Songs That Kept Me Going Through 2009

2009 was kind of a hard year. I won’t detail too much at this time. Any person who reads my blog on a semi-regular basis was bombarded by entries firing rocket-sized hints into the stratosphere enough to know figure out most of was going on (depression. social ineptitude. lots and lots of juicy inner disquiet). As always, I need to thank the people who were there for me as I was losing my mind (I seem to have mostly found it again). Those who listened, didn’t judge, were there for me.

But I also have to thank the music. The music eased a lot of that inner disquiet. It calmed. It gave hope. It helped me see through brain-haze. It kept me moving. Thank you, music.

Here are some songs that I listened to lots. And lots. Note for rss readers: click through to the entry in order to hear said songs.

Black Moth Super Rainbow – Twin of Myself


Caribou – Sandy


Xiu Xiu – Ceremony (New Order cover)

Always needs to be a cover thrown in there.


Stereolab – U.H.F. – MFP


Dirty Projectors – No Intention


Here’s to a happy 2010 for all!

Now I Have A Machine Gun…Ho Ho Ho

Today I was told that my blogging is a good, fun-to-read thing, and that it will lead to awesome things in my future.

What the shit does that mean?!

Anyway. This is kind of Action Movie Winter Break, here. I guess the most notable two things I’ve discovered is that Die Hard is an excellent Christmas movie, and that keep forgetting how awesome Bruce Willis is (when in the right film).

Also, don’t see Nobel Son. Just don’t.

I’m gearing up here, for some year-end posts. Stay tuned.

*edit* I forgot that I blogged earlier today. A similar entry, at that. That can’t mean good things for Talia-Brain-Ville.


All that’s been happening is movie-watching and food-eating and extreme amounts of time doing nothing important.

That’s how winter break should be. Right?

My “doing-anything-vaguely-resembling-work” mojo is nonexistent, which explains a lot.


I plan entries in my head but then I don’t execute them immediately. There will be some later. I promise.

Woot woot.

Vacation From All Things, Blogging Included

Ugh, I know. BAD.

It’s been a happening few days.

Last night we had a Hitchcock fest in our livingroom. North by Northwest (which ranks up right up there next to my favorite Hitchcock film, Rear Window) and The Birds.

The Birds is not entirely unlike Night of the Living Dead. Except that in The Birds, bad things happen during the day. And birds (unlike zombies) are fast.

I love Hitchcock. Looooove Hitchcock.

I’ve also found my dream photo-editor — Lightroom. Seriously. It’s everything I ever wanted in a photo-editing interface, even though it amazingly enough does not utilize the curves dialogue box for color (only lighting).

Curves schmurves, I say!

So that’s all that’s been going on. Along with me being a little stir-crazy, since it’s all raining outside and everyone I know seems to be…really far away, like in Bethlehem (seriously. Michelle is in Bethlehem. What the hell).

Aaaand, my Dad rented three Die Hard movies, so…bye!

I Want To Go To There

On 30 Rock, Jon Hamm plays a doctor in Liz Lemon’s building who has an affinity for baking?!

Yes, that’s right, I am that person.

(also: note that I’m about 2 seasons behind in 30 Rock)

Entry No. 3,156 Brought To You By Wireless Internet AT HOME

This is a fairly momentous occasion. I thought I should take a moment to blog for the very first time ever from my own bedroom back home, because we have…..waitforit…


That’s right. My family has finally caught up with the 21st century. Even if it was completely inadvertent. Even if nobody knew it was WiFi until I got home and went “Ye Gods, parents! We have WiFi!”

I also wanted to take this moment to let the small readership know that I’m alive and well and finished with the semester and safely home from my long drive between Rochester and Normal. It was a pretty good drive all-in-all. A few flakes of snow between Rochester and Buffalo and the rest was okay. Here are some things I learned during my 13-hour drive:

1) It never fails to surprise me the ways in which drivers on the road put themselves and others in danger. SE-RI-OUSLY. There are always kind of not-careful drivers on the road. Cutter-offers. Those who can’t register distance vs speed vs other cars. Phone-talkers. But the line is automatically drawn when I see…stuff happening. Stuff. Can’t you just figure out what I mean by stuff already, please, reader?! STUFF?! I guess what I’m trying to say here is that NOBODY SHOULD ENGAGE IN ACTS OF SEX WITH THEIR LADY-FRIENDS WHILE DRIVING.

Sorry about that. But. Seriously. I saw it. It was extremely disconcerting for A LOT OF REASONS. Dan Savage recently yelled at some caller on his podcast for saying that his girlfriend wants to get him off while he’s driving and just…people should be able to do whatever and have fun, sure. But…the lives of innocent bystanders should not be placed into the hands of dumbshits like that.

God. Ohio.

2) Andrew Bird’s latest album is…fine.

I don’t know.

Don’t hate on me, Andrew Bird lovers. But I’m starting to realize that I value Andrew Bird more for his innovative live-performance abilities (exhibits A, B and C) than I do his studio album produced stuff (which I guess also has to do with the bad-assery of Martin Dosh). I mean. It’s fine. Nice. Good. And there are maybe two songs I really really like. But it’s kind of a very small letdown for me after seeing him live in ’06 and ’07 and losing my mind over the good-ness. Maybe the moral of the story is that I need to go see him live RIGHT NOW in order to be a little more enthused about this album. Or listen to it more. Or something.

Yep. That’s what you get.

I Can’t Wait Until Wednesday

Oral exam is in something like 30 minutes. I’ve done pretty much a lot of preparation, but I just keep thinking the exact same thing: GOD, I hope I know stuff.

It’s mainly the talking-in-front-of-respected-people that is problematic.

Safe to say, though, I actually do know quite a lot about Benjamin Britten, now. I will share more later. For now: freaking out! Yay!


Sorry, folks. That was a longer break that I had intended.

The fact of the matter is that things have been insane, but will be winding down soon (and by winding down I mean “crashing down” — tomorrow I have my oral exam, then Tuesday I have a final and a paper due).

So yes. It’s been busy. I look forward to an end.

Yep. That’s all.

A List Of Two:

1) I hate it when I ruin the succinctness of a written statement by forgetting a letter.

2) Cedarwood Essential Oil incident of 2009: my bathroom now smells like a hamster cage, albeit a very very clean one.

Gruf gruf gruf.


I can’t figure out what to make to eat and it’s frustrating. It’s so easy to throw a bunch of vegetables with some pasta or chickpeas into a pot and cook it, but that’s just getting old, and I’d really love to make something inspiring that will get me out of my Thanksgiving facestuffingfest mode. Something that is rich and filled with veggies and preferably meatless.

And I know somewhere in my stupid little brain that what I want is a ROOT VEGETABLE with SOME KIND OF GRAIN stew, but I’m not seeing anything inspiring anywhere on the internet or in any of the scant few cookbooks I own.


Throw things together that I want to see in a Root Vegetable Stew. Truly. I oughter just do that.

The best option would be to curl up in bed and sleep straight through the next couple days without having to lift a finger.

Hahahahahahahahaha. A hilarious thought.

Stereolab, U.H.F. -MFP

I haven’t been able to stop listening to this since September or so.

Neither God nor master
Neither God nor master

See the importance
of the world without
Without importance
See the importance

Honestly? It makes everything a little better.

Rochester Drivers.

I occasionally have this problem in which I would love to be inviting and social and activity-planning but am awkward. Surprise!!

Man. So about a week ago Tim and I were walking back to my apartment after seeing A Serious Man at the Little Theater and we came upon this hugely bad accident at the intersection of Goodman and East. And I mean, I don’t think anyone was seriously life-threatened, but you wouldn’t know it from the car-debris and smashitude of the situation, or from the number of police-cars or the ambulance. One of the cars had somehow managed to get itself all the way up onto the lawn of the Science Museum with two tires taken clean off the car and one hell of a lot of smashed glass. And having just seen a movie involving very Jewish guilt, God’s wrath and lots of bad things happening to people, I very slightly wigged out.

But then today I’m driving to school and arrive at this intersection to see that parts are blocked with lots of police cars, an ambulance and a fire-truck hanging about while two separate very smashed-up looking cars are being towed away.

I’m going to chalk this up to Rochester drivers. I know that bad accidents happen at any kind of intersection on any kind of road, but twice in a short span of time? Seriously. Rochester drivers are honestly a special kind of driver. I’m not sure what it is, exactly. There’s an impatience that seems to me more a characteristic of New York City and bigger-city drivers, but then there’s also this unawareness and lack of consideration for fellow drivers on the road that almost seems a little Chicago-suburb to me. It’s not just the manners, though. It’s the MOVES. There’s one little number that I keep seeing AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN, in which you’ve got a driver at a red light waiting to turn left (without one of those left-turn signals), and this driver will either A) turn left really fast right when or before the lights for turn green for both sides or B) turn whenever the fuck there is no oncoming traffic. It’s RIDICULOUS. I’ve seen white, suited men do it. I’ve seen large black men do it. I’ve seen little old ladies do it. It’s beyond coincidence. A friend of mine says she was being driven around by her Rochester-native friend and they were waiting at a red light to turn left when nobody was coming, he actually said the words “fuck this,” and then turned left on a red light. What. The Crap.

So anyway. That extra jolt of paranoia that comes from driving around here that causes me to err on the side of caution? Not a bad thing.

Sidenote: I’ve noticed that the yellow lights in New York State are all ridiculously long, especially compared to Illinois State yellow lights. I’ve steadily become way more comfortable proceeding through an intersection at the sight of a yellow light because it tends to not turn red while I’m still on my way through. But, man, I’m going to be such an ass-hole driver upon return to Illinois.

How Often Do I Get Really Really Excited About A TV-Show, Anyway?!??!

Just in case nobody got the memo, I LOVE MAD MEN.

Here is a whirlwind list of why: The entire 1960’s period portrayal, with which I am fascinated. The portrayal of women and their roles in the 1960’s with which I am especially fascinated. The affairs. The excessive smoking and drinking everybody partakes of right down to mothers-to-be. Don Draper — who is really very hot. Joan Holloway with all the catty-ness — who is also really very hot. The messed-up-ed-ness of Betty Draper (I can’t get enough of the messed-up-ed-ness of Betty Draper). The always mousey receptionist. The somehow love-able douche-waddery* of Pete Campbell. The costume designs. I may fail at fashion so far in the 21st century so people will may go “huh” at this, but my god, I would wear anything that Joan Holloway wears. The thoroughness of period props. New York City in that era. The occasional bossa nova tune that embeds itself into my brain.

Plus, the random actors who have been in other things Joss Whedon-y and satirical-but-dark things from the 1960’s. I don’t know. Robert freaking Morse. ROBERT FREAKING MORSE. Besides being in you know, everything, he was in that crazy-ass movie a professor of my Archaeology of Death class made us watch, The Loved One, which I will admit to having a weird obsession with despite the many levels of wrong and disturbing that it was.

I don’t know. Mad Men is well written. Very very well executed. And occasionally quite sexy. What is there not to love about this?

WATCH MAD MEN or I will type a lot more in all caps. You wouldn’t want that.

*Douche-wad is my new favorite derogatory term along the lines of…jerk/ass/douchebag/asshat/one’a those.


I did it! I did NaBloPoMo! … Sort of.

I would very much like to keep this up. And by “this” I mean blogging mostly every day. I had honestly just gotten out of the habit during the last 1.5 years, and this past month of November has been a very good opportunity for me to simply blog/write with no excuses, whether I felt like it or not. Interestingly enough, I’ve come to discover that when I whine about being “not comfortable sharing stuff with potential readers on my blog,” what I really mean is that I’m not confident in my writing and information-presenting abilities. Lacking confidence in how I present something I believe in is apparently just as bad as lacking confidence in what I believe in. Because last time I checked, I believe things pretty brazenly.

Anyway. It’s December now and it SNOOOOWED THIS MORNING.

And I dropped Tim off at the airport and crap, does it get a bit lonely here when that happens. It’s okay, though, because my music theory analysis/outline/paper is keeping me all warm and cozy in the December cold.

I also heard a really great recital by my teacher, and MAN, is this one of those times when I don’t believe I’m even here right now. YOU’RE NOT REAL, MAN.


OK Go – WTF? from OK Go on Vimeo.

Yeah. Remember the treadmill video? Yep.

Two More Things

Yep, that’s right. I did it.

Those two more things:

1) I love Mad Men

2) After tonight I am taking a food break. Seriously. The thought of food kind of hurts.

A Food List

…And so ends an insane week of festive eating.

I can’t even remember at this point what I’ve eaten. I guess I just want to highlight some main points.

1. Basically every dish from our Thanksgiving dinner was locally grown/raised. Turkey? 2 miles down the road, organic and brined in apple cider from 7 miles down the road. Every vegetable? Grown in the garden. I realize that not everybody has this luxury of living in an area that raises happy turkeys, or of maintaining a ridiculous vegetable garden on their property (or having a relative that does so), but I can’t get over the wholesomeness or deliciousness of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner.

2. Locally grown, grass fed spare ribs and sauerkraut. Ho-ly shite.

3. Dogtown Hots. Seriously. I am not a hot-dog eater, but this place is legit and has a looooot of awesome-looking (and cheap) options for vegetarians, as well as what I am guessing are some great sandwiches. I also happen to be convinced that this place has the best garbage plate in Rochester. I’ve only had three, to be fair, but when Dogtown’s garbage plate beats the original Nick Tahou’s garbage plate, you want the Dogtown one.

4. Food Coma in the wrong situation makes me cranky.