Friday, February 18, 2005

The savior can't act
So exactly when did Keanu Reeves become the official savior of the universe? I recently saw an ad for his new movie, Constantine, and once again he's fighting hell for the gipper. Or for somebody. And I must say, it's beginning to freak me out. Between him being just this side of Christ in the Matrices (because I am too much a lady of quality to misuse my irregular plurals), and this new flick I have to say it's not looking good for the world. Keanu Reeves the man who can change destiny? Density maybe.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Hot baths and favorite old books. Mashed potatoes. Warm chocolate chip cookies and cold milk. Buttermilk biscuits with butter. Classic MGM musicals where everyone lives happily ever after and even the cab drivers know how to dance. Sweats and slippers. Fires. Cocoa. Toast. As Time Goes By on BBC America. Photographs of loved ones. Things that are soft, faded, comfy, warm, and familiar. Homemade chicken soup. French bread and cheese. The music of Louis Armstrong. Clean sheets. Cozy mysteries. Popcorn. Pillows and blankets. Making a nest on the sofa.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

In praise of world music
You may or may not know, or care, that I host a world music radio show on KZSU, the Stanford University radio station. Because of that, I am constantly exposed to new music from all around the world. And all I can say!

Thank god for Sanseverino, a wacky Italian-French gypsy-jazz-pop singer whose CD "Les Senegalaises" was one of my top ten of 2004 and still gets me through the day when things get dreary. Thanks too, to Rachid Taha whose Algerian cover of The Clash's famous anthem "Rock the Casbah," is an ironic hip-shaking rai-groove that is seriously cool. Bless Henri Dikongue (one of my first discoveries), Wassis Diop, Angelique Kidjo, Oliver Mutkutzi, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and all of the wonderful artists out of Africa who don't get nearly the fame they deserve. Bless all those 80 year old "Buena Vista Social Club," guys who keep Cuba dancing. Thanks to Kila for their hypnotic Celtic-world epics. And lets not forget the amazing Native American performers who are (typical of Native Americans, unfortunately) pretty much ignored by the mainstream: Joanne Shenandoah, Robert Mirabal, Bill Miller, Sharon Burch, to name only a few.

If you only listen to mainstream music, do yourself a favor and discover the world. Like Blues? Check out some French Blues? Like hip hop? You might try listening to African or Spanish hip hop. Pop? Hell, the world is full of great pop, rock, jazz, even punk artists.

Please, listen to the world. It wants to be heard.
I give up!
So what I think might be the last nail in the "I want to buy a house" coffin was struck today with this morning's front page headline in the San Francisco Chronicle. "Bay Area home prices increase 20%, sales skyrocket." Oh goodie...Boise, here we come.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Hallmark
Today is Valentine's Day. An entirely retail-created holiday that has little or nothing to do with romance.

Romance is not sending flowers to your loved one because advertising tells you that you must (or else you'll be sleeping on the sofa). Romance is sending flowers just because, or when he or she is having a bad day and could use a little extra love.

I don't know how people can get romantic on demand. Nor do I understand how people can make such a huge thing out of such a manufactured occasion. I know I am loved, not because my husband buys me candy on February 14th, but because he brings me tea when I'm sick. And because we always seem to end up holding hands, even when we're just watching TV.