Why I Don’t Have A Library Card

I have to take notes when I read. How else am I supposed remember what I was thinking the first, third, seventh time I read a paragraph?

So. I was reading Whitman’s Leaves of Grass this morning (mmm-hmm-hmm-hmm) and discovered something I wrote five years ago during Junior Seminar (required for English majors at Haverford College):

“Make love! Smell flowers! Drink wine! WAKE UP!” –Steve Finley

He was my professor and I was majorly in love with him. And just above that,

“You can’t possibly have an adult sex life without flowers!” -Steve Finley

Man, I had it bad. Anyway, this is why I don’t rent from the library.

DON’T Fight the Power!

Part Mick Jagger, part Gladys Knight and part Edie Sedgwick. Who could that be?

It’s CAT POWER!!!

I’m nutty about Miss Power, otherwise known as Chan Marshall — who, I guess I should tell you, is an indie/soul singer often spotlighted for her on-stage bouts of hysteria. I think she’s tops. For the past 6-odd years I’ve even considered getting a “Cat Power” tattoo in lightning bolt lettering. [Restrained due to concerns that it may render me a cat lady someday, or maybe just a regretful lady someday.]

But at present, my love for Cat Power’s sultry, SoCo-addled vocals is irrepressible. At her craziest she’s a sobbing, boozing mess. At her most clear-headed she’s a direct descendant of Dusty Springfield.

And now she’s released a [second] collection of covers, called “Jukebox,” in which she puts a lounge lizard spin on Frank Sinatra, Janis Joplin, James Brown, the whole bit. At the risk of waxing sacrilegious, I’d say she more than makes the cuts her own.

And here she goes:

Here are a few snippets from Jukebox (the two penned by Power): “Metal Heart” is the ultimate afghan/cardigan-wearing, subtly angry lady’s ode to heathen, presumably hipster boys. And “Song to Bobby” is what sounds like a love song to Bob Dylan — and funnily enough, it also sounds like it could have been track 15 on Blonde on Blonde.

But alas, I am gushing. Have a listen-like!

(Photo by Richard Avedon for The New Yorker)

“Deuce” vs. “Douche”

I am the most obnoxious, butt-crazy Bruce Springsteen fan in the tri-state area. After 2.5 decades of training, my fanaticism has reached snob-and-a-half caliber.

So recently, my well-meaning colleague and friend John C. attempted to knock me off my high horse.

“Ever hear Bruce’s cover of Blinded by the Light?” he asked.

“No, I’ve never heard his cover of Blinded by the Light,” I responded graciously, smacking my palm against my forehead behind the veil of gchat.

My annoyance was two-fold. See, Bruce Springsteen doesn’t cover Manfred Mann songs, a. And b, Manfred Mann had the audacity to alter the integrity of Bruce’s original work, which has left me a little salty.

While Bruce sings “cut loose like a deuce,” Mr. Mann synthetically grunts “revved-up like a douche.” Frankly, I wouldn’t want to encounter a revved-up douche, whereas a cut-loose deuce doesn’t seem so bad (I actually live with one). So get it right or pay the price!

So the major takeaways are: 1) Don’t assume Bruce is less awesome than he is; 2) Bruce doesn’t ride on the coat-tails of shitty bands; and 3) Don’t test me on Springsteen. Ever!

[Sorry John C.]

January is Soup-er!

While visiting my sister in Baltimore, I found my gaze tripped by the following wondrous news:

Oh, my god! No wonder I’ve had so much extra spring in my step lately. Soup is my favorite. I could eat soup for breakfast, lunch, lunner, dinner and at the movies. The Matzoh Ball variety is at the top of my list.

I was so moved by the news that I got in a tiff with my 8 year-old niece, Olivia, who swears by her unbridled passion for soup. “I love soup,” said Bird, “Way more than you. I love Chicken n Stars.”

“That is not real soup,” I said, “But it is good for you, so word.” It wasn’t really a fight, but it was passionate. Also, her mom told me she’s had soup for lunch 487 times out of 530 tries during her short academic career, so double word for consistency.

Anyway, in honor of National Soup Month, I would like to resurrect an old favorite:

Nice.

So the most appropriate thing to do over the next week is to eat a lot of potato-based soups, like Potato Leek or a nice Vichyssoise (though, when it’s cold enough outside to freeze your tits together, a cold soup is probably a “bad idea”). So let it rain, and clear it out, and three cheers for liquid dinners of all kinds.