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May 5th, 2004

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12:20 pm - Hummus? That's some kind of dirt, right?
This morning I was looking for something in my Walpurgisnacht post, and holy wow, I need to proofread better. When I write something like that (and I've done this since I was in middle school), I tend to write a brief summary listing the main points in order. Then I flesh it out inserting new sentences culled from my notes and reference materials until it reaches whatever length it needs to be. After it's "finished," I reread it and smooth everything over so that the text flows smoothly with a minimum of repetition. This is how I was able to put together a 50,000 word research paper on computer game music without tearing all my hair out (not that it needs help, mind you). On Friday I was in a hurry as I was posting (seeing how it was the end of my workday and all), and I skipped the last step. Now that a few days have passed, I think it reads like a 4th grade "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" essay, except with more witchcraft. Sorry.

I never actually had to write one of those essays.

Anyway, last night Ellen came over and I made that pasta with mushrooms I mentioned yesterday. It came out really well, so the recipe is getting filed for future use. Cooking is not something I can do while I'm in the middle of a conversation I'm genuinely interested in (unless I'm making soup and all I have to do is chop and dump), so the actually process was probably interesting for her to watch. And she was incredibly understanding about the condition of our kitchen which I hadn't noticed since I spend as little time as possible down there. After dinner we went to visit my sister, and I presented her with her birthday gift which she liked. All in all it was a good evening.

Food day at work is better than I'd expected. The expected bagel dip and pistachio bread are here. No tray of raw veggies, but there's a home made salsa and a taco dip and my boss brought in a shrimp dip, so I'm definitely not going to be eating healthily, but at least I'll want to eat the stuff we have. The Woman Who Always Brings In The Devilled Eggs is angrily fuming that somebody else brought eggs, and I'm amused that it's such a big deal. My hummus is going over as well as I'd expected, which is to say that only the small handful of people who know what hummus is are eating it.

I think I'll close today with two things stolen from other journals. First of all, matchstyx posted a link to Sitcom Character or Dictator? I'd seen this before, but the database of characters they catalog has grown since then. Check it out. It's somewhat eerie... It guessed Strong Bad, George W. Bush, Gaz from Invader Zim, Hal from Malcolm in the Middle and Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks (who isn't a dictator or a sitcom character).

Second, thanks to emjay42, here's my (updated) response to Blender's 50 Worst Songs Ever. The instructions below say to bold the ones I like... I bolded the ones I had a comment on. Anyway, here's the list, and my comments:

Copy and Paste this list in your journal and bold the ones you actually like.
  1. We Built This City ... Starship

  2. Achy Breaky Heart ... Billy Ray Cyrus This is a mediocre, unremarkable song that would have gone away if it hadn't been included on this list. Thanks, Blender!

  3. Everybody Have Fun Tonight ... Wang Chung

  4. Rollin' ... Limp Bizkit

  5. Ice Ice Baby ... Vanilla Ice Back in the day this was the first track on one of my mix CDs. I'd truncated it to twelve seconds:
    Vanilla Ice: Ice ice baby... Ice ice baby. Awright, stop.
    Me: That's not a bad idea.
    I was so proud of that.
  6. The Heart Of Rock & Roll ... Huey Lewis & The News

  7. Don't Worry, Be Happy ... Bobby McFerrin I must have been about 8 when this song came out, and I thought it was a sarcastic joke.

  8. Party All the Time ... Eddie Murphy

  9. American Life ... Madonna

  10. Ebony & Ivory ... Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder This song was just a bad, bad idea. Paul and Stevie are both better than this.

  11. Invisible ... Clay Aiken
  12. </li>
  13. Kokomo ... The Beach Boys My dislike of this song was the primary catalyst for one of my romantic breakups.

  14. Illegal Alien ... Genesis

  15. From a Distance ... Bette Midler NOTHING cheapens this kind of song like drunk sorority girls belting out a karaoke rendition

  16. I'll Be There for You ... The Rembrandts For me this song was the first strike against the show Friends.

  17. What's Up? ... 4 Non Blondes

  18. Pumps & A Bump ... Hammer

  19. You're The Inspiration ... Chicago It's too bad the lyrics are such contrived sentimental crap, because I really like Chicago.

  20. Broken Wings ... Mr. Mister

  21. Dancing on the Ceiling ... Lionel Richie

  22. Two Princes ... Spin Doctors Say what you will about Spin Doctors... Two Princes and Little Miss Can't Be Wrong are two of the more enduring songs to have come out of the early 90s, and not without reason.

  23. Courtesy Of The Red, White & Blue (The Angry American)

  24. Sunglasses @ Night ... Corey Hart

  25. Superman ... Five 4 Fighting

  26. I'll Be Missing You ... Puff Daddy This is just wrong. The song, not it's inclusion on the list.

  27. The End ... The Doors This is just wrong. The inclusion on the list, not the song.

  28. The Final Countdown ... Europe

  29. Your Body Is A Wonderland ... John Mayer

  30. Breakfast @ Tiffany's ... Deep Blue Something I don't know what it is about this song, but I like it, and I wish I hadn't sold my copy of the CD. If nothing else, this song introduced thousands of uncultured high school students (ie, me) to the Blake Edwards film.

  31. Greatest Love Of All ... Whitney Houston

  32. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm ... Crash Test Dummies As I've said before, this is the weakest song on God Shuffled His Feet, and it's still a pretty good song.

  33. Will 2K ... Will Smith

  34. Barbie Girl ... Aqua I didn't like this song when it came out, but the German version is comedy gold.

  35. Longer ... Dan Fogelberg

  36. Shiny Happy People ... R.E.M. I was young enough to like this song when it came out. Now I like it for the nostalgia factor.

  37. Make Em Say Uhh! ... Master P featuring Silkk, Fiend, Mia-X & Mystikal

  38. Rico Suave ... Gerardo

  39. Cotton Eyed Joe ... Rednex Cotton Eyed Joe is the reason I went to one dance during my entire high school career.

  40. She Bangs ... Ricky Martin

  41. I Wanna Sex You Up ... Color Me Badd

  42. We Didn't Start the Fire ... Billy Joel I didn't like this song until R.E.M. made it longer, sped it up and released it as It's The End of The World As We Know It.

  43. The Sounds of Silence ... Simon & Garfunkel Granted this sounds like the sort of poetry a moody 14-year-old would write, but it's a far cry from the "and she loves me back, a-bop-bop-a-loochy-bow" lyrics it shared the charts with.

  44. Follow Me ... Uncle Kracker

  45. I'll Do Anything 4 Love (But I Won't Do That) ... Meat Loaf I could take or leave the original version of this song, but Stinky Cockersly's fusion of I Would Do Anything For Love and One Meatball by Woody Guthrie is almost brilliant.

  46. Mesmerize ... Ja Rule Featuring Ashanti

  47. Hangin' Tough ... New Kids On The Block The New Kids never did anything for me when I was in their prime target demographic, but this song is a nice reminder of how bad our taste used to be. I remember when my best friend Ben and his neighbor Mike wrote a parody of this song called Hangin' Crappy. I didn't think it was very funny. Ben grew up to be a drug dealer. Mike is a pastor or something.

  48. The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You ... Bryan Adams Every time I hear the title of this song, I get a mental image of Ed Gein singing karaoke.

  49. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da ... The Beatles Did uh... did somebody mix up their lists of 50 songs?

  50. I'm Too Sexy ... Right Said Fred The great travesty of this song is that it's the only song like it on the album. The rest of the album has sort of a bluesy sound and (as I recall) it's pretty good. Worth your $4.98 if you find it used.

  51. My Heart Will Go On ... Celine Dion When Cotton Eyed Joe disappeared from the playlists, I managed to work up the courage to go to prom. And they played this.

Current Mood: fullfull
Current Music: The Gin Blossoms -- Allison Road

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:May 7th, 2004 06:23 am (UTC)
#5: I'd pull a similar trick with Green Day's "Basket Case": Do you have the time to listen to me whine... "No." (click)

#26: Meh. I like the song, but I'll back up anything working to deflate Jim Morrison's overblown reputation.

#42: I really like S&G, but after reading the liner notes for that album, it hit me like a Mack truck how unbelievably full of themselves they were at the time. I'm sure it's as embarrassing to them now as my LJ archives are to me.

#44: For a second there, I thought the parody was titled "I Would Do Anything For Love And One Meatball."

#50: I have never heard this song in it's entirety. And I never will.
[User Picture]
Date:May 7th, 2004 02:09 pm (UTC)
Simon and Garfunkel were actually pretty good songwriters and musicians, and it's more difficult than you'd think to find people our age who will agree with that. Anyway, I just ran into an anecdote about S&G from Frank Zappa that you might find interesting. Sounds like they weren't as far from "and she loves me back, a-bop-bop-a-loochy-bow" as I'd thought:
I was in Manny's Musical Instruments in New York sometime in 1967, and it was raining outside. A little guy came walking in, kind of wet, and introduced himself as Paul Simon. He said he wanted me to come to dinner at his house that night, and gave me the address. I said okay and went there.

As I walked in the door, Paul was on his hands and knees in front of what appeared to be a Magnavox stereo - the same model preferred by "the Stumbler" from Sun Village. He had his ear right up to the speaker, listening to a Django Reinhardt record.

Within moments - for no apparent reason - he announced that he was upset because he had to pay six hundred thousand dollars in income tax that year. This was completely unsolicited information, and I thought to myself, If only I could EARN six hundred thousand dollars. What did you have to earn in order to have to pay that much tax? Then Art Garfunkel came in, and we talked and talked.

They hadn't been on the road in a long time, and were reminiscing about the "good old days." I didn't realize that they used to be called Tom & Jerry, and that they once had a hit song called "Hey, Schoolgirl in the Second Row."

I said, "Well, I can understand your desire to experience the joys of touring once again, and so I'll make you this offer... we're playing in Buffalo tomorrow night. Why don't you guys come up there and open for us as Tom & Jerry? I won't tell anybody. Just get your stuff and go out there and sing 'Hey, Schoolgirl in the Second Row' -- just play only your old stuff, no Simon & Garfunkel tunes." They loved the idea and said they would do it.

They did the opener as Tom & Jerry; we played our show, and at the encore I told the audience, "I'd like to bring back our friends to do another number." They came out and played "Sounds of Silence." At that point it dawned on everybody that this was the one, and only, the magnificent SIMON AND GARFUNKEL. On the way out, after the show, a college-educated woman walked over to me and said, "Why did you do that? Why did you make fun of Simon & Garfunkel?" --as if I had pulled some kind of cruel joke on them. What the fuck did she think had just happened? That these two SUPERSTARS had dropped in out of nowhere and we had FORCED them to sing "OOO-boppa-loochy-bah, she's mine!"?
-- from The Real Frank Zappa Book, p98-99
[User Picture]
Date:May 7th, 2004 05:09 pm (UTC)
Paul Simon is a very good songwriter and musician. Art Garfunkel is a very good tenor; having heard "99 Miles to L.A.", I can no longer think of him as a good musician.

On a related note, S&G were a great combination because it let Simon write much more varied vocals than he was personally capable of. Paul's individual work is generally also good, but he is careful to write parts he can actually sing. Which is a good thing, as anyone who heard him struggle through "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on the 9-11 tribute can attest.

As long as I'm rambling; ever heard the song "Red Rubber Ball?" One-hit wonder from some band we never heard from again? Paul Simon wrote it. It charted, and he basically thought, "hell with this nameless songwriter crap, I'm getting on stage." And when he did, he brought his very vocally talented friend with him. If Bob Dylan's ego would have let him do something similar, songs like "How Does It Feel" and "The Times, They Are A'Changin'" would sound as good as they read.
Garmonbozia for the soul.

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