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[While this may not be the first time I've heard this song since certain facts came to light (to me), it's definitely the first time I've considered the lyrics:]

Really, who but a candidate for a doctorate in astrophysics (now properly defended) could write such a heart-wrenching song about the perils of relativistic space travel?

I know I've had my suspicions over the years, and, sure, it could be argued there are other interpretations (I'd expect nothing less from such a master), but this coincidence is too strong to ignore.

Pick Me! Pick ME!


I just listened to the following, meme tags never end up with a list this good:

"Five Man Army" — Massive Attack
"Don't Stop Me Now" — Queen
"Down Under" — Men at Work
"The Dead Heart" — Midnight Oil
"Parsec" — Stereolab
"Cecilia" — Simon & Garfunkel
"Stretch Out and Wait" — The Smiths
"Stuck in a Loop" — Devo
"If You Want To Sing Out" — Cat Stevens

Sure, it's not my perfect list, nor is each song necessarily the best choice from that artist, but each one of them has me moving in my chair in degrees varying from a little bit to full-on embarrassing.

I think I'll pull a Teletubbies: Again! Again!

Fetish Objects


The first thing I noticed about the paperback copy of The Code Book that I picked up recently was that it just felt wonderful: the cover, the inner page paper, everything. This is the most tactilely satisfying book, paperback or otherwise, I've had in very long time. I believe this is independent of the subject matter, which has completely fascinated me since I read "The Gold Bug" at the age of 8 or 9.

In slight contrast, C gave me a (hardback) copy of the latest novel by one of my favorite authors (Rant, Chuck Palahniuk), and while I'm also enjoying the feel of it, I strongly suspect some of that is the enjoyment I'm getting out of reading his prose.

Edit: Ok, so Rant took a a turn for the "Bwah?!" near the end, and while I still enjoyed it, (and it didn't diminish my tactile enjoyment) I feel compelled to say that. Oddly enough, this particular turn is one of which I'd be much more tolerant (and might actually enjoy) coming from another author.

Chartering Airplanes


Last night A few nights ago as we were watching Twin Peaks Special Agent Dale Cooper said, "I have no fear."

At which point I immediately piped up: "Of course not, because fear is the mind-killer, fear is the tiny death that brings total obliteration."

My smug smirk was met with a blank stare. Oh well, she's human, I knew she wasn't perfect.

. . . In her defense, she's never read the book, and has only seen the Lynch movie once. And, let's be honest, as much as I love Lynch generally and that movie specifically, if you've never read the book, I can't believe that movie would have made ANY sense.

Two Shows For the Price of One!


This past weekend (a bit less than a year ago) we had a very busy weekend.

We went to a wonderful show for a band we'd known well since high school, a sorta jazzy, brit-pop ensemble known for their upbeat melodies mixed with dark and twisted lyrical styling and subject matter (and a rather distinct male lead): The Beautiful South.

Later we saw a Y'All-ternative pop band with beautifully voiced chanteuse and an eclectic backup band named . . . The Beautiful South.

To their immense credit, as the show opened the two factions of fans were very clearly delineated. Long before the end we moved as one crowd. The energy was incredible. It was far and away the best show I've seen in a very long time.

It did occur to me that when she sang about the sun shining "across the San Francisco Bay" in my new favorite of their new songs that it was probably meant as someplace far away and slightly exotic when the song was written. And here they were playing the Fillmore.

And, to be fair, we had some warning that this might happen. After we bought the tickets a few months before, Chiara said, "You know, we haven't heard anything they've done lately." So she fired up iTunes and after a few samples to be sure we weren't just hitting the anomalies, we both had the same reaction: "What the hell is THAT?!" The music bore absolutely no resemblance to the band we knew.

I must confess that I entered the hall that night with quite a bit of trepidation and a fair bit of dread. It is doubly to their credit that they were able to pierce that mood and make me so thoroughly enjoy the show.

Edit: And, ok, American country music grew out of Irish folk singing, so there's a better chance that the firey red-haired chanteuse wasn't actually singing country in those 30s snippets we heard on iTunes. It was still one hell of scare.

Last night (Over a year ago), a bunch of us went to an event in the designer gultch at the bottom of Potrero Hill: The Charles and Ray Eames Film Festival, we arrived early, though not early enough. They. Ran. Out. Of. Chairs!

[ed. Admittedly a few of you may find this amusing, but there was one funny-bone in particular I wanted to tickle with it, it's too bad it's taken this long to come out]

(Oh, and I never knew they were the ones who made Powers of Ten, that only further boggles me with their sheer genius.)

New Pastime


Apparently the new fun thing to do (at AP) is to walk out into the street and ask random passers-by, "So, is there something going on downtown?" (And watch them sputter with indignation at the rock you must be living under.)

While this didn't seem overly fun to me (yeah, ok, making people sputter with indignation has it's moments, they then start sputtering about baseball, ferchrissake), I'm sorry I missed it.

(For those who didn't know, AP's office is on Brannan between 2nd & 3rd. This is about 3 blocks from the ballpark. And SoMa is wall-to-wall people looking cold and confused. At least that's how it was when I was there Saturday, I can only imagine how it's been the last few days.)

Obligatory MC

Two tickets near the stage for the Morrissey concert:
an embarrassingly ridiculous number of dollars.
Two dinners at Taqueria Dos Peñas beforehand:
a much more reasonable number of dollars.
Reliving your 19th birthday[1] with the woman who was there (and is wearing the t-shirt to prove it):

(It's going to be a busy week, Thursday we're going to my choice: Elvis Costello.)

[1] Yeah, ok, so "reliving" pretty much any part of that time of my life is really far from my list of things that would make their way into a comercial like this. Still, she really wanted to go, so who am I to say "no?"

Today Was All Peter, Paul & Mary


...and written by John Denver. How apropos.

First the answers to the riddle:

Barry Manilow
Astrud Gilberto
"The Girl from Ipanema"
a bit of Duran Duran
Geoff & Maria Muldaur
"Aquarela do Brasil"
Peter, Paul, & Mary
"Leaving on a Jet Plane"

(Ok, Barry was singing about the nightclub in New York, Duran Duran about a woman, and I really mean the English version, "Brazil.")

All of that was stuck in my head because, [info]cfox74 and Kate teaching in Rio de Janeiro, while Bryan (Kate's husband) and I are just along for the ride. I've never been to South America, and I'm rather giddy.

See you in a week!

A Riddle


As of last night all, all the necessary items are in my possession.
Today, the jukebox in my head is skipping between songs sung by Barry
Manilow, Astrud Gilberto, even a bit of Duran Duran, but predominantly
Geoff & Maria Muldaur. Figure out the songs (or at least the connections) and it
wouldn't be too hard to figure out why I'm giddy.

Small hint for the clueless: You know that last song. Trust me. (It's also the main title
theme to one of my favorite movies of all time)

...Oh, and no help from those of you who know already!

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