Year in Music 2010, part two

[This is part two of my post on this year’s music. Part one can be found here.]

Here we go, with more songs and videos:

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Year in Music 2010, part 1

[This post is split into two parts, for length. This is part one. Part two is here.]

The Year in Music 2010

This year was the year of the playlist. Many of my favorite songs came to my attention through character-themed playlists given to me by friends. It occurs to me that I don’t know how many of you do this sort of thing, or know what I’m talking about. A character playlist is when you like a character, or a relationship between characters, and you make a playlist to describe that person or relationship. I have found in the last few years that this is the best and easiest way for me to access new songs. The playlist aspect gives me an emotional hook — I listen to the song’s lyrics and apply them to a character I love. I end up feeling that I both know more about the character and also about the song.

This is because the part of music that I most listen to is the emotional story. That story can be in the repeating hook, or it can be in the verses, or the chorus. But I’m not listening to the musical complexity; I’m listening to the story. For a lot of rock tunes the story is … a little bit up to the listener’s discretion. It’s opaque. And for a lot of pop tunes the story is a little generic. In both cases, tying the song to a specific character give me a clearer image of what is happening. (This is also why I like music videos and vids.)

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Tuesday’s child is full of lists

1. Florence and the Machine’s “Drumming Song” is so stuck in my head. It’s a great, great song about the kind of crush which isn’t a crush, but is a consuming obsession. And, naturally, I thought that someone needed to make a vid of this for Doctor Who, a pan-Doctor vid of Doctor/Master. According to You Tube, fandom has not let me down. I haven’t gone and watched any of the many options, yet, but I’m happy to know that they are there.

Official video:

2. It is still raining.

3. My family is going out of town this week, to Brickworld. This would be, for those who don’t know, a huge LEGO convention. I will miss them, I am certain, but OMG HOUSE TO MYSELF FOR FIVE DAYS HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!

4. My house is LEGO obsessed right now. Here is J’s oil refinery:

And here is Cavorter’s waterfall and overpass:

For those who are interested, these are for Micropolis. Micropolis is a micro-scale collaborative project nationwide. People can download the scale specifications from TwinLUG and build a module. Then, at events like Brickworld, every one brings their modules and assembles them into a gigantic city.

This is what the small version of Micropolis at SpringCon looked like:

All photos are from the TwinLUG Flickr group.

5. To support the LEGO obsession, my house has procured an entirely new shelf to go in the living room, on which to display LEGO builds and models. Some households might not have their LEGOs in the living room. But since we already have LEGOs on the table, counter, fireplace mantel, and in huge bins on the floor, putting them all on a shelf seemed an improvement.

And, even if I wanted to complain, which I don’t, those who have twenty long boxes of comics stored in Cavorter’s bedroom, along with four bookshelves full of graphic novels Shall Not Complain About The Hobbies Of Others.

6. In seven months of working out I have not changed weight in the slightest. But I’ve gone down two belt notches, and now must wear a belt with my jeans or they fall off. I haven’t had a backache in months. Flights of stairs are no longer my nemesis. Nothing hurt or ached during the entire convention at Wiscon, or at SpringCon. And eating all these fruits and vegetables are doing positive things for my digestion. This is exactly the sort of result I’d hoped for — changing my body to make it stronger, more flexible, and with greater endurance. Weight be dammed — weight is a craptastic measure of health.

7. Based on the strength of “Children of Earth,” I’m now watching the second season of Torchwood. I’m enjoying it, so far, but am not completely won over by it. Also, I don’t like any of the characters except Gwen. I loved Jack on Doctor Who — but I loved him as an unreliable rogue. Those qualities, on Torchwood, make him an asshole. What is good for a recurring guest character is not so good for a lead who is supposed to be the center of a team.

8. I really like numbered lists.

9. My son is currently undergoing another phase of resistance to math worksheets. It’s not the math he has a problem with. It’s the worksheets. He doesn’t want to either show his work or, more the point, write. His handwriting is not up to his articulacy or mathmatical ability. I keep telling him that it’s not enough to know the answer; you have to know how do to the problem.

I recall this conversation from my own elementary school years. I was on the other side of it, then.

Luckily, J and I have an answer for tears at school time. “If you find something so difficult that you sob and cry and burst into tears,” we explain with patient loving-kindness, “then clearly you need more practice at it.” Here, kid. Have another worksheet.

That seems to be the answer to SO MANY THINGS in life, doesn’t it? I’m scared to do my taxes because I don’t know how. Clearly, you should do them every year until you are better at them. I’m scared to drive stick shift. Then get out there and practice. I can’t speak in front of a crowd or audience. Then go do it a whole bunch. We drill this into the kids heads, J and I do. Piano practice is too hard? Do it another ten minutes. Can’t do push-ups in circus class? We’ll all do push-ups together, at the Y, until we all get better at them. Don’t know how to make a phone call to your friends? Let’s practice a few times.

The solution to everyday fear is not to avoid it, or structure your life to never have to do that thing, or to get someone else to do it for you. It’s to master that thing for yourself. This is what all the anti-phobia, anti-anxiety,and anti-OCD therapists tell you. Avoidance makes the thing you fear stronger. Engaging the thing makes you stronger. As Sarah from the movie Labyrinth says, “you have no power over me.” Or as Nancy from Nightmare on Elm Street puts it, “you’re nothing but a bad dream.”

10. Yes, I talk to myself in movie quotations all the time.