Projects and tangents


Ten years ago, in late June, we moved into our house, two little babies in tow: Albus had just turned two and AppleApple was seven months. The house seemed enormous, and almost unfillable, but we seem to have solved that problem. Our bedroom is perhaps the one room in the house that remained untouched over the past decade. We added drapes. We moved bassinets in and out and in again. For awhile, my writing desk and computer were crammed in a corner (I wrote virtually nothing publishable during that stretch; weird, huh). But the walls remained the unpainted dull white plaster through which the lathe could be seen. Yes, that’s how unpainted our bedroom has been for the last decade.

So it took an invasion of bed bugs to move everything out and paint. Well, at least it happened.


Kevin stayed up late last night to finish it. We decided to go with a darker colour field on one wall against creamy-white ceiling and other walls. We chose a soothing deep blue with hints of purple.

“Your room looks beautiful!” Fooey told us this morning.

We’re debating whether there’s time to paint the living-room, too, which came freshly painted when we moved in, which was, as noted, ten years ago, and is now, not surprisingly, full of holes and scrapes. We are, however, also hosting a party for our eight-year-old tomorrow evening. Can we do it all?

birthday cake for birthday girl, with scrounged candles from junk drawer

Meantime, I actually (unbelievably!) turned over the last page of my manuscript yesterday evening, the version that holds my editor’s revisions. That doesn’t mean the book is ready to send back to her, but it does mean I’ve now worked through every single page and addressed every comment. Today it’s back to the beginning to see whether my many many many changes hold together. Good grief. I’m in a state of anxiety, let me tell you. I also note that we’ve got less than three weeks left of summer holidays. That’s me you hear crying out from the heart: nooooo!


Here’s my tangent, which I post at risk of sounding ancient, crusty, and out of touch with young people these days (say that last bit in a quavery old woman voice for full effect).

I’ve been listening to top forty radio this summer. Sometimes all I want is a singable song while I drive home from a soccer game. Unfortunately, the songs with the good hooks seem to be highly inappropriate, not to mention misogynist in tone. (Blurred Lines, I’m frowning at you, with your fun sound and sticky bass line, which I would like to enjoy listening to, but can’t without censorship: there are kids in the car! And I’m a feminist!) So it was an odd relief to get snagged on Lorde’s Royals while stuck in traffic with CJ the other day. We both liked it. I think my ears were craving that clean choral sound, and a subject unrelated to booty, booty-calls, getting booty, shaking one’s booty, and anything else booty-related. It’s the female body as material object mixed up with materialism itself, and I hate the juxtaposition, and the shallowness and amorality underpinning it. There aren’t even any interesting metaphors in these songs. You know you want it. Um, no, I don’t, not all the freaking time! You’re boring me! C’mon top-forty songwriters! And then I came across Macklemore’s Same Love, and felt relief, too, to hear a straightforward political song with a lovely singable hook, on a top forty station. But I miss K’naan. Where’s he gone? Any other pop fans out there? Who are you listening to this summer?

The curator is in
The light on the inside


  1. Tricia Orchard

    Hi Carrie,

    I love this post (love the colour of your room, too). I love listening to Top 40 music when I am in the car and when I run, but most of it is inappropriate when the kids are around. Frustrating.

    One of my faves recently is Gone, Gone, Gone by Philip Phillips. Also, Walk Off The Earth just did a cover of Royals. Look up the video on YouTube. The video is very creative!

    If I think of more songs I will let you know!


    • Carrie Snyder

      Thanks, Tricia! I will definitely look these up.

  2. isohedral

    Have you heard “Bright Whites” by Kishi Bashi? What a great feel-good song!!

    You’ve just got to love “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, but I do apologize for the implied bootiosity. At least it doesn’t mention booty explicitly.

    Another recent find I really liked is “Retrograde” by James Blake. It’s dark, moody, a bit abrasive, and beautiful.

    Other recent things I liked: “Dig Gravedigger Dig” by Corb Lund; “Offspring are Blank” by Dirty Projectors; “Life’s a Beach” (the whole album) by Django Django; “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons.

  3. Nath

    I listened to BBC1 yesterday, but except for having Get Lucky as the Earworm of the Week (see Craig’s comment above…), I haven’t been listening to much. That Royals song is GREAT!

  4. Anonymous

    My fave Macklemore is Can’t Hold Us, and what I am liking these days is The National’s album Trouble Will Find Me. The latter is not dancey as much as it’s moody. melodic and new-wavey (depending on the song, of course).

  5. Chris Cameron

    Carrie, I came across a more accessible version of Blurred Lines with Jimmy Fallon, Robin Thicke, and a bunch of folks called The Roots.
    They do all the accompaniment on toy instruments.
    I too found the content of the original disturbing for such a fun song!


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