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Carrie Brownstein's Favorite Things

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Carrie Brownstein's Favorite Things

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Carrie Brownstein's Favorite Things

Carrie Brownstein's Favorite Things

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The former guitarist for the group Sleater-Kinney and blogger takes on Oprah Winfrey and issues her own "Favorite Things" list. Q-tips are number one.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Well, like most Americans we just can't seem to get enough of Oprah. Her weekend campaign swing give us an opportunity to introduce a new voice to DAY TO DAY.

She is Carrie Brownstein, best known as a former guitarist in the trio Sleater-Kinney. She recently began writing a blog for npr.org. In her first radio essay, Carrie explores how the Oprah effect extends all the way to an alt punk indie rock star in Portland, Oregon.

(Soundbite of "Jingle Bells")

CARRIE BROWNSTEIN: The holiday has crept up on me this year. Was the week following Easter when the shopping season began? I am way behind. I read that Oprah recently announced her favorite things. A panini maker? Really? So that every lunch feels like the lunch you eat at your office? I think the only favorites that Oprah and I share are the "Planet Earth" DVDs and Scrabble.

Why am I writing about Oprah? I can honestly say that I have never written about her before, even in an e-mail. This is a surefire way to alienate myself from NPR listeners. Not to mention a valid reason to start seeing a therapist. Must stop.

In honor of never mentioning Oprah again, I will now exorcise the Oprah demon in the form of my own favorite things list. Number one, Q-Tips. Give the gift of clean ears to those you love but who have neglected the simple yet pleasurable regimen. Make sure to promote a safe and gentle technique. But remember, ear wax is a natural buffer against loud music and car horns, so leave a little behind. Dispose of Q-Tips after use. And by that I don't mean leaving them on your nightstand.

Two: floss. Bleeding, swollen gums are unsightly. Floss is the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone who thinks that chewing Altoids is tantamount to proper dental hygiene.

Number three: YouTube. Send a link of a YouTube video. Include a cheerful holiday greeting to distinguish it from the thousands of other YouTube videos you forwarded in 2007. If you have artistic leanings, make a storyboard of your favorite YouTube video and give them out as a series of one-of-a-kind paintings.

Number four: pizza. Show up Christmas morning with a pizza. Who doesn't love the Italian tostada? Everyone will forget you didn't actually bring a present.

And number five: music. Buy a CD and download it onto your computer. The CD is now ready to give out as a gift. Music recommendation: just give everyone the soundtrack to Todd Haynes's film "I'm Not There." It will be hard to find a better album or to see a more daring movie this year.

For DAY TO DAY, this is Carrie Brownstein in Portland, Oregon.

(Soundbite of song)

BRAND: Carrie Brownstein's blog is called Monitor Mix. You can find it over in the new music corner of our Web site. Just go to nprmusic.org and look for the link that says blog.

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