Archive | August, 2010

Ten Things Tuesday – August 31

31 Aug

There is a special edition of Rolling Stone out now, featuring the top 100 Beatles songs. How they were able to rank them all, I’ll never know. It’s certainly not something I can easily do. However, I thought that, in honor of how awesome they are and how in love with them I am, I’d post the list that Rolling Stone  came up with, and then try my hardest to rank my top ten. It’s going to be very, very difficult. This could take a while…

The top ten Beatles songs, as compiled by Rolling Stone:

1. A Day in the Life. “In truth, the song was far too intense musically and emotionally for regular radio play. It wasn’t really until the 80’s. . . that ‘A Day in the Life’ became recognized as the band’s masterwork. In this song, as in so many other ways, the Beatles were way ahead of everyone else.”

2. I Want to Hold Your Hand. “This song ‘was the apex of Phase One of the Beatles’ development’. . . ‘I knew they were pointing in the direction of where music had to go. In my head, the Beatles were it.'”

3. Strawberry Fields Forever. “George Martin later regretted the decision to remove [Fields and Penny Lane] from Sgt. Pepper as the biggest mistake of his career.”

4. Yesterday. “The tune that would go on to become the most covered song in history began as something called ‘Scrambled Eggs.’ It also began in a dream.”

5. In My Life. “It represented Lennon’s evolution as an artist. ‘I started being me about the songs, not writing them objectively, but subjectively.'”

6. Something. “‘George’s material wasn’t really paid all that much attention to – to such an extent that he asked me to stay behind after [everyone else had gone]. He was terribly nice, as if he was imposing on me. And then he plays this song that just completely blows me away.”

7. Hey Jude. “The ending refrain goes on for a full four minutes, even longer than the verses, which clock in at just over three minutes. The band hadn’t planned it that way, but McCartney was having too much fun ad-libbing to quit. . . Martin objected to its length, claiming radio wouldn’t play the tune. ‘They will if it’s us,’ Lennon shot back.”

8. Let it Be. “McCartney channeled Aretha Franklin’s soul in ‘Let It Be,’ recorded during the peak of the Beatles’ troubled times. A month after its 1970 release, McCartney announced the band had broken up.”

9. Come Together. “[This song] showed the four disparate talents of the boys and the ways they combined to make a great sound. . . the four of them became much, much better than the individual components.”

10. While My Guitar Gently Weeps. “The lyrics for George Harrison’s first truly great Beatles song began with him choosing the phrase ‘gently weeps’ from a random book. It wasn’t until Harrison pulled Eric Clapton in to play guitar that the arrangement was finished.”

The top ten Beatles songs, as compiled by Laura:

1. Helter Skelter. I know it’s a big mess of noise, and rambling, gritty attempt to usher in metal. But there’s just something so undeniably hot about that sound. It’s simply about a carnival slide – a helter skelter – but I just can’t get past that wall of sound coming out at you. Paul’s wailing voice – oh man, hold me back. I think it was unintentionally the sexiest song they ever wrote.

2. I’ve Just Seen a Face. It hits you in the face like a ton of bricks, and never lets up until it comes rushing to the end. You can literally feel the urgency with which Paul is telling the world about the girl he just met. I think love should be like that – when you meet someone, and you just know, you can’t wait to tell everyone. You end up stumbling over your words because you can’t contain your emotion, and you can’t get it out fast enough. The rhyme scheme is also terribly complicated, when you really look at it. Everything about the Beatles seems simple (and sometimes it is), but is also quite complicated and in-depth.

3. Free as a Bird. Not released until the Anthology came out – perhaps I love this one so much because of the music video. If you get the chance, you should look it up – it’s the perfect compilation and summary of the Beatles’ career. Don’t we all want to feel that way – just free to fly away and do whatever? I think at some point, we all want to know what’s like to be that free – to fly, to escape, to just live. If only life were really that uncomplicated.

4. Real Love. Such a simple message: everything in my life has led me up to this moment, the moment that I’m here with you, and it’s real love. God, if only we could all be so lucky to have that.

5. Good Day Sunshine. A song that truly makes you happy to be alive, and loving life. You can’t help but feel like the world is right, and everything is as it should be.

6. The End. As the finale of the Abbey Road medley, this is my favorite song. Really, what better way to end the record than with a song by this title? It’s the only drum solo in the entire catalogue. It’s the simplest of lyrics – repeating “love you” throughout most of the song, ending with the iconic message, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Really, nothing else could be said to better summarize their entire career.

7. And Your Bird Can Sing. I don’t know what it is about this one that I love so much. Maybe it’s the dual guitar leads. Maybe it’s the nonsense lyrics. Maybe it’s the demo Anthology version where they’re giggling like mad. Whatever it is, I love this song, with no explanation.

8. A Day in the Life. Truly brilliant, in every way. Two unfinished songs that seemingly don’t fit together, yet they find a way to make it work. I think this song, because of the interesting juxtaposition, shows the main differences between Lennon and McCartney. Lennon was a brooding pessimist, McCartney a practical optimist. Nowhere else is this more evident, in their entire catalogue.

9. You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away. Quite melancholy – Lennon at his best. I’ll never forget the image of the four of them in Help!, sitting around that house build for four, Lennon off in his own world, George unsuccessfully flirting with Eleanor Bron, Ringo banging his tambourine right on time. For me, it describes what heartache feels like – feeling two foot small, like you can’t go on, like the entire world is looking at you. You have to put that love aside, and go one with life, even though it seems impossible and feels like shit.

10. I Saw Her Standing There. This song announced that the Beatles were here, and they were taking over. It blasts out of Please Please Me with Paul’s energetic opening count, just like a live show, right from the start. It’s an unapologetic proclamation that this was how it was going to be – that rock and roll was about to change forever. The rest is history.

This was truly difficult to write. How could you possibly find the ten songs you love the most? There are so many that I had to leave off. And I’m sure that, if you asked me another day, the list would be different. It just depends on what mood you’re in, where you’re at in your life. And there’s nothing wrong with that; in fact I think that’s one of the greatest things about the Beatles – they appeal to everyone, everywhere, no matter what’s going on. There’s always a song appropriate for your life. They’re always there for you, and they always know just what to say.

What are your ten favorites?

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Saltydog

30 Aug

I don’t know why, but I’ve been craving salty snacks recently. Why is that? Why do you go through phases where you love some foods more than others? I’ve stocked my office with pretzels, Cheez-its, club crackers, Wheat Thins (basil-parmesan, sun-dried tomato…), and saltines. Oh, saltines. I could eat an entire box – four sleeves – in one day. Not healthy, I know. But they’re so delicious. I’m chomping my way through a sleeve right now…

Also, peanut butter. I’m so into peanut butter right now. Why? I have no idea. I like it on sandwiches and on ice cream, but other than that not so much. Not peanut butter cookies, not peanut butter pie, not straight out of the jar with a spoon. Except for lately. I’ve been eating a lot more peanut butter. I have no idea why. It’s very convenient to dip my pretzels and saltines into while working…

I guess you could say that, instead of a sweet tooth, I currently have a salty tooth. I’ve found that when you have salty and savory cravings, they are usually followed by a sweet craving, and vice versa. The best cure for this, in my experience, is Honey Nut Chex Mix. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and salty – honey, vanilla and sugar with plenty of salt and spice. It’s delicious. I think I’ve just talked myself into buying a bag…

Home is Where the ____ Is

29 Aug

Plinky prompt of the day: What is the most confusing part of your life?

Sometimes when I read these prompts, or see one that I really like and save for later, I have a hard time putting into words what I really feel. The list of prompts I’ve saved to start later is far longer than the list of prompts I’ve actually started. Not so with today’s topic. The answer came to me almost instantly. The most confusing part of my life is how to live an adult life in my parents’ house. I call it my parents’ house, despite it being the only home I’ve ever known. I remember the first house I lived in, up until I was 5, and I consider Converse to be a second home. But as far as having a life somewhere, my house is the only place that’s consistently been there. It’s familiar and comforting, yet somehow it feels like it’s not mine anymore. I’m an adult, and I have my own life – but not really. I have a job that I love. But I don’t live on my own. I live with my parents and my grandmother. I have plenty of space – it’s not like we’re living right on top of each other or anything.

But in a way, I feel like I can’t have my privacy. My family are all very quiet, and we keep to ourselves a lot. I wouldn’t say they are nosy – no one goes snooping through my stuff, and no one barges in on me in the bathroom. But it doesn’t quite feel like mine, because I’m ready to have an entire space to myself (and maybe a roommate or two). Somewhere that I can set up a life on my own, decorate it myself, cook my own meals, do my own laundry, and all that other adult stuff. I know those things are annoying and boring most of the time, but I’m one of the few people I know who doesn’t do that, and it makes me feel like a child. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel very lucky that I can live at home and not worry about money, bills, rent, food, etc. But at the same time, I do want to worry about those things. All in good time, I know, and then I’ll be sorry.

The reason this part of my life is so confusing is that I still feel like a kid in my childhood home, even though I’m not. I wouldn’t say I’ve outgrown it, but it’s just an entirely different part of my life. It’s everything I knew growing up, before college. Now that I’m back, and I’m a different person, and out of my element somewhat, I don’t feel like I can fully grow up there. That part of me was all about relying on parents for the things I needed, and learning what kind of person I was going to be. Now that that’s pretty much figured out, and I can take care of myself, I feel like I’m in a sort of limbo. I’m back at home, but not really. I can’t go back to being a high school kid anymore – I’m too mature for that. But I can’t fully be an adult version of myself, because I’m not fully independent.

I don’t always know what I want. And that’s why it’s so confusing. How do you come back home, to the place of your childhood, to be an adult?

Zombieland

28 Aug

As if my life wasn’t already boring enough and completely centered around work, here we go with yet another work-related update. Yesterday was an especially busy day for me. It was my last day of sleeping in and coming in to work at 1:00. It turned out to be kind of a short day, though. I had an outreach at Coalition yesterday afternoon, which conflicted with being out at the fair. Luckily, I found a board member at the last minute who could be out there to man the booth. After my outreach was over, I went straight out to the fair to work for the rest of the night. I wasn’t there for fifteen minutes when suddenly I became violently ill. It was hot, I was dehydrated, and I was stuck. There wasn’t much I could do to relieve myself. I knew my stomach wasn’t going to cooperate, so I ended up having to leave. The board member was really supportive and understanding, though. I felt terrible – physically, of course, but also that I was basically abandoning him. I thanked him and apologized profusely, and just asked him to stick everything in the booth back in the corner after his shift was over. I headed home, but didn’t make it in time before my stomach exploded. It wasn’t pretty – let’s just say that throwing up on yourself while you are driving is not something I’d wish on my worst enemy. You know you have a good dad when he cleans your disgusting car while you shower and soak your clothes. It was such a disaster.

I was supposed to go to some bar downtown and see a concert last night with Amanda and her friends, which of course didn’t end up happening. I spent the rest of my night lying in bed, watching movies and sleeping. It sucks, though, because I still have to pay for that concert ticket that I didn’t even get to use. Not cool – at least it wasn’t terribly expensive. But still, when you don’t even get to enjoy the event you paid for, it doesn’t really seem worth it to buy the ticket in the first place. My first night of fun and having social plans in quite a while, and my stomach decides otherwise.

After such a disastrous night, I was hoping today would go at least a little bit better, and it did. I slept in, laid around the house for a bit, then went to get my hair cut. It’s been forever since I’ve had it cut – since the First Friday in April when I got a $10 haircut downtown. I went back to the same girl who did it before – she did such an amazing job! I’ve never gotten so many compliments on a haircut before, that I just had to go back to her again. I really like the way it turned out – I took her a picture of Ginnifer Goodwin with kind of a long pixie/bob type haircut, so it turned out cute. I didn’t get too much cut off this time – I want to grow it out long again.

Had to go back to the fair again tonight for the last time. Hooray! I’m so glad to have this exhausting week overwith – it’s seemed to go on forever! My mom came out to the fair with me tonight. I think she had a good time – she stayed in the booth with me for a bit while it cooled down, then walked around some to see the exhibits and the animals. She ended up seeing a lamb show, which she’d never seen before. I think that’s the fascinating part of the fair – the farmers who have such a different experience than the ride operators or the food vendors. It’s got to be overwhelming for the kids who do that stuff. Secretly, I wouldn’t mind finding myself a good-looking Texas cowboy and moving to his ranch. Probably not going to happen, though, but there’s something so rugged and manly about that. Anyway, after walking around a while, my mom came back and helped me with the booth for the rest of the night. We shut down and went walking a little bit. Amanda and Rachel met us out there a little later. My mom bought a funnel cake and then headed home, while the rest of us stayed for a bit. We didn’t end up doing much – we bought some fried Oreos (which neither Amanda nor Rachel had had before, but both really liked), and stood in line forever to ride the ferris wheel. This wasn’t so tedious because we stood people-watching for forever.

It’s certainly interesting the people you see at the fair – there are all kinds. It definitely makes you feel better about yourself! The girl who cut my hair was telling me about the movie Zombieland, how all the carnival lights attract the zombies out from their hiding places. That’s exactly what it’s like at the fair – sometimes you’re not even sure what you’re looking at is actually human… After we rode the ferris wheel, we went home. It was the last night, and just too crowded to really do anything and enjoy it. Too bad, because I do like going to the fair and riding the rides. It’s fun as long as it’s not too busy, and it just was too much to enjoy it tonight.

I’m so glad to have an entire day off tomorrow – nothing to do with work all day long! No more fair booth! New haircut to enjoy! Even though my life is mundane, it’s still fun sometimes. Today was much better than yesterday, and hopefully tomorrow will be better than today.

This is What my Heart Looks Like:

27 Aug

An old feeris wheel, from someplace that’s not trashy and redneck and dirty.

The Spirit of Adventure

26 Aug

Few things in life give such joy as fantastic music. Anyone who knows me knows how dear I hold my favorites. One area I particularly love is movie soundtracks. I have some excellent ones in my collection. Now, we’re not just talking compilations like A Knight’s Tale (which, by the way, is amazing), but also including brilliant orchestral scores.

One of my favorites, and one that is especially emotional for me, is the sountrack to Up. I was watching that movie again recently. And while it’s one of the lighter Pixar movies, its emotional depth becomes much more complex when you consider the soundtrack. The music in that movie is just gorgeous. I don’t think I’ve ever found a piece of music in a movie to be so emotional. That whole montage showing Carl and Ellie’s life, from children to young adults to the last years of life, is just beautiful. There’s no dialogue to go with it, but there isn’t any needed. The music says everything. At times it’s suspenseful, other times humorous, but always captures that delicate balance of heartache when we lose someone we love and the happiness we find in their memory.

To me, that’s what a good piece of music does. Even if there are lyrics, those simple words should have infinite meaning and really be enough to say everything. If there aren’t any words, but the music is enough to say it all, then that’s all you need. I just love the Up soundtrack. Even by itself, separate from the movie, it’s still beautiful and emotional. But when paired with the movie, it brings me to tears. That’s great music – the kind that wells up emotion in you over the simplest things.

Stuff I Want Wednesday

25 Aug

I’ve had this incredible necklace on my list for quite a while. It’s just gorgeous, don’t you think? And so quirky, too – what could be more whimsical that a necklace that looks like it’s made of bubbles?

 

Find it at the MoMA Store.