Monthly Archives: August 2014

best lyrics (part one of probably many more…)

Oh, hey, do you know what a mondegreen is? No? Well what the fuck are you waiting for? Click the link, son!

Within my immediate family, I’ve got somewhat of a reputation for these sorts of oopsies. Juanita swears it’s genetic; you should hear some of the doozies that my Dad has come up with over the years. Anyway, in order to avoid future embarrassment, I often find myself looking up the lyrics to songs I enjoy (I assume this makes showertime concerts more enjoyable for my neighbors as well).

My point is this. I listen to a lot of musics, which means I read a lot of lyrics, and sometimes I can’t help but feel gut-punched right in the feelsies by them. Have you ever been hit super hard  by a line in a song? It doesn’t have to be deep, or all that clever. Just something about how a particular phrase is worded just makes you think YES. Fuck yes. This is a yes, yes. A hundred times yes!

It got me thinking about some of my favorites.


Amy Winehouse / “Me and Mr. Jones”

What kind of fuckery is this?

One of the best opening lines to a song, period. I love it. It’s bold. It’s got legs. She could stop singing right fucking there and I wouldn’t need any more. But, oh, I want more. I’m hooked, baby. Please explain to me the situation.

It’s followed immediately by You made me miss the Slick Rick gig, which sounds a little silly and filler-y, but works here as a sturdy, concrete statement following that doozy of an opener. It’s not a line inserted for the rhyme (because, duh, it doesn’t) but it is pleasantly assonant, and makes for a lovely couplet.


Ben Folds Five / “Draw a Crowd”

The refrain here is fantastic in its juvenile wordplay:
Oh- oh, if you’re feeling small
And you can’t draw a crowd
Draw dicks on a wall

Despite the melody being catchy as hell, hearing this song relieved my worries about Mr. Folds cutting an album avec the “Five” (really three) again. No way would he be able to tap into the manic-ness of Whatever and Ever Amen or the unexpected depth of The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, right? Phew. I was wrong.


Elliott Smith / “St Ides Heaven”

Well, no shit I’d include him in this list. You want I should write you a book? Heh. Ahem. Anyway, Smith is a master at painting a very clear picture with very few words. After the initial set up (the opening few lines are fantastic, too, but I’ll let you listen for yourself), there are a few standout supporting lines. Among them:

‘Cause everyone is a fucking pro
And they all got answers from trouble they’ve known


As a side note: I’ve seen a few very beautiful tattoos that include another line from this song: the moon is a lightbulb breaking. While not my personal first choice for lyrical ink, I can respect it.


My Morning Jacket / “The Bear”

The time is near / To come forward with whatever killed your spark

This one got me again recently. Short, sweet, succinct…and beautifully worded.


The Mountain Goats / “Psalm 40:2”

Lord send me a mechanic if I’m not beyond repair 

I could also write a book about the musical genius that is John Darnielle. Every other damn line in this particular song is fantastic as well, but this one rises above the rest.


The Weakerthans / “One Great City!”

Late afternoon, another day is nearly done
A darker grey is breaking through a lighter one

Couldn’t have painted a better word picture, imo.


Delta Spirit / “Trashcan”

This world is much too small to feel like nothing

Aw, doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?


Ben Lee / “Ache for you”

There’s no rhyme and there’s no reason
You’re the secret in the back of my skull

“…the secret in the back of my skull.” What the hell does that even mean? No, that’s not a legitimate question, because you know what he’s talking about. You were just never able to phrase it quite so nicely.


The National / “Pink Rabbits”

I couldn’t find quiet
I went out in the rain
I was just soakin’ my head to unrattle my brain

Okay, maybe my book will feature multiple chapters, because I’d certainly be able to devote some page space to The National, too. See also: every song from Trouble Will Find Me, which I’ve listening to damn-near-obsessively for a few months now.


I’m forcing myself to stop now, but would love to hear yours… comment away, reader(s)!

the incredible, inedible egg.

I worked with a guy with whom I occasionally had conversations about music. His tastes were eclectic like mine, and we had several favorite artists in common. One day, he asked me if I’d heard of a particular band. I told him no, he did a fist pump, said something about finally finding someone I’d never heard, and told me they were good and he thought I’d like them.

That’s enough of an endorsement for me. I’ll listen to anything once, so I went home and looked ’em up and gave it a go.


I wanted to like them, for no other reason than to be able to have something to discuss with him the next day. But… meh. He posted links to more of their music on my Facebook wall, and I made half-assed comments, trying in vain to avoid just typing out “meh” in response to each one.

Wait, what was the point of this story? Oh. Here it is:

It’s impossible to force yourself to like something. Such as a band. 

Or eggs.

Oh, eggs.

You look so good. Honestly, you do. You are so ubiquitous, appearing on every brunch menu in the history of [non-vegan] brunch menus. You are versatile. And cheap. You are everywhere, and I try so hard to enjoy you… 

I ordered you awhile back. You came fried on what sounded like the Most Delicious Breakfast Sandwich Ever. You sat, all pretty and egg-like atop spinach and bacon and swiss on an English muffin. You were placed before me, and I was excited: this! this would be it! The meal that made Julie love eggs. It was a historical moment. 

So why’d you have to go and ruin it with your texture? Why did you have to feel that way in my mouth? Why, eggs, WHY? My delight crumbled, and all sandwich-induced happiness was summarily snuffed out with one single bite.

I’ve not given up on you, but is this a lost cause? Am I wasting time and money in this thus far fruitless quest? 

I suppose that remains to be seen.

deceptively delicious looking

waiting for my pitch.

The best way (sometimes the only way) for me to accept some of life’s curveballs is to trust that I was thrown them for a reason. I may go down swinging this time, but in a few innings or so, I’ve got to believe that some good will come of it.

In the meantime, my particular strikeout is another’s gain. I don’t mean that in a negative way; if you truly believe that we’re all playing one big intersquad game for Team Humankind, someone’s gotta throw that strikeout. It can’t be all walk-off home runs for everyone, every time.

In reality, that other person(s)’ gain doesn’t necessarily come instantaneously with my loss.* But eventually, things even themselves out: maybe I show them the tape of that at-bat so they don’t make the same mistakes I made. Maybe I end up using my bad experience to help someone through their own bad experience.  That kind of thing.

When I think about it that way (and trust, it’s not always easy. Oy), it makes the less-than-pleasant daily grind of life much more manageable.

And sometimes when you done good, you get a reaction from Team Humankind like this:


*I’m not talking about “hey, I stole your wallet. I gain $5, you lose your money” kind of scenarios here. That’s something else entirely.

um, thank you?

True story: I’m interested in a guy. I think he’s interested in me. We go out. I think we have a good time. I say “let’s do this again,” he says “um, maybe let’s not,” then tries to soften the blow: You know how it goes: it’s not you it’s me, you’re a great person, we just didn’t click, blah blah blah blah. Among the compliments he drops in his approximately 45 paragraph long Facebook message: “You have an excellent grasp of the English language.”

I’m kinda glad that one didn’t work out.



I'm not a graduate, but I could have been is one.

I’m not a graduate, but I could have been is one.

That might not be a baby. I’ve seen Alien.

I don’t know if I’m ever going to have kids. I’m not saying this in a negative, woe-is-me, kind of way. It’s just a fact. When I was a kid myself, I imagined that I’d be married and have at least, oh, 5 of them running around by now. At that time, 18 seemed ancient (and good, solid marryin’ age apparently), so I’d mos def have a high schooler by the time I was 32. Right?


I find myself thinking about children a lot lately – not for myself, but the concept in general – because BFFF and her Husbando are in Full Throttle Adoption Mode. Things are clickin’ for them, folks, and it’s wonderful and exciting (edit: her blog about the process is wonderful and hilarious and insightful and worth a click or two. Please check it out).

Anyway, my deep thoughts have produced a few conclusions:

1. Babies are cute, but they scare me.
I’ve always been a little freaked out by them, but by the time my friends started poppin’ out their own offspring I was certifiably terrified. No, I do not want to hold it. No, I’m not sure I even want to touch it. No, no, little Junior doesn’t disgust me. The dirty diapers and excess of bodily fluids doesn’t bother me too much, actually. It’s their size. So damn delicate! I won’t even pick up my friend’s cat (and that thing is the chillest, sturdiest motherfucker I’ve ever known. Cat-wise, that is) much less a tiny, limp human being. Too much damage potential. No thank you.

As a point of reference, the last baby I held is starting kindergarten soon. The entire time, his mom was making one of those smile-grimace faces and doing that reach-out-hesitate thing, saying things like “um, well, he doesn’t like to be held like that… um, have you done this before?”

No, ma’am. I certainly have not and I do not care to repeat this experience.

2. I don’t want to think about where babies come from.
Pregnancy isn’t beautiful. It is terrifying and disgusting. A friend who is pregnant with her first child keeps talking about how awesome it is when she feels the baby move. If she ever grabs my hand and puts it on her belly when this happens so help me God she’s going to walk away from that experience with a black eye. It’ll be an involuntary punch, but it’ll land.

The thought of a living, growing THING inside of me is horrifying. I can’t make it any more clear. And to think about that THING bursting forth from my lady parts or (worse, still) being ripped out of my guts by a surgeon? FUCK no.

3. I have terrible genes. 
Any child I bear will be genetically fucked. He’ll be born half-blind, and need a billion dollars’ worth of corrective eye surgeries. He will have funky-ass crooked teeth and a fucked up jaw that will require massive amounts of orthodontia, because it won’t be “well, he can get it fixed when he’s older” it’ll be “well, he’s not able to properly chew food, so that might pose a problem…”

As he grows up, his brain will be riddled with some sort of mental illness. Perhaps crippling anxiety? Or the persistent black hole of chronic depression? Maybe he’ll win the genetic lottery and get both! And then he’ll die of cancer. Or heart disease. Or have heart disease for awhile, then eventually die of cancer. Best of both worlds.

On the plus side, there’s always the outside chance he’ll have red hair. *crosses fingers*


Okay, okay. I know I could change my mind. Maybe I’ll get myself knocked up and become one of those earthy, granola ladies who get plaster casts made of their bellies and give birth in an inflatable kiddie pool and eat their placentas and never shut the fuck up about how beautiful it is to be with child. And then maybe I’ll wear the kid in a sheet tied around my neck for the first 3 years of his life. And maybe the individual with whom I spawn will have Super Genes and we’ll produce a baby with perfect vision and great teeth and a permanent sunny disposition and who never in his life will feel the soul-crushing urge to drink himself into oblivion after a hard day at work.

I’m okay with standing corrected, overall. Though, for the record, I deserve to take a right cross to the face if I ever grab someone’s hand and put it on my pregnant stomach. So help me God.

Also, the earthy granola lady I’m imagining is Maggie Gyllenhaal in Away We Go. I love this movie. You should check it out: