Music to Make The Flowers Grow

Hey Friends.  Update time.

So, I know there are a lot of important things going on in the world right now, from earthquakes to revolutions to protests 200,000 people strong just outside my door.  But in no way am I equipped to comment on such things.  All I can really say is that the world is a little bit on fire and a little bit out of its mind these days, and I feel different and frustrated and exhausted about a lot of it.  Frankly, I’ve been avoiding my blog because I don’t know how to express such things at all, and especially not in writing.

I will say that 6 more items on my bucket list have been accomplished, though.  Yeah, I’ve really been slacking on the blogging front, it’s true.

#9, Tag the Capitol has been completed 10-fold.  Freshman year of college, we used to get so bored in the dorms some nights that we would literally walk down to the Capitol, tag it, and walk back just for something to do.  Well, I not only tagged the Capitol a couple of weeks ago, I slept in it.  Twice.  It was a great honor, laying out my sleeping bag on the marble of my Capitol and nodding off under the dome and the enormous emblems for ‘legislation’ and ‘justice’–the latter of which we’re not seeing much of these days.  But like I said, I won’t get into that.

I also did #10, Eat Ian’s Pizza after Midnight. Ian’s is the classic campus by-the-slice, eaten-on-the-filthy-curb-at-2am pizzeria in Madison.  You’ve probably also heard by now that they’ve been catering almost exclusively to protesters at the Capitol for a few weeks now, receiving donations from places like Finland and Oman.  Although I expected to get Ian’s one last time after an evening of casual debauchery, getting a couple of free slices mid-protest was infinitely better.

A couple of weeks ago, Karen, Chris, and I raided Ella’s for #11, A Ella’s Deli Ice Cream Extravaganza. Then last week, Natalie and I stopped by Shakti on State to stock up on liberal buttons and bumper stickers, thereby completing #12, Buy Something Esoteric on State St. Later that week, I went out with some friends for #13, Get Curds and A Braunschweiger Burger at The Old Fashioned (although I’m sure I’ll be eating there again soon.)  And finally, yesterday was #14, Go to Happy Hour with Jen. Jen, good old Paris-friend Jen and I went to Paisan’s for cheap rails and mozz sticks,to reminisce about the ‘je prendrais un demi s’il vous plait’ days, and to contemplate the future, as we always do.

The only other thing to report is that this morning I took the Praxis II, or that long-ass standardized test I have to take in order to become an English teacher.  I had to be on campus at 7 in the freaking morning today.  I aced it of course.  I mean, the thing was almost fun, what with its P&P and Jane Eyre and Dickens and Wolfe excerpts and all.  I had 45 minutes to spare in fact, but we couldn’t leave the room early, so I took the time to memorize “On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer” (by Keats), which I’ve been reciting to myself all afternoon.  Definitely a step in the right direction on the TFA front.

Which brings us to tonight.  Tonight I worked, as usual.  My fuse at that damned hotel is running out.  I really just may end up punching someone.  To relieve the general stress, and to usher in the spring (tonight is daylight savings!), I have decided to make my annual spring driving mix and to tell you all about it.

The spring driving mix tradition goes back, oh, 7 or 8 years, to the good old days of high school and of driving around aimlessly with friends, my hand out the window, eyes closed and at peace with the world…  Mixes back then tended to have a lot of Louis Armstrong and Weezer and Jimmy Eat World.  I remember the first time I heard “Such Great Heights,” driving around killing time some summer afternoon.  Those moments stay with you.

Well, this year I’m not as carefree as I once was, but I am enthused and excited about life in general and all the cool shit I intend to see and do.  In fact, I’m on a big-time international music kick, so my mix includes tracks I’ve been picking up here and there from places like Iran and Ethiopia and India and Brazil.  Or the most terrifyingly foreign country of all–Canada.  (Gasp!)

Why don’t I just show you the list.

1.  Beau Soleil–Arhoolie Records (Cajun)

2. Watina–Andy Palacio and The Garifuna Collective (Belizean)

3.  Le Moustique–Joe Dassin (French)

4. Holiday in Waikiki–The Kinks (English)

5. Walk on The Wild Side–Lou Reed (American)

6. For The Summer–Ray LaMontagne (American)

7. Ere Mela Mela–Mahmoud Ahmed (Ethiopian)

8. Bolo Bolo–Susheela Raman (English/Indian)

9. Baba–Andy Palacio and The Garifuna Collective (Belizean)

10.  Expectations–Belle & Sebastian (Scottish)

11. Skinny Love–Bon Iver (American)

12. Wada Na Todd–Lata Mangeshka (Indian)

13.  Rococo–Arcade Fire (Canadian)

14.  Bag of Hammers–Thao and The Get Down Stay Down (American)

15. Don’t Dream it’s Over–Crowded House (New Zealandish)

16.  Mordeh Bodam Zendeh Shodam–Mastaaneh (Iranian)

17.  Which Will–Nick Drake (English)

18.  This is Where I Belong–The Kinks (English)

19.  Now That I Know–Devendra Banhart (American/Venezuelan)

20.  Mania De Peitão (Large Chested Man)–Seu Jorge (Brazilian)

21.  Me Gustas Tu–Manu Chao (French/Basque/Galician)

So I’ve been listening to this for a couple of hours now, and I am entirely relaxed and ready for an untold number of springtime adventures.  So what if it was below freezing and windy as hell today, I can see signs of spring.  Mud, for instance.  Mud is everywhere.  In fact, I think I’m going to call this my Mud Mix.

Which brings up the question… what would you put on your Springtime Driving Mud Mix?

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~ by Rachael on March 13, 2011.

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