My music guru (my fifteen-year-old son) showed me this video which I believe is entitled Fish by the group Leningrad today. I love it. Since I love you, too, I thought I would share it. (If you want to know what they are singing, click the CC option.)
I had such a nice thing happen today. I got permission from Marian Call to use one of her songs to accompany a quirky video I did last summer when the office where I worked was shutting down and nobody but me came in for days at a time and all I was doing was packing up and throwing things out and wondering what I was going to do with the next part of my life and it felt like a funeral. So I dressed casually and listened to my iPod and did the things on my to-do list. One of the things to-do was to remove this huge mural:
It was a media relations agency. It was not snowing in the office when I took this picture in case that is what you are thinking. That is dust on my lens which is so embarrassing, but there is nothing I can do about it now. Because, as I said, the mural had to come down. There are no more retakes. The tree was made from one long piece of sticky plastic that came off quite nicely with the help of a blow dryer. Each letter was the same kind of thing. Almost right away, I was thinking, “this is kind of cool, with the music on and the slow, stretchy release of the plastic creating an empty space in the clutter.” Fortunately, after I got the first five lines down plus the question mark at the end, I thought, “Maybe someone ELSE is odd enough to find this interesting.” So I pulled out my smartphone and recorded this video and later added in the music of Marian Call, who I adore and who was gracious enough to let me share it with you. Please watch, and if you like, please share. Please also click on Marian’s name anywhere in this post to listen to more of her music on her bandcamp website. Thanks!
Whoo. The worst thing about vacations is that inevitable moment when you face the mess that you left, or that accumulated while you were gone and have to ask yourself, “Was it worth it?” Yes, I am sure, on an intellectual level, that it was, but my gut cringes at the laundry that still remains, the tasks left undone, the feeling that there is a ticking time bomb buried in here somewhere and the craven hope that I will be quite close when it goes off. So at least I get out of doing the laundry. This is all small stuff. Bigger stuff is here too, like the death of a loved one. Mr. Wordtabulous’ grandmother died while we were on vacation and her funeral was Monday. I was so focused on celebrating her long and fruitful life that my tears in the parking lot at work caught me by surprise the next day. Grief puts everyday concerns (like stupid, user-antagonistic software and self-image issues) into perspective, but also taxes the system overall. Everything this week has seemed a little sadder and somewhat more pointless. I am okay with wading around in the shallows while the blues work themselves out, but when I start to get into deep water and the waves are lapping up around my face I look for help. I find this video by OK Go helpful. It has a message I like, but mostly it just makes me laugh. So I thought I’d share it with you, because maybe you could use a laugh too.
Don’t be put off by the marching band, go ahead and play it. I’ll wait.
See what I mean? OK Go first came to my attention years ago with their Here It Goes Again treadmill video, and I also like their White Knuckles. Last Leaf is amazing, but if you are feeling blue, then for heaven’s sake don’t watch it last or you will be so melancholy you will want to go nap under a blanket for a week.
Music is amazing for building or altering mood. I can be struggling along and then I hear that one tune that resets everything, like a carpenter’s chalk line, pulled taut, then snapping back. (The internet has failed me; I was looking for an image to illustrate this. Either it is an incredibly difficult shot to capture or no one has realized how apt the snapping chalk line is as a metaphor. Just another thing to let go of.)
After Michael Jackson died, I woke up every day for two weeks with the song, “The Way You Make Me Feel” playing in my head. For about that same period of time last July I had a variety of Lady GaGa songs greeting me in the morning and, as I recall, “Pokerface” was the one I was most likely to hear. As clear and abrupt as a clock radio, my inner DJ was hard at work. I am most aware of my own personal disc jockey when I am riding my bicycle on my own. Unfortunately, DJ seems to have limited material to work with. For instance, on my most recent ride of 24 miles (good weather, nasty road conditions, gear-shifting problems, and some serious saddle soreness,) I was rockin’ out to KISS, “I Wanna Rock and Roll.” Which was fine for the first ten miles or so, because it has a good beat and I can pedal to it. But after ten miles, it started to get annoying. I made a request for anything else. Apparently in my head the flip side to that party classic is Loverboy’s “Everybody’s Workin’ For the Weekend.” Horrible. Much worse. I tried hitting my mental “shuffle” and what came up was “Life is a Highway,” (by Rascall Flatts not Tom Cochrane, no idea why) and “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics. Not what I wanted, but better. However, every time I hit a hill and had to really put my head down and work, I’d lose control of the playlist and by the time I’d crested the climb, KISS was back and we were rock and rollin’ all night long and partying every day. 24 miles. That’s almost an hour and a half.
For five years I taught an indoor cycling (aka spinning) class, and to this day I still hear songs I like and try to calculate if they would work in a set and how I’d use it to joyfully and sadistically impose fitness on my spinners. None of the songs my inner DJ is playing on bike rides are songs I’d have picked for class, and I have a library of hundreds of songs I’ve used. It is as though when my adrenaline and endorphins are pumping my brain goes back to the primitive state it was in the 80’s. This may also explain why I have a hard time doing math immediately after a workout–I don’t think the math center in my brain really got going until the 90’s. Mr. Janish, my high school algebra teacher, would back me up on this. In the early morning my DJ likes pop music and big hair bands are the thing for punishing bike rides. I need to work on the repertoire. As much as I like the absolute quiet I work best in, I need to pull out the iPod or turn on the radio and replenish my inner library. What would you recommend?