Friday, November 30, 2012

Music makes my world go round

I am not quite sure what made me think of it today, but while I was driving back to the office from my lunch, I was contemplating truly great covers of originally great songs.

I couldn't think of very many. I think that is due to two things. The first being that I have a really hard time with covers of songs that I love. It boggles my mind that anyone could possibly do justice to, or heaven forbid, actually improve upon, a song that I love. And the second being that I am not all knowing when it comes to music and there are probably lots of amazing fairly unknown artists producing mind-exploding versions of some of my all time favorites that I have never even heard. Having said that, I am basing my opinions in this post on my very limited exposure.

I have a very eclectic taste in music. I like it all. Really, all of it. There isn't a single genre of music that I count out all together. It may not be my favorite, I may not have a dedicated Pandora station for it, but I am sure that you could throw any type of music at me and I could find something to like about it.  Music moves me.

Because I have such a varying taste in music, it stands to reason that if I rattled off 10 of my favorite songs to you, it wouldn't be surprising that they would all be very, very different.

As I was driving, these are the first few covers that popped into my head that I will admit to liking just as much as the original, in some cases I like them even more.  Enjoy!

"How Soon is Now"- Love Spit Love.
The first time I heard this version I thought to myself "Gee, this sounds like the Psychedelic Furs" (Whom I LOVE), so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it's the same singer, just a new band. I know that fans of The Smiths are going to hate me for this, but honestly I love both versions.

"Wild Horses"- The Sundays
Truthfully, I really dislike the Stone's version. I don't really like The Rolling Stones in general. Except for "Beast of Burden", that song is bomb.  This cover of "Wild Horses" always makes me tear up a little bit. It's something about her voice. 

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Tori Amos
What can I say? I love her voice. I love this song. So different and still so brilliant.

"Tainted Love"- Marilyn Manson
Yeah..... I know. Can't help it. I dig this one.

"Tears of a Clown"- The English Beat
This one might be a tie. I like this version and the Smokey Robinson original equally.

There you have it, some of my favorite covers. It's a short list for the moment, but now that I am actually thinking about it, I can come up with so many more that are good, maybe even great.

Sometimes though, silly artists get ridiculous ideas and decide to cover a song that they should never, ever, EVAR touch. Johnny Cash, I am talking to you!! How dare you mess with Trent Reznor?!  I know some people think his (Cash's) version of "Hurt" is great. To those people I say, No. You are wrong. Thank you, come again.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Mom, I'm trying to get laid!"

Some people have really sweet tales of how they met their significant other.

They might have met each other at Starbucks over a mutual love of ridiculous caffeinated beverages.

" I'd like a grande, hot, decaf, triple five-pump vanilla, non-fat, no foam, whipped cream, extra hot, extra carmel, upside down carmel machiatto"

Or maybe they met while walking their dogs in the park.

"Oops! I am REALLY sorry that my dog just peed on you. Let me buy you a ridiculous caffeinated beverage at one of the 10 Starbucks within walking distance"

Very rarely though do these romantic stories of how you met start with meeting at a bar, followed by midnight skinny dipping. Well, at least the ones that end well don't start that way.  And by end well I mean not including a walk of shame and a STD test. 

I am only speculating on what an STD test or a walk of shame would be like, since I have never had either. Really. No, I mean it, really.

However, every so often, something that you think will never turn out to be worthwhile (or particularly smart) can surprise you. Pleasantly.

A couple of months ago a friend of mine was planning a night out of dinner and drinks for her going away party. I knew everyone that was there with the exception of one guy who had come along with another friend. He seemed very nice, although a bit quiet. 

As the night progressed we drank a lot. I mean, it was a going away party, it's a celebration, bitches! At some point we decided to head to the gay bar. Why? Not really sure, since none of us are gay, but whatev.

Oh how I love the gay bar. I love that none of the guys are hitting on me, I love the awful Brittany Spears and Lady Gaga music. I just love it. I especially loved the many shots that we had there. There was dancing and more dancing, and even more dancing that took place on top of the pool table! That was the boys, btw, Tanya and I are much too reserved and classy for that. After all that dancing we were hot and sweaty, it was soooooooo humid outside. By the time that we decided to leave I was on the hunt for a swimming pool.  I said out loud how much I would love to go swimming and Rhys (the fairly quiet new guy) proclaimed that he has a pool and that we could go swimming.

Well duh! It was the best idea I had ever heard. Of course I should go to some guys house, whom I had never met before, in the middle of the night to go swimming. And so we did.

 Oh man, and then all the nakedness happened. That is how skinny dipping happens I guess, one person starts taking their clothes off and then next thing you know, you are too. It's almost an involuntary reaction that you can't help. Tanya, being the only responsible voice of reason, managed to stay dressed and just sat back and watched the craziness unfold.

All was fun and games until I looked up towards the sliding glass door and noticed a woman standing there. The woman then scolded us, saying that if we were not quiet, we would wake the neighbors.  I had a couple drinks in me and it was close to 3am so not all my synapses were firing away, but even in my fuzzy state I was aware that something was..... strange. At about that moment, Rhys lifted me, naked as naked can be, out of the pool and basically shouted "Mom! I am trying to get laid!".

 Mom??  That was his mom??  Oh sweet Jesus.

Needless to say, my clothes found their way back onto my body in record speed. While I was searching for my bra, I vaguely recall Rhys saying something about going back to his house. To which I replied that I thought we were at his house. No, not correct. He had taken us back to his  mothers house. To go skinny dipping. In the middle of the night. Apparently everyone knew that we were at his mothers house except for me.

Thanks for the heads up, guys!!  I will remember this the next time you get drunk and start getting naked at a strangers house with the potential to possibly get caught by their parents!

In the wee hours, while intoxicated, one might be tempted to reflect on one's current situation. Don't do that. I did that. I was suddenly thinking to myself "I am tired, and soggy, and not looking like Miss America with all this mascara running down my face. I am also fairly embarrassed. This boy's mom probably hates me. She shouldn't, I am a nice girl. Ugh..... so naked. I need to go home".  And so I did.

Even after all the booze and nakedness, I still managed to end up at home, alone, face washed, pajamas on and snuggled up in my own bed. Thankfully. Walks of shame and STD screenings averted. Success!

Imagine my surprise when Rhys texted me to make sure I had arrived home safetly. Sweet right? I mean, I thought he was just trying to get laid. The whole neighborhood heard him! Instead of getting laid, he got ditched. However, he still wanted to check on me. Nice guy. And then I passed out.

Only to wake up to this lovely head of midnight swim hair:


Over the next couple days Rhys and I texted back and forth and decided to go on a date. Like a real date, not a drunken bar crawl.  So we did. And it was good!

And the rest, as they say, is history. Cue lovely music and release the doves!

Seriously though, it's so funny to me how I met someone great, in the least likely of scenarios, and never really expected it to be.... anything.  I suppose what they say is true, you meet someone when you aren't looking, when you least expect it. It's effortless and comfortable and exciting and all is right with the world. 

I have since re-met, or officially met I should say, his mother; whom I apologized to profusely. She just laughed. I don't think she hates me. At least I hope not. First impressions, geeeez. 

Now, whenever someone asks me "So how did you guys meet", I giggle to myself and depending on who I am telling the story to, edit for content accordingly. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

You can shove those thin mints straight up your ass

I made some ribs in the crock pot last night for dinner. Bomb if I do say so myself. I very rarely produce anything even remotely close to culinary greatness, so when something actually turns out yummy (and not poisonous) I am the first one to pat myself on the back. It was the easiest recipe ever and all I was missing from my cabinets was BBQ sauce. It was going to be a quick trip to the store and I would be on my way to a delicious, and easy-peasy, dinner.

I live exactly 2 minutes away from a Raleys grocery store, so I jumped in my car and drove around the corner. When I pulled into the parking lot I noticed that there were picketers outside. Now I know you are not supposed to cross a picket line otherwise you are basically saying to these people that "I don't give a shit about what your labor issue is". I can't say that I was particularly interested in what their gripe was, I was more interested in getting my BBQ sauce and getting back home. Unfortunately, I was approached by a man, about my fathers age, with a flyer and a need to discuss his beef (not literally) with me.

From what I gleamed off our 2 minute long conversation, Raleys does not want to offer medical benefits to retired employees (or not pay for them anymore, either way, retiree's would now have to pay for their own healthcare). As much as I tried to be sympathetic, I swear I really really tried, I just didn't care. Do you know why I don't care? Because I have to pay for my own health insurance. So I don't feel bad for you if you are not getting yours for free. ESPECIALLY if you are no longer even working for the company that you expect to pay for said benefits. I am sure that they paid for those benefits for the maaaaaaaany years that you faithfully dedicated yourself to your job with them. Good for them, that is about all I personally feel that they are obligated to do for you. Maybe that is my jaded opinion because no one is paying my health insurance for me, but there it is. So shoot me.

Even though I was wholly unsympathetic to his complaint I felt so guilty about  continuing on into the store that I stood there and waffled for a minute. This man was judging me with his eyes and I could tell that I was not about to continue my shopping trip without a huge guilt trip to go along with it. So what did I do? Well, like a giant pussy, I got back into my car and proceeded to drive 20 extra minutes to the Safeway across town. I am blaming it on PMS, I couldn't deal with any sad-faced judgmental attacks by a man who is probably riddled with cancer and now has no healthcare to pay for his treatment. I almost cried because my pony-tail holder ripped in half that morning, I was already on emotional overload. PMS sucks, FYI.

I arrived at Safeway, already angry that I had to drive across town in the first place. But I put a smile on my face and proceeded into the store. Well, I attempted to go into the store. While on my way inside I was surrounded by, much like little yappy dogs circling your knees, tiny Girl Scouts pleading with me to purchase cookies to support their troop. I politely declined, no reason necessary. If you don't want something you should definitely NEVER be made to feel badly for not purchasing it. I don't care what the great cause is that the money goes to, why would I buy cookies that I do not like and would never eat? That is a waste of my money. I have plenty of other things that I choose to spend my hard earned money on, and nasty cookies are not high on my list of priorities. Thankyouverymuch.

Once inside the store I made a beeline for the BBQ sauce. I found the perfect one, and feeling optimistic that I was nearing the end of my grocery store journey for the day I made my way to the register. The place was a zoo, full of people buying turkeys and the lines were long. I picked the least offending looking line and waited patiently for my turn. Needless to say that after about 8 minutes of standing behind two women (one with a price check from hell that took waaaaaaay to long, and the other with her various food stamp vouchers) my patience was worn to the max. I just wanted to pay for my damn BBQ and go home!!!  Why did the cooking Gods hate me so much?

After paying for my BBQ sauce and exiting the store I was AGAIN accosted by those little Girl Scout leaches.  I politely declined AGAIN and began to turn around and head the other way. As I did this I noticed that the mother of one of these little future "most annoying girl in our class" candidates gave me a really nasty look. And I kind of lost my shit. I had had enough. So I turned to face her and I said "I don't like Girl Scout cookies. There is no need for that nasty look you just gave me". She seemed a bit taken aback that I would call her out, but recovered and said "It goes to a good cause". To which I replied, "I am sure it does, but I am still not buying cookies that I don't like. There is no need for rudeness. I am sure plenty of other people will buy them". I turned and walked back to my car wishing that instead of being a calm and collected (impressive considering my current state of internal emotional meltdown) version of myself that I had flipped that stupid table holding all the cookies over and stomped away.

When I reached my car I noticed that there were two people standing next to their car, which happened to be parked right beside mine, and they were chain smoking and getting all that nasty smell in my car, which I had mistakenly left the window down on. Ugh. Now, on top of everything else, my car smelled like an ash tray.

I drove home, quietly, with the radio off hoping that I could make it back without any more ridiculousness. Luckily, I did. I got my ribs into the crock pot and my dinner turned out better than I anticipated. Or maybe really it was just passable, but because of the trying events leading to their preparation, anything would have tasted like heaven.

 I guess we may never know.