Tag Archives: music

Turn, Table, Turn

A few weeks back, I’d put in my earbuds and was planning on listening to a podcast while I cleaned the kitchen. Somehow (because, apparently, I don’t know how technology works), I loaded my old Apple Music library instead.

I hadn’t listened to these songs in ages, these relics from back in the days of my old iPod.

The first song made me smile. The next sparked a particular memory. The third was from a playlist I’d created for a long-ago novel. I kept listening even after I’d finished up with the kitchen.

And it struck me—hard. There’s a significant difference between a curated playlist and one generated by an algorithm.

So much so that a few days later, I went out and bought a turntable.

I’d been planning on doing this for a while, but I was hemming and hawing over what to buy. Then I found this little fellow:

It does everything. It plays records, CDs, FM radio. It even has a cassette tape deck. (Somewhere, I still have mix tapes.) And if I really want to, I can stream via Bluetooth. (And I might. See above re: Apple Music library.)

The sound is lovely, and its size is nice and compact. It now lives between the kitchen and the living area, so I can hear it while I’m cooking, then turn the volume down for reading in the evening.

Then I unearthed some actual records. We have more—somewhere—but these are the ones I’ve found so far. An eclectic mix, to be sure. These particular records belonged to my parents. Except for the Sesame Street one. Pretty sure that was mine.

After my surprise Apple Music encounter, I realized that I hadn’t been listening to music lately. I miss it. What I also miss is doing it myself. Streaming is fine (I guess). But sometimes, all you want to do is pull a record from the stack, blow off the dust, and hear the telltale scratch and hiss of the needle before the music plays.

Sometimes, you don’t need perfect.  

1 Comment

Filed under music, Musings

Music Cat says …

You are not done practicing your baritone.

music cat


Filed under The cat

Musical interlude: Ode to Kindle Fire (with apologies to Bruce Springsteen)

I’m browsing on the ‘net, I click on the Add to Cart
I think I should delete, but this is just the start
I say I won’t like it, but you know I’m a liar
‘Cause when we surf
Hmmm, fire

Well late at night, I’m tapping your screen
Well you say I wanna an app, I say free Angry Birds is just mean
I say I don’t love you, but l can’t hide my desire
And when we surf
Ohhh, fire, fire

You had a hold on me right from the start
It’s a grip so tight I couldn’t tear it apart
My nerves all jumpin’ actin’ like a fool
Your graphics they burn, but your case stays cool

Romeo and Juliet, Samson and Delilah
But Kindle you can bet their love they didn’t deny
My words say quit, but my words they lie
‘Cause when we surf
Hmmm, fire, fire

Burnin’ in my soul, my Kindle’s out of control

So. Do I love my Kindle Fire? Yes, yes I do. I wasn’t sure I was going to like the back-lit e-reader vs. e-ink, but so far I think I’ve actually been reading more, not less. Of course, being able to adjust the brightness helps.

Oh, and streaming content? Yes, please. Right now, I’m working through all of Ken Burns’s documentaries. (Civil War first to complement the War Through the Generations reading challenge.)

And I can check my email, go on Facebook, and, and, and …

And … check out the book between Pasta and Tina Fey. Could it be Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay? Why, yes. I think it is. See, even the 2009 Debs are on fire.


Filed under 2009 Debs, Books, Misc, music, Reading, Video

Musical Interlude: Strings and Clocks

The First Time Trivia: Although I don’t mention the song the cafeteria string quartet is playing in my story The Trouble With Firsts, I spent a lot of time listening to Vitamin String Quartet trying to find the perfect one.

Didn’t know there was such a thing as a cafeteria string quartet? Well, the answer to the why and how is somewhere in The Trouble With Firsts.

Leave a comment

Filed under 2009 Debs, Books, music, Promo, Reading & Writing, Video, Writing, YA

Conversations with my son


[INT. SUV, weekday morning, on way to school]

Son: Mom, is this the real life?

Mom: Or is this just fantasy?

Son: I’m caught in a landslide.

Mom: You know what? There’s really no escape from reality.

Son: Open your eyes.

Mom (pointing): Look up to the skies and see.

Son: I’m just a poor boy

Mom: You need no sympathy

Son: Because I’m easy come, easy go

Mom: Little high, little low.

Son: Any way the wind blows

Mom: Doesn’t really matter to me

Son (dramatic): To me!


Daughter: What are you guys talking about?


1 Comment

Filed under Kids, music, Video

Nerd news

Around the web this week, in case you missed it:

Great blog post by literary agent Nathan Bransford on the television show Lost and the High Narrative Price of WTF. And if that title doesn’t tempt you, I don’t know what will. Good message for writers–good message for all of us.

In Nerd News: Remember Windows 3.1? Or maybe you’ve never even seen Windows 3.1 (!). Why not take a stroll down virtual memory lane with the Windows 3.1 online emulator. Prepare yourself for a visual shock, and while you’re there, you can even play Mine Sweeper. (Go on, click through. You know you want to.)

And what post would be complete without a YouTube video. From the fine, fine people who brought us Do You Wanna Date My Avator comes this new music video:

1 Comment

Filed under Misc, music, Video

In which Van Halen (almost) makes me drive into the garbage can

First, let me tell you about the best thirteen dollars I’ve ever spent.

For Christmas, I bought Andrew a stand for his electric guitar. I don’t know what it is about having it out and perched on its stand, but he plays it all the time now. Maybe pulling the guitar from its case is simply too arduous, or it’s merely a case of out of sight, out of mind.

Guitar stand = best impulse gift idea ever.

Plus, guitar on stand looks really cool in our living room (yes, the living room; we’re informal, at best). I keep expecting Mick Jagger, Ric Ocasek, or Billie Joe Armstrong (pick your era—or in my case, it’s all three) to stroll in at any moment because the guitar looks so awesomely cool just sitting there.

I can hardly stand it.

Anyway, Andrew is a real classic rock kind of kid. He knows the opening to Smoke on the Water, and Sunshine of Your Love. Naturally, once he learns Stairway to Heaven, the trifecta will be complete.

So given this, it wasn’t all that strange when, on the way back from guitar lessons, the conversation turned to Van Halen.

Andrew: Mom, do you know this Van Halen song? It goes Na na na na Na Na.
Me: Is it Jump? Na, Na na na na na Na Na na na na.
Andrew: No, that isn’t it.
Me: Panama? Na na na Na na na na na na
Andrew (sighing): It doesn’t sound like that at all. It’s Na na na na Na Na.

I ran through my (admittedly) limited repertoire of Van Halen songs (and is it really a Van Halen song when they were fronted by Sammy Hagar? Or was David Lee Roth the worst thing to happen to Van Halen. Discuss on your own.).

Me (trying again): Well, can you remember any words?
Andrew: Actually, I’ve never heard a Van Halen song.
Me: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We were in the driveway at this point, and OMG, y’all, I nearly drove into the garbage can.

Me (after a deep breath): Why are we having this conversation?
Andrew (after a giggle): Long, convoluted explanation involving a rerun episode of My Name is Earl.
Me: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Andrew: And Mom, you really don’t know how to Na na na a song.
Me: I’m revoking your TV privileges.

1 Comment

Filed under Kids, Misc, music

Debs 09 Music giveaway

Jordyn over at Ten Cent Notes has put together two playlists based on 2009 debut novels.


  1. Glamorous – Fergie (Exclusively Chloe, by J.A. Yang)
  2. Breathe – Taylor Swift (Breathing, by Cheryl Renee Herbsman)
  3. The Not-So Pretty Princess – Jude (My Big Nose, by Sydney Salter)
  4. The Reason – Hoobastank (The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading, by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance)
  5. Love Like This – Natasha Bedingfeild (Shrinking Violet, by Danielle Joseph)
  6. Anti-Pop – Matthew Good (Cracked Up to Be, by Courtney Summers)
  7. Just Like Heaven – The Cure (This Is What I Want to Tell You, by Heather Duffy-Stone)
  8. California Stars – Wilco (20 Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler)


  1. Anyone at All – Carole King (The Espressologist, by Kristina Springer)
  2. In-Between Days – The Cure (Flash Burnout, by L.K. Madigan)
  3. Little Boxes – The Shins (Candor, by Pam Bachorz)
  4. Love Story – Taylor Swift (Prada & Prejudice, by Mandy Hubbard)
  5. Over My Head – The Fray (Lipstick Apology, by Jennifer Jabaley)
  6. Make Your Own Kind of Music – Cass Elliot (The Secrets of Truth & Beauty, by Megan Frazer)
  7. Mario Kart Love Song – Sam Hart (The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading, by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance)
  8. Time Turned Fragile – Motion City Soundtrack (Break, by Hannah Moskovitz)

And between now and the 15th, you can win one of these playlists–all for a comment. So, hurry on over.

I’m pretty psyched Geek Girl is on both playlists. I think Mario Kart Love Song must be Darcy’s contribution (either that, or I was contributing in another dimension–cuz I don’t remember suggesting that song).

The Reason by Hoobastank is my contribution, and it’s the song I associated with Geek Girl’s Guide. Well, that and it’s fun to say Hoobastank. Go on. Try it.

Anyway, Geek Girl never had a full playlist. There’s a few songs that I when I hear them, I’ll think of Geek Girl, but The Reason is the song. Every time it came on the radio, I’d take that as a good omen: it meant: I should write/revise/query and so on.

So … enjoy. And be sure to enter Jordyn’s contest.


Filed under 2009 Debs, Books, Contests, Geek Girl's Guide, Video

Beethoven’s 5th Symphony for the Guitar Hero crowd

Just because I’m writing a scene called “music on Sundays.” This seemed to fit. Enjoy!

1 Comment

Filed under Video, Writing