13 December 2011

and my lips, they don't kiss, they don't kiss the way they used to

Tonight, as I was driving home, I was listening to an old mix that had this Killers song on it. And I was reminded of something that I have thought a lot about before: there are songs and bands (entire band catalogs!) that belong to someone.

Here is what I mean: I cannot hear the Killers or Arcade Fire without thinking of one person. And, even more specifically, one night I spent with this one person. We listened to Arcade Fire that night. But I associate the Killers with him because he is the one that told me, before I ever heard them, that I would love them. And he was right.

But there are others. People I don't see on a regular basis, or people I don't see ever, that are literally with me every time I hear their song. The odd part about this phenomenon is that I think that most of the people who own music for me probably don't know it.

Do you recognize yourself? For each of the following songs, there is only ONE person that I think of, or will ever think of. These are YOUR songs, people. (To make it easy, I'll give you a hint.)

*"At My Window, Sad and Lonely" (You are a sad, sad bastard.)

*"These Days" (You cry in coffeeshops.)

*"When the Children Cry" (You drink slurpees and look at Christmas lights with me.)

*"Okkervil River Song" (We have never heard this song together, but it makes me think of you growing up on the James.)

*"More than a Feeling" (I don't know what to say about this one. You either know who you are, or you don't.)

*"Daydream Believer" (I'd sing it for you at karaoke.)

*"Self-Esteem" (Turn it up. Roll down the windows. Sing along.)

*"All I Want is You" (There is a time when I wanted was you. But you would have made me a U2 widow.)

*"Go Places" (I don't see you anymore. And I don't want to. But I will say that your appreciation of this song persists as one of the best things about you.)

*Anything by the Pet Shop Boys. (I mean, c'mon. How much time did I spend in your bathroom? How could the Pet Shop Boys NOT remind me of you? Of course, I can't hear Rufus Wainwright without thinking of you either.)

*"Your Love" (You are 7 and 9, and you both have this song on your I-pods cuz of me.)

True Confession: I would love to know that I shored up some music for someone else. And maybe something other than the Singing Nun version of "Que Sera Sera."

06 August 2010

Sports n Me

It is possible that some of you, readers, are as confused about my relationship to sports as some of the people in my non-blog life seem to be. I can totally understand that. My plan is to write about how annoying sports are this summer (and Portland sports talk radio, in particular), but I recognize that a more systematic explanation of my interest in sports might be necessary first. An attempt at that follows.

Point one: I am not a sports fan. I do not watch sports. In the past year, I have perhaps seen a grand total of two hours of college football and 3-4 hours of NBA basketball. I will also admit to watching a few minutes here and there of World Cup action. (It seemed impossible to miss.) Most years I catch at least a few NCAA March Madness games, but this year I don't think I saw any at all. I didn't watch anything during the Winter Olympics, other than the unavoidable footage of the poor luge guy who died. (Which, by the way, was hardly better than a snuff film. I mean, really?) I also do not root for any teams myself, although I do take a hometown pride in the Blazers, when they do well, and in both U of O and Oregon State when their teams do well. But that is more a function of my out-0f-control regionalism than sports fandom. Further, I do not own any gear, other than an "Oregon Girls Rock" tee shirt (which doesn't even look like U of O swag) and a green on green longhorn tee which I mostly bought because it was the most Oregon-looking UT product I could imagine.

Point two: I am a huge radio fan. I love listening to people talk on the radio. And, truth be told, I have always sort of felt like I missed out, historically. I would have been a rabid radio "stories" fan in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Most talk radio now, unfortunately, sucks. And it trades mostly in fear and anxiety. I don't need much more of that in my life. I am surrounded by un/underemployed people with rising credit debt. I don't need to hear about it on the radio. This is half of why I have become near obsessed with sports talk radio. Sports talk radio does not make me feel anxious. I do not find myself talking back to the hosts, nor to the callers. I never end up shaking and angry. At most, I occasionally feel some mild irritation.

I also really like listening to someone describe a sporting event on the radio. When I was young, my dad would often take my brothers and me with him to the post office at the airport sometime between dinner and bedtime. I think it gave my stay-at-home mom a little evening breather. I have fond and vivid memories of resting my cheek against a cold car window, watching rain pelt the dark 205 pavement, while Bill Schonely called Blazer games on crackly AM radio. Interestingly, I can't really follow games called on radio. I can hardly follow games that I'm actually watching. But I like listening to games being called, and I really like the interaction between a play-by-play guy and a good color commentator. (Commentators, by the way, have one of the hardest jobs I can imagine. They have to look for openings, and then talk to fill the holes, but get out of the way quickly when something happens. That's not an easy task, especially if you want to make it not seem clunky.)

Point three: I like stories. Most people know this about me. Narrative rocks my world. My primary interest in sports is in sports narratives. Narratives about individual players. Narratives about certain teams. Narratives about management. Sports is filled with great stories. And they are, almost without exception, cooler than stories about celebrities and politicians, because, in sports, stuff actually happens. Celebrities go shopping, have their pictures taken, talk to the press, get pregnant, break up, go to parties, and occasionally do some work. Not really that interesting. And when it IS sort of interesting (a la Lohan), it is too depressing to really follow. Politicians (and American politics, for that matter) are hardly better. But in sports, games are played. Players are drafted and traded. Seasons are completed. Cool stats emerge. Epic battles are won and lost. Personality helps, or gets in the way of success. There is a lot of script. And I find, as someone who has a good handle on story, in general, that it is super easy to follow sports stories. So that I don't really have to watch sports in order to talk about them with some intelligence.

Point four: Guys dig sports. I like listening to guys talk about sports. It has taught me a lot about men. And I like witnessing men bond. Ok? I think it is cute. (And, yes, that is probably as condescending as it sounds.) Listening to sports talk radio appeals to me in a real "fly on the wall" kind of way. AND it has the added benefit of making me informed enough to talk to guys about sports (most of the time--I mean, don't scratch too deep, guys, because if you do, I'll sound like a real idiot). I have an old school belief in the art of conversation. And knowing a little about sports, and about what people are saying about sports at any given time, makes me a better conversationalist (as does knowing a little about film, tv, pop psychology, history, music, and whatever else I know a little bit about).

OK. I'm hoping that sort of clears things up a bit. Next post--what I am learning from sports talk this summer, and why it IS making me a little anxious.

05 August 2010

New Blog

As promised, my new blog Rubens's Muse has officially launched. Unlike The Make-Ready, which is meant to be a catch-all, Rubens's Muse is a theme-based entity. And it won't be for everyone. But I encourage you all to at least check it out.

Watch The Make-Ready for other developing projects. This is a very creative and productive period for the KRD.

As always, thanks for your interest!

26 July 2010

What's New

Goodness. The world keeps spinning and I have lots and lots that needs a-talkin' about. Stay tuned for discussions about 1) a new blog! (I know, you think that I can't keep up with this one. It's true. But this is going to be a new project altogether.) 2) Why I am a crappy Victorianist and how I'm getting better. 3) Why I am going to FREAK OUT on Portland sports talk radio. 4) How tv has recently convinced me that I should only watch tv/movies starring Tom Selleck and destroy all of my music, replacing it with the entire Rush catalog. 5) Self improvement, and how I plan to achieve it.

My pupose here is not just to promise far off blog posts. It is also to alert you to the fact that I now have a twitter account. I TOTALLY want to make excuses for myself. But I am not going to. I am just going to tell you that it is out there. So far, I have mostly "tweeted" (GOOD LORD) about Rebecca Haarlow. And re-tweeted JBro's responses to my tweets about Rebecca Haarlow. If that appeals to you at all, you can check it out @Frissin.

I think that Jamie is getting tired of being my only follower . . . It is a lot of pressure on a girl.

14 July 2010

A Gift for Me

Today is like Christmas, my birthday, and the first day of school all rolled up into one.

The Sklar Bros are hosting Jim Rome's radio show.

Ear candy, people. Ear candy.

13 July 2010

Greetings From Lobster Girl

I. Am. So. Burnt.

Ow. I just pulled the sheet over my burning hot, super sensitive body. (And I do NOT mean this in a sexy way. I mean this in a totally NOT sexy way.) Ow.

Today my mother and I took my wards, and her two wow (wards of the weekend) out to the Indian Reservation to swim. Um. Maybe that sounds weird. We went to the pool fed by natural hot springs at Kah-nee-ta, the resort on the Warm Springs reservation. This is a favorite summer activity of ours. My grandmother (mother's mother--whose birthday would have been tomorrow, poetically) used to take us. She would put together a kick ass picnic lunch and we would spend the WHOLE day by the pool. This is a tradition that we've kept up with the kids in our lives. (OK. Our picnic today wasn't totally awesome, but the day was.)

The best part of going to Kah-nee-ta--every time the best part--is getting home at night. Super worn out. Super hungry. A little pink. Tonight I'm supper tired. I would be supper hungry if I had a normal person stomach. And I'm a lot pink. But it still feels really, really good. (On the inside. Because on the outside it hurts like hell.)

12 July 2010

KFK, revisited

Aw Damn. After all that Karate Kid discussion (thanks for the shoutout, OMD, by the way), I totally reversed my stance and took the wards to a mall showing (complete with an awesome trip to Hot Dog On A Stick) of the film. I know, I know. No integrity.

A girl gets desperate when she is hanging out with bored kids and the temp is going to get close to 100 degrees. Have a little pity.

Anyway. It's not bad. The worst parts are actually all the nods to the original. I wish that they had just made a kung fu film with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith and had forgotten about the fly/chopstick bit, the dead wife, the evil sensai, and the hopping at the competition. That was all the weakest stuff. (Well, that and one performance, which I will discuss further in a moment.)

The film is actually pretty beautiful to watch. I could have used even more scenes in the urban playground. (I love the ping pong dude!) The festival scene and the location training scenes are also beautiful. The highest praise I can give the film is that it made me yen to go to China myself--something that not even America's Next Top Model has been able to do.

Watching Jaden Smith is like watching a tiny version of Will Smith. They are charming in EXACTLY the same way. They move in EXACTLY the same way. It would be creepy if it were not so adorable. Also. That little kid is ripped. How does that even happen? It was impressive. (One of my wards rushed home and immediately started to do push ups with his feet up on one of the living room chairs. He also was impressed by J. Smith's awesome upper body.)

On the down side: I COULD NOT STAND the woman who played Smith's mother. Which is weird, because I really wanted to like her. But she was annoying. And she took away from every scene she was in. It was frustrating.

As I predicted, the age of the young Smith is a little bit of a problem. The romance between Smith and the freaking adorable Wenwen Han would have been more successful if they were both just a little bit older. I was also a little weirded out by the fact that Smith's character seemed significantly younger than any of his kung fu opponents. (In fact, one of them looked like he could be 20. What is a 20 year old doing trying to beat up a 12 year old?!) Listen, William Zabka was a lot bigger than the Macchio, but he didn't seem to be a whole lot older. It is a totally different scenario.

Bottom line? If you can think of this film as NOT part of the orignal franchise, you can certainly be entertained by this film.

Stay tuned for discussions about my summer obsessions: Tasty Planet, white chocolate mac nut Luna bars and audio books! (Do not judge, dear readers.)