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October 2014

31 Music Fest Round-Up

I had what I thought was a great idea to share at Google Plus, posting a song each day that matches the characteristics on this list. But it was pretty much a bust, though a friend who did it got some neat responses from a couple of her friends. Still, I had fun doing it and thought I'd post the whole thing here, for archival purposes or something. With about half the posts, I wrote some reflections on the song, but I won't share much of that here; it'll be long enough as it is. It gave me inspiration for this year's NaNoWriMo effort, though. I've put in YouTube links in case someone wants to hear any of the songs.

1. A song that seems written about you: "Windy," by The Association
2. A song that felt like your theme during senior year in high school: "Fascination" by Human League
3.  A good song from the year you were born: "I Want Candy" by The Strangeloves
*4. An album or song you own in at least three formats: Songs for Swingin' Lovers by Frank Sinatra: "Old Devil Moon"
5. A song that scared you as a child: "I'm Not in Love" by 10CC
6. A good theme from a TV show you watched as a child: "The Jeffersons"
7. The band that reminds you most of one or both of your parents: Steely Dan: "Peg"
*8. Your victory song: "I'm Free" by Soup Dragons
9. A lovemaking song: "Corcovado" by Cannonball Adderley
10. A great song for driving on the highway: "Planetary (GO!)" by My Chemical Romance
11. A good song to listen to first thing in the morning: "I Believe in You" by Frank Sinatra
12. A song that reminds you of your first crush: "Are Friends Electric?" by Gary Numan
*13. A song that reminds you of your first boyfriend or girlfriend: "Lost in Love" by Air Supply
14. A song you love by a band you don't like: "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morrisette
15. A song that can remain stuck in your head for hours or days at a time: "Burning Pile" by Mother Mother
16. A favorite song of one of your parents: "Heaven Must Have Sent You" by Bonnie Pointer
17. A song you would sing if you were lead singer in a band: "Miss Halfway" by Anya Marina
18. A song you loved when you were 13 (do you still?): "Took the Last Train" by David Gates
19. A song you love in a genre you don't usually like: "Toxic" by Brittany Spears
20. A movie soundtrack you love: The World's End: "The Only One I Know" by The Charlatans
*21. A song they'd play at your funeral: "That Certain Party" by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
22. A song you dislike by a band you love: "Clean" by Depeche Mode
23. The song that depresses you most: "The Winner Takes it All" by Abba
24. A song that makes you nostalgic for childhood: "Hanky Panky" by Tommy James and the Shondells
25. A song you once loved that now irritates you: "Lady" by Little River Band
26. A song you disliked as a child that you now enjoy: "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra
27. A song with great music and bad lyrics: "The Reflex" by Duran Duran
28. The last song you sang along to: "Don't Rain on My Parade" by Bobby Darin
29. A novelty song you love: "Eh Cumpari" by Julius LaRosa
30. A foreign language song you love: "Águas de Março" by Elis Regina and Tom Jobim
31. Your walk-up song: "Why Can't I Be You?" by The Cure

*4: Songs for Swingin' Lovers by Frank Sinatra, from 1956. Some people say it's his second best album after In the Wee Small Hours. Others agree with me that not only is it his best album, it is probably the best or one of the best albums ever made.

*8: There was this slice of time when music looked like it might be infinitely cool, even if we only ever saw it late at night on Letterman and 120 Minutes. This is a very cool live performance.

*13: Prior to husband with musical taste which perfectly synthesizes with my own, I had a habit of boyfriends and other husband-having of young men with shockingly prosaic musical taste. I'm not saying bad, I'm just calling it prosaic. This was a favorite of my first boyfriend, who turned 15 shortly after we met. He was a romantical sap, and I bet he either still is, or is reminiscing his way back there right now in middle age.

*21: I was all set to name "All the Same to Me" by Anya Marina, but that's from my end of things. Hopefully, they'd come up with something in a sense of lighthearted memory, instead, like this.


Preparing space for NaNoWriMo and winter

Recently, I cleaned my closet well, repainted the bedroom, gave away more books, etc. to be comfortable and ready for winter. Time to do something about the little creative space, but it doesn't really get to be "attractive." The way I use it gives it a very utilitarian look, and so what I need to do is just make sure it feels nice to be in, which is a bit of a trick. I like for my surroundings to look and feel finished. This room is a tough case.

So I took a panoramic set of photos, and then a second lower view, to share and to reflect on. It might get me inspired, and it might inspire someone else.

Roomone

Roomtwo

Roomthree

Roomfour

Roomfive

Roomsix

Chairviewone

Chairviewtwo

Chairviewthree

Some Notes:

1. That print is dead level, and was in fact hung with the use of a level. The phone camera lens is another matter.

2. Clearly, I have more space than I need. This will not always be the case, and I am mentally prepared for that, as I must be. Chances are, you have less space. But even if you're just carving out a corner for yourself, do it for yourself; make it your oasis, however tiny, from the energy-sucking hot desert of a busy day.

3. And—it's fine if you think you prefer chaos, but there's a method to making that work for you as opposed to just having kind of an unified unholy mess. Think about why you have a lot of things surrounding you, what you're really getting from it. The answer might teach you something about what you truly need. If it does, do something about that right now. If you need help with it, ask me or a friend or the web.


2014 road trip photolog day two: hanging out in Princeton

That was September 12. This is photo heavy, and there is no jump. Also, some of the pictures of pictures are purposely not great. Anyway, we went to Small World Coffee, to check out the daughter's art exhibit and also have proper coffee, then we had a look at the cemetery, because I always do, and Princeton Record Exchange, then lunch at Agricola on Witherspoon, a cool exhibit at the art museum, then a rest before the lovely young woman and I drove to Philadelphia to see Pinback at Union Transfer.

Smallworld
Smallworld Acryliconglass
AcryliconglassThis one is my favorite.

Hahnjr
Hahnjr
HahnjrI always think they look like they're having a meeting.

Koppscycle This is Kopp's Cycle, the oldest bike shop in America.

CornedbeeflocalAt Agricola, on Witherspoon St. They use local ingredients, and are very into fermentation right now.

MehekIt always smells like heaven, walking past here.

StamoscardIf I'd known this would be so hard to find online, I'd have gotten a photo of it. There are several others with Sentinel in the title, but they are not this one.

Tworkov1960bondThis is Bond, by Jack Tworkov, 1960. Click on it to learn about the exhibit we saw.

DekooningcardClicking on this will take you to a better image than I could take in there. Mainly, I was snapping these cards and images so I could look them up later.

Dekooningpair

Frankenthalercard
Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 10.29.23 AM
I was sort of transformed when I saw this and read about it.

Uniontransfer
Uniontransfer
UniontransferClick on this image for a video.

Transferparkinglot


The kids are just at school today, after all

I get the notion behind renaming Columbus Day Indigenous People's Day, but I don't think it's quite the right idea. Turning it into a day of mourning won't be more meaningful to most people; the ones with righteous indignation will always have that, and the rest will go on same as usual. And we all know by now that everywhere in the world was or is a group of people turned out by old time Europeans, or sometimes someone rather closer at hand. People did that to each other on a regular basis. It has shaped our world, and it is a history lesson that everyone should learn, lest it again be repeated. But turning Columbus Day into an annual acknowledgement of the people he hurt is not the way to teach that lesson.

I feel sort of bad for the people who like their Italian-American parades, as they're connected to the figure now known to have done so much harm to the regions he explored. Are any of the known world explorers worthy of national celebration anywhere? Probably not. I don't think ethics was a high priority on any of their codes of behavior. But exploration itself is still something to celebrate or acknowledge generally. So I'd rather see the day, if there must be one, be a celebration of something positive for everyone, rather than a shaming of something negative that most of us can't grasp as a part of ourselves, though we must keep telling future generations that no one culture has autonomy over the others.

I'd like to see something conjured like Melting Pot Day. Independence Day celebrates the founding of the United States, but it wasn't so many generations ago that only a certain number of various ethnicities were allowed in. Chinese men could come work, but they couldn't bring wives and make more Chinese. At one point people were worried about too many Italians, too many Irish, too many Jews, and of course, too many Mexicans. But immigrants are what most of our ancestors were, and immigrants built the foundations on which we make our way. We like to say we're a quarter this and a quarter that, because when we are honest, we like this about ourselves, that "world travel" made us who we are. That's something we could do positive arts and crafts and church dinners for. Italian-Americans and people with indigenous backgrounds could have their parades, and we'd eat each other's favorite recipes from Grandma, or just a whole lot of what they call "hotdish" in the upper midwest.

We'd celebrate the blending of it all, rather than dissect it for measurement and comparison.


Day 12: a song that reminds you of your first crush.

For my #31musicfest project. You can see the first 11 if you are in my Extended Circles at Google Plus.

But for this, I have a little tale, and thus have added it to my blog. Contrary to what a few lofty little boys thought earlier on, I didn't have my first real crush on a boy until 9th grade. Before that, it was all singers, classic movie stars, and baseball players.

I was still so awkward. But trying. Many things began to change the summer I turned 15, things that would affect me for the rest of my life, but while I was still 14, I was the girl in the movie before the one special boy notices her, out of their usual setting, and they hit it off and all is magic. Except maybe he's shallow at first, and pretends at school that they don't know each other, that they never held hands while watching crawdads scutter around the creek under the railroad bridge. Ugh. But what could you expect from him? He was all symmetrical, and had that to live up to. Her teeth stuck out a mile, and she probably had a pimple on her big nose, which had grown in advance of the rest of her face.

Where was I? Yes, 9th grade. Lee's Summit High School, 1979-80. French class. A boy called Bob. We talked a lot, sometimes when we weren't supposed to. He seemed supremely confident to me, smart, funny, and a little goofy. He did not look like the boys girls were supposed to have crushes on, at least according to those boys themselves. Hah. Anyway. Our school was enormous, and the French class was in the upper class section, so it was a long walk to and from it every day. I remember for a time we walked together, and I remember how that felt, like something new I didn't have a name for. There probably isn't a good name for that.

In June, after school was out, I went to Montreal and spent five weeks with my brother, often wandering the city all day on my own while he and his then-wife were at their jobs. When I came back home, I was a different person, rather more myself than I'd been in awhile. Mom and I ran into his sister working at Winstead's on the Plaza, and Mom asked about her brother, and it turned out he'd moved away with his parents, to Arizona or something. So that was that.

This song comes to mind when I think about these things. More accurately, when I hear this song, I start thinking about these things, that boy. I think he'd get it.