Why, I do believe that it’s turned out to be a Sunny Day!

Posted: February 26, 2009 in best things, Friends, Health/Fitness, Music, Pimp

1iconkittenheadphonesI got Taoist Biker’s “Sunny” mix CD in the mail earlier in the week. Since today started out Quite Crappy, I listened to this on the way to work, then at work for just about all day. When this man puts together a mix CD, he sure as shittin’ ain’t fuckin’ around about it. ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-EIGHT SONGS. How the heck did he do that, when I can barely get twenty songs on a CD? Puts my own humble efforts right to shame.

So. I WAS going to post an entry that listed each song and what my own experience/memories/impression was about it, until I realized that there are ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-EIGHT SONGS. Originally, I put the CD in our DVD player to listen to, so that I wouldn’t see the track list and would be surprised as each song spun up. So it wasn’t until I put the CD into my laptop this morning that I realized there are ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-EIGHT SONGS. I’d even asked TB when he thought I could post the entry, since I didn’t want to give the track list away (sorry, TB, if the sheer number of songs was also part of the surprise). Then I realized that there are ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-EIGHT SONGS so there’s no risk of spoiling the track list. I’ll just say instead:

  • I love the CD.
  • It tells me a lot about TB (I think you can tell a lot about anybody by the construction of their mix CD’s).
  • Of the ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-EIGHT SONGS, I was familiar with most of them.
  • I know a lot of them by heart.
  • I was surprised by some of them (aww, TB has a warm fuzzy side!).
  • I have sung some of them at karaoke.
  • My favorite Rock Band song is included, which made me stupid excited.
  • I “got” how some of the songs, while not “sunny” on the surface or in lyrical subject matter, had a great beat and/or good licks and/or a good melody that just puts a person in a good mood.
  • I own a lot of the music he featured, and even have some of the songs on my own versions of “good mood” CD’s.
  • I enjoyed the CD from beginning to end. I even found a handful of New Favorite Songs, which is just about the highest compliment anyone can be paid when sharing a mix CD, and one of the best things a person can experience as the recipient.

So, yeah. Good stuff! Those of you who took advantage of his generous offer will be Quite Pleased, I think.


My foot is getting better, slowly but surely. I abandoned the crutch this week, and as of today I just have a bit of a limp left. What used to feel like a nail penetrating the bottom of my foot has been reduced to just a slight pulling sensation. I’m doing the stretches the doctor recommended every evening, and purchased a pair of these, which are certainly working as promised. I’m rolling my foot on a frozen water bottle a couple of times a day, and securing an ice pack on the bottom of my foot with an ace bandage while watching TV at night.

What a crapload of maintenance on something that should JUST WORK, DAMMIT.

Last night Calvin was giving me a back rub, since I tend to hold all of my tension in my shoulders. Very specifically, in a knot the size of a quarter right underneath each of my shoulder blades. More so on the left side than the right, which is transference pain from my RIGHT-hand mousing arm and hand. The things you learn from a craniosacral therapist.

Another thing I learned from the aforementioned CST, oh, YEARS ago, is a very simple stretching and breathing exercise that, when done once a day, practically eliminates the shoulder and neck pain in just a few days. WHY I insist on forgetting this simple tool and persist in putting up with the pain is completely beyond me.

You computer dwellers out there – those of you with a job that sticks you in a chair, facing forward, for hours a day? How often do you look UP and DOWN and TO THE RIGHT and TO THE LEFT? In other words, how often do you USE that neck of yours for something other than looking straight ahead? Not often enough, if you’re like me. So, here’s what you do. I PROMISE, it may sound overly simplistic, but it really DOES work.

  1. Sit facing forward, face relaxed, shoulders relaxed, and close your eyes.
  2. Take a deep breath in, and as you are breathing in, tip your head forward until your chin touches your chest.
  3. Then as you breathe out, bring your head facing forward again.
  4. As you breathe in again, tip your head backward until the back of your head is touching your back/shoulders.
  5. As you breathe out, bring your head to face front again.
  6. Repeat this ten times – five up and five down, breathing deeply all the while. The breath in should be as your head is moving to the up or down position, the breath out should be as your head is returning to neutral.

After ten repetitions, repeat the movements, except instead of turning the head up and down, you will be looking fully to the right and fully to the left.

  1. Sit facing forward, face relaxed, shoulders relaxed, and close your eyes.
  2. Take a deep breath in, and as you are breathing in, turn your head fully to the left so the chin is even with the shoulder. Keep the torso facing forward.
  3. Then as you breathe out, bring your head facing forward again.
  4. Take a deep breath in, and as you are breathing in, turn your head fully to the right. Breathe out as you are returning the head to face forward.
  5. Repeat ten times – five to the left and five to the right. The breath in should be as your head is moving to the right or left position, the breath out should be as your head is returning to neutral.

All this breathing and moving focuses the oxygen to the points of pain and stress. Oxygenated muscles = healthy, pain-free muscles.

Another thing I do on a daily basis is a handy shoulder stretch. Hold your arms out to your sides, and place your hands on your shoulders – right hand to right shoulder, left hand to left shoulder – kind of like chicken wings sticking out. Then draw the largest circles in the air that you can with your elbows, following your shoulders all the way through their entire range of motion. Do ten going forward and ten going backward.

Trust me, if you do these three things consistently for a few days, your neck and shoulders will feel a huge improvement!

Thus endeth the holistic lesson for the day.

  1. LL Cool Joe says:

    I’m sitting here at the computer doing chicken wings and managed to knock my bottle of beer on the floor!!!

  2. Laura says:

    Joe – D’OH! Save the beer!

  3. Kim says:

    Hey! Who I gotta blow to get one of those sunny cd’s? (Obviously that was meant in jest; I’m afraid I just simply missed out on when the offer of the cd was first put out there.

    I enjoyed YOUR mixes very much and whole-heartedly agree you can tell a lot about a person by their music. For myself I also use that rule for what’s on a person’s bookshelves or if they even HAVE bookshelves. When I first met Brian his cd rack had mostly Death Metal bands, with a few exceptions including James Brown, Johnny Cash and the Beastie Boys. His bookshelf had nothing but WWII books, biographies of serial killers and Stephen King. I’ve always said if it wasn’t for the Beastie Boys and Stephen King, we never would have gone on a second date.

  4. AmyD says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Were you feeling my vibes or something? I’ve had God-AWFUL pain shooting through my shoulder blades, down my arms, into my wrists, my upper back feels like it is FULL of knots. I’ve already worked through these exercises and feel a bit of improvement already.

  5. Laura says:

    Kim – Uh, yeah… I’ll have to refer you to TB on that one! ~grin~ And if I had to depend on Calvin’s bookshelf (read: there ain’t one) I would have gone into our relationship totally blind. His music collection, though, I wholeheartedly agreed with. Funny how books about Serial Killers and Steven King are often found on the same bookshelf…

    Amy – You’re welcome! You’re welcome! You’re welcome! You’re welcome! You’re welcome! You’re welcome! 😀 I’m ALWAYS feelin’ your vibes, babe!!! Hope it makes you all better!

  6. crisitunity says:

    So…how many songs are there?

  7. Laura says:

    Crisitunity – Oh, you’re a comedianne, you are. 😛

  8. Taoist Biker says:

    Woo! Many comments:

    1) LOVE the rockin’ kitty. That’s awesome.
    2) I think it’s a ton easier to make a 200-song mix than a 20-song mix. I had to think quite a bit about what to leave off of this one…if I had to cut it down to 20, my starting list would still be the same, only I’d have to agonize over 180 instead of 30.
    3) I’m really flattered that you found a few new favorites!
    4) I really need to do more chair stretches.

    1) Which most surprises you?
    2) Which is the biggest stretch to make it fit with “sunny” in your opinion?

    • Laura says:


      1) The song that surprised me the most to see on your mix CD was “As I Lay Me Down” by Sophie Hawkins. A very girly, lilith fair sort of song. Not that I don’t like it, mind you. Close second was any song by Prince – you’re only the second guy I know of who will actually admit that he likes Prince.

      2) I think the most anti-“sunny” songs on the mix were the gangsta rap. “Gin and Juice” – I’m pretty sure Snoop would take offense to being classified as bright and sparkley. Also, “Gangster of Love” – “I need a bitch to lick my nuts…” BWAAHAHAHAAA. That they sampled Steve Miller for this song just cracks me up. So, yeah, I can identify metal with “sunny” more than I can gangsta rap.

  9. Taoist Biker says:

    Sophie…I’ll explain when I post the listing. Needless to say, it’s a Dys-related note.

    “Gin and Juice” is a memento of my senior year of college. Very loud music, very heavy bass. “Gangster of Love” is just so over-the-top misogynistic that it’s ludicrously funny…and the sample just puts the cherry on top. Steve Miller sued them and they were forced to remix the tune…they used “Sweet Home Alabama,” if I recall correctly.

    • Laura says:

      I can’t believe I’d never heard “Gangster of Love” before. It’s just the over-the-top kind of song I go for. Such as “You Can Do It” by Ice Cube.

  10. dyskinesia says:

    Wow – I had no idea they had to remix Gangsta of Love; can’t even imagine it without SMB under it. That’s just depressing! But then I have personal history with that song. That’s frightening thing to have to admit to.

    Laura — Not only is Sophie all me, but so is your next choice of Tenderness, lol. Go ahead, find some more of the Dys songs. 😉 15 years and 168 tracks, you have good odds 😉

  11. dyskinesia says:

    And btw, ; ) 😉 😉 I apparently have a twitch…

  12. Taoist Biker says:

    Prince is partially Dys (she’s a definite fan!) but largely my late-elementary childhood…the Purple Rain soundtrack was the first cassette I ever owned. I got that and a boom box for Christmas 1984. And uh, yeah, my parents weren’t happy when they heard “Darling Nikki,” even though I had no idea on earth what he was singin’ about…

    “Walking On Sunshine” is also me – that song was on the air when I was actively looking for letters in the mailbox from the infamous Jamie. So that line about “every time I go for the mailbox” etc.

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