My mixtape for me- 25 songs of my life


I want to pop up a big thank you into left field to Krista for this meme…  It was horribly difficult and happily nostalgic.  Unlike the 100 lists, where you struggle for the last few items, I found the songs coming to me fast and furious and had to slash and burn about 15 of them at the end.  15 cuts that I will probably regret terribly…

After going through all the songs, I totally want to make out with myself, cheat on myself with some sweaty guy at a bad party after 4 too many California Coolers, and beg myself to come back because I love myself… I’m an idiot for losing the person that knew me the best.

No order.  Just songs that have a lot of history.  Or none, but I love them dearly.  Here goes.

1.  Lights – Journey

This song is summer. It’s tearing around San Fran with Steph on a Saturday with the money I stole from my mom with her ATM card (Sorry Mom… I really am still sorry about that). It’s being 16 and free and living dangerously with the person on the planet that knows your own brain and heart inside and out and not even caring that the emergency brake seems to be going out and we aren’t sure where the freeway is and are lost in the fashion district of Frisco at 2am and a strange man just tried to open our car door… because we are young… and gorgeous… and alive.. and together.  Naaaah naaah neh naaah nah… nah nah neh naaaaah nah…

2.  Save All Your Love –  Great White

Someone that I had an ENORMOUS crush on used to acoustically perform this at parties I went to… and used to ask me to sing it with him to the crowd of drunk people.  And he wasn’t mine.  And I wasn’t his.  And there was no possibility that it would ever be anything different – but oh, man… I would sing this song with him and wish….  that he was aiming those words at me.  He made excellent guitar faces.

3.  Bad Goodbye –  Clint Black & Wynonna

My all time favorite duet.   “My heart won’t let me put you through… what my mind knows must happen now”… oh, one of the great rubs in life.  I don’t love you anymore, but I’d still walk through fire to not hurt you.  We’ve all been there.

4.  Stupid – Toad the Wet Sprocket

I think it’s no surprise that a song entitled “Stupid” has to be on my personal mix tape.  This is also my all time favorite band and I could sing every word of this song in my sleep.  It’s a happy, fun, nostalgic stupid and the handful of people who have surprised me with this Toad song in my life will forever have a soft, lovely place in my heart.  You know who you are.

5.  Look What You’ve Done – Jet

I’m fascinated by songs that sound like one thing and the lyrics say another.  This Disney lullaby that says, “Oh, look what you’ve done – you’ve made a fool of everyone”, just kills me.

6.   Black River – Amos Lee

Give me a campfire.  Give me my deck.  Give me Monte and Chris on the guitar and this song. If you haven’t listened to Amos, please do. His voice will transport you.

7. Times Like These – Foo Fighters

You know I love the Foo.  The acoustic version is even more poignant – it’s about somehow finding a way to love one another again in a time of division and war and labels and teams.  It’s about deciding to stand up and fight or just decide to not even be a part of it.   It’s big and small. It’s everyone and also just you and me.

8. Still Lovin’ You – Scorpions

Hello 1989.  It’s been a long time.  We had a mesmerizing year, didn’t we?  I was 18 and for the first time in my life felt truly sexy.  I could work my black boots and my black tights and my black skirt and my shirt cut down to there… and I could sway my hips and throw my long hair back and forth across my face to this song and boys…men… would watch.  And for the first time, I felt like a woman.  Too bad I was such a prude tease good girl.

9. The Blowers Daughter – Damien Rice

Beautiful. A fairy tale to music that you can actually visualize, if you try.

10.  Home – Sheryl Crow

A bittersweet song for me as home was always difficult to pin down.  We moved all the time growing up.  I mostly considered my grandparent’s house my “home” and when they finally sold it in the early 90’s, I was devastated.  I always had people that loved me, but longed for “home”.

11. The Rock – Etta James

Everyone thinks of “At Last” the quintessential wedding song when they think of Etta James — but I am a huge fan of hers and I can tell you that most of her songs are not about love and lasting.  Her songs are about heartbreak and doing people wrong and being done wrong and picking up all the pieces when your life is shattered.  I love this song because it’s about moving on, but moving on strong.

12.  Be Mine – David Grey

I don’t remember how it happened, exactly. But this is our song.  We danced to it at our wedding and my heart lurches a little bit every time I hear it.

13. The Flame – Cheap Trick

This one is my first love.  This one is losing yourself completely in another person.  This one is fierce, painful love that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies.

14. What If – Coldplay

I love Coldplay and still listen to them at least once a week… but what I love about this song is the vulnerability of a cocky, extremely rich and famous person still wondering – loudly, poetically, publicly – what if you decide you don’t want me anymore? What if nothing I could say or do would change that?  What if you throw me away?  And while I think Gwenyth Paltrow is something of a douche, I love that he loves her enough to still have a least a nugget of worry about how lost he would be without her.

15. To Make You Feel My Love – Garth Brooks

From the “Hope Floats” soundtrack, also recorded by Trisha Yearwood (and don’t even get me started on their love story).  It’s my favorite Garth song and one of my favorite movies (if you don’t like it, you can suck it) and I always feel fierce and triumphant when he says “You aint seen nothin’ like me yet

16. Wish You Were Here –  Pink Floyd

Have you ever been in a bar when this comes on?  Or driven in with a carload of girlfriends to Oakland Stadium and heard this performed live to tens of thousands of people? Because whether its 100 people in a bar or 50,000 people in a stadium – when they all raise their voices to sing, “We’re just two lost souls swimmin’ in a fishbowl, year after year” – you have no choice but to feel connected to this world.

17. Black – Pearl Jam

My coming of age song.  This is about torn jeans and flannel shirts and the pool hall and that breath of time before I chose my life.

18. Question – Old 97’s

I first heard this song on the TV show “Scrubs” when Turk proposed to Carla. He played this song over a boombox while standing on car and JD ran around the car in circles with sparklers in his hand.  It was so romantic, I almost threw up.  I then found out that Kory was already a big Old 97’s fan and fell in love with all their music.  I secretly harbored the hope that one day I would come out of work and Kory would be on a car with this song playing while Monte ran around the car in circles with sparklers.  (His actual proposal was actually even more romantic, involving 12 dozen roses and Christmas lights and surprise parties…but that is another story)

19. A Dream About You – Keri Noble

A song by a woman about how badly she feels about how she ended a relationship with a man that loved her too much, too quickly and how she wished even years later she could apologize for making him cry.  I love it because I relate but also because there are so few songs out there about a woman regretting how badly she broke a man’s heart.

20. Blue – The Jayhawks

This song is Cape Cod.  This is me in a bubble bath, shy.  This is Kory humming along to this song while sitting on a chair next to the tub, but politely facing the other direction while I tried to make those bubbles cover me.  This is him passing me slices of mozzarella and olives and crackers and dark chocolate. This is candles and rain and claw foot tubs.  This is falling in love.

21. Time and Time Again – Counting Crows

This song is finding a new life.

22.  First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes

One of the most romantic songs and the all time most romantic videos.  If you haven’t seen it, watch it here. I get teary eyed every time I see the love and loss in this video. I am drawn to watching love in all its forms in this video  – and I don’t know why, but the part at end when the woman just strokes the place between her lover’s eyes seems so tender and intimate to me that it just pulls me apart, every time.  Yes, this was extremely shmoopy. WHAT?  I can be shmoopy sometimes!

23. Seein’ Things For the First Time – Black Crowes

I listened to this song about 47 million times when I divorced my first husband.

24. I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bonnie Raitt

One of the few songs that I really wish I could sing. Like, in a bring-down-the-house kind of way.

25.  We’re Going to Be Friends – White Stripes

A great way to end my mix tape – and my favorite song when I saw them live at First Ave.

It’s Spring! (a Friday list)


This is how I know spring has arrived:

1.  Bunnies

Photobucket *

We have a LOT of bunnies in our neighborhood.  They are a scant minority next to the GIANT MUTANT SQUIRRELS that think they actually own the deed to our home and appear to sustain themselves off the plastic they gnaw off our trashcans provided by The City Of Minneapolis.  Minneapolis replaces our swiss-cheesed trash cans about twice a year, just short of when the garbage starts to fall out of the holes the squirrels are somehow able to chew through 1 inch of solid green plastic.  We never report anything to the City, so assume the garbage dudes periodically report our swiss-cheesiness to someone in Can Replacement.   ANYWAY, back to the bunnies…  Lately, they are everywhere.  I feel bad when I find one in our yard because there is always a moment of panic when the bunny tries to run in 4 directions at once – all of which end in a wild, long-eared scramble of confused bunny and chain-link fence. 

“The gate is open!”, I holler to them, helpfully!  I even point at the gates, one on each side, like a flight attendant.  “Go! THE GATES ARE OPEN!”  Scramble! Hophophop! Chain link scramble!… and eventually, they find the gate.   The Baby, my sweet little MonkeyBear, is now fully aware and desperately in love with all forms of wildlife – but most especially THE BUNNIES.

Monkey runs after them waving her little chubby arms in the air and pointing, POINTING, POINTING! frantically at the bunnies and yelling, “AH! AH! AH!”, which I think we all know means, “Mother! Are you seeing these most lovely and darling hopping spectacles of bunny adorableness?!  If I could touch one, I would pet it gently and carefully.” 


Really, we’re talking 6 of one and half a dozen of the other…   in the end it means that bunnies continue to be everywhere, continue to freak out in our yard and probably are holding secret self-defense classes to protect themselves from loving toddlers.

* This is not our yard.  Nor one of the bunnies that has ventured there.  This is a stunt yard and a stunt bunny. 

2.  Junk

Someone has left a rusty, old, jacked-up, seatless, junky 10-speed bike on the sidewalk in front of our house.   You just don’t see that happen much in the winter. 

The car that parks in the alley directly behind my garage and therefore requires me to maneuver out of my garage in a flurry of curse words every morning has a flat tire.  I would call his junky except that my own vehicle has experienced not one , but TWO flat tires this week.   The difference is that we keep getting our flats repaired and this car just sits,  flat and IN MY WAY every day. 

There are old toys, rakes, hubcaps, beer bottles all around the neighborhood… in the alleys and the along the curbs – the aftermath of living in a state where once a year a big blanket comes and covers up all the crap laying around and allows everyone to forget about what’s under the blanket until MEMORIAL DAY when the blanket finally goes away for few months and everyone goes, “Heeeeey… I wondered where our gas barbeque went!”  and cleans up all the junk.  Or, if you live in Minneapolis, not so much.  Instead, everyone just sort of looks at the junk and shrugs and figures that the blanket will be back in a few months anyway…

the neighbors BBQ *

* This is also a stunt Angry Winter Hating Gas BBQ, not our own.

 3.  The Birds

Maybe you think that birds get up with the dawn.  Maybe you think when the first little pink and orange and golden rays of light first begin to weave through the sky in the morning, that’s when the birds wake up and take flight and sing their sweet twinkly chirps of good morning to the world.

Like this:

Morning Bird

Except, not.

In our neighborhood, in the spring, the good morning “song” begins around 3am.  And it sounds less like “singing” and more like “someone punching and stomping on angry birds that have a touch of sinus infection“.


One of them just screams, “WOOOOOOPAAAAALY WOOOOOOOOOO!” over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

More like this, but, you know… at 3am :

Bird~ funnyBird~ funnyBird~ funnyBird~ funny

I lay there and I think about my options.

  • Run, screaming like a banshee, out my front door and start grabbing trees and shaking them  (someone might call the cops)
  • Slather trees with poisoned peanut butter and birdseed  (which would probably would kill the squirrels, too, and I can’t tell you how tempting that is – but I know it’s at best mean at worst, illegal. )
  • Invest in a slingshot (again, not sure about the legality)
  • Use our power water sprayer. (forget sleep, spend nights wetting birds into silence)
  • Earplugs  (won’t hear The Baby if she wakes up, and she doesA lot.)
  • Sleeping pills  (ditto.)
  • Earplugs AND sleeping pills (overkill ditto.)
  • Smash the blanket into my face and try not to go crazy and wish I wasn’t such a light sleeper.  Whimper. Hum lightly. Feel irritated that it’s always something by “The Carpenters”. Pull pillow over head.  Have sensation of clausterphobic panic where I can’t breathe.  FEEL MOMENTARY INTENSE HATRED FOR EVERYONE IN MY HOUSE THAT IS SLEEPING THROUGH THIS EVERY NIGHT WITHOUT A PROBLEM. Whimper some more.

Folks,  I think we have a plan.

Randomly so….


Random thoughts I had this weekend, whilst crazy drugs invaded my body(brain) : 

1.   Anyone who runs up alleys kicking trashcans should be socked in the gut.

2.   If the apocalypse happens, I should really remember to get a bunch of that brown bread that comes in a can because it will probably take me a long time to figure out how to make bread.  Especially if I have to first learn how to grow wheat. 

Can Of Bread

3.   It wouldn’t be that bad if that Christmas ornament I found in the car was from last Christmas, but I’m pretty sure it was from Christmas ’06.  And that’s pretty bad.

4.   After watching, “Celebracadbra“, I’m sort of mortified that I would have gladly been C.Thomas Howell’s love slave, at one point in my life.

C. Thomas Howell

5.   What is the etiquette when one takes a free sample at a store?  I always feel sort of ashamed and obligated to ask questions  and express interest to the 85 year old woman wearing a shower cap…  Except usually, it’s just something I want to try — knowing full well that I won’t buy a box of 24 mini bagel pizzas.

6.  [In a surprisingly mature move on my part, I have removed the original #6.]

Instead I will say:  The one thing I think my house is really missing is orange toilet paper.


7.    Sometimes, it just seems almost impossible to find a good sugar snap pea.

8.    (For just a moment on Sunday) Oh my God, I might have won the Powerball.

9.    I just can’t call them “wieners”.  All beef! Natural casings! Very expensive!  Hot dogs.  Call me childish, but the day will never come when I will be able to say, “I think I’ll have a wiener for dinner.”, and not laugh so hard that milk shoots out my nose.

10.    Sometimes, when I’m playing poker, I will think REALLY HARD about cards totally different than what I actually have – just in case I’m playing with someone telepathic.

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