Another Reason to Love Living in the Future

A couple of years ago, I wrote a little mini-post about “Why I Love Living in the Future”, I concept I stole in its entirety from fellow geek and blogger Wil Wheaton. (No comparisons intended. Although I feel a bit of a kinship with him, clearly, I’m nowhere near in the same league.)

It struck me again tonight. It’s pretty awesome to live in a time where I can watch on demand video of Michael Symon cooking his lamb Bolognese sauce as I’m taking a break from making my own Spaghetti Bolognese.

I’m sure his was better — and it was definitely more interesting, with the lamb and all — but then, I got to smell the lovely wine while mine was cooking, so it’s a fair trade, I think. At least until a little farther in the future, when Smell-O-Vision finally becomes a reality.

Isn’t it great to still have more future to look forward to?

1 Comment »

30 Day Song Challenge — Day Ten

Day Ten: A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep

Today’s choice wasn’t all that difficult, really, but there was a tiny problem — I don’t think there really is such a thing as a song that makes me fall asleep.

In all fairness, though, it doesn’t really take much for me to fall asleep in the first place. This is by no means a lifelong condition; when I was a baby, getting me to fall asleep was apparently quite the labor-intensive effort. The only thing that worked for my mother was to give up, put me in the car, and drive me around. (For what it’s worth, that’s still pretty effective; I rarely sleep as well even in my own bed as I do in a moving car.) But these days, a quasi-comfortable chair and the opportunity to close my eyes is about all it takes for me to drift off.

That said, I do have a separate playlist on my iPod labeled “Bedtime”. It contains a mixture of quiet songs and acoustic versions of some of my favorites. While I don’t really need it to get to sleep, listening when I go to bed does seem to help me get to a deeper, more restful sleep more quickly.

So, for lack of a song that actually makes me fall asleep, I chose for today the song that I most often use to kick off my “Bedtime” playlist at night: “Glitter in the Air”, by P!nk.

YouTube Preview Image

“Glitter in the Air” is unlike most of P!nk’s other songs, even her other slow songs. Although she’s considered a pop artist, most of her music really has more of a driving rock beat, and is clearly meant to be listened to with the volume cranked up. Normally, her songs are ones that I belt out in the car, not music that I would choose for relaxation. Even her quieter songs, like “Who Knew?” aren’t anywhere near what you might call somnolent.

But, again, “Glitter in the Air” is different. It has a quiet, almost dreamy rhythm, accentuated by the fact that the only instruments behind the vocals are piano and a hint of acoustic guitar. Melancholy lyrics, combined with soft, slightly breathy vocals instead of P!nk’s usual all-or-nothing power delivery, create a softness usually absent from her work. The result is a song that provides the perfect backdrop for turning off my overactive brain off and letting myself float away.

Admittedly, it probably makes for an unusual lullaby. But as you might have noticed by now, I’m a fairly unusual girl.

1 Comment »

30 Day Song Challenge — Day Nine

Day Nine: A Song That You Can Dance To

When I was in college, one of my favorite times of the year was when the next semester’s course catalog came out. I loved looking at all the potential classes and sussing out what I needed to take and what I could fit in that actually sounded fun. That is, until my sophomore year, when I realized I finally needed to break down and figure out a phys ed class to take.

Most kids grow up loving recess and gym class. Not so for me. One of the happiest moments of my life was the day I realized that I didn’t have to take gym class past freshman year of high school.

You see, I am an uncoordinated dork.

I’m not sure why I’ve always been so bad at any physical activity. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t see properly until I was nine or so and they finally realized how badly I needed glasses? Whatever the reason, it’s been a lifelong problem. I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was eleven. I broke my ankle playing basketball in middle school. I got a stress fracture in my right foot during the six weeks we played tennis in high school P. E. I even managed to nearly dislocate my knee in band — at least it was marching band, and not concert band — and that’s the physical activity I was best at.

So I realized this was a very important choice. I had to have a “physical activity” class of some sort to graduate, but what to take that wouldn’t leave me injured? Sounds simple, but when you have a history of ending up on crutches after taking a shower or stepping off a curb, you have to be careful. And then I found it in the course catalog, shining like a beacon: “Folk and Social Dance”, code for ballroom dancing with a couple hours’ square dance thrown in.

I may be mediocre at walking, but as it turns out, even I can dance. After coercing him into signing up with me, I dragged my then-boyfriend (now my dear husband) to the field house for class each Saturday morning. (As I suspected, it paid to bring my own partner; the vast majority of the class was female.) There we learned all kinds of dances — the foxtrot, tango, cha cha, two step, and my favorite: the waltz. The song we waltzed to was “Could I Have This Dance”, by Anne Murray.

YouTube Preview Image

That song, as well as the ability to waltz, came in quite handy a couple of years later when it was time for our first dance together at our wedding reception. Swirling around the floor together to that song is one of my few really clear memories of my wedding day, and also one of the best.

I have video of that dance, and I wish I could post it, but I currently only have a VHS copy. Suffice to say that, to my surprise (and even more to my mother’s surprise), we actually did really well. I even let him lead.

Most of the time.

No Comments »

30 Day Song Challenge — Day Eight

Day Eight: A Song That You Know All the Words To

This one was a completely easy choice. And yes, I’m totally showing off.

To me, it’s sort of like the old “Magic Eye” books — remember the books of pictures, made up of smaller pictures, that made a 3-D image if you focused your eyes just so? The pictures, autostereograms, required you to “diverge” your eyes in order to see the 3-D portion.

Back in the ‘90s, when these became popular, every time we would run across a Magic Eye book, I would pick it up and look; this was mainly to tease my husband, who never could manage to see the three-dimensional image. “It’s a flower… it’s a boat… it’s a penguin!” (It’s really the only thing that having an astigmatism ever really did for me.) When I learned all the words to “One Week”, by the Barenaked Ladies, it served somewhat the same purpose.

YouTube Preview Image

“One Week” was the number one song in the fall of 1998. That was the same year I began working as an attorney for the state, and in September, we had staff meeting at a Tennessee state park in the middle of nowhere. Okay, “middle of nowhere” may be a bit extreme, but it was literally as far away as you could get from an interstate in southern Middle Tennessee. You could say I had a long drive to get there.

So, in order to keep myself occupied and awake on the five-or-so-hour drive, I popped my CD into my new car’s player and proceeded to spend a big chunk of the time learning all the words to “One Week”. If you’ve never heard it, it’s a very fast song, with a whole lot of words, and a chorus that never repeats exactly. It also includes a stream-of-consciousness rap section that is very random; it’s not nonsense, exactly, but it doesn’t make just tons of sense, either.

By the time I returned to Knoxville, I had learned the song and could sing along just as fast as the recorded version (even BNL doesn’t sing it quite that fast in concert). And my dear husband never could quite get the hang of it. We would listen in the car, and he would just shake his head at me, roll his eyes, and smile when he couldn’t quite keep up. I tried again recently, and I still pretty much have it. Not a big accomplishment in the grander scheme of things, admittedly, but I’ll take what I can get.

Oh, and please don’t think I’m too mean for teasing my husband that way. I didn’t really learn the song purposely to mess with him. And, I promise you, he has no compunction about whistling in front of me, knowing full well that I’ve never been able to. It all evens out.

No Comments »