Friday, April 3, 2009

new york state of mind

Do you have someone in your life that you really enjoy spending time with, but never seem to? For me that is my sister-in-law, Chris Chris. When I met Countrymouse, she was all of 10 years old and she just thought I was da' bomb (although we didn't use that expression in 1981). I appreciate that more today after almost 28 years than I did then.

Chris Chris
is an interesting study. I consider myself a citymouse, however, she takes that to a new level... she is by far all city and no mouse. An unexpected outcome for someone who was born and bred in tiny Sudlersville, Maryland, home of baseball great Jimmie Foxx. Countrymouse's family is a topic for another blog (or maybe not) but if you do not know them, I will just summarize them as *nontraditional*.

I think what I see in
Chris Chris that I admire so much, is that she has a passion for life in all it's splendor. She is one of those people who really does take life by the horns. Sometimes it's painful but most of the time it's just plain exhilarating. This is the life I aspire to live.

Chris Chris
has lived all over the place, but for the past several years, she has made New York City her home. I grew up in NYC but I will never be as much of a New Yorker as Chris Chris. NYC isn't that far away but our lives separate us more than distance.

Chris Chris
was home for a few days and she and my mouse-in-law came to visit (to celebrate mouse-in-law's 65 birthday... whoo whoo.) I did a modest spread of Spanish-style tapas and plenty of good red wine (4 bottles worth). Of course, in true birthday fashion, we followed it up with singing and ice cream and chocolate-cherry cake. (The cake was awesome and something I whipped together after getting home from work... gotta love it.) I think Chris Chris and I would have stayed up all night but mouse-in-law, and Countrymouse for that matter, called last call on us girls.

We gossiped and chatted and talked music and her latest project. Chris Chris is a New School educated filmmaker who is making a name for herself in NYC. She produces under the name Pure Trixie Productions (which I think is cool since my *other* alter-ego is Trixie from Speed Racer), and occasionally under the name Billie Nova, and she gets around.

Her life is so different than mine and everyone else's I know; I can't begin to imagine what it's like. Nurse by day and artist by night. Chris Chris's hunka-hunka-burning love is Danny. He is more notab
ly known as Dr Revolt, who today is considered graffiti artist royalty. Together they embrace NYC and all it's folly. I'd be lying if I said there were some days I'd leave it all behind for a similar life. (Now, I said, some days... most days I am quite satisfied being the citymouse.)

I made a mixed CD for Chris Chris that I only now just got to give her (since I could have birthed another pup in the time it's been since we've seen each other!!) It's all NYC all the time! I used one of Danny's graffiti pictures as the cover art. Obviously, I can't share the CD with you, but I will share the playlist:
  • Beastie Boys: An Open Letter to NYC
  • The Strokes: New York City Cops
  • The Yeah Yeah Yeahs: New York
  • AC/DC: Safe in New York City
  • Black Eyed Peas feat. de La Soul: Cali to New York
  • Kiss: Back in the New York Groove
  • Beastie Boys: No Sleep Till Brooklyn
  • Morningwood: New York Girls
  • Soul Coughing: The Brooklynites
  • Interpol: NYC
  • Magnetic Fields: The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side
  • Simon & Garfunkel: The Only Living Boy in New York
  • Marcy Playground: The Vampires of New York
  • Belle & Sebastian: Piazza, New York Catcher
  • Five for Fighting: NYC Weather Report
  • Death Cab for Cutie: Marching Bands of Manhattan
  • Tori Amos: I Can't See New York
  • Simon & Garfunkel: Bleecker Street
  • The Ataris: The Night that the Lights Went Out in NYC
  • REM: Leaving New York
It was so much fun putting together! I really need to make more playlists for my iPod. (I tend to just put it on shuffle, which is always interesting. I can be listening to Lucinda Williams one moment and then System of a Down's BYOB is blasting from it. This is not the best scenario at work.)

I like the whole themed playlist concept. As you can see, my musical tastes are all over the place... but I think this works as long as there is a salient motif. There are tons more New York songs that could have been included, I was just working with what I had. The title of this post, New York State of Mind, is a Billy Joel song. (BTW, I do not own any Billy Joel CDs.) What would you have added?

As a closing thought, and in homage to Chris Chris and our *hometown* (one by birth, the other by penchant), I leave you with the awesome Ace Frehley.

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