Archive for the ‘music is my first love’ Category

My Proustian Interview


I’m copying a friend. Thank you, friend.

If I were on Inside the Actor’s Studio with Mr. Lipton…

The Venerable James Lipton

The Venerable James Lipton

What is your favorite word? besos. As in “besosbesosbesooossss” with a swirling hand motion. Try it.
What is your least favorite word? calm down
What turns you on creatively, spiritually, emotionally? new music (creatively), church music (spiritually – nothing gets me like a good “On Eagle’s Wings”), and Tori Amos/Regina Spektor music (emotionally)
What turns you off? formatting on Microsoft Word
What sound do you love? the sound of TBWSRN’s ring on my cellphone
What sound do you hate? Sarah Palin’s voice
What is your favorite curse word? god-DAMMIT-all-to-hell
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? fancy editor working out of my fancy loft in fancy New York City
What profession would you not like to do? special education teacher
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
I’d like him to give me the choice to stay or go.


The Curious Case of Beloved Blankie


In the dawn of my life, I was given a baby blanket. It was your typical blanket: a pale yellow square of cotton waffle fabric, trimmed with monochromatic satin and smelling of Downy fabric softener. It was, as all security objects are meant to be, a comfort. I loved that blanket.

Like all blankets, it was intended to serve its purpose until I grew up and became embarrassed by it, pretended not to care about it, and  and replaced it with more age-appropriate toys, like a purple boombox and New Kids on the Block cassette tapes.

Friends, that would have been a total waste! Our best years together came later.

My blankie actually became MORE of a toy as I grew up. Though I probably should have been embarrassed by that, as a late elementary into middle-schooler, it still held a permanent place on my bed. Aiding and abetting in what psychologists might today label an “attachment disorder,” was my best friend Rachel. I knew we were meant to be when we met; she thought my blanket was AWESOME and still had her blanket too.

Our blankies became an important part in our play. In our creation of the still relatively unknown “RSK” television network, the music videos we (Rachel, Sarah, and Rachel’s little sister, Krystal) created often used the blankie as an integral prop. The most memorable was the “Blankie Land” rap video where, not only were our blankets the inspiration of the song, but also guest-starred right before the beatboxing part: “Now introducing the King of Blankie Land” (Sound the trumpet made of pure blankie).

When we played “Abusive Husbands” -I know, I’m sure psychologists would have plenty to say about this, too- and had to quickly flee with our Felecity and Samantha children because “They’ve found us again!” (in a British accent, always in a British accent), our blankies served as shawls to keep our babes warm as, of course, we had to run away barefoot in the middle of the freaking winter. Damn husbands. If we’d have been wiser, we’d have just divorced them and taken their child support money to buy shoes and move to Miami. Duh!

I aged, my blanket aged. And as it did, it went through its own metamorphosis. The square-shape of its origin imperceptibly changed, eventually becoming a long, beehive-shaped pile of knots and torn ends. Instead of being able to gather the folds of my blankie together for comfort, these piecemeal knots came together in a pile of what we called “nubbins.”

As I entered high school, the collection of nubbins was still around my room somewhere. But, much to the relief of my parents who were probably becoming a little worried at this point, it wasn’t such a thing anymore. Then, one day, the blanket disappeared unceremoniously. Stomping extra loudly up the stairs from my bedroom, I demanded that my mother reveal where she had hidden it. She swore that I must have just misplaced it, but later commented, “There was nothing left of it!” Complete and total admission of guilt.

With this story, I lay you to rest, blankie. Gone, but never forgotten.

Did you ever have a toy that you were overly attached to?

*Another trip down memory lane: two of the songs that iTunes shuffled to as this was being written were “Not If You Were the Last Junkie On Earth” by the Dandy Warhols and “Cut Your Hair” by Pavement. 93.7 The Edge, anyone? I curse the day this station was struck down. Sing it with me: “I never thought you’d be a junkie because heroin is so passe´.”

Because forcing new things on people who didn’t ask for them is quite literally my job…


I have three RAD songs for you to download. Three: that’s manageable, isn’t it?

“Everything is Borrowed”- The Streets (Most comparable to the musical stylings of Mos Def)

“Electric Feel”- MGMT (Kinda like 70s Disco)

“Kids”- MGMT (Electronic music with SOUL, vocalist sounds like B. Flowers of The Killers to me)

Now, don’t make me count backwards from five and give you an awkward silence before you do as I say. Eyes on me!

America, I am disappointed in you.


We need to talk and you might want to sit down.

I just don’t feel ready for this.


Britney is back.

Britney is back? It’s okay to have to say it aloud to believe it.

Umm. Are you sure we aren’t rushing into this? It’s like one minute I’m secretly relishing in her collapse and the next minute she’s plastered all over credible sites like with headlines as completely stupefying as “Get Britney Spears’ Look” and “Britney Spears’ Children Help Her Believe in God.” Umm, didn’t she just lock herself in a bathroom with one of them and have to be pulled out on a stretcher, like, a second ago? I log out of my Hotmail and she’s there. I dutifully read my Perez and she’s there. She was even on the HUFFINGTON POST. Which is sort of a news site. Can’t we go back to the good ol’ days when she was the dysfunctional gift that kept on giving?

Listen. It isn’t that I’m a hater. I practically GREW UP with Britney. I remember getting out of school early one day to go “watch the girls’ volleyball team at state” and instead sneaking over a friend’s house to watch TV. (It was seriously the only bad thing I ever did and it was the school’s fault for believing it anyway.) Britney’s new video, “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” was on the MTV and there she was, clad in her plaid mini and pigtails. Leaning over so the boys could react. Sexualizing school girls without hesitation. Why would I hate on THAT? She is an irreplaceable part of my youth. And you JUST KNOW I have 34 songs on my iPod that she had at least something to do with.

Britney, I’m just worried about you. The American media is shamelessly reinflating your ego prematurely. Can’t you see it’s all about us? Nine months ago you were all maniacal and shaving your head. Now, you’re performing at German music awards. Too much, too fast.

I’m only looking out for you, girl.

Sharing of affectionate Britney Spears’ memories strongly encouraged.

Let Me Put My Songs In You


My hippie soul reveres music and its makers as being close to godliness. Since that cleanliness thing didn’t work out for me, it’s simply next on the list.


A DVD set I’ve recently borrowed (a result of my “What? Netflix is so much better than cable” money-saving scheme) is Saturday Night Live: The Complete First Season. This is SNL back when it wasn’t even called SNL, but rather NBC’s Saturday Night. Though it’s always fun to watch and appreciate the early heroes of sketch comedy (Dan Akroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, etc.) the true *magic* can be found in the musical acts.

The second episode features a live performance from a man who stirs the revolution right up from my hippie soul.

It’s Paul Simon performing “Still Crazy After All These Years” and “Loves Me Like A Rock” solo. It’s BEAUTIFUL. He then reunites with Garfunkel to sing “The Boxer” and “Scarborough Fair.” Though this performance occurred years prior to the idea of little me coming into this world, I still feel like the current me is nothing but a reincarnation of the ORIGINAL version who existed, nay, thrived in the ’60s and ’70s. Experiencing a live Simon & Garfunkel performance (through a 20″ TV Screen) gives me the feeling that, really, I belong at a Vietnam protest singing “Give Peace A Chance,”  watching footage of people camouflaged and running -set to “Paint it Black,” ALWAYS set to “Paint it Black” on the news, slow-motion jogging through the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial, or acting all self-sacrificial like in that new Beatles musical. Especially when I listen to “The Boxer.” I LOVE “The Boxer.”

And you know what? It feels good.

Even if my historical references do come entirely from movies.

Guess what else? My inner-hippie tells me that I would have voted for Obama in my former life. (HAAAAAD TO)

Why don’t you rent it, watch it, and report back. Is it me? Or is it the music?

Songs Deemed “Good Enough” to be Running Companions


By me and my iPod

1. J’ai peur parfois – (the french) Adele (when I was looking for the British one)

2. We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel

3. Bebot – Black Eyed Peas

4. Song 2 – Blur

5. I Tried – Bone Thugs -N- Harmony

6. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

7. Crush – David Archuleta

8. Get Like Me – David Banner

9. Out Here Grindin’ – DJ Khaled

10. Swagger – Flogging Molly

11. Free Willy – Jacko (The gospel choir gets me every time.)

12. Baby It’s You – JoJo

13. One Step at a Time – Jordin Sparks

14. Love Lockdown – Kanye West

15. Merry Happy – Kate Nash

16. Sex on Fire – Kings of Leon

17. A Milli – Lil Wayne

18. Daydreamin’ – Lupe Fiasco Feat. Jill Scott

19. Hi Hater – Maino

20. How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox Twenty

21. See You Again – Miley Cyrus (hush)

22. She Wants to Move – N.E.R.D.

23. Everyone Nose (All the Girls Standing in the Line for the Bathroom) – N.E.R.D.

24. Here It Goes Again – ok go

25. So What – Pink

26. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight – The Postal Service

27. When I Grow Up – Pussycat Dolls

28. On the Radio -Regina Spektor

29. Dey Know – Shawty Lo

30. Live Your Life – T.I. Feat. Rihanna

31. Back In Your Head – Tegan and Sara

32. Nineteen – Tegan and Sarah

33. Blue Orchid – White Stripes

Revealed: The Internal Dialogue of a Half-Marathoner


8:42 AM*, Starting Line: Cold, cold, cold.

8:55 AM, Mile 1: STILL have random people one inch away from me. People, back off! Can’t you see I’m trying to run 13 miles here?!? Worry, worry. Can’t seem to be able to set a steady pace.

9:15 AM, Mile 3: “I Tried” by -yes- Bone, Thugs -N- Harmony comes on. Adopt this as personal motto for race. “Let me explain that I’m just a black man…” Wait, not that part. “I tried so hard…” – there it is.

9:35 AM, Mile 5: Runners around me begin to spread out. FINALLY. Breathe, calm down. Springsteen’s “Born to Run” comes on. Predictable, I know.

Friend of friend who regularly appears next to me in races is again running at same pace. Do I say something? What if by saying something I use more energy and can’t make it? Oh, you’ll be fine. (Look in her direction) No, she’s concentrating. She’s way into this. Crap, I need to get more into this.

9:55 AM, Mile 7: Hills approaching. Pink’s (I REFUSE to substitute the “i” for an exclamation point. Who does that?) “So What” blaring. Pair of killer inclines in sight. Apply hill strategy: music at full volume, go tippy-toe, back straight, stare at the ground, BREATHE.

10:05 AM, Mile 8: I AM a rock star! I DO have rock moves! I’m 8 miles in already?!? (Immediate swelling of head)

10:10 AM, Mile 8.5: Pull out candy stash stuffed in sports bra, pop some jelly beans. Stick hand down shirt to shove back in. Guy next to me shakes head and laughs. What do you think YOU’RE looking at? Stuffing things in a private-part area is personal business, SIR! Avert your eyes!

10:15 AM, Mile 9: Celebrated too soon. Slowly feel the dying move up my legs. Okay, I know family and cameras are coming soon. Look in control, look perky.

10:18 AM, Mile 9ish: Shit. Shitshitshit. Ignore the fatigue. Ignore. Ignore!

10:25 AM, Mile 10: Smile and wave to cameras of other people’s families on the left, turn to the right and see my family, try to communicate casually via eyebrows and lips that someone needs to fake a heart attack IMMEDIATELY so I have a damn good reason to stop. Please- can’t someone just drop dead so I can quit this thing?

10:35 AM, Mile 11: Maybe I’ll just walk. NO! You didn’t train this hard to walk! Wuss! (Become angry with and criticize self until it is a certainty that I will not stop.) Slow WAY down to a walkish jog.

10:38 AM, Still Mile 11: Plan! Continue walkish jog until mile 12 to conserve energy!! Brilliant! MUST cross finish line running looking bad ass!

10:40 AM, Almost to Mile 12: Miley Cyrus, “See You Again” on the iPod. Sing loud and unabashedly. MUST be delirious to admit so publicly that I’m listening to Miley Cyrus.

10:45 AM, Mile 12: End-is-near, I-think-I’ve-made-it, out-of-body-experience time. Standard closer is on: DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’.”  Run faster. One more hill? You’re going DOWN, stupid bleeping hill.

10:55 AM, Finish Line: Ache, ache, ache. What? You want me to BEND DOWN to untie the chip? “How was the race?” says sadistic Chip-Taker-Girl. “It almost killed me,” with deadpan expression. (Awkward Laugh from Chip-Taker-Girl.)


Congrats to my running friends! We did it!

*Times are estimates. I finished in something like 2:13ish so I applied fuzzy math to that number and what resulted is listed above. Mileage may or may not also be off. In other words, the only thing precise about this is that only crazy people run for enjoyment.