Thursday, February 24, 2011

You Cannot Live Without ‘Lungs’

Another Amateur Review of More Musical Greatness.
I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I am just now getting on Florence and the Machine’s ‘Lungs’ album bandwagon.  To save a little face though I’d like to state for the record that  it has been on my radar since last fall as Dog Days and Hurricane Drunk have graced several a mat and running mixes.   That being said, shame on me for not having snagged all the yummy tunes on this kick-ass album back then and shame on you too if you’re in the same boat.  And then shame on you, the one with the smug grin that says you’ve been sitting on it for months and didn’t bother to share it with me – How dare you.
From beginning to end, every stinking song is intense and punch-you-in-the-gut good and much to Kev’s dismay, they are best heard at inappropriately loud decibels.  Florence’s (yes, that’s her real name) voice  oozes reminiscent of Tori Amos and Kate Bush with a side of Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs.  Mix that with The Machine’s ability to back her with a startling range of jazzy electronic, punky, poppy and tribal beats and you might just have my favorite album of 2010.  Yes, I’m throwing it back to 2010 so say their Grammy wins.
The first song Dog Days are Over plops us on a roller coaster ride of ethereal melodies, harp strings and kick drum beats that you can’t help dancing around spastically (or me anyway) to.  I dare you to sit still.  Rabbit Hearts brings on the Kate (and mayhaps a pinch of Eurythmics back up)with impossibly high notes that give you chills as you raise it up.  I’m Not Calling You a Liar and Howl do not disappoint and then comes Kiss with a Fist which is as catchy as it sound. More spastic dancing ya’ll.  It brings on the punky electric guitars and takes the vocals to the other end of the spectrum of husky and borderline screaming but in that really cool way so you can’t help but belt it along with your new best friend Florence.  I would totally wail on Rock Band drums to that one.  Amazeballs, really. 
We’re almost there so keep reading.
Girl With One Eye Open stands out from the rest of the tracks with a swaggering sexy rhythm that will fool you unless you pay attention to the lyrics:  Girl with one eye, I’ll cut your little heart cuz you made me cry.  Ouch.  You know you’re listening to Drumming Song correctly when it literally vibrates in your stomach and your husband comes down stairs with raised brows and a ‘Really?’ look on his face.  Between Two Lungs might be in my top 3 on this album.
Fast forward to My Boy Builds Coffins and prepare yourself for a little Tori meets rockabilly.  A yummy one to run to, this little jewel hovers towards the end of the album but its steady beat reminds you that you are not done yet my friend.  Must. Keep. Moving.  Moving onto Drunken Hurricane.  This song is the one that would show up in a chick flick (but like a really good chick flick with no one born after 1990 in it) and it would be the part where the lead chick ditches her loser boyfriend and gets her shit together and then the chick audience totally grins and nods their heads in approval.  Trust me on this.  Blinding brings back the tribal with its powerful – and I mean powerful – vocals and choir and is just the thing to feed us into our last and final rocking tune You’ve Got the Love.  Florence and her super-powered machine send us off and reminds us that while there’s love and loss and sometimes you just wanna say eff it, it’s you that’s got the love and it’s freaking awesome. 
This album will make you furiously happy.  Trust me on this.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Remember Me When...

My next door neighbor passed away on Valentine's Day.  He was 31.  He left behind a widow, 29, who is left to piece together her life and her path.  I came home from work that day to police cars and fire trucks - not exactly a rare occurrence on Ruckle St.   It was shocking and surreal.  The surrealism continues as today I stared at an urn full of the the ashes of the great big guy who spent 20 minutes digging me out of the ice last week, not caring that he was wearing his business suit.   

The service was tonight and while it was a memorial, the importance of 'the celebration of life' was insisted upon.  Everyone was asked to write down 'a rose', or a memory of him, whether it was funny, heart felt, sad.  The idea being that all our memories collectively would be a metaphor for the petals of a rose.  We were promised that by the end of the service we would all walk away knowing him - and each other - more than anyone could possibly imagine.  The service opened with an goose bump raising set from his wife's jazz band which we'd gone to see last June and a close friend who comically and compassionately mc'd throughout.  Tears from sadness and laughter were there.  It was... uplifting.  His beautiful wife stood proud and strong and possessed an unbelievable inner strength to lead us all through a poetry exercise where the audience refrain was remember me when as she walked us through a montage of her late husband's likes, dislikes, passions and peeves.  She then encouraged everyone to stand to share their memories and stories.  More laughter.  More tears.  Love.  She was awe-inspiring.  Super-human. Humbling.  Admittedly, we went into it with some reservation as neighbors and friend, we were still outsiders - or so we thought.  By the end of the service however, we were all neighbors and friends.  There were no lines.

This week has been eye-opening, this night beautiful and inspiring.  Take from it what you will and just remember there are no guarantees.  Cherish every day.  Love your friends and your neighbors and leave no one alone. Take care of you and everyone around you because that's what we're here for.  
That is all.

Friday, February 18, 2011

twitter smitter

I thought I could do it.  I really did.  For years Queenkandis has tried to convince me that it's way more efficient and a hell of lot less time consuming than Facebook and my beloved blogosphere.  In fact, Queen has just about dropped her blog altogether now that she can send out only what can be said in 130 characters or less and while I get the logic in that, I can say with confidence that wit in brevity is just not my thing.  It's maintenance and I'm very bad at maintenance.  Call it lazy or stubborn or both but I 100% failed at Twitter within my first week for all those reasons and I'm totally ok with that.  Wine and xanax apparently leads to nothing but delusions of grandeur and occasional memory lapse.  At the end of the day I'm a one-sided Twit(ter-er).  I appreciate the updates whether they're politically charged by my bestie @andersoncooper or whether they're very important nuggets of insight from my man @kanyewest assuring his followers that he does it with the lights on.  Either way, instant entertainment and none of which will be reciprocated.  So if you're one of my 14 followers (only 6 of whom I actually know which totally adds to the weird factor) then continue to be disappointed by my inactivity.  I am only here to follow and voyeur.  That is all.

PS - Things I'm too lazy to tweet:  
1.  The Packers actually won the Super Bowl.
2.  The people of Egypt were heard and Mubarak stepped down.  The demand for democracy is contagious as other countries like Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya have followed suit.  Sadly the death toll rises but the people march on.  
3.  Seinfeld's 'Master of Your Domain' episode will never get old.
4.  2011 started off shitty and then got shittier yet I somehow remain convinced it has to get better.
5.  I can't believe I don't have Radiohead's The King of Limbs in my hot little hands yet.  Will someone please get on that?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Search and Ye Shall Find...

Quick note - The top 3 search phrases for folks to find this here site this week were:

 - Sky Mall Indoor Wee Mat
 - Hail Mary Statue
 - Mama's Little Helpers

Talk about diversity ya'll, this makes me happy :)

This totally happened

I show up for an 'exam'. The doc (who has not yet been fired) needs to adjust his stool by old school turning the legs.  Turning and turning.  The nurse jumps in to help turn, back and forth debate going on as to whether or not the chair height is actually raising and  I'm laying their like 'really?  What year is this??'  Then they decide the bed needs to be higher.  The old school foot pedal sends me jerking towards the ceiling:  'Wonk! Wonk! Wonk!' Then, 'click clack, click clack'.  No light emits from the welp, overhead light.  'Click clack'.
The doc:  Nurse, can you find a light that works?
Nurse:  Well this one usually does.
Nurse:  Yes, I'll be right back.
The doc:  I'm so sorry Nicole, it's not always like this.
Nurse:  I found one that works - 'click'.
The doc (looking at the yellow Duracell flashlight and I swear I'm not making this up):  Well, I'm glad that one works, but I don't think it will work.
1 minute later...
Nurse:  How about this one? I think this one works.
Me:  OMG it's a satellite!  Are they gonna view this from space!?!?
The doc:  No Nicole, they're not.  And I swear it's not always like this.  Nurse, can we raise her up a bit more?
Nurse:  Wonk!  Wonk!  Wonk!  Let's do this.

You can't make this shit up ya'll.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Note to Self...

This has been one hell of a week and I want to make sure in 1, 2, or 30 years from now (even though in 30 years internet will be about as obsolete as the abacus) that I totally remember it and here's why:
It's been fantICEtic!  ExICEting!  
1.  SNOWPACALYPSE 2011 BABY!  It's been a very exciting week of end of days snow and ice across the U.S of A. Apparently Naptown 'dodged a bullet' because we got mostly ice but it was enough to cancel schools for 3 days and even the museum closed for 1 day and that event happens like once every 20 years.  Chicago and Madison got almost 2 feet of the powdery stuff and even my beloved Texas is on the their third day of school cancellations.

Bring it Steelers!
2.  Speaking of Texas, how about a little shout-out to my GREEN BAY PACKERS IN SUPER BOWL XLV this Sunday in Dallas!!  Like my Rangers, I'm proud of them for just making it this far.  Plus it's nice to have the past 15 years of sometimes solo cheering finally pay off.  Cross your digits folks.  PS - Favre can suck it.  PPS - Ticket prices are now averaging 5000 bucks a pop.  Jerry Jones can suck it too.

Dear Mubarak - Know when to say when.
3.  All hell has broken loose in Egypt.  Last week, the Egyptian people were inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia to end the 30 year Mubarak dictatorship and bring democracy to their country.  They began to 'peacefully' demonstrate in the streets and that soon lead to a ground swell of support and demonstrations on all sides of the globe.  Hundreds of thousands gathered in Tahrir Square and even the government's attempt to disable internet and phone service could not suppress the movement.  Sadly looting and messed up mob mentality has emerged as Egyptian citizens and military are left to protect priceless monuments and artifacts.  I admit I got teary eyed earlier in the week when Zahi Hawass spoke about the looting that happened in the Egyptian National Museum.  2 heads were ripped off of mummies.  What the eff y'all??  Foreign citizens have already been evacuated and news crews and journalists find themselves being beaten and Mubarak announced yesterday that he would not run again when his term is up in September but that still wasn't what the Egyptian people wanted to hear.  They want him gone today.  Turn the page to today's headlines and apparent Mubarak supporters have crashed the Tahrir crowds on horse back and camel back, armed with guns and machetes in order to beat back the crowds.  Awesome.  I stopped searching for headlines (you know, because I don't have the luxury of flipping on my CNN) when I read that the National Museum had caught fire.  Mubarak has flat out refused to leave and swears he'll die on Egyptian soil.  I wish I could fast-forward a year from now and add the update to this post - Note to my future self:  Please post an update 1 year from now.  Thanks.

That's right, I said change my diaper people!
4.  Kev changed a real live diaper y'all.  Not quite as dramatic as the above bit but monumental none the less.  While I was one of the only people in the country who had to work yesterday, Kev pulled some last minute baby-sitting duty for the neighbors.  Little Cici is almost 2 and has Kev wrapped around all 10 of her fingers.  By the time I got home Kev had successfully changed a diaper and was just in the middle of trying to get her into her footie pj's.  Honestly one of the cutest damn things I've ever seen.  It was awkward as she stood there and tried to help him maneuver her into the arms and legs, not sure which to do first.  Priceless.  

I will conquer you!
5.  Today I started following Jesus Christ and then God started following me!  Ok, ok, so it took me a bottle of wine and maybe a xanax or two to finally join Twitter.  I've been fighting it for years, I know this, but can't a woman change her mind?  I'm still not totally sure what I'm doing but like FB, I'll have it down in a year's time at least.  I also have no clue how to find people or how they start to follow me, and really, I'm not even sure I want a whole bunch of people 'following me' because that sounds kind of creepy but whatever.  I joined.  I've managed to sniff out a few friends like @maddow, @sarahsilverman, @Jesus_M_Christ, @andersoncooper, and my new favorite @kanyewest.  Consider my soul sold.  At a glance it seems low maintenance and has thus far proven entertaining, but I have no idea what the @'s and #'s do, let alone the 'M' in Jesus Christ's name.  Oh well.

This is all I've got for now.  Hope you are all safe and warm and well stocked with wine - or 'Cole Juice' as Cici calls it.  Yes world, you can trust us with your children.