beth orton / daybreaker: the all music guide warned me that this was the most conventional of her three albums, that maybe i should start somewhere else, but i'm still trying to believe in new releases. the title track here is strong - throaty, luxurious delivery, an appropriate dollop of burbles and wheeps, excellent pacing. i suspect that spinning this disc might have brought the fog back in; can't be sure, but i'll listen some more just in case. "mount washington" has an annoying effect that sounds like the cell phone when it's crushed in my purse and leaving strange messages on my friends' answering machines. i forgive beth orton for this on account of the weather.

david bowie / heathen: deserves most of the attention it's getting, may in fact be his best release since scary monsters. "everyone says hi" strikes me as a sequel to "young americans", and that's a good thing. crooning throughout the album reminds me of bowie's songs as the goblin king in labyrinth, and that's a very good thing - i may be the only girl in america who actually enjoyed him in the tina turner wig and those particularly startling leather pants. the "cactus" (pixies) cover is one of those happy paradoxes where the antithesis of an ideal vocalist is also an ideal vocalist. now i want a frank black version of "heroes".

i finally let the office know that i wouldn't be coming back in september. i've been chewing on the idea for a while, but after two years of gainful employment - it's a bit frightening, this official Nothing To Do. the move to davis is slated for the first of next month, so i'll be tinkering with poems and taking housework too seriously until then.

laura dern played the u.s. poet laureate on the west wing the other night. as the casting choice didn't bother me, i'm probably going to hell.

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