Rainy Phish.

It was raining on my way to work last night, and I was stuck in traffic. I couldn’t think of a better time to test out Dan’s Phish CD.

I alternated between “I understand why Dan likes this band,” (track one — Manteca) to “I cannot believe Dan likes this band.” Then my mind wandered during a song about a woman named Reba who may have been starting a meth lab in her backyard. Something about a cork and purple cubes or something. I tried to imagine why people would want to travel the country watching these people play mostly instrumental music for hours. Do the people at the concert dance, or do they sit still and smoke cigarettes?

I got all the way to work, which is truly on the other side of Los Angeles from where I live, when the instrumental piece I was listening to ended and the chorus of the second song started up again. Huh? Did Dan put the same song on twice? I checked the radio.

I’m not the kind of person who talks to herself. I certainly babble enough all day long. But there in the dark and rain, I shouted into the silence of my car, “Holy shit!”

It was still track two. I had made it all the way to work only hearing two songs.

During the ride home, no rain but very dark and no traffic, I listened to track three, which again made me understand why Dan likes this band. He likes a jaunty tune and this song reminded me of Billy Joel (is this the one? I could be wrong). I don’t recall anything about track three or four other than I drove along thinking about how Dan made this CD for me after we chatted briefly about my lack of Phish knowledge. I once did that for someone who didn’t know anything about Radiohead. That must mean Dan truly likes this band.

And then: the bluegrass. Oh, man, the bluegrass. Track Five: Poor Heart. If I was smarter, I’d put a bluegrass CD in my alarm clock. There’s no better way to get me shooting up, alert, eager to find the source of that god-awful sound. I must admit: I hit fast-forward. But the sounds of that twang are still bouncing around in my head.

I shouldn’t have had the last song before I turned off the car be that “My friend, my friend, he’s got a knife,” song, because those eight words were stuck in my head for the next half-hour as I got ready for bed.

I have no idea when these songs were made. So sometimes I’d think, “This reminds me of that scary Yes video with the snakes.” And then, “Hey, is this from a Bob Fosse musical?” But usually, “This song is long, too.” I don’t know if it means I like it or I want to figure out why Dan likes it. I figure I’ll have to listen to the rest of the album, which might take all week, and then try the entire thing again, maybe while cleaning (Since the Monks say that’s how I can get to my spriritual center. My mom played all of her favorite music while cleaning. When I hear Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons I swear I can hear a vacuum cleaner in the distance.).

I’ll try track seven on the way to work tonight. It’s called “Bathtub Gin.” This does not bode well.

Currently Reading:


  • In the Spirit of Happiness: A Book of Spiritual Wisdom, by The Monks of New Skete. So just after I devote an entire entry to how much these monks are teaching me, I read the next chapter: “A River of Mercy.” Also known as “Women are whores who kill unborn babies (because their boyfriends and fathers make them) and whore around sleeping with those who lust them (including determined monks who apparently share no blame in the matter).” And that right there is why I never found a religion I embraced. There was never a moment that I wasn’t told that as a woman I was the lesser sex.

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