melaniesuzanne: (Banjolele mouse)
  • The song "Flowers in the Window" by Travis.

  • Speaking of flowers, tulip and daffodil leaves are pushing up through the mulch around the tree in our yard.

  • The song "Slowburner" by The Proclaimers.

  • Speaking of slow, I'm sloooowly getting better at the ukulele. Oh so slowly, but it's coming along. I might even be able to play for other people by Ravenstreet Beach Week time.

  • The song "This is not an Exit" by Beecake. (Yes, I'm in a Glaswegian band mood.)

  • Speaking of exits, no wait... that doesn't work as a transition here. Anyway, my orthodontist is VERY pleased with the movement of my teeth and can tell I've been particular about wearing the rubber bands. Today's verdict was "Not much longer; I know you're feeling impatient." Plus, I made the last payment on my braces today.

  • The song "Just Like a Chap" by Mr.B the Gentleman Rhymer. (Egad, I want a banjolele, like whoa.)

  • There is sunlight when I leave the office. It doesn't quite outweigh the indignity of Daylight Saving Time, but it takes some of the edge off.
melaniesuzanne: (une souris)

  • Work is still eating my brain. Happily, the panic attacks have stopped but some grumpiness and trepidation remain. Work is work.

  • No biking because it's freaking cold outside. I feel like a complete wuss for allowing the weather to cow me, but it's coooold. I'm rethinking this whole move-to-a-cooler-climate thing.

  • Ukulele-playing is progressing. Using the DVD which was included with the kit is making things go more smoothly. I've corrected my posture while adopting poor habits elsewhere. Tuning has become easier and I've learned how to tune the other three strings off the A-string. For some reason makes the chords sound SO much better than using the tuner for each string individually. Don't know what's going on there, but if the instrument sounds better, I'll run with it. I practiced for a couple of hours on Saturday and then for an hour on Sunday until my hand seized up (Saturday) and I got too frustrated with the fingering (Sunday). Late last night, though, I picked the uke back up and as I strummed VERY lightly so as not to disturb a sleeping Hubbyfink, I finally got the transitions between C, C7, F, and G7 down. I started working on G, but got frustrated and am currently letting my subconscious chew on it until tonight's practice.

  • The iPad no longer frustrates me. After [ profile] whitebird noted that Apple products are application-focused rather than file-focused, I let go some of my obsessive filing needs and started enjoying the gadget. I've been loading it up with various forms of media and have already filled about half of the 32G (28ish, actually) of memory. Obviously, I do not have my entire iTunes collection on there.

  • Actual Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love.

  • And speaking of music, I've been quietly fan-girling over Beecake. It started with "Please Stay" from the recently-released "Blue Sky Paradise" and then I got lost in their debut album "Soul Swimming". I do hope there will be some east coast US dates in the nearish future. They've played DC (okay, Arlington) before so there's precedent.

Back to having my brain sucked out.
melaniesuzanne: (xkcd: Boom de yada by bluebombardier & s)
If something is worth doing, it's worth doing badly. Considering that I haven't played the saxophone in nearly twenty-five years, I'd probably play it pretty badly these days. I play the piano and drums slightly better than the woodwind, but I play the piano at Mom's house when no one is around and the drums during "Rock Band" games. It was hight time to expand my musical mediocrity into a different instrument family and I purchased a cheap Teach-Yourself-to-Play-the-Ukulele kit. Seriously cheap. Like $35 for the uke, bag, extra strings, book/cd/dvd, and felt picks cheap. No need to splurge if I decided I hated the thing, you know?

I don't hate the thing.

It currently has C "tuning". I use quotes because the darn thing went out of tune with almost every strum. Hubbyfink, who's played acoustic and electric guitar in the past, said it should acclimate to the house before I get too frustrated. I did have fun learning the C7, F, and C chords and strumming along to "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" and "Tom Dooley". Ah, it brought back the early days of piano lessons. And I'm grateful that I already knew music theory and don't have to spend time learning staves and note values and time signatures, etc, and can skip right ahead to learning chords. My fingers and wrist balk at the positioning, though. Hubbyfink helped me with that as well. The book does have clear pictures, but it helped having him show me even though he has long monkey fingers while my fingers are squat in comparison. I may have just over an octave reach on the piano, but that's soooo different from clustering my fingers all together on a couple of frets. When I turned the page to learn the G7 chord, my fingers rebelled and I decided a couple of hours was long enough to subject them -- and Hubbyfink's ears -- to any more tuning and playing. Mostly tuning, truth be told.

And now Hubbyfink, who has been window shopping for a new guitar for a couple of months, really wants to snag one now now NOW. Heh heh.
melaniesuzanne: (Kermit on a bike)
A couple of bike bloggers I read have recently asked if their readers sing or talk to themselves while riding their bikes. Based on the answers, it seems like a lot of us do. I'm not much of a talker (to myself anyway) when I'm out riding but I will utter a -- usually breathless -- "c'mon... go... c'mon..." as I'm climbing a hill or a panicked "GO! GO! GO!" if I'm crossing a street too close to oncoming traffic.

Singing, on the other hand... Well, I love to sing. I blast the radio or iPod in the truck and sing along. I sing a capella while doing house- or yardwork. I even "entertained" the participants on a multinational conference call I host Wednesday evenings by singing "The Girl from Ipanema" while waiting for one of the Sydney engineers to join. (The guy in Melbourne told me I was in the wrong line of work and should go on one of those talent TV shows. Awwww. He's my favorite.)

Anyway. When I'm on the trail by myself, I'll wear an earbud in my right ear and listen to music. For a while there I listened to my Road Trip mix and would croon along with Kermit and Fozzie's "Movin' Right Along" and John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads". Lately though, I've moved on to an instrumental playlist for my longer distance training. My preferred mix at the moment is as follows:

Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue"- I love starting with this because it's nearly seventeen minutes long and I feel like I've really gotten somewhere by the time the song ends.
Khachaturian's "Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia"
Schubert's "Death and the Maiden"
Saint-Saƫns' "Danse Macabre"
Williams' "Raiders of the Lost Ark"
Elfman's "Batman Theme"
Williams' "Main Title Theme from Star Wars" - I feel like I'm on a speeder bike on Endor. (I've never said I'm not a nerd.)
Williams' "The Imperial March"
Kondo's "Legend of Zelda: Suite"
Beal's "Rome: Main Title Theme"
McKennitt's "Marco Polo"
Jarre's "Lawrence of Arabia"
Mussorgsky's "Night on the Bare Mountain"
Paganini's "24 caprices op 1 no 24 in A minor"
Bach's "Toccata and Fugue"
Bizet's "Carmen: Overture"

How about you? Do you have preferred music for riding/running/climbing trees?
melaniesuzanne: (Dresden Dolls)
I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed Amanda Palmer's music. I'm most familiar with her work as part of the Dresden Dolls and I find that her solo projects are quite good. My favorites from her new album are "Map of Tasmania", "In My Mind", and "Vegemite (The Black Death)".

Videos of the songs. Warning: there's rough language in the songs. )
melaniesuzanne: (I'm in ur tubes)
I am so excited, I could burst. The cube move date is set for 10 June and I will get a cube that faces a window which overlooks trees and lake-with-fountain and geese. So excited.

KitCat is at the vet having her x-rays and EKG and other tests done. This is the follow-up visit to see how bad her heart murmur has gotten. She's in decent-enough health and is still eating and drinking and occasionally runs around the house (especially when being chased by Oreo) so I'm not afraid that we're going to get bad news or anything.

I'm not sure what this weekend's plans will include. Hubbyfink was supposed to have an HMA thingie tomorrow but that's been canceled. I was going to curl up with some of my foreign language horror films, but that may get pushed off until Hubbyfink's HMA trip in July. A lot of thin white linen should get dumped at my front door this afternoon. I may work on turning that into camicie. Or I may break down and get "Alan Wake" and enjoy some Twin Peaks-esque survival horror.

I've been in something of a rockabilly mood lately. Love those guitar riffs.

Oh my gosh: today's Google doodle! Oddly, I don't feel weird about Pac-Man being thirty years old. I remember my first Pac-Man cabinet. It was a table cabinet in the back room of the St Francis Restaurant in Hughes. Mimi and I went through so many quarters back there; I'm sure that Mom, Daddy, and the restaurant's staff were happy we weren't spinning round and round on the counter stools.
melaniesuzanne: (Love)
So. I've been going nuts for nearly a week trying to figure out what the third piece of music in Miki Ando's Cleopatra-themed free skate program was. (That link takes you to the NBC Olympics page with a video of her program after a short commercial.) I knew the first piece was the theme to "Rome" and I didn't care about the second piece. The third piece, though, I KNEW I'd heard it before. Google searches turned up results that said her music was from "Rome" (yes, yes, I know that part), "Marco Polo" by Ennio Morricone (neat), and "Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra" (say what?). NOTHING in Asterix and Obelix soundtrack came close to that piece of music.

After a week of searching iTunes and Youtube for hints, I confided my conundrum with Hubbyfink. When I mentioned "Marco Polo", he said, "You know, Loreena McKennitt has a song called 'Marco Polo'." I said, no no... that's not it. Our CDs are packed away (as part of the prep for basement remodel) so he kindly copied his ripped version of "Cairo to Casablanca" for me because I KNEW that song was on that compilation.


More internet searching ensued and I finally stumbled upon the NBC site and was able to play Ando's performance. He suggested a "Rome" theme remix. No... I decided it must be Dead Can Dance, and I could practically hear Lisa Gerard ululating along. Luckily, I already had "Toward the Within" and "Into the Labyrinth" on my computer and I sifted through songs on those albums. Parts of "Yulunga" are very close, but no proverbial cigar.

Then it hit me. My mind's ear wasn't hearing Lisa; it was hearing Loreena! I sheepishly asked him if he would pull up the albums he'd ripped. And there it was, just as he suggested an hour ago: Loreena McKennitt's "Marco Polo". Hubbyfink has a very happy, music-enabled wife who can now come up with something new with which to torment herself.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Every time OK Go's "Here it Goes Again" comes up in my exercise mix as I traipse along on the treadmill, I find myself wanting to reenact their music video. I'm sure that The Powers That Be would not be amused.

On the flip side, watching the video has sapped some of my grumpiness.

And in related news, a woman complained to me yesterday about the quality of the music being played in the gym. I chuckled and responded that the playlist seemed to be a greatest hits from my college days.
melaniesuzanne: (Work for plague by deliciouspear)
The hold music for this morning's conference call is a maudlin string concerto which is the epitome of "music to slash one's wrists to". I'm already stressed out about something not related to work and I really don't need depressing hold music to put me over the edge.
melaniesuzanne: (Dude.)
I enter a search for "world music" in iTunes. Please tell me, in what universe does HANNAH MONTANA count as world music???
melaniesuzanne: (Blossoms by upsa_daisy)
I spent my lunch hour at Tarzhay doing a little retail therapy my part to stimulate the economy and picked up a couple of 360 games for the Hubbyfink (Call of Duty) and me (Bioshock). The cashier asked for my ID when she scanned Bioshock. I've never been carded for a game before. Hee!

(Question for fellow gamers: should I go ahead and get F.E.A.R 2 without having played F.E.A.R.? Or will I be missing out by not having played the original? I didn't let skipping to a sequel bother me for Resident Evil or Fallout or even Legend of Zelda. I'm not why I'm so concerned about it with this game, but I am.)

"Xanadu" and "Don't Walk Away" have been on near-continuous repeat on my ipod. My coworkers should be glad I wear headphones. Damn, Olivia Newton-John's got a high voice. I can't follow her in a couple of places and have to drop into a more alto-friendly harmony. Oof. Happily, Jeff Lynne's falsetto isn't too high for me. (Err... I should mention that the singing along happens in the Jeepfink, not the office. I'm not That Guy.)
melaniesuzanne: (devil horns!)

Icelandic "Sweet Transvestite"
Finnish "Beds are Burning"
Ukranian "Highway to Hell"
Cantonese "YMCA"
Chinese "Jive Talking"

And the creme de la creme: ABBA in Hindi!
"Dancing Queen"
"Super Trooper"
"Mama Mia"

All tunes lovingly swiped from this page.


Dec. 11th, 2008 02:57 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Merry Ratmas!)
While I was busy making booklets of medieval/renaissance Christmas music, I started humming "Nous Voici dans la Ville" and now the tune is stuck in my head. AUGH. I mean, it's a pretty tune and all, but I'm tired of it. This may require the heavy application of Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan's version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings". Yes, yes, I think it does.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I'd forgotten how much I enjoy Carly Simon's voice. I have her greatest hits compilation (Clouds in My Coffee 1965-1995) which is in book form, so I usually forget about it when picking out CDs for roadtrips and/or for ripping to iTunes. But I remembered her last night -- as well as Billy Joel's greatest hits book -- and have added her to my new ipod's playlist. Go ahead and revoke my deeply-closeted-goth card.

In other news, back in October I won an award at work (because I'm awesome like that) and got a not insignificant chunk of gift cards to Best Buy. I saved those gift cards for Black Friday and scored an Xbox 360 for Hubbyfink's Christmas present and an 8Gig Nano as a happy for myself. Hubbyfink asked if he could go ahead and play with the 360 while I was in Williamsburg last weekend -- I said yes -- and he picked up "Fallout 3" (which was going to be under the tree) and has been playing it ever since. I watched him play for a while Tuesday night and now I want a crack at it. Especially since you can apparently play it in either first- or third-person perspective. I prefer third-person. Plus, we can almost see the bombed-out remains of our house from there.

We watched X-play's giftmas game guide last night and the top pick for the season is "Fallout 3" with "Left 4 Dead" coming in a very close second. (HINT ZOMBIES! HINT ahem) Unfortunately, one of the games I'd picked up for myself for the Wii this past summer ("Alone in the Dark") made the list of Games to Get for Gamers You Hate. Alas. It's still in the plastic wrap; mayhap we'll trade that and the bundled games which came with the 360 in at Game Stop.

Also, I'm even more confused about which game to get after viewing the "Rock Band 2" vs "Guitar Hero: World Tour" report. [ profile] zipmeister says Rock Band because he has RB. LJ-less brother John says Guitar Hero because he also has RB. Augh!
melaniesuzanne: (iSqueek by lady_twatterby)
Simply by finding an mp3 of Sarah Silverman's "I'm [bleeping] Matt Damon". Muahahahaha! That, along with The Gourd's cover of Snoop Dogg's "Gin & Juice" and a bluegrass version of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" should make Hubbyfink squirm during the ride up to Pennsic land grab next weekend.



melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Mary F'ing Sunshine

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