Thursday, May 7, 2020

the Orange City Tulip Festival.

Like all Midwesterners, I spend every winter and early spring eagerly anticipating the glorious late spring and summer weather we so desperately need. One of the best parts about that season is every weekend has some kind of festival. No one knows how to appreciate nice weather like Midwesterners, and we jam-pack every minute we can with celebrations. 

The Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa takes place the third weekend in May. Mom and I have been going every year since 2015, and it's one of our favourite traditions. 
Tulip Festival 2016
2015 doesn't seem like a super long time for a tradition, but considering 2015 was the first time we'd even heard of such a festival (as we are South Dakotans and rarely ventured into Iowa when I was a kid), it's a good long time.
Tulip Festival 2015

To me, the Tulip Festival marks the official kick-off to summer. It's either raining or blazing hot, like all Midwestern summers. The food stands and carnival rides are out in full force, as are the people. The Tulip Festival is a Thursday-Friday-Saturday event, and Mom and I always go on Friday. We do this because Friday was the day the Ellsworth marching band performed in the parade, and we loved to see James in action. Plus, the crowds were thinner on Friday because it was still a workday, and we didn't have to stand in line as long for our poffertjes. 

Ohhh, poffertjes.
Tulip Festival 2018
These little treats are the #1 Tulip Festival attraction - more so than even the tulips, I would argue. They are little Dutch pancakes served hot with powdered sugar and rum butter, and they are truly delightful. Over the years, Mom and I developed a pofftertje strategy: the poffertje stand ("the Little White Store") was always our first stop, where we would each get a serving of poffertjes (and inevitably end up covered in powdered sugar). At the end of our Tulip Festival Day, we would stop back and get a serving to share. Mom and I would usually sit on a bench outside the Little White Store and reflect on yet another successful Tulip Festival. 
Tulip Festival 2019
Our days began and ended with poffertjes, but there was plenty of activity in between. There was the street-cleaning and the parade, which showcased marching bands from all over the tri-state area. There was always Woudstra Meat Market to visit with their delicious wine and cheese samples, and we typically got lunch at their food stand next door. We would visit the street organ and sometimes catch a wooden shoe carving demonstration. We'd grab some late-afternoon coffee at Town Square Coffee House. Mom and I always stopped in our favourite downtown shops, like Next Door Boutique (with the loveliest owner named Jenni who remembers us from our yearly visits), the Hands Around the World global market, Holland House for the annual Tulip Festival t-shirt, and Windmill Park Jewelry, the local jeweler who creates a special piece of jewelry to commemorate each Tulip Festival. 
Mom bought me this jacket at Next Door Boutique last year, and I wear it CONSTANTLY.
And the tulips. Oh, the tulips. 
Seas of color. Tulips are one of my favourite flowers, and I love to see them in all their glory in Orange City. The varieties are seemingly endless. I couldn't even tell you how many hundreds of tulip pictures I've taken in Orange City over the years. They always lift my spirits and remind me that spring is HERE. We made it through winter alive, and the next few months are going to be glorious.
Are you wondering why I'm talking about the Tulip Festival in the past tense?

Because it's canceled for 2020.

When COVID really kicked off around here in early March, I wondered for a second if it would effect my beloved Tulip Festival. I didn't think too long about it because it was still two-and-a-half months off. COVID would surely be resolved by then. 

Obviously, it's not, and the Tulip Festival was canceled for the safety of all those involved. 

To be honest, I'm a little bit devastated. I look forward to the Tulip Festival every year, but I was especially excited this year. After having a baby in early March, the Tulip Festival would be a marker of normalcy for me. Yes, I'm a mom now, but I can still do the things I love with the people I love, right?

Of course, I know it's for the best. I don't want to put anyone in danger, and I respect the decision. But I can still be disappointed. 

Mom and I haven't missed a Tulip Festival since we first started going in 2015. We decided we're not going to count 2020 as missing a year - if there's no Tulip Festival happening, then there's no Tulip Festival to miss. So our tradition remains unbroken.

In the meantime, the tulips are still blooming. Festival or not, they're just as beautiful.

Monday, April 27, 2020

motherhood and the right to choose.

I have been pro-choice my entire adult life. 

But now I’m a mother.

One of the favourite arguments of the anti-choice is “you’ll feel different once you become a mother.”

And you know what?

I do feel different.

Now that I’m a mother, I’m more pro-choice than ever before.

James and I got pregnant when we were both 32 years old. We both had good full-time jobs with health insurance, a house, and little debt. I had just completed my masters degree, and we were both healthy. We were ready - or, as ready as we’d ever be.

Even with all those advantages, pregnancy is still very hard. I cannot imagine going through this without it being something I chose to do. 

I was absolutely miserable for the first few months of pregnancy. Even after the constant sickness had passed, I was still dead tired and in weird uncomfortable pain nearly all the time. 

When I was about eight months pregnant, I began to have problems with elevated blood pressure. I wound up being placed on a battery of medications, being admitted to the hospital, dosed with magnesium, delivering my son five weeks early, and remaining in the hospital for several more days. I was not able to see my baby for the first 24 hours of his life due to the magnesium, and he had to stay in the NICU for a month.

(I say all this acknowledging that so many others have much more difficult pregnancies and deliveries than I did.)

I am fortunate not only to have a professional level full-time job and a home, but a supportive partner and an outstanding network of family and friends. So many who become pregnant do not have this luxury. I can’t imagine doing this without them. If any one of those things disappeared from my life, my situation would become incredibly stressful. Without any one of those things, I would not have chosen to get pregnant at all. And I was able to make that choice because of access to birth control. 

Being pregnant is also expensive. Without health insurance, the bills for visits would be overwhelming. Without paid time off from work to go to these appointments, without an understanding employer who has no problems letting me go, these monthly, then bi-weekly, then weekly appointments would be an incredible challenge.

Pregnancy comes with additional expenses besides the appointments. There are the vitamins, the maternity clothes, the healthier food you’re supposed to eat… not everyone can afford these things. Even if you choose adoption, you’re still on the hook for these things.

And that’s just pregnancy. When your baby arrives, there’s an entire section at Target filled with the things your baby “needs.” And that's not to mention the delivery. We recently received the explanation of benefits from our insurance company, which encompassed my hospital stay and our baby's delivery (we still don't know how much the NICU stay will cost). The total amount the hospital billed to insurance cost north of $50,000. Thanks to insurance, we don't have to pay the entire cost, but we're still responsible for a fair sum. Can you imagine having to pay that amount without insurance?

And there's the emotional cost, as well. I found it incredibly difficult to learn to be a mother - the lack of sleep, the thankless work, the hormonal roller coaster. It's getting easier every day, but I'm eight weeks in and struggling. I recently returned to work half-time, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to ease back into my work routine. I love our son dearly, but all of this has been an unprecedented challenge for me.

All this to say James and I are now in a position to do these things. We chose to have this baby at a time that was right for us. The time that was right for us is certainly not the same for anyone else. There are those who choose to carry an unplanned pregnancy to term, those without partners, those without family support systems. And that's great: to have the ability to choose. What, I would ask, is wrong with that?

Let’s pretend that James and I got pregnant ten years ago. Ten years ago, I was fortunate to have the same supportive partner and family/friends and the same level of health, but that’s about it. In 2010, we were 23 and living in Minneapolis. I was an unpaid intern at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and I was also working four part-time jobs to try and pay rent. James was student teaching and making money on weekends by doing odd jobs and playing gigs. Financial stability was a few years off. Being parents at that time was unthinkable - we could barely make ends meet for ourselves. Thankfully, we never did get pregnant when we were not in a position to.

And that’s because of Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood provided me with free birth control in college when I was too scared to ask my regular provider. Planned Parenthood provided me with affordable birth control when I was out of college and could barely afford to feed myself. Planned Parenthood was a lifesaver.

That’s what the anti-choice movement seems to forget about Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood offers so much more than abortions. Planned Parenthood exists so women can get the healthcare and birth control they need, even if they can’t afford it. And yes, sometimes that health care includes abortions. But thanks to affordable birth control, the abortion rate is low.

This past November, while five months pregnant, I decided to watch Unplanned: the biopic about the former Planned Parenthood clinic director who “saw the light” and is now an anti-choice activist. I only made it half an hour before working myself into a rage so white-hot that James insisted I turn off the movie for fear my stress level would harm our unborn son.

The movie is propaganda: plain and simple. In those 30 minutes, I saw two wildly inaccurate portrayals of abortion. I saw Planned Parenthood depicted as a money-hungry machine, filled with cold people only interested in a profit. There’s one scene where the main character’s boss actually presses her to get an abortion so her work isn’t interrupted. What the actual fuck. Of course, the Coalition for Life Christians on the other side of the fence are portrayed as gentle and loving, holding no judgment. I can’t say that’s been my experience with anti-choice Christians.

Unplanned disgusted me, but not in the way its producers intended. To me, it’s a gross misrepresentation of Planned Parenthood and the difficult choice to have an abortion. I can’t imagine this film changing any minds - it will only reinforce what you already believe. It did that for me. Immediately after turning off the film, I logged into Planned Parenthood and upped my monthly donation.

The conservative right loves to argue against abortion, using familiar phrases like “life begins at conception” and “children are God’s miracle.” Here’s what absolutely gets me: the right is hell-bent on eliminating access to abortions, but once the baby is born, do they care at all about its welfare? No. No, they don’t. The right would love to cut programs like food stamps and WIC, daycare assistance and supplemental income. Once outside of the womb, that baby is no longer the right’s concern. Why is this baby more of a human worth of their time and money when it’s unborn?

And this “God’s miracle” nonsense. As an atheist, the miracle stuff is a non-starter with me. But I’d like to know: what kind of “miracle” is a pregnancy resulting from incest or rape? A woman should never be forced to carry through a pregnancy she doesn’t want, especially in the case of such a horrendous crime. But our government would have these women - victims - endure yet another trauma. 

Having a baby is the biggest and most impactful choice a woman can ever make. Think about it: if you marry the wrong person, you can get a divorce. If you're in the wrong job, you can get a new one. You can move out of the wrong house or the wrong city. You can change majors. Most decisions you make can eventually be undone.

Except motherhood. 

So all the more reason to have access to birth control and safe abortion options.

You’ve heard this before, and this won’t be the last time you hear it. But it’s my absolute firm belief.

If you are against abortion, don’t have one.

It seems so simple. No one will force you to have an abortion against your will. But as it stands, our government WILL force you to carry a pregnancy to term against your will. They will do this by restricting access via “heartbeat laws” and other hoops to jump through, like ultrasound viewings and 72-hour waiting periods. It’s your body, and if you are pregnant, it should absolutely be your choice as to how to proceed with that pregnancy. I am continually dumbfounded as to how this is even still a debate. Your body, your choice. It’s simple. 

But of course, it isn’t that simple. 

It’s been almost 50 years since Roe vs Wade, and we haven’t progressed like we should have. Abortion is a right. In my lifetime, will it be treated like one?

I can hope. 
I can donate.
And I can vote.

In the meantime, I will continue my unwavering support of abortion rights and Planned Parenthood. I will vote. I will do whatever I can so our daughters and granddaughters have more rights than we do.

Monday, March 2, 2020

top ten songs: Modest Mouse.

Do you guys remember Modest Mouse?

You should.

Modest Mouse came into my life in 2004 with the release of their album Good News For People Who Love Bad News. It's an angst-ridden masterpiece. I was 16 or 17 at the time, making me the perfect age for such an album. I myself was full of feelings (specifically, "no one understands me" and "I don't fit in here"), and Modest Mouse spoke to me. I've said this before and I will say it again: no music will ever hit you as hard as the music you listened to as a sad and angry teenager. 

Good News For People Who Love Bad News was one of the first new albums I bought when I had my own home and space for my beloved record player. (You may recall I got a record player for Christmas when I was 15. Way before they were cool.) My friend Sarah and I made sure to see Modest Mouse when they performed at the District in Sioux Falls. Yes, Modest Mouse came to Sioux Falls. We were all smushed together in this little room, getting stepped on and sweated on. But we were all teenagers again, so it didn't matter. 

Here are my top ten Modest Mouse songs, ranging from perennial favourites to newly-discovered loves. 

Ocean Breathes Salty
"Ocean Breathes Salty" is the first of many songs you'll find off the aforementioned album Good News For People Who Love Bad News. It's also the first Modest Mouse song I remember hearing and loving. As I've mentioned in numerous blog posts preceding this one, I am a huge fan of songs with upbeat instrumentation and tunes, but lyrics that are real downers. This song is no exception, as it's very much about death. It also sums up pretty neatly my view on the afterlife: "For your sake I hope heaven and hell/are really there, but I wouldn't hold my breath."

The View
Also heralding from Good News For People Who Love Bad News, "The View" was a favourite of mine right off the bat. However, it really solidified its place in my top ten list in college. As a sophomore, I shared an evening radio show with my then-boyfriend, an art major with whom I frequently butted heads about what to play. One band we agreed on? Modest Mouse. We attended the University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM), which meant the radio station was called KUMM. No joke. The station rules regarding profanity in music were thus: only gentle curse words were allowed for most of the day, but after 9pm, nothing was off the table. Our radio show was 8pm-10pm Sunday nights, so in the last hour, we could play whatever we wanted. I remember feeling like such a badass playing "The View" after 9 because it had the word "shit" in it. 20-year-olds are ridiculous. 

World at Large
We're just going to cover every favourite song from Good News For People Who Love Bad News (a masterpiece, I tell you) right off the bat. Besides the nine-second horn intro that's technically a separate track, this is the opening track on the album. It's also the first Modest Mouse song I ever remember hearing. There's something about the melancholy underlying guitar track that really struck a chord (bad music pun, sorry) with me. I also like that this song is unusual in that there's no discernible chorus. There are few songs who do this and do it well, so I applaud.

The Good Times Are Killing Me
Have we all thought this at one time or another, or is it just me? While nursing a hangover? And that's exactly what this song is about. Granted, it's been a while since I've had a real hangover and not a 30-something hangover... a 30-something hangover being "I had one glass of wine and my head is KILLING me." And as an eight-months pregnant person, it's even been quite some time since I've even had one of those. But that's all beside the point. We've all had those nights: "jaws clenched tight we talked all night/oh but what the hell did we say?" 

One Chance
"One Chance" is actually the most recent addition to my favourites list. I'd heard it before, certainly, but I was too busy skipping to my other favourites on Good News For People Who Love Bad News to pay too much attention. I heard it on Pandora the other day, and it hit me just right. I LOVE when this happens - this song is 15 years old, but it feels brand new. Modest Mouse hits you right away with these lyrics: "we have one chance/one chance to get everything right." Nothing like pressure, but we all know it's true. I love the juxtaposition between the gentle opening verse and the shouty middle, then back to gentle.

Float On
This is the sixth and final song I'm covering from Good News For People Who Love Bad News, though the album is full of other gems. "Float On" is the complete opposite of "World at Large" in that it's mostly chorus. But that's ok. It's also significantly more optimistic than any other Modest Mouse song on this list, basically telling us everything will turn out fine: "Don't worry even if things end up a bit too heavy/we'll all float on alright." However, in true Modest Mouse fashion, they end on an unresolved chord, making you question that optimism.

We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is my second-favourite Modest Mouse album, which I actually received on vinyl for Christmas this year (thanks, Mom and Dad!). It was the album following Good New For People Who Love Bad News, released in 2007. I was 19 or 20 and in college at the time, which is still the perfect age for angst and Modest Mouse. "Dashboard" is about a disastrous road trip, à la Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I also kind of love the "it could have been worse" mentality: "the dashboard melted, but we still have the radio."

Missed the Boat
Also from We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, the instrumentation in this song is lovely. It's slower and more mournful than "Dashboard," and it's about the fleeting quality of life: "Looking towards the future/we were begging for the past/well, we know we had the good things/but those never seemed to last/oh please, just last." The vocals in every Modest Mouse song are strong, but they're especially so in this song.

Tiny Cites Made of Ashes

These last two songs are from the 2000 album The Moon and Antarctica. This album came out four years before I was aware of Modest Mouse, but post-2004 deeper digging into their catalog led me here. "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" was one of the few songs I knew when Sarah and I saw Modest Mouse at the District in 2017. (Which was crazy, as I considered myself quite the Modest Mouse aficionado. However, their catalog is deep and wide.) "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" doesn't sound anything like any other Modest Mouse song I know, and if I didn't know better and heard it on the radio, I wouldn't think it was Modest Mouse at all. That's one of the things I love about them: they've got tons of different sounds and are certainly not afraid to experiment.

3rd Planet
I'm ending this list with "3rd Planet," another Pandora find - so I didn't start really loving this song until about a year ago. I just gone done saying Modest Mouse has tons of different sounds, which is true. But "3rd Planet" has what I would call a fairly common Modest Mouse sound in which there's a chunk in the middle where they start staying a bunch of stuff really fast. (Not the greatest musical description in the world, but forgive me.) Several of the songs on this list contain the same thing, which I love. It tends to jolt you out of whatever comfort zone you thought you were in with the song. Modest Mouse also loves to put huge concepts (like the meaning of life in previous songs) in a tiny perspective: "the universe is shaped exactly like the earth/if you go straight long enough, you'll end up where you were."

And that's ten songs! I hope you enjoyed this walk down teenage and twentysomething memory lane with me. 

If you'd like to read about my deep love for other musicians/bands, check out my other top ten lists! They're in order from newest to oldest.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

donuts v cupcakes.

We're several years into the big wave of artisanal cupcakes. Since then, we've seen artisanal everything else, from tiny bundt cakes to cookie dough. 

I'll admit, I was fully on the cupcake bandwagon to begin with. I am a huge fan of dessert, and it seemed totally incredible to be able to get cupcakes in different flavors instead of one giant pack of one flavor at HyVee.

The first cupcake shop I ever visited was in Sioux Falls, and it is called Oh My Cupcakes. They have good cupcakes, to be sure, but the cupcakes are served with a heaping side of Jesus. And you know I don't like Jesus shoved down my throat.

Queen City Bakery in Sioux Falls has my favourite cupcakes. Not only are they Jesus-free, but they are much more moist and with less sugary frosting than Oh My Cupcakes. The only downside to Queen City Bakery is they typically only have one or two cupcake flavors available at any given time, compared to Oh My Cupcakes' dozen or so.

The most entertaining cupcakery I have visited was a cupcake vending machine in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was called Sprinkles, and you picked out a cupcake just like you'd pick out a bag of chips. I have no recollection of the cupcake itself, but the vending machine experience was delightful.

James and I had cupcakes at our wedding instead of the traditional sheet cakes. That's old news now, but in 2013, we were the first people I knew who had done it. It was GREAT - no extra plates/silverware, no poor relative who had to be employed to slice cake, no having to choose just one flavour. 

But you know what I love even more than cupcakes?

When I visit someplace new, the first thing I look for is a specialty donut shop. 
Like Do-Rite Donuts in Chicago.
Or Psycho Donuts in San Jose.

My all-time favourite donuts are Flyboy Donuts in Sioux Falls. And you can get them shaped like letters! When I left my job at the Sioux Falls library, my boss got me farewell donuts spelling out a message.
They were the best donuts ever.

My second favourite donuts can be found in Minneapolis at a place called Bogart's Doughnut Co. They have gigantic donuts stuffed with Nutella, and you have to get there early before they sell out.

I am almost never disappointed with donut shops. I love the mini donuts at Sleepy V's in Minneapolis and the DIY donuts at Donutology in Kansas City and at the Fractured Prune in Glendale, Arizona. I'll even take Dunkin' Donuts.
How cute is this guy?? This was in Connecticut.
My sister bought me an Air Fryer for Christmas 2018, and she included a cookbook filled with ONLY DONUTS.

Made with crescent rolls and love!
In my humble opinion, which both are lovely treats, donuts always have been and always will be superior to cupcakes. I hope the donut trend never dies.

Next time, we'll talk about ice cream.

Monday, February 3, 2020

top ten songs: Prince.

(Please forgive the weird font sizing in this story. I have tried to fix it five times, but for whatever reason, my changes won't take. I'm super annoyed.)

Growing up in South Dakota, I didn't feel the deep connection to Prince that most Minnesotans do. I knew who he was, obviously, and had an appreciation for his unusual sound and stunning outfits, but that's about as far as it went.

Then, in 2005, I moved to Minnesota for college.

Granted, I was not a true Minnesotan back then. I still went home to South Dakota for the summers and told everyone I was from South Dakota. My driver's license listed my parents' South Dakota address. I was not yet assimilated.

I moved to Minneapolis in January 2010, during which time I became more connected with the state of Minnesota. I became weirdly proud to be living in the home state of Target, Bob Dylan, and Grain Belt. (South Dakota has much less to boast about). And Prince.

Though I never SAW Prince out and about in Minneapolis (every Minnesotan's dream), I was honored to be living in somewhat proximity to him. I did drive by Paisley Park a time or two, and I obviously knew where his star was at First Avenue. 
And thanks to my new Minneapolis-based favourite radio station, the Current, I became much more familiar with Prince's catalogue. 

Then, in late 2011, I moved back to South Dakota. Gone were all my feelings of Minnesotan pride and Minnesotan boasting rights. Thankfully, I got them all back when James and I purchased a home in Minnesota in summer 2013. I got a Minnesota ID and everything, so I was finally official.

Prince died in 2016, and I was crushed. I had spent three years as a card-carrying Minnesotan, but six years living in the state before that. I felt like Prince was one of my own. I was working at the downtown library in Sioux Falls at the time, and I was not the only one devastated by the news. Many of us wore purple for the rest of that week. 
MPR "strongly encouraged" Minnesotans to wear purple on Prince's birthday that year, which we definitely did.
James and I visited Paisley Park the following month, overwhelmed by the tributes left there. It was a sight to behold.
All that's to say I have ten favourite Prince songs. Prince and ABBA are the only two artists I've covered so far in which the lyrics are not that deep or meaningful.  Like ABBA, pretty much all of Prince's songs are about love. Typically, this completely turns me off from an artist. However, Prince is such an artist that I'm willing to overlook it all. That's what Prince does to me.

(I'd like to apologize in advance for some of the the videos. YouTube would only let me embed really weird ones, but you can find all of Prince's music videos on YouTube. Which I highly recommend you do after you read this. They're so weird and amazing.)

(I couldn't embed any relevant video at all, so just click the link and watch the video.)
 "7" is my all-time favourite Prince song, despite the religious undertones. I first heard it on the Current when I was living in Minneapolis in 2010. I don't know who these seven are, but apparently they'll all die. Have you ever watched the music video for this song? It is the WEIRDEST. Yet another reason I have tons of respect for Prince: he wasn't afraid to be strange. 
Purple Rain
Don't hate me, but I have to say it: Purple Rain is a TERRIBLE movie. While a top-notch musician, an actor he is not. The movie is just under two hours long, but I could've sworn it lasted an entire day. The soundtrack, though, is awesome. The next three songs (and this one, obviously) are all from the Purple Rain soundtrack. I bought it on vinyl a while ago, and I have never been so excited for a package from Amazon. "Purple Rain" is so full of emotion, and you can't help but feel every bit of it.
When Doves Cry
You may notice my entries for Prince's songs are much shorter than my typical ramblings for other artists' top ten songs. That's because with most artists, I have something to say about the lyrics and how deep and affecting they are. Prince's lyrics just aren't. With Prince, it's the instrumentation and the tunes, through and through. He's got such a distinctive and experimental sound that you can pick out a Prince song pretty quickly, even though it sounds nothing like any of the other songs he's ever done. Just try and think of a song (by Prince or anyone else) that sounds even remotely like "When Doves Cry." You can't do it. And that's why Prince is Prince.
Let's Go Crazy
After Prince's death, this song was so widely quoted, as it opens with an organ and what sounds like Prince giving a eulogy: "Dearly beloved/we are gathered here today/to get through this thing called life." But the rest of the song is basically a dance party... which honestly sounds like a super fun funeral. I guess we can all hope for that.
I Would Die 4 U
This is the last song on my list from the Purple Rain soundtrack, and it's back with the religious messaging. Again, I can ignore it because I love Prince too much. Whenever I write these blog posts, I listen to the song in question as I write its paragraph. (Which you probably assumed, but it's worth telling you.) With all of Prince's songs, I find myself dancing involuntarily. Even if it's just my shoulders moving, it's like the song takes over. SUCH IS THE POWER OF PRINCE.
This song, as well as the next two, are from Prince's album 1999: another masterpiece. I was only 12 in 1999, and I really wish I had known this song in 1999. I do love that this song is so ubiquitous to celebrating that many of us still say "let's party like it's 1999." I'm pretty sure I said that in Iceland, and I'm really sure I said that at James's and my wedding. 1999 was 21 years ago (!!!), and if you can believe it, this song is 38 years old (!!!!!!!). But the sentiment will never die.
Yet another truly danceable piece of music. My friends and I used to have dance parties in college (who didn't?), and as we attended a Minnesotan liberal arts college, plenty of our dance tracks were Prince. "Delirious" was always one of them. (PS - how great is this video of Prince and the Muppets??)

Little Red Corvette 
You should know: I don't think "Little Red Corvette" is a particularly good song. It made it to my list because of its deep integration into my life. "Little Red Corvette" was the first Prince song I ever heard, though I could not tell you when or where. But it is so much a part of pretty much everyone's psyche that I would challenge you to find one person who does not immediately get this song stuck in their head upon seeing a red Corvette. I bet it can't be done.
Prince's sound is called Minneapolis funk, and I think this is my favourite example of it. Also, I LOVE a good falsetto, and Prince can truly pull it off. And you should watch this music video. It's amazing and shows Prince in his prime. You should watch all these music videos, really. They're something else, but in a GREAT way.
Raspberry Beret
Like "Little Red Corvette," I don't think "Raspberry Beret" is an actual good song. but I have such a soft spot for the same reason as "Little Red Corvette": forced life integration. As a young teenager, my older, cooler cousin Ethan gave me his raspberry beret. Years later, I bought one for my friend Bob. Raspberry berets never looked so good.

That concludes my ten favourite Prince songs. There are SO many more I could talk about, as Prince was quite prolific. Instead, I'll leave you here with a picture of me posting as Prince for a library bookface photo. Happy listening.

If you can't get enough of my musical taste, here's a list of ten other artists I've given the ten-song treatment to. (They're in order from newest post to oldest. Can you believe I wrote the first one in 2014?!)


Simon and Garfunkel