10

Five Songs That Make Up a Happy Morning Playlist

Goooood morning from Madison. It’s the first day of school, and instead of sleeping in like I have been all summer, I actually beat my alarm clock up at 7:45 AM despite going to bed at 1:00 AM – if you know me, this is a miracle – and had the energy to emerge from the bed about 30 minutes later. Since then, I’ve showered, had an omelette and an iced cappuccino, played too much Secret Society, watched a podcast, done the New York Times Crossword, and read about 10 blog posts.

But back to today’s topic:

Waking up early is a treat, for me at least. It means I have the whole day ahead of me, and I want to start it right. Usually that’s the last thing I tell myself before opening my eyes again at 1:37 PM that afternoon, but you get the picture. Behold, this list that will get you up and at ’em on the right foot.

Five Songs That Make Up a Happy Morning Playlist

1. Zooey Deschanel, “The Fabric of our Lives.”

Yeah, it was from a commercial about cotton, but it’s just so peppy and morning-like that you can’t not smile. It actually sounds like it could be an actual jingle from the 1950s or 60s, sung by Brenda Lee or Little Peggy March. Zooey Deschanel is kind of annoying, but this song made her grow on me a little bit, like antique moss on a plastic potted plant.

2. Lena, “What A Man”

Lena Meyer-Landrut is one of the few talented progeny of Eurovision, and this acoustic morning-show rendition of En Vogue’s “What A Man” has just the right coffeehouse vibe for a low key morning. I used to listen to it while driving to the University of Houston, with hopes it would dispel any tzurris in my immediate future.

3. Corinne Bailey Rae, “Put Your Records On”

This song hearkens a summer morning with it’s opening words: “three little birds.” It’s like a gently flowing breeze to wake you up, rather than a harsh alarm clock. Honorable mention goes to Minnie Riperton’s “Loving You,” but CBR’s got a little more soul to enrich that morning java. Plus, there’s an awesome studio version on YouTube somewhere where she’s singing it while doing other stuff like directing the sound check and writing stuff down, showcasing her vocal talent and giving AutoTune the middle finger.

4. Oren Lavie, “Her Morning Elegance”

You can read most of the specifics about the song in this Masterpiece YouTube from about a year ago. If you don’t want to click (even though you totally should), I’ll give you the short version. The lyrics, combined with the bells, strings, gentle percussion give this song its morningness, plus the fact that it has the word “morning” in the title. Listening to this song brings back memories of misty mornings in Jerusalem, mornings in autumn and winter with a bit of crispness to the air and maybe some fog. Add some shoko b’sakit, corner makolet Israeli-style cappuccino, or one of those awesome breakfast trays, and it’s heaven on earth.

5. Dolly Parton, “Nine to Five”

You knew this one was coming, it’s pretty much unavoidable. Dolly Parton’s working-woman anthem is for those mornings when you just can’t drag yourself out of bed. The horns and typewriter sounds are just enough jazz to steer your ass to the kitchen for your cup of ambition.

Honorable Mention: “Good Morning Baltimore” from Hairspray. Works best if you are actually in Baltimore. Or Ecuador.

So, enjoy the rest of your morning, as it’s almost afternoon here in Madison and my first class is in an hour.

I should probably put on pants.

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9

You Get Me, You Kill Me

This morning, I woke up at around 6:00 AM.

I didn’t do it for any specific reason, although with the amount of work I have to do I probably should have.

And it wasn’t a lovely, natural wake-up.

So, last semester, I had these neighbors who I referred to as the Muslim Sisters. For a while, I actually thought that they were the same person, since they were around the same height and weight and wore full-body burqas all the time. I began to get suspicious when I saw one out back in a pink floral burqa taking pictures of some birds on the lake and then walked upstairs to see who I thought was the same girl, in an all-black burqa. I deduced that my neighbor was either an incredibly talented quick-change artist, or more than one person. I was actually kind of hoping it would be the former. That would be a fun story. Anyway, apropos, I found out that actually three people lived in that apartment: the two girls were actually sisters-in-law, and they lived there with a guy who was married to one and the brother of the other, who I saw exactly once, in the elevator.

When I came back from winter break, I noticed that their names were whited out on their mailbox, so I asked what was up, and apparently they decided to go back to Saudi Arabia, where they were from. I guess the winter really did a number on them, although it was probably for a different reason entirely. I asked if I would expect any new neighbors, and they said no, they were going to redo the apartment. Completely.

I had no idea what that was going to mean.

So basically, for the past few months, six days a week, there are a few hours of banging, hammering, drilling, sonic booms, music, and chatter from the apartment next door. I just thought it was a little redecorating or something, but I looked in one day and the entire thing was gutted. Apparently the fixtures were really, really old and in need of repair. Much like my oven, which doesn’t get that hot, and my burners, which sometimes have a burning smell and sometimes don’t work at all.

The worst part? It all happens opposite the wall where I sleep. So when I wake up to drilling sounds, I always have this image in my head from Friends.

I can just imagine Matt (the guy who’s doing most of the drilling, not LeBlanc) coming over and being like, “did I get ya man?” But he won’t hear a response, because I’ll be impaled.

And if not, I’ll get to practice my Matthew Perry impression.

I better get on that.

In other news, thank you to Don Charisma for re-blogging me and introducing me to a whole lot of new blog friends, because watching my views go down from averaging 200 a day to averaging 20 a day was kind of depressing. Oh, and greetings to Bangladesh and Brunei, who showed up between last night and this morning.