Monday, September 24, 2007

You Can't Have Too Many Books

Someone asked today about how many books one might have in each room of one's house. I love books, and we have approx 1 buttload of books. Er... maybe 2 buttloads.

Breakdown of current book totals in each household location:
Kitchen: 8 (all cookbooks, several from library)
Living room: 161 (not counting magazines, photo albums, or yearbooks)
Dining room: 5 (library books that are waiting to be returned)
Office: uncountable zillions, literally
Hallway bathroom: 0
Bedroom: 6 (one on each bedside table, 4 stacked on top of dresser)
Master bathroom: 0 (we are not read-while-pooping people)

So, when we bought our house, we wanted to turn the second bedroom into an office. We don't have kids and don't plan to have kids, and we do have multitudinous office-y type stuff (computer, mucho misc computer accessories, books, files, etc). When we first moved in, we figured we would make it an office/library, with a computer desk and shelves. Lots and lots of shelves. Shelves covering at least two walls. Big walls.

We briefly considered making it a spare bedroom for guests, but quickly said Fuck that! and bought a sleeper sofa.

We looked at hiring a carpenter person to come in and build bookcases. We had a designer give us an estimate to design custom shelves and a built-in desk. We priced those bare wood shelving units that you can paint/stain yourself. All of a sudden, it's a year and a half later and what have we got in our office? Big piles of boxes of books! At this point, dusty boxes. Ugh.

We are really not thinking we will stay here forever. We plan to sell this place and buy in a better - or at least, different - location in the next 5-10 years. We decided that putting in anything permanent would probably not help us when it comes to the resale value, since there are only two bedrooms. So, what's the obvious choice?

Cheap-o crapcases from Wal-Mart! Woo! The funny thing is, we have so many books that we are going to have to buy like 6 of them. We have one of those electric screwdriver dealies, so it shouldn't take too terribly long to put them together.

Next week we are both on vacation all week to A) celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary, B) buy a half-dozen shelving units from Wal-Mart and put them together, C) enjoy many happy hours sorting and alphabetizing our beloved books, and D) other miscellaneous home improvement projects including, but not limited to, painting the master bath.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Centipede (Creepy songs part 2)

Anybody remember the song Centipede, sung by Rebbie Jackson? Big hit back in 1984?

Rebbie, the unknown Jackson. That's pronounced "Reebie" by the way. She's the oldest Jackson, no scandals, married to her childhood sweetheart since the 60's, and she has a beautiful voice.

Her one hit was Centipede, written and produced by Michael Jackson. Can't you just imagine a conversation with Michael and Momma Jackson? Honey, Rebbie's pregnant, they need a new house -- write her a song!

The good: great catchy 80's style hook; Rebbie Jackson's great voice

The bad: creepy-ass lyrics

Here, see for yourself:

Your love
Is like a raging fire
You're a snake that's on the loose
The strike is your desire

But when the centipede is hot
You're bound to feel the fire
And when the centipede is hot
You're bound to feel the fire

I feel
A longing for your touch
Like you crawled into the bathroom window
To give him all your love

Like a centipede that's hot
The fire is in your touch
Just like a centipede you've got
A lot of lovin' to touch

Don't you know
In the quiet of the night
Is when the snake is in the crawlin'
And the moon starts to glow then disappear
When the time is really right
Is when the centipede is crawlin'
You'll be crying in the night so many tears
And he's crawlin' like a centipede

You came
To strike him with your love
Like you crawled into the bathroom window
To bite him with your love
Like a centipede that's hot
The fire is in your touch
Just like a centipede you've got
A lot of loving to touch

Your heart
Is full of strange desire
You're the heat of a summer's night
A centipede on fire
When the centipede is hot
You're bound to feel the fire
Like a piece about to strike
The centipede's on fire

Seriously, even before I was creeped out by Michael Jackson in general, I thought this was exceptionally weird. What's that stuff about crawling in a bathroom window? Crying in the night? Heart full of strange desire? And why would a song that is ostensibly about sexiness have anything to do with a centipede? Ugh. Oh, the grossness.

You can hear the song on Rebbie's Myspace page. Try not to hear the words and you might like it! :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Down in the Park

We are not lovers, we are not romantics, we are here to serve you

I first heard Down in the Park by Gary Numan (one of my favorite songs ever) when I got the Urgh! soundtrack album. (The story behind Urgh! is interesting in itself, given that Miles Copeland filmed dozens of wonderful bands performing live back in the early 80's, but most of the film will potentially never see the light of day due to a terrible, stupid issue with contracts. However, a few of the songs made it to a 90-minute compilation movie that is played sporadically on HDNet and VH1, which includes -- yay! -- Gary Numan performing Down In the Park.)

I just love this song. I used to be part of a podcast, and when it was my turn to pick the music, my first choice was DITP (you can listen to that episode, including two cool Gary Numan songs here).

Anyhoo, I am not the only one who loves this song, the Foo Fighters and Marilyn Manson have both done great cover versions. I have on my iPod, at this very moment, 1) the original Gary Numan version 2) a live Gary Numan version 3) the Foo Fighters version, and 4) The Marilyn Manson version. And I love and listen to them all. It was also covered live by Christian Death, I need to find that version too. There can't be too many, dammit!

So I finally decided maybe I should try to figure out what the fuck this song is about. With lines like "Down in the park where the Machmen meet, the machines are playing Kill-by-numbers. Down in the park, with a friend called Five" I always thought it was just ol' Gary being poetic and symbolic and stuff, but apparently the album it's from (Replicas) had a dystopian science fiction theme, and DITP is meant to be taken literally.

According to the Wikipedia entry, the song "tells the chilling story of a futuristic park in which Machmen (androids with cloned human skin) and machines rape and kill human beings for the delight of spectators who, along with their numerically-named robotic "friends" view the carnage from a nearby club... In contrast to much contemporary post-punk music Numan's vocals were deliberately underplayed, leaving the slow and stately synthesizer work to evoke the song's melancholy atmosphere."

Gads. Well, the overall sound of the song was obviously pretty dark and bleak, but I was a little taken aback by the violence and horror.

I still love it though. Here are the lyrics for your reading pleasure:

Down in the park
Where the Machmen meet
The machines are playing Kill-by-numbers
Down in the park with a friend called Five

I was in a car crash
Or was it the war?
But I've never been quite the same
Little white lies like I was there

Come to Zom-Zom's, a place to eat
Like it was built in one day
You can watch the humans
Trying to run

Oh, look, there's a rape machine
I'd go outside if it looked the other way
You wouldn't believe
The things they do

Down in the park
Where the chant is death, death, death
Until the sun cries morning
Down in the park with friends of mine

We are not lovers
We are not romantics
We are here to serve you
A different face but the words never change

Wanna hear it?

You can stream the song or download it here

Selection of DITP YouTube clips:

Gary Numan live (not the Urgh! performance)

Foo Fighters video

Marilyn Manson live performance

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Gimme More

I have to say, despite poor Britney's underwhelming crapitude at the MTV awards Sunday night, her new song is perfect for treadmilling.

Here are the lyrics:
Gimme gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme (Uh)
Gimme gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme (Uh)
Gimme gimme more

I love it! The remix with TI is especially cool.

Today I am working the late shift, so I don't have to be there until this afternoon. I woke up early (why? why can't I sleep late?) and headed for the treadmill. A GNC employee-dude who may or may not have known what he was talking about but looked very fit and impressive told me that exercising first thing in the morning (before eating) will burn off more actual fat. As opposed to working out later in the day and just burning off whatever you had for lunch. I don't know, it sounded plausible, so there I am with my lo-carb Monster energy drink, listening to Britney and sweating instead of having cereal.

I am deliberately avoiding turning on the tv this morning on the assumption that many channels are showing some kind of 9-11 anniversary related stuff. Okay, technically I never turn on the tv in the morning, but still.

My sweetie is out of town on work again, back in St. Louis. He's not sure when he'll be back, it depends on how things go, and how many things go wrong. So far several things have gone wrong, but hopefully it'll be better today, and he might even get home tomorrow.

I am trying to save the new episode of Californication 'till he gets back, but I LOVE that show... I don't think I'm gonna make it. :)

Friday, September 7, 2007


Love and Ice Weasels

I've been thinking lately about love.

Matt Groening says, "Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come."

A very wise friend told me a long time ago that many (if not most) women look for the wrong things in potential boyfriends/husbands. She said that her husband was a wonderful guy and that many women had told her that they envied her, but she knew that those same women would never have gone out with him in the first place. When he was single, they would have seen a guy who didn't have much money, or a nice car, or a job in an office, or a college degree. But once he was married, they saw a guy who supported his wife emotionally and financially and was a loving, loyal husband.

I started thinking about what traits in a guy were most important to me. I decided that having a lot of money wasn't a requirement -- I didn't have any money, so it seemed a bit hypocritical to insist upon a rich guy. I have a college degree, but that's not important to me.

I had dated guys who were not especially affectionate or cuddly, and that is a deal-breaker. My parents were very touchy and hand-holdy with each other and with me while I was growing up, and it's a very important part of a relationship for me. (I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone... To each her own.)

I also had to have someone who had my same sense of humor (a winning combination of stupid humor and dark sarcasm). I wanted someone who liked to read (WHAT they read, I didn't care about, I just can't relate to those people who never read books).

I didn't care about a guy knowing how to fix a car or an air conditioner or a septic tank. That'd be nice, but it's not a deal-breaker.

The guy would have to want monogamy. Some men and women don't, and again, that's fine for them if it works, but it doesn't work for me. I knew I wanted to be with a person who would put our relationship first, and make me his first priority.

I would prefer a guy who was creative, because I think it's hot, and because I think a creative person might be more likely to appreciate my weird creativity.

My future boyfriend/husband would have to be intelligent. At least as smart as I am, if not smarter. I want someone with whom I can have interesting, challenging conversations, who can teach me things and be open to learning from me.

So: I was looking for a guy who was
* Physically affectionate
* Stupid/dark sense of humor
* A reader
* Monogamous
* Intelligent
* Loyal

That's basically it. So a few years later, when I met a kind, cheerful, smart, creative, funny guy, I was interested. When he told me he had been laid off and was having trouble finding another job (this was a couple of months after 9/11), I said that was a shame, but it wasn't a deal-breaker for me. When he said that he was still living with his ex-girlfriend (due to the whole not having a job thing) as a roommate and not sharing a bedroom, I said that's cool.

We went out on a few dates, and right away I felt something for him that I had never felt before, a combination of passion and... comfort. I was excited by him, but also relaxed around him (I am not relaxed around anyone, so this was unprecedented). Our first date was 12/6/01, and we moved in together at the end of January '02. He got a job, and we moved to a bigger place. On 12/6/02, the anniversary of our first date, he proposed. We got married on 10/01/03.

Now he has a great job that he loves (and he makes more money than I do), we own a home and a Siamese cat together, and he is the most wonderful husband I can imagine having. Whenever I call him during the day, he answers the phone saying "Hello, gorgeous!". When I get home from work, he meets me at the door with a hug and a bunch of kisses. He sends me text messages almost every day telling me how much he loves me. He supports me enthusiastically in whatever I am excited about, even if he's afraid it might be a bad idea. He thinks my artwork is wonderful; he thinks I'm beautiful; our marriage is his biggest priority.

I know that an awful lot of women would not have gone out with an unemployed guy who lived with an ex, but I had my list, so I was focused on what kind of guy he was, not what he had. I could see that he was an honest hard-working guy, so I believed in him.

Ultimately, I am thankful for those misguided women who were missing out by not dating him, leaving him available for me. :) That probably leaves the ice weasels for them, though. :(

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Scary Statues on a Holiday

Yesterday was Labor Day and both Greg and I had the day off work. Yay! So we drove over to the coast to spend time with friends; shopping, movie-seeing, lunching...

We went to one of those outdoorsy places that are like a mall, but outside. This place had a lot of weird statue people, who were, in my opinion, a little creepy.

Here's a girl talking on a shell phone (Not my joke, I swear):

Here are The Children of the Corn:

Seriously, look at his eyes, they are scooped out and dead looking:

We had lunch at a great pizza restaurant, shopped for books and wine, and saw a wonderful movie: Stardust.

It was a great day, despite the scary metal children. :)