It’s one more random than 10!
Is it possible to have Stockholm Syndrome with a piece of furniture?
I have been spending the majority of my time for the past two months sitting in my office chair, working on getting a new Web site done for my company. I have been very fortunate in that my job doesn’t usually require a lot of long hours, making it very easy for me to balance work and personal life. But this is a big project and I’m coordinating it, hence my ass has been glued to said chair.
After a couple of weeks of a lot of late nights and weekend work, I felt like I was held hostage by my chair. I resented it, hated it, even feared it, because when you work at home and have a lot of work to do, it’s impossible to escape the feeling that you should be working. I made plans for escape, all of which were basically unrealistic and would likely have me gunned down in a hail of job firing.
The last couple of weeks, though, the chair and I have begun to develop a relationship. It needs me to sit in it 10-11 hours a day. Meanwhile, I have to acknowledge that, while I wish I wasn’t sitting in it that much, it is really a comfortable chair and its demands to be sat in are reasonable.
Anyway, I am sorry for not visiting everyone’s blogs more in recent weeks. After spending that much time in the chair, in front of the computer, I’ve been taking any opening I can to sprint to my rescuer, the couch. Project is almost done, though, and I hope to return to my regularly-scheduled loafing during work hours.
1) “Rasputin,” Turisas. Turisas is a “battle metal” band from Finland. No, really, there’s a subgenre of metal called battle metal. That subgenre is actually a subgenre of another subgenre called “Viking metal.” What is Viking metal? It is metal about all things Viking—conquering, plundering, fighting, sailing, and then doing all of those things again in Valhalla. Battle metal simply filters out the quieter parts of Viking metal—say, when our hero is reflecting on the friends he lost conquering, plundering, fighting, and sailing—and focuses instead on just on fighting or preparing to fight. It’s kind of like how traditional porn takes the time to examine the conflict of how those penniless sorority girls are going to pay for the pizza they just ordered, whereas battle porn just skips to the inevitable solution.
Anyway, this video takes battle metal and merges it with an old Eurodisco tune from the 70s. Somehow, it’s magnificent, and the video just kicks it up a notch by looking like an amazing beer commercial. I’m seriously tempted to go to Vegas next month in animal furs and battle paint.
2) “Ways to Make It Through the Wall,” Los Campesinos! I honestly have no idea how people work 60-plus hours all the time. I know people who do it, in part because work has become fused with their personal life like the arms on Dr. Octopus. In a lot of ways, work has become the new religion for many folks, especially white collar workers. In some cases, it’s because they like what they do—and if so, more power to them. But I think for a lot of people it’s an escape from personal obligations, or feeds a need to be an authority figure. I definitely don’t want to spend more time away from my family so I can spend more time reviewing the WENUS.
3) “The Celibate Life,” The Shins. I may have told this story before, so excuse me if I repeat myself, but with it being Lent and this song discuss the celibate life, I can’t help but be reminded of the time when I started rethinking Catholicism.
It was my senior year of high school at an all-boys Catholic school. I had a faith and morality class taught by a young priest (insert your “no touching in the Water and Wine Room” joke here). He had done missionary work in Central America, which cause him to do things like pronounce “Nicaragua” like someone overacting on a Univision soap opera. But generally speaking, he was a good guy.
However, one day we got to the lesson about sex, specifically birth control. Father Pronunciacíon wrote three categories on the board: Natural, Artificial, and Unnatural. Under the first category, he listed the rhythm method and abstinence. Under the second the usual suspects: condoms, the pill, IUDs (it was the 80s). What was labeled unnatural? Anal, oral, and masturbation.
For the first time, I remember being actually offended by a priest, because being 17, I happened to enjoy one of those unnatural acts on a near-daily basis (insert your “Was it anal from the priest?” joke here). I believe the two words that came to mind were, “fuck this.” I raised my hand and asked the priest a question: If it was a natural impulse to procreate, wouldn’t we have to consider celibacy unnatural as well?
Father Pronunciacíon got redder than a Sandinista at a May Day rally. He sputtered out an angry response that showed the hard (so hard) road that the celibate travel on. I thought, this is ridiculous that we are even having this conversation, and stupid that something that doesn’t hurt anyone is considered some kind of affront to God.
An epilogue: During the same class, we actually educated father on what “gerbil sharing” was.
4) “Rest Your Head,” The Wrens. I really wish they made records faster than once a decade. However, they work day jobs, too, so I understand if they have been held hostage by their chairs. Sadly, no clip, but great song.
5) “Hands Off, She’s Mine,” The English Beat. I Just Can’t Stop It is one of the most underrated albums of the 80s. I’m not even a big ska guy and I love it.
6) “Best for You,” Bad Religion. Dedicated to fish and Pinko.
7) “Basement Parties,” Matt Pond PA. After years of fighting it, I have started to actually mature and enjoy getting older. But one thing I will always miss are young people parties. I love getting together with adults, talk about interesting topics, and also not have to worry (usually) about people fighting, puking, manufacturing relationship drama, having sex in my bed, etc. However, I have a twinge of nostalgia for those low-key parties of high school, college, and early adulthood, just sitting around and drinking with friends, talking about stupid stuff and just feeling young and not having a care in the world. Although I also hope to get to that old and carefree stage, where I’ve lived long enough and paid enough dues that I don’t give a shit about a lot of the dumb things that often require our attention.
8) “Little Too Late,” Pat Benatar. I wish I was making this up, but sadly I am not: I have had some conflict about whether I should buy the Pat Benatar pack for Rock Band. I already have a couple Benatar tracks from previous games, but this one has “Shadows of the Night” (which I hate to admit loving) and “Love Is a Battlefield.” On the one hand, I know I should just get them. But there’s a real fear of should-shaking, choreographed dance-fighting mockery from my lovely wife while I struggle to figure out the drum pattern to “Battlefield.”
9) “Cherry,” Amy Winehouse. It’s a shame such a great voice is attached to such a train wreck.
10) “Young Hearts,” Free Energy. Some day the weather is going to warm up, and when it does, I’m going to be blasting Free Energy like I did last summer. A great warm-weather band. There’s a very classic 70s feel to this song, kind of like how Spoon’s “The Underdog” echoes Billy Joel, but without bearing the burden of being Billy Joel.
11) “Mystery Achievement,” Pretenders. Great bass line, great vocal by Chrissie Hind, great way to enter the weekend.
Have a good one.