When I first made myself commit to posting weekly, I was trying to make myself spend a little time every day of the week thinking and writing and whittling away at old drafts. Instead I’m here at 10:40 PM basically starting a brand-new post. Oh well.
I last blogged about music in 2013. I tagged two other posts with “music” since then, but neither is particularly deep: 8 Songs for 18 Years and Drop-In Filler. Let’s continue the tradition of self-analysis part IIs from nowhere…
I meditated a little bit in Conversations about “lacking experience or interest in a lot of the commonly discussed culture.” I think this applies to me and music as well, although not as fully. Back in Taiwan, when mentally bracing myself for coming to the U.S. for college, I sometimes worried about not knowing enough about pop music and bands and not listening enough to popular albums, and having trouble integrating into the culture for this.
Turns out, among the communities I wandered into and friends I made, it was a more frequent obstacle that I didn’t know enough about classical music and composers. Whoops. Some of the names rang faint bells from either music class or conversations with high school friends who did do classical music, but I could not identify or remember any styles or eras, and would remember composers only by unreliable first letters or unusual substrings of their names.
On the HSR we kill time with weird games from Kevan Davis’s Freeze-Dried Games Pack, mostly Thirty-One. Then we’re there!
On the bus we kill time with karaoke, until people complain. Sorry.
Lunch at Chinese restaurant. Beach resort.
I spend the first one and a half hours holed up in my hotel room watching television, first a quiz show where the host asks foreigners living in Taiwan questions about the country’s culture and society, then Disney and Cartoon Network cartoons. During the commercial breaks I do cryptic crosswords I had brought along. This is something I self-deprecatingly talk about for the rest of the trip, but I have no regrets because the three cartoons I watch are literally my top three guilty pleasure cartoons, Ben 10, Teen Titans Go!, and Jake Long: American Dragon.
Then I wander around and join some guys playing pool. I do better than I expect, once pocketing three balls in sequential moves. There is also a Kinect with a dancing game, which I also score surprisingly well at and have lots of fun playing.
Dinner, in which I eat 小卷 (“pencil squids”?) with way way way too much wasabi. I stuff myself and walk around chatting and eventually learn there are freshly-made 手卷 (“temaki” / “hand roll”) downstairs. Since there’s lots of time I wait until I’m less full and eat two.
Group activity outside corresponds eerily to the one three years ago: shouting, dancing, waving glowsticks, arbitrary dance moves, punishment games, cooperation games, a competition where the guide gives out points that don’t matter like on Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Empty promises… but okay. Class songs. (This is the explicit version. This song is well above the normal offensiveness rating of this blog and I usually prefer official videos, instead of shady lyric videos probably made from Windows Movie Maker that might get taken down, but honestly I find the pathetic execution of censorship in the VEVO version more offensive.)
After it we have a sentimental moment listening to “See You Again”.
At night our room flips through television and watches the second half of Iron Man 2.
I’ll probably be making filler posts for a while until I make decent progress on linear algebra and programming work, including another presentation.
Let’s listen to some more music.
At some point I thought, hmm, maybe this blog would benefit from some more sentimental, memory-capturing music/videos, like I chose for my end of 2013 post or my end of 2014 post. (Yeah, I link to my own posts alarmingly often. I think that’s kind of weird. I don’t know.)
Obviously, because you’re reading this already, I decided to follow through with that idea. There’s no particular significance for posting this now — it’s not my birthday or anything, as the title might suggest; it just has a nice ring to it — except of course that I’m starting to get mildly desperate for content for my daily posting streak exercise. Standard disclaimers apply.
This is mostly for my future self. I should note that, although I like these songs, this is not a list of my absolute most favorite songs ever. You can tell because there isn’t any Coldplay or fun. (the band.) Instead, each of these songs was chosen to be meaningful to myself and my life in at least two different ways that generally don’t overlap with the other songs. This was difficult but I think I managed it — you know, how constraint breeds creativity and everything? Also, they’re arranged by approximate chronological order of impact. But it also means that this list isn’t going to be that meaningful to anybody other than myself.
Also, I have a long list of class-of-2015 sentimental songs, which I’m not including here because I think there are so many that they deserve a separate post. Will I avoid procrastinating and feeling awkward for long enough to make such a post? Stay tuned!
shrugs Whatever, enjoy the music or stop reading now if you want.
1: Simon & Garfunkel - Scarborough Fair/Canticle
Isn’t it weird to suddenly talk about this topic?
I don’t think that I have ever talked about music any more than briefly in passing. It might be confusing to my finger quotes audience, and I worry I’ll seem inconsistent.
Well, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. If you wonder, “I didn’t know that you sang and played the piano, or you liked music in that way — or, at all…” please note that I didn’t know either.