night!). It was a tequila-shot-and-gin-soaked good time until around midnight, when hell let loose its host of overly coiffed and scented, “Look at me! I’m drunk!!” 22-year-olds. It went from fun to miserable in about a minute and a half. The punks even ate some of my birthday cake! Outrageous. Back in my day we’d ask first. Fast forward to the day before my birthday. My mom and daughter made me chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing (yum!) and the family sung Happy Birthday to me a day early (scheduling difficulties). So that’s 2 Happy Birthday songs, and it’s not even my birthday yet. Now the actual day of my birth, today. My parents just left after a 5-day visit and I’m slowly reclaiming my space. They arrived last Saturday and immediately succumbed to some sort of sinus/cold/infection/sniffly thing, spending the majority of their time here under steam tents, the faint smell of eucalyptus clinging to their hair as they hacked and sneezed their way around my apartment. They went through my boxes of Kleenex, tea, and cold remedies like locusts. Whatever birthday money they...