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Oh holy jesus. Deep breaths. I…um… wow.

From the new shop’s newsletter that went out today (not written by me!) (*hyperventilates into a bag*):

“Not only knowledgeable about wine, Colleen is also recognized as an authority on beer. She has a wide understanding of all aspects of beer – from the brewing process, proper storage and serving, food pairings, and much more. You can find her in the shop on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Already, she has assembled a new collection of beers from the top local breweries that are popping up in the mid-Atlantic region.”

“Beer Tasting from 3:30 – 5:30. Colleen will pour 4 craft brews for your enjoyment. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy fine beer and Colleen’s expert commentary. She will explain the role that ingredients and brewing processes have in creating the many aromas and flavors in beer. (!!!!! -ed) Plus, she will answer any of your questions on how to match beer with food.”

Don’t worry. Only my commentary is expert. The rest of me will be all “O_O”
So, um…that’s how MY week went.
I am floored, flattered, terrified. I…omg.


Continuing to pull myself to pieces reading MCA tributes.

After such a numb winter, this week….man. I’m not sure what to make of it.

I have a hard time sitting through an entire Siouxsie album at this point, but would still like to enlist her as my crazy aunt-once-removed.

I’m usually OK with, if not a fan, of well-done covers. But any cover of this just leaves me feeling ripped off.

…pretty much sums up my week so far.

I love this picture of her so much, I need to stash it somewhere more permanent.

The more time she spends with me, the more she becomes the hilarious introverted embodiment of my spirit. At night, she gets cranky and tired and naps facing the wall until everyone goes to bed. She’s taken lately to sitting in front of my bedroom door like a Chinese guardian lion until I fall asleep.

Actually she’s in the exact same place/position as in the picture at this very moment, fu cat-style.

There’s a point, between the last quarter of the first cup of coffee and the first quarter of the second, where my system is flooded with inspiration, positive motivation, …some weird other-worldly light, for lack of a better description. It fades quickly, but man, if I could harness that even 10 hours out of every day, I wonder how my life would’ve turned out.

Or maybe that’s just why people get addicted to cocaine. Hmm.

It’s Placebo season

…more often than not.

I wrapped up a no sugar, no dairy, no alcohol, no grains, no bullshit “fast” yesterday, and am wading through the sugar/grain rampage hangover today (currently trying to soak up some of the poison with some freshly roasted sweet potatoes). While the indulgence last night was worth it and enjoyable, it didn’t taste nearly as good as I wanted it to. And I think that’s good.

Takeaways: The only stuff that tastes good anymore is the stuff that came out of the ground–not in a high and mighty self-righteous way…I’m pretty surprised at the change. When I did a similar month of this in 2009, but included fruit, it didn’t have quite the same effect on my taste buds. I’m happy to have wine and the occasional beer back in my life, but quality over quantity has definitely been underscored. I’m definitely preferring being fast and clear-of-head to convenience eating. I still would like a little heavy cream in my coffee here and there, and man, I am WAY excited for summer vegetable season.

If only Brian Warner had just stayed Brian Warner.

Stuck in my head lately.

I may be completely MIA from this blog at the moment, but I couldn’t let 2011: Year of WTF? go by without a wrap-up. How can I even begin to summarize the past 12 months? Last January, I knew my life would take drastic turns this year, but I never could’ve imagined. My apologies if this comes out kind of stream-of-consciousness style.

In February, I lost one of the loves of my life in a freak car accident, and felt emotionally set adrift for the majority of the year. In April, I left the corporate grind, completely and dramatically, and packed up the entirety of my life for the second time in 8 months to move an hour west to the middle of a field…and I worked. REALLY worked, for the first time in a long time. In July I then lost my grandmother–the grounding, sane foundation of the otherwise insane maternal side of my family. The world continued to send its reminder: nothing is promised but the fact that it all will end. Live now, not later.

I reconnected with running and finally figured out why workouts in the gym never felt like enough: it’s the outdoors, stupid. (I did not renew my gym membership.) I read the entire Harry Potter series, frantically planted kale on the back of a transplanter at 8:15 at night, tried $300 caviar, and deepened my love affair with the art of beer and cooking. I vowed, when the farming season was over, to not take a job that prevents being outside at least 4 days of the week. This has been possibly the most important improvement in my life so far.

I’ve learned an incredible amount about vegetables, physicality, wine, cheese, personal customer service and business structure from some incredibly unlikely places. I’ve been constantly reminded of the Apache Relay lyric, “Home is not places, it is love.” So here’s to 2012, making all this knowledge and change work together, and never forgetting to live. What. A Fucking. Year.

1. Firsts this Year:

  • There’s 800,000 of these, easily. Living in a house with snakes?
  • Driving multiple F-150s
  • Crashing a golf cart through a creek (repeatedly)
  • Harvesting garlic, turnips, kale, rhubarb, chard, lettuces, potatoes, beans, beets, everything
  • Finding a grasshopper, blister beetle, ticks, johnson grass, rocks, a small potato etc. in my pants
  • Launching watermelons off the back of a truck to watch them explode on the ground
  • Logging 10+ hour days of work without once seeing a computer screen
  • Being paid and consulted as a beverage expert

2. Song for 2011
I guess it’d have to be Apache Relay – Home is Not Places. But Eddie Vedder’s Hard Sun and Necro Facility’s Explode are close seconds.

3. Movie for 2011
Heh, the last Harry Potter, man!

4. Restaurant of the Year
Magnolias At the Mill kept me sane through one of the hottest Julys on record and provided hockey broadcasts when I was in need. Go see Morgan at the bar for some delicious brews.

5. Book of the Year
George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (almost done with Book 3…must…finish….)

6. TV Show of the Year
Game of Thrones. Though Hell on Wheels is giving it a run for its money in the off-season.

7. Best Decision of the Year
Deciding to do whatever it takes financially to cut the corporate rope.

8. Bad Idea That Seemed Like A Good Idea At the Time
Many nights out at the Black Cat. Ugh.

9. Best Relationship of 2011

Carrie/Matty/Chris – my DC support crew trifecta, as was true for 2010. Though Ms. Mollie Z, my co-farmhand this summer, is a close contender to make it a er, quad-fecta?

10. Most Memorable “WTF?” Moment of 2011
Having my birthday vacation almost wiped out for the second year in a row by a hurricane. (We’re no longer going to the beach for my birthday.)

11. Newcomer of the Year Award
Mollie Z, Stacey & Casey and the rest of the farm crew. Much love.

12. Low Point of the Year
Late July was pretty ugly. Mid-February a close second.

13. Biggest Change of the Year


14. Plans/Goals for Next Year
Stability. Maine. More hiking. More $$ saving.

15. High Point of the Year
Hard to name just one. Many a Twin Peaks & cherry pie weekend, many a hockey & couch & beer night, many a farm happy hour / beer o’clock.

16. New Year’s Resolution(s)
No resolutions. Just forward motion.

I miss music. Good thing I have this new beer job to keep me company.

I will return! For now… 65 hour retail weeks. Ooof. (oh right, I need to update that Aboot page.)

In the meantime there’s new Skinny Puppy, new Florence + The Machine (holy crap If Only For a Night!), and poking around the new Ulver album/EP that came out in May that I somehow missed (and thus revisiting the weirdness of Blood Inside. 2005?! Seriously? Man…I am getting old fast. Somebody stop this crazy train.)

It’s also late fall/winter which means lots…and lots…of Bauhaus. She’s in Parties shuffled on in the car on the way home from work tonight and between the weekday night and the rain and the fall weather, I missed Dharma coffeehouse circa ’94 something FIERCE. Damn. Had a strong and sudden urge to drive to old town Fairfax and do 2 hours of Western Civ homework while smoking 555s. I miss you, Dharma.

Back again! Let’s get to it.

Boris – Just Abandoned Myself
This album is a good dose of everything + mid 90s punk circa ’05. Or something.

Amerie – 1 Thing
I warned you about the suddenly-having-access-to-everything-ever-bought-via-iTunes thing. (What happened to this chick?) (I forgot about the pantsless era of the 00s)

Warren G – Regulate
I seriously heard this on the radio last week. Just the first few notes makes me smirk.

Spank Rock – Rick Rubin
This album took me a while to warm up to but man I still love it.

Santi(o)gold – You’ll Find a Way (Switch & Sinden Remix)
Reminds me of Luisa and Laura screaming in the car in LA. Brings the LOLz.

Alias & Tarsier – Sleepy

Oh man! Blast from the past. This show was awesome.

“I live on the right side and sleep on the left, that’s why everything’s gotta be Love or Death.”

(driving wet, back country roads home with lightning and thunder in the distance, to this track = pretty fantastic)

(I do sleep on the left.)

Wyclef Jean – Gone ’til November
See you must understand, I can’t work a 9 to 5…so I’ll be gone…til November.

…which of course leads to…
Fugees – Ready or Not
There’s a great video for this but…uh…screw Vevo. Anywhere you go, my whole crew gonna know.

Pascow – Alles Muss Kaputt Sein
This is here purely to underscore why you shouldn’t iTunes while drunk. “What is…why do I own this?”

INXS – What You Need

Because I took three beers to the face rapidly after a long, long day of heavy manual labor and it’s moving me. Literally.

Big Country – Big Country

What plays in my head riding in the back of the F-150 lately while we drive out to the fields in the morning with all the leaves changing. (There’s a great video for this that was on MTV all the time, but I can’t find it. Boo.)

Project Pitchfork – Song of the Winds
I sometimes chant this under my breath when I’m tired of weeding and desperately want it to rain so I can go home. Truth.

The Cure – A Forest (Jumping Someone Else’s Train) (Plainsong) (The Walk)
I’ve been inexplicably spending time with Mixed Up…which led back to originals…which…etc

Wolves Like Us – Secret Handshake
This band is still everything right about 90s alternative. And Norway. And unfortunately not on youtube.

The National – Anyone’s Ghost

Saul Williams – List of Demands
Can’t get away from Saul. If you ain’t dead then sing along.

Pearl Jam – State of Love and Trust
This is only on here because I saw some recent band was covering it and was all weirded out, “that song came out less than 10 years ago…jerkwads.” Oh…’92 you say? Oh. Yeah. Hmm. 20 years eh?

Which then lead to the movie Singles, which lead to..
Soundgarden – Face Pollution
There is nothing like plowing through traffic to this track.

I couldn’t let ALL of September go by without a Six. Whew!

White Lies

It’s officially Fall, which means if you don’t like heavy music, you may want to ignore my blog until May or June. Now, that we have that out of the way…

Wolves Like Us – Deathless
Something is….off about this album. Which, I’m sure, is why I like it. This is what you get when Norwegians who like The Afghan Whigs write metal…or something. The “Shiver in the Heat” track off this album has an almost-Pegboy feel. Crazy.

Florence & the Machine – Shake it Out
Blows Arcade Fire’s own sound out of their own water. Florence owns you.

White Lies – A Place to Hide

Also check out the KCRW in-studio of this… it still amazes me that he just…SOUNDS like that when he opens his mouth. They’re like…12. Ok, 19. Ok, 21.

Mastodon – The Ruiner
They’re not 12. And I’m sure a lot of longtime fans hate the new album. That’s unfortunate, and they should give me their tickets to the 11/27 show. Cheers! Alright!

Spank Rock – Energy
Spank Rock is totally ridiculous. But I hope the crazy train keeps going. Runner up: Nasty. You nasty.

The Head & The Heart – Down in the Valley
Just to keep you on your toes. This has been the farmstand soundtrack this week…I dig the time signature changes. (Hat tip: M. Watts. Have mercy on our rough and rowdy ways, indeed.)

Man. Serious work ish after normal work hours this week. But I will not be deterred. Forsooth! The Six was written by last Sunday! But alas, it’s been sitting handwritten on my table.

I admit that you certainly need to be in a mood for most of this week’s six. I’ve been in that mood it seems. We’re taking a hard left here.

Hey, That Guy's Not Chinese?
The Association – Along Comes Mary
I grew up listening to The Association in a passive way thanks to my father, but I had no idea how effing weird they were until I saw this “live” version of Along Comes Mary. The song is strangely syncopated and unique for the era. Groovy, man.

The Buckinghams – Kind of a Drag
One of those weird-ass multiple-hit producer wonders the 60s produced. They were asked to change their name to something “more British” due to Beatles Mania…hence, The Buckinghams. You know, a bunch of dudes from Chicago. Not awkward. This song is the strangest collision of 50s doo-wop and 60s mod/slang that it totally fascinates me for some reason.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Running Down a Dream

This has been popping up on the radio a lot when we’re tooling around in the trucks at work. Tom Petty has really grown on me in the last 10 years.

Simon & Garfunkel / The Bangles – Hazy Shade of Winter
I love this song. I may like the Bangles cover better. I think it’s my #1 karaoke choice. (whoa, that chick from The Lost Boys was in Less Than Zero? Huh.)

Snap – The Power (of Bhangra)
I went to look up this song for reasons that are surely strange (but I don’t remember at this point) and found a bhangra remix. Oh Snap, so ahead of your time. (Holy SHIT the flat top! Wow.)

Ella Fitzgerald – Summertime
I somehow went from my 60s wormhole to Porgy & Bess. I have no idea where that leap happened but…love this track. The progression of 30s weird-ass opera to jazz mainstay to Sublime bastardizing the melody/lyrics kind of boggles my mind.

“If 6 were 9, I’d lose my mind. Yeah I’d go crazy for ya all the time.” Oh, Chemlab. You DC kids, you. (Cheers to Jared, who’s looking a lot saner and healthier than many of his compatriots these days. Still batshit crazy though.)

I DIGRESS! Chemlab is not on the six!

Geoff Tate (Queensryche) – Chasing Blue Sky
Man, I’m confused. I have this song because it’s on a Geoff Tate solo album that I bought a few years ago in LA. Now the internet is trying to tell me it’s only on a Queensryche greatest hits album. …Internet cover-up conspiracy?! They’re playing the 930 tonight. Once again, I am missing it, as I have for 20 years. CURSES.

Placebo – Infra Red (Live from Nimes)
I really prefer this version. It sounds heavier and thicker than the album version.

NIN – Perfect Drug
I don’t remember particularly liking this when it came out, but it marks a particularly vivid part of my life, and has grown on me substantially in passing years. (Wow, this video is somehow very Harry Potter before there was Harry Potter. Huh, and I guess Trent finally got the asian girl he always wanted. Interesting.)

Killing Joke – European Super State
It just makes me laugh. Have a beer with me and The Outre Girl some night, and we’ll explain.

Wolfsheim – Kissing the Wall
This track makes me think of driving to Christmas dinner in the snow (?) and driving aimlessly around the VA Tech campus on winter nights looking for parking. Ha. OK I guess that doesn’t sound so great… but I it’s the “cold” memory associations that has me listening lately. Seeing these guys in the rain at night, standing on a hilltop in Germany…still one of my top 5 shows ever. I could listen to Peter Heppner sing the phonebook. I can’t describe it.

Peter sings me the phonebook. Part I.

The Folk Implosion – Natural One
I know nothing, zero about this band. I just like this track. Always have.

I hopped in one of the farm trucks the other day with a co-worker, and we took off for the far fields, bumping along the road by the compost and broken-down trucks while the beginning of Tool’s Schism played on the radio. After about 30 seconds of it, she grabbed for the dial saying, “well…that’s depressing.”

I mean, I get that. Sure, it sounds like dark, dirgey music. I can see how someone would prefer to always listen to upbeat, faster tempo music. It “sounds happier.” But I’ve never seen it that way.

As a kid learning piano, I was fascinated the first time I was introduced to a minuet in a minor key. To six year old me, yes–it sounded scary, but in this amazing, beautiful, powerful way. It wasn’t scary-movie music, it just sounded intense and real, instead of frivolous and springy. I’ve always felt that way. Heavy, booming basslines, minor keys, huge drums with tons of reverb…it doesn’t sound depressing, it sounds like energy. Like passion and drama and excitement. Sure, I love the Lightning Seeds – Pure, but Project Pitchfork – Conjure gives me goosebumps to this day.

Today my head subjected me to “Tarragon City” and “Dirty Beets”. I swear to god, I don’t think about these things…they just pop into my head. I’m as baffled as you.

“Take me down to the tarragon city
Where the herbs are fresh
And the leaves are pree-tay”

“Dirty Beets!
Don’t. come. cheap.
Dirty Beets.
Don’t. come. cheap.
Dirty Beets!
Don’t. come. cheap.
Dirty beets and they don’t come cheap.
Diiirrrtay beets and they don’t come cheap.”

Feel free to complete the rest of the lyrics. I didn’t get that far.

I have 3 weeks, 3 days until my annual epic summer birthday beach vacation in Avon, N.C.

Last year was evacuated and cut short due to Hurricane Earl. Happy 30th! Now go home.

Dear Universe, I am working hard. I am feeding the people. You owe me. I demand sub-90 temperatures immediately, and a tropical-system-free 31st birthday later. (I don’t ask much.)

I’ll figure all that bill shit out later. Let’s do this.

Man these take me forever. Need to get the Spotify crankin’.
As you may have read, I’ve been revisiting a lot of “comfortable” music for playlists for the farmstand. The whole task is kind of cracking me up.

Appleseed Cast – Ceremony
This band and This Will Destroy You meld together in my head into one big discography of epic awesomeness. I’m PISSED I’ve still never seen either live, despite both having played the El Rey while I lived walking distance from it. BAH!

Black Flag – TV Party

It still makes me laugh that there’s a video for this track. Officially approved by me as music to sell vegetables to. I may have also on occasion left the mix that this is on on at the end of my shift to “musicbomb” the next worker. I can neither confirm nor deny.

Oasis – Morning Glory

This track pops in my head often as I weed. I do not remember that being the video… weird. Maybe there were two versions? PS: Man I have a weird love/hate relationship with Oasis. Stupid top 40 radio.

Team Sleep – Blvd Nights

The first time I listened to this album in entirety, I was driving through Agoura Hills, CA at sunset on the way to a party. Seriously epic.

Portishead – Glory Box

“Dummy” has been on my ‘stand playlist. Kind of an interesting back drop. Weird fact: someone wrote me a long love letter once while listening to this album, quoting this track. Kind of strange to think about now. Back when men remembered how to use pens and stamps. 😉

Adele – Best For Last
A recently heartbroken friend got me thinking about this track, and some seriously brutal nights it got me through. So good.

Er… yeah. I mean… I grew up here, and I’ve lived through some shit. And I’ve been to some corners of the earth. And I’ve driven through the Mojave Desert and Death Valley and Arizona in August (and vacationed in Las Vegas in August) but…

Dude…. it’s hot. Did I mention the farmhouse doesn’t have A/C? It’s hard to breathe. Send more popsicles.

Even the full-blast A/C at Magnolia’s didn’t feel colder than warm-room temperature. Oof.

(But yes, I’d still take it over LA’s June Gloom. Thanks for asking.)

Somewhat related to Farm Wisdom, there’s Field Songs.

Even though there’s usually 3-4 of us in a field doing whatever at any given moment, fields are large, after all, and there’s usually long stretches of silent solitude. I usually spend this time cursing whatever I’m harvesting, thinking about sleep and/or lemonade, or willing hellfire to rain from the skies and destroy all gnats, but when I’m not doing one of those three things, I’m replacing the lyrics to well-known songs in my head with more farm-centric lyrics.

Two recent favorites:
“SquashPants Buttrot”
Squash gets this thing we call butt rot–it’s when the end of the squash where the squash blossom was starts to prematurely rot and take out half the squash. Hence, butt rot. Also, when harvesting squash, the blossom end 85% of the time is somewhat gooey, requiring you to clean up the squash. Usually all you have to do this…is your pants. Hence, squash pants. Just add someone talking about SpongeBob earlier, and my head gives you: “Who lives in a bush that’s bigger than meeeeee SQUASHPANTS BUTTROT! Long and cylindrical, gooey is he SQUASHPANTS BUTTROT!” etc.

Bean Beetle Paradise
Green/string beans grow on small bushy plants that are LOVED by these electric yellow fuzzy bugs called Mexican Bean Beetles. As I was harvesting beans today, one of the plants was effing COVERED in them, which prompted without warning from my conscious mind: “been living most our lives livin’ in a bean beetle paradise. No beans for you next Fri, livin’ in a bean beeeee-tle paradise”

Also, somewhat related, it’s incredibly odd to be walking around the Purcellville Giant when the Ghostbusters theme comes on over the muzak system and literally no one reacts. Did someone accidentally dial in the Halloween station? So weird. “You’re shopping for beer eh? BUSTIN’ MAKES ME FEEL GOOOOOD!”

So weird.


This Will Destroy You – Grandfather Clock

This is another track that I go through yearly cycles with. Reminds me of odd rainy days during LA winters.

Estelle – Magnificent
Love Estelle. This is a summer driving song.

Rocky Votolato – The Night’s Disguise
My eyes uncontrollably leak when he plays this, and Makers, live. And I am not that girl. Another driving-home-from-the-Troubadour-howling-at-the-top-of-my-lungs track.

Bad Brains – Hired Gun
A friend recently mentioned that i against i was his favorite album. I agree.

Apparat and Ellen Allien – Leave Me Alone
“Too many messages…. on my phone…. leave me alone.”

Death Cab for Cutie – Title and Registration
Well, I have a hard time listening to Rocky without thinking of this track/album.

Bonus: Necro Facility – Waiting For the Snow
Because I am. Oh… I am. This isn’t on youtube? This… baffles me.

Desperately missing my LA crews over the last few weeks. Where do these stupid waves of emotion come from? The grass-is-always-greener aspect to my life has always frustrated me. I just want all the love & awesome in one place. And to catch a show at Hotel Cafe after a wine tasting at SLW, then swing by Shane’s place on Yucca for some cheap beer while we berate each other over musical nonsense and figure out who will bring us thai food.

But I still wouldn’t drive to Long Beach. Shit is far.

So, the funny thing about farms, is that when you picture one, I’m sure you picture what I do: huge expanses of lush fields…. as far as the eye can see. You know…FLAT. Kansas.

Our farm is not flat. Basically, the shop area and barn sits in the middle, and it’s uphill out of the area, both ways. To the south, it’s over a bridge, around a corner and up a gentle slope through the deer fence to the compost fields and the BIG fields. To the north though, towards the greenhouse and farm stand, you go up one steep hill, down the other side, across a creek and then back up a seriously steep, graveled hill.

The gravel is just an illusion of traction.

When it’s bone dry, you still have to learn tactics about how to get the various F-150s the farm has up these hills. There’s speed strategy, and steering strategy, and acceleration timing. When it rains? You know, like today, this all goes to shit.

After climbing 3/4s of the north hill towards the greenhouse today I became irreparably stuck. I had already reversed almost all the way into the creek to try and get some traction on the gravel, to no avail. I had to be towed backwards by tractor, across the creek, back up the hill, back into the shop area. …I do not recommend this.

The lesson here kids, is this: When it’s raining? Take the damn golf cart.

I’ve been a little nostalgic lately. What of it?

Spahn Ranch – Locusts (THERE’S A VIDEO FOR LOCUSTS?! Er…. skip that. Yikes.) / Vortex (AGGGH PAPYRUS FONT!)
Nostalgia. Can we all go out to a club night soon please? *destroys a dark corner of the dance floor*

Black Angels – Black Grease
Love this track. Wish the band didn’t create such a hippie drum circle cluster-f live. Bleargh.

Skinny Puppy – Morter
The opening sample from this track popped into my head earlier this week. And obviously, the discussion of Necro Facility over the past month has caused a lot of Skinny Puppy/ OMGNOTSKINNYPUPPYDIEINAFIRE discussion to surface. *shrug* Good memories tied to this album.

Machines of Loving Grace – Golgotha Tenement Blues
DAMN, I miss Machines of Loving Grace. The internet did not get awesome enough fast enough to save them from oblivion. A sadder wikipedia has never been had. (ok not really) Arizona? Really?

Helmet – Milktoast

I may be listening to The Crow soundtrack. WHATOFIT. The release of The Crow colors my early adolescence (and the year I met many of you) heavily. This is where you are now either a) appalled at my youth b) appalled at my grotesque age. (Is no one else ever the same age as me?) PS: I miss Helmet.

Cee-Lo featuring Pharrell – The Art of Noise

If this doesn’t make you groove, something is wrong with you. Always makes me smile.

My grandmother is dying, very rapidly, and I’m guessing I’ll be heading to PA soon. It feels kind of like the world is coming apart at the seams and sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing out here. Love feels very far away lately and I wish I could just give everything to everyone.

I just want you all to be OK. We work SO hard to just be happy and safe… but they’re the hardest things in life to hold.

…then again, when does it not?

Depeche Mode – Precious
I played this song to death when it came out, probably because it sounds so good in headphones, but got sick of it for years. It suddenly popped into my head the other day in the field — brain has decided it is acceptable again?

Necro Facility – Fall Apart
Due to an unrelenting internet “omgwtfbbqsogood!” campaign of the old skool club kids-side of my acquaintances, I finally gave this album a listen. After hearing this track in my car, I understood. I hate my friends. Just…bear with it through the first verse. And listen in headphones. ***I WILL NOT DEFEND IT..IT’S GOOD AND YOU LIKE IT. SHUT UP. *dances in circles*

Led Zeppelin – Immigrant Song
I’m sure it started with the cover in the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trailer, but this has been back in my head. Especially while weeding/listening to Necro Facility / thinking about Swedes / Game of Thrones.

Genesis – Land of Confusion
This popped into my head out of nowhere recently. Damn it’s a good song. (You’ve all seen the video if you’re over 28 – Ronald Reagan mask? – Here’s the live version… it’s great!)

Steve Perry – Oh Sherry
I am the only person on this farm that would be sorting “O’Henry” variety sweet potato slips and get this stuck in my head. I may be a child of the 80s. Maybe. (holy video, batman)

Therapy? – Turn

Work got rained out today, so I have zero excuse. I even had it written out for last night but then had to make some killer green beans and shallots for a sudden farmer potluck (I guess this is one of those things you get used to living in a farm community?). More on that awesomeness later.

New Order – Turn My Way
This CD sifted out of a pile of CDs crammed in a bag from my move back from LA. Someday I will have a (paisley)house and this stuff will stop happening. BUT! It was a great soundtrack for cruising around running errands this weekend.

Assemblage 23 – Light

I can only handle A23 in short bursts, but was recently reminded of the awesomeness of this track. Great for running. GOD I MISS RUNNING. Have to make that happen on Sunday. *note to self*

The National – Afraid of Everyone

I mean… I kind of am.

Click Click – Did You Get What I Want?
Someone said something very close to the title of this song last week and it immediately started playing in my head. I listened to the album again during a really loud thunderstorm earlier this week and had to chuckle at my high school goth-ness. Have always liked the horror movie soundtrack-quality of this CD.

Ani DiFranco – Going Once
Discovered this song in college and routinely forget about it for years at a time, only to become re-obsessed with it.

Nada Surf – Killians Red

I really shouldn’t be allowed to drink wine and listen to this. But it’s been happening more often than I’d like to admit.

May 18th Bonus:
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
RIP Ian. Both of you.

Evidently Starz has not grasped the concept of the internet even for their cable subscribers, thus I cannot watch Camelot in entirety online, THUS…. you get some pictures! Hooray!

My new office (morning, day 1):

One of the tractors with the transplanter on the back, where I spent the entirety of Wednesday:

(Two people sit in the little chairs with the plants in front of them in racks, and as the tractor drives forward, it punches holes in the ground into which the people insert plants, etc.)

This is just your added bonus:

I have the entirety of the weekend off, which will be very rare. I took advantage of it by sleeping until *NINE* this morning (blasphemy!), making cinnamon rolls and coffee for breakfast, spending the entire day getting my room situated and fully unpacked (and vacuuming up the ever proliferating hay, grass and soil on the floor) and then making far, far too much dinner from the bountiful goodness that’s overtaking the counters in our kitchen.

I went grocery shopping this morning, which would normally be a non-event, but the only grocery store close to us is Giant in Purcellville. I’m already somewhat weirded-out by huge mega-shopping marts, but adding the fact that I now live fairly isolated on a farm brings a whole new dimension. Going there, I feel like a strange woodland beast that’s escaped into civilization–wandering in in my fleece with flecks of mud on it, a huge knife in my pocket, crazy unkempt hair and muddy boots. I darted around the store with my eyes kind of wide, collecting what would appear to be a very strange assortment of goods to the random passerby. I did not have a discount card.

But now I have cinnamon rolls and lemonade. *burp*

I love dibbling. After back-breaking hours of detail work, nothing is more refreshing than JAMMING a sharp stake into the earth over and over again. “Screw you GROUND. And your ROCKS. And your endless football fields of WORK. *JAM*”

I guess you had to be there.

Also, I evidently only sweat from my triceps, as it’s the only part of my body that I can’t keep from getting sunburned no matter how much protection I apply and reapply to them. WTF?

I have survived two days of work. Well, I’ve more than survived, I’ve enjoyed it and am getting my feet with the schedule, which is all I really wanted by this point. Also, it’s sunny and dry, which means hours, which means steady money. This is….very reassuring.

Over the past two days I’ve weeded asparagus, bumped around on the back of a truck, driven a golf cart up an incline not intended for golf carts, hoed spinach (I now understand what a hoe does. I evidently had it confused with a fork), got dragged behind a tractor in a little seat while frantically planting chard, cut potatoes to plant, spot-planted parsley, weeded mint and oregano, mulched tomatoes (“haaaay!”), hunted ticks and attempted to communicate in the worst spanglish ever. (“Das asparagus? Si? Muy gigante.”)

It’s nice to feel useful. It’s also nice to feel exhausted and cracked out at the end of the work day because I was actually physically doing something. It’s cool to understand why some farms are selling plants at market this time of year while others randomly have strawberries. It’s also very cool to have a 20 second commute to work, where I could show up with my head half-shaved in a flight suit reeking of poo and no one would really care as long as I was alert and ready to work.

I do hate wearing sunblock every day. Currently trying to solve that one. While I like my huge hat, having something wrapped around my noggin for 8 straight hours is annoying as crap. So high-test sunblock that doesn’t feel like a dirt-encrusted coating is my next mission.

Stacey and Casey, who are running the farm, have been amazing and funny and patient, which I’m continually thankful for. It’s rare to encounter people that seem to truly not mind explaining everything about what they do. Training is numbingly draining for the trainer. So cheers to them–I hope some of it rubs off on me. It’s an added bonus that they’re pretty hilarious.

Pics to come soon. I’ve had my hands literally full (or else you would’ve seen far more tweets this week like “HOEIN’! No…seriously. Literally.”), but I am trying to remember to document this summer a little bit, as unobtrusively to my workday as possible. Speaking of that, any particular bit of farmness you want to see photos of?

And yes, by late afternoon, after having my brain baked for an hour or so more than it should have been maybe, I do start talking to the weeds around the spinach in the (M.A. Fleury of the Pburgh Penguins) French Canadian Fleury-taunt voice, “OHhhhh it’s YOU again fuckface! Come over here you BAstaaaaard.” *hoe* Ovi has also made an appearance. *hacks off morning glory vine* “Sorry Penguin.”

Currently trying to figure out how to carry knife, cell phone (we don’t have radios…yet), sun hat and trail mix in one pair of pants for the morning.

I think I need a farming fanny pack.

3 hours of sleep (thanks, nature), 2 cups of coffee, 12 years of 9 to 5 corporate slog down. Day 1: let’s do this.

(PS: Know what’s most awesome about this morning? Not having to shower.)

…my first dinner at the new place/farmhouse centered around those tomatoes I posted about. It was the shizz.

Have you tried them yet?

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve told a lot of people that I’d be blogging my experiences in transitioning from corporate life to farm life here, so it seemed like a good time to get started.

At the moment, I’m in limbo. All best-laid plans eventually get thrown in the air, and I’m grateful mine got as far down the pike as possible before completely reversing on me. The job I left in April asked me to leave two weeks early to save money, and the farm job asked me to start a week later due to rain (now, May 9). For those doing the math at home, that’s three weeks’ pay (about $1600) I suddenly didn’t have–better known as “the entirety of my savings I was counting on having when everything else goes wrong in the next few months.” Welcome to the realities of farming and hourly work.

But I’m not easily beaten. While none of the temp hourly work I looked into for this week panned out, I have enough money to survive, and am doing my best rain dance to pray that I can at least work enough to make $500/mo or so this summer on the farm. If you know any anti-hurricane and anti-thunderstorm dances, please contribute. Maybe throw in an anti-high-gas-prices dance while you’re at it.

So that’s how I got here. I haven’t worked in three weeks, which I have to say has been kind of a nice break. I’m currently in Fairfax still, with a quarter of my possessions in storage at my mom’s house in Germantown, MD, a quarter at the farmhouse in Purcellville and the rest with me waiting to go. Right now I’m filling my days with finishing up odds and ends like going through my book collection to see what should be donated and what I want to read this summer (for lo, there will be much reading), wondering where my waterproof pants got to, and running and sleeping as much as possible. There are early mornings ahead.

Even if things haven’t started out quite how I would’ve liked, it’s still nice to be moving forward with purpose, working on something I’m really invested in for the first time in a long time. In my last few days with a TV and cable service, I’ve been watching as much as I can of a) hockey, but also b) Game of Thrones, and I keep coming back to something in that story that they say often…..
Winter is Coming.

I’ll be ready.

Dee-Lite – Good Beat
Mid 90s mix tapes, raves, drugs, big pants …now just good walking music. This song strongly reminds me of getting ready for Tracks, for some reason.

Abdullah Ibrahim & Toshio Matsuura – Did You Hear That Sound?
Heard this randomly on KCRW driving home one night when Aaron Byrd was filling in for Garth Trinidad and almost wrecked my car. Ok not really. But yes. So good.

P.O.S. – Living Slightly Larger
“I got the skills to pay the bills, and that’s about it.”

Anya Marina – Satellite Heart
Reminds me a lot of Sia. Just quirky enough to NOT be just another whiny singer/songwriter with her guitar. (Yes it was on a Twilight movie soundtrack. You’ll be ok.)

Alice In Chains – Don’t Follow
Yeeeeah… I skipped the insanely sad Layne Staley tribute video version of this song on YouTube. (Full disclosure: I liked AIC a lot more than Nirvana. Always have. I think it’s like a Stones / Beatles thing.)
(PS: Stones.)

Moby – Wait for Me
Feel like this track / album was severely overlooked. He got more press over a guy on acid ending up in his living room by accident. Seriously?

Completely obsessed with roasting whole, large cherry/pearl tomatoes in the oven tossed w/ olive oil and sea salt. If you’re not destroying a pan of these every night, you’re causing yourself unnecessary deprivation. NOMNOMNOMNOM.

Instructions: wash and dry whole, large (organic, dammit) cherry tomatoes. Toss with olive oil on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Roast at 400 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes or until they start to burst. Chiffonade some fresh basil. Sprinkle on top. Destroy.

PS: this is coming from someone that is not a superfan of raw tomatoes. I don’t hate them, but this puts tomatoes in a whole ‘nother category.

As you may know/have heard, I left advertising to go grow things. At the moment I’m between the two occupations, panicking getting my stuff in order and packing to move, and let me tell you…when you can make your own schedule, there is no schedule. Time is getting away from me like whoa.

Anyway, my run playlist was in desperate need of a tune-up last week, so a lot of this made it onto the ‘Pod.

Great Northern – Houses
How can you not love a band named for Twin Peaks?

The Veils – The Letter
Goddamn I love this band. I really don’t understand why they’re not huge indie darlings, but I guess it’s better that way? AMAZING live. Unfortunately live on the other side of the planet.

La Roux – Bulletproof
All I want to do when I hear this is bounce around on a dance floor. Or the gym floor. Or the living room. Or the parking lot.

Berlin – Like Flames
Great for sprints. Berlin f’ing rules. Still. And man do I love me some epic 80s videos involving canyons and flag carrying, etc.

The Apache Relay – Home is Not Places
I resemble this sentiment. Again, not available on the youtubez evidently, but the amazon page has it.

Sheryl Crow – My Favorite Mistake
Another seasonal favorite that I associate with spring/summer evenings. I really liked this odd, in-between era of hers.

Yep. It’s Tuesday again.

Pharoahe Monch (ft. Immortal Technique and Vernon Reid) – W.A.R.
Evidently this is too new for the youtubezz, but you can check out a sample at that link. Nothing groundbreaking from Pharoahe, but man, you can’t help but nod to it. I’ve always liked something about his cadence or.. something. Can’t quite put my finger on it. “What It Is” and “Bar Tap” off Desire have made multiple appearances on the previous incarnations of the Six.

Living Colour – Glamour Boys
Weirdly, no relation to the Vernon Reid cameo in the previous track. I *hated* this song when it came out, but for some reason it popped into my head after seeing a recent NPR video of Cory Glover doing a track off of Living Colour’s new album, and I…keep….listening to it. I remember the video for it being cringe-worthy, but don’t want to subject you all to all the Vevo crap wrapped around it.

Screen Vinyl Image – Fever / Lost in Repeat
Local favorites. Like old Cure and I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness are sitting in a dark basement smoking hash with Jesus & Mary Chain and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Pearl Jam – Porch / Why Go
Came across an interesting re-master with “remixes” and remembered why I like these tracks so much.

Thievery Corporation – Focus on Sight
Oooh actual video, complete with DC scenic-ness. Whenever it gets warm, the Thievery comes out.


Just because I like to keep you on your toes.

White Lies – From the Stars
Seriously, I don’t know what it is about this band. But it’s doing it for me right now. The guy’s voice is so impossible-sounding and weird…check out the live versions on youtube.

Dinah Washington – Come Rain or Come Shine
She seems to seep into my playlist every spring. Good wine drinking-while-cooking music, for starters.

Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion
There’s a lot of Aerosmith’s stuff that I can’t stand, but there’s 2-3 tracks that I love fiercely. Dream On being one, this being another. Makes me think of blowing down a deserted highway on a 90 degree night in a cowboy hat or something. (Which would be a nice change from the weather we’re having this week.)

Eddie Vedder – Hard Sun
I hear your collective groaning out there — I know more than a few of you hate Eddie Vedder, but I’ve always been fond of him, even when I haven’t been fond of what Pearl Jam is up to (*cough* the last 15 years *cough*). I saw that Vedder was going on a one-man ukulele tour (seriously), which made me go and listen to his solo stuff, which led me to this.

Salem – Frost
I admit it, I’m down with witchhouse. These guys were great live… like standing around in a Twin Peaks episode. Throw your triangles in the air.

Guns N’ Roses – Patience
Have always loved this track. For some reason it’s been on the radio a lot lately.

Bonus 7:
LCD Soundsystem – New York I Love You
Yes, that’s the Kermit version. But it’s a great tune. Especially fun to belt out when you’ve had one glass too many. Lends itself to dramatic swaying and hand gestures.

Last week got away from me, but the six returns triumphantly!

Interpol – Rest My Chemistry
The Amirian brothers, friends of mine of the Crossfit persuasion, adopted Interpol’s title “pace is the trick” as one of their training mantras around the time Our Love to Admire came out. I always thought it was funny in a way, and always offered the need to Rest My Chemistry (“minus the whole cocaine part”) in retort. The exchange happened again recently via Facebook and prompted me to dig out the album. Haters gunn’ hate, but it reminds me of late, hazy nights driving home from Silverlake alone.

Doves – Sea Song

Dreary rainy days are always made better by this track. Also an on-repeat-while-working candidate.

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – Saturday Night
I almost prefer this cover to the original. Have no idea what made me think of it, but back in the playlist it went. (oh…and it was on the So I Married an Axe Murderer soundtrack, as you may guess from the video.)

INXS – What You Need

I think I heard a sliver of the chorus in a commercial or something last week and it implanted in my brain.

Concrete Blonde – Days and Days
“Like every heart to beat before
and every wave to kiss a shore
I’m not the first, I’m not the last…
and soon to be your past
But every morning when the light
comes creeping in around my eyes
another future falls behind
the one I had I mind”

The Knife – Marble House

I was thinking about a former co-worker with similar music taste, which led me to remember an exchange between her and an older, goofy and fatherly co-worker of ours when this track was playing in the office one afternoon (imagine this said in a heavy filipino accent): “WEEZA. What is this you’re playing? It sounds like…HALLOWEEN. What is it, Halloween?”

…the Tuesday Six is late.

In the meantime, you should check out some awesome Bernese Mountain dogs piling into a truck and then learn about leaving stuff alone with Leighton Meester (this is hilarious, trust me).

Without further ado:

Frida – I Know There’s Something Going On
A classic. Heard it in a hotel in New Mexico, of all places, driving out to move back to DC. Has stuck with me since.

Jane’s Addiction – Mountain Song
A different kind of classic. Reminds me of crashing into the backseat of Jeri’s old Subaru in high school to escape to Dharma Coffeehouse, smoke 555s and attempt to do homework before the night devolved into mayhem (and how).

The Dead Weather – Will There Be Enough Water?
My respect for Jack White was greatly increased after seeing It Might Get Loud. This song has nothing to do with the doc, but I recommend it.

Chicane – Offshore

Work-thinking music. Always effectively drowns out frenetic office madness. There were spans of time at the Times where I’d just leave this on loop in my headphones for 2-3 hours at a time. Just some combination of great track and good college memories.

Absurd Minds – A Man Received the Answer
“they looked at the stars/and the entire, the entire universe/smiled back and said nothing”
Another oldie but goodie. And evidently they released a new album last May… *goes to listen*

Wednesday EDIT: YEaaaaaaah. I guess I made this a true drive-by by only posting FIVE tracks. This is what happens when you’re exhausted and try to write a post over a large glass of wine [insert sheepish face here].

Sixth track is Massive Attack feat. Tracey Thorn – Protection
Sorry about the vevo’d out video… ugh. Is it sad that this track makes me miss sweating and cursing and being upside down in my favorite yoga instructor’s class in LA? Shout out to Cody at Silverlake YAS, HA! (If you’re in the area go see him!)

I forgot the Tuesday Six. New-old habits die hard.

I admit a lot of this has been recycled, since I’m living under a rock and spending 90% of my income on paying off California debt. Oldies but Goodies are very much at the forefront of my life.

1) Tracey Thorn – Why Does the Wind? (Andre Lodermann Remix) (oh man, the PICTURE with this youtube clip is kind of fantastic, but it doesn’t have the lyrics, so here’s the “real” one.) – Initially heard this on KCRW (thank you, Garth Trinidad) and had to have it. If you liked electronic music in the mid-late 90s, I’m sure you’re aware of what Tracey Thorn misses like the deserts miss the rain. PS: damn I miss KCRW on my car radio.

2) Killing Joke – The Great Cull
I just realized KJ was on the list last week. Ah well. This is just kind of the narrative to my life and paranoia lately. Winky-smiley?

3) The Roots and John Legend – The Fire
It’s just great.

4) Wu-Tang Clan – Bells of War
Thought of a friend’s track of the same name. Went to find this track again. Etc. Etc.

5) 16 Volt – A Cloth like Gauze
See previous post about being 17. Though I saw them in Hollywood last year and… well… it was hilarious, in a fun yet, maybe things-shouldn’t-come-back-from-the-past, way.

6) CeCe Peniston – Keep on Walkin’ (oooh you get the actual video for this one!)
Also to be filed under “shouldn’t come back from the past.” Doesn’t mean I can’t visit!

…where I’m in my 17 year-old fantasy world, and I’m compiling my portfolio to go to RISD, and sure that art school will be fabulous, my sketchbooks looked like this:

(Not really.) (Seriously, you think that’s MY sketchbook? You’re hilarious.)

In reality, my sketch books looked like un-finished to-do lists with half-drawn hands and eyes and coffee cups and doodles of the trees outside of the Dharma coffeehouse in Fairfax. Covered in Skinny Puppy and Therapy? lyrics, they were generally not fit for human consumption. I also didn’t like “art people” much by 17 and a half.

I went to school for engineering and advertising instead. My sketch books still look like to-do lists. I still don’t like 18 year-old art people much. I suppose it was all for the best.

He'll save children, but not the British children.
I like to read about food while I eat food. I admit it. In honor of the upcoming weekend, here’s an interesting tidbit on dining Mr. Washington-style from Food & Think.

And, for the uninitiated, a little Washington humor. (If you have, ahem, delicate sensibilities about founding fathers or colorful language, you may want to skip this. Somewhat NSFW…use headphones, eh?)

During the winter of 2007, it started with this:

List six songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions along with your six songs…

I liked writing it, reading others’ lists, and the ensuing conversations so much that I wrote one weekly, every Tuesday, for a year or so. After a job transfer and its related upheaval, I abandoned it, but now… I’m bringing it back!

So without further ado, the Tuesday Six for 2/15/11. Won’t you post yours?

White Lies – Bigger Than Us
( and Holy Ghost …aaaand Turn the Bells. Ok the whole album.)
Completely enamored with this album. I’m very wary of mainstream radio playing the crap out of it and making them the 2010-11 answer to She Wants Revenge (what happened to them, anyway?)

Mumford & Sons – Thistle & Weeds
Have come back to this album after an intense initial crush (and subsequent cooling) last year. This track just stands out for its slight…creepiness.

Killing Joke – Depth Charge
Great for running sprints and thinking about how humanity is ruining itself. …I kid. (sort of.)

Metallica – Wherever I May Roam
Recently heard this on the radio, and suddenly it’s back in rotation.
Do you really need a link?

Covenant – Lightbringer (Speedrun remix)
Sucker for swedes in suits… when they’re making good music. SWEEEEEDISH STYLE! *throws bacon*

Amon Amarth – Guardians of Asgaard
(or as I like to call it, “Guardians of Ascot”)
Unapologetic viking metal. Literally. Kind of hilarious. Great for rampaging through small villages.