So, occasionally, when I’m walking down a street that smells like urine, or on a bus that smells like urine, or standing in line behind someone who smells like urine, I try to nurture whatever zen I have left that hasn’t been completely obliterated from years of tupperware-stored rage by imaging myself in my own life movie. A movie where I am a power-hungry collection development librarian who’s successfully using her position at the forefront of mass literacy to quietly and mercilessly eviscerate the 50 Shades of Greys, Twilights, and One-Eyed Dukes Are Wilds (yes, my friends, that is a real book) of the world. A movie where Jeffrey Eugenides, Jennifer Egan, and I frequent a local pub crawling with the literati to reminisce about our first National Book Award. A movie where my first sighting as a warlord is standing in a remote jungle in the Philippines next to a vast and ominous, dark red puddle – soundtracked, of course, by Okkervil River’s “Piratess” (because how perfect are the lyrics, “Oh, murderess in the wilderness with your victims all around you / Their combined love forms a pool your knife’s reflected in”?).
Ah, yes – the soundtrack. Now we’ve come to it. (“It?” you ask. Yes, it – the point of that elaborate first paragraph; the point, in fact, of this entire post! HUZZAH! WE ARE HERE!) It goes without saying that any movie, real or imagined, starring yours truly is going to have a soundtrack developed by none other than this music elitist herself. And it also goes without saying that no movie of my life would be complete without my better-looking half. So, humor me, friends – a movie with me and Boo, would probably go a little something like this:
1. Food me!
Anyone who knows us knows that Boo and I take our dining very, very seriously. The love there may not compare to the love we have for each other, but believe me, it is in the top 3 of our greatest loves of all time. It knows no bounds, no caloric limits, no fears of diabetes or elderly obesity. It has, and will continue to, conquer all. And with a love so passionate and pure, there is no song to celebrate that moment when you and food first lock eyes than this Marvin Gaye classic.
Currently eating: A Mocha Swiss Roll courtesy of my mom, who understands that it is ALWAYS time for dessert in Jayne Land.
Currently listening to: The Black Veil Brides and trying to decide once and for all how I feel about this band. Been hearing good things but haven’t formed a firm opinion yet. Will let all interested parties know by this week’s Mixtape Friday, I’m sure.
Currently wondering: If I should, in fact, pursue a career in human resource management, because my closest compadres have been telling me that it’ll make great use of my excellent managerial skills and my obsession with power – I mean, my love of humanity. Yeah.
Recently watched: The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, consecutively in one sitting. Which is something I’ve never done before despite having seen both films, the latter of which I believe was extremely subpar compared to the former. Anyway, it got me thinking about Prion Disease and how it would’ve added an interesting layer to Hannibal’s character, because then you’d have this cause-and-effect conundrum about whether or not he was insane to begin with and that’s why he gets all cannibalistic, OR if it was all just circumstance (like, say, if he were a surgeon and he just got curious or licked his fingers after surgery and got a taste for it or something fucked up like that) and ingesting human flesh is WHY he’s unhinged. Because this is what I think about on lovely Sunday evenings, guys.
Recently discovered: That it is not a good idea to discuss one’s fascination with the psychological workings of serial killers with just anyone. People spook easily.
Recently agonized over: Finding just the right volume to put my Pandora stations on that won’t give the random advertisements the opportunity to scare the fuck out of me and further my descent into complete deafness.
So, I’ve decided to do something a little different with Mixtape Fridays from now on. Instead of thematic playlists, it’s going to look like this:
For when washing the dishes by hand makes you feel like a pilgrim…
…Hank Williams III’s “Straight to Hell” will make you feel like you’re back to a point and place and in time where dishwashers were just a fetus in the mind’s eye.
Because T and I are living in a tiny, adorable town heavily populated by pick-up trucks, tree houses, porch swings, and extremely relaxed, surprisingly nonchalant deer, I find myself embracing a little bit more country in my usual repertoire of a little too much rock ‘n’ roll. (And not just in music.)
And while I’m not a stranger to the songbooks of country greats like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash (my true blue homeboy – so much so that we even share a birthday!), and can even very often be found blasting the tunes of Hank Williams III, I am still a girl built wall-to-wall with punk and heavy metal. Which is why I find the perfect compromise in Okkervil River, an alternative country/indie-folk group led by singer-songwriter, Will Sheff.
Every song in Okkervil River’s catalog is a direct result of Sheff’s keen attention to language, subtle wordplay, and story-telling prowess. He has, in short, the sensibilities of a poet, and it is precisely that quality that makes Okkervil shine. Consider the following a mere sampling of their genius, and a soundtrack of sorts for my tranquil, rural surroundings.
1. “(Shannon Wilsey on the) Starry Stairs”
Based on the life of the late porn star, Shannon “Savannah” Wilsey, this song is a quiet and, at times, heartbreaking meditation on fame, women in the media, and self-image, all in one brilliant fell swoop. Favorite line: “What a hot half-life I half-lived.”