1-5 Overpass Songs

Over the I-5

Like most city commuters, I like to mix it up when it comes to how I get to and from work. I’ve recently moved, so now it’s full on bus both ways. But before I moved, I would usually walk to work and bus home or vice versa. I tried to vary my route so I wouldn’t get bored, but one constant remains when you’re walking from Capitol Hill to downtown: I-5. Continue reading “1-5 Overpass Songs”


“Mumblecore” is a term used to describe a type of movie that’s been flourishing in the last few years: small, independent films where the focus is on dialogue and everyday interactions between characters that are realistic in tone. Many of the movies are made by one group of rotating directors, writers, and actors who work together in different capacities and combinations. Continue reading “Mumblewhat?”

Spooky Pioneer Tales

As a little girl, I was constantly reading books like Little House on the Prairie and fantasized about being a homesteader. When I grew up, I began reading more realistic local history, and discovered that living in the middle of nowhere can be brutally hard on a person.

Here are some books from one of my favorite niche genres: macabre stories about isolated pioneers.

Lizzie Borden took an axe, Gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done, gave her father 41.

A photo from Wisconsin Death Trip (1973)

Lizzie Borden
Did pitied spinster Elizabeth Borden really hack her parents to bits? See if you can solve the crime that’s stumped the public for over a century: read and watch all about Lizzie Borden.

Baby Doe Tabor
The coquettish and independent Elizabeth “Baby Doe” Tabor went from being one of 15 children living in Wisconsin to a wealthy silver magnate in frontier Colorado. She was found dead in a remote cabin after living alone for her last 35 years. The once rich “silver queen” led a colorful life — you can read about it in  The Legend of Baby Doe: The Life and Times of the Silver Queen of the West. Continue reading “Spooky Pioneer Tales”

Good Shouters

I was raised listening to two bands: the Rolling Stones and The Beatles. Now that I’m older, I can fully appreciate Mick Jagger’s swagger and his singing, but as a child, I much preferred McCartney and Lennon. Why? Easy. Because they were shouters.

Since then, I’ve gravitated toward the shouting musicians. Punk is fun, and there’s lots of yelling to be found, but I prefer melodic, pop-y shouters.

A Short List of Good Shouters
The Beatles
Elvis Costello
Frank Black (The Pixies)
David Yow (Jesus Lizard)
Paul Westerberg (The Replacements)
The Violent Femmes
Jack White (The White Stripes, etc.) Continue reading “Good Shouters”

Perfect(ly) Ending Movies

For me, a “perfect ending” to a movie isn’t a wrap up, a happy ending or even a satisfying dénouement. Instead, a movie has a perfect ending when it stops just exactly where it should. Sometimes this is even in the middle of a scene. There’s something magical about ending on an unexpected note, leaving the audience wondering, perhaps, what happened next.

Jen’s List of Movies That End Exactly When They Ought To:
The Girlfriend Experience
Before Sunset
A Serious Man
The Graduate

Anyone else have a favorite ending?