Friday, October 26, 2007


When you're a native of Music City and of a Certain Demographic, it is assumed—nay, expected—that you are fond of music, preferably live music. Well, I have fought my inner nature for years, and I can no longer maintain the pretense...

I'm incredibly bored by live music. Doesn't matter what genre - classical, pop, contemporary, gospel, rock, punk, bluegrass, country (especially country), I get bored within 5 minutes. There are exceptions, of course - Nickel Creek, really good Latin beats, Indian - but even with those, I am DONE with sitting and listening in about 30 minutes. I should explain, this does NOT mean I don't like music; I will be glad to offer up my iTunes playlist as proof. But Go-Somewhere-and-Sit-and-Listen (or Stand-and-Listen) Music has absolutely no appeal to me.

I do like performing live music, though. When I'm actually involved in the process. As noted several months back, I did some backup vocalist gigs with a rock band this summer, and I've been singing with my church choir for years now, occasionally as one of 3 miked lead singers at least one Sunday a month. I love doing this. But apparently the Sit-and-Listen gene didn't make it into my DNA.

It took time to figure this out, of course - I mean, when you're considered "artistic" and and you take lessons in violin and piano and sing in Show Choir, you naturally think you like going to concerts like everyone else... even moreso. But I was never any good with the instruments, and merely adequate as a vocalist, truth be told. My musical tastes never fell into any tidy categorizations. My likes are so scattered... I have CDs for Latin church music, Renaissance dance tunes, Gilbert & Sullivan, Sting, Indian/Bollywood, Celtic, movie soundtracks, Japanese anime soundtracks, and a smattering of pop artists... and I'd be hard pressed to tell you WHAT I listen to. I just feel sloppy, since I can never clearly explain what I like to listen to.

3 of my old Youth Group leaders are playing at a Koinoinia reunion concert tomorrow night - I grew up at Belmont Church, and live music was simply HUGE there. I owe so much to these men, and would love to go just to see them again, see how they're doing, just to touch base... but I don't want to have to sit through the concert. I change my mind about going every 5 minutes. If it was a cocktail party or a book-signing, I'd be there, no problem. But my genuine dislike of sitting and listening to music with nothing else to do is making me really hesitant about going.

If I could legitimately take along some needlework project and be allowed to sit in the back with plenty of light and space and listen in peace without having to jump up and applaud or whistle every 2 minutes, or basically STAND to listen for 3 hours (what's THAT all about?!) I would really, really like it. An interesting activity for my hands and eyes, while my ears absorb the sound. But the modern requirement that live music be aerobic; that the audience must continually be on their feet, roaring with approval, makes that impossible.

I guess a full awareness of this disinterest is useful; it means I don't bother considering concerts as an activity anymore. But I feel rather lonely in my dislike; I mean, have you EVER known anyone to say aloud, "nah, I don't really like concerts..."? So I step out into the world, ill-prepared to face the amazement of a society that almost WORSHIPS the concert-going experience.

And don't get me started on my current dislike for live theatre!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Useful Information

Tyvek envelopes - made of that shiny-smooth, plastic fibrous material that will NOT tear - do not work well in printers. They melt. In spectacular fashion.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My Latest TV Infatuation

Pushing Daisies. LOVE it. It's got this sweetness to it, this genuine romance, fairy-tale quality (in the way that Perrault & Bros. Grimm told fairy tales, NOT Disney) with humor and whimsy... it's delightful. It's one of those series with a sense of hightened reality, where the colors are hyper-saturated, and although the setting is modern day, there's a thread of retro nostalgia delicately folded in.

The cast is superb. Lee Pace plays Ned (a character whose babies I would happily bear), and Anna Friel is Chuck, the love of his life. The writing just crackles - it goes by so fast that having a TiVo is very helpful because there are these delightful bits of dialogue that you simply can't catch in one viewing. I love shows that are as good 24 hours later as the first time you watched them.

And Jim Dale narrates, which (for Harry Potter audiobook listeners) is an absolute treat.

ABC, Wednesday nights. Start watching NOW.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Top Chef

Don't know if you've been watching it, but this is a scene I envision taking place about 2/3rds of the way through the competition with the winning cheftestant, Hung:

(please excuse the profanity; reality programming isn't pretty, folks)
Producer 1: Dude. You are acting like a douchebag. Makes for great drama...
Producer 2: ... yeah, the delusional thing makes for awesome TV!
Producer 1: ...but now you've got to pretend to have a heart and soul.
Producer 2: Do you have anything we can cry about? Any childhood traumas? A dying relative?
Producer 1: Because - and I mean this - you're pretty much the obvious choice since Tre got booted.
Producer 2: Stupid man. He was golden, and he threw it all away with one crappy dish.
Producer 1: Can you pretend to find the competitions "fun"? Because people like that shit.
Producer 2. Oh yeah. You can be an absolute prick but if you're funny...
Producer 1: Dale...
Producer 2: ...and you dance around occasionally and punch your fists in the air when you win something...
Producer 1: ...cause, obviously, the humility thing is out of the question at this point!
Producer 2: ...oh yeah. Insulting the cowboys made that an impossibility...
Producer 1: ...then we MIGHT be able to spin this so that people don't burn down the studio when you win.
Producer 2: You wanna win, right?