It's one more random than 10!
Today I walked to get lunch without putting on:
-- a coat
-- sled harnesses on the cats
That’s the definition of a good day after a long, long winter.
The other big thing this week is that I finished a story for the first time in a long time. Not finished finished. It’s a first draft, and like all first drafts, it’s shitty and needs to be rewritten. But considering I’ve had a bad rut the last couple years of starting fiction pieces and not finishing them, it's an accomplishment. Plus I feel like, despite its present shitiness, it has the potential to turn into something pretty awesome.
1) “Dear John,” Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. Just a heartbreaking, beautiful song. Ryan Adams is always hit or miss, but when he hits, he hits for power.
2) “Sleeping Giant,” Mastodon. Heartbreaking as well, but more like a lance piercing the breastplate of your plate mail during a titanic battle against Orcs heartbreaking. I would have gone apeshit for this when I was 14.
3) “Untitled Track No. 8,” Sigur Ros. From the ( ) album. Almost as long as the Marquette winter. Normally You Tube comments are where intelligence goes to die a horrible, capped, misspelled death. But I have to agree with the first commenter about this song: "Magic." It really is.
4) “Immigrant Song,” Led Zeppelin. If Michelle Malkin had a Facebook page, I would send her this song to her every day, just to annoy her. Warning: the video may cause seizures from the strobe-light editing job.
5) “Post-War,” M. Ward. Like a jacuzzi bath for your ears. So relaxing. And no pruning.
6) “I Feel,” The Sundays. I do feel fine today. I struggled all week with this brochure I had to write for work. I didn’t really want to write it, and I procrastinated and started and stopped and generally got stuck with this thing hanging over my head all week. Finally, this morning, I got up early, sat down, and banged it out. And the rest of the day has just been gravy. There’s nothing like having that feeling on a Friday.
7) “Challenger,” American Music Club. One of those groups I have that I haven’t really explored, but always look up from what I’m doing when one of their songs comes on.
8) “Charmer,” Kings of Leon. There’s a very disconcerting, Ned Flanders-esque scream that like fingernails across a blackboard that’s strapped to my ear. Which is too bad, because it's otherwise a good song.
9) “History Never Repeats,” Split Enz. You can never go wrong with a little Neil Finn.
10) “Tommy the Cat,” Primus. Normally, when it comes to Primus, I am all DO NOT WANT. But I can haz this, especially with Tom Waits starring as Tommy.
11) “Teenage Depression,” Eddie and the Hot Rods. TLB often tells me that my biggest problem is that I had a very happy childhood. It’s true. My teenage years in particular were a lot of fun. Not in a sad, nostalgic “Glory Days” sort of way. It’s just that I had friends I liked, a lot of good times, and not a lot of trouble. The best way to describe them would be carefree. The worst thing that happened to me during that time—which at the time seemed like The Worst Thing in the World™—was having to move right before my senior year. But if I hadn’t moved, I wouldn’t have met TLB. Like I said, carefree.
So earlier this week, I was bemoaning work to TLB. I had been kind of down, not just about what I was doing this week, but work in general. I thought how much it sucks that, once you start working, you keep working constantly until you get old and retire. If you’re lucky enough to get an academic job, you get summers off, but not quite the same way as when you were a kid. Carefree seems so much harder to come by.
But then I got my project done, walked outside into the spring air, and felt completely fine. I thought about all the good things that have happened to me lately, and how even the big bad winter wasn’t that big and bad, even if it was long. And honestly, I felt pretty damn silly about my kvetching earlier. Maybe that’s the big benefit of getting older, knowing that, in the end, most things aren’t worth getting upset over, because you’re having a baby, you finished something you really care about, and you have a lot of good music to listen to.
Have a great weekend. I’m also planning a special two-part Random 11 the next two Fridays—the 22 songs that have most influenced me in my life.