Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's Been A Long, Long, Long, Long Time

It's been a long time since I posted. I've been very busy helping with the new Fairfield Playroom (hauling, scraping & painting, installing rubber flooring, etc.), working on our house & on our new garage (building shelves & a cat condo, hanging bikes & such from the ceiling, caulking & painting, fixing/replacing baseboard heaters, etc.), working at my job (I had a 3 month dry spell & a lot of bad luck at my job after my dad died), dealing with my dad's estate (lots of bullshit with one of my dad's investment companies), worrying & obsessing about the election (donating money to Obama's campaign, ordering & displaying t-shirts, bumper stickers & signs, sending emails, buying flags, reading Salon.com, TheStranger.com, FiveThirtyEight.com, Gallup.com, etc.), being a (generally) good & dutiful father & husband, and also endlessly blathering on & on re: how very busy I am.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to offer a few final thoughts on this election.

First of all, it feels so amazing, moving & great to have voted for & helped elect the first African-American POTUS. Also, the first Muslim POTUS, the first Socialist POTUS, & the first Terrorist POTUS.


Incidentally, Obama stole "Yes we can!" from Bob The Builder. ("Can we do it? Yes we can!") But Bob The Builder is, like Joe The Plumber, not licensed & does not pay taxes--so fuck him.

I bought my wife an "Obama Mama" t-shirt, & our 2-yr-old son loves to say "Obama Mama". I might create & sell t-shirts that say: Obama Llama, Obama Comma, Obama Dalai Lama, Obama Brahma, Obama Musical Drama, Obama Pajama, Obama Fujiyama.


I think it's hilarious that there are so many wingnut whackjobs out there who think that Obama is not a Christian, that he is the Anti-Christ, that he used his Anti-Christ powers to get people to foolishly vote for him, etc. (Check out SNL alum & crazy religious freak Victoria Jackson's website.

I think it would be equally hilarious if it turned out that Obama is actually the Second Coming of Christ. (After all, Christ was a non-white & a Socialist.) Then Obama would smite all of these stupid, non-believing whackjobs. Oh the irony.

Speaking of irony, I think it's such a shame that some of the biggest Democrats died this yr & didn't live to see Obama elected President--namely George Carlin, Studs Terkel, Kurt Vonnegut, Paul Newman, & Madelyn Dunham (Obama's grandmother). Also, my dad.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Our Dumb State

I've been playing around with Google maps lately, & I've created one of Iowa called "Our Dumb State: That's Where The Tall Corn Grows".

Click the pic below to open this Google map. On the Google map, click any of the onions to see a link to an Onion newsstory about/set in the specified Iowa city.

(I got this idea from reading The Onion for the last several yrs & noticing that there are a lot of stories which take place in Iowa. I can't say if there are more in Iowa per capita than other states--but a lot nonetheless.)

Notice that there are no Onion newsstories in the southwest or mid-south of the state. That's because those areas contain only very smart people.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Dad

Look at the circled man in the following pics. Notice he never smiles for the camera--in fact, he seems to be glowering at it. Yet there are other people in the pics who are smiling. (For bonus points, notice that the man has the same rigid pose in all of the pics--in fact, he has the same outfit--even though these pics were taken on different days.)

(Click on the pics to enlarge.)

This man is/was my father's father.

Look at the boy in the following pics. Notice he too never smiles for the camera--in fact, he looks as though he loathes the photographic arts. Yet there are other people in the pics who are smiling.

This boy is/was my father.

My father died on July 13. He was 80 years old.

When we were growing up, he was not a good father to any of us six kids (a little better to some of us than to others--but still not good), nor was he a good husband to my mother. (My mother left him after nearly 45 yrs of marriage, long after all of us kids had moved out of the house, & even longer after she had stopped loving him.)

He was not the worst father in the world--he worked very hard, & he provided for us. But this is & was no great feat. My mother worked even harder than my father--she milked the cows with him every morning & evening, plus she did all of the cooking, coupon-clipping, shopping, diaper-changing, mending & sewing (she made a lot of our clothes, til we were old enough to want only clothes from a store), chauffeuring us kids (to piano lessons, swim lessons, play dates, etc.), getting us kids ready for school, taking care of us when we were sick, going to parent-teacher conferences, mowing our yards (til we kids were older & could mow), gardening, canning vegetables, refinishing furniture, wallpapering & painting, etc.--& she did chores on the farm everyday, such as herding cows, feeding them bales of hay, cleaning out their soiled straw bedding, etc., etc., etc.

Certainly not least, my mom was the main caregiver for my sis who has Down Syndrome & is not very high-functioning.

(FYI: My other three sisters helped Mom with some housework--such as washing dishes, vacuuming & dusting, & doing laundry--because, of course, they were girls. My brother & I helped with the farmwork--such as milking the cows, grinding feed, cleaning out hoghouses, & baling hay & straw--because, of course, we were boys.)

In fact, my mom often stayed up til midnight or later to get all of her work done--while, hours earlier, my dad had fallen asleep in his chair with his portable radio on the floor next to him, the TV turned on, & the newspaper still in his hands.

So the whole providing-for-us & hard-work ethic? We would've gotten that from Mom, even if Dad wasn't there.

Dad may have provided for us, but he didn't provide any encouragement, kindness, affection, wisdom, or compliments. He didn't teach me how to do anything--not how to tie my shoe, how to ride a bike, how to whistle, how to drive. He just told me to do things. The only support we got from him was financial. And the only attention we got from him was negative or apathetic.

At best, my father was simply there.

At worst, he had a scary, very bad temper. He would suddenly fly off the handle, yell loudly to scare, hit us kids across the face with his open-hand, run after us & swiftly kick us in the rear, causing us to fly forward & fall to the ground.

Most of the time he just threatened us--by giving us a scarily angry look, yelling at us & telling us that he was going to give us a reason to cry, raising his hand at us, lunging at us.

Why did he do these things to us? Sometimes it was because we'd misbehaved (i.e., just being a kid), but often it was because we had accidentally done something like spill our milk at the supper table, or break a window, or let a cow get through a gate that the cow shouldn't have gone through. If anything even slightly unfortunate occurred, then there was always somebody to blame--& there was usually hell to pay. (But whenever anything unfortunate did occur, it was never Dad's fault, of course.)

Here are some pictures taken while we were living on the dairy farm. Notice that Dad still isn't smiling for the camera. Yet, once again, there are other people in the pics who are smiling.

It seems apparent from these pics--& from my first-hand, extensive, not-at-all-fun experience growing up with him--my dad suffered from depression. He was certainly not a happy man. He occassionally laughed (usually at TV shows)--but he never made a joke that I can remember. He seemed to take little or no joy in his kids or grandkids. (He liked his dogs, though.)

Basically, when Dad was nearby, we didn't walk on eggshells--we lived on them. Stood, sat, slept on eggshells.

(Truth In Aggrandizing: There are, in existence, some pics taken during this period where Dad is smiling--but in these pics, he isn't looking at the camera. It seems he didn't even know his picture was being taken. And there are a few pics from this period where he's looking into the camera & grinning slightly, but there are no pics taken during this time where he is truly smiling for the camera.)

Yet our childhoods weren't horrible--we often had fun with each other, our dogs & cats, our relatives, & with our mom. Mom had/has a good sense of humor & laughed a lot & had fun. She cared for us, & she sometimes even stood up to Dad for us.

(FYI: My dad never struck my mom. If Dad was angry with her--because she had stood up to him or disagreed with him, e.g.--then he would simply not talk to her or even look in her direction for days. And/or he would not attend an event--a Grange meeting or a school event for one of us kids, e.g.--that they were to attend together. Mom would attend the event without Dad & make up a lie to tell people as to why he wasn't attending--he had a bad headache, e.g. )

My mom says that my dad was a nice, kind man while they were dating & in the first years of their marriage. During this time, he had very few, but very bad, bad moments. Like when he in a rage (which is how he later usually did things), yelled, ran after & fired a shotgun toward a neighbor's horse who had escaped & was eating our grain. Dad was just trying to scare it away, but the horse got hit by Dad's buckshot, ran to its home & died. (Mom & Dad found out about the horse's death from the neighbors themselves, when they had called upon Mom & Dad soon after.)

According to Mom, Dad felt horrible & was paralyzed with shame about killing his neighbor's horse--yet he wouldn't admit blame to the neighbor & try to right his wrong. (The neighbors almost certainly figured out that it was Dad who killed their horse. There was a trail of blood in the snow from our farm at the time to the neighbor's farm.)

According to Mom. this kind of scary, violent, shameful behavior from Dad became much more prevalent after they bought the dairy farm--which was the year before I was born. Mom thinks that the pressure of large farm payments to the bank stressed him & always made him feel like he had to be working everyday from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM (except when a good ballgame or "The Price Is Right" was on TV).

During the day, Dad was almost always doing something (& we had to help him on weekends & in the summer)--cleaning out cow lots that didn't really need cleaning out, re-painting fences & buildings that didn't really need re-painting, etc. I can imagine Dad spending an entire afternoon digging a hole just to bury some dirt.

(FYI: On the dairy farm, we couldn't really take vacations, because dairy cows have to be milked twice a day, everyday--& our cows would not allow just anyone to milk them. Nope--if a cow didn't know you, she would kick you, crush you between her body and another cow, projectile-urinate at you, even projectile-liquid-defecate at you. Seriously--a stranger who was milking a cow would get completely splattered with liquid cow shit. So that meant we could only go on day trips. Once or twice per year, we'd wake up much earlier than usual to milk the cows, then we'd drive somewhere for the day, then we'd have to leave to be back home by 5:00 PM at the latest in order to milk the cows again. As you might guess, this did nothing to help relieve stress.)

Two years before my folks bought the dairy farm, my dad's own dad died--& his dad was not very old. According to my mom, Dad would often go out of his way to visit his father & take him to auctions & other places, apparently trying to get his dad's approval & affection (which Dad never received).

When my mother told me this, it seemed odd to me, because my father's father was a real S.O.B. (as my mom calls him). When my dad was three years old, his dad beat him very badly, & a hired hand had to carry my dad back to the house. Why did his dad beat him so? Because my dad was in a barn that he shouldn't have been in. According to my dad, this was his earliest memory. Last year, he told me how his dad would pick up the nearest object to hit him & his brothers with. This happened whenever his dad perceived them to have done something they shouldn't have--which, Dad said, happened every few weeks.

Unfortunately for me & my siblings, Dad carried on this family tradition--but he didn't strike us with objects (except one time that I will relate), he just used his hand or foot.

Now that my own father has died, I can see how a father's death can terribly affect a person, especially if the father never gave approval & affection to the child while alive. For now that the father is gone, the child will never get that approval or affection--a.k.a. "love" (or whatever you'd like to call it).

This lack of love from one parent can make a person feel completely unloved & worthless--even if the person had another parent who was loving. Only two people brought you into this world--& it seems that if just one of these two people (i.e., a perfect split, 50%) would just as soon not have you in the world, then you & your self-esteem can be seriously screwed up.

Unfortunately for some people, the love from their loving parent doesn't overrule the total lack of love from their unloving parent. They do not even cancel each other out. From my experience, what happens is this: The child ends up forever trying to get approval & affection from the unloving parent, perhaps even placing greater attention & importance on the unloving parent than on the loving parent--since the love from the loving parent is a given.

According to Mom, when all six of us kids lived on the dairy farm, Dad would dole out his anger at the three oldest kids alternately. As the three oldest kids moved out, one by one, the three youngest kids grew & became of age to receive Dad's wrath, replacing the oldest kids.

Unfortunately for me (the youngest), my next oldest sibling was my sis with Down Syndrome, whom Dad didn't strike, & whom Dad didn't yell at as often as the other kids (but when he did yell at her, he usually made her cry). And the next oldest sibling after her was my sis who was very good at not doing anything bad--to be more precise, not doing anything that Dad might get enraged about. (She had very carefully observed her three older siblings and what they did & the treatment they received from Dad in response--& she learned well from their example.)

So when it was just the three youngest kids still in the house, it was almost always me who was the reason/target for Dad's anger, according to my mom.

So was created the perfect storm: My father's father was a real S.O.B. who beat my father when he was young. Then my father's father died too young to ever change for the better & give my father the love he desperately craved--& he died only two years before my folks bought the dairy farm. One year after they bought the dairy farm, I was born. Owning the dairy farm caused a great deal of stress for my dad, & as I grew, I became the main target for Dad's wrath.

(Interesting Aside: After my folks bought the dairy farm, they saw on the property abstract that my father's paternal grandparents had previously owned the farm--a fact that my father had not previously known. My father had very little knowledge of his paternal grandparents, and as stated, my father's father died well before they had even considered buying the dairy farm. That farm was far too big for just my father's grandparents--so it seems that my father's father had lived & worked on that same farm with his own parents.

After I learned of this fact a few years ago, I pondered on the Stephen King story "The Shining". I imagined that the dairy farm itself, & the spirits that still dwelled there, were the cause of Dad's insanity & violence. Oddly, such thought gave me some comfort--by way of an easy explanation & by way of denying any personal responsibility on Dad's part.)

Besides usually making me feel as though he didn't care I existed (& often making me feel as though he would've preferred that I didn't exist), the worst thing that Dad ever did to me was whip me--with an actual cow whip.

For those who have received such physical punishment from a parent--for doing something that they (the child) knew they shouldn't do--this may not seem like such a huge, huge deal.

But allow me to tell the story & then you'll see why it was a huge, huge deal--the kind of deal that spoiled the way I saw my dad for the rest of his life.

One evening when I was about 12 or 13, my dad & I were herding cows from one lot into another. The cows needed to be sorted correctly, & I was in front of the half-open gate, allowing the correct cows to go through into the other lot. Suddenly, as I was letting a correct cow go through, an incorrect cow ran along the other side of the correct cow, & the incorrect cow got through the gate.

Here's what a sane, rational father of good emotional health would've done. He would've understood that I couldn't have stopped the incorrect cow from running through the gate--since I was on one side of the correct cow & the incorrect cow was on the other side. He would've understood that he (the father) had as much ability to stop the animal from running through as I had.

But here's what my father did: He flew at me in a rage, cursed & yelled at me, & whipped my pant-covered legs with his cow whip, & more than a couple times.

Here's what I did: I covered my face & head with my arms as he whipped my legs--in fear that he would whip higher up my body.

When he was done whipping me, he was still crazy-angry, & we had to get the incorrect cow out of the herd of correct cows & back into the lot with the incorrect cows. When we were done sorting all the cows, I went back to the house, told my mom what happened, & showed her the welts & whipmarks on my legs.

Here's what my mother did: She became very upset & angry with my dad, & she apparently confronted him about it.

Here's what my father did a couple weeks later when it was just him & me in the cow lot again: He whipped me again--& he whipped me more this time than he did the first time. I don't even remember doing anything wrong prior to this second whipping. What I remember very well is that he looked at me with a psychotic, sadistic half-smile on his lips & in his eyes, & he told me that he'd give it to me even worse next time if I told my mom about this one.

Here's what I did: I told my mom. And I showed her the new welts & whipmarks. And I told her what he had said--that he would give it to me even worse next time if I told her about this one.

Here's what my mother did: Nothing. (Apparently.)

I never got whipped by Dad again--so it seems that Mom didn't confront him about the second whipping. What could she have done? If she had said anything to Dad about the second whipping, she would have put her child in harm's way of a madman again. She couldn't be with me at all times to protect me. At the time, I completely understood why she didn't say anything to him about it--in fact, I didn't want to her to say anything to him. I told her what he did and said just so she'd understand that she was married to a madman.

Dad had crossed a line. On one side of that line was this: His anger getting the better of him (as it always did). And on the other side was this: Perverse, pre-meditated malice & malevolence.

I imagine that this was the definite beginning of the end of Mom's love for Dad.

(FYI: According to my mom, Dad didn't whip any of the other kids--& she believes that she would've heard it/heard about it if he had.)

After my mom finally left him (almost 20 years after the whipping incidents), he hit bottom. He rebounded hard, & he re-married about a year after Mom left him. After one year of marriage, his second wife left him.

He hit bottom even harder--but he was still oblivious as to why wives were leaving him.

Sometime after his second divorce, I went to visit him & ask him if I could borrow some money to help pay for my own divorce. (FYI: All of my sibs--except for my sis with Down Syndrome--have been married & divorced at least once. Hmmm...)

My dad refused to loan me any money, saying he had none to loan--which was, I'm sure, not true--but that was OK, I didn't question him. But then he became angry with me for asking, & he proceeded to tell me that it was my asking to borrow money that caused Mom & him to divorce.


Here's the story: When my first wife & I were buying our first (& only) house, we asked my parents to loan us some money to help with our down payment. At the time I didn't know this--my dad didn't want to loan us the money, but my mom did. So she took out a personal loan in her name only, & she loaned us the money--despite my dad's objections.

My dad claims that it was this disagreement that caused them to split up.

(So the hundreds of bales of straw, piled high on top of that camel wasn't what broke its back & killed it after all--it was that one straw in bale #637 that did it in. Alrighty then.)

I responded to him by saying that my asking for money didn't cause them to split up--he & Mom had the worst marriage I'd ever known (after my own horrible first marriage, of course), & that's why they spilt up.

He retorted by saying that the neighbors thought they had a good marriage.

Ah yes, the neighbors. That's what really mattered. That's who really mattered. That was all that had mattered to Dad. Dad had many different neighbors over the years, but their perceptions of him mattered more to Dad than his family's perceptions of him.

That's why Dad re-painted fences (&/or had us kids re-paint the fences) that didn't really need repainting--because they'd look better for the neighbors. That's why he worked all day, sometimes doing nothing that needed done--so the neighbors would think that he was hard-working.

That's why he didn't admit to his neighbor that he had killed the horse--because the neighbor would think less of him. What Dad didn't understand--& what was probably bloody clear to everyone else around him--was this: To not admit blame was even more shameful. But Dad obviously decided it was better to feel terribly shameful & guilty, and have the neighbor possibly think less of him.

(Interesting Aside #2: A few years ago, my mom told me that Dad believed my sister was born with Down Syndrome because of the horse incident. My mom was sick with worry & shame about the horse incident--while my Mom was pregnant with my sister. After my sister was born, Dad believed, for awhile at least, that my sister's condition was a result of Mom's worry & shame. So Mom was to blame for my sister's Down Syndrome.)

Dad didn't understand that his own family & wife & their perceptions of him should matter more than the neighbors (or even his goddamned S.O.B. father) & their perceptions of him.

But in his last few years, Dad finally became a good parent & a good mate. For one thing, he was 70 years old, & he just didn't seem to have the strength needed to be such a goddamned S.O.B. Also, he had now been essentially told by two different wives that they could no longer be with such a goddamned S.O.B., & they left him--so he was now forced to ruminate a little on his own goddamned behavior & its consequences.

Lastly, he met a very nice woman who allowed him to move into her home, & who was able to tell him point blank to stop being such a goddamned S.O.B.--or else get his own goddamned place to live. (Of course, none of these nice women would ever use this kind of language.)

Unlike his own dad, our dad was blessed with a life that was long enough for him to finally become a good parent & a good mate. In fact, out of the blue a few years ago, he mailed each of us kids a check for $1000, for no reason other than he thought we could each use it. And every birthday, he mailed cards & money to us kids & the grandkids. (When they were married, Mom was always the one to send birthday cards--even to Dad's relatives.)

He even called us kids on the phone now & then. (For several years, Dad apparently thought that our phones were one-way only--that is, we could call him, but he could not possibly call us. In fact, before he discovered this new-fangled techno-thingy called "dialing out", I would call him & he'd sometimes passively, yet aggressively, complain that he hadn't received a call from one or more of the other kids in some time.) Plus, at least once per week, he'd talk on the phone with my sis with Down Syndrome, &/or he'd drive about 30 minutes from his place to my sis's group home to take her out to lunch & possibly shopping. And he now actually made jokes, smiled & laughed a lot (& not just at TV shows).

He even learned to hug us goodbye & to say "I love you" on the phone before hanging up. (He had never said "I love you" to any of us kids when we were growing up.) Here's a good story: Sometime after my Mom left him, I called him to see how he was doing. He was still not doing well. We talked for awhile, & when I said goodbye, I said "I love you, Dad." He said "Well, we'll talk to you later," and he hung up.

That was the first time I had said that to my Dad, & my Dad had never said it to me.

A couple minutes later, my phone rang. It was Dad. He said he just wanted to say that he loved me too.

It seemed he never became really comfortable saying it to us on the phone, nor did he seem really comfortable hugging us goodbye. His eyes usualy watered when we said goodbye after seeing him, and he usually got choked up & couldn't say much, but he still managed to say it sometimes.

He also said it to us on his deathbed.

After several years of education, he had finally learned that his own family & mate--& our perceptions of him--mattered as much as (if not more than) the neighbors. (And/or maybe he got on Prozac--I'll have to check his medicine cabinet.)

I'd long ago forgiven Dad for his bad parenting--I know he had a bad example to follow. But much like my good-girl sister with her older-sibling examples, I had learned from my dad what not to do as a father. And so I am the father that I wish I'd had, & I refuse to carry on my dad's family tradition.

I used to wonder why he carried it on. It seemed he knew that hitting & kicking us was something he shouldn't do, because he wouldn't do it front of the neighbors, my mom's parents or other people. Was it that he didn't want to stop it? Maybe he wanted his father's approval so much that he was actually emulating & honoring his father? Or was it that he simply couldn't stop it? Maybe he was actually fighting it as best he could, lest he be as bad to us as his father was to him? Who knows.

Here are some pics of my dad in his last few years. Notice how he is smiling for the camera. I miss this man very much. (I don't much miss the man in the other pics.)

It turns out my dad did teach me something: It's never too late to change for the better.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Less Than 2 II (& III Too)

Here are 2 more "Less Than 2" playlists. I played II on my radio show a few wks ago. I'll be playing III on my radio show this Thur nite (Jun 5th) from 9 to 11 PM Central on KRUU FM.

To recap from before, pop & rock songs prior to 1963 were almost always less than 3 mins long, & quite often less than 2 mins long. Then came The Beatles, FM radio, mind-altering drugs, & Album Oriented Rock. So nowadays, pop & rock songs that are less than 2 mins long are very rare. (Yet songs that are more than 7 mins long--such as "Hey Jude", "American Pie", "Layla", "Free Bird", "Purple Rain", "Champagne Supernova", "Won't Get Fooled Again", "Stairway To Heaven", "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes", "Living For The City", "Life's Been Good", "You Can't Always Get What You Want", "Light My Fire", "Deacon Blues", "Roundabout", "Starship Trooper", "Like A Hurricane", and "Can't You Hear Me Knocking"--are radio staples.)

Each of my "Less Than 2" playlists will fit onto 1 CD (if the silence at the beginning & end of songs is edited out). It's strange to listen to a CD containing 40 or more songs. Listening, it seems as if time is being altered and then altered again--it seems elongated by the sheer number of songs--yet it seems shortened, since songs seem to end almost as soon as they begin. It's as if a min is no longer 60 seconds--it's now only 30 secs. And an hr is no longer 60 mins--or even 120 30-second mins. It's now 240 mins.

Nowadays, songs that are less than 2 mins long are usu not released as singles. They are often songs that open or close an album, and their tempo is often very fast--such that it would be exhausting (for the listener as well as the band) if they lasted more than 2 mins.

For these three "Less Than 2" playlists, I've pretty much exhausted all of the artists that I enjoy--so this is probably the last of these playlists.

Note: For my "Less Than 2" playlists, I did not use any songs that were short reprises of earlier songs on an album--such as The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)", or "Finale" from The Kinks album "Schoolboys In Disgrace". Nor did I use short demo versions of longer songs. (And I tried to stay away from rock instrumentals & interludes--altho I allowed a few to sneak in, simply because they are well-known and pretty darned good.)

(The links below are to the songs in iTunes unless notated otherwise.)

Less Than 2 II
1. Prologue - Electric Light Orchestra
2. The Leader - The Clash
3. Venus And Mars - Paul McCartney & Wings
4. Miss Gradenko - The Police *
5. Doll - Foo Fighters
6. The Heart Of The Band - They Might Be Giants
7. We Have Heaven - Yes
8. Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment - The Ramones

9. Tea - Brendan Benson Amazon.com (not available in iTunes)
10. Misfire - Queen
11. My Flying Saucer - Billy Bragg & Wilco
12. Particle Man - They Might Be Giants
13. Secondary Modern - Elvis Costello

14. Child Is Father Of The Man - The Beach Boys (From their unreleased "Smile" album. Not available in iTunes or Amazon.com)
15. 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) - Simon & Garfunkel
16. Little Deuce Coupe - The Beach Boys
17. Welcome To The Working Week - Elvis Costello
18. Career Opportunities - The Clash
19. Seven Days Of The Week (I Never Go To Work) - They Might Be Giants
20. Mystery Dance - Elvis Costello
21. Whistle In - The Beach Boys
22. Letterbox - They Might Be Giants
23. Kinda Fonda Wanda - Neil Young & The Shocking Pinks
24. Carbona Not Glue - The Ramones
25. Love For Tender - Elvis Costello
26. Zeroes - They Might Be Giants
27. Imperia - Fountains Of Wayne
28. I Love To Say Da Da - The Beach Boys
29. Little Tiny Song - Barenaked Ladies
30. Women And Men - They Might Be Giants
31. Commando - The Ramones
32. Hot Cha - They Might Be Giants
33. White Riot - The Clash
34. Ooh La! Ooh La! - They Might Be Giants
35. Girlfriend - Harry Nilsson
36. Beaten To The Punch - Elvis Costello
37. Click Click - The English Beat
38. I Was Born - Natalie Merchant
39. Sapphire Bullets Of Love - They Might Be Giants
40. Black And White World - Elvis Costello
41. Hell - Foo Fighters
42. Five Percent For Nothing - Yes
43. Twisting - They Might Be Giants
44. Everybody's Rockin' - Neil Young & The Shocking Pinks
45. Song For The Asking - Simon & Garfunkel
46. I Don't Need This Pressure Ron - Billy Bragg
47. Dear Friends - Queen

48. Lullabye - Emitt Rhodes Amazon.com (not available in iTunes)
49. Epilogue - Electric Light Orchestra

* = iTunes lists this song as 2 mins long, but there are a few secs of silence at the end of it

Less Than 2 III
1. Threshold - The Steve Miller Band
2. When Heroes Go Down - Suzanne Vega
3. Country Pie - Bob Dylan
4. Papa Gene's Blues - The Monkees
5. Barnyard - Brian Wilson
6. Breaking Glass - David Bowie
7. Very Ape - Nirvana
8. Ronnie, Talk To Russia - Prince
9. Modern Times Rock 'N' Roll - Queen
10. Charlottesville- They Might Be Giants
11. You Just May Be The One - The Monkees
12. Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance - Bob Dylan
13. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives - Pink Floyd
14. Which Describes How You're Feeling - They Might Be Giants
15. The Celibate Life - The Shins
16. Memo To My Son - Randy Newman
17. I'm In Great Shape/I Wanna Be Around/Workshop - Brian Wilson
18. The Frying Pan - John Prine
19. The Kind Of Girl I Could Love - The Monkees
20. Odds And Ends - Bob Dylan & The Band
21. Eight Hundred & Thirteen Mile Car Trip - They Might Be Giants
22. The Imposter - Elvis Costello
23. Hole In My Pocket - Sam Phillips
24. Nevermore - Queen
25. Cool Cool Water - The Beach Boys
26. I Hear The Rain - The Violent Femmes
27. Tommy Can You Hear Me? - The Who
28. Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out - The Replacements
29. We're The Replacements - They Might Be Giants
30. Sweet Young Thing - The Monkees
31. The Show Must Go On - Pink Floyd
32. Vancouver- They Might Be Giants
33. Saturday - The Carpenters
34. Girls Talk - Elvis Costello
35. Asbury Park - They Might Be Giants
36. I Dreamed I Stopped Dreaming - Sam Phillips
37. Lily Of The Valley - Queen
38. Clean Money - Elvis Costello
39. Nonagon - They Might Be Giants
40. Talking Pictures - Sam Phillips
41. Outside The Wall - Pink Floyd
42. Mama Says - The Beach Boys
43. God Is Love - Marvin Gaye

44. Why Did You Grow A Beard? - They Might Be Giants From "The Spine" bonus disc, which is called "Cast Your Pod To The Wind" (not available in iTunes)
45. He Gives Us All His Love - Randy Newman
46. Kiss Me, Son Of God - They Might Be Giants
47. Goodbye - Elton John
48. Lullaby - The Free Design
49. And Your Dream Comes True - The Beach Boys
50. Goodnight My Friends - They Might Be Giants