Wednesday, November 30, 2005

hijack a snowplow

i continue to be incredibly drained, but i figure that writing here is one way to pass the time, keeping me from doing the two things i really, really need to do - my thesis and modeling (yes, modeling). i can tell a story, share a few things, and go to sleep, then work on stuff tomorrow.

so i'm trying to decide whether the eternal wisdom i'll share tonight will involve my thoughts on religion or on sports. i think i might put off religion for another day, but sports should be interesting enough. i was eating and talking about sports with my grad student colleague, and more particularly about how one can approach learning new activities/games/sports, how to act regarding others in various situations, that sort of thing.

and i guess the thing i found most remarkable about my own view of sports involves how i coach. i made the comment to him that if someone (teammate or someone i'm coaching) ever screws up while in a game situation, i never tell them that - it's not the time or place for it. i will only tell someone what to do before something comes up, and afterwards, it isn't the time or place for it. if anything, i'll tell them to get whatever mistake they made out of their head, at least until after the game and hopefully before the next practice session. and they should only replay the mistake in their heads a few times, but should replay the situation in their minds many times, along with what they could have done better.

so i was wondering how that would translate into teaching other things. but that involves making a distinction between a game and practice (the kind of distinction i find valuable in getting better at sports). what is the practice and what is the competition when someone is learning how to think, research, read, and write? it gets a lot harder, but i don't think it's a bad distinction.

and i also decided in class today that i'm going to have them read some from daniel quinn's my ishmael, particularly about education, in order to contextualize what we've been doing in class this semester. i'm actually excited to see how they react to the readings. we'll see.

this was my playlist/cd for september. i have one for each of the last few months, and i'm most proud for this one - it certainly shows what i was listening to then, but i also think that the inclusions fit together rather well. it was a good enough cd that i could keep it in my car for multiple listens in a row. and i continued loving it - still do. i don't know why exactly i decided to start posting my track listings, but it seems like a good enough thing to do right now, especially for those of you whom i don't see enough.

Us by Regina Spektor
Absolut Camus by Rebels Victorious
Vito's Ordination Song by Sufjan Stevens
The Execution Of All Things by Rilo Kiley
As You Sleep by Something Corporate
Different Names For The Same Thing by Death Cab For Cutie
Bad by U2
New Hampshire by Matt Pond PA
I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab For Cutie
Samson by Regina Spektor
Our Composition by Rebels Victorious
Chicago by Sufjan Stevens
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) by The Arcade Fire
Autumn Sweater by Yo La Tengo
carolina by Ben Gibbard
Always by Rilo Kiley
Casimir Pulaski Day by Sufjan Stevens

well, i always like to write the lyrics of interesting songs that i'm liking and listening to. in this case, there isn't one website that had the lyrics to this song, which is somewhat surprising. some bloggers listed it in their christmas playlists a year ago, but no record of lyrics is available. i guess i'm fine with that, except that i don't know whether i got the lyrics right that i wrote down, and i'm missing some. so what i'd like from anyone who wants to listen to this song is an email telling me what you think the lyrics are - then maybe i'll repost/edit what i have so there can be at least one place that has the lyrics. and in the mean time, you'll enjoy listening to one of the best christmas songs ever.

**update** my brother and his friends helped me with a few of the lyrics, but we still don't quite have them in full. please email me (use if you don't know another email for me). thanks guys.

come on! let's boogie to the elf dance by sufjan stevens

tie up your boots
jump off the ladder
pack up your clothes
nothing's the matter
mistletoe hangs up in the bedroom
your sister's bangs, she cut them herself

santa is here
sleigh bells are ringing
twenty one elves
they are all singing
kmart is closed
so is the bakery
everyone's home watching tv

santa claus is coming
hear the banjos strumming
santa claus is coming
hear the banjos strumming

chestnuts and fire
holly and hay
jesus and mary
what a great day
evergreen tree covered in snow
tower of babel tower of glow

there's a m_______????
and there's a ________????
they give us good gifts
like mittens and socks

hijack a snowplow
clear out the streets
tell all the neighbors
there's cookies to eat

get up off the floor and get in the shower
there's a lot to shout about
santa claus is coming to town
he's got the greatest gifts around

away in the manger
no crib for a bed
little lord jesus lay down his sweet head
the stars in the sky look down where he lay
the little lord jesus asleep on the hay
the cattle are lowing the baby awakes
little lord jesus, no crying he makes

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

or a woman if you are one

i spent the weekend with my brother and family out in rapid city, and i had a great time talking with my brother and playing games with my niece (she's four - we played cards, memory, and hide and seek, along with watching a couple movies, reading books, and playing with dollies).

the highlight of today was eating blackberries - i couldn't believe how good they tasted (a long day of thinking about my thesis, and unfortunately not quite enough writing accomplished). and i made good french toast (with real maple syrup) and ate some chili that a housemate made. my chest has continued to hurt (has for almost a week now) - i'm guessing it is some sort of anxiety. i need to get my thesis done and written so i can get rid of some of the strain.

i had a lot of rememberances this weekend - my brother was working on writing his history, reflecting on his memories, which helped me reflect on my own. and it made me realize that assignments like that one are quite amazing for what they can create not only for the person doing them, but within the group of people the person converses, often a family, sometimes close friends i suppose.

one of my housemates has started dating a girl who works for a publishing company. i asked her what she recently published, and she said a book on the natural history of chickens. so i started asking her about chickens, a subject that i'm quite conversant in, and i think she was quite taken aback by my knowledge. i know about cochins and other breeds, and their uniquenesses. it made me wonder what sorts of things i know about that i never talk about, that no one would ever realize about me - that i raised chickens for a few years, that i was a church council member in high school, that i played in alternative/indie rock-type bands most of my life since seventh grade, that i read fantasy books and grew up admiring people in the society for creative anachronism because they were good at hitting each other with duct-tape covered baseball bats. a lot of people don't even know how many brothers i have, and sometimes they don't realize that i grew up in a town in south dakota, a place i still go back to as often as i can.

the highlight of yesterday was a conversation with my best friend, someone that inspires, comforts, and pushes me just by her very existence and intermittent conversations. it was great to talk with her, and i like chai tea.

this is the current list of songs i'm working with as my upcoming december playlist (basically an audio cd's worth for to go in my car). there is a good combination of styles (all within my subpop tastes), of old and new, of vocalists male and female, of fame and still working at it. a couple of the tracks are just called tracks because i haven't bothered typing in the song names.

Beautiful World by Colin Hay
Fake Palindromes by Andrew Bird
Asleep at the Wheel by The New Amsterdams
Come On! Let's Boogie to the Elf Dance by Sufjan Stevens
The Bagman's Gambit by The Decemberists
Emotional (Until Crickets Guide You Back) by Rilo Kiley
Apple Bed by Sparklehorse
Lua by Bright Eyes
Weird Divide by The Shins
Moon And Stars by Laura Jean Binkley
Track 04 by Red Veda
Pale Horse by John Vanderslice
Call Me On Your Way Back Home by Ryan Adams
You by Vast
Fever Dream by Iron and Wine
Track 02 by The Glad Version
Poison Oak by Bright Eyes
Michigan Christmas by Nate and Becca
Goodnight Elizabeth by Counting Crows
The Past and Pending by The Shins

the following song, my brother played for me this last weekend, and i think it's just plain amazing. there's no song i'd rather listen to than this one right now, and i'm sure you'll agree after hearing it.

beautiful world by colin hay

My my my it’s a beautiful world
I like swimming in the sea
I like to go out beyond the white breakers
Where a man can still be free (or a woman if you are one)
I like swimming in the sea.

My my my it’s a beautiful world
I like drinking Irish tea
With a little bit of lapsang souchong
I like making my own tea.

My my my it’s a beautiful world
I like driving in my car
Roll the top down sometimes I travel quite far
Drive to the ocean stare up at the stars
I like driving in my car

All around is anger automatic guns
It’s death in large numbers no respect for women or our little ones
I tried talking to Jesus but He just put me on hold
Said He’d been swamped by calls this week
And He couldn’t shake His cold

And still this emptiness persists
Perhaps this is as good as it gets
When you’ve given up the drink and those nasty cigarettes
Now I leave the party early at least with no regrets
I watch the sun as it comes up I watch it as it sets
Yeah this is as good as it gets.

My my my it’s a beautiful world
I like sleeping with Marie
She is one sexy girl full of mystery
She says she doesn’t love me but she likes my company
For now that’s good enough for me

Monday, November 07, 2005

blood in her eyes for you

i am:
writing my thesis
making money walking dogs, teaching, playing poker, and modeling
especially kind to crippled cats
physically broken
enjoying the fast life
failing to write here very often

and i've been listening to this song a lot while i drive lately. perhaps too much.

fake palindromes by andrew bird

My dewy-eyed disney bride what has tried
swapping your blood with formaldehyde?

Whiskey-plied voices cried fratricide!
Jesus don’t you know that you coulda died
you shoulda died

with the monsters what talk
monsters what walk the earth

she’s got red lipstick
and a bright pair of shoes
she's got knee high socks
what to cover a bruise
she’s got an old death kit
she’s been meaning to use
she's got blood in her eyes in her eyes for you
she’s got blood in her eyes for you

certain fads, stripes and plaids singles ads
they run you hot and cold like a rheostat I mean a thermostat
so you bite on a towel
hope it won’t hurt too bad

she says I like long walks and sci-fi movies
you’re six foot tall and east coast bred
some lonely night we can get together
and I’m gonna tie your wrists with leather
and drill a tiny hole into your head