Friday, March 31, 2006

Books - March 2006

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
A graceful story that painlessly led me on a philosophical journey. I wasn't beaten about the head with a Bible, yet I mused about God, and even Jesus.

House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
It could be argued that this one took me on a philosophical journey, too. And it's really creepy. And when you see the page count you'll understand why I only read three books this month. It's been called the "Blair Witch" of novels, and I'd agree with that accusation.

The Power of Now by Eckhardt Tolle
Guess what? Another philosophical journey. This one is a little too New-Agey-gaze-at-a-plant-and-sense-its-life-force for me (see: my distaste for all things Celestine Prophecy) but it's caused me to look at the world in a slightly different light.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

G.I. Joe is There

If you've ever practiced yoga and/or played with plastic action figures, I've got a website for you.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


A few highlights from our trip to the Czech Republic last weekend:
-Switching trains in the dark, from the sleek German speedy train where I was chastised for propping my toe up against the seat across from mine, to the slightly worn and decidedly slow Czech train where our compartment door clanged open and shut whenever the train went up or down a slope, but the conductor just looked at our second-class tickets, noticed we were in the first-class cabin, said "Eh," and moved on.
-Hearing and seeing more English than we've heard or seen in months. Never needing to learn how to say "yes,""no," or "thank you" in Czech. This was strange but, since we are basically lazy people, a little bit of a relief.
-Eating ice cream cones twice a day.
-Buying a pretty Czech crystal wine decanter.
-Visiting the largest castle complex in the world (according to our guidebook), and hanging over the castle wall to photograph the view.
-Getting a Thai foot massage in the lower level of our hotel.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Gossip Hound

I love celebrity gossip. Much of it is untrue. Orlando Bloom and Gwyneth Paltrow, though they are both elf-like, are mere mortals who really aren't any more interesting than anyone else. However, I enjoy speculating about Gwyneth's baby names and critiquing Oscar fashions. I like to think I would draw the line at accosting any of these famous people if I were to run into them in person (I did once see David Duchovny taking his baby for a stroll in New York and I managed to react only by poking Jeff really hard in the ribs.). But I gleefully absorb information posted at EOnline and Defamer and GoFugYourself. I sometimes wonder where the crazy stories come from and I'm just as sick of Brangelina and their possible wedding as anyone else. Still, I devour it all.

That's why it's a surprise to discover that even my own insatiable appetite for celebrity gossip has nearly been spoiled by the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes baby speculation business. I was right in the chow line, lapping up stories of couch-jumping and brainwashing along with everyone else. I've called Tom a lunatic, and wondered aloud if Katie has lost her mind, and even expressed my consternation at the entire bizarre coupling. But, for me, the accusation that they're faking her pregnancy falls into a different category than the aren't-Nick-and-Jessica-just-faking-it-for-the-cameras scoffing. I would naively prefer to live in a world where people don't pretend to be pregnant in order to fool their fans and the media for some convoluted reason that could include but is not limited to impotence and/or homosexuality coverup, religious cult ritual, or controlling relationship. And if someone must pretend to be pregnant for those reasons, that's not gossip, that's just terribly sad, not to mention a disturbing commentary on what a movie star is willing to do to maintain his stardom - probably another topic I'd prefer not to know too much about. But I have the feeling that while Tom and Katie might not have a relationship that I would envy, they are in a better place than people who cook up plots to steal Katie Holmes's medical records (OK,they haven't been caught yet, but you know they're out there) in order to support a relatively farfetched theory. Yes, when TheSmokingGun comes up with proof that Michael Jackson's ex-wife/nurse actually gave birth to TomKat's child, I will feel duped, but at least I'll know I haven't crossed over to being a complete cynic just yet.

You've probably noticed those gossip links over there on the right. I would be lying if I promised to cut off my gossip pipeline in light of my disgust. But I now realize that every gossip-hound like me has her limit, the piece of ("mainstream," non-Batboy) gossip that makes her say, "WHY on earth would anyone believe that to be true?" And that when it comes to babies, I try to view them as happy events, even for people who are living out in left field. And that gossip is more interesting when there is some evidence to support it (grainy photos of Jennifer Aniston smooching Vince Vaughn in a public place, for example), than when it seems more like mean-spirited fabrication. However, let's face it, it's way too much fun to make fun of Britney Spears's creepy husband to stop reading the gossip rags now. But you won't see me accusing her of manufacturing a fake Sean Preston. No way.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Czech 1, 2, 3

We returned last night from a weekend trip to Prague. The city is filled with beautiful architecture, warm and friendly Czech people, and hordes of English-speaking tourists. We were glad for the opportunity to add to the throng. I've posted some photos here. I'm sure the urge to engage in Czech/check wordplay will wear off in a couple of days.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Makin' It

My new favorite time-waster: MAKE:the blog, where you can learn how to do everything from sewing a stuffed Easter bunny to resurfacing CDs.

I think I'll spend the weekend making a plastic clone of myself.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Proud to be an American

Thank you, America. My faith in your musical taste was restored when I learned that Kevin Covais was voted off the American Idol island last night. Sure, Paula, he's squishable, but it was time for him to go. This gives me hope that the Fedorov effect of last year will not repeat itself, and that twelve-year-old girls on pink cell phones have not yet conquered the airwaves. Yeah, VotefortheWorst is funny, but I'd prefer to support survival of the fittest when it comes to entertainment. Kevin, you're cute and have a good attitude. I'm sick of Seacrest; maybe you could be the new Dunkleman?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Blind Boys of Bavaria

We've curbed our exhibitionist tendencies now that our new window blinds have been installed. Yesterday, when I called to tell Jeff the installers were here, I kept referring to them as the "blind guys." We've been living without window coverings for the past four months, which is only a big deal because one entire wall of our bedroom is glass and looks out onto several other apartment buildings. I won't miss hauling my outfit for the day into the bathroom with me each morning. I'm sure the neighbors won't miss the sight of my bed-head and purple flannel PJs. Jeff is excited about sleeping late on weekends without wearing a Lufthansa eye mask. If you look carefully as you're admiring the photo of our new blinds, you'll notice SNOWFLAKES falling outside the window.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Me Me Me

Since I seem to be swimming around in my own little world (or Wald, if you're German) most of the time these days, I just can't escape the self-reflection. Thus, the self-indulgent blog you're currently reading. And as long as you're bearing with the self-indulgence, I'm going to try out this little gem, the Johari Window. Please take thirty seconds and choose six words you most associate with me, would you? And, set one up for yourself and send me the link! This is like those quizzes we used to send around folded up in strange pointy Origami in junior high. Except nicer, and without checkmarks.


Jeff and I settled into the couch on Sunday night for a festival viewing of Garden State. Actually it was a TV viewing; we figure since we're paying for the movie channels thanks to my Oscar obsession, we may as well watch some movies. I saw Garden State for the first time in November 2004, on a business trip to Chicago, and it prompted me to return to my hotel and write a long journal entry and think about that time in my life when, though I wasn't actually medicated, nor did I have a comparably sad relationship with my family, I felt that aimless numbness (look! alliteration!) that Zach Braff portrays so well. I like to tell everyone who will listen that the first year out of college was the most confusing of my life. I'm a very good rule-follower, goal-achiever, teacher's pet. When I graduated from college and didn't get into grad school (an MFA program in poetry writing, thank your lucky stars they saw fit to reject me or you would be reading bad free verse right now), it was the first time in my life that my future wasn't mapped out before me, and that there was no summer camp or internship or training program to tell me what to do next. Not to mention the resume-writing and rejection that inevitably followed. Fortunately, Jeff was around to listen to me whine, and fortunately he didn't get sick of the navel-gazing, because he's still here.

I love it when movies capture a moment like that. I also loved the music (I downloaded the songs by Zero 7 and Frou Frou this afternoon), Natalie Portman's dead hamster, the Medieval Times reference, and my new movie star boyfriend Peter Sarsgaard (who was not really my type here but I can get over that when I remember Shattered Glass - move over Maggie Gyllenhall). I've added Zach Braff's blog to my bloglinks; he only seems to post about once a month but he's so cool I don't care. Fortunately, SkyTV airs Scrubs reruns twice a day, so I get my fix elsewhere.

Monday, March 20, 2006

It really is the first day of spring

I feel like singing a song. Fortunately, I don't know how to record/link audio, or you might have to endure my talentless warblings. The sun is out, and I walked around outside without my wool coat. And I didn't even shiver!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


A food blogger I'm not, as evidenced by this amateur photo of my dinner concoction. However, it tasted so good I wanted to capture it on, um, film. Or pixels.

Rarely does a recipe turn out exactly like I picture it in my head (or how it's pictured in the cookbook). The instructions didn't warn me that my entire kitchen would be covered in curry-scented grease after Monday night's dinner, or that a particular scampi sauce isn't so much sauce as it is two tablespoons of butter that are supposed to bathe a pound of pasta.

Last night, however, my culinary efforts were rewarded with feta-stuffed chicken that not only looked pretty and tasted prettier, but it matched the new placemats I bought in France! (I'm still in denial that they're white. We've banned red sauce from our house until they're broken in.) The recipe comes from Colorado Colore, the latest Denver Junior League cookbook. Someday I'm going to move to Denver just so I can get on the Junior League taste-testing committee. I'd better hurry up, I think I'm almost too old to join the Junior League.

The Weatherman

Jeff has informed me that "every good blog needs some statistics." So he has provided me with the following weather stats, to back up my claims that it has been a darn cold winter around these parts:

In February 2006, 17 of 28 days' temperatures were below average. The average temperature was 2 degrees below average for the month.

In March, 13 of 15 days have been below average. The average temperature has been 10 degrees below average for the month.

Temperatures are reported in Fahrenheit (I cling to the Old Country). All data was gathered from

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I took a little walk in Furth today and took some photos. Since you're probably tired of looking at the snowy rooftops outside my window, I tried a couple of artsy shots. Take a look.

Having said that, I've also posted some pictures of a big and pretty schneestorm that happened last week. The flakes were just too gorgeous not to share. Click the cobblestone picture to the right to check them out.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

My Weekend

-Schnee chaos is back, and now the river has flooded. There are swans swimming around in the middle of the soccer field across the road from our apartment.

-I was reminded of the genius of Jack Black (and Stevie Nicks) while watching The School of Rock on TV on Saturday evening. I'm off to download Edge of Seventeen right now.

-Jeff didn't appreciate my insinuations about soccer fans in the last post. Not all of them are cheapskates. More seriously, I'd like to mention that while prostitution is legal in Germany, the campaigns against the practice and especially against importing workers are strong.

-Jeff's mom gets the gold star for the day; she sent us two boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Nothing makes my weekend like a box of thin mints.

Friday, March 10, 2006

I Hear They're Hiring

I learned today that prostitution is legal in Germany. Does that mean I need a work permit to apply? Because, apparently, they're in recruitment mode:

CNN story: German sex industry awaits World Cup

Though, according to the CNN story, one Berlin-based lady of the evening says, "I can tell you that most men who watch a soccer game also have quite a few beers and that's not exactly boosting their standing power, quite literally, which makes them serious cheapskates. Actually, I think this might be the right time for me to take a holiday."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Finally, It Has Happened to Me

We're pulling out all the stops today at The Blythe Spirit, so put on some CeCe Peniston and unscrew the two-liter bottle of wine cooler.

Jeff and Blythe have passed the German driving test.

I've avoided writing about the test because there was no reason to project my sense of impending doom throughout the land. Two weeks ago, at 7:30am, in a room populated by 17-year-old German whiz kids (and one middle-aged Canadian), we made our first attempt at the exam. We had studied the six zillion sample questions, quizzed one another on the formula for braking distances, and made road-sign flashcards. Alas, success eluded us that day. We both scored below the 90% (yes, you read that correctly) required to pass the test.

We were required to wait two weeks before reattempting the exam. In order to justify our failure, I will now go into boring detail about the test itself.
Let me remind you that we were given 1,800 sample questions (yes, I've double-checked that number), 30 of which are on each test, which is different for each test-taker at each administration. And, though the vast majority of questions are multiple-choice, there may be more than one correct answer to each question. Can you tell that I formerly worked in a field where the SAT was a major topic of discussion?

Some of the questions are frighteningly easy for anyone who has possessed a drivers license for more than five minutes:
You have missed the autobahn (freeway) exit. What do you do?
-Drive on to the next exit
-Reverse along the shoulder of the road

These are followed by photos of small children on tricycles next to questions asking if this child is riding his tricycle in your driveway, should you wait until he passes or mow him down because tricycles don't have right-of-way. (You'll be glad to know that, though the Germans have a reputation for unquestioned rule-following, they do allow for tricycle right-of-way in this situation).

Such questions lulled us into believing we might actually pass the test. Then, when we took the exam the first time, we got questions like this:
Which vehicles are you allowed to drive with a driving permit class B when considering the permissible towed load?
Combinations of:
-a car with a permissible total mass of 3500kg and a trailer with a permissible total mass of 750kg
-a car and a trailer if its permissible total mass exceeds the empty mass of the car, as long as the sum of the permissible total masses is not more than 3500kg
-a truck with apermissible total mas of 3500kg and a trailer with a permissible total mass of 750kg

And a few made us worry there might be a surprise urinalysis when we handed in the test paper:
Which drugs can make a person temporarily unfit to drive even when consumed on a single occasion?
-Heroin, cocaine, amphetamines

This past weekend was spent once again quizzing one another on bicycle parking regulations over dinner, and pointing out poorly-parked cars on the way to the grocery store. We did our best to avoid analyzing the test and its questions, to avoid drawing sweeping negative conclusions about an entire country and culture, to avoid criticizing the evil test-writers who attempt to trip up test-takers by trickily switching a single word ("overestimate" and "underestimate") wherever possible. This morning, I worried that it was a bad omen when we were seated at exactly the same desks where we'd failed the test before, the DESKS OF FAILURE. When we received our test papers, everything started out all right. Yes! I've seen these questions before. Yes! I know the answers. But about halfway through, my confidence waned. What is the minimum parking distance behind a bus stop? 15 meters or 5? Or is that at a tram stop? Must a farm vehicle drive on the hard shoulder or in the right lane? When driving in fog, is the braking distance normal or equivalent to evasive braking? AAAAAAAH. I took crazy guesses at the last page of questions. Who knows when the holiday driving ban applies? Who careS? I was sure I'd failed again. Jeff was sure he had failed as well. We were already scheming ways to convert our Oregon licenses to Louisiana so we didn't have to take the damn thing again.

However, miracle of miracles, the glory of the Lord shone down upon us and we were saved. I'm not kidding. I am sure that some divine intervention was involved. Somewhere, someone noticed that we were tired of dealing with grumpy government authorities, tired of snowy days in March, tired of living in a place that still feels strange sometimes. And so, when the smiling test administrator shook our hands in congratulation, I thanked him profusely. He said, in a broken but friendly attempt at English, "It is you who have done this yourselves." But I thanked him anyway. I told him, I am so happy, I must thank someone.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Envelope, Please

The outstanding entrant in Blythe's 2006 Oscar Pool/Poll is:

Melanie Reed from Seattle WA, with 19 predictions correct, out of 24 categories. Melanie is the lucky winner of an Oscar the Grouch T-shirt. Mel is decidedly NOT a grouch, but she deserves a big Oscar for her awards-predicting prowess, and this was the only one I could get my hands on.

Second place goes to Karen Katz from Portland OR, based on her 17 correct predictions. She wanted to make it clear that her entry reflected the films she thought would win, not those she actually wanted to win. She walks away with a $10 Amazon gift certificate, which she can use toward the purchase of her favorite film of 2005, Match Point, when it comes out on DVD next month.

The Gay cowboys? What gay cowboys? award goes to Scott Butler, who did not predict Brokeback Mountain as a winner in a single category.

The special Three 6 Posse award for musical appreciation goes to David Bradley, Jill Briney, Mike Sexton, and Karl Stickel, the only people to correctly predict that "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" would win Best Original Song.

Apparently God Sleeps in Rwanda was an audience favorite, because 19 of 27 entrants predict it as a winner in the Best Documentary Short category. Or maybe that's just because it was the first one on the ballot?

Our first-place finisher (Melanie) incorrectly predicted the awards that the last-place finisher (Jill) got right. Team Reed/Briney in 2007?

For those who are setting Oscar prediction goals for next year, here's the score breakdown, by name and number of correct predictions:

Melanie - 19
Karen - 17
Karl - 15
Kerri W - 14
Sandi - 14
Kylee - 12
Anna - 10
Chad - 10
Martha - 10
Francie - 9
Mike - 9
Monique - 9
Erica - 8
Erika - 8
Erin - 8
Scott - 8
Daniela - 7
David - 7
Katie - 7
Kendra - 7
Kerri B - 7
Patti - 7
Todd - 7
Jeff - 6
Tracy - 6
Dick - 5
Jill - 4

Thanks for playing. And, it's never too early to start handicapping.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Oscar the Grouch

Before I share my thoughts on the Oscars, I must unburden myself to you, dear readers. I know that many of you spent the telecast assuming that I was sitting in my jammies at 2a.m. watching the whole thing unfold right along with you via the miracle of satellite television. Sadly, I am a weenie who gets grouchy when I don't get 9 hours of sleep every night. And I finally figured out how to read the online TV guide. So when I realized that Sky would re-play the Oscars on Monday afternoon, I agonized for about six seconds and then decided to watch the replay. I would have agonized for only two seconds, but the extra 4 seconds were added because I relied on the TV guide for my Olympics coverage and ended up watching 2 hours of curling final that pre-empted the figure skating exhibition. Fortunately, the curlers had the day off today and the Oscar broadcast transpired smoothly.

I haven't yet read any press coverage of the awards, so the following is straight off the top of my cheese-and-greasy-cracker-addled head.

Jon Stewart - I thought he did a good job. The Oscar host is not meant to be hilarious or to steal the show. He did neither, but contributed some crack-me-up moments (Bjork vs. Dick Cheney, for example).

Who seated Jack Nicholson next to Keira Knightley? Does he slip cash to the people who organize this thing? Or is he one of the producers? I'm sure she tried to swap seats with that guy next to her.

Best fashion comeback = Michelle Williams, thanks to a risky choice. No one would ever mistake that dress for something she might have worn to the Flathead High prom.

Hottest couple = Meryl Streep (she looked amazing) and Lily Tomlin. I loved their bit and I want to know if/how much they practiced it. They balanced poor Lauren Bacall's teleprompter problem (somebody get that woman a pair of reading glasses - where's Paul Giamatti when you need him?) nicely.

Outsider of the year = Matt Dillon, who never changes, he still looks just as hot as when he played Dally in 1983. If I were Cameron Diaz, I think I would be questioning my life with Justin Timberlake right about now. Oscar nominee vs. Britney's ex...hmmm...

The Crash moviemakers are going to have a week like the one that Marisa Tomei had when she won her Oscar - first thrilled, then defensive, then cranky, then they'll go on to make some movie that's even more interesting and say screw the naysayers.

Best Mom shout-out = Philip Seymour Hoffman, who loves his mom despite having to live with the middle name "Seymour" throughout his childhood.

Reese looked very pretty, it was nice to see her in a full-length sparkly gown. I wish I could see the details better; were those beads? rhinestones? silver threads?

I think Rachel Weisz was wearing Catherine Zeta-Jones's maternity dress from 2003, sans sequins.

Those crazy March of the Penguins guys were edged out for Best Use of an Acceptance Speech Accessory by the bow-tied makers of Wallace and Gromit and their teeny Oscar bow ties. It's all about preparation, people.

Um, who invited Buddy Holly? and the $6-million Man?

I'm glad Jennifer Garner didn't fall down. And I was so happy to see that she was wearing a dress that I could imagine that someone who recently gave birth might wear, versus other Hollywood mothers who seem to have found some Magical Kool-Aid that shrinks their bodies to pre-pregnancy size within hours of delivery (see: Heidi Klum in the Victoria's Secret fashion show).

My feelings about J.Lo's fashion choices tend to be strong, and I thought her green dress was lovely this time around.

I just love Dolly Parton. Apparently she can work the stage so well that she doesn't require strange, slow-motion tableaux or dancing prostitutes to illustrate the message of her song.

Speaking of songs, wasn't that Andie, Toby's wife from the West Wing who wrote and performed the song from Crash??

I wasn't wild about the black dresses, especially Charlize's giant shoulder bow, with the exception of Felicity Huffman who (as always) looked so lovely that someone ought to paint her portrait. Bonus points for the sparkly hair accessory.

I know you won't believe this, but Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter were looking as good (read: normal) as I've ever seen them. It's a shame about her hairdo but at least she seems to have found her own hairdresser, instead of letting Tim style it?

You might have caught Naomi Watts promoting the Lexus hybrid that she chose instead of riding in a limo to the ceremony. She's such a friend to the environment, I think her dress was made of 100% recycled materials.

Having the most fun = Amy Adams looked so happy, she was living it up. Three 6 Mafia, of course, were having their own party right onstage. And I'm pretty sure the whole crew from Crash is having a good time now that they've recovered from their simultaneous near heart attacks.

I'm sorry if you experienced any technical difficulties loading the site today; apparently my service provider was having some problems. Probably due to the massive traffic that my oscar poll generated. Results are being tabulated and will be announced tomorrow.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Lavender is the New Orange

Oprah stopped by The Blythe Spirit last night and gave it a makeover.

I wish. But you've probably noticed the new look. Hope it's not too, um, PURPLE for you. Please let me know via comments or what have you if there's something that doesn't work for you. I'm no graphic artist, so pointers are appreciated.

Incidentally, Oprah would feel right at home here. The temperature hovers around freezing and it's been snowing all day. Lovely, fluffy snowflakes, like frosting on the tile roofs outside my window. I'm concerned that Mother Nature hasn't been reading her email, because I thought March was supposed to be a springtime month, but never mind.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Rolling Stones

I often say the wrong thing. I am rarely wise enough to subsequently shut up and hope that no one notices. I follow up with explanations and more details about how the wrong thing was not so wrong, it was simply said with the wrong words, which tends to further alienate the group of people I'm speaking to. This happens in groups where I don't know the people that well, but I've become just comfortable enough to speak up and express an opinion. That's why a scene in The Family Stone, which Jeff and I saw last weekend, broke my heart. Meredith (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) is at the dinner table with her boyfriend's family, who don't like her that much. As she digs herself deeper and deeper, and offends each one of them more and more, I shrunk into my seat in recognition.

I am lucky to have married into a family where everyone acted like they liked me even before they really got to know me (and they are still nice to me even now that they know I don't eat watermelon or enjoy long car trips). But I remember the fragility of those first family dinners, when the rhythm was passing me by and I piped up with some strange addition to the conversation. And I wasn't sure whether to hug or shake hands, and I wasn't yet in synch with the dress code. All of those feelings surfaced while I watched this film.

I'll admit that my compassion was helped along (manipulated?) by the casting of the charming SJP; I could like her even when she was acting unlikable because she's Carrie Bradshaw and a Square Peg and she wears gorgeous Narciso Rodriguez clothes during the whole movie. It also helped that the uncomfortable bits were bracketed by hilarious family dynamics within a large cast where, remarkably, each person had his or her own personality. In my book, that's good filmmaking. The whole shebang is helped along by an entire cast of ringers, including Craig T. Nelson (Coach!), Claire Danes (Angela Chase!), and Diane Keaton (Annie Hall!). And Rachel McAdams, who is supposed to be the Next Big Thing, shows up and keeps up the Mean Girls spirit instead of teetering over into The Notebook territory.

I love movies where characters are flawed, where there are slapstick moments and strange moments and genuinely sad moments that feel real. I was a big fan of the Jodie Foster-directed Home for the Holidays which came to mind while I was watching The Family Stone. Lots of people disliked that one, but I almost fell on the grody movie theatre floor I laughed so hard. I've heard criticism that this movie was mis-marketed, that it was supposed to be a comedy and then someone gets cancer. To me, the best stories include characters who have real relationships, and the funniest jokes relate to real life. And in real life, sad stuff happens right along with the funny stuff. Sometimes, that's what makes the funny stuff so funny. When it comes out on video (I imagine it isn't in US theatres any more, is it?), watch it, and when you hate Meredith, think of me.

The working title of this movie was "Hating Her." I love that.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Rock Me Like a Hurricane

Nicky over at Delicious Days posted this questionnaire and I couldn't resist answering it. Help! I'm trapped in the 80s! But I'm OK with that. Maybe I'm not trapped, I'm just lounging around with Martha Quinn, eating Reese's Pieces and getting a perm.

1. Music from your earliest childhood:
We had one of those wood-cabinet stereo systems and I loved to play Guilty by Barbra Streisand/Barry Gibb on vinyl. I also performed interpretive dances to the entire Neil Diamond Jazz Singer soundtrack. The first .45 given to me as a gift was by Mel Tillis. (shout out to all the Mel fans in the audience) The first .45 I bought myself was Vacation by the Go-Gos.

2. Music you connecting with your first great love:
Two Princes by the Spin Doctors (I know, isn't that weird?) and Running on Faith by Eric Clapton.

3. Music you're listening to right now:
The latest downloads on my ipod are JCB by Nizlopi, Crash by the Primitives, Bohemian Like You by the Dandy Warhols, Molly's Chambers by Kings of Leon, and Switch by Will Smith

4. A song you’d rather not publicly admit to like, whereas in fact you really do:
The entire Wide Open Spaces album by the Dixie Chicks, NOT because they dared to express their opinions in public (horrors!) but because I left Montana swearing I would never ever listen to country music again once I was free of the single radio station in my hometown, yet this is in my top three play-in-the-car-and-sing-along albums (see #13). My Maria by Brooks & Dunn qualifies in this category too. And I'm a huge MJ fan; as much as I'd like to shun him for his transformation into a freakish pariah, I can't let go of Smooth Criminal.

5. Music that accompanied you going through severe lovesickness:
Missing You by John Waite, Careless Whisper by Wham!, Crazy for You by Madonna and Souls by Rick Springfield. Hmmm, I wonder if you can figure out when I was in junior high?

6. Music representing your favorite instrumental:
Moments in Love by Art of Noise. No, this isn't the one with the jerky video of the little girl dressed like a punk rocker. I've heard many different mixes of this song; my favorite is a long version played on KINK.FM in Portland that I've never been able to find online.

7. Music played by one of your favorite bands:
It's hard to top When Doves Cry by Prince. The entire Duran Duran-Rio album still makes me stop and listen even after it has been overplayed and remixed to death.

8. Music that allows you to relax best:

9. Music standing for a real good time in your life:
I started paying close attention to music during a year I spent in the UK on foreign exchange when I was 16. I discovered New Order, The Cure, The Jam, The Smiths, and Erasure during that time, and I love them still. Other teens in America were listening to them too, but not in my hometown.

10. Songs that would currently qualify as your favorite:
I'm still listening to Lass Mich by Nena. I also just downloaded Pretty Vegas by INXS. Yes, I'm a traitor to the memory of Michael Hutchence and I really didn't like that Fortune guy when he was on the TV show, but I just can't get the song out of my brain.

11. Music you like, neither German nor English:
The Gipsy Kings.

12. Music you can let off steam best to:
Hair bands! Journey! Def Leppard! Bon Jovi! ROCK ON.

13. Music you sing along to in the car:
Yes, the Dixie Chicks (see #4). Also, a mix of bootylicious dance tunes including Naughty Girl (Beyonce), Milkshake (Kelis), Genie in a Bottle (Xtina), I'm a Slave for You (Britney), I Need to Know (Mark Anthony), Push It (Salt n Pepa) and Hey Mama (Black Eyed Peas). Pat Benatar and Billy Joel work well for me too.

14. Soundtracks that complete an almost perfect movie:
Love movies, love music, love everything Cameron Crowe ever did, including the defining movie moment of my generation, Lloyd Dobbler holding a boom box in Diane Court's yard, playing In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel. So I'm a big cliche. Get over it. As for movie scores, I find myself listening to the music from The (remake of) Thomas Crown Affair a lot.

15. A song you like because of its lyrics:
Ghosts by The Jam