Thinking outside my comfort zone [occasionally, for a maximum of up to 14 minutes, 53 seconds a day]

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/12/08 10:01 -05:00, original URI:

I am begging you to skip this post. Please skip it, these is nothing worthwhile in it and I actually use a curse word or two. It isn't wiorth the time.

You know, I get the impression that you aren't listening to me here. We should talk later about the whole respect issue....

Still here? Well don't complain later if you don't like it!

The things that happen in my life often do seem to come down to music and songs, somehow.

I mean, I would never pick up the intriguing skill of Bruce Willis in that mostly forgettable movie Hudson Hawk where he knew the length of every song so that if he needed to time something he could sing the song.

But when I left work a few days ago and noticed that the time to

  1. start the Zune
  2. pack up the laptop and put it on the scooter
  3. put on my coat
  4. scoot to the Cambrian
  5. pick up my mail
  6. scoot to my place
  7. bring all of my stuff in
  8. turn off the music

took exactly the time of the four songs that were in the Zune at that moment:

it was so exact that I moved to that point on the playlist there again the next day going home, and got the same result.

I realized that I could actually spend some real time here and try to calculate times based on song lengths if I wanted to.

But then I'd usually rather move on to the next song in the playlist instead.

Each of the four songs playing were interesting to me at that moment, though for entirely different reasons.

Like Flagpole Sitta -- I was amused that when the song ended up in a Scooby-Doo movie (this is by report from a reader, as I am something of an SMG purist and that movie was outside of my comfort level!), they apparently blanked out a bit of the lyrics, as follows from this excerpt (with the removed part crossed out):

I had visions, I was in them,
I was looking into the mirror
To see a little bit clearer
The rottenness and evil in me

Fingertips have memories,
Mine can't forget the curves of your body
And when I feel a bit naughty
I run it up the flagpole and see who salutes
(But no one ever does)

I'm not sick, but I'm not well
and I'm so hot 'cause I'm in hell

Been around the world and found
That only stupid people are breeding
The cretins cloning and feeding
And I don't even own a TV

Put me in the hospital for nerves
And then they had to commit me
You told them all I was crazy
They cut off my legs now I'm an amputee, Goddamn you

Now I'm not Catholic or anything, but my understanding of being in Hell was such that in actually in fact required God to damn you there, as kind of an high level judgment.

So it struck me as an amusing thing to censor, given the rest of the song and what Harvey is saying.

It is like that "Fuck" reference in Jagged Little Pill that I mentioned a few months ago. I wonder what they would have done with that song -- removed the word Fuck and kept in "go down on you in a theater"? And this movie was (kind of) for kids, even!

It just struck me as amusing.

And as long as I am off-topic again, I will point out that I really preferred DeNiro's devil to Pacino's, and not just because I prefer Rourke to Reaves (though I do) or Bonet to Theron (though I do). I like both actors I just kind of felt like if I were the devil (which I'm not though some may file dissenting opions on this) I would probably be a lot more restrained about it. Pacino was Satan: The College Years and DeNiro was a more grown up and subtle Lucifer.

Appropos of nothing than all of the damnation and hell chatter, but each time I see either movie my opinion stands.

Okay, time to reel it back in here....

And the Blues Traveler song? It has been on my mind since I posted a bit of it in this post a few weeks ago:

Its a state of affairs and a state of emotions
The kind of thing that you must understand
I tell you one thing; you tell me another
We walk away, maybe then shake hands

After I posted it, I had three people (none native English speakers) ask me about the last line and what it meant.

It's funny, it never would have occurred to me to the sentence was dialect or jargon, but I guess it is.

In this case, the "we walk away" is more of a conceptual walk -- two people just grow apart. But if you walk away and then shake hands, you part as friends when it's all over. a nice thought, and it does happen sometimes. Occasionally.

In my experience, if one person does not recognize the distance created by the conecptual walk away, then the friend thing usually doesn't work out. Though I suppose I am still young and inexperienced.

(When I was 17, I would claim I was experienced and everyone would assume I was lying; now twenty years later I am 37 and I calim to be inexperienced and again everyone assumes I am lying. Clearly I can't win here!)

Then there is Liz Phair. What can I say about Why Can't I?, really.

It is a song I like and admire a lot, though admittedly for probably all of the wrong reasons.

The lyrics say it all (I am mixing and matching a bit between verses to shrink the quote, please pardon this sin):

Get a load of me, get a load of you
Walkin' down the street, and I hardly know you (hardly know you)
It's just like we were meant to be

Holding hands with you, when we're out at night
Got a girlfriend, you say it isn't right (isn't right)
And I've got someone waiting, too

Here we go, we're at the beginning
We haven't fucked yet, but my head’s spinning

You see, I have been the potential situation a few times (thankfully none recently, if memory serves they are emotionally taxing!), but for the most part I ignore the feeling of inevitability, and just don't jump into the situation. It's easy when you are a guy, you just act like you don't notice anything, and just bury it in that "missed out due to bad timing" category, and then usually come put of it friends on the other end.

But it is funny, we often use the phrase having the courage of our convictions which is just not what this is.

Not even a little bit.

C'mon now -- If I don't cheat and further don't encourage the other person to cheat then I am definitely showing conviction, but if at the same time I am ignoring how I feel and the other person is doing the same because I am afraid of the consequences then it really does feel more like the cowardice of my convictions!

There isn't even an expression to cover the other case -- courage of my (opposite of convictions -- no thesaurus entry seem to capture what is meant here which might be why it is not my preferred choice)?

I guess the song puts me in the mind of being Pacey in the whole Dawson/Joey/Pacey love triangle. If he hadn't kissed Joey then it would have felt pretty cowardly to me. And I felt resentful of the bias in the credits toward Dawson -- were they hoping he would win? What's up with that? 

The scariest part of the post -- you just read it -- me admitting I saw most of Dawson's Creek. Though to be honest I was only embarrassed later after Tom Cruise married Katie Holmes. Hadn't she already gone through this with Jack (Kerr Smith)? It felt like a cliche to read the headlines on this one, with the only thing worse than Dawson's Creek reruns on cable is Dawson's Creek reruns in the headlines.

Okay, back to the song....

With this song, I find myself sitting in awe of the people who do have the wherewithal to go the other way here. A "road not traveled" song for me, it just gets me somehow. Maybe becuse it implies something so outside of my comfort zone, again.

A theme for these songs, perhaps?

And then there is 2000 Miles, where I get to enjoy Chrissie Hynde sing probably one of only a handful of Christmas songs I ever managed to get into. I almost ended up seeing Aimee Mann's Drifter tour last year when I was told they were thinking about covering it (somehow the Christmas shows never end up in Seattle, what's up with that?).

It's not like I will be putting up that Christmas tree in my closet to use. You know that 7.5 foot GE EZ-Light Mountain Spruce with a few boxes of ornaments I mentioned last year that I never did get rid of. 

Anyone need a Christmas tree? Only used once, etc., etc.?

I'm actually serious here. You would have to pick it up of course but I'll charge a lot less than it cost.

Argh, back to the song....

This one is more about the time of year, I think. Well, that and maybe the subtle memory of times when I would often find myself thousands of miles away from the person or persons who I least wanted to not be near. I have had that happen to me more than a few times over the last few years.

Even though Christmas itself is a bit outside of my experience.

Plus any time Chrissie Hynde is involved you know it's going to be nice.

Maybe that is why whole the song list was cool. Two different days, I found that in the time it takes me to get from work to home (14 minutes, 53 seconds).

Maybe I'll post about other songs that show up in that buffer some other days, if they happen fit just right in the slot. :-)


This post brought to you by(U+100f, aka MYANMAR LETTER NNA)

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referenced by

2008/07/13 Developers are really not generally ones for spontanenous make-out sessions (aka Code jocks can talk themselves out of anything)

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