Saturday, April 12, 2008

I Cannot Believe This

Now, when I was complaining last night about my computer, I had no idea that it would take revenge on me.

I had left my computer on overnight which I sometimes do. When I sat down at my desk this morning, I noticed that it had a black screen instead of the usual screen saver.

Oh no.

I tried to get it out of sleep mode with no luck, so I manually shut it down. Then it wouldn't restart. After many attempts, I finally got it started in safe mode, but once I was in safe mode, I couldn't do anything. No system restore. Nothing. So, I shut it down. It shut down cleanly, but now, nothing. It won't restart. It will power on, but all I get is a black screen.

That damn computer died! This is the second HP laptop that I have owned that has just died. At least this one waited a couple weeks later than the first one and died after I finished tax work for my clients.

My six-month warranty on that PIECE OF SHIT just ended LAST WEEK.

So, I have to buy a new computer. Bye-bye summer vacation.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Radio Show Friday, April 11 8-10am

Ella Fitzgerald - A Tisket A Tasket
Tex Williams - Suspicion
Basia Bulat - In the Night
David Bowie - Queen Bitch
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Constipation Blues
Billy Bragg - The Beach Is Free
The Spinners - It's A Shame
Ruth Brown - Teardrops From My Eyes
A Girl Called Eddy - The Soundtrack of Your Life
Clarence "Frogman" Henry - Ain't Got No Home
Golden Palominos - I'm Not Sorry
Acid House Kings - This and That

I had a mostly uneventful radio show today. But I was excited about playing that David Bowie song. I don't know anything about David Bowie. I mostly learn about his music through other artists who cover his song. But I do love "Queen Bitch." But like with Bob Dylan, I don't even know where Bowie era to begin with. It seems like his music has changed so much that it's all too overwhelming.

Last night, I went to see Shelby Lynn. I just don't get her. She has some CRAZY obsessed fans who were much more entertaining to watch than Lynn. But I just don't get what the fuss is all about. Her voice was nice and all, but she never belted it out Neko-Case-style which is what I wanted her to do. And she wore a freakin' business suit. Who the heck performs at the Artscenter in a freakin' business suit? But on the way home, I listened to Clarence "Frogman" Henry. His song, "Ain't Got No Home" makes me very happy and makes me dance with my shoulders.

I am still in a bad mood over this computer, so it's hard for me to express any joy over my radio show.

Here's the link to the entire playlist.


Seriously. I really really really really hate this machine. And I really really really really hate Vista. Alot. A whole lot. I have never in my life felt hatred like this.

Here's a picture. This is the laptop you should avoid like the plague. I about typed "avoid like the plaque." We should all avoid the plague, the plaque and this laptop.
I'm ready for my tax refund so I can buy a new computer.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Life Of A Mix Tape

As I have mentioned before, I am a musical whore.... I'll exchange mix tapes and cds with any willing participant. Over the years, my mix tapes have multiplied. The mix cd collection has grown so huge that it filled up an entire shelf in my record cabinet to the point that I had to move a few feet of records out to a closet.

So, a month ago, I decided to clean them out. I filled an entire garbage bag full of old mixes. Yes, an entire garbage bag. Things that hit the can included old cd club mixes, mixes from long lost friends, and hey-I-can-out-obscure-you mixes. I told some folks about this big purge. They looked at me in shock as if I had thrown away the family heirloom silver collection.

But really... how long is one supposed to hang onto these things? Mix tapes and CDs are like greeting cards or postcards: you keep the interesting or meaningful ones and toss the rest. Really. What am I supposed to do with a collection of unlistenable covers of Tori Amos songs? (Thank god I never got one like that.)

Recently, I got a mix in the mail from my cd club. There was no return address. I opened the package and removed the cd. Then, when I opened the cd case, a little slip of paper fell out.

This is what it said:
To improve playback in Itunes:
  • Insert CD
  • Right click first song and select "Get Info"
  • Click on the "Options" tab
  • Then make the following adjustments, hitting "Next" to move from one track to the next:
    • Track 1: Change "Stop Time" to 3:25
    • Track 2: Move "Volume Adjustment" to 100% and make "Stop Time" 6:02
    • Track 3: Change "Stop Time" to 5:00
    • Track 4: Change "Stop Time" to 3:35
    • and on and on and on for each track.

HOPE! I! DO! I have never in my life received a mix cd that came with instructions! And what tedious instructions. BLEAH!!! This mix not only didn't make it to the CD player, but it went straight into the trash. I didn't even read the track listing. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I believe that one should be able to just put a CD into a CD player and have music come out.... without having to send it out to be mastered and tracked. It's that simple.

What is your mix tape/mix cd shelf life? Do you hang onto them forever?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Radio Show Friday, March 7 8-10AM

Radar Brothers - Happy Spirits
Shout Out Louds - Impossible
Sarah Vaughan - East of the Sun (West of the Moon)
Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions - Suzanne
Dolly Parton - Here You Come Again
Ronnie Lane - Kuschty Rye
Super Furry Animals - Carbon Dating
Steve Miller Band - True Fine Love
Butterglory - Waiting on the Guns
Sandro Perri - Everybody's Talkin'
Golden Smog and Roseanne Cash - Seven Year Ache
Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant - Stratosphere Boogie

Do you love Dolly Parton like I love her? I recently watched 9 to 5 which ignited my desire to hear late 70s - early 80s era Dolly. I love her yodel "Muleskinner Blues." But even more than her yodel, I love "Here You Come Again." I have probably played that song 50 times in the car over the past couple weeks. And I cannot wait to get back to the station to play some off the 9 to 5 soundtrack which WXYC just acquired.

2008 has not been kind to me so far. One of the saddest things to happen is that the High Dollar Hot Dogs broke up. Well, I guess we have broken up. I never got officially dumped. But they've stopped returning my calls and emails. I was told that breaking up is what bands do. It hurts a little, but I knew that it wasn't going to work out. In memory of our little band, I played my favorite song that we covered, "Seven Year Ache."

But there is still hope for me and the uke. I told a few folks about my dream to start up the Steve Miller Band Ukulele Cover Band. Several people are interested! But I need to find a good lead uke player, because that surely isn't me. Last weekend I stayed up until 4am playing uke with Mark. We learned the Everly Brothers' "When Will I Be Loved." I also want to play Steve Miller's "True Fine Love" with the new band. Do you? Come join! Bring songs! Unfortunately, this band is still very much a dream, but maybe once things slow down a bit, I can bring this band to life.

Last week, I played Sandro Perri's cover of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin.'" Because of this song, I rented the film Midnight Cowboy. I knew nothing about the film when I put it at the top of my Netflix list. I didn't know that John Voight (who is hot) and Dustin Hoffman were in it. I didn't know that it was the only movie rated X that ever won an Academy Award. I didn't know that it was about a hustler in NYC. I finally got around to watching it last night and it blew me away. I loved it! The little experimental film bits were incredible. I also have a new appreciation for Dustin Hoffman. I highly recommend it.

I am still very much obsessed with Ronnie Lane. Last week it was "Kuschty Rye." This week, it's "The Poacher." I would be playing "The Poacher" tomorrow on the radio, but since it's spring break, I am taking a week off. But tune in from 9am to noon to hear Tim's show which is really wonderful.

The rest of my playlist from last week's show can be found here.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Barbecue and Basketball Makes For A Perfect Day

Yesterday, Mark, Lance, Sara, Nora, Kevin and I piled into a car and headed down 64 to Lexington to have some barbecue. Holy moly. The barbecue at Lexington #1 was phenomenal. As soon as we pulled in the parking lot, you could smell the smokehouse.

I got a hotdog and a plate of barbecue and slaw:

The barbecue was smoky and flavorful all on its own. The slaw was very vinegary and seemd to compliment the barbecue perfectly. The hushpuppies did nothing for me. I thought they were bland and dry, but I was the only person in the group that felt this way. What do I know.

After we ate, Lance, Kevin and I wandered around to the back of the restaurant and were invited inside to view THE MEAT IN THE PIT!!!!

It was fun to be in the car with a bunch of music geeks. I was teased for liking Bill Withers and John Schneider. But it's cool because I introduced them to this unique version of Van Halen's "Running with the Devil" which thrilled Nora to no end.

After we got back, I came home and practiced ukulele for a little while before walking over to Kevin's to watch the biggest basketball game of the season. After loading up on tacos and tamales from Azteca Grill and plenty of beers, we watched the game on the BIG HD TV. During the second half, Lance asks us if we would prefer seeing Paulus' jaw broken or to have UNC win the game. But even better than having his jaw broken, Paulus was offered some tea:

And then we won the game. I celebrated by coming home and drinking *more* bourbon and dancing to Richard Hawley in the kitchen.

North Carolina in March doesn't get any better than that.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

New Blog Tag: Ronnie Lane

This weekend has been a Ronnie Lane weekend. I got a little drunk last night and ended up buying a very expensive out-of-print Ronnie Lane LP online. Amazon One-Click is dangerous.

I also bought two Faces CDs at CD Alley today.

I love Ronnie Lane.

Why is his music so hard to find? Where is my Ronnie Lane box set? Why can't I find some good ukulele chords for "Ooh La La" online?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Taking A Break

Now this makes me happy:

I want to be the dancing girl on stage with him.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Still Not Able To Blog

I still don't have time to blog. But I just wanted to share with you the best show I have ever seen in my entire life. Watch it. Watch it. Watch it.

Thank you to everyone who sent me this link!!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Stress + Work = Messing Things Up

Ok. If you have asked me to do something for you or if you have scheduled a meeting with me or if you have asked me to do something with you, I have forgotten what it is.

I don't usually cuss on my blog, but let me just say that all this work stress is making me fuck up royally. I have missed meetings & appointments & outings & deadlines. I even forgot to pick up a friend's mail while he was out of town for two weeks. And I missed an important non-work meeting. And my nephew's birthday.

I am just really fucking up.

Just don't ask me to do anything for awhile.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


I've got alot going on right now. No ukulele for awhile. No bowling for awhile.

No more posts for awhile either.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Panicked And Way Behind

You know what it's like when you plan just enough time to get to an important meeting across town? You look at the clock and grab your keys and run out the door and get into your car and you think to yourself, "I have just enough time to get there. I'll be fine."

You take off down the street and you discover that you left your wallet and have to go back home. Once you get on the road AGAIN, you discover that traffic is stopped for road construction. And then once traffic gets going, you get stuck behind someone driving 20 miles per hour and you manage to hit every single red light. Once you reach your destination, you cannot find a place to park! You end up being 20 minutes late. You know how stressful and frustrating that can feel?

That is how my life has been for the past two weeks. It's felt like one of the most stressful times of recent memory. I just keep hitting obstacle after obstacle with work stuff. I've lost sleep. I've even lost 5 pounds in the last week. It's nuts.

I am working so hard, but I still feel like I am sinking. I just feel like if I could only stay awake a few more hours each day, I might be able to get caught up. Bleah.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My New Boyfriend!

Last Friday, I went to dinner with some friends. And this was no ordinary dinner. I had been looking forward to this since September when Ross and Maggie first told me about their amazing experience at Bryan Zupon's Z Kitchen. If you don't know about Bryan, you can read about him in this NY Times article. Read it. After some rescheduling and more rescheduling, we were finally able to get over to his dorm room for dinner on Friday night.

Our courses included:

Scallop, avocado mosaic, olive oil-poached grapefruit, tomato-cumin chutney, mustard, Sichuan peppercorn, Old Bay

Red snapper, fennel, raisins, candied olive, pomegranate

And then there was the course that changed my life. The course that made me feel like I had died and gone to heaven. It was BACON-WRAPPED BACON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Bacon-wrapped pork belly) Oh. My. God. I fell in love. See that picture below? That is my boyfriend. My boyfriend is BACON!

Seattle Meets New York – Bacon Wrapped Bacon Buns: Pork belly, Nueske’s bacon, miso-butterscotch, snow peas

Bryan said that this dish might be his "greatest achievement and contribution to humanity at large." I agree. It was so delicious.

To see some of our other dishes, go here. I even licked my dessert plate!!!

After the meal, I went home and cried. Never has a meal moved me to tears before. But this one did. I love bacon. Bacon loves me. Maybe I should write a song for my new boyfriend on the ukulele. Woot!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Little Radio Show Is Back

I'm back on the air beginning tomorrow morning! This school semester I'll be djing Friday mornings from 8-10am. Tune in locally to 89.3FM or online.

I am so excited. I've missed being on the air. I have no idea what I am going to play tomorrow. All I have been listening to is "A Good Start" by Maria Taylor over and over and over.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Weekend of Lessons

As DJ Lance Rock might say, learning is awesome!!! This weekend, I had two lessons: uke and bowling. The music lesson was fascinating. I remember very little from my piano lessons when I was little. Even so, Mrs. Alexander never taught me anything about chord theory or the cycle of fifths. All I can remember from those days is eating peppermints in her living room. (Sorry if you wasted your money on me, Mom.) I still have a long way to go, but I am finally understanding the relationship of notes on a scale and finding that scale on the uke. Lots of little lightbulbs were going off on Saturday. My goal right now is to work out the introduction to Rosanne Cash's "Seven Year Ache." After my lesson, I got about halfway there.

Today, I went out to Village Lanes to have my first bowling lesson with Larry. Larry is in a league with my hero, Mr. Perkins. He averages in the 220s and has been teaching bowling for years. He had a little notebook and a instruction manual and was extremely enthusiastic. After just 15 minutes, I increased my score by 20 points. And no more straight rolling. I can roll with a curve, baby!! Gutterglory is going to be so impressed. I wanted to stay after my lesson and bowl, but I ripped myself out of there after three games. Larry and his brother were really impressed with the progress that I had made. Next week, he is going to show me the math and the geometry of positioning in regard to picking up spares.

These lessons definitely lifted me out of my funk from last week

I found this video today and I like it alot. She's not playing a soprano banjo uke like I do, but she's inspirational nonetheless. This song is actually gorgeous.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Honeymoon Is Over

So, today was my sixth day at my new job. I kinda drifted last week... I had to wait for my shiny new laptop to arrive and then get that set up. I shopped for office supplies. I read their 2006 tax return. I brought in some extra artwork from home to hang on the walls. I sent out some emails. I piddled around on the files on the server and in the accounting data file. Easy as pie.

But things changed this week. I am finally getting a idea of what my job is going to be. And I am a little scared. It's a whole lotta work. More than I thought. I am going to have to make some system changes here that I know it is going to make me into the bad guy at work. And that stinks. Sigh.

In any case, I love the robot on the wall in my office.

And I loaded my work laptop with all my Richard Hawley music. Yay!

Could It Get Any Worse?

Why, yes! Yes, it can!

I have been so enthusiastic about my new bowling ball. Right after I got it, my score increased by 30 points. I was rockin' it! But since those initial games, my scores have radically dropped. Over the past few days, my scores have been abysmal. I have been averaging around 65.

Monday night, I went to see Mr. Perkins at J&J Pro Shop in Northgate Mall. I had to get the thumb hole on my ball enlarged due to what Mr. Perkins' calls "bowler's thumb." While waiting my turn, I met a Jackie who had recently wanted to learn to bowl since that is what her husband did all the time.

She was having Mr. Perkins fit her for ball. It was pink and purple, her favorite colors. She had only bowled one game in her life, which was last weekend... with her TUTOR! Her husband and Mr. Perkins (and I) convinced her to go with a fingertip grip. While waiting for the drilling and such, Jackie and I sat and talked about what we're learning... the stance, the number of steps on the approach, the release, etc. Her husband bowls close to 200.

After leaving J&J Pro Shop, I headed to Village Lanes for our league's handicap night for the newcomers. I just wanted to practice a little more. My scores dipped again... 57, 61, & 96. Ugh. I was frustrated and disappointed, but still determined.

Last night, I went to the lanes again after work before heading to Chapel Hill for a rock show. Jackie was there! We bowled side-by-side. She was bowling in the 80s and 90s. I was bowling in the fifties and then I hit a new low... a 47. I wanted to cry. Even the guy working the desk at the bowling alley laughed at my score. In response to my 59 score of my first game, he said, "Man, I can bowl better than that left-handed."

Jackie and I discussed her bowling coach and she called him to see if he would be willing to coach me, too. He was. He is going to give me and Jackie a lesson on Sunday afternoon. Just the two of us. Maybe, he'll have a cool clipboard like this one.

In the meantime, no more bowling this week. Instead, I am going to concentrate on ukulele practice. It's time to just give the bowling a rest as practicing is not helping.

Friday, January 4, 2008

2007 Top Ten List

1. Richard Hawley - Lady's Bridge (Mute)
2. Club 8 - The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming (Labrador)
3. Iron & Wine - Shepherd's Dog (Sub Pop)
4. Bishop Allen - The Broken String (Dead Oceans)
5. Great Lake Swimmers - Onigiara (Nettwerk)
6. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch)
7. Little Name - How To Live and Swim (Sleepy)
8. Loney, Dear - Loney, Noir (Sub Pop)
9. The Clientele - God Save the Clientele (Merge)
10. Elliott Smith - New Moon (Kill Rock Stars)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Bowled Over and Over-Bowled

Do you have any New Year's Resolutions? Maybe to lose weight or to practice guitar or to ride your bike to work? I have a few. None of those that I mentioned. I have things on my list such as practice ukulele two hours a week, floss more, and to throw away socks.

One resolution that I might need to make is to cut down on bowling. I seem to have a bit of a problem. When my bowling team finished the season this fall, I was pumped to become a better bowler. I wanted my own ball, my own shoes, my own bowling bag. Right before Christmas, my teammates granted my wish and bought me a ball of my own. There it is on the left under the Christmas tree angels.

The day after I got my ball, I bowled eight games. I bowled eight more games the day after that. I even played hooky from work to bowl! I was sick with a cold/flu/sinus infection for the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, so I wasn't able to bowl at Village Lanes those days, but I bowled with my nephews on the Wii at which time I bowled a 210.

Yesterday I was feeling better and I bowled eight games. Alone. And tonight, my intention was to only go bowl two games to try out my new wrist support, but two games quickly turned to seven games. When I am alone at the bowling alley, I just can't seem to stop. I am going back to the bowling alley tomorrow, but I'll have friends to tear me away from the lanes after a reasonable number of games.

You might think that all this bowling is improving my game. It's not... which is so frustrating. But I now know that with this new equipment and my new knowledge, I have the potential to bowl in the 130s-140s. (Before I was bowling in the 90s.) But trying to master my fingertip-grip ball and this darth-vader-looking wrist support is causing me to score all over the place... as low as 66 and as hight as 145. I just need to practice more. I need to bowl. MORE MORE MORE!

Tonight, my arm hurts. I think I have bowled over my arm limit. How much bowling is too much? When does enthusiasm turn to obsession?