Saturday, July 15, 2017

Oh, snap. . .

When mom says your middle name, and you know you're in all kinds of trouble.



In which I finally confront spellcheck. . .


Needy people all up in my email. . .


I was just deleting the mail in my spam folder and saw an email, supposedly from some hot girl. The subject line was "I've lost my panties again."
And I'm just like, "Bitch, how am I supposed to help with your ADHD? I hardly have a handle on my own."

In which I try Snapchat for the first time. . .

I turn 43 on Monday, so I decided to join the digital age. I tried Snapchat. Got my rainbow headphones on, my heart's beating like a kick drum and I'm sharing a glimpse of my mermaid soul.


Song of the Day: "Into the Light" by Siouxsie and the Banshees

I've got another song of the day because it began playing in my mind, unbidden, after listening to a new Lana del Rey joint. It's "Into the Light" by Siouxsie and the Banshee off their album Juju. It has such a memorable opening and Siouxsie's voice and words are everything.

I was only six when this album came out. Being into Siouxsie and the Banshees when I was in high school made me feel like I belonged to an exclusive club, full of dark dreams and fairydust. In fact, I still feel that way.

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Song of the Day: "Groupie Love" by Lana del Rey

Isn't it nice to see Lana Del Rey smiling on the cover of this album? Here's my song of the day, her "Groupie Love." That's someone named A$AP Rocky rapping up in there. I'd know who he was if I was more abreast of the hip hop world.

BTW, isn't homegirl prolific? I just looked it up and Lana Del Rey is 32. She's released five albums and who knows how many singles since she busted out with Born to Die in 2012. She's got a deep catalogue and is crafting a really unique musical legacy.

Plus, she makes me really tempted to make myself uncomfortable and apply some fake eyelashes—even if they may be slightly obscured behind my glasses—because she's always done up so pretty.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Song of the Day: "Road Head" by Japanese Breakfast

"Road Head" by Japanese Breakfast is song of the day on battlestar eclectica. This lo-fi alternative pop tune is atmospheric and imaginative.

It's just what I needed on a day when, for some reason, so many old songs are boring me. I'd call their album "Music for a Jaded Listener" but instead, their new record is called "Soft Sounds for Another Planet." I love it.

 Japanese Breakfast, Wikpedia tells me, is the solo musical project of Michelle Zauner of the band Little Big League. Little Big League, Wikipedia tells me, is a Philadelphia emo band founded in 2011.

Warning: The video is kinda creepy, with a tall goat-headed looking monster. He's pretty chill until the girl does him in. But if creepy is not your bag, you can play the video and cover it wth a new page or nudge it over to the side of your screen. 



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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Random Musing: The folks on "Wife Swap"

That moment when you're watching "Wife Swap" and you realize that, dysfunctional as you may be, "My god, these people are batshit crazy!"



















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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Song of the Day: "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" by The Smiths

My song of the day on Battlestar Eclectica is "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" by The Smiths. 
This tune helps me when I get impatient to "blow up," i.e. become noted or at least respected and paid enough to take care of bills AND pursue a bucket list. You know, stuff like traveling to Wales because Alex, 8, is inexplicably teaching himself Welsh.
Like going to Australia and hanging out with my high school chum Catherine—who moved Down Under at age 19 or 20—in an Uluru-adjacent sweat lodge. We'll be sensitive to Aboriginal needs and only climb the Red Heart of Australia, called Ayer's Rock by the uninitiated, in our hearts and minds.
I'm craving resources for self-indulgent activities like building a backyard music studio with room for Brian's drum kit and my new bad-ass bass amp. I want to get the kids a swing set before Alex is too old to care. I wanna go to a fancy restaurant and find out once and for all what the hell "baked Alaska" is.
You can imagine this song's getting "ril" or, as Morrissey croons in another tune, "it's too close to home and it's too near the bone" as I near 43. B-day's coming up on July 17, y'all. Can I get a witness?

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Epigram of the Day: "Call Me" by Sarah Torribio

            <<previous epigram
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Song of the Day: "Titanium" by David Guetta ft. Sia

I really love "Titanium" by David Guetta featuring Sia. It's blowing my mind. I'm currently playing this vid on repeat because when you first fall in love with a song, why listen to anything else?

Sia's my girl and I think I'm now going to have to explore all of David Guetta's catalogue, because he's a super-talented electronic artist. I probably have already enjoyed some of his work. I just tend to focus on singers more than musicians sometimes. Mea culpa.

There is so much good music out there. I marvel every day at how much and how hard it is to keep up. No once can hope to have an "encyclopedic knowledge" of music anymore. Let's just say that some people have read the Cliff's Notes.

Thank God for Shazam, which identified this song for me as it played on the radio Those bastards on the radio never say the names of songs anymore. You're right, Morrissey. Hang the DJ, indeed.

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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Song of the Day: "Ablaze" by School of Seven Bells

"Ablaze" by School of Seven Bells is song of the day on battlestar eclectica. I'm told their most recent LP was their last, but I'm ready to dig into their catalogue. This is some epic shoegaze—it's got me looking at the stars.

It has a lighter touch that Siouxsie and the Banshees, but there's a touch of that mystical wall-of-sound magic.

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Song of the Day: "Writer in the Dark" by Lorde

My song of the day is "Writer in the Dark" by Lorde, off her latest album "Melodrama." This is a low-key, melancholy and wistful song by the New Zealand-bred songstress, who has now reached a ripe old age of 20.

Her voice is such aged whiskey, her melodies are lovely and her words are remarkable: "I am my mother's child/I'll love you till my breathing stops/I'll love you 'til you call the cops on me." She sounds like she's been suffering and learning and performing for 50 years.

It's a great slice of indie-pop, and I would do well to listen to the whole album.

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Song of the Day: "I Will Spite Surive" by Deerhoof, ft. Jenn Wasner

Today's song of the day on battlestar eclectica is "I Will Spite Survive" by Deerhoof, featuring Jenn Wasner.

I'm told by Wikipedia that Deerhoof is an experimental indie music group formed in 1994 and consists of John Dieterich, Satomi Matsuzaki, Ed Rodriguez and Greg Saunier. I'm told by an NPR article that Deerhoof's recently-released sophomore, "Mountain Moves," features a cast of talented musicians including Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier, plus Juana Molina, Xenia Rubinos.

I actually don't know who any of those people are, because my encyclopedic musical knowledge has whole pages torn out, but they're making some good noise.

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Epigram of the day: "Cyclical" by Sarah Torribio

I write epigrams for every mood. It's how I figure things out and express myself. They burst out when I don't have the luxury of giving time to larger projects—bigger stories—and when I've been working on a larger project for a long time and long for some quick and dirty creative fulfillment.

One thing remains constant. The em-dash—or should I say the hyphen—is my best friend.















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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Song of the Day: "Super Natural" by Turnover

My song of the day is "Super Natural" by Turnover, an indie rock band from Virginia Beach, Virginia that has embraced the dream pop ethos. This song is so soothing,

I recommend an experiment. Take your pulse before you listen to this song and then afterwards. Your heart rate will have slowed, just slightly but nonetheless perceptively.

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The upside of global warming

Global warming isn't all bad. Ladies, the parasol—that most elegant of accessories—is coming back with a vengeance.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Epigram of the Day: "The graceful breakup"





















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Song of the Day: "Let's Dance" by David Bowie

Sitting down to do some writing stuff, I feel a slight depression and a sense of weight on my shoulders, hampering my creativity and forward movement. What should I do.

What if there were a song that could cure this malaise. Oh, yeah, there is. Wait for it. . .

My song of the day is "Let's Dance" by David Bowie. The lyrics are so bomb: "under the moonlight, the serious moonlight."

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Random Musings: Coca-Cola, playdates and a paintbrush. . .

A month into unemployment, I've acquired a bad habit I need to kick—drinking Coca-Cola—and a good one. I've arranged two playdates for Alex and Savanna.

Also, I'm getting creative, viz-u-ally speaking. Here's an in-progress mural on my bedroom wall.





















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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Song of the Day: "Spinning on Blue" by Bien

"Spinning on Blue" by Bien is song of the day on Battlestar Eclectica. It's a sweet indie pop confection—pretty and ethereal.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Song of the Day: "Mirror" by The Drums

"Mirror" by The Drums, off their new album Abysmal Thoughts, is song of the day on Battlestar Eclectica. This indie pop band has won me over with its perfectly lovely guitar, which is reminiscent of Joy Division.

If you haven't listened to Joy Division lately, by the way, of course you'll want to listen to "Love Will Tear Us Apart." But don't forget to listen to lesser-known songs in their catalogue like the dark symphony that is "Disorder."

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Random Musings: That suicidal duck. . .

I feel like that suicidal duck on "Tom & Jerry' would respond very well to a combination of therapy, exercise, supplements like St. John's Wort, medication—perhaps a mild dose of an SSRI—and some dietary changes.


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Song of the Day: "Girls Girls" by Icona Pop

"Girls Girls" by Icona Pop is song of the day on battlestar eclectica. I really like the video because it has so many real-looking girls and women, just hanging out and having fun.

There's so much strength and coolness to females, even amid turmoil and moodiness. For me, feminism is a no-brainer. If it wasn't a word, I've have to invent it. Sometimes a soul wears a skirt.

I knew that "I Don't Care" song by Icona Pop. In fact, I believe I have danced to it at a wedding. It's lively, and so is this song.

Wikipedia informs me that Icona Pop is "a Swedish electropop duo that formed in 2009 with electro house, punk and indie pop influences" and that it is comprised of Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo. You go, ladies.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Song of the Day: "All I Can Think About Is You" by Coldplay

"All I Can Think About You" by Coldplay, which has a way psychedelic lyric video, is Song of the Day on Battlestar Eclectica.  It's mesmerizing and echoing, reminiscent of early U2 in a good way.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Epigram of the Day: 'Make a Little Homestead" by Sarah Torribio















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Random Musings: Change is scared-citing, I can assure you


I've got a job interview today. I'm scared-cited.
What I've learned in the last few weeks is that if you don't make change, it'll come looking for you. That's a not-so-oblique reference to my recent, sudden and unexpected unemployment.
I have to drop a name here. (lights cigarette)
True story. When I was acting as a freelance entertainment writer for the Reno Gazette Journal, I interviewed Mike Tyson. Maybe 13 minutes on the phone with the man.
Hearing his words was almost impossible, between his manner of speaking, a poor connection and the fact that I was interviewing him outside my workplace with planes flying over my head.
I could understand a few key phrases. One of them was his response to what it's like having his own cartoon. He said, "It's marvelous, I can assure you."
I kind of like ending a sentence that way: I can assure you. It has an earnestness that I want to be a part of.

He also said this about his trials and tribulations. He was promoting his one-man show, by-the-bye. He said, "If you're not humble, life will humble you."
True that, Mike. True that.
End of tangent. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, job interview. So send me some good vibes, homies. I can always use them.
Also I'm an energy vampire so I'm already always slurping up your good vibes for my own use with a straw, metaphorically speaking.
Wait. Did I write that last part aloud?







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Random Musings: Hot digital dog!

I just had one of the most pointless conversations in my life. I boasted about the strength of my social media presence to a dog.
I was in the kitchen and I heard someone behind me. I assumed it was Brian Hall and, having just been perusing my phone, said, with more than a touch of pride, "I have 319 instagram followers."

I turned to find that the recipient of this information was our one-year-old husky Cody. I'd like to say there was some comprehension or interest in his eyes, which are blue and appear to be lined with kohl. Instead, he just had that jolly, slightly mad look that all one-year-old huskies have.

The Magpie Diaries: I went to a thrift store and there found high culture

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Song of the Day: "Mr. Somewhere" by This Mortal Coil

Today's song of the day is the lovely "Mr. Somewhere" off Blood, the final LP by This Mortal Coil, a 1980s, early '90s gothic dream pop group.

It was a loose collaboration of musicians, which at times included Elizabeth Frazer and Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins. This song was balm to my angst-ridden soul when I was a teenage goth.

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Random Musings: Skidding down the information superhighway

As a digital immigrant rather than a digital native—(shut up, Sarah. You're revealing your age)—I'm throwing myself into this instagram situation.
As Chrissie Hynde sang, "Don't Get Me Wrong." 



I'm enjoying myself. (And why does that song make me feel like I should be in a movie montage trying on dozens of hats and outfits?)
It just seems all seems so. . .extroverted. You post lots and lots and lots of photos and updates on your doings and viewings or, if you're daring, add things like meaningful words or funny memes. I think you can even post video. That's how green I am.
Really, though, I've had some time to get used to this. My continuing technological bewilderment could on some level be compared to the act of that rare and much maligned geographic immigrant who doesn't take the time to learn the language.
Friends, I'm scared. All this rapid communication strikes me as hasty. What if I say the wrong thing? Why am I saying so much? Who am I talking to? And I holding a conversation or just shouting in a megaphone.
And also how the f*@& can I make myself so intriguing that I nab a million followers. Because I hear when you become an instagram celebrity someone hands you a bunch of money.
Who will hold my hand on this journey? Who will help me learn the importance, and the process, of making myself look like a woodland animal or like i'm wearing a crown of roses on snapchat? Who will tell me if vine still exists?
Who will hand me one of those weighted blankets that's good for people with autism or who, like myself, have general hysteric tendencies when I get overstimulated by all the digital bells and whistles?
And which of you bitches has seen my new iPhone case? It's straight bling all day.

                                                                                                 >>next random musing

Random Musings: Hollywood Medium Rare



Current mood: Having watched "Hollywood Medium" for the first-time—nay, having binge-watched three episodes—I want Tyler Henry to be my best friend.
I may have to get famous so he'll give me a reading. But I don't like too much attention, so I don't want to be on TV.
I'm contradicting myself, but then again I'm a cancer sun, leo rising, astrologically speaking, so my inner tension is as thick as pea soup.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Song of the Day: "More Than a Feeling" by Boston

When I was in college, I got turned onto the song "More Than a Feeling" by Boston. It was already about 1993 or so—I believe I've established I'm generally a cultural latecomer. I'm just now finding myself amused by this comedian named Buster Keaton and yesterday I attended a protest demonstrating against the Spanish American Civil War.


Anyhow, a tiny snippet of "More Than a Feeling" is played in a flashback of when the Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth Montgomery characters meet in the movie "She's Having a Baby." The movie is a really charming—and I consider to be vastly underrated—John Hughes movie.




The soundtrack includes gems like "Haunted (When the Minutes Drag)" by Love and Rockets; "This Woman's Work" by ephemeral songstress/ goddess Kate Bush; the title track by Dave Wakeling of English Beat/The Beat/General Public fame, the tear-jerking "Apron Strings" by Everything But the Girl and the bizarrely awesome post-punk masterwork "Full of Love" by the intriguingly named music project Dr. Calculus.
And the aforementioned snippet of "More Than a Feeling." I acquired a Best of Boston tape back in the day and as I commuted would sing along to tunes like "More Than a Feeling" and "Peace of Mind" by Boston."
Whenever I hear "More Than a Feeling" or, for that matter, anything by the supergroup,  I'm transported back to my early adulthood, on my way to Citrus College, running late and more likely than not gunning for a parking ticket.
What's on your college soundtrack?

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Random Musings: On the elder first son. . .


Shhhhh, Eric Trump. (puts finger gently to his mouth). Don't talk. Nobody likes you. Partly because you're a Soc from Pretty in Pink.



And partly because you went big-game hunting and peed on the universe.


Just shhhhhhhh.

There's still hope for Barron, though, who has turned into a Japanese icon of youthful handsomeness and sensitivity.

                                                                                    >>next random musing

Eric Trump on father's critics: 'To me, they're not even people'

President Trump's son Eric Trump used striking language Tuesday night while accusing Democratic lawmakers of obstructing his father's agenda. "I've never seen hatred like this," the younger Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity. "To me, they're not even people. It's so, so sad.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Song of the Day: "Perfect Places" by Lorde

Of course, "Perfect Places" by Lorde is song of the day on Battlestar Eclectica. It's off her upcoming album "Melodrama," which drops on June 16.

I'm hearing this tune described as a summer party anthem, which is fair enough. It's sort of the thinking man's "California Girls."

Her voice sounds like frozen lemonade as she croons drunk and disillusioned diatribes like: "I hate the headlines and the weather/I'm 19 and I'm on fire/But when we're dancing I'm all right. It's just another graceless night." Brilliant, as always.

It's all just further proof of Lorde's precocious cool factor. She is from New Zealand, which may explain why she was smart enough to write lyrics like the words to "Royals" and "Team" before her 16th birthday.

Between hobbit homes, majestic Maori culture, a haunting colonial past and the terrifying and electrifying storytelling of native Kiwi filmmaker Jane Campion, New Zealand is the stuff of dreams. (Disclaimer: I have not been to New Zealand. Yet.)



Check out  Jane Campion's "The Piano" and "Wide Sargasso Sea" if you can handle movies that are dark and lovely.




Now, Lorde is a ripe old 20. I look forward to hearing this strange indie alt electropop songbird make music and develop and grow for many, many years to come.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Random Musings: Kids do the darndest things



I used to judge the heck out of Kathy Lee Gifford when she was on "Live! With Regis and Cathy Lee" because she was always sharing anecdotes about her son Cody.
It was all, "Cody did this!" and "Cody did that!" and I was like, "Stop, you self-obsessed woman. iIm sick of Cody!"
That was before I had kids.
Now I get it and then some. I spend much of my time foisting anecdotes about my children on people I meet at Walgreens or on the street or while with friends and acquaintances.
I use Facebook as a megaphone allowing me to brag or kvell to my social media circles about my amusing, endearing and ingenious offspring.
I'll cut to the chase.
Today, Cody—I mean Savannah—saw the refrigerator repairman working in the kitchen while my dad stood nearby.
Savannah, 3 1/2, came running to us delightedly and said twice in quick succession: "Wook! [That's phonetic to indicate her baby speech impediment, or should I say baby speech enhancement.] Grandmpa's got a friend!"