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Broken Horses by Brandi Carlile

April 15, 2022 | Uncategorized

For some reason, Brandi Carlile has flown under my radar for a good 15 years. Granted, her feet are rooted in country music, even though she’s not necessarily a “country” country artist. I have opinions about country music — and she articulates in her book some of the things I find problematic about it — but she has performed on awards shows (that I somehow missed) and in collaboration with musical artists I adore. I somehow missed all that until just recently.

I saw her perform a Joni Mitchell song for the Kennedy Center Honors, which aired in December. I have since learned that she performs Joni’s entire Blue album. Then I saw her New Year’s performance with Miley Cyrus. And I was stunned. Who is this? Has she been here this whole time? How did I not see her before? I decided not to be mad about it but to be happy that I had something good to discover in 2022. Listening to all her music was like having a wild bird land and settle in my hand for longer than I would have ever thought possible. And it felt like I held my breath the whole time.

Listening to her book was a special treat. At the end of every chapter she sang a song or two or more. Every musical artist’s memoir should be done like this. Give me a chapter on your life, then play me the songs you wrote about that chapter of your life. And joke about Elton John if you can. I bought the Kindle version of Broken Horses, hoping to find a photo of her Honky Cat getup. Sadly, it wasn’t there. But her book and her music … what lovely things to put out in the world. Experience them if you get a chance.

Posted by Becky @ 6:01 pm | Comments  

In honor of Dr. Seuss

March 2, 2013 | Uncategorized

I still agree with what I wrote three years ago. So I will simply re-post that in the form of a link. Happy birthday, Ted! :)

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | Comments  

Thinking about my dad

August 26, 2012 | Uncategorized

I was 19 when he died … 28 years ago today. I’ve known my father-in-law for 22 years now … longer than I knew my own father. Well, that’s not quite right. I still know my dad. But I only had him here in person for 19 years. Ah, well. This is what happens with the passage of time. I’m older now than my father was when he died. It makes me think of the lyrics to a James Taylor song.

As much as I teased my dad about his choice of music, I’d like to think that he’d like to listen to James Taylor with me. And maybe he’d tell me that the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.

Time goes by. Dad gets farther away. But maybe I understand him just a little bit more with every passing day.

Posted by Becky @ 5:15 pm | Comments  

Molde sights

June 23, 2010 | Uncategorized

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | Comments  

Where’s my pitchfork?

August 16, 2008 | Stuff,Uncategorized

The movers were here yesterday to unload the truck. After saying, “That goes in the barn,” I realized how weird that sounds. I mean … I have a barn. I kept calling them “y’all,” but they were really nice about it. And I kept singing Green Acres all day. Dah-ling.

Posted by Becky @ 8:32 am | 4 Comments  

Green for Danger

January 8, 2008 | Uncategorized

I am Veronica Mitchell and I usually blog over at Toddled Dredge. Becky and I have never met in real life, but she asked me to guest post for her during her exciting international travels and high living. I expect to be sent a picture of any new tattoos. Or “tats,” as the cool people call them.

I don’t write about politics on my blog, so I was a little tempted to write a political post for Deep Muck Big Rake, especially after so many other guest-posters did. But trying to craft a political post is a bit tricky for me. I waver between philosophical statements about the nature of communal moral responsibility and less cogent arguments like “Bite me, hippie.” So it’s probably best for Becky if I hone my own political expression before I try it out on her blog. For now, I will just continue rubbing my money-stained Republican hands together, laughing maniacally, as I oppress the poor and conspire to re-institute the draft.

Instead, I will tell you about one of my favorite movies, recently released on DVD.

Green for Danger is a murder mystery set in a wartime hospital in England. The characters and the plot are not much different than any of the hospital dramas currently on television, once you take into account the sexism and censorship of the day. There are a handful of gorgeous women (nurses only, of course – this was 1944), the requisite unattractive-but-clever woman, and two male doctors who vie for the affections of the hottest nurse.

What makes this movie worth watching is Alastair Sim, who plays Inspector Cockrill, the detective assigned to solve the mysterious murders at the hospital. Sim’s most famous role, of course, is Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, but if you’ve never seen him in anything else, consider watching Green for Danger.

He mesmerized me. I could watch that man just sit in a chair and be entertained. He has the unnerving comic grace of Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean, but none of Depp’s beauty, which oddly makes me enjoy him more. Sim strikes just the right note, treating murder as deadly serious, while amusing himself thoroughly with its investigation.

From his first entry into the hospital, Sim steals the show. This homely old guy keeps every eye on him. In one of my favorite scenes, the suave doctor is trying to seduce the hot nurse in the garden by quoting Shakespeare to her. He is getting somewhere when the Inspector appears out of nowhere and tops his quotation with later lines from the same play:

In such a night / Did young Lorenzo swear he loved her well, / Stealing her soul with many vows of faith, / and ne’er a true one.

Then, having thoroughly doused Dr. Ladies’ Man, the Inspector says good night.

The movie includes one of those highly implausible reenactments of the crime, and this one appears to exist in a world completely free of medical ethics, but despite this flaw, the film is delightful. In the middle of a terrible war, in a plot about terrible crimes, Sim and the writers found humor and poise and laughter.

As Inspector Cockrill said (not that this has any relevance to the appearance of my Republican self in the midst of so many Democrat guest-bloggers), “My presence lay over the hospital like a pall — I found it all tremendously enjoyable.”

Posted by Veronica @ 10:09 pm | 14 Comments  

The Presidency…Let’s Outsource


Hi. Todd here from The Bullshit Observer with my second guest post to Deep Muck, Big Rake.

If you’re like me, you’ve grown ever tired with the shabby collection of domestic presidential wanna-be’s every four years. It’s year after year of America’s cheesiest, slimiest, glibbest, fakest, most corrupt individuals (with really great hair) saying whatever they feel they need to say to get the largest number of people to say, “Well, I like that. I think I’ll check his box.”  I’m tired of it. I’m sure you are too. So I vote we outsource that job to one of our trading partners.

“Wouldn’t this create a conflict of interest?”  you ask. Well, yes. That’s true. But the important question is whether the conflict of interest in question would be any greater than the kinds of conflicts of interest that we’re already used to. Conflicts of interest like a former oil man becoming President and refusing to join the Kyoto Accord and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Would it be more of a conflict of interest than appointing former industry big wigs to be in charge of industry watch dog groups? Yeah, I’m thinking what sort of conflict of interest would a chap from Mogudishu have that would be worse than that?

I can’t think of one.

“But what sort of qualifications would they have to run America?” you ask. I don’t know the answer to that. But let’s say we could get someone in with a joint doctorate in Foreign Relations and American History from Harvard who happens to be from Japan. That alone would make him or her more qualified than our current President. No doubt they’d speak better English too. As an added bonus, he/she’d be able to find Japan on the map.

We’d need a constitutional amendment allowing foreign born citizens the right to run for President, of course. I’m not a total idiot. But how hard can that be?

Considering how much time our current president spends in Texas, our off-shore President could probably work remotely and call into meetings with the joint chiefs.

And think how much cheaper that person would be!

Seriously. Think about it. There are a lot of advantages to having an off-shore President.

Posted by Todd @ 9:29 pm | 1 Comment  

I may not be Norwegian But I’ve Tasted Lutefisk

December 24, 2007 | Uncategorized

Hello! I’m Elana Centor from FunnyBusiness and Blogher where I am a contributing editor on business. Like many of the guest bloggers, Becky and I had not formally met before her request came to do a guest blog. As she explained to me she’s a lurker and has been reading my blog for quite some time.

Being a lurker myself, I immediately said YES to Becky’s request. While I am not of Norwegian ancestry, I do live in Minnesota where there are lots of people of Norwegian ancestry. As it were, one Christmas Eve I was invited to a Norwegian Family party.

Now there was one caveat. You had to agree to taste to Lutefisk. At that point I had lived in Minnesota for 10 years and had heard enough stories about this delicacy soaked in lye that I really felt I could go through the rest of my life without the need to taste it.

But I did. Like the Lutefisk that Tanya Huang writes about, my friends smothered it in butter. While it was not horrible– if texture is an important part of your eating experience, Lutefisk, like Gefilte Fish, may be one of those ethnic foods that require some getting used to.

From Tanya Huang’s blog post about lutefisk.

Mom, Norm, and I had never had Lutefisk before. We kept calling it “soap fish”, because it’s made from stockfish and lye. I imagined a somewhat foamy sudsy dish that tasted like Thai curry.

As it turned out, Lutefisk was quite delicious. Probably because of having been soaked in lye, the fish was translucent and jellyfish-like. Butter and white sauce were poured over top.

After dinner, the chefs of the night gathered and sang “O Lutefisk”. I love the spelling of the lyrics :)

“Oh Lutefisk”
Sung to the tune of “O Christmas Tree”

Oh Lutefisk, Oh Lutefisk, how fragrant your aroma,
Oh Lutefisk, Oh Lutefisk, you put me in a coma.
You smell so strong, you look like glue,
You taste yust like an overshoe,
But Lutefisk, come Saturday,
I tink I’ll eat you anyway.

Oh Lutefisk, Oh Lutefisk, I put you by the doorway
I vanted you to ripen up, yust like dey do in Norway
A dog came by and sprinkled you, I hit him vit an army shoe
Oh Lutefisk, now I suppose
I’ll eat you as I hold my nose.

Oh Lutefisk, Oh Lutefisk, how vell I do remember.
On Christmas Eve how we’d receive, our big treat of December
It vasn’t turkey or fried ham, it vasn’t even pickled spam
My mudder knew dere vas no risk,
In serving buttered Lutefisk.

Oh Lutefisk, Oh Lutefisk, now everyone discovers
Dat Lutefisk and Lefse makes, Norweigians better lovers.
Now all da vorld can have a ball, you’re better dan dat Yeritol
Oh Lutefisk, vit brennevin
You make me feel like Errol Flynn.

While I may not have adopted the Norwegian tradition of eating Lutefisk, I did fall in love with Norwegian names– so much so that I named my daughter Berit. Turns out she wasn’t the first Berit in my family.

Now in case you didn’t guessed from the Gefilte Fish reference, Christmas is not my holiday. While I knew that my dad had some cousins from Norway –yes there are even Jews in Norway — I didn’t know much about them except their last name was Century.

After my daughter was born, my Aunt Lilly called and asked if I had deliberately picked that name because of our cousin Berit. I didn’t know that there was a Berit Century but I’ve always loved that connection.

Becky, if you are reading your blog today and having some holiday lutefisk may it go down fast and please give a big Merry Christmas wish to all the Berits you see.

Safe Travels!

Posted by Elana @ 7:07 am | 2 Comments  


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