3rd time is a charm?

why do we put so much stock in "important dates?" birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, they're really just days, right? then why do we insist on attaching meaning to them? are we just setting ourselves up for disappointment?

when michael and i got married, we were too busy and too broke to go on a honeymoon. there's no way i could have fit a wedding, a college graduation, a move to DC, AND a honeymoon into a week*. three of those were enough, thank you.

for our one-year anniversary, we took a 10-day trip to costa rica. thanks to my airline miles and supreme backpacking skills honed in the hostels of europe**, we were able to do the entire trip for a little over $1000 (that's right. i'm totally bragging about this). we spent the first half hiking in the cloud forest and the second half on the beach, in a little bungalow about 40 feet from the water's edge (pictures avail at flickr). on the day of our anniversary, we decided to kayak out to an island, and, barring one layer of sunscreen and our measly swimsuits, we were naked to the sun. we paid for it by not being able to move for the remainder of the trip and comparing the size of skin sheets peeling off in the weeks to come.

anniversary #1 = SUCKED***.

fastforward a year. imagine this - we're broke again****. and we're not in costa rica. this is shaping up to be a real winner of an anniversary already, isn't it? we'd already decided not to do anything special - we went to nyc a few weeks ago and we were "counting" that as our anniversary trip*****. michael was working on this massive project for school, one that required the help of his research partners (the german and the social guy). upon my insistence, they decided to have a little "coding party" at our apartment on our anniversary. you know, so they could geek out and get some work done. cool by me, i can dig it. they're supposed to show up at 2:00. nothing. 2:30, social guy calls "i'm running a little late." 3:45, social guy shows up, still no word from the german. i decide to go for a run, my "usual" saturday 6-miler. get about 4 miles into it and i feel like i'm about to die. not from running, just hot and cold and tired and achy. get home, shower, get dressed again (the german has made his unexplained but expected fashionably late appearance), still feel like i'm about to die. running 100.0 fever. perfect. 7:00, the german is hungry. 7:30 the four of us are celebrating our second anniversary at a small italian restaurant nearby. perfect. social guy makes a sweet toast and follows it up by lamenting how difficult it is to keep the excitement in a relationship after "that long******." 9:30, back at the apartment. 9:35 THEY KEEP CODING. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? 10:00, my dad calls, wishing us a happy anniversary. i complain loudly that we're not alone. and that i'm running a fever. 11:30, after shooting many, many evil eyes******* and catching up on ALL of my old new yorkers, they leave. finally.

anniversary #2 = SUCKED.

*and rebeading my wedding dress and finishing a final, don't forget those either.
** that's technically not true. i only stayed in a hostel once, when i was on a weekend trip by myself to ravenna.
*** again, not completely true. we WERE in costa rica, and there was plenty of beer.
**** we're technically not broke. i sorta messed up something on our taxes that has placed us in a temporarily inconvenient position.
***** much in the same way michael's valentine's day ipod will also be his birthday ipod and his christmas ipod
****** i would comment here, but i'm going to take the unusual route of censoring my response to save my father an early heart attack.
******* a look michael is very familiar with. something like this:


ipod shuffle, pt 1

i recently read mary gaitskill's latest novel Veronica. it's a good book, a convincing dialog about perceptions of and struggles with beauty and friendship, but that's not really struck me about it. throughout the novel, the main character, influenced heavily by her misunderstood father, has a running soundtrack. every commentary and situation is linked back to a song, a set of lyrics. i find this happening often in my own life, certainly aided by the white headphones pumping music into my ears most of the time.

tuesday, dooce published an interesting exercise on alpha mom, an exercise which i'm about to blatantly copy.

let's explore this running soundtrack of my life, part one. here's what we're going to do: set my ipod on shuffle (i, unlike dooce, ADORE the shuffle function on my ipod) and comment on the first 10 songs that play.

but, there is a groundrule: i can skip songs that i don't want to comment on, but i have to tell you that i'm skipping them.

also: sometimes my ipod contains, uh, embarrasing music. i have guilty pleasures, ok? also, my boss regularly feeds me new music (sucks, i know), and i've got over 2,000 songs on my ipod, some of which (ok, alot of which), i haven't really listened to much. i have a feeling that the songs i skip will be as embarrasing as the songs in my collection that i consider 'embarrasing,' but for completely different reasons.

alright, let's go:

stay don't go . spoon . kill the moonlight
no comment.

3rd planet . modest mouse . the moon and antartica
this song brings me back to my days working at toys r us in college. i saw modest mouse several times in fayetteville, but it was all pre-moon and antartica. i used to drive to and from work imaging myself performing this song live. i do that alot. i wish i were a rock star. favorite lyrics:

your heart felt good it was drippin pitch and made of wood
and your hands and knees felt cold and wet on the grass to me
outside naked, shiverin looking blue, from the cold
sunlight that’s reflected off the moon

the power is on . the go! team . thunder, lightening, strike
no comment

i'm on your side . the magic magicians . girls
i picked up this cd when i was living in wicker park in chicago (before urban outfitters came) at a little music store where it was listed as a staff favorite. i never really fell in love with them, but this cd always reminds me of being in chicago. favorite lyrics:

and you said what we always kinda knew
but i don't have a clue
and you talk until your face is blue
but you don't have a clue

get gone . fiona apple . when the pawn
ahhh... one of those slightly embarrasing songs, but i really like this one. there's something jazzy and fun and empowering about it. favorite lyrics:

how many times can it escalate
'till it elevates to a place I can't breathe?
and I must decide, if you must deride
that I'm much obliged to up and go

black math . the white stripes . elephant
no comment

creme brulee . sonic youth . dirty
no comment

frank sinatra . cake . fashion nugget
another slightly embarrasing song. i think my ipod is out to get me. i bought this cd in high school, shortly after meeting some internet friends in magnolia. andy - in his green avenger - would play 'the distance' over and over again and i totally associated it with the freedom of finally having my driver's license. favorite lyrics:

an old man sits collecting stamps
in a room all filled with Chinese lamps
he saves what others throw away
he says that he'll be rich someday

hag . the breeders . last splash
no comment. other than the breeders played at the first show i ever saw at the bowery ballroom in nyc.

neighborhood #3 (power out) . the arcade fire . funeral
no comment. though i do like this song.

whaddit i done . animal collective . sung tongs
no comment. though i did meet brian's (from the band) uncle on a plane ride to savannah once.

stadiums and shrines II . sunset rubdown . shut up i am dreaming
no comment. looks like i'm commenting anyway? i just got this cd, so i haven't had time to develop any connections to it.

and then patterns . four tet . everything ecstatic
no comment

the state that i am in . belle & sebastian . tigermilk
*sigh* one of my favorite belle and sebastian songs. the lyrics are alright, mostly i just like the melody. and stuart murdoch's voice. dreamy. belle and sebastian were one of the first indie bands i really got into. i used to listen to 'if you're feeling sinister' over and over again in studio. favorite lyrics:

the priest in the booth had a photographic memory
for all he had heard
he took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called
the state I am in

hands away . interpol . turn on the bright lights
there's something about this song that's incredibly beautiful and haunting. turn on the bright lights might very well be my favorite cd of all time (i blogged about my relationship with it here), though it has some competition. this song makes me want to sit between my bed and my big sunroom window on a cold rainy night wrapped up on in a blanket. in a good way. favorite lyrics:

home spun desperation's knowing
inside your cover's always blown

tired of sex . weezer . pinkerton
*groan* this song should really be banned from my ipod. a certain-unnamed high school boyfriend of mine used to listen to this cd all the time - it's a great cd, one that i still have a fondness for. but he used to sing this damn song all the time, thinking in his head of all the girls names and how they related to girls he knew, no doubt fantasizing about all of them. then he just started doing it to annoy me. i think we spent alot of our relationship trying to annoy each other. favorite lyrics:

none. i hate this song.

riot van . arctic monkeys . whatever people say
no comment

song for myla goldberg . the decemberists . her majesty
the decemberists are relatively new to my 'most played' list, but there's something that really draws me to this song. i think it's the cheesy reference to new york. the lyrics aren't that great, but the delivery is deadpan - hurried, longing, distant. it's become a regular on my rotation. favorite lyrics:

listen in as shin-kicked Jim relates his story sad
about a boy who kicked until his shins were all but rubberbands
but now
i know New York i need New York
i know I need unique New York

across the river . lucero . that much further west
if you know lucero, you can't help but to love them. and if you know them, you probably know them live. which means you know ben nichols and his arkansas tatoo, and when you watch him sing, you wish he was singing about you. favorite lyrics:

across the river you can dance all night
a pretty little girl that I left behind
i know you're not waiting on me
look at you girl you're just skin and bones
you're breaking all the hearts of the boys back home
and I know you're not waiting on me

weight of the world . tarkio . sea songs for landlord
no comment. though i do like this song. mostly i only listen to it when my itunes goes past tapes 'n tapes and i don't notice

ready to die . the unicorns . who will cut our hair
no comment

william's alabama . shannon wright . flightsafety
few artists have resonated with me in the way that shannon wright has. from the first time i heard flightsafety, i had this indescribable attachment to her and her throaty voice. she played chicago often the summer that i lived there - always at the empty bottle, which was 21+ (i was 20). by all accounts she's incredible live, even if she hates playing live shows (she plays all of the instruments in this cd), but i never did get to see it. the first time i was in the netherlands, walking around freezing to the bone, looking for a place to stop in and warm up, i turned the corner to see the saloon sign and streetscape that graces the front of this cd. i took a picture of it, and of course lost it. damn. favorite lyrics:

he turned the light out
he turned the sun down
farewell, goodnight
the awning falls flat and the clocks are spinning
bowl the town for alcohol
you are what i need


ten tons against me and you've gone

i've spent the last little while in a fog. not sure what it was exactly - a mixture of many things, for sure. but it's a new week, a new month, almost a new year in my marriage - it's time to turn over a new leaf.

*i'm actually linking the music today. i'll go back soon and fix the recent links

the wrens . she sends kisses


Your Lucky Underwear is Orange

You have an intense personality and crave extreme emotional experiences. And your lucky orange underwear will help you take it to a whole new level.

Adventure and danger don't phase you - in fact you enjoy dicey situations. You're the first to take a risk, and the first to get the payoff.

And while your risks sometimes result in great rewards, they also sometimes result in devastating failures.

If you want to have intense moments without always risking all you have, put on your orange underpants. They'll help you experience life with rich emotions, no matter what you're doing.

What Color Is Your Lucky Underwear?