Elated, tired, happy

Holidays were great this year. But admittedly, one nice thing about December 26 is no more Christmas music til next year. Back a week ago though, holiday tunes were totally appropriate. Here's the Beef Jerky Time playlist from December 19, 2007:
  • Reb Itzik's Nign: Itzhak Perlman & Bizarre Old World
  • Jolly Old St. Nicholas: Chet Atkins
  • Toyland: Doris Day
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow!: Ella Fitzgerald
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow!: Dean Martin
  • Winter Wonderland: Ella Fitzgerald
  • Winter Wonderland: Dean Martin
  • Petit Papa Noël: Raffi
  • We 3 Kings: Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
  • Tijuana Christmas: Tijuana Voices with Brass
  • Christmas Is Coming: Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Verbum caro factum est (Lauda): Boston Camerata
  • Twas in the Moon of Wintertime: The Christmas Revels
  • Lux hodie... orientus partibus: Boston Camerata
  • Pe Trouz War en Douar: Le Chorale du Bout du Monde
  • Here We Come a'Wassailing: Royal College of Music
  • from The Nutcracker, "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy": P.I. Tchaikovsky
  • The Christmas Song: Vince Guaraldi Trio

Never Happy

You may know people who are upset as adults because they had unhappy childhoods. But there are also people who are upset as adults because they had great childhoods. I am one of these latter complainers. I had a wonderful childhood, full of books and flowers and travel and fantasy and imagination. I thought it was important to excel at feats of strength and to know everything. I was carefully preparing myself for the incredible tests of mettle and wit that are the exciting world of adult existence.

Wrong! Actually, being an adult kind of sucks. Yes, I can eat lots of candy and I don't have homework. I stay up late and drink Jack Daniels and watch any kind of movie I want. But where are the real perks? I have to work all the time, I don't have any money (and by extension, don't have any time), and most of the things that are really fun are "bad for me" or considered frivolous or require that money/time I don't have. So I feel ripped off. Of course I'd also feel ripped off if I had a miserable or even mediocre childhood. Warning to parents: your children will blame you for whatever. It's the flip side of Philip Larkin's "This Be the Verse." "They whine and gripe, your son and daught. They do not mean to, but they do. They blame you for each fault they have, and add some extra, just for you."

I have been listening to Neil Postman's "The Disappearance of Childhood" (book on tape) and so far I'm thinking that contemporary childhood sounds messed up. I am only on Chapter 3, but I'm learning that kids are managed as a separate class that is oppressed and educated to turn them into moral and functioning adults. Part of this "education" is making sure that children don't learn "adult" things until appropriate ages, as determined by adults. Apparently this general concept can be dated back to the invention of the printing press, which begat books which begat schools which begat schoolboys. (This is all my ham-handed summary, not Postman's wording.) Anyway, it does seem useful to have a childhood of some kind and not be forced to labor in the mines or marry at age 10. I do think children could be treated as genius artists-in-residence who must be nurtured and allowed to carry out their creations, however bizarre. But they also need to know that being an adult isn't a special secret society that will be really awesome when they get there. Children shouldn't be too "shielded" from adult information because it makes adulthood seem way cooler than it really is. Of course I do try not to swear around children, so I'm already being an arbiter. I'm already presenting an expurgated world which is slightly different from the "truth" as I know it. F%$#! At least I can spread the truth that is garlic. I would never deprive a child of garlic.

I'll keep thinking about this one. I'll turn the comments on, too, in case you want to... you know.

On to the lists. Here are 2, starting with last week's Beef Jerky Time (12/12/2007), which included a tribute to my man Frank Sinatra on his birthday (12/12/1915).
  • "Moonlighting" theme
  • 59th Street: Amy Correia
  • Sugarbabe: The Youngbloods
  • Breakin' Up: Rilo Kiley
  • Janamaan: Natacha Atlas with Kalia
  • 2:1: Elastica
  • Contact: The Police
  • La Primavera/Me Gustas Tu: Manu Chao
  • What Goes Around Comes Around: Justin Timberlake
  • Christmas Jam: Bathing Beauty
  • Mistletoe & Holly: Frank Sinatra
  • Baubles, Bangles and Beads: Frank Sinatra
  • Moonlight in Vermont: Frank Sinatra
  • Luck Be a Lady: Frank Sinatra
  • Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars: Frank Sinatra
  • The Christmas Waltz: Frank Sinatra

Beef Jerky Time playlist: 12/5/07
  • Sing My Lord: Ponies in the Surf
  • It's Over: Milosh
  • Maybe, I Don't Know: The Elevator Drops
  • Choice Blanket: The Sea & Cake
  • Sporting Life: The Sea & Cake
  • Hotel Tell: The Sea & Cake
  • Searching with My Good Eye Closed: Soundgarden
  • Last Living Souls: Gorillaz
  • Digital: Joy Division
  • Beautiful World: Devo
  • Birthday: The Sugarcubes
  • Bomber Rash: Ry Cooder (Streets of Fire s/t)
  • I Wish You Would: David Bowie

Yet another noodle recipe: Chicken Ginger

The local Food Coop is known for its excellent store-made sausages. They have turkey dinner sausage that I have not tried yet. They make a lamb sausage sometimes that is excellent when fried up with a mess o' cabbage. There are hot Italian and sweet Italian sausages for your pasta or lasagne needs. My favorites are the chicken sausages--chicken parmesan and chicken-ginger-scallion. Last night I modified a vegetarian ginger noodle recipe to include the chicken-ginger-scallion sausage. I lucked out and ended up with a yummy dinner. Here's the scoop.

2+ chicken-ginger-scallion sausage (or any Asian-flavored specialty sausage)
packet of fresh Japanese noodles (a thick Chinese noodle like chow fun would probably also work)
1/2 lb+ frozen green beans (or in season, try fresh green beans or snowpeas)
1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
1 T sugar
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 T sesame oil
1 T minced dried garlic (or try fresh! I was in a hurry.)
1 T dried ginger (or try fresh--chop up about a thumb's-worth of ginger)
optional: as many chopped scallions as you like

1. Squeeze sausages out of casings and brown in a non-stick pan. Try to stir and smash them up so you get small pieces.
2. At the same time, boil 2 qts of water in a large pot for the noodles.
3. While things are getting hot, whisk together the tamari, vinegar, oil, garlic and ginger in a glass measuring cup.
4. When the sausages start looking done, turn them off. Set up a colander in your sink for draining the noodles.
5. When you water is boiling, throw in the beans. Wait for the water to come to a boil again, then add the noodles. Fresh noodles need a stir to separate them, but they cook fast. Check the directions--probably takes about 3 minutes.
6. Drain the cooked noodles and beans in the colander. Scrape the browned sausage into the now-empty pot that contained the noodles. Add the noodles and beans back to the pot. Stir in the sauce. You might want to throw in more tamari and sesame oil at this point, depending on your taste. If you're adding scallions, do it now. (Maybe throw in sesame seeds now too!)
7. Serve! Feeds about 3.


Happy December. Here are playlists from 2 Beef Jerky Time shows. I had a good time hosting them--hope a few others enjoyed them too.

November 21, 2007 playlist
  • What Are You Wearing? (Shinco remix): Kahimi Karie
  • Are We Ourselves: The Fixx
  • Long Way to Go: Gwen Stefani f/Andre 3000
  • I Want to Be Loved By You: Sinead O'Connor
  • All Lifestyles: Beastie Boys
  • Cherish: Madonna
  • What is Life: George Harrison
  • Du temps que j'étais jeune: The Duhks
  • Jamais: Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Fantastic Cat: Takako Minekawa
  • I Sing the Body Cybernetic: Servotron
  • Reunion: Stars
  • Right Wing Pigeons: Dead Milkmen
  • All Things That Go to Make Heaven & Earth: The New Pornographers
  • Boy in the Gap: Barde

November 28, 2007 playlist

A tribute to Stan Rogers, born November 29, 1949. All songs by the late, great Stan, who put on one of his albums (From Fresh Water) this advice from Robert Heinlein: "When sampling life, take big bites, moderation is for the monks." Yarp, that's how I lived my 20s basically... All songs in this list by Stan Rogers and companions.
  • Fogarty's Cove
  • The Nancy
  • The Athens Queen
  • Dark Eyed Molly (written by Archie Fisher)
  • The House of Orange
  • Rawdon Hills
  • Flying
  • Watching the Apples Grow
  • Badger Drive
  • Bluenose
  • Fisherman's Wharf
  • The Blue Dolphin
  • 45 Years
  • Lookout Hill
  • Plenty of Hornpipe