Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Potpourri No. 27

My 27th potpourri post, for this, the 27th day of January…

It’s That Time of the Month
Yesterday, I woke up with a very sore throat. Today, it doesn’t feel quite as sore, but it feels more irritated—scratchy and somewhat congested and swollen. Sickness seems to be a monthly ritual for the members of my family, each of us taking turns, but each of us generally being sick at least once every 30 days. Or so it seems. What I didn’t realize is that my body is so diligent in keeping to the 30-day schedule. Out of curiosity, I looked back at the last several posts I’ve written that include the tag “health.” Granted, I haven’t written a monthly post about being sick, but if you look at the posts in which I do mention being sick, a startling pattern emerges—I wrote about being sick on September 27, 2008; I wrote about being sick on October 26, 2009; I wrote about being sick on November 28, 2009. And now I’m writing about being sick on January 27, 2010. Very interesting…

Shuffle, Shuffle, Shuffle
It’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote about loading up my iPod Shuffle. That means I’ve had two more weeks’ experience using it. I love it. And, I’m excited to report, I miscalculated just how much music my iPod could hold. The last time I wrote about it, I said I had loaded the iPod with 500 songs, but I expected that it could fit another six or seven songs. Well, I somehow was multiplying things by ten that I shouldn’t have been. As it turns out, I’ve put another 57 songs on my iPod, and there’s still some room on there. That’s right—I have a grand total of 557 songs on my iPod, which amounts to roughly 31 hours of music. Given that I only really listen to my iPod when I’m busing to and from school, I wonder which will come first: earning my Ph.D. or listening to everything on my iPod.

Free Pumpkins
Speaking of music, for those who might be interested and aren’t aware, The Smashing Pumpkins (which at this point is primarily just Billy Corgan) are releasing a free album, one song at a time, downloadable from their website. If that weren’t enough, the album will ultimately consist of 44 songs. That’s a lot of free music! From the sound of it, these aren’t throw-away songs, either. Having listened to the first (and thus far only) two songs to have been released, I can say that the Pumpkins are keeping things as lush as they have done on their previous, more traditional releases. (The first of the Internet songs, “A Song for a Son,” reminds me of material found on the Pumpkins’ lavishly produced third album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.) If nothing else, you have to admit that making such a grandiose project freely available to the public is a fascinating move. You can read more about the work-in-progress album, titled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, on Wikipedia.

American Idle
Speaking of music, I’ve never watched the hit reality TV program American Idol until this season. After the many years of hype, hubbub, and hullabaloo, Melanie and I thought we’d give it a shot. We haven’t been diligent about watching it—after all, it’s on twice a week, and in its first week or two, each episode is two hours long—but we have invested a few hours into it at this point. The verdict? A little too early to say, though I admit it is thus far more entertaining than not. The style of singing to which the show caters is, in my opinion, often times rather dull. Sometimes I think a person auditioning sounds just as good as another contestant whom the judges have praised, but they proceed to tell the person that he/she is too boring. Then there are times when I think a person sounds very dull and generic, and the judges are quite enthusiastic about that person’s “talent.” So, you can’t always tell, I guess. Maybe if you were much more into pop music (of this sort) than I am. I’ll be curious to see where the show goes once we get past the initial auditioning stage. Melanie and I were all the more interested in trying out the show when it was announced that Ellen DeGeneres would replace Paula Abdul as a judge. However, DeGeneres doesn’t join the panel until after the auditions are complete, which is yet to occur. So we’ll see how that goes.

Finger-Pickin’ Good
Speaking of music, I’ve continued playing guitar for 30-40 minutes a day, having missed only a few days since the beginning of the year. It continues to feel great. The fingers on my left hand are getting all their old calluses back, and I simply feel like my strumming and singing are more solid than they were even a few weeks ago. My point is, even with this little step forward, I see recognizable differences and improvements, and that’s exciting. I’ve even written a couple of new songs, to a much more complete degree than a lot of things I’ve written in the past. One song, “The Bug Song,” was written impromptu at the request of Edison, who asked me one day while I was playing guitar to sing a song about bugs. Accordingly, it might best be labeled a children’s song. I’m toying with the idea of video-recording it and posting it to my blog sometime in the near future. Perhaps I will do so. Perhaps.

1 comment:

  1. It would seem you have just proven cell memory with your peiodic spouts of illness. You'll have to work on changing that with yourself.
    And it would be delightful to hear you sing here.... hope you get talked into it.
    Take care of yourself