Friday, June 30, 2017

Epigram of the day: "Cyclical"

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.

<<previous epigram
>>next epigram

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.

                                                                                   >>next song

Random Musings: On 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.

<<previous random musing
>>next random musing

Friday, June 23, 2017

Epigram of the Day: "The graceful breakup"

<<previous epigram
>>next epigram

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."

             <<previous song
                                                                                       >>next song

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.

>>previous random musing
>>next random musing

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.

                                                                                       >>next song

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."

                                                                                     >>next song

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.

                                                                                  >>next random musing

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.

                                                                                         >>next song

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.

                                                                                   >>next song

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Epigram of the Day: 'Make a Little Homestead"

<<previous epigram
>>next epigram

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?

<<previous random musing
>>next random musing

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.

        <<previous song
                                                                                      >>next song

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

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?

                                                                                         >>next song

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.

                                                                                     >>next song

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!"
Word to Kathy Lee Gifford. TV sucks without you.

<<previous random musing
>>next random musing

That cool quote by Bill Nye, the Science Guy

<<previous cool quote
                                                                                              >>next cool quote