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Monthly Archives: July 2011

A sad day for fools who get attached to the music we listen to.

I was listening to this song on a loop yesterday at work, in the evening, and when I was getting ready to go out this morning.  It was really eerie when I found out she was gone this afternoon.  Eerie and horribly sad.

Amy Winehouse is the only point where the musical tastes of most of my friends and me really ever overlap.  I adore her voice and phrasing, but it’s her lyrics that really make her special for me.

“Even if I stop wanting you/a perspective pushes through/I’ll be some next man’s other woman soon.  I cannot play myself again/I should just be my own best friend/Not fuck myself in the head with stupid men.”

She starts the verse off with a strikingly conveyed epiphany (“a perspective pushes through” is personification at its best), and finishes it with that common, crude admonition to herself.  That blend of poised enlightenment and visceral crassness is her trademark, and she somehow manages to do it deftly while still sounding genuine.

This successful blending of voices she employs in so many of her songs creates a speaker who sounds like thousands of real people I could walk outside my door right now and encounter on the street, or stay inside and encounter across the mirror.  And you could posit that that’s no great feat, since the only real person Amy Winehouse seems to model her speakers after is Amy Winehouse.  If writing a hit pop song in your own, real voice without losing lyricality is so simple, though, one wonders why so few songwriters are able to do it.

The chorus of the same song whose verse I used above, by the way, is probably one of my ten favorite lyrics of all time:

“He walks away/The sun goes down/He takes the day/But I’m grown/And in this grey/And in this blue shade/My tears dry on their own.”

It’s a soft kick in the chest every time I hear this song.

What’s especially sad for fans is that — even with all of the cancelled concerts and shenanigans, even with her voice deteriorating in the last couple of years –everybody still secretly believed that she would come back sooner or later with something even more evolved and transcendent than Back to Black.  It just seemed inevitable that all of that talent would triumph in the end.

Two albums are more than enough to qualify her as one of my favorite musicians, though.  Most all of her songs feel like major contributions, you know?


This is me studying for the CPA exam.

The Xs above are lined up along a quarter-mile stretch of Rocky Point Rd., about 40 minutes from my apartment.

If you live on the blue X, your kids will go to high school in North Plains.

If you live on the green X, they will go to high school in Scappoose.

If you live on the red X, your children will go to to high school in downtown Portland.


Easy Fried Mushrooms

Sometimes nothing else will do.

2 cups soy milk

2 cups wheat flour

1/2 cup cayenne pepper

1/4 cup salt

10 oz crimini mushrooms, washed and cut in half

1/8 cup canola oil

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour soy milk into a large mixing bowl.  Mix in about 1/4 cup of cayenne pepper. Dump in mushrooms.  Let soak 3-4 minutes.

Pour flour onto large flat plate.  Add salt and the remaining 1/4 cup of cayenne pepper.  Mix with your hands until salt and pepper are evenly distributed.  Wash hands; that shit burns.

Add oil to skillet.

Dredge soaked mushrooms through flour mixture until fully covered.  Place gently in skillet to discourage oil splatter.  Cover pan with lid.  Wash hands.

Let mushrooms cook about 4 minutes before flipping.  Let cook about 4 more minutes.

Pan-frying these means that you might get a mushy edge here or there, but I don’t really mind that.  If you do, go ahead and deep fry them in a pot.  I’m just too cheap to waste that much oil, though (“HA!” mocks my Dinnertime post from a few inches down the page.)

Serve these absolutely by themselves.  Fried mushrooms possess neither supplement nor compliment.  You don’t really even “serve” them so much as dump them onto a plate and devour them before you even have a chance to carry them over to the kitchen table.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Worst Analogy Ever Attempted in the History of Human Communication

By a board member of a retirement golf community,  in response to my positing that one of her employees was probably stealing inventory:

“You know, maybe we should meet about this face to face.  With email, you can lose…the flavor on the bedpost over night, you know?”

That is absolutely transcribed hand-over-my-heart verbatim. The most meaning I can glean from this is something along the lines of it being difficult to have a complicated, involved conversation via email because you forget what’s going on by the time the person sends you a response email.  This would almost work, except:

1.  In the context of our conversation, what she was actually trying to say was it’s easier to explain your reasoning and get across what your question is when you’ve got vocal inflection and hand gestures at your disposal.

2.  You probably just lost $18,000.  Comparing anything to the subject of a schoolyard sing-a-long jingle is going to make the word ‘inappropriate’ blush.

3.  Jingle’s not even saying that chewing gum loses it’s flavor on the bedpost overnight.  It’s asking whether or not it does.  Answer?  No.  No, it does not.  Your whole basis for comparison has just collapsed.

4. I should probably also mention that putting the same person in charge of purchasing inventory and ringing & recording sales is the equivalent of thrusting an underage hooker with a fist full of Percocet in Fate’s face and politely asking it to resist.

5.  Bobbie Gentry continues to soft rock my world.

This is my go-to song when I realize that I’m still at work two hours later than I said I’d be.