LA is on Fire!

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My car was covered in ashes this morning.  It’s such a sad, terrifying thing to see the mountains on fire.  This is the view from our office.

Right now I hear the security guard yelling by my window, “YOU HAVE TO HAVE A SHIRT ON! I ALREADY TOLD YOU!”  Working at a homeless shelter is never dull.

Favorite Songs

Could you write down your favorite songs with ease? 

My mother sent me Rufus Wainwright singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” tonight and I thought, Yep, that’d be in my top ten.   Then I realized I don’t know what else is in my top ten and can I really say Hallelujah is there if no such list exists.  List or not, I choose Hallelujah, regardless, because the song haunts me and I never feel sick of it, never don’t want to hear it, whoever is singing it.  Jeff Buckley – beautiful.  Even Cohen’s versions are interesting.  I googled British Idols singing it in harmony – still loved it. 

But what other songs would make it?  Thinking out loud – no commitments – I’d be lost without Running on Faith by Eric Clapton.  I could play Jolene by Ray Lamontagne a hundred times in a row.  What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong – cliche, yes – but really, truly, don’t you just want to stop and hug a parent when it plays overhead in an airport or a grocery store?   And Iron and Wine’s Flightless Bird, American Mouth – plays like a 50’s prom song and you just want to be wearing a poodle skirt and dancing with Johnny in his t-shirt and jeans.  Hey Jude, would undoubtedly make the list for me.  I’ll rewind Paul screaming  “Judey, jude, jude!” as many times as it takes for that to get boring.  Crash by Dave Matthews?   Tiny Dancer by Elton John?  Waiting on the World to Change by John Mayer?  I know, it’s dumb John Mayer, but I work at a shelter and the song always comes on the radio and I feel like it’s playing for me whenever it plays.  Nessun Dorma by Pavarotti?  Oh and for sure, Black Sheep by Martin Sexton.  You have to listen to the live version.  If you’re in the right mood it could make you weep.  Truly, I’ve seen it happen.  Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone.  Colin Hay – I just don’t think I’ll ever get over you.  Oh those opening verses – “I drink good cofee every morning/ comes from a place that’s far away/ and when I’m done I feel like talking/ but without you here there is less to say/ I don’t want you thinking I’m unhappy/ what is closer to the truth/ is if I lived ’til I was a hundred and two/ I just don’t think I’ll ever get over you. ”  Perfect.  Just, gosh darn, perfect.  A million ouches and rejections combined and poured into lyrics.  Kills me.  Speaking of killing me – The Promise by Tracy Chapman.  Boy, have I cried listening to that song.  Maybe more than any song out there?  I have memories of sitting with my mother, bawling, holding hands while it played in the background – And we’ve done that more than once!  Ha. 

There’s this scene in Across the Universe where a man playing the guitar says to Jude, the tortured artists, “Music is the only thing that makes sense anymore, Man.  Play it loud enough and it keeps the demons away.”  And I wish I had coined that phrase.  Wish it was said by a character I created in a story I was telling.   Music keeps my demons away.  Honest.  Dependable.  Consistent.  Never lets me down. 

I’ll leave Black Sheep on here, a rough cut version and wish I could take you to hear it live.  It’s so much better when he’s playing it right before your stinging eyes.  Not up to listening to the whole thing?  I understand- fast forward to 3:o0 and play it for a bit.  Sexton is always honest and good for the soul.  And if you want something possibly, equally achy, listen to Ray Lamontagne singing Shelter.  Ouch.  And if you’d like-  I’d love, love, love to hear your favorites. 

Sexton: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO_IZGbCDv0&feature=PlayList&p=08F21AE9EEF7B21D&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=4

Lamontagne: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHmNEQYc3js&feature=PlayList&p=08F21AE9EEF7B21D&index=12

Say you’ll hold a place for me in your heart,

Xoxo.

This week in my music world.

Listening to French-Israeli singer, Yael Naim today.  She’s cute.  I haven’t fallen in love yet though.  I like when she sings in French. yael-naim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Band of Annuals.  Still great.  And if you haven’t heard them, get right to it.  Americana-Alt-Country-Goodness.   There’s a song on their EP called Part III and it just slays me.  It’s hands down one of the best break up songs I’ve ever heard. 

 

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Old Paul Simon and Bob Dylan.  Can I suggest a playlist for you to create on Grooveshark?   Simon – Still Crazy After All These Years, Slip Slidin’ Away, Hearts and Bones, Obvious Child, and Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.   And Dylan: Just Like a Woman, Don’t think Twice, and To Make You Feel My Love.   Add some Neil Young – like Heart of Gold and Unknown Legend.  And then maybe some old Clapton – like Blind Faith era – Can’t find my way home and Presence of the Lord.   That’s what I’m listening to, at least, and it’s nice and maybe it’d be nice for you too, maybe?

Mimi’s Website

So today I decided to write a blog about how much I love sweaters and so I googled sweaters and you’ll NEVER believe who popped up! 

No joke!  MIMI! 

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For those of you that don’t follow my blog, Mimi is a regular celebrity on my site.  And who knew she had her own website?!?  Oh Mimi.   But seriously, I’m still totally against dogs wearing sweaters.  http://www.mylittlesweetie.com/pooches.htm

Give me an F…. F! You got your F, You got your F!

It’s August and I can feel fall coming, which in my book means one thing – FOOTBALL SEASON!  I may wear skinny jeans, band shirts, bangs and scarfs in summer.  I may listen to indie radio and go to the artsy movie theatre.  But come fall, I love me some football – always have, always will. 

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Now I know I shouldn’t talk about it because it’s so overdone, but I can’t help it – Brett Favre.  Here’s the thing – I know he’s acted a fool.  I know he’s been a diva.  I know he’s been inconsistent.  And even though I feel real sad with how he left things with Green Bay, I love him.  The man loves to play, loves to win and I can accept that.  If he was a terrible player or a has-been then I’d say: “get off the field!” –  but he’s still got it.  I do wish he’d shut up and play though.  I don’t want to hear anymore news conferences or interviews or crying sessions.  No more words.  Throw the ball, Favre.  And stop retiring. 

Anyways, here’s to early morning College games, long Sundays, the Niners having a chance, mud and rain and the sound of helmets clashing, Favre shutting up, Berkeley pride and a cold, glass of beer.  Let the games begin! 

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Lisa Hannigan…

is Irish, and lovely, and has amazing hair and just the sweetest voice.  And today she is the album that my Ipod is playing for me.  If you need new music I say to you, get Sea Saw.   I think you’ll like it, maybe even love it.  I hope so. 

“If you walk my way and I could keep my head, and we could feel our way through the dark…”

Here’s her singing one of my favorites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WwaPv1rZiQ

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Parade Route

Apparently my blog is most visited by people looking up Pupusas and Jim Sturgess.  Kind of funny.  Actually, if you google Pupusas and click images, my blog comes up first.  You know, I really do LOVE pupusas, so maybe I should make this blog all about pupusas.

On a different note, I really love Pasadena.  It’s such an interesting city and I take a lot of pride in living here.  We have great food (anything you want), a cheap theatre and a really awesome, eclectic theatre, beautiful architecture and old, funky houses, fun art and music venues and of course, the Rose Parade.  I’ve been working at the shelter here for a few years and we’re right next the parade route and so throughout the year we get to see all the floats come by with their police escorts.  It makes me happy inside and I usually run to the top of the shelter and watch from Pam’s large window.  Today, sadly, I was stuck behind the float, trying to get into our parking lot.  But I snapped a photo with my cell phone because it’s just SO exciting.  Next time I’ll try and get you a better photo. 

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Why won’t you remember me?

For the most part, I really like people.  I like making new friends and I’m not too shy to introduce myself to strangers or strike up conversations in the grocery store if the mood feels right.  Airplanes are my favorite place to make new friends.  I think I even fell in love once.  His name was Joe and we were flying to Seattle.  It was magical.  But that’s another story.  Joe, if you’re reading this, we’ll always have Southwest Flight 376. 

Living in L.A. can be a very isolating, dehumanizing experience.  I try to pretend that I’m actually in a small town and so I frequent the same restaurants and grocery stores in hopes of building rapport with the clerks and wait staff.   For awhile I had a favorite waiter at a sushi restaurant around the corner from my work.  Howard was his name and I loved him.  He would know my order and start it for me before I sat down.  Sometimes he’d pull up a seat and we’d talk about his girlfriend troubles.  Howard disappeared when the place got new management and I still feel resentful when I go in, but darn if they don’t have the best dynamite rolls in town.   I also have a lady at the Mexican produce market that picks out my watermelons for me.  It’s like a ten minute process where we both stand by the watermelons and she taps each one repeatedly listening for just the right sound of hollowness and eventually she finds the perfect melon and holds it up to me like a new baby.    

So here’s the deal – because of my desire for connectivity and small- town-closeness-in-a-big-o’-city, I am having a really hard time with the guy at Jiffy Lube.   No matter what happens, he will NOT remember me.  I go in every few months for my oil change, I even stop in to have my oil topped off because my car’s really ghetto and has a crack in the oil pan and I haven’t had it fixed yet.  But every time, he comes to my window and I say “HI!” like we’re old pals and consistently, without fail, he says, with a dismissive look, “You been here before?”  And then I tell him, with a defeated tone, “Yes,” and this last time, I almost said, “Don’t you remember, You sprayed oil all over my window and the roof of my car and spent an hour wiping it off while I said, ‘Oh don’t worry about it!’ and you kept saying, ‘I hate when I do this!’?”   

I didn’t shame him though.  I refrained.  I just have to come to terms with where we stand – I’m just another Honda to him.

Worst Movie You Ever Saw.

Do you remember the worst movie you ever saw?  If so, tell me what it is. 

I don’t know if I can remember the worst EVER, but I got a close contender.  Last night, Jules and I went to see The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard.  I’m embarrassed to even say we saw it.  It was boring, gross, empty, racist, offensive and dumb.  I considered napping and I don’t movie nap, ever.  Not that I’m opposed to napping.  I am the best napper around, but I don’t like to mix genres (i.e. no eating in bed).   Anyways, if you had any inkling to go see it, don’t do it.  Don’t even see it on video.  I know I shouldn’t tell you what to do, but I want you to be happy.  Rent an oldie with Paul Newman or Jimmy Stewart – something that makes you believe in the decency of humankind.  And if you do decide to see it, eat something wholesome afterwards, like a salad.

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On a different note, I saw a blog today that made me laugh and since I’d like nothing better than to make YOU laugh, I’m going to post a snippet from it, the little part that made me chuckle, for your enjoyment.  The blog was on the pros and cons of having chainsaws for arms.  Don’t forget to tell me the worst movie ever.

Pros of having chainsaws for arms: (taken from pleatedjeans.wordpress.com)

  • No one picks on me anymore
  • Can cut down a tree in no time
  • No such thing as a “locked door”
  • Look great in a tank top
  • Can always find my way out of a garden maze
  • No more inconvenient fingernail clipping
  • Never having to buy a Halloween costume (saves $$$)