Seven Songs - redux

Last week, breal retagged me to redo the musical meme Seven Songs. The rules are simple, list seven songs you are listening to now and why.

Fortunately, this time around, I had been listening to some music.

Why do I like these songs? Simple, like the previous set, they mess with my neurochemistry and make me feel good.

The best way to enjoy them is to ignore the videos (I find them distracting), crank up the volume, close your eyes and let the music wash over you as the Cream song Tales of Brave Ulysses tells us "How his naked ears were tortured, by the Sirens sweetly singing."

Twiggy Twiggy (also known as Twiggy vs James Bond) by Pizzicato Five, a Japanese group, from their album Made in USA. There are only two good songs on it, the first an upbeat jazzy number titled I and this one. The only problem with the song is that it ends poorly, I generally skip the last minute because it distracts from the effect of the song.
Black Math by The White Stripes, off their album Elephant. A very good album with a lot of interesting songs done in different styles. When I first heard the album I thought it was a compilation of different artists.
I can't find the full version of this song on the Internet, so you can listen to a snippet of it here. Though I think it really does not do it justice.No One by I Mother Earth, a Canadian alternative band from the early 90s. I listen to it from sampler CD called Various - Scoop This.
I can't find the full version of this song on the Internet, so you can listen to a snippet of it here. But, again, it doesn't really give you the full experience.Howlin' for my Baby by George Thorogood. I listen to it from the album Get a Haircut, which is actually a pretty disappointing album.
Josephine by Fats Domino. I listen to it off a compilation of Fats Domino songs, a CD full of great tunes.
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On by Jimmy Swaggert's cousin, the Killer himself, Jerry Lee Lewis. I listen to it off a generic Jerry Lee Lewis compilation.
Rondo alla Turca by Mozart. It is a happy, upbeat tune, that sounds deceptively simple, just a few repetitive notes played with small variations. Yet, when you watch it being played, it becomes clear that this is a fairly demanding piece.

Previous time I played this meme is here.

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1 + 1 = 11

At least that is how Jason used to do math 2 years ago (of course, you can't really blame him, he was only 3). Now he gets it right.

It is also a palindrome (something that reads the same forward and backward). We are all probably familiar with palindromes we learned as kids:

Madam, I'm Adam.

A man. A plan. A canal. Panama.

It is also Sofia and my 11th wedding anniversary. Sometimes it seems so long ago and sometimes it just seems like yesterday.

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"Writers are hyperarticulate.

But they are not by nature friendly, sociable people. Writers are by nature people who observe other people being friendly and sociable and then go home and mock them.
They are also egomaniacs. But they express their egomania by bossing their characters around and creating worlds; in real life, they're used to not being listened to."
- Alex Epstein, Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box

Image reused from a previous post, though I am still no more knowledgeable as to where I picked it up.

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What kind of nino am I?

Oops! For the first time in 10 years, I forgot that today is my goddaughter's birthday (it shouldn't be hard to remember, since it is the same day as my brother's).

Any ideas on suitable gifts for a 10 year old girl?

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"If it is not wrapped, it is not a present."

I read that somewhere either last week or the week before. At first I dismissed it as some trite fluff masquerading as a deep thought, but ... (perhaps JJ's upcoming birthday is making me reflect on it a little more) ... it is growing on me.

I can't remember the last time we wrapped a birthday gift. It gets stuffed in a bag and covered with a bit of coloured tissue paper. I am thinking I want to wrap Jason's gift in at least two layers, maybe more.

(I think the quote comes from Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box by Alex Epstein, but I am not about to reread the book to try and reference the quote.)

Image nabbed from here.

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"God is going to be pretty good."

When I was pitching Joan of Arcadia, a studio executive asked me if Joan would be "heroic" in nature. I said, "No, she’s a teenager, so she’s narcissistic, sulky, self-obsessed.” The executive said, “Well, I’m having trouble finding the good guy in all this," to which I replied, "Well, God is going to be pretty good." - Barbara Hall

Found here in Chapter 3.




The Everlasting Gobstopper Toner

About 9 months ago, my laser printer's low toner light started blinking. So I bought a new cartridge about 6 months ago.

Well, many hundred pages later, I am still waiting for the toner to run out. Not that I am complaining (although ... I cannot remember where I put that new toner cartridge when this one eventually does run dry).

Today's word is chiastic.

chiasmus [ky-AZ-mus] (plural -mi), a figure of speech by which the order of the terms in the first of two parallel clauses is reversed in the second. This may involve a repetition of the same words ("Pleasure's a sin, and sometimes sin's a pleasure" --Byron) or just a reversed parallel between two corresponding pairs of ideas . . . . The figure is especially common in 18th century English poetry, but is also found in prose of all periods. It is named after the Greek letter chi (x), indicating a "criss-cross" arrangement of terms. Adjective: chiastic. - The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

I came across is while reading Writing Life: Celebrated Canadian and International Authors on Writing and Life.

You can get more than you ever hoped for on this word here - an entire website devoted to chiasmi (as the website cautions: The plural is chiasmi. However, saying chiasmi can come across as pretentious, so you'll want to do that rarely.).

Image gently borrowed from here.

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"In 500 years time

the scientific community may well have moved on from QM [Quantum Mechanics] to have replaced it with something better. However, I'm sure the kind of people who currently believe in astrology, or dowsing, or homeopathy, or young earth creationism, will embrace it and refuse to let it go because of its (then) long-standing and traditionalism, despite evidence to the contrary." - Karellen, blog comment at The Old New Thing




"They had seen the great cause of liberty placed in peril

by those who should have been the first to defend it, and brute force substituted for reason and justice." – Camille Flammarion, Lumen (1872)




“This book is like an ungrateful girlfriend. You do your best to understand her and get nothing back in return.”

Comment left on Amazon regarding William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury .

You can read more customer reviews of famous books here.




Genuine Long Island Spider

Just one of the many photos I took.

Photo credit: Richard of Forbidden Planet

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Ethnic balance is wrong

We went with the family across the border over to New York (specifically Long Island) for a few days last week. One of the things that I noticed most was the ethnic balance. It seems that there are only whites, blacks and Latinos. With English being the dominant language and Spanish sometimes being spoken not too loud.

Of course, every city and place has its own ethnic distribution. I remember moving from Montreal to Toronto and thinking how white and English Toronto was. Then I moved to the Cornwall area and while it was nice to have an English / French mix, the truth was that it was more of a division than mix (as well as the Catholic / Protestant divide) - not to mention, that if you hadn't lived there for 300 hundred years, you were an outsider.

I like Ottawa for its diversity. It is predminantly an English city with a strong French presence (thanks to Hull just across the river). But other ethnicities are present too. There are Africans and Asians, Middle Easteners and Latinos. It is very common to hear non-English and non-French speech in the city.

In New York (Long Island), there was hardly an Asian to be seen and I don't think I saw one Middle Eastern / Arabic person. Aside from Chinese spoken in a Chinese restaurant and some overheard Polish at a museum and the whispered Spanish among the Latinos, English was the only thing I heard.

Image borrowed from here.

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