Cupid, You're Such a Jokester!

There is perhaps no better people watching than online dating. A bunch of girlfriends and I decided to try it (haphazardly, much as we've tried bar crawls, riding the bull at Saddle Ranch, and squid sushi - with varying rates of success). So I pretty much cut and pasted my myspace profile (which most of you know) to try my luck with cybercupid. I always forget I have an account, but once in awhile I'll check in and see that I have some mail. Now, if you've visited Myspace or my closet you may be familiar with my "Stop Bush" t shirt. (If you're my friend and reading this, there's a 90% chance you own one too). I wore it at the Red Dress Run years ago and the pic is up in my profile. So imagine my surprise when I received this "fan letter" in my inbox last week:

Subject: Too Bad U R Clueless

Nice it for the trash man.....

What books do you read about the government that make you laugh? Ever remember the word BIAS from school? Name 3 people in the Democratic Party that you can actually look up to and respect? Yeah, one can't...which is sad, 'cus this country needs at least 2 strong/seperate parties in order for it to survive. Dumbacrats have let their party down and have weakened our country...the Clintons, Pelosi, Kennedy, Mike Moore, Al Fraken, Streisand, George Soros, Gloria Steinem, Norm Chomsky, Cornel West, Howard Dean...race baiting freeloaders Sharpton and Jesse Jackson...all LOSERS and HYPOCRITS...

Good Luck In Your Search To Find MR. RIGHT


I know, I know. Where to even BEGIN with this one? Of course I immediately forwarded it to the aformentioned group of online girls. Who had a field day with it and insist that I write back. Lemme tell ya, it's taking every ounce of willpower in me to resist.

Perhaps I should start by pointing out that for someone who doesn't like him, it's impressive that he's on a first-name basis with Michael "Mike" Moore. Or that I've never heard of Al Fraken or Norm Chomsky, but it sounds like they might be related to Al FRANKEN and NOAM Chomsky. I hesitate to point out that neither Gloria Steinem nor "Streisand" are considered leaders of the Democratic party, but hey.

This is the part when I will now critique his spelling. Not just the "U R" that was until now exclusively reserved to his Purpleness, but the fact that he can't spell 'separate' or 'hypocrite'. I normally wouldn't expect better, except, get this:

(wait for it)

He's 42.

I know! You'd expect this hate mail to come from a hormone driven 13 year old in the backwoods. But this guy is local. He's a father to some kids who are probably already sporting Bush Farm & Ranch team shirts. Why do I know this? Well, a girl's gotta read about her fans, doesn't she?

I won't paste the whole profile because, frankly, you literate minds don't need such suffering, but here's a favorite passage:

I'm looking for the "girl" next door with good values, morals and one who has a positve outlook on life. One who only has baggage when she travels and realizes "drama" was an optional course in High School! I'm "young at heart" and prefer someone to be younger than me. My "ex" was 10 years younger and we got along great until she betrayed our bond.

The sporadic use of quotation marks regrettably continues through his profile. Such as his photo disclaimer:

The "suit shot" is a recent photo...and I've been told I look younger than my age?! So if you are looking for a Calvin Klein underwear model...I'm no longer "him"(but I'm still in great shape). I'm older...but my close friends would say that "I'm a beautiful person"...

And there you have it- it's possible to type like a valley girl. Do the photos include a sweater tied around his neck? Oh yes they do. I can't get enough of this. If he hadn't emailed me directly I would think it was a parody profile made up exclusively for my amusement.

Reading the profile I forwarded more carefully than I had, one of my smarty lawyer friends quickly did the math. And apparently the long winded passage about his cheating wife provides the variables for an equation computing that she was 18 and he was 28 when they married. But rest assured- he's a mature one, as evidenced by a joke provided for his mature audience. When prompted to write about his heritage Mr. Wonderful elaborates that:

My dad was "all Irish", my mom had a little Irish in her (that's why I'm here)...


I didn't even "get" that "comment" until my friends pointed it "out". Blech. I "feel" like I "need" a "shower".

Boy oh boy. Honey, you messed with the wrong girl. You made this Dumbacrat's day.

Call 1-900-Miss-Lilly because I"m psychic.

Ask anyone who knows me, and even a lot of people who don't know me, and they'll tell you that there are two musicians I don't shut up about. One is Madonna, ok, we've covered that. But the other one is Lewis Taylor. His are the albums I'd take if I got stuck on a desert island, his are the albums I put on when I"m not sure what I want to listen to next, his are the albums I rattle off as the most interesting recommendations I can make, his are the albums that inevitably put me in a good mood no matter how I was feeling before. His long Lovelight is one of my absolute favorites ever ever ever. Even a ridiculous cover of it by Robbie "Take That" Williams couldn't hold me down. I have been listening to Lewis Taylor since I listened to tapes. Which, granted, is ongoing, but you get what I mean. My first copy of his first album was from my cousin's cd onto a tape. DUBBED.

Well apparently I'm a psychic and the LA Weekly owes me $3.99 per minute.

Sheesh. Give it 5 years. When you're all drooling over him at the Grammy's acting like he's the new Justin Timberlake, I'll be sitting back saying that phrase I love oh so much: I told you so.

This is your life. A soundtrack.

This is the soundtrack of my life.


Everything's Alright (Jesus Christ Superstar sdtk)-- When I am but a wee little baby, my mom sings this to me as a lullaby. Interesting choice for a recent immigrant, but my mom is always up on things.

Angel of the Morning (Juice Newton) -- I am being driven to the YMCA for swim lessons. The back seat of my mom's car is plush and velvety. To this day, this song brings to mind the feeling of chlorine snorted in my nose.

Karma Chameleon (Culture Club) -- my first love affair. Me and the library. I find out I can rent this record and play it incessantly. I will continue this habit (of playing music incessantly) to date, although my predilection for Boy George's work will wane with time.

Material Girl (Madonna) -- Abby and I attend the fun fair at school and they have Star Studio, a prehistoric karaoke machine. We record this. It will be one of my favorite life moments ever. I will reconnect with the fun of that day when Gene brings me into the studio more than 20 years later. However I will rabidly avoid karaoke bars for some unknown reason.

Beat It (Michael Jackson) -- I have an 8th birthday party. The theme is punk. The cake is Cabbage Patch. My tights are hot pink, my hair is in a side ponytail, and Dana is there, despite my dislike for her, because my mom said so. We climb on the jungle gym and sing acapella for my dad's camera. A star is born.

I Want Your Sex (George Michael) -- I experience my first run-in with censorship. I am on a road trip with my family and I am belting this out "sex is best when it's (lower voice) one-on-one..." in the back seat. My mom gives me the business. I will avoid this song until I move out of my parents' house then will reclaim it after the millenium as the fabulous tune it is, horn section and all.

Over and Over (Madonna) -- I am 9. My father buys me a ghettoblaster (I've blogged about that. It was momentous.) Armed with dubbing capabilities and a translucent orange tape, I acquire Madonna's "Like A Virgin" album. It's not the most popular song on the album, but I like it. And I'm a 9 year old Persian girl, so I'm not about to walk around my house singing Like a Virgin (I don't even know what a virgin is). I distinctly recall being at a dinner party hanging out with the other kids (the boys) in the basement and walking around with my headphones on singing this song at the top of my lungs (the 1986 version of playing it cool). For years Madonna will accompany and empower me as I deal with nonchalant men in my life.

Never Say Goodbye (Bon Jovi) -- My mom's brother visits the United States and somehow this translates into me being gifted a copy of the freshly-released Slippery When Wet. I am addicted to purchasing music and Sam Goody becomes my second home. Despite the many hits on this album, something about this ("you and me and my old friends/hoping this will never end") ballad interests me.

Bad (Michael Jackson) -- Susie takes over liking MJ at this point in time. My last memory of my adoration of Mike has to do with a poster of him lying on his side. I had a guitar sticker and I place it on his weiner. I am unable to remove the sticker and, with the Catholic guilt I have been saddled with in this unCatholic life of mine, confess to my father. He laughs.

Didn't I Blow Your Mind (New Kids On the Block) -- Fever takes hold. My friends and I finally have music interests in common. We will fight over which New Kid each of us gets. Freshly introduced to the cultural phenomenon of the rat tail (courtesy of my draft "pick", Jordan Knight) my mother will grow a rat tail curl on the back of my brother's hair. He will never forgive me.
My first concert ensues and I feel the desperation of having New Kids dangled from cranes above me, but being unable to reach them. I am a distraught teenage Sisyphus.

Funky Funky Christmas (New Kids On The Block) -- I adore this song and the album, even "Little Drummer Boy" the barumpabumbum of which has always irritated me otherwise. This demonstrates my ability to love my musical idols through thick and thin. This will be a theme in my life.

Nothing Compares 2U (Sinead O'Connor) -- 7th grade. I am 12 and this becomes my first slow dance with a boy. I regret to inform you that I was wearing tie-dye. I compromised cool (tie dye and skort) for my mom's controlling fashion sense (in deep red and forest green). Approximately 6 years later this same boy will come out. I will take it slightly personally.

I'm Going Bananas (Madonna/Dick Tracy sdtk) -- In what will probably prove to be the supreme demonstration of patriarchal patience in his life, my father sits through one half of my choreography to this album. Susie and I agree that I'm Going Bananas is a great song. We don't agree on much music for the next 10 years, but those hours of dancing in the basement are important to us.

I Remember You (Skid Row) -- I enter high school. I am a disgruntled teenager. I find the hard rock station and will spend every quarter I have playing songs like this on the juke box of our vacation hotels. I will make mixes that years later I will still listen to. I will be disturbed to cross paths again with Sebastian Bach in 2006 when he cameos on Gilmore Girls.

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (U2) -- My mom is becoming more serious about her personal pledge to use music to stay close with her kids. She scams us awesome tickets to see U2 during the Zoo TV tour. I am appreciative but for the first time realize just how wonderful and resourceful my mom is! We love the show, we feel grown up going alone. Years later when we lose the friend that Susie and I went with I will still smile when I think of this night.

Three Little Birds (Bob Marley) -- I am introduced to Bob Marley by a local Michigan neighbor. I have never heard reggae before. I am amazed.

Deadbeat Club (B52s) -- I spend summers perfecting the art of being imperfect on rollerblades. This is the sound of South Haven to me.

Would (Alice in Chains) -- I attend my first Battle of the Bands. A cute guy is playing bass to this song, I am wearing my courderoy jacket and all is well in my life. Until my friend tells me later that night that the cute guy used to be her boyfriend. And that he raped her. I will always like Alice in Chains but will usually skip this track. On a lighter note, same ex-friend stole my Spin Doctors CD. It was a weird music year. In high school music begins to define you as it never did before. Laced up in combat boots (only 8 hole because I have short legs) I naturally gravitate to the darker stuff, listening to Madonna on my own clock.

Hard to Handle (Black Crowes) -- I will teach my brother to sing the chorus of this song. He is 4 years old. We work on choreography. He will never admit that between this and his Michael Jackson DANGEROUS album (a gift) I shaped his music career.

Coma (Guns n Roses) -- Guns n Roses emerges as my favorite hard rock group. Back in South Haven, two girls and two boys go into one boy's room and close the door. It is completely dark. I am sitting with the boy I have had a crush on all summer - if not longer. We listen to Coma over and over again. When we emerge into the blinding light girl #2 whispers to me me that she and boy #2 were making out the whole time. I missed that cue apparently.

Come Baby Come (K7) -- I make the hip hop dance group. I am thrilled and I work my ass off at it. I invite my parents to my first performance, and with pride they bring my visiting Grandma. I only realize this is a bad decision when I am humping the ground in front of their bleacher.

True Colors (Cyndi Lauper) -- I know, you think I slipped up on the chronology. But I didn't. Back around 1986 my mom decided that Cyndi Lauper sounded like a singer she used to love (Melanie). Mom buys this tape and I am stunned, never having seen her take such an interest to music before. A few years after that I sing over/with the track as a gift to my best friend Stacy. I decide it would be a nice gift for mom too, so I put it on a mix for her. This heartfelt gift is unfortunately revealed at my Sweet 16 where my mom has had a video montage of moi put together -- set to the sound of myself singing. I experience wanting death more than life, however briefly. I retain the reflex of cringing when the song is heard. Phil Collins' cover does nothing to lessen my symptoms.

These Are the Days (10,000 Maniacs) -- This tape will play as I take my first drive as a free (drivers licensed) woman. Halfway to school I realize I left my license at home.

Brass Monkey (Beastie Boys) -- I am in college. This tune hitting the stereo meant the party was going well.

Shock Dat Monkey (TLC) -- This is the cd on as I drive to Madison (U of WI) to visit one of my friends for a party Halloween weekend. I am in my little silver bullet Honda Prelude (aka "Pia") listening to this cd on full blast. I slam on the brakes and am rear-ended by a cadillac. My first (and hopefully last) major accident. Whoops. I proceed to Madison and party like it never happened.

Brown Sugar (D'Angelo) -- I am introduced to soul music. Enough said.

Wannabe (Spice Girls) -- Discovered while in Greece with one of my best friends. "What the hell is this?" We laugh. We buy a Euromix and bring it back to the United States. Little did we know. It becomes the sorority preparty anthem the year I'm living in the house.

Let Me Clear My Throat (DJ Kool) -- The bass of this song will launch me to any dancefloor anytime throughout college. "If you got hair from your head to your sleeve, even if you got a weave, can I get an uh uh"

Bittersweet (Lewis Taylor) -- My cousin gives me the first Lewis Taylor album. I am stunned and will proceed to gift myself his cds every year for my birthday.

No Scrubs (TLC) -- Prepartying with the Divas (Jessica and Pavna) for nights out dancing at Rick's. I played this cd all day every day. It's also the background music as I sit in my room doing work but really waiting for a certain guy to call on the 'batphone'. And later the music I will seethe to.

Something About You (Level 42) -- The first time a guy tells me that a song reminds him of me. Years later this same guy will choose the emotionally void method of emailing me the news of his engagement weeks after it happens.

Stealing My Sunshine (Len) -- My boyfriend makes me a mix. This song is on it. Holy red flag. Years later I will mark this as the first confirmation that you can judge a person (especially a partner) by their musical taste. I will never make that mistake again.

Ojos Asi (Shakira) -- Shakira is all the rage when I go to Argentina to study abroad. I have one of the most exciting summers of my life- I spend 6 weeks in a country I adore with friends I love, I speak Spanish, I do no homework, my mom beats cancer and my family moves the home base to San Diego. Her unplugged album is incredible and is the soundtrack of me sitting in a cafe taking it all in.

Ascension (Maxwell) -- Jessica and I obsess over Maxwell. We attend his concert at the Shrine Auditorium and I feel it is a religious experience as I'll ever have- perhaps the most I've ever been affected by a live performance. The fact that it was unexpected makes it even better.

Hands (Jewel) -- I hear this song before Christmas and listen to the words (not something I'm known for). I tear up behind the wheel. I am appalled and amazed all at once at the ability of a song to touch me so. I will later hear Bob Carlisle's Butterfly Kisses and have a similar reaction. I will forcibly stop listening to the pillow talk station for a period of time.

Dear Mr. Man (Prince) -- Prince makes a comeback and I complete my triumverate of pop reunion tours. (Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, and Prince). I can die a happy woman. I don't expect much from the show but it's electrifying and he commands the crowd despite the crappy acoustics. I grin, I blog, I enjoy how far we've both come as well as our shared taste in platform heels.

Delicate (Dave's Son) -- I move to San Diego. I have no friends. Amit from college comes to visit (hi amit!) and hooks me up with his friends. (The same people who got me a-blogging). Days, nights, and months go by having the time of my life doing everything and, really, nothing. Gene (aka Dave's Son) works on material at my house and comes up with a few songs I'm particularly fond of. Despite Treehouse being written at my house this one hits home and is on every mix I can squeeze it into for a very long time. Gene takes me with him to the studio. Heaven. Peanut peanut.

My Baby (Janet Jackson ft Kanye West) -- Dancing becomes a staple of San Diego life. Before I know it we're packing in a hip hop class before Sushi Wednesdays. This is the warmup song and also the album in Hong's SUV every time I climb in.

I Don't Feel Like Dancin' (Scissor Sisters) -- I up and move to San Francisco. I've always wanted to try it, so I do. Why the hell not? This becomes our theme song during my three month stay. Despite its distinctly country roots, I play it all hours for everyone around me until we're all dancing. It is also my lead-off track when I program my ipod to run a half-marathon completely untrained, just because I want to know what it's like to run across the Golden Gate Bridge.


I'm sure there's much more I'm forgetting but these are the songs that stick out. As for Side B, we're not even there yet!

By the time I'm done on this Earth, I want my own box set.

Thanks to Taiga for the idea! And to create your own cassette magic go to:


There's a great song my sister put on a mix for me called Careerfinders. I'm in Colorado spending yet another weekend toiling away. I know, I complain about it all the time, but while I"m working I"m also fortunate to have my bills paid, myself put up in a comfy plush hotel room, my food prepared, and receive a fair amount of adoration and attention from (at least at this conference!) really kind and talented writers and colleagues.

So I'm not in one of those moods where I"m banging my head on my keyboard going "whywhywhy?" I'm feeling pretty good about my job. But I also am in procrastination mode, so I'm going to blog about something I'm fascinated by- awesome jobs and shitty jobs. Better known as "Jobs I Would Want" vs. "Sucks to Be You." My friend and I used to play this game when we were upset. Now I realize that we were setting ourselves up to be screwed by karma for even thinking like that, but we'd play a game where we'd just list off people whose situations are just shittier than ours. Not just jobs, but say I came home and I had a ton of reading to do and I wasn't feeling like it. M and I would remind me that at least I wasn't stuck in a broken elevator with a full bladder and a guy slipping a slurpee. And so on.

MY JOB LIST: Version 1.0

Job I would want: soundtrack advisor for a film
Why: free music, connections, money, free music. comparisons to Heart's Ann Wilson, who is now married to Cameron Crowe and rocks his soundtrack world.

Job I wouldn't want: bathroom cleaner.
Why: Because even grown women pee on seats and that is grody. Or seriously ladies, how hard is it to flush? I should mention that while i don't want this job I have more respect for bathroom cleaners than most lawyers :)

Job I would want: translator
Why: Ability to understand all types of people, world travel, talent that makes for great conversation, feeling that you're being useful in some way. Language classes as tax deductions. Increased ability to meet hot foreign men.

Job I wouldn't want: parking meter maid
Why: Do I really need to tell you? It's just another functional job in society, one that brings in revenue, punishes people who have done things they shouldn't have, etc., *but* they are perhaps among the most hated people on earth, or perhaps the entire universe. I think the only people who are probably hated more for their jobs are morticians, but at least morticians have some Six Feet Under momentum and their biggest detractors are, well, unable to speak up at the moment.

Job I would want: space consultant/organizer
Why: Because, as my friends and family know, I already do this- I might as well get paid. It makes me NUTS when I go into someone's messy, cramped house. I literally can't focus. Clutter is my kryptonite. Is that weird? That i'd want to be paid to come clean your shit up and get your life back on track?

Job I wouldn't want: bus driver for junior high kids
Why: Take a moment and think back to what a pain in the ass you were, riding in the back of the bus in junior high. You're why.

Job I would want: pop star.
Why: Minimal artistic pressure (they take you into the studio and it's pretty much Karaoke from there on in), maximum performance time and airbrushing.

Job I wouldn't want: anything engineeringy
Why: Do you really want someone who sits with a blank face when the bill arrives and she needs to calculate tip to be the one constructing your buildings? I think not.

Job I would want: Yoga instructor
Why: Right now I'm obsessed with yoga. So this is a "job of the week". The idea of helping people get their lives healthier would be fun, and there's both a physical and in many ways spiritual/psychological element to it. Work virtually in your pjs. Plus I could professionally address the farting epidemic occurring in yoga studios nationwide. That alone could make me a Nobel contender.

Job I wouldn't want: litigator
Why: Had it. Hated it. Paperwork paperwork paperwork. Boring colleagues, boring colorless courthouses. The sinking feeling that no one really 'wins'. Wearing a suit.

Job I would want: working in a bookstore
Why: I could push bookbuying on people and they'd be grateful for it. They'd even ask for it! They'd beg for my recommendations, bow before my enlightening literary suggestions, and come back for more. Plus it would take a lot of pressure off my friends!

Job I wouldn't want: chef
Why: Sheer difficulty. Pressure for presentation and taste. When I (rarely) serve food to people right now it's quickly followed by "I never cook so if you say something shitty about my food right now I hope you starve and I'm never cooking for you again." Something makes me feel that wouldn't go over well at Chez Panisse.

I've been trying to think back to what job assessments always said about me. I think I got "parole officer" more times than is probably normal. And I had lawyer on one that my parents took me to (a professional career assessment) but, in retrospect, I remember that, well, my parents PAID for it :) I don't think Johnson Co in Chicago had the nerve to tell them parole officer for the millionth time. Although they may have been thinking it...

But for now things on the job front are good. I have a few ideas about new types of books I want to take on and what directions I want to take my list in. And I'm on my seasonal hunt for America's Next Top Intern (stay tuned ye Craigslist readers!). Every single day, no matter how crappy my work day is lately (and lately there have been a few) I am grateful to feel so in control of my days and where they're going. I have finally (this had never happened before) experienced the joy of sleeping in til 8:30 a.m. "because I'm the boss of me!". That time spent on or at Borders is technically "work-related". I'm grateful that my industry (books) gets my heart racing as much now as it did when I was 8 and the bane of the short-red-curly-haired meanie librarian's existence in Highland Park (Seriously, who gives the stink eye to a kid for signing out too many books?!)

And yet it's good to know that I have other ideas in my back pocket, you know, just in case.

Baby I Got Your Money, or Eloquent Slogans for Your Entertainment

"Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don't take it all.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

(if you drive a car, car;) - I’ll tax the street;
(if you try to sit, sit;) - I’ll tax your seat;
(if you get too cold, cold;) - I’ll tax the heat;
(if you take a walk, walk;) - I'll tax your feet."

You know another song I love? Whatever that one is that goes "money money money mooooonaaaaay MONEY!" That's a great song. It's a happy song. The one they play when you win bingo on a cruise ship. I sing it to myself when I win a scratch-off ticket. I sing it at the ATM. You know what I *don't* have right now? Money money money moooooooonaaaaaaaay. That's right. I just did my taxes. I heard you sigh. I actually heard your sympathy. Lemme tell you folks, paying your taxes after a year of toiling for your self-owned small artistic business is enough to make even the most liberal girl want to go straight to Uncle Halliburton for a job. Sheesh. In one quick signing of a check (or three, yes, I had to pay three checks) I could feel my morals just dangling in the wind like Britney Spears' offspring.

I went to the library to remind myself to stop spending so much money on books. "Stop spending money!" I said to myself in between parroting the Turkish 101 cd in my stereo (so it sounded more like "Stop spending money! Afedarsunuz! Stop spending money! Engeeleezjeh bilyarum. Stop spending monoey! Tashakorehdurum.)

"Drink tea at home!" I went to Starbucks. "Don't eat out!" I went straight to Jyoti for a slice of Neatloaf (thinking that a cleansed body counts for something). Basically I stopped short of buying a new outfit in which to practice my new thriftiness. What can I say? Old habits die hard.

The only good thing I see coming out of tax season is that everyone hates it in the same way. My dad, who, while hating taxes, is inwardly smiling at how savvy and valuable he is, hates it. My friends hate it. For some reason taxes never bothered me before, probably because I was so poor that I wasn't paying much. But this year we bond. It's like the new "Lost" for me- I have something to talk (bitch/analyze) with everyone I meet. We "get" each other. It suddenly feels like the only reason we make money is to be able to pay our taxes. Everyone loses. No one brings up that taxes fill potholes (which I don't even believe b/c that's how I got a flat tire this year. I want my taxes back!) or pay for education or safety. Because no one cares. Stuff your silver lining. We're in bitch mode. Hello April!

Maybe tax season should be like the lotto. Every year a handful of people nationwide would get picked NOT to pay taxes. "Congratulations Marvin Durfelhammer, you do NOT have to pay the government this year. Heeeere's your money back. Just because!" It brings me joy, and dare I say hope? just thinking of it. I bet more people (we're a competitive country) would pay taxes just to take the chance they'd be forgiven. I could be on to something here. Political bloggers, are you listening?!

But the tax system is what it is for April 15, 2007. It is a pile, a machine, a vat of suckage. I join my fellow Americans in saying words that may touch our hearts more than Oprah. Words that bring tears to our eyes -- even more than when some poor sap tries to hit the high notes on the American anthem. I think I speak for all of us when I say: "Fuck you Uncle Sam, fuck you and the three legged goat* you rode in on."

* imagery by Jessica