Track list: my mondo ’80s music mix

Been working on this for a week, somewhat obsessively! I DO love to make a nice mixtape.

I got the idea for this one when a 22-year-old friend told me he’d never seen Night Court, the ’90s-era sitcom. I wondered how much else he’d missed out on… I tried to make a nice David Bowie mix for him but it didn’t gel.

Somehow it evolved into this. I’m pleased. Wish I could share the actual music, not just a track list.

I welcome your comments — yes, I was pretty loose about defining ’80s music, which IMO continued into the early 90s. And I know the last track is from 1996! But it fits.

1 Senses Working Overtime – XTC
2 Arc of a Diver – Steve Winwood
3 Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel
4 Girlfriend – Matthew Sweet
5 How Soon Is Now? – The Smiths
6 Desperate But Not Serious – Adam Ant
7 No Myth – Michael Penn
8 Fall on Me – R.E.M.
9 The Boy With the Thorn in His Side – The Smiths
10 The Ghost in You – The Psychedelic Furs
11 Pure – The Lightning Seeds
12 Just Like Heaven – The Cure
13 Spirits in the Material World _ The Police
14 Under Pressure- Queen with David Bowie
15 Don’t Change – INXS
16 Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand – Primitive Radio Gods

How Do You Do It?

I probably do get a lot done, and sometimes people ask me how I do it. I think I’ll point everyone who asks to this blog post.

Here’s how I do it. How do you do it?

advantages I was born with

I am a high-energy and excitable person. Having fun and doing things that matter is like crack to me.

I like working and am naturally busy.

advantages I wasn’t born with

I rise early and work late.

I am good at asking for help and work well with and on a team. I often build teams for what I do. Many hands mean shared work–and new friends and allies.

I cultivate a network of passionate and talented people.

I don’t have kids, a spouse or a boyfriend. (I could really use a wife, though.)

I leave space in my life to do things for free because I want to and I can.

I have easy-care pets.

I cultivate multiple revenue streams.

I am good at managing multiple undertakings at once.

I listen to critics and take haters as a compliment.

I make my home my refuge — it’s warm and comfy, and it smells nice.

I spent years working on what I wanted my life to be. I put myself through college and multiple internships. It cost $40,000 and took six years. IT WAS WORTH IT.

I take risks. I find people who take risks with me.

I dream big. I find people who dream big with me.

I ignore people who tell me I can’t do it. Unless they give perspective and a good reason. Then I listen. But I still make my own judgments, and have seen people make a predicted failure into a smash success. Heart + risk + hard work + help = what can feel like a miracle.

I surround myself with people who share my values (have fun, be real, do what you can to help, etc.)

I preserve my freedom by staying a freelancer. I decide what I do and when and for who.

I recognize the signs of exhaustion and know when to stop.

I do yoga and breathing exercises (BECAUSE I HAVE TO).

I try to eat right (Paleo, Michael Pollan and the Zone have it right — lean meat, tree nuts and plants. The rest is killing you). (BTW balance is also important, IMO. Ice cream is not good for the body but it is good for the soul.)

I try to exercise. A body that is not ruined from being chained to a desk is a body that can do more, and holds a minds that can do more. Invest in your body.

I try to spend time with friends and family.

I try to cultivate an artistic identity.

I get the sleep I need.

Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs Sampler

After James and Chall’s SMASH success concert at the Grey Eagle last night, Asheville is asking: who are the Magnetic Fields?

Here’s a little sample:

my favorite, the wry and resigned I Don’t Want to Get Over You

A favorite of DonMak, and the wedding song of my friends Katie and Laura. A straight-up beautiful love song covered by Peter Gabriel: The Book of Love

The one that NYST just KILLED last night: Washington D.C.

My friend Katie’s (Magnetic Fields maniac) favorite: The Death of Ferdinand de Saussure (Night’s Bright Colors ROCKED IT. Admit it, you picked that section so you could do that song!)

And two more:

Papa Was a Rodeo

Absolutely Cuckoo (done as a duet by Electric Owls last night, what a great idea!)

Don’t fall in love with me yet
We only recently met
True I’m in love with you but
you might decide I’m a nut
Give me a week or two to
go absolutely cuckoo
then, when you see your error,
then, you can flee in terror
like everybody else does
I only tell you this cause
I’m easy to get rid of
but not if you fall in love
Know now that I’m on the make
and if you make a mistake
my heart will certainly break
I’ll have to jump in a lake
and all my friends will blame you
There’s no telling what they’ll do
It’s only fair to tell you
I’m absolutely cuckoo

Women Now Empowered By Everything They Do

From a contest that I just ran across today. Italics mine:

In February women will be crossing the 50% mark and becoming the majorty of the American workforce. In Asheville female influence shines brightly as women have proven to be strong leaders in the local workforce. Asheville’s women are not only artists, mothers, lovers, and business women, they are business owners, and in honor of their success Tressa’s Downtown Jazz and Blues will be hosting a “Girls Night”, celebrating Asheville’s women in business.

Sigh. I see an innocent celebration of achievement, but I also see a writer telling me that it’s a big deal if I am a business owner because I am female. I also seem to live in magical town of superwomen, where women have special permission to be artists, mothers, lovers (lovers????) AND actually even earn a living in business.

I realize I’m letting one weird sentence of a poorly put together site bother me. But it hit a sore spot.

Not that owning your own business isn’t an achievement, no matter your genetics. Not that prejudice against women in the workplace does not exist. I just can’t help but feel that singling out female achievement in this way somehow denigrates the achievement it tries to celebrate.

From the Onion, Women now empowered by everything a woman does : “Only by lauding every single thing a woman does, no matter how ordinary, can you truly go, girls.”

In which I graduate from college, and ask for money

I graduate from college NEXT MONTH! You can give me a graduation gift via PayPal.

Dang, I need it.

It’s taken me six years, but next month I graduate from college with my first undergraduate degree. I put myself through college while living single, rescuing cats, organizing multiple community events, working as a freelance writer, keeping up a yard, keeping up a household, running a group blog, and completing multiple internships in graphic design, science communication and scriptwriting.

In my spare time, I lie on the couch in a heap and breathe deeply.

It’s been worth it.

Part of my college education involved reinventing myself almost from the ground up. I used to be a writer. I still am and will always be. But I am so many other things now (learning photographer, community organizer, group blog admin, grassroots citizen media guru, learning designer, learning science communicator…) that I find myself extraordinarily connected, ready for a next phase in my life…and with almost all my of my revenue streams from my previous life completely gone.

In other words, it’s a scary time for me as a new graduate who despite working relied on loans for years. I’m slowly creating a new career identity, but it takes about six months to build a client base, and I graduate in early December with lots of good ideas and no regular income.

I’ve got ALL MANNER of irons in the fire and am already at work on the four outstanding opportunities I have to freelance again, in new ways. Which was the whole point of the six long, horrible, wonderful years I spent in emotional, financial and intellectual boot camp.

I’ll take hugs and love and friendship if that’s what you’ve got, I truly will, and be thankful for them. But I’m also taking cash!

I’ve worked like a demented pack mule for six years and my long race is almost done. Fate’s graduation present to me is a bad economy, internships that didn’t work out, a housemate who cut out without notice and dumped her pet cat on me, $600 in car repairs, student loans, and a budding career as unsteady and inconstant as it is wonderful.

For my graduation, please donate to me and the cats, we truly need all the help we can get.


Blogapalooza Picks for 2009


It’s that time again! The annual blogger’s ball has gotten a Web 2.0 upgrade to include Tweeters and Facebookers… Plus it’s getting a spooky late start this year: Friday, Oct. 30 at the Pump Gallery in the Phil Mechanic Building, River Arts District.

More on Spookypalooza here.

Vote here:

Here’s my picks for 2009.


Best Food Blog
Oy, a toughie. I need to follow these folks to know who’s really the best of the excellent local food blogs I’ve found.

A previous winner, fabulous foodblogger She Who Eats?
The new kid with great recipes, Yes We Cook!?
Full Gastronomic Tilt?

Damn, Asheville. You are not making this easy.

Best Craft Blog
Loving the crafty blog of local spinner, knitter and art director, Stacey Budge: UrbanGypZ

Most Underrated
Sadly, my 20008 pick remains a best-kept secret: Eatbees Blog

Best Writing
Edgy Mama

Best Overall
The juggernaut: Ashvegas, the hardest-workin’ man in the blog business

Blogger I’d Most Like to Have a Beer With
Bruisin Ales Blog, of course!

Most Likely to Make You Laugh Out Loud
The classic: The Hangover Journals

Best Art/Photos
the wonderful interpretive photography of Zenography

Blogger You’d Most Like to See Naked
I still say What the Hell?, whom I remind everyone that have seen in a red bikini, was robbed in 2007. PixieDyke naked in 2009!

Best Design
A stumper. Suggestions?

Best Local Happenings
I’d say Ashvegas, but BlogAsheville has amped up the events coverage lately, and I love the new weekend roundup feature. And since I, uh, totally shot my mouth off, won’t you please vote for BlogAsheville? PLEASE.

Best Political
It was always ScrooHoo, until head hooligan Gordon’s amazingly successful run for city council (go Gordon!). Now it’s anybody’s game.


Best Mommy Blogger
I don’t follow the mom blogs for obvious reasons. But there are some good ones. Who are you voting for, Asheville?

Most Inspirational
I’m still fond of last year’s winner, the excellent Moon Meadow Farm.

Most in Need of a Redesign
George the Bastard

Best New Blog

Pollinate Asheville. Susanne’s blog is GREAT, I subscribe and am already a big fan. Check her out!


Most Re-Tweetable

Best Hashtags

TMI Tweeter
@lydiasee “Who wants to make out?”

Rising Tweeter

Funniest Tweeter
@bluebarnhouse (Hon. Ment. to @joeyflash, who’s moving to Atlanta.)

Best News Tweets

Tweeter I’d Most Like to Have a Beer With

Tweeter I’d Most Like to See Naked
@pixiedyke !

And overall

Most Sociable on Social Media

The Love of October

photo of WNC mountains taken yesterday by Jose Ibarra

So glad the sun came out. Off to run errands and drink it in. More later.


The Love of October
W. S. Merwin

A child looking at ruins grows younger
but cold
and wants to wake to a new name
I have been younger in October
than in all the months of spring
walnut and may leaves the color
of shoulders at the end of summer
a month that has been to the mountain
and become light there
the long grass lies pointing uphill
even in death for a reason
that none of us knows
and the wren laughs in the early shade now
come again shining glance in your good time
naked air late morning
my love is for lightness
of touch foot feather
the day is yet one more yellow leaf
and without turning I kiss the light
by an old well on the last of the month
gathering wild rose hips
in the sun.