Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I've Eaten a Lot of Stickers

Annoyingly, Charlie Day's random rules in The Onion does not reveal anything that embarrassing. Even the Queen tune. So, to humiliate myself, here's mine for today, while sat in the Admirals Club lounge at Heathrow and trying to recover from a fairly dreadful night's sleep on the plane.
  1. Where'd You Go? - Jamie Lidell. My love affair with the Lidell is officially over - the last concert I went to was fairly pants, and now it turns out he's not going to do any of the things that made him a cut above everyone else - the mixing, the sampling, the screwing things around and making them interesting. Shame. But I still love the first album, and the first couple of concerts of his that we went to were genuinely wonderful.
  2. Azaleadalen - Junip. So, this is Jose Gonzalez's other band - not that I've really been that into Jose Gonzalez prior to hearing this stuff - but I like it. It's definitely got a feel of the Steve Masons about it, but with less electronic and more Spanish-guitarry influence. But what would I know? I really don't listen to this sort of music very much, and therefore it hampers my description no end.
  3. 1 Thing - Amerie. God, I love this song - absolutely love it. There is a definite snobbery among a lot of my friends with whom, otherwise, I share a great deal of taste, over rnb-style pop. But I have a great deal of time for female-led rnb, it seems (my itunes is full of the stuff, Aaliyah and MJB particularly), and I absolutely love this - the harmonies are so pretty, and clash so well with the drums, and the stop-start harshness of the guitar & bass that are barely present. Sweet.
  4. Your Flesh Is So Nice - Jeff Buckley. I like this because it's so playful despite being so overtly sexual, and playful is not necessarily something you associate with Jeff Buckley, despite his clear joy in playing with his voice.
  5. Only the Truth - The Last Shadow Puppets. I can't help feeling I should like this more than I do - it's got some Bacharach/Morricone stylings with Alex Turner's great voice, and I do enjoy it when it's on, but I rarely reach for it, I have to say.
  6. Tally of Souls - The Invisible. I thought I was really going to love The Invisible - a more accessible, less pretentious TV on the Radio. And I still love London Girl (and, slightly embarrassingly, it's my ringtone). But another one where I've been underwhelmed, although I do think they're making interesting music and I like his voice a lot.
  7. Braindead (with Justin Warfield) - Bomb the Bass. This is from Clear which, I believe, came out in 1995. Holy cow. I loved this album - one of the first straight dance albums I'd ever bought. In fact, it's still got an awful lot to recommend about it - Bug Powder Dust is a classic, and, among others, Empire - featuring Sinead O'Connor and Benjamin Zephaniah - is one of my favourite final tracks of all time. And this somewhat tangentially reminds me to update my iPod with the K&D sessions, which features not one but two versions of Bug Powder Dust.
  8. Wait for Me - Jamie Lidell. See #1 on this list.
  9. Happy Endings - Pulp. I love, love, love, love Pulp. That is all.
  10. Paper Doll - PM Dawn. So, I thought I was the only person in the world who remembered PM Dawn, let alone owned the records. Then, much to my excitement and TOH's unchecked amusement, we were in a bar near home and PM Dawn's greatest hits came on - and I could remember far too many of the words to maintain any semblance of cool

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Or, for me, the second most. I'm a big, big fan of spring, the joys of which I am severely deprived of in NYC. We have about 3 weeks of it, and then everything suddenly accelerates and we're sweating away in humidity and summer. Whereas I've always loved the blossoming of the magnolias, the emergence of crocuses and daffodils and hyacinths all things springlike. It fills me with joy and hope for the summer to come.

But I do still enjoy things autumnal and, right now, autumnal vegetables. The reemergence of roots and tubers is what excites me - far more than squashes, in fact. It's celeriac and parsnips and turnips appearing that has made me salivate. For goodness' sake, I even craved cabbage today, and so supper was a portabella mushroom burger with cabbage stir-fried with garlic and a turnip-parsnip mash spiked with horseradish. And it was goooooooood.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bashing into Walls

I am clumsy. At least, that's how I've always thought of myself. And the big, swollen green bruise on my knee from smashing into a bench last week (at precisely the spot that swells up if I run and causes all the knee trouble, conveniently enough) would seem to bear that out.

Yet, I'm not completely convinced that "clumsy" is the right term for me. More accurate, really, is that I seem to have a surprising disregard for my physical integrity in a very specific way - i.e. I don't mind smashing into a ball/player etc. I've never been one of those who really ducks out of the way when a ball comes overhead - more likely, I'll charge into it. I think that explains the random weird bruises* I get rather than sheer clumsiness, because I don't drop things, really, or exhibit that kind of malcoordination.

I have been, however, historically very... well, I suppose "stompy" is the only way I can describe it. One thing that physical therapy has given me is actually far greater body control than I previously thought I had - my therapist has remarked several times on the more precise and graceful way in which I do some of my exercises these days, rather than clumping around. I'm not sure if that has translated into generally transporting myself around more gracefully, but I think the greater muscle development and control has given me a better sense of self. When I'm doing those exercises I can't help wondering whether having studied dance as a child would have made me feel more like that. Instead, I was a sporty child who was both big for her age (I stopped growing upward, at least, more or less, at 13) who cannoned around and relied on her body for being sporty but was not ever athletic, or precise, or graceful. I still occasionally think of myself as that lumbering, large child, but physical therapy is helping to change that.

* My gp was not desperately impressed with this explanation - I'm slightly concerned she believes that TOH is knocking me about, but you can't really explain it, can you, without sounding more and more like you're making up excuses. oops.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Sea of Apples

Yesterday was a horribly wholesome day: a scrambling walk through Purgatory Chasm - ok, so that doesn't sound wholesome, but it was - followed by a trip to a local fair complete with corn mazes and mini golf, a disgusting amount of ice cream at a creamery, then apple picking and pumpkin patches. Of course, we then went and had martinis and steak to work that cleanliness from our souls, but still: wholesome. That's part of the point of come up to TOH's other home, in a way, to take advantage of the lovely lush countryside so close to home, to the sea and fresh air and farms and the ice cream. Seriously, the ice cream here is wonderful. But for future reference, you never, ever need a medium, ever: small will suffice.

The only question that remains: what on earth to do with these apples? I don't even really like apples. I certainly loathe hearing anyone else eating them in my vicinity. As so often is the case, booze might well provide the answer.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Snug as a bug in a rug

Or, I will be, now that I've done my annual autumnal clothing switch. Got the storage boxes out and pulled out all the fun and warm tights and socks for the colder weather, some big jumpers, thermals, even. It's a little early for the latter, but it's just easier to do it now, I suppose. Of course, this usually means I have to put away all the fun summery dresses which won't be seen until May. But, luckily, I have a trip to Kenya at the end of October which means that not everything to do with sun and warm weather has to be stored just yet.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


I know it's been a while since I rapped at ya, but that's not because I've been playing Angry Birds the whole time. Just so you know.