Recapitulating 2005

On the plus side:

  • my personal discovery of cocoa nibs, a delicious ingredient that makes your average chocolate bar SUPER FINE
  • acupuncture
  • my family, including the cats
  • the swimming hole
  • our Summer Reunion
  • Gorillaz!

Needs improvement:

  • French skills (current self-rating: 3 out of 10)
  • rock-climbing skills (0 out of 10--interest is high though)
  • correspondence habits (4 out of 10)
  • remembering to post things to this blog (4 out of 10)
  • amount of money spent on car repair (but HOW?)

Looking forward to 2006. Finally, a holiday with no religious OR political overtones. I don't think. Maybe the extra second they're adding will turn out to be muy controversial though. Here's to it.

"I'm eatin' chowda!"

The line "I'm eatin' chowda!" is a running joke in our family about the important types of things people tell each other when they're talking on cell phones in public. If I had a cell phone, I would have been able to say it this afternoon as I lunched on an excellent clam chowder I concocted all by myself. I can't really say I invented it, cuz it's pretty much like every other chowder. Basically I just put in chowdery things in the most pleasing order I could think of, and here it is.

1 onion, chopped
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 T butter
1 jar/bottle of clam juice (8 oz.)
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 large russet potatoes, cut into soup-sized chunks
1 cup corn (frozen is fine)
2 cans of clams, NOT drained (the taller soup-can size, not the small tuna-can size)
2 cups milk
your thickener of choice
salt and pepper

Saute bacon and onion together in the butter until browned and bacon-y smelling. Add the clam juice. Drain the juice off the canned clams and add that too--should be about a cup. Put corn, potatoes and celery in. If needed, add a bit of water to cover the potatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Add the clams and heat through. Then add the milk. Now it's time to thicken. I used about 2T kuzu (a macrobiotic thickener that looks and acts like cornstarch). Cornstarch would also work, and probably a paste of flour and water would be fine too. The point is to just thicken the chowder a bit so it's creamy, not milky. Heat until the thickener has done its job. Season with salt and pepper. That's it!

I'm thinking this could be a decent potato or corn chowder if you just leave out the clammy ingredients. Maybe use stock instead of clam juice, and just add extra potato or corn at the simmer phase.

"Now I'm eatin' crackers..."

It's all gravy: Pork tenderloin with mustard cream sauce

I recently invented this fine sauce. I had a pork recipe that called for a sauce made from port and cherries. But that sounded a little overblown and SWEET, so I came up with a mustard cream sauce instead. Try it on seared pork tenderloin!

1 onion
3 T grainy mustard
1/2 cup heavy cream (or more)
1 T green peppercorns (the kind in a jar)
salt & pepper

Ideally you will have a pan in which you have just browned your pork (and then possibly you put the pork in the oven to finish off). Put the pan back on the burner and saute the onions until they've started to soften and brown.

Turn the burner down a bit and add the mustard. Stir. Then pour in the cream. Stir everything around, making sure to scrape up any savory bits stuck to the pan. Add the peppercorns and salt and pepper. Taste. If it's not punchy enough, add more mustard. If there's not enough to go around, add more cream.

This sauce will hold for a good 15 minutes over low heat. The cream will evaporate more & more though, so if your sauce starts to disappear, add a touch more cream, or even some water, and reheat right before you spoon it onto plates.

I'm sure this would be divine on other meats too. Thank you dear pigs.


There’s a magazine called Vanity Fair. Sure, it's famous for puff pieces (c.f. Kimora Lee Simmons profile, Kate Moss profile, frickin’ RONALD REAGAN profile). But I keep subscribing, mostly because I like the tales of Old Hollywood. (Other family members enjoy the cranky political articles.)

I'm not complaining about Vanity Fair. (Fametracker already does an excellent job in the Blue Moons section.) I am here to borrow from it. I’ve noticed there’s a half-page feature in which celebrities-I’ve-never-heard-of tell us what kind of jeans they wear, what kind of coffee they drink, what kind of stereo they have, and so forth. Kind of like a celebrity endorsement, kind of like a “what’s hot” list, kind of like a lame-o yearbook entry. Anyway, here's my own version. Some brand names included!

lipbalm: Weleda Everon
shampoo: Aubrey organics (blue camomile & camomile)
soap: Dr. Bronner's peppermint (bulk, liquid)
water: tap
sheets: hand-me-down flannel
lotion: homemade from Rosemary Gladstar’s recipe
journal: National Brand Backpacker notebook (3 subject with pockets in dividers)
pen: Bic 4-color retractable
last 3 computers: Mac
previous computer: Timex Sinclair 2068
first computer: Timex Sinclair 1000 (These last 2 were more my dad’s than mine, but whatever)
Day Planner: Llewellyn's Witches' Date book (Switching to We'Moon in 2006)
Latest snack obsession: Dr. Kracker Sunflower Cheese or Pumpkin Seed Cheese flatbread
Food for cats: Hill’s c/d (I don’t really approve because it contains BHT, but the vet scared me into it)
Ale: St. Peter’s
Footwear: Earth, when I can afford it
Internet news source:
Stereo system: yard sale
Favorite can o’ soup: Progresso Chickarina (contains both MSG and pull-top!)
Pill: Darvocet (I only took 3 in my whole life! And I had a prescription!)
bike: Schwinn
corporate giant’s products I reluctantly can’t live without: Unilever (cuz of the sustainable palm oil. Just kidding! Actually because of the Hellman’s & Ben & Jerry’s)
Fruit: mmmmmmmMinneola
Flashlight: I can’t remember the brand. It’s yellow and takes a D battery.
Hero of the bounding main: Captain James Cook

Cheers, mates.

Ramble On

Yet another mild interest has blown into a major obsession lately--I have fallen in love with Led Zeppelin. I've had little flare-ups before of course. This time I was re-infected by the local classic rock station which I've been listening to as I stack wood in the garage. I figured out that frequent doses of Led Zeppelin are exactly the thing to make me feel comfortable, happy and badass. However I am trying to avoid ordering one of the many Zeppelin concert films available from Netflix, because I know myself well enough to be aware that by the time I actually get the movie, I may have veered off toward yet another pet interest. Or maybe not...

Other recent interests:

  • Fertility Awareness charting: This is when a woman records her waking temperature, among various other selected signs, to determine where she is in her cycle. If only someone had taught us this stuff at school I would have such an amazing history of my inner workings... literally!

  • My thermos with folding spoon: Perhaps this sounds odd, but I feel that this thermos is solving all of my problems in life. One of my central health concerns is the tendency to buy "bad" lunch foods from the cafeteria at work. When I'm starving at 11:30 am, it seems completely reasonable to slurp up a bowl of cream of mushroom soup and a plate of fries. But it adds up! Cripes! Now that I have a thermos, I can bring my own healthy soups from home that have NO cream and salt n' stuff. It feels like such a simple and elegant way to change my entire lifestyle. No lie.

  • Seaweed: This kinda goes with the thermos thing. How do you make soup in the 10 spare minutes you have before work? Boil water. Add seaweed. Add a few chopped vegetables. Add a spoonful of bouillon. Add a generous pour of hempseed oil. Pour into miracle Thermos. Face the day with salty weedy brilliant soup sparkling gently in your work bag. Not only does seaweed contain algins that bind to heavy metals and nasty things and help flush them from the body, but it's full of other good stuff too, like fiber and vitamins. Susun Weed calls it the everyday miracle. Yep.

  • Bhutan: This is not a conscious obsession, but mentions of Bhutan keep cropping up and it's getting wierd. First it was Bhutan as seen and described in Michael Palin's Himalaya. Then I saw that GeoEx is leading trips there. Then I was lent a nice movie called "Travellers and Magicians." Then I was listening to a book-on-tape of travel stories and the second one was all about Bhutan. What's up with that? Why is such a small country POPPING up everywhere I look? Will report back if I find out.

That's it for today--a headache that can be solved by food is calling me away.

Google-happy fool

Lately I have noticed that more and more people I know have their photos posted online for some reason or another. Mostly it is professional-type stuff, though one "wired" guy just seems to get posted by other snap-happy friends. Here's a little sample of who I've found lately:

The guy who sat next to me in English class, who I think had a glass eye, so I was never sure if he knew I was there.

The guy who taught me to love Steely Dan, Billie Holiday and Simone Martini.

The guy who was our high school hockey goalie, who once sent me a dozen red roses. He's still tending goal somewhere and lists as his interests: "redheads."

The guy whose room was next to ours during freshman year and who had a giant poster of Woody Allen over his bed, who he fondly referred to as "the Woodman."

Also I've found a couple of my best friends, who I won't attempt to characterize here, and scattered other acquaintances. They are all guys, for some reason. Maybe it's because my women friends keep getting married and changing their names? Anyway, finding people's pictures seems more challenging than finding their names and it is fun to see them again. I'm not a wierd stalker or trying to "out" anybody as an acquaintance of mine. It's more like I just get curious and Google-happy. It's my little lab experiment: "What if the world had a bulletin board where anybody could put anything. How much would people post about person X???" Or just "Whatever happened to ZZZ?" And so I Google away.

WAIT! Newsflash. I found a lady friend at last. You know who you are writer-girl!

Getting high

Latest obsession: Mt. Everest. I think this is my 3rd period of intense interest in Mt. Everest and mountain climbing. It seems to crop up every ten years or so. Here are some notes on what I've been up to:

A quick list of books, with spontaneous annotations:
  • Everest: The West Ridge, by Thomas Hornbein (story of the 1963 expedition where Willi Unsoeld lost his toes--um, and also they were successful in an historic assault on a new part of the mountain)
  • Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer (first person account of the awful events of 1996, trying to tease out the mysteries and facts of what went wrong to who when)
  • High Exposure: An Enduring Passion for Everest and Unforgiving Places, by David Breashears (written by the guy who filmed the IMAX movie of Everest, describes his various climbing & filming adventures)
  • Nanda Devi: The Tragic Expedition, by John Roskelley (sad story of how Willi Unsoeld's daughter dies on mountain after which she was named)
  • Addicted to Danger: A Memoir About Affirming Life in the Face of Death, by Jim Wickwire and Dorothy Bullitt (terrible things happen wherever Wickwire goes, but he stubbornly keeps climbing)
  • The Mammoth Book of Eyewitness Everest, edited by Jon E. Lewis (gives a lot of useful background; snippets of accounts from many years' worth of Everest expeditions... from 1913 to present)

Books still to find:
  • Reinhold Messner's book about his solo ascent of Everest
  • Dr. on Everest, by Kenneth Kamler (also about what happened in 1996)

Movies & tapes:
  • Everest IMAX movie (filmed by Breashears and others in 1996, it's still spectacular even on a small TV)
  • Michael Palin: Himalaya (one can't go wrong accompanying the adorable Palin on his many and sometimes bizarre adventures)
  • The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mt. Everest, by Conrad Anker and David Roberts (I've been listening to the audio version of the book about the 1999 expedition that found George Mallory's body on the North face of Everest)

Other interesting people from the 1996 debacle:
  • Beck Weathers--the fellow "Left for Dead" in 1996, who wrote a book with that title
  • Araceli Segarra--first Spanish woman on Everest, she's apparently also a foxy model
  • Ed Viesturs--mountain man climbing guy

Websites which may or may not have more info about Mt. Everest:

What I've learned from all this:
Lack of oxygen, vicious winds and bone-chilling cold do terrible things to the human body. These tend to exist on large mountains. I plan to avoid them if possible. Although it would be cool to see Everest in person... just from the bottom. I see that the Geographic Expeditions is going to Everest from 3 different directions next year. The Nepali trek is only about $3000. Hmmmm.

I haven't seen the sun in seven days

Because it's been rainy and grey. But I sat in a cubicle for 4 of those days anyway. While I await the return of unshorn Apollo, here's another list of 5 things. Songs, that is.

  1. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning: The Mammals. Fell in love with this immediately. I like the idea of using hair-color as an epithet--maybe I could be "Dark Gold Kitty"? Plus there's love, gunshots, and the lure of the open road... practically trad.
  2. A Fine Romance: as sung by Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers. In "Swing Time" (1936), F&G sing this to each other while wandering in a snowy park, then she drives away. One recording I have has audible film foley. So Fred sings "You never give the orchids I sent a glance. [car door slams] No, you like cactus plants. This is a fine romance [very noisy sound of flivver starting up]." (music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Dorothy Fields)
  3. The Play of Daniel, a 12th-13th century liturgical drama. Sometimes I just hum monophonically to myself. Doesn't make me Madonna. Never will.
  4. A song I heard on the radio that came back to me in a dream except I can't remember the words, just the tune of the chorus. It's possible the last words of the chorus are "...when you sing the blues." It's also possible the singer rhymes "remember" with "december." Typing these clues into Google does nothing for me though. Not knowing what the heck the song is just makes it all the more catchy. La la la...the blues... la la!
  5. Float On: Modest Mouse. After Hurricane Katrina I went through a period of singing "Red Hot Mama" every time I heard about Louisiana, in a possibly misguided attempt to send good vibes down that-a-way. But after New Hampshire was flooded I've adopted Float On as my new don't worry flood anthem. All right.


I have recently had the pleasure of becoming reacquainted with an old friend of mine, Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes was so important to me at one time that I named my dog after him. (I also attempted to take up home chemistry and microscope work.) What I loved most was Holmes' tantalizingly simple technique of observation and deduction. I admired how he pieced the facts together in a way nobody else had considered to arrive at his (usually) correct conclusions. Being an only child with little reason to develop conversational skills, I used this advice to try to figure out what people were up to without actually needing to question them.

We've been reading the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes out loud at home and finding his detectiving addictive. One sees the world differently after a good dose of Holmes. For example, recently I returned home after a day of work and turned on the bathroom tap, which sputtered before running clear. I knew from this that I needed to reset all of our clocks to the right time. And I was right! (This is because a sputtering tap means the pump was off sometime during the day because of a power loss, so the electric clocks would be off.) On another day I deduced what the back of a truck looked like by how quickly it reversed into the loading bay at work. (Trucks with doors that swing open usually sit idling while the driver gets out and opens the doors before backing into the bay. When I heard a truck start to reverse without idling first, I realized it must have a roll-up door. I checked and righty-ho again! Hip hip!) Let's just say it's a warm feeling when these small exercises come along to brighten one's day...

As Fall falls

It's the last day of summer and I can feel the difference. The goldenrod lies exhausted in the meadow, top-heavy plumes worked over by bees and dipping back toward the sod. Lettuce is 2-feet tall and stringy, the only cutlery it will see is when I fork it into the soil to rot for next year. The wind comes in big spooky gusts that rock the house and send the first fallen leaves skittering across the road like the dry, discarded jackets of last spring's cicadas. The night-time has grown more insistent, slowly silencing the grasshoppers and treefrogs as it leaks and leaks more into each passing day. And the apples are here. The grandmother tree by the barn drops hers any old time into the muddy track, among the overgrown weeds, or behind the detached snow-plow. It's still summer, today. But the change is here, and the exhalation that started midsummer's day is getting stronger now, blowing straight through the open windows in our living room, taking with it all the too-hot days of July and August, and bringing the inward-looking pumpkin-times ahead.

What it all comes down to is: time to start up Netflix again.

In the meantime

I've been trying to decaffeinate myself and it's been painful. I think I've made some progress, however, since after only 2 weeks of searing headaches and brain-deadness I am starting to have some energy again. And it must come from... myself! I am still drinking some hi-test tea now and then, and so perhaps extending my agony, but I think the worst is over. Not drinking coffee is by no means a permanent vow. I was just getting annoyed by the hold it seemed to have over me. I hate being bent into submission by mere chemicals. A big reason why I no longer smoke--anger at addiction.

I was in Woodstock Vermont recently and find it a charming town. It has a fairy-tale quality and is very tidy, which I think means that a lot of rich people live near the town center (the houses are charming and enormous, a big clue). But despite my innate uneasiness being in the land of the haves, I couldn't help liking some selected stores around the main intersection--a nice used bookstore, 2 good stores with new books, Bentley's restaurant (which has the twilit atmosphere of a classy hotel lobby of yesteryear), Gillingham's general store (where they sell Fluke ukuleles, guns, Quimper china, potato chips, fine wines, greeting cards, escargots, crackers, you name it), and a sweet below-street kitchen store that had silicon pastry brushes I regrettably forgot to purchase. To counter these ritzy establishments, we were also relieved to find a natural foods store called the Woodstock Farmer's Market a little way up the road. OK, it was somewhat swanky too, but they make really good sandwiches.

The highlight of the trip was an afternoon at the Billings Farm & Museum. It's a working dairy farm but mainly a panoply of farm-oriented attractions & talks that go on throughout the day. We attended demonstrations about sheep & Jersey cows, saw some gorgeously bored Percheron horses, and visited the many interesting buildings & outbuildings on the property, plus the heirloom vegetable garden. And everything seemed so frickin' clean--not like some farms I've seen!

Next up, Garlic festival! I must lay in my annual supply of dip mixes. Dip is one of the only methods I've found to disguise vegetables so I think they're edible... Because salad is what food eats.

If I love France so much

why don't I just GO there? I was recently sent this link to titillate me further. But travel to France seems almost as difficult as travel to my other obsession, the 18th century. My stumbling blocks are 1. I don't feel like I really know enough French, 2. I don't have enough money to last for long in a foreign country, 3. What would we do with the cats? 4. What would we do with an apartment-ful of stuff? I'm sure there are perfectly reasonable answers to all these, but it's a bit overwhelming. Meantime, I keep making lists and working Google to search for substitutes. I found a good page of 18th century movies here: It includes some of my favorites, a few of which are:
Barry Lyndon
Dangerous Liaisons
Tom Jones

Also I stumbled upon a syllabus from Prof. Nicole Vaget, who taught a course at Mt. Holyoke in Spring 1999 called Love and Seduction Rococo Style. Jeez, what am I DOING by not at least sneaking into her courses??

The Getaway Box

I've been having random childhood memories pop into my mind for the last year or so. Maybe it's because I'm slowly trying to detox, and old lost stuff is starting to bubble up.

A recent memory: For several years, probably between the ages of 11 and 14, I used to keep a shoebox full of emergency supplies stashed in my closet in case I suddenly needed to run away. Among other things, it contained the following:

  • a can of sardines
  • a can of condensed milk
  • a film canister containing wrapped bouillon cubes
  • a field guide of edible wild plants (for after I'd finished the sardines, milk & bouillon)
  • a jack-knife
  • a piece of gum
  • a quantity of string
  • safety pins (to use as fishing hooks at the end of the string)
  • waterproof matches in a plastic bag
  • a candle stub and small Dickensian candle holder
  • a set of 4 plastic cards with basic survival instructions printed on them, such as what to do if bitten by a brown recluse spider or struck with hypothermia
  • a mirror (for signalling to planes, as described on survival cards)
  • a "stove" made in Girl Scouts--a tuna can in which you coil a strip of cardboard, then cover the cardboard with wax

Just like everyone else, I was a strange child. I was obviously planning to live in the woods (rather than going to the city and living in a box, seeking a job as a ho) much like the main character in Jean Craighead George's My Side of the Mountain. Obviously a book that influenced me plenty. To this day I am prepared to live in a hollow tree and eat squirrels and nettles... as long as I had a really really good reason. Maybe as a form of political protest.

Playground songs

This morning I was cracking myself up by singing the Billboard Song that I learned as a kid--jumping rope may have been involved. (I confess I cheated a little by looking up the lyrics online recently, though every version seems slightly different.) Here's the version I remember:

As I was walking down the street one dark and rainy day
I came upon a billboard, and much to my dismay
The sign was torn and tattered from the storm the night before.
The wind and rain had done its job and this is what I saw:

"Smoke Coca Cola cigarettes, drink Wrigley's spearmint beer,
Kennel Ration dogfood makes your wife's complexion clear.
Simonize your baby with a Hershey candy bar
and Texaco's the beauty cream that's used by all the stars.

"Take your next vacation in a brand new frigidaire,
Learn to play piano in your grandma's underwear.
Doctors say that babies should smoke until they're three,
and people over 65 should bathe in Lipton tea."

This put me in mind of a song my mother sang, "Sweet Violets." The first verse goes like this:

Sweet Violets
Sweeter than the roses
Covered all over from head to toe
Covered all over with sweet violets

There once was a farmer who took a young miss
In back of the barn where he gave her a
Lecture on horses and chickens and eggs
And told her that she had such beautiful
Manners that suited a girl of her charms
A girl that he wanted to take in his
Washing and ironing and then if she did
They could get married and raise lots of
Sweet violets
Sweeter than the roses
Covered all over from head to toe
Covered all over with sweet violets.

I love this technique of the trick rhyme, or not rhyming the way you think it will. Which reminds me of the immortal "Miss Susie" clapping rhymes. There are some versions of my favorite, "Miss Susie had a Steamboat," at this link:

I like pretending I'm 8 sometimes... pretty often actually.

Born to Run

I've been running for fitness since 8th grade, with a few gaps here and there (undergrad, marriage). Running makes me feel great--afterwards. But the tough part is making myself get up and running so that I can reach that satisfied "afterwards" zone. I just started running again after a hiatus of about 15 months and I'm remembering a lot of tips and tricks I've used over the years to KEEP MOVING. Here's what I do:

1. Getting started. I don't let myself talk me out of it. I am a huge "self-talker" and excuse-maker, so I have to handle myself like a reluctant toddler if I want any results. I trick myself into going out the door by saying, "OK, just get dressed and put your shoes on and we'll see what happens." After that, I promise "I'll just run for a while and if I get tired I can always stop." Soon enough I've finished my run without stopping (probably because my balkiness to start becomes stubborn-ness to finish).

2. Hills. If you run on a machine hills are no problem because you can just program them however you're inclined. (Ha!) But where I live there are real hills and they're not always where I want them. So to psych myself out:

  • I concentrate on my ankles. If I work on just flexing my ankles and pushing off smoothly from the toes over and over again at the back end of my stride (that is, when I'm picking up the back foot to put it in front), I find I can ignore what's going on at the front of my stride. So by doing just ankle work I can keep myself running without noticing (much).
  • I run with my arms. This is similar to the ankle thing. When I used to run track I noticed that if I worked on pumping my arms at a steady speed, my legs would pump along at the same rate. If you want to speed up, just pump your arms faster. Miraculous.
  • I shorten my stride. I picked this up reading about hiking the AT. When going up a steep slope I just take smaller steps. It may end up taking a bit more work to get to the top, but it may also even out because taking regular-length strides up hill is REALLY exhausting. It preserves strength to just kick little hobbit steps into the hill.
  • I shorten my goals. This is a variant of my "getting started" trick, which is that I promise myself I'll just get to the next tree or rock or mailbox or whatever. When I get there, I pick another thing and head for that. On steeper hills I pick things that are really close together--like only 3 yards apart--so I keep accomplishing things during the long haul up the hill.
  • On the other side, stretch out again. Some runner's mag clued me in to this one--when going DOWN hill, it doesn't take much more energy to take a long step than a short one. And because of the slope, you actually gain ground as you sort of let yourself fall down the hill. It's like the invisible bridge in Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade--put your foot out really far in front of you and then just let gravity carry it down, and you with it.

3. Keeping on. Maybe these are wierd hippie ideas, but on a dull stretch or when dealing with extreme temperatures I find a little visualization or mental distraction can help me avoid thinking about what I'm doing. For example, sometimes it's fun to pretend to be a running animal, like a goat or something, instead of a person. If the sun is really blazing I'll think about it entering my crown chakra and pouring down my body until it comes out my feet, leaving golden puddles in each of my footsteps. And my tried and true distracter is to count dwarves--by the time I remember the names of all the dwarves in The Hobbit, I'm usually pretty close to being done with my run.

To close, I do often enjoy running while I'm doing it, as well as afterwards. But since I'm inclined to be a bit lazy I need to keep my tricks about me as I may need to apply them at any time...

In Heavy Rotation

Now that I am temporarily without a radio show I must resort to my old format of the Top 5 list to enumerate and consider this week's musical addictions. In no special order, these are:

  1. Love without Anger: Devo.
    My recent interest in Devo was sparked when a reliable source lent us the "The Complete Truth About De-Evolution" DVD. I always knew I should love Devo more, and somehow getting visuals to go with the music really did the trick.
  2. Hollaback Girl: Gwen Stefani.
    I can't help it. I'm sorry. It's the cheerleader stomp that hooks me--it sounds JUST like high school basketball games. Bananas!
  3. Hots on for Nowhere: Led Zeppelin.
    It's so seventies. It's so summer. It's so Zeppelin. It's so Tony Alva. It's on every day at my house.
  4. Me Gustas Tu: Manu Chao.
    I first heard this on the radio and fell in love, I still remember exactly which street I was driving as I thought "did they just say marijuana on the radio? Did they just say it again?" I like the Chao because he recycles stuff, from beats to voicemails. It's efficient, and it sounds good.
  5. Cemetry Gates: The Smiths.
    I know they're supposed to be "gloomy," but the Smiths always put me in a super mood because of that perfect pop sound. Morr Marr!

That's it for now. I must just remind myself that my obsessions only last for about 2 weeks, so I've got a big change of scene comin' up.

Findhorn and other healing

Sometimes I have the fantasy of moving to Findhorn, Scotland, and learning to speak to cabbage devas and travel interdimensionally. I visited there in 1996 and took a tour of the community--they had neat houses constructed from large wooden whisky casks (Declan McCullagh photo here). Also an amazing "living machine" that processes raw sewage into drinking water through a series of tanks and filters filled with various types of plants and fish and things. I stayed at a B&B in the town of Findhorn and the lady there told me that she had come for a brief program and never wanted to leave, so bought a house there. I ran into a few other people who had similar stories, which I found slightly cult-like and odd, but still charming.

Then a couple years ago I read a wonderful book by Marko Pogacnik called "Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings - Working with the Intelligence in Nature," published by Findhorn Press. Learning that there are different fire, earth, air & water spirits all around us made perfect sense to me. It seems like there's a lot of interesting shamanic and healing stuff going on in Europe--for example also in Germany (see I really have no idea what it says) and Portugal (see Heck, even Barbara Brennan has an Austrian branch of her healing school.

How to smoke a pipe

Just discovered this article on my hard-drive--written when I was trying to come up with a classy reason to keep smoking. Don't worry, I've pretty much stopped smoking, for no reason at all.

How to Smoke a Pipe

If you are a tobacco smoker looking for a change, or if you are a non-smoker who would like to affect tobacco addiction, pipe-smoking may be for you. It's easy, pleasant, and nicotine-oriented. Yum!

You Will Need Five Things:

1. pipe tool ($1.00)
2. pipe ($7.00)
3. tobacco (c. $5.00/oz)
4. wooden matches ($.25 box)
5. filters (pipe screens, pipe filters, and/or the fabled pipe cleaners)

If you're using one, adjust the pipe-screen in the bottom of your pipe bowl by using your pipe tool to mold it into a cup-shape to hold the tobacco. Next, scoop up some tobacco with the bowl of your pipe. Mash it down with the flat part of your pipe tool, then scoop a second time. The ideally filled pipe should be about a quarter-inch from the top of the pipe, and tamped down with the pipe-tool so it's firmly in place, but still springy.

The test of proper tamping is lighting. Light a wooden match and hold it above the bowl of your pipe, then inhale. You are not supposed to inhale the smoke into your lungs, but instead puff it, hobbit-like, into your mouth and then blow it out. Suck and puff out a few times until the bowl is lit, then discard the match. If the bowl goes out, repeat this process. The correctly lit pipe will stay lit as you smoke it, which takes about ten minutes. NOTE: if you are accustomed to smoking cigarettes, pipe-smoking will take at least twice as long to complete, and is about twice as satisfying. Resist the urge to inhale, although it probably won't kill you (right away) if you do. While you are sucking on your pipe, contemplatively, think of all the pipe-smoking greats such as Gandalf, Sherlock Holmes, Jean-Paul Sartre. Meditate. Suck. Exhale. Enjoy.

After about ten minutes you will know you are done because the pipe will stop providing smoke. Do not take this personally; instead, begin the cleaning process. With the scoop part of your pipe tool, scoop out the ashes and any unused tobacco from your pipe bowl (I scoop them into the sink). Remove the pipe-screen and filter (inside the stem) if you are using them. Poke a pipe-cleaner into both ends of the pipe, then put it back together for next time. For those who truly enjoy pipe-smoking there are a variety of pipes and tools that you can buy.

cruelty, manipulation, meaninglessness

Saw a great infomercial the other evening--for Bernard & Vivian Jaffe, the existential detectives in "I ♥ Huckabees." Check out their website at Also I noticed the musician guy has a website at, which does not have many features yet...

Summer solstice celebration, Makin' Candy setlist 6/21/05

A celebration of all things summer--the apex of the year, the solstice, the day that's light longest. Unfortunately dark took over within hours after this show, when the FCC raided and muzzled our little community radio station in the early hours of 6/22/05. Check out postings, interviews and opinions at for more. But for now, summer tunes!!!! (Also a small tribute set to the full moon, also to-nite.)

  • Cruel Summer: Bananarama
  • Summerfling: kd lang
  • Just Because I Liked You in the Summertime: Benett
  • Summer Breeze: Seals & Crofts
  • Voila l'Eté: Les Negresses Vertes
  • Girl: Beck
  • Children of Summer: Color Filter
  • Long Hot Summer Night: Jimi Hendrix
  • Too Hot to Stop: Bar-Kays
  • Summer Nights: Travolta & Newton-John (Grease s/t)
  • Suddenly Last Summer: The Motels
  • Summer '68: Pink Floyd
  • The Boys of Summer: Don Henley
  • Summer of 69: Bryan Adams
  • Fun, Fun, Fun: Beach Boys
  • Clouds of Summer: Color Filter remixed by Varsity KM
  • Moonglow: Benny Goodman
  • Moonlight Serenade: Glenn Miller
  • Old Devil Moon: Frank Sinatra
  • Something Wonderful Happens in Summer: Frank Sinatra
  • Green Leaves of Summer: Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass
  • Summer, concerto in G minor, op. 2: Vivaldi (the 4 Seasons)

6/21/1791, the flight to Varennes

I remembered this story during a very pleasant country-side bike-ride yesterday evening. 214 years ago, Louis XVI and his misguided Queen Marie Antoinette decided that the longest day of the year would be a good time to try to escape unnoticed from Paris and travel 200 miles by coach toward the French border. Unfortunately, they were recognized along the way and captured in the town of Varennes. The ill-conceived "Flight to Varennes" pretty much sealed the fate of the king & his family (they were guillotined in 1793 after being incarcerated and "tried" following their capture). I get much of my recollection of this tale from an excellent book called The Fatal Friendship: Marie Antoinette, Count Fersen and the Flight to Varennes, by Stanley Loomis, published by Doubleday in 1972. Also a few things online refreshed my memory:

  1. from "The History Guide," an extract from Louis XVI's "Declaration of the King Addressed to All the French About His Flight from Paris"

  2. Also from "The History Guide," the "flight" described in context of the revolution

  3. excerpt from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

And I want to finally find a copy of a movie made in 1982 called "La Nuit de Varennes," in which Marcello Mastroianni plays Casanova in a coach also heading toward Varennes. C'mon Netflix!

Makin' Candy setlist, 6/14/05

Another dose of aural sugar:

  • hommage: Les Frères Checkolades
  • Grounded (Crooked Rain Version): Pavement
  • Cool It Now: New Edition
  • Midnight at the Underground: Baskervilles
  • Way Too Good: Figurine
  • Mad Dog 20/20: Teenage Fanclub
  • Disenchanted: Communards
  • Charade: Oranj Symphonette
  • My Bag: Lloyd Cole
  • Totgeredet: Mondfahre
  • Let's Go All the Way: Sly Fox
  • Noise is a Social Skill (v.0.8): Sweet Trip
  • Me Gustas Tu: Manu Chao
  • Como Campana: Superaquello
  • Rockit: Herbie Hancock
  • Rasputin: Boney M
  • Face to Face: Daft Punk
  • Know Your Rights: The Clash
  • Fame: David Bowie
  • Let's Go: Los Lobos
  • You Just Haven't Earned it Yet, Baby: The Smiths
  • Working in a Coal Mine: Devo
  • Maneater: Cathode
  • Pretty as You Feel: Jefferson Airplane
  • Travelin' Light: Shirley Horn
  • Nhimutimu (Zimbabwean mbira music)

Makin' Candy setlist, 6/7/05

Thanks for checkin' in on this week's show. I'm enjoying the way things can just come together spontaneously during the show, without too much advance planning, and definitely with the help of the fine and bizarre collection of music here at the station. Some of this stuff I know really well, some I've never heard before. It all rocks sweet.

  • Heavy Metal Drummer: Wilco
  • Pow: Beastie Boys
  • Little Miss Strange: Jimi Hendrix
  • Always Something There to Remind Me: Naked Eyes
  • African: Peter Tosh
  • Buana Juju: Love Whip
  • The Forest: The Cure
  • Low Rider: War
  • She Blinded Me with Science: Thomas Dolby
  • Gimme Danger: Iggy & the Stooges
  • Build Me Up Buttercup: The Foundations
  • Deliver: Material
  • Broken Up A-Ding-Dong: Beta Band
  • My City Was Gone: The Pretenders
  • High Horse: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  • Through Being Cool: Devo
  • King of the Bongo: Manu Chao
  • Pass the Dutchie: Musical Youth
  • Crazy 'Bout an Automobile (Every Woman I Know): Ry Cooder
  • Spirits in the Material World: The Police
  • One Man's Ceiling is Another Man's Floor: Paul Simon
  • Once Upon a Time: Simple Minds
  • The Robin: Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass
  • Disrobe: Medeski Martin & Wood (End of Violence s/t)
  • V-A-C-A-N-T: Draco
  • Please Send Me Someone to Love: Joe Williams
  • All for You: Nat King Cole Trio
  • Time on My Hands: Ben Webster Quintet
  • La Bayamesa: Buena Vista Social Club s/t

Makin' Candy on the last day of May

This show set up in blocks of 3, just for the pleasure.

  • 1. Secret Separation, 2. Saved By Zero, 3. Less Cities, More Moving People: The Fixx
  • 1. The Theme to the Gary Newman Show, 2. Lollipop Failure, 3. Maybe, I Don't Know: The Elevator Drops
  • 1. Mandalay Cow, 2. Viva La Muerte, 3. Las Estridentistas: Maria Napoleon
  • 1. On My Radio, 2. Too Much Pressure, 3. The Selecter: The Selecter
  • 1. On Peak Hill (Live), 2. Reunion, 3. The Comeback: Stars
  • 1. Armageddon Days (Are Here Again), 2. Dogs of Lust, 3. I've Been Waitin' for Tomorrow (All of My Life): The The
  • 1. Work to Make it Work, 2. Discipline of Love, 3. What's It Take: Robert Palmer
  • 1. Anticipate, 2. Out of Range (live), 3. Bliss like this: Ani DiFranco
  • 1. Kaini Industries, 2. The Smallest Weird Number, 3. Roygbiv: Boards of Canada
  • 1. One O'Clock Jump, 2. Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider, 3. Too Good to Be True (with Helen Ward, vocal): The Benny Goodman Orchestra, Quartet & Trio, respectively.

Makin' Candy setlist, 5/24/05

I forgot my notebook of setlists at the station by mistake. THANK YOU all fellow djs for just leaving it right where I left it! Here's the rundown for another Tuesday evening's worth of fine music.

  • Hell Yes: Beck
  • Third World Lover: Kid Koala & Dynomite D
  • Killers: Shellac
  • Private Eyes: Hall & Oates
  • Music that You Can Dance to: Sparks
  • I Feel for You: Chaka Khan
  • Red Hot Mama: Funkadelic
  • Better Things: The Kinks
  • Sweet Home Alabama: Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Love Crown: Godzuki
  • Beautiful World: Devo
  • Fight the Power: Public Enemy
  • Keep Feelin' (Fascination): Human League
  • Sagittarius: The i live the life of a movie star secret hideout
  • Enjoy the Silence: Depeche Mode
  • Nobody Told Me: John Lennon
  • Please Please Tell Me Now: Duran Duran
  • Everything You Say: Holiday
  • Introspection: Osymyso
  • Beyond the River: The Cansecos
  • Such a Woman: The Commodores
  • Yertle the Turtle: Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • You I'll Be Following: Love
  • Cry: Godley & Creme
  • A Rosinha dos Limones: Max
  • Mine: Dick Hyman (p), Milt Hinton (b), Eric Cohen (dr) (Manhattan s/t)
  • Firebird Suite (Introduction & Dance of the Firebird): Tomita Does Stravinsky

Alphabet Showdown: Makin' Candy 5/17/05

This is the alphabet show. I wrote down the first band I could think of from A-Z (but trying not to repeat from immediately previous shows). I gave myself 2 rules: the band name can't be the person's name (like no "B" for "Bjork") and avoid bands that start with "The" (though this broke down around "V").

  • Dancin' Queen: Abba
  • Shake Your Money: Black Grape
  • Say: Cat Power
  • Love Your Money: Daisy Chainsaw
  • Yahoo: Erasure
  • She Drives Me Crazy: Fine Young Cannibals
  • Head Over Heels: Go-Go's
  • Don't Know Anything: Hoodoo Gurus
  • Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly): Icicle Works
  • Fever: Juluka
  • The Nearest Future: Kleenex Girl Wonder
  • Daughters of the Kaos: Luscious Jackson
  • Rockin in A flat: Madness
  • Heart-Shaped Box: Nirvana
  • Supersonic: Oasis
  • Levitate Me: Pixies
  • Radio Gaga: Queen
  • What's the Frequency Kenneth: REM
  • Tru: Stars
  • Making Flippy Floppy: Talking Heads
  • She Caught the Train: UB40
  • The Drugs Don't Work: The Verve
  • Factory: Wall of Voodoo
  • That's Really Super, Supergirl: XTC
  • Only You: Yaz
  • Tush: ZZ Top
  • 3 Gymnopedies: Eric Satie (to celebrate his birthday today)

Makin' Candy setlist, 5/10/05 (symmetrical date, yeah?)

Melt in your mouth... or your ears... audio goodness.

  • Set Yourself on Fire: Stars
  • Look at You Now: Simply Red
  • Que Onda Guero: Beck
  • I'd Rather Be the Devil: Canned Heat
  • 40 Boys in 40 Nights: The Donnas
  • Tell Her Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
  • Temptation: New Order
  • Untitled # 4: Persons
  • Heygana: Ali Farka Toure
  • HarbercOat: REM
  • Maria Maria: Carlos Santana
  • Tarzan Boy: Baltimora
  • Misfit Kid: The Cars
  • Kitty's Back: Bruce Springsteen
  • Make Me Stay: Ani DiFranco
  • Just Wanna Funk with Your Mind: Timbuk3
  • Sir Duke: Stevie Wonder
  • Valerie: Steve Winwood
  • Devil in Your Heart: Six Cents and Natalie
  • Temple de la Gloire: Rameau
    1. Ouverture, 2. Menuet-en-Musette, 3. Air tendre pour les Muses, 4. Chaconne et Suite de la Chaconne. These taken from the piece written in 1745 by Rameau (libretto by Voltaire) to celebrate the "victory" of Louis XV at the Battle of Fontenoy, May 11, 1745

Le bataille de Fontenoy: 11 mai, 1745

A few links about this historic event during the reign of Louis XV:

  1. L'Internaute's Louis XV timeline (in French):
  2. A brief description (in French) under "Comte d'Anteroche":
  3. A more detailed description (in poor English), including maps & stuff:
  4. Another Louis XV timeline (in French) from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: link
  5. Mike Kirby's description of the battle, with map & coordinates: link

C'est ça for now.

Makin' Candy setlist, 5/3/05

This show contains a Donnie Darko set and a 1988 set--details below...

  • I Was a Fool: The Invaders
  • Wooooog: Takako Minekawa
  • Dishes: Pulp
  • White Rabbit: The Cannanes
  • She Means Everything to Me: Louis Philippe
  • No Melody: Kleenex Girl Wonder
  • Something Special (kinky remix): Cherry Orchard
  • Banjos Prepare for Battle/Bluegrass Breakdown: Wayne Osborne & Itisi
  • We Got The: Beastie Boys
  • C'est la mer a boire: Les Negresses Vertes
  • Coney Island, USA: Amy Correia
  • Fatheriver: King Biscuit Time
  • Loungin': Guru with Donald Byrd
  • Tropicalia: Beck
  • Bi-pet: Lali Puna
  • Cigarette Blouse Rebellion: Pas/Cal
    Donnie Darko block (though the movie is set in 1988, only the INXS song was actually released in 1988. The others are from earlier in the 80s. I find 80s music evolves and changes (and often deteriorates) over the course of the decade, so to me creating a "1988" soundtrack with stuff from 1986, 1985, 1980 is kinda odd... but still cool of course.)
  • Never Tear Us Apart: INXS
  • Head Over Heels: Tears for Fears
  • Notorious: Duran Duran
  • Love Will Tear Us Apart: Joy Division
    1988 block (Just for extra reminders about what 1988 really sounded like, these next 4 tracks were hits that year.)
  • Simply Irresistible: Robert Palmer
  • What Have I Done to Deserve This: Pet Shop Boys
  • Is This Love: Whitesnake
  • Heave is a Place on Earth: Belinda Carlisle
    OK, end of 80s preaching. Back to makin' candy. Sweet!
  • Hots on for Nowhere: Led Zeppelin
  • Man of Constant Sorrow: Garcia, Grisman & Rice
  • Carnation Lily Lily Rose: David Arkenstone with Andrew White
  • Cloudy Sixth: Fort Dax

Pacific Rim Flava: noodle dishes

Main Dish idea: Bean threads with vegetables
bean thread noodles
Thai fish sauce
rice vinegar
tamari or soy sauce
spicy black bean paste
oyster sauce
hoisin sauce
tahini or almond butter
onion, chopped
ginger, chopped
vegetable oil
mushrooms, sliced
broccoli, sliced
chickpeas, small can
sesame seeds

  1. Prepare bean threads by boiling them for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare sauce by stirring together all ingredients from "Thai fish sauce" to "tahini." Once they are well combined, add water and stir again to thin out the sauce (this may whiten the sauce a bit, do not be disturbed). Amounts needed are up to you depending on personal taste and amount of noodles used. I usually make about 3/4 cup sauce for 2 small packages of noodles.
  3. Stir fry the onion and ginger in oil. When aromatic and starting to brown, add mushrooms, broccoli and chickpeas. Add a touch of water and cover all to steam-fry for about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in cooked noodles and sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve!

Note: Of course, any kind of stirfry ingredients will do--other vegetables, tofu, sliced meat, fancy fungus... go for it!

Side Dish idea: Hemp-y Pasta
linguine (or other pasta of your choice)
hempini (hempseed butter)
tamari or soy sauce
spicy black bean paste
hoisin sauce

  1. Prepare pasta (i.e., boil a bunch of water, cook the pasta in it for about 10 minutes, drain in a colander, add some olive oil to keep separate).
  2. Make sauce by stirring together ingredients from "tahini" to "hoisin sauce." When blended, add water to liquefy sauce so it will pour. Amounts used depend on how saucy you like your noodles--I found that a good cup of sauce spread well over about 1.5 pounds of pasta.
  3. Mix sauce with pasta and serve! Of course you can make the sauce in advance and just throw it right onto hot pasta for an easy side dish. This is probably pretty good cold, too.

Note: To keep with the hemp theme, I suggest garnishing with nutritious hempseed oil, which is very very very good for you. Check the refrigerator section at your local health food store. Nutiva and Living Harvest make very tasty oils.

Makin' Candy all-tape edition, 4/26/05

In 1989 I developed a mad crush on this guy in my dorm. In retrospect he turned out to be pretty much a total jerk, but in my first semester of college that sort of thing seemed really cool. Anyway, we had a co-ed dorm with an open-door policy (except on the "quiet floor") so people could just wander in & out of each other's rooms, and usually we'd get together to listen to & talk about music. This guy, who we'll call "Luke" brought over a tape he'd made from a friend's music collection. On the spine of the tape along with the title, he'd written in very earnest capital letters "ALL FROM CDs." This was also double-underlined. Even at the time I thought this was possibly the dorkiest thing I'd ever seen. I mean, it's a TAPE. The only reason to write something like that is to impress people (or perhaps yourself), either with your unprecedented access to someone's CDs or your careful notation of the fidelity issues that might arise from a CD-to-tape recording. Anyway, the phrase has stuck with me ever since. So now I present to you a show that is "ALL FROM TAPES." It's the cassette special of Makin' Candy!

Another note: using tapes after a long hiatus was actually a bit difficult. They are mysteriously double-sided, and in a tape player that plays in reverse with poorly marked buttons, I sometimes didn't know what side I was about to play. Also cueing is difficult because if you don't know every song by heart, it's hard to tell what track you're in the middle of when you just randomly press play. The show didn't all go smoothly, but it was jolly to hear some of this music again. Because dude, half my music collection is languishing on tape.

Another note: I got 6 stitches in my right ring finger last night, so my typing may be even worse than usual. For reals.

Poetry Celebration, Makin' Candy 4/19/05

Second annual National Poetry Month edition of Makin' Candy. This year, besides having poets read their work (denoted by quotation marks and "by"), some musical interludes have been built in.

  • Rickover's Dream: Christopher Hedges
  • "Logan Heights and the World" by Juan Felipe Herrera
  • "The Fine Printing on a Bottle of Non-Alcohol Beer" by Adrian Louis
  • Levee Camp Blues: Fred McDowell
  • "Dear John, Dear Coltrane" by Michael S. Harper
  • "I Was Stolen by the Gypsies" by Charles Simic
  • "Lester Leaps In" by Al Young
  • "Prayer" by Joseph Bruchac
  • Jersey Bounce: Benny Goodman & His Orchestra
  • "The Tent People of Beverley Hills" by James Ragan
  • "Parsley" by Rita Dove
  • The Losing End (You're On): Neil Young
  • "Wild Gratitude" by Edward Hirsch
  • "Waltz for Ma" by Johnny Griffin
  • "My Sisters, O My Sisters" by May Sarton
  • "Crossing Over" by William Meredith
  • See Hunt & Liddy: Philip Woods Quartet
  • "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot
  • Driving Wheel: Robert Lockwood, Jr.
  • "So & So Reclining on Her Couch" by Wallace Stevens
  • "Birches" by Robert Frost
  • "Portrait of the Artist as a Prematurely Old Man" by Ogden Nash
  • Poor Boy: Howlin' Wolf
  • "The River Bees" by W.S. Merwin
  • "Diving Into the Wreck" by Adrienne Rich
  • "The Song of the Taste" by Gary Snyder
  • "Learning About Easter & Passover" by Dan Jaffe
  • Canada Geese: David & Mary Ellen Monroe
  • "Tia Sophia" by Carmen Tafolla
  • "Uh Oh Plutonium" by Anne Waldman
  • Espana: Mantovani & His Orchestra
  • "America" by Allen Ginsberg

yeah, the Ginsberg is my Favorite!!

Makin' Candy setlist, 4/12/05

Featuring some tracks off the latest "Little Darla Has a Treat for You" compilation--these marked with "*".

  • Darts of Pleasure: Franz Ferdinand
  • Batteries (can't help me now): Figurine
  • Mr. Jones: Talking Heads
  • Escaping the Game Grid: Technicolor
  • Out of Myself: Arco
  • Steppenwolf: Boney M
  • Lost Love: Lost Souls
  • Revelation: Santana
  • Mind Riot: Soundgarden
  • New Moon on Monday: Duran Duran
  • Jive Talkin': Bee Gees (Saturday Night Fever s/t)
  • American Boy: Juliette & the Licks
  • Cha Cha Loco: Joe Jackson
  • Set Yourself on Fire: Stars
  • Mr. Sun: The Lettermen
  • Flat Lay the Water: The Sea & Cake
  • The Joy Circuit: Gary Numan
  • *Love & Music: Piano Magic
  • *Midnight at the Underground: Baskervilles
  • *Como Campana: Superaquello
  • *Twin Evil Stars: Dead Cowboys
  • *Little Songs About Raindrops: Lullatone
  • *Nothing to Lose: Isabelle Antena
  • Electric Light: PJ Harvey
  • Green of the Melon: Ui
  • Sylvester (New Year's Day Remix): Wechsel Garland

Superfresh Meal in a Bowl: Udon Soup

I've been working on this recipe for weeks. The addition of miso seems to be an excellent finishing flavorful touch, but I'll probably keep experimenting, too.

1 package udon noodles (I like the brown rice kind)
1 box of broth (or mix up water with bouillon)
1 onion, sliced into strips
seaweed (for example, wakame and kelp)
dried mushrooms (for example, tree ears and shiitake)
vegetables, sliced or chopped (use many kinds! bok choy, sliced cabbage, daikon, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, celery, kale, asparagus, green pepper, etc.)
ginger (either fresh chopped or powdered)
olive oil or canola oil
sesame oil
sesame seeds
optional: spicy black bean paste, sliced scallions, chopped parsley, cubed tofu, sliced cooked meat

1. Place the seaweed and dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for about 10 minutes while you move on to #2.
2. Prepare vegetables and set aside. If you are quite orderly, you could keep the onions and ginger separate, as they will be used first.
3. Put a large pot of water on to boil (for the pasta).
4. Cut up the mushrooms and seaweed and set aside. Save the water if it doesn’t look too sandy or dirty.
5. When the water is boiling, put the udon in. Check the package to see how long to cook it, usually about 7-10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, heat olive or canola oil in a large skillet or pot and start sautéing the onions and ginger. When they have started to get a bit browned, throw in some or all of the vegetables and stir-fry these a bit too. Before they start to lose crunch, add the broth, seaweed water and any remaining vegetables and bring everything to a simmer. (The amount of broth to use depends how watery you like your soup—I generally just add enough broth to cover the vegetables, and then throw in more later if needed.)
7. Meanwhile, when the pasta is done, drain it in a colander. I like to stir in some oil so it can sit for a bit without sticking while I finish the rest of the soup.
8. When the soup is boiling, throw in some tamari as well as the chopped seaweed and mushrooms. I also like to add a small spoonful of spicy black bean paste which makes everything slightly and mysteriously piquant. If you’re using tofu or other protein, add that now too.
9. Finally, mix in the cooked udon. Stir soup together until heated through.
10. To serve, put a spoonful of miso in a bowl and mash it together with a few tablespoons of the liquid soup. When thoroughly combined, fill the bowl with soup and garnish with sesame oil and sesame seeds. A sprinkling of scallions or parsley is a nice finishing touch. Serve! (I find I need both a spoon and a fork to eat this. It’s really filling.)

Note: If possible, try to do steps 6-10 very quickly so that the vegetables stay fresh and a bit al dente. One shortcut might be to heat the broth separately so that once you add it, the noodles can go in right away and you’re pretty much ready to eat.


I've started reading The Old Regime and the French Revolution by Alexis de Tocqueville and am finding it really excellent. Well, the first 3 chapters at least. Maybe I'll post some chunks here. For now, some links to possibly interesting ancien regime & XVIIIe siecle sites:

  1. Nobility & Titles in France from
  2. Very basic and slightly bizarre recap of French nobility:
  3. article on "Power and Politics in Old Regime France & The Ancien Regime" from History Today: link
  4. Dr. Lovett's easy bullet points of French history:
  5. "Early Modern Europe" lecture notes, Nipissing Univ:
  6. analysis of "Dangerous Liaisons" film, with links:
  7. e-text for "The Ancient Regime," by Hippolyte A. Taine:
  8. Brief summary called "Crisis of the Monarchy:
  9. Links to 18th century French writings, in French:
  10. Late 17th century history from the Salacious Historian:
  11. Hyperhistory timeline:

Makin' Candy once again, 4/5/05

This was a great show until the crazy screams of the Serge Gainsbourg cover threw me off. No matter, it's easy to recover with "Fancy Dancer" at your fingertips.

  • Guns of Navarone: The Specials
  • Wave of Mutilation: The Pixies
  • Happy Hour: The Housemartins
  • Cosmic Slop: Funkadelic
  • Rattlesnakes: Lloyd Cole
  • Dream World: Midnight Oil
  • My Radio (FM Mix): Stars
  • So Cold the Night: The Communards
  • Digital: Joy Division
  • 867-5309/Jenny: Tommy Tutone
  • As Good As New: Abba
  • You've Got a Crush on Me: The Donnas
  • Loverboy: Billy Ocean
  • Single Girl Summer Home: Land of the Loops
  • Love on the Beat (Serge Gainsbourg cover): Krikor & W.A.R.R.I.O.
  • Reptilia: The Strokes
  • Train in Vain: The Clash
  • Fancy Dancer: The Commodores
  • Wink that Eye: A Boy Named Thor
  • New Rock: Buffalo Daughter
  • Grease: Franki Valli
  • Justified & Ancient: The KLF with Miss Tammy Wynette
  • It Must Be Love: Madness
  • I've Got a Feeling: Jimmy Ryan
  • Hijinx: Heart
  • Non non rien n'a change: Poppys
  • Work It: Missy Elliott
  • Oh Sherrie: Steve Perry
  • So What's New: Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass
  • Fun Food Factory: Lollipop Factory

Makin' Candy setlist, 3/29/04

Pulling it together at the last minute--and I LIKE it! Some petits fours for the ears.

  • Games Without Frontiers: Peter Gabriel
  • Ritual: Charming
  • Telephone Book: Violent Femmes
  • Green Earrings: Steely Dan
  • King of the Kerb: Echobelly
  • Blue Jean: David Bowie
  • Best Friend: The Beat
  • Let the Music Play: Shannon
  • Every Man has a Woman Who Loves Him: John Lennon & Yoko Ono
  • Live With Me: The Rolling Stones
  • Reunion: Stars
  • Did I Hear You Say You Love Me: Stevie Wonder
  • Falling Down: Toad the Wet Sprocket
  • New Sound in Town: Roots Radics
  • Highwire Days: Psychedelic Furs
  • Crawlspace: Beastie Boys
  • Love Is the Drug: Grace Jones
  • Morder: Rockformation Diskokugel
  • Chakra Khan: Bombay 2--Electric Vindaloo
  • Here Comes My Baby: Cat Stevens (Rushmore s/t)
  • Lakeville: Amy Correia
  • Seasons of Wither: Aerosmith
  • This Flat Earth: Thomas Dolby
  • Camilla: The Art of Noise
  • Sunrise, Grand Canyon Suite: Tomita does Grofe
  • Prayer for St. Gregory: Alan Hovhaness

Tribute to Bobby Short, Makin' Candy 3/22/05

Bobby Short, elegant cabaret singer extraordinaire, 9/15/24-3/21/05.

  • Three to Get Ready: Dave Brubeck Quartet (just to get ready)
    Bobby Short sings Cole Porter--a delovely combination
  • So Near and Yet So Far
  • Rap Tap on Wood
  • Do I Love You
  • You've Got that Thing
  • Let's Fly Away
  • Pilot Me (French lyrics by Rene Pujol)
  • Can Can
  • Katie Went to Haiti
  • Weren't We Fools
  • C'est Magnifique
  • How's Your Romance
  • I've Got You on My Mind
  • Hot House Rose
  • I Hate You Darling
  • At Long Last Love
  • I'm in Love Again
  • I Concentrate on You
  • You're the Top
  • Just One of Those Things
  • You Don't Know Paree
  • Why Don't We Try Staying Home
  • How Could We Be Wrong
  • You Do Something to Me
  • You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
  • What is This Thing Called Love
  • By Candlelight
  • Why Shouldn't I
  • In the Still of the Night

The Ides of Makin' Candy, 3/15/05

Last-minute but excellent tracks from the stacks...

  • Cote des Neiges: Stars
  • Deep #8: Nice Nice
  • Swimming to the Other Side: The Amidons
  • Skokian: Tyrone Downie
  • The Machine is Edible, Not Digestible: Kevin Brennan
  • Cats Claws: Justin Case
  • Calistan: Frank Black
  • I Want that Man: Deborah Harry
  • When Doves Cry: Prince
  • Standards: The Jam
  • Spellbound: Siouxsie & the Banshees
  • What Do I Do Now: Sleeper
  • Rasputin: Boney M
  • Shame, Shame, Shame: Bryan Ferry
  • Up the Hill Backwards: David Bowie
  • Slow Emotion Replay: The The
  • Precious: The Pretenders
  • Mess: Ben Folds Five
  • Been So Long: St. Etienne
  • Why Didn't My Parents Buy me a Casio?: Micromars
  • Cemetry Gates: The Smiths
  • Makes No Sense: Husker Du
  • Feeling Sad & Lonely: Bush
  • 1979: Smashing Pumpkins
  • Riding: Thick Pigeon
  • Keeping Track of Time: Club 8
  • Handle with Care: Traveling Wilburys
  • In Limbo: Radiohead
  • Springtime: Able
  • Her Mellowness: Orange Cake Mix
  • Follow the Sound: Mascott
  • Meditation: Sinatra & Jobim

Makin' Candy setlist, 3/8/05

Cracklin' sweet. 3 tracks are sung by movie stars.

  • Warm Tears: Alsace
  • Comin' Around: Juliette and the Licks
  • You'd Better Get Yourself Together, Baby: Gigolo Aunts
  • IMpossible: Figurine
  • Hotwax: Beck
  • roamin' round: Supersuckers
  • Ballad of Maxwell Demon: Shudder to Think (Velvet Goldmine s/t)
  • I've Got the Password to Your Shell Account: Barcelona
  • Clip Clap: Kahimi Karie
  • Vari-Speed: hollAnd
  • Daniel: Elton John
  • Sure Shot: Beastie Boys
  • Wild About You: Worryin' Kind
  • Boxes of Tide: Wilma
  • Hey, I'm Gonna Be Your Girl: The Donnas
  • Ideal Woman: William Shatner
  • A New Career in a New Town: David Bowie
  • Coming Back: Kleenex Girl Wonder
  • Bi-pet: Lali Puna
  • La Cucaracha: Kumbia Kings
  • The Dark of the Matinee: Franz Ferdinand
  • Gleason Rocket: Godzuki
  • Want More: Bob Marley
  • She: The Sundays
  • I'd Be So Pleased: The Hi Fives
  • Blue Eyed Pop: The Sugar Cubes
  • Kiss Me Only with Your Eyes: Future Bible Heroes
  • Walk it Down: Talking Heads
  • OK pour plus jamais: Isabelle Adjani
  • bbvu (give me give me): 800 cherries
  • Pachysandra/Sunday Driver: Gordon Stone
  • St. Elmo's Fire (Snow): Uilab
  • Keito: Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder

A trend of no patterns

I like to sew my own clothes, but I'm no tailor. Just like I can't play the piano without sheet music, I need a sewing pattern if I want to make anything wearable. But WHERE are the cool patterns? I apologize for naming names but companies like McCall & Butterick seem to generally come up with soccer-mom type clothes that are just not the fresh & fly fashions I'm looking for. I'm seeking stuff that's kind of out there, super-chic, unique and yet still a regular sewing pattern in regular sizes with regular directions.

So far the best big commercial companies seem to be Vogue and Burda. I like Vogue patterns because some of them (especially the vintage stuff) have a lot of nice detail like pockets and linings, etc. Burda is European and so not your average JC Penney's outfits--they're a little wacky.

But what else? Is there some enterprising Bust reader out there who's started her own company producing bitchin' brand-new/retro clothing patterns? Cuz there should be. I'll keep looking into it and post any findings here.

Another outlet seems to be vintage patterns. For example, Groovy Juice has some pages of "Women's 70s Patterns" for sale. I also saw some authentic-looking 70s patterns at Deb's Recycled Sewing Patterns. An online store called Mrs. Cleaver's Kitchen has retro patterns for a tunic and pants, palazzo pants & maxi skirt, and a peasant blouse & apron. (This site is worth checking out just for the bizarre descriptions of when June Cleaver would wear each item.)

You may have noticed I appear to love the 70s. That's because those are the sunny bicentennial days of my childhood. From my point of view, everything was good and nice in the 70s. So now I'm hoping 70s fashion can take me back... way back.

Linkin Up

Some links & info that people have sent me or that I've found. Posting here for safekeeping. How to give stuff to others instead of just junking it Michala Petri, recorder virtuoso. I am going through a phase of wishing I myself was a recorder virtuoso, so Michala is my idol.
casio wk-3000: I played one of these recently--76 key electronic keyboard. Saving my pennies now.
surprising quote: According to this USC site, "Dr. Appleby is also completing his research on methamphetamine use and risky sex among men who have sex with men as part of a state funded grant."
Charivari: Not bad musical group. Keyword: Jupiter
Alan Hovhaness: Composer I've never heard of before... now seeking Hovhaness works.
Keeping cats indoors: Just amassing info to support an ongoing household debate about whether our beloved cats should be allowed out into a world of cars, fences, fisher cats, and Log knows what else.

Justified & Ancient Grains: Quinoa Salad

Here's an easy quinoa thing I invented.

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil
kalamata olives, stoned (I mean take the pits out)
1 T capers (or more if you love capers)
handful of parsley, chopped
1 small can great northern beans
1 red onion, chopped fine
1 red pepper (either a fresh one or pre-roasted type)
oil & vinegar dressing (homemade or commercial)

Boil the water in a saucepan and add quinoa. Cover, turn the heat down to medium (or whatever is a good simmer heat on your stove) and cook for 20 minutes. Check for doneness (all water should be absorbed) and cook a bit more if needed. Once quinoa is done, pour the lemon juice over it while still hot, and stir in some olive oil. Let cool.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients by combining the olives, capers, parsley, beans and onion in a large bowl. If you are using pre-roasted red pepper, slice it up and add that too (pimentos will also do). If you're starting with a fresh pepper, roast it up first. I like to do this by cutting the pepper in half and coring it, then sticking it in the toaster oven at about 400˚ until the skin starts to really blacken and even puff up a bit. (May take about 20 minutes, may also need to crank the heat.) Once the pepper is looking roasted, pop the pieces in a brown paper bag for 5 minutes while it cools. (There is some kitchen wisdom that this will make it easier to peel.) Then, carefully scrape the skin from the flesh with a knife. Do not yield to the temptation to rinse the burnt pieces of skin off the pepper, as you will also be washing away flavor. Just take your time and scrape everything off. Then chop & add to the bowl.

Finally, dump the cooled quinoa in the bowl and mix everything together. Season the salad with your favorite combo of oil & vinegar dressing. Add salt & pepper to taste. This is a refreshing summer side-dish, an easy potluck choice, or a nice pre-made lunch to take to work.

Optional: If you'll be eating this soon, adding some chopped cucumber can also be yummy. (But after a day or two the cucumber will begin to deliquesce in a disturbing way, so don't wait to consume!)

Makin' Candy loves HST, 2/22/05

This show dedicated to Hunter S. Thompson, one of my heroes. Not sure if he'd actually LIKE this music, but I just must shout out somehow. Cheers, Doc.

  • Dance of Death: John Fahey (Zabriskie Point s/t)
  • Heart Beat, Big Meat: Pink Floyd (Zabriskie Point s/t)
  • Summertime: Janis Joplin
  • Drug Test: Yo La Tengo
  • What is Life: George Harrison
  • Well All Right: Blind Faith
  • Jiving Sister Fanny: Rolling Stones
  • Wild Bill Jones: Bad Livers
  • Clampdown: The Clash
  • Jesus Built My Hotrod: Ministry
  • It Was (Wars of Armageddon): Tal Ross
  • Wheels: Flying Burrito Brothers
  • Coconut Boogaloo: Martin Medeski & Wood
  • Will the Circle Be Unbroken?: The Carter Family
  • Wild Tyme: Jefferson Airplane
  • Girl from the North Country: Bob Dylan with Johnny Cash
  • Slick Tricks & Bright Lights: Archers of Loaf
  • Marijuana Cigarette: Cat Mother
  • 5D (Fifth Dimension): The Byrds
  • "Fear & Loathing" clip: Johnny Depp
  • Expecting to Fly: Buffalo Springfield
  • Golden Hours: Brian Eno
  • Mushroom Clouds: Love
  • To Lay Me Down: Jerry Garcia
  • [unknown]: Johnny Cash
  • Story of My Life: Velvet Underground
  • Salt of the Earth: Rolling Stones
  • A Simple Desultory Phillipic (or How I wsa Robert McNamara'd into Submission): Simon & Garfunkel
  • Moanin' at Midnight: Howlin' Wolf
  • Crumblin' Land: Pink Floyd (Zabriskie Point s/t)

Of Lambs & Nightshades: Moussaka

I modified a Frugal Gourmet recipe for moussaka, a Greek culinary classic, to come up with something a little faster, although there is still some whisking involved.

1/2 pound ground lamb
1 onion, chopped
chopped parsley
dash cinnamon
1 t oregano
1/2 c. red wine
1+ cup tomato sauce (any kind will do)
parmesan cheese
1 eggplant
olive oil
2 eggs
1 T butter
1 T flour
1 c milk
dash nutmeg

Assemble ingredients as follows
In a saucepan, saute onion in some olive oil until glassy. Add ground lamb, parsley, cinnamon and oregano and brown together. Then add red wine to deglaze (i.e. help dissolve any delicious crud from bottom of pan). Add tomato sauce and cook together on low heat for at least half an hour (try a heat diffuser underneath to avoid burning). Towards end of cooking, add a generous handful of parmesan cheese and mix together.

Meanwhile, wash the eggplant (don't peel it) and slice it in 1/4-inch disks. Arrange them in layers in a colander and sprinkle salt over each layer. Leave in the sink for half an hour or more. Heat oven to 425˚. Rinse the slices and dry them with a cloth towel (paper towels are OK if you have a lot of them). Place slices on an oiled cookie sheet and bake in oven for about 15 minutes per side, or until tender and somewhat browned. Set aside and turn oven down to 350˚.

With meat sauce & eggplant slices in a warm holding pattern, start the topping by melting the butter in a saucepan and whisking it together with the flour once melted. It should form a crumbly paste. Then pour in the milk a little at a time and whisk together (this bit-by-bit method helps avoid lumps). Cook until mixture has somewhat thickened. Add dash of nutmeg, salt, and handful of parmesan cheese, and stir in. In a separate bowl, beat together 2 eggs. Take milk mixture off heat and pour a bit into the eggs (not too much at once, or the eggs might scramble in the bowl). Beat together. Then, pour egg mixture into milk mixture and return to heat. Here's where you need to have a steady whisking hand for about 10 minutes. The idea is to cook the topping until it becomes nice and thick (almost like frosting), but not clumpy or overcooked. You may want to remove the pan from the heat periodically as you whisk, to avoid overheating the bottom too much. One chef's trick for testing doneness is to try to drizzle some of the mixture off the end of the whisk onto the surface of the rest of the mixture. When you notice that the drizzle sits on the surface for a moment before disappearing, you're getting close. The mixture should become smooth and paste-y in a few minutes. Take it off the heat.

Now it's time to put everything together. Divide the eggplant slices in half and place half in the bottom of a glass baking dish (a 9x9 square or 8x10 rectangle are good approximate sizes). Pour all of meat sauce over the eggplant, then layer on the rest of the eggplant slices. Pour the topping over the top layer and smooth it out with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle top with more parmesan cheese. Put in the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is browned and the lower layers are happily bubbling. Cut as if lasagna and serve!

Makin' Love Candy, 2/15/05

Be they passionate, bizarre, mournful, noisy, cute, songs about love are frickin' everywhere. Here's a slice, home-slice.

  • My Love Is You: David Byrne
  • Love Hurts (but Not That Much): Didi & Dexter
  • I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More, Baby: Barry White
  • Looking for Love: The Cars
  • Love Thing: Spice Girls
  • Lifted by Love: kd lang
  • Sentimental Love: The Elevator Drops
  • Will to Love: Neil Young & Crazy Horse
  • I Don't Want Your Love: Duran Duran
  • What the Snowman Learned About Love: Stars
  • Modern Love: David Bowie
  • I Love You: King Biscuit Time
  • It's Love: You Bet!
  • What is Love?: Howard Jones
  • Love Is: Amy Correia
  • I Dig Love: George Harrison
  • Some Kinda Love: Velvet Underground
  • With My Love: The Shades
  • True Love Travels on a Gravel Road: The Afghan Whigs
  • Fools in Love: Joe Jackson
  • Easy to Love: Harry Connick, Jr.
  • 10 Commandments of Love: Bob Marley & the Wailers
  • I'm in Love Again: Bobby Short
  • Love is Teasin': The Chieftains with Marianne Faithfull
  • We Laughed at Love: Anita O'Day
  • (I Love You) for Sentimental Reasons: Nat "King" Cole Trio
  • You Are Love: Frank Sinatra
  • True Love: Dean Martin

Great 80's! Makin' Candy 2/8/05

One of my favorite themes this week, the eighties, helped along by some new $1 albums from the discount rack. (Can you believe Corey Hart's "First Offense" for just a buck?)

  • 1984: Van Halen
  • Sunglasses at Night: Corey Hart
  • 2 Tribes: Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • I Go Crazy: Flesh for Lulu
  • Sledgehammer: Peter Gabriel
  • Kiss Me Deadly: Lita Ford
  • Only You & I: Psychedelic Furs
  • Cool it Now: New Edition
  • Vienna Calling: Falco
  • New Song: Howard Jones
  • They Don't Know: Tracy Ullman
  • Rebel Yell: Billy Idol
  • Mickey: Toni Basil
  • I Feel For You: Chaka Kahn
  • Destination Unknown: Missing Persons
  • Breakdancin': Irene Cara
  • Our Lips are Sealed: Go Go's
  • Miami Vice: Jan Hammer
  • Axel F: Harold Faltermeier
  • Opening Theme: Crocodile Dundee s/t
  • Gold: Spandau Ballet
  • My Bag: Lloyd Cole
  • The Limits We Set: The Beat
    Here follows a Makin' Candy patented cool-down, chill-out period
  • Extrication Love Song: Hot Tuna
  • More than This: Roxy Music
  • Oh to Be in Love: Kate Bush
  • Still Crazy After All these Years: Paul Simon
  • Here We Go Again: Ray Charles
  • The River of No Return: Marilyn Monroe

Makin' Candy, 2/1/05

In honor of the start of Black History Month, music with lots of soul.

  • St. Thomas: Sonny Rollins
  • Feelin' Good: Tal Ross
  • I am that I am: Peter Tosh
  • Keep Your Worries: Guru feat. Angie Stone
  • Love or Confusion: Jimi Hendrix
  • Freak of the Week: Funkadelic
  • Sai: Kanda Bongo Man
  • Hold Everything: Robert Lockwood, Jr.
  • Superfly: Curtis Mayfield
  • Beautiful Woman: Toots & the Maytals
  • Cholly (Funk Getting Ready to Roll): Funkadelic
  • Love of My Life: Erykah Badu
  • Too High: Stevie Wonder
  • Heygana: Ali Farka Toure
  • (All I Wanna Do Is) Lay Around and Love on You: Ray Charles
  • My Mind is Ramblin': Howling Wolf
  • Yield Not to Tempatation: Aretha Franklin
  • You're A Sweetheart: Dinah Washington
  • Dancing Shoes: Bob Marley & the Wailers
  • Mhondoro: Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited
  • Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans: Billie Holiday
  • Confession: Shirley Horn
  • Dream a Little Dream: Ella & Basie
  • 13 (Death March): Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery
  • Warm Valley: Johnny Hodges
  • My Song: Hadda Brooks
  • Early Ev'ry Midnite: Roberta Flack

Makin' Candy, the Haggis edition 1/25/05

It's Robbie Burns' birthday again and this show is a celebration of all things Scottish, including some tunes and poems from the great bard himself. A recipe for haggis was also given out.

  • Doin' Quite Alright: Spirit of the West
  • Bagpipe Tunes from the Northeast of Scotland
  • The Stool of Repentance/The Nuptial Knot: Thistledown
  • Roamin' in the Gloamin': Sir Harry Lauder
  • Flowers of Edinburth: The Berkeley Scottish Players
  • Looly, Looly: Archie Fisher
  • Comin' Thru the Rye (song) /Gone are the Joys of the Morning (song) /To a Mousie (poem): Robbie Burns
  • The First House in Connaught/The Copper Plate Reel: played on the Uilleann pipes
  • French Lessons: Metrovavan
  • I Think I'm Paranoid: Garbage
  • Envoys: Life without Buildings
  • Pandora: The Cocteau Twins
  • Regrets: Eurythmics
  • Favour: The Wake
  • 1000 Stars: Big Country
  • Ghost Rider: Paul Haig
    A small whisky set follows...
  • Jigging Medley: The Rankin Family
  • What's the Use of Getting Sober: Joe Jackson
  • Athens Queen: Stan Rogers
  • Winter Whisky: The Gloucester Hornpipe & Clog Society
  • Hills of Glenshee: Shenandoah
  • Silver Tassie: McBain's Scottish Dance Band
  • Medley Selection: Macnish Distillery Pipe Band
  • The Haggis: Capercaillie

Where the Candy is Blue, Makin' Candy 1/18/05

This show turned out to be a bluegrass, folk & mountain music special, with a few other things thrown in for good measure.

  • You Don't Love God if You Don't Love Your Neighbor: Rhonda Vincent
  • Dialog Box: David Byrne
  • We Can Be Together: Jefferson Airplane (Spencer Dryden tribute)
  • My Daddy Played the Fiddle (Like I Don't)/Golden Slippers: Joel Mabus
  • Yo Se de Una Mujer: Barbarito Diaz
  • High Germany: Margaret Christl
  • A Great Big Sea: Bram Morrison
  • Careless Love: John Koerner
  • How Mountain Girls Can Love: New River Boys
  • Duncan: Paul Simon
  • A Guelder Rose on the Hill (Russian folk song): Anatoly Poletayev (bayan)
  • The Lass Doon on the Quay: High Level Ranters
  • Rocky Road: from the Red Herring Coffee House Fall Folk Festival, Urbana, IL 1969
  • The Thrill is Gone: Grateful Dawg s/t
  • Lickered Up; The Danville Junction Boys
  • Song for David: Rosalie Sorrels
  • The Deck of Cards: The Gloucester Hornpipe and Clog Society
  • The Mountain: Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer
  • Hard Hearted: Bottle Hill
  • The First Time: Cilla Fisher & Artie Tresize
  • Bank Robber: Hot Tuna
  • Bittersweet & Blue: Paul Penfield
  • Old Blues: Guy & Joe
  • Man of Constant Sorrow: Tony Furtado feat. Tim O'Brien
  • Truck Driving Woman: Si Kahn
  • New Boots: Mark Henley
  • Little Cabin: Donnelly & Gerardi
  • Pretty Boy Floyd: Arlo Guthrie
  • Sledd Ridin': Mike Aldridge & "Old Dog"
  • Owl Feather: John Hartford with Mike Compton
  • Reels: Boy in the Gap/The Banshee/Music in the Glen: Barde
  • Going Home: Jane Voss

Makin' Candy, 1/11/05

Just throwin' together a little of excellent everything in the sweet mix.

  • Union of the Snake: Duran Duran
  • batteries (can't help me now): Figurine
  • Il ne Rentre pas ce Soir: Eddy Mitchell
  • Just What I Needed: The Cars
  • Minority: Green Day
  • Secrets: Mission of Burma
  • Black Steel: Tricky
  • Mixed Bizness (remix, DJ Me DJ You): Beck
  • Ah Ndiya: Oumou Sangau
  • Less Cities More Moving People: The Fixx
  • Padidadidub: Armchair
  • Mandalay Cow: Maria Napoleon
  • Elusive Time: Celeste
  • Chal Chameli Bagh: Krodhi s/t
  • Harry Lime Theme (Third Man s/t): Toni Sulzbock (zither)
  • 74th Highlander's Quickstep/ The Barren Rocks of Aden: Thistledown
  • I Knew You Would Go: Aden
  • Mambo Guajiro: Rene Touzet (Bottle Rocket s/t)
  • Jazz in the Present Tense: The Solsonics
  • Fee: Phish
  • Midnight Poppies/Crooked Birds: Medeski Martin & Wood
  • This World (is Closing in On Me): Chris Carpenter
  • Quiet Nights & Quiet Stars: Sinatra & Jobim
  • Patchwork Quilt: Tom Baehr (standard dulcimer)
  • Snow on High Ground: Nightnoise
  • An Uncommonly Fine Life: Joaquin Leviano
  • Edge of Memory: Dreamchaser
  • Andante from the "Trout" Quintet: Schubert

Makin' Candy again! 1/4/05

All Professor Kitty's favorites on a special day.

  • Crawlspace: The Beastie Boys
  • Here Comes Your Man: The Pixies
  • I Walk the Earth: King Biscuit Time
  • I Wanna Be A Cowboy: Boys Don't Cry
  • Hyperballad: Bjork
  • Rudie Can't Fail: The Clash
  • Little Bones: The Tragically Hip
  • Why I Write Such Good Songs: Kleenex Girl Wonder
  • The Only Man in Town: Moose
  • Beds are Burning: Midnight Oil
  • Trying Your Luck: The Strokes
  • Jacking the Ball: The Sea & Cake
  • Mirror in the Bathroom: English Beat
  • Panda Riot: Our Hour
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Robert Palmer
  • Love Crown: Godzuki
  • Electric Avenue: Eddie Grant
  • Terror: Stockholm Monsters
  • No Rain: Blind Melon
  • Saint Behind the Glass: Los Lobos
  • My Radio (AM Mix): Stars
  • Cross Bones Style: Cat Power
  • If You Want Me To Stay: Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Some Girls are Bigger than Others: The Smiths
  • This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody): Talking Heads
  • Daily Sisyphus: Paloma
  • Primary: The Cure
  • The Casio Fight Song: David Shouse & the Bloodthirsty Lovers
  • Foram Koten: hollAnd

Bookstore Gift Certificates are the Bomb

Spent some time yesterday in a local bookstore looking for the best way to spend a $50 gift certificate. (First rule of gift certificates: must spend right away.) Here's what I ended up with:

Llewellyn's 2005 Herbal Almanac
What sold me on this one was the "Herbs for Beauty" section that includes recipes for making your own shampoo, moisturizers, scrubs, plus a chapter on growing your own loofahs. Of COURSE I want to grow my own loofahs, thank you!

The Natural Remedy Bible, revised & updated, by Michael Tierra and John Lust
This is a fat little mass market in which you can look up ailments like "aging," "hepatitis," and "sweating hands" and find info on symptoms, causes & treatments. Also has chapters on diet & exercise, 20 popular herbs, and hydrotherapy.

Wintersigns in the Snow and Springsigns, both by Gerald Cox
These are 2 adorable little books for people who like to run around in the woods and observe tree silhouettes, animal tracks, and bird behavior. They're full of drawings and the text is handwritten so it seems like you're reading somebody else's personal nature notes. Cutie!

Putting Food By, 4th edition, newly revised, by Janet Greene, Ruth Hertzberg & Beatrice Vaughan
This is a classic first published by the Stephen Greene Press in 1973. I have a theory that next summer I'm going to have a garden full of vegetables (besides loofahs) that I'll can, freeze & dry for winter use, like a truly sustainable Vermonter. I read the first couple chapters and these people are SERIOUS about getting things thoroughly sterilized, using only the best and cleanest ingredients, and making sure every step of the process is done correctly and hygienically. Otherwise, you could die from botulism. Ack!