A Bit of Don McLean's Opus

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how the squirrels used to make me cry
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could sew those squirrels pants
And maybe they'd be happy for a while

When January came, they shivered
They sat in snowdrifts and they quivered
I watched from my windows
And dreamed of tiny chinos

I can't remember if tried
To knit them socks or if inside
I knew those mini-mammals' pride
Would wait for gnaugahide


Man, what a great tune.
  • Current Music
    Computer Hum

Songs You Might Find Interesting: A13-16

13) All You Need Is Love - The Beatles
    Why?
      ...because the seven-time in the verse is wonderfully unobtrusive (and catchy!)
      ...because it makes me think of The Prisoner
      ...because it's true
    Listen:
      ...to the horn section go freakin' nuts, along with Paul, who apparently forgets what song they're doing ;)

14) Amazon - John Denver (The Wildlife Concert)
    Why?
      ...because the trees, rivers and flowers need a voice too
      ...because nobody did environmental songs like Denver, and it's a tragedy that many of them didn't get listened to during his final years
      ...because it's got a simple structure, yet it builds into a thundering climax
    Listen:
      ...to the awesome recorder solos -- yeah, that's right, recorder solos

15) America - Simon & Garfunkel
    Why?
      ...because it's the heart of the Bookends album, and that album tends to get unfairly overlooked
      ...because the final verse is *perfect*
      ...because we're all lost, sometimes, even when we know exactly where we are
    Listen:
      ...to the instrumentation, and dynamics, and intonation, and... well, everything

16) America the Beautiful - Ray Charles
    Why?
      ...because it's the best rendition of the song ever recorded
      ...because Ray's voice was a national treasure, and it was clear that he meant every word he sang
      ...because if you only think of Diet Pepsi and lottery commercials when you think of Ray Charles, then you're missing out, something fierce
    Listen:
      ...to the skillful arrangement -- by beginning with the third verse, Ray keeps the better known lyrics close to his vest until we're fully engaged
  • Current Music
    A17(You'll just have to wait...)

Songs You Might Find Interesting: A9-12

9) All Along the Watchtower - Bob Dylan
    Why?
      ...because sometimes it doesn't take a cover to prove just how good a song can be, even if said cover is excellent
      ...because each person's interpretation of lyrics is different, but each is correct for that listener
      ...because not knowing this song is the musical equivalent of not having seen Casablanca, or not having read... er... something worthwhile
    Listen:
      ...to the two primary characters' dialog, especially as a foreshadowing of the final verse

10) All for Leyna - Billy Joel
    Why?
      ...because Joel is misrepresented by many as overrated kitsch
      ...because the Glass Houses album was an incredible high-water mark in Joel's oeuvre
      ...because angst doesn't have to be emo
    Listen:
      ...to that stellar piano line in the intro and coda

11) All I Want - Toad the Wet Sprocket
    Why?
      ...because this is the song that took Toad from college-radio to sold-out shows
      ...because "Nothing's so loud as hearing when we lie / Truth is not kind, and you said neither am I" is a great opening-line hook
      ...because it can serve you well as a gateway to the rest of Toad's catalog, if you're unfortunate enough to not already own it
    Listen:
      ...to a definitive sample of Toad-style harmony

12) All U Can Eat - Ben Folds
    Why?
      ...because, let's face it, somebody had to say it
      ...because the piano alone is worth the price of admission
      ...because this song grabbed me by the neck (and shook) the very first time I heard it
    Listen:
      ...to a beautifully concise statement of my philosophies of humanity
  • Current Music
    A13 (You'll just have to wait...)

Songs You Might Find Interesting: A5-8

5) Against All Odds - The Postal Service
    Why?
      ...because sometimes it takes a cover to prove just how good a song can be
      ...because the transition from lo-fi is beautifully unexpected, even when you know it's coming
      ...because I can tell a Postal Service tune from 100 paces, and that's a good thing

    Listen:
      ...to the way a change in instrumentation and syncopation can move us from saccharine to heart-felt

6) Airport Song - Guster
    Why?
      ...because "Glad you made it; welcome to the farm / Who's your daddy? I'm your daddy now" is a freakily catchy first line
      ...because it showcases Brian Rosenworcel's drumming
      ...because it ends with ping-pong

    Listen:
      ...to the way the song ultimately builds into a disorienting disintegration

7) AKA Driver - They Might Be Giants
    Why?
      ...because a song about time and space has never sounded so good
      ...because the "big hand's on 120 / little hand's on E" -- awesome
      ...because it's about NyQuil, dude!

    Listen:
      ...and bounce up and down, as you should during any good TMBG song

8) Alice Childress - Ben Folds Five
    Why?
      ...because Ben Folds does isolation and alienation better than most
      ...because every Ben Folds Five song has a deeper meaning, if you pay attention
      ...because it gives me chills, and I'm the one making the list

    Listen:
      ...to any Ben Folds album, in its entirety, when this song is finished
  • Current Music
    A9 (You'll just have to wait...)

Songs You Might Find Interesting: A1-4

1) A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall - Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
    Why?
      ...because musical poetry that doesn't suck is quite rare
      ...because Bob Dylan's composition meets its perfect mate in Brickell's strong, raw vocals
      ...because every line is a symbolic masterpiece, waiting to be unravelled

    Listen:
      ...to this song and Simon & Garfunkel's The Sounds of Silence back to back

2) A Lifetime - Better than Ezra
    Why?
      ...because BtE still exists, damnit
      ...because the imagery is overpoweringly vivid
      ...because the hook is well-crafted and anthemic

    Listen:
      ...to the dynamic shifts, and how well they serve the theme

3) A Sorta Fairytale (Album Track) - Tori Amos
    Why?
      ...because it's worth remembering that Tori knows how to write simple, hooky songs
      ...because the radio version is cruelly chopped, and sacrifices the effectiveness of the bridge
      ...because we've all felt a dream dissolve

    Listen:
      ...to the way the spare backing vocals entwine about the lead

4) A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum
    Why?
      ...because few songs can manage a reference to Vestal Virgins with a straight face
      ...because, for me, it always conjures images of The Canterbury Tales, and that's pretty impressive
      ...because if you're going to listen to a song with "White" in the title, it should be this one, and not Nights in White Satin

    Listen:
      ...to one of the best meandering organ lines this side of The Band
  • Current Music
    A5 (You'll just have to wait...)

(no subject)

There's a box of "Earl Grey Green Tea" in the kitchen here at work.



I wonder if Earl Grey Green was of a delicate constitution. Perhaps he'd always really enjoyed culinary adventures, but after suffering through the aftermath countless times, he decided thenceforth to play it a bit closer to the vest.

Perhaps his cousin, the better known Earl Grey, always gave him a hard time. When he'd visit, he'd always clap Earl Grey Green on the back, as if in camaraderie, but just hard enough to knock the younger lad off balance. Beneath the ostensible good humor, that sharp, thin line of sadism was ever so visible, if you knew where to look, maybe.

Perhaps Earl Grey Green began carrying a heavy rock in his pocket. One with some sharp edges, maybe, but mostly just heavy. Heavy enough to get the job done.

You know, just in case.
  • Current Music
    Eels - Beautiful Freak

By Way of Example:

Regarding: How to Deconstruct Almost Anything--My Postmodern Adventure, by Chip Morningstar:

While interesting, this text divides the world quite baselessly into two disparate camps, "the literary critics," and "the rest of us." It is quite obvious that the author has judged the literary intellectuals as the lacking half, as those in need of intervention:
It is clear to me that the humanities are not going to emerge from the jungle on their own. I think that the task of outreach is left to those of us who retain some connection, however tenuous, to what we laughingly call reality. We have to go into the jungle after them and rescue what we can. Just remember to hang on to your sense of humor and don't let them intimidate you.

Why would he need to make this distinction? He describes himself quite clearly as a technical professional, and he needs have no truck with the professionals upon whose concern he purports to act. In fact, typical Americans -- hell, typical humans -- are going to have very little cause to consider these concepts during the course of their typical lives. Mr. Morningstar's intent is, instead, to, by seeding these concepts in a wider scope of minds, foster a larger-scale application of the concepts of Deconstruction and Postmodernism. His notability hinges on the existence and perfusion of these concepts, and he acts as their champion while wearing the guise of their foe.
  • Current Music
    Paul Simon - I Don't Believe

The Mood is a Harsh Mistress

It's been a while. How long? *click* *wait* Over four months, that's how long. What have I been doing?


  1. I am no longer employed by that company which no longer employs me.

  2. I am now employed by a company at which I have procured employment.

  3. Uh, I totally moved a while back. Like six months ago. Like, before I stopped updating. Like, sorry.

  4. I bought a new car. Mine was, as the kids say, "shitting the bed."

  5. I was in Florida in January. That was nice.

  6. I was working part time in the five and dime. The boss was Mister McGee.

  7. Not really -- that last item is really a song lyric. But I like the song.

  8. I've got characters on Asheron's Call and Dungeons and Dragons Online. Want to play? Ping me.



Yeah, I'm sure that's just the tip of the berg of ice, but there you go.

I'll try and be a bit more involved. Maybe. ;)

And if you said anything you needed me to hear during my Age of Unemployment (new from Ensemble Studios!), please reply it here, as I probably missed it.
  • Current Music
    Air Conditioner Hum ("Mmm, Mmm, MmmMmMmMmMmmm")