liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
Here we go, the middle of the list hits A song that you would love played at your wedding.

As you probably know, I'm already married, and I had my wedding five years ago. wedding reminiscences plus video )

I have no intention of having any more weddings to choose music for. I'm already married, as are all my partners. And maybe poly people aren't supposed to say this, but I really think I've found my people and hope not to end or change my current relationships. Friends who have looked into these things in more detail think it's not actually illegal to have weddings, in the sense of ceremonies indicating lifelong romantic commitment, to more than one partner, as long as you don't try to register the relationship as a marriage for legal purposes. But I am not really sure of the details and anyway at the moment we don't have any desire to be married to more people than our existing spouses, even if it is (or became) legally ok.

It is fair to say that I never intended to get married the first time either, so maybe I'm wrong. I suppose we've vaguely talked about the possibility that those of us who are EU citizens may need to marry those who are not for immigration reasons and safety, but I really really really hope it doesn't come to that and if we were in that situation there wouldn't be any singing and dancing, just whatever paperwork we needed for survival. And hypothetically my current relationships might come to an end and then I might find a new person who really wanted to get married to me. But then the song I would choose would depend so much on the person and the circumstances that I can't really speculate what it would be, and I don't really want to because it involves imagining the ends of relationships I really want to keep.

I'm not in general a fan of the wedding tradition of the First Dance to a romantic song. Partly because I'm not much of a dancer, and partly because I think there are better ways to do symbolic consummation. And then finding a song which is lyrically appropriate is surprisingly hard; a lot of songs in the style that's appropriate to slow-dance to are really breakup songs, or at best they're hugely monogamy-assuming and heteronormative. As [personal profile] elf pointed out in this meme, a lot of poly-friendly songs are about casual hey we're just doing this as long as we both like it relationships, which is kind of wrong for a wedding.

I think it was [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait who pointed out that the most inappropriate possible song for a wedding is She moves through the fair, since it mentions our wedding day but primarily as a euphemism for death. I am very fond of it, mind you. And I have attended a wedding where the big romantic moment Song was Hey, that's no way to say goodbye by Leonard Cohen, which is a gorgeous song but way depressing if you go past the opening lines:
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
Yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
In city and in forest they smiled like me and you


I never daydreamed about my ideal wedding when I was single, so I never had a concept in my mind of what song I would love played. If I happened to be in a relationship where we had a song that was meaningful to us as a couple, then perhaps I'd choose that, but I can't help myself thinking about the detailed interpretation of the words. So, just out of interest, do any of you know any songs which are good for weddings, talking about serious relationships but not about possessiveness? Or songs that are good for non-religious communal singing?
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
I'm getting really behind the wave on this, aren't I? Still, there's more than one person still working through the list! Today is One of your favourite 70's songs. I'm not very good at knowing which songs come from which decade, and most of the music on my computer has really inaccurate metadata. But one song which I know is from the 70s, and which is definitely one of my favourites, is Go to Hell by Alice Cooper. I'm not sure if it's actually my favourite 70s song, but I really ought to have something by Alice Cooper in the meme.

I'm really very fond of Alice Cooper goes to Hell; it was my first encounter with the idea of a concept album. I especially love this opening track because it's a bit of (darkly) humorous intro, with the bathos of ridiculously specific examples of depravity:
You'd gift-wrap a leper and mail him to your aunt Jane
You'd even force feed a diabetic a candy cane


I often tell the story of how when I went to university I gained a certain amount of respect among the alternative crowd by explaining that Alice Cooper was in fact a ouijia board chosen stage name for a definitely male singer. Despite not looking like the sort of person who would know rock music trivia. But I love Alice Cooper for being so gloriously terrible, and occasionally coming out with works of sheer genius like Poison (not from the 70s) in among all the McGonagall stuff.

video embed (borderline NSFW) )
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
A song from your pre-teen years is a challenge for me, because I almost didn't listen to recorded music at all before I was in secondary school, and the only singing I did was in school or synagogue.

I'm probably not going to find online versions of the Jewish music I grew up with because the anglo-Reform tradition is very little recorded anywhere. I think this אין כאלהינו at least shares some musical ancestry with the one I used to get my Dad to sing to me when I was really tiny, because I liked the repetitive structure of the hymn, There is none like our God, there is none like our Lord, there is none like our king, there is none like our saviour. I think this memory is from when we still lived in my first house ie when I was under five, and being an unmusical child from an unmusical family, I didn't have a clear idea that songs were supposed to be tuneful, I thought of them as like poems but with even more obvious rhythm.

And I'm certainly not going to find a recording of the children's musical my music teacher wrote based on our learning to read system. I remember being terribly impressed that the song about the 'round' letter Oscar Orange was in the musical form of a 'round'. So there must have been a smattering of nursery rhymes, I think we had one tape at least, plus the stuff you learn as part of early school acculturation. And the obvious children's hyms from a bit older.

When we visited my cousins in Australia when I was 7 or 8, we listened to songs from the children's TV show Feathers, fur or fins. I was fond of Please don't call me a koala bear because it's about taxonomical pedantry.

So I think the choice for this item in the meme is going to have to be I should be so lucky by Kylie Minogue. I reckon I was listening to this when I was 10 or 11, so just about pre-teen. A few years later some of my classmates put on a play with a character who was really obviously a parody of me and was so uncool she listened to Kylie and even... Mozart, and I remember being offended not that my classmates thought I was uncool – that was obvious – but that one of the greats of the European classical tradition was somehow being associated with some pop singer so ephemeral that it was a social faux pas to admit to still liking her three years I'd tried to listen to her stuff in an attempt to fit in.

Honestly my immediate pre-teen years in the late 80s were a pretty terrible time for easily accessible music, as they were for fashion, (wow, look at Kylie's hair and clothes in that video!) Well, for white music at least, I was peripherally aware of Michael Jackson's Bad which is just magisterial, but it was well outside my musical context. And the alt scene, especially rock, had plenty of good stuff going on, but that's only with hindsight, as a child at the time I was almost entirely unaware of rock music, and it was still considered somewhat taboo, not respectable.

the most 80s possible video embed )
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
A song that you never get tired of. I am kind of over-thinking this one, because there are a few songs I have definitely liked for 20 years or so. Once I've been listening to a song for ages, rather than getting tired of it, I'm more likely to feel warm towards it because it's so much part of my life. At the same time, there are a few songs I've got into more recently, which I expect to always love, but I can't be sure that I won't ever get tired of them.

So I think the best candidates are:
  • Teardrop by Massive Attack
  • Nothing else matters by Metallica
  • Concrete by Thea Gilmore
Of those, the Metallica is probably the most musically interesting, so I'm going to go for that as the one I'm most likely never to get tired of. Also Concrete doesn't appear to be on YouTube, so I've linked to the Last.fm page which may or may not let you listen to the track via Spotify.

video embed )
liv: bacterial conjugation (attached)
A song that makes you sad. It's hard to find anything sadder than one of my friends who posted a video of a scratch orchestra playing the European anthem Ode to Joy the day after the UK voted to leave the EU. But the song most likely to make me cry, personally, is the aria Voi che sapete from Mozart's The marriage of Figaro.

break-up sadness, plus video )
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
Day 9 of the (in my case very slow-running) music meme asks for a song that makes you happy. And I have quite a lot of those, making me happy is a big reason I have a music collection at all. I think I'm going to go for Complex person by The Pretenders. The lyrics are not all that cheerful in some ways, but I love the bouncy tune and I always hear this as a song about determination and not letting things get you down.

video embed, actually audio only )

Also I've had a good week for playing games: mostly list with short comments )
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
Recently read: Not reading much or posting much at the moment because [personal profile] cjwatson is visiting and I'm mainly paying attention to him. I'll update here later in the week, probably.

Currently reading: Nearly finished: Too like the lightning by Ada Palmer. I'm really enjoying the resolution of the political intrigue plot, but I'm a bit annoyed by the sophomoric speculation on the philosophical implications of sadism.

Up next: All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders.


Music meme day 8 of 30

A song about drugs or alcohol

Two from opposite ends of the spectrum: my ex-gf used to sing me this ridiculously soppy song, Kisses sweeter than wine by Jimmie Rogers. Which is really only tangentially about alcohol but it's connected to happy memories for me. And I couldn't leave out the most explicitly druggy song in my collection, Heroin, she said by WOLFSHEIM.

two videos )
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
A song to drive to. I don't drive, and most of the drivers I'm frequently a passenger with don't listen to music while they're driving, or just listen to the radio rather than deliberately chosen stuff. What I most associate with driving is that when we were children we used to go on long drives to go on holiday, usually to Wales, sometimes to the north of France by ferry, and that was the only time we were allowed music in the car. We only had a few tapes, so what I most associate with driving is several Flanders and Swann albums. Probably my favourite is Misalliance: video embed, actually audio only )
Particularly because it manages to find some really brilliant rhymes for honeysuckle: We'd better start saving - many a mickle mak's a muckle / and run away for a honeymoon, and hope that our luck'll / take a turn for the better, said the bindweed to the honeysuckle.

Also because it works as a straight love story about anthromorphized plants, and also as a joke about political polarization which feels surprisingly current for a song written in the 1950s: Deprived of that freedom for which we must fight / to veer to the left or to veer to the right. A lot of F&S stuff has been thoroughly suck-fairied, because a key part of their humour is about men hilariously tricking women into surprise!sex, but I always liked the stuff that was dated because it referred to celebrities from well before I was born, because my Dad would carefully explain the obscure references to us.
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
A song that makes you want to dance. I'm not much of a dancer, really. What gets me on the dancefloor is old skool goth stuff that I'm nostalgic about, stuff that's mostly beat rather than rhythm that makes me feel not self conscious if I just jump about and headbang in a not really coordinated way. Or I'll sometimes do folk dancing; most of the Scottish dance music I know is tunes rather than songs, though I have been known to dance Israeli folk stuff that more commonly has songs to go with it, eg Od lo ahavti dai ['I haven't loved enough yet'].

So I've picked a song that is quite bouncy and has lyrics which are about wanting to dance: Because it's not love (but it's still a feeling) by The Pipettes. I think it's [personal profile] blue_mai who got me into this band.

video embed )

I had a weekend full of extrovert delights, a day with [personal profile] jack and an evening with [personal profile] doseybat and [personal profile] pplfichi and an extra bonus [personal profile] ewt, when we talked and talked and were surprised to find it was after midnight. And had a long phonecall with my mother who's more of a morning person than most of my friends, and then [personal profile] cjwatson joined us for dim sum at my perennial favourite Joy King Lau, and lots lots lots more talking until it was time to go back to Keele.
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
A song that needs to be played LOUD I considered being incredibly obvious and picking We will rock you by Queen, since that is one of my favourite LOUD songs, but let's go for something that's a bit more personal to me: Head like a hole by Nine Inch Nails.

I was listening to this really a lot when I was a student. At the time I wouldn't have said it was my favourite song, but it's really stuck with me through the decades in a way that lots of songs from a similar era haven't.

video embed )

Also, I voted. I didn't have any good options and I'm not sure I even had any non-terrible options, so I voted for a party that several people I love believe in. I feel that, in however much time I have left before the powers that be decide I have too many foreign friends, too many foreign ancestors, to be tolerated, I might as well use my vote to try to make at least some people happy.

UK politics )

Anyway, much love to all my friends who have been politically active, whether that's traditional boots on the ground campaigning or posting thoughtful analysis on social media, all the way up to actually standing for office in a few cases. And sorrowful solidarity to my friends who are already regarded as foreign in our "Hostile Environment". I wish I could have voted for a party that would actually support you rather than attacking you.

I don't suppose there's much point doing GOTV type postings here. I'm sure all my friends who are eligible to vote know as well as I do how the process works, and have either already voted or made a clear plan to do so, or perhaps made an in principle decision against voting.

In case it helps, here's details of why the Lib Dems probably won't form another Tory coalition, and here's my brother [twitter.com profile] angrysampoet's arguments why Corbyn probably won't just sit around being shitty and ineffectual this time. He was planning a series of essays and only completed the first three before election day, but anyway, he's putting a case for Corbyn that gives me a glimmer of hope that maybe voting isn't totally pointless.
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
Day 4 of the meme is A song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget about. I can only really think of two people I've encountered in my personal life I'd rather forget, the ringleader of the kids who bullied me when I was 5 or 6, and the teacher who made my life hell when I was rising 9 (nowadays Year 4). Neither of them has a song I particularly associate with them.

So I'm afraid I have to resort to UK politics )
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
A song that reminds you of summer: I think the most summery song I own is Feeling lazy by Lightning Seeds. This is one of many things that [personal profile] doseybat introduced me to in the late 90s, and I kind of started out thinking it was too poppy and superficial, but it grew on me and later on I acquired the whole album, Jollification. Feeling lazy is still my favourite.

video embed )

I had a nice chilled weekend, rather like what's described in the song in fact, spending time with people with no particular time pressure, and sometimes it was sunny and sometimes Our English sky may well cry. Lots of playing in the park, and lots of playing indoors, with animal toys or phone games. I was at home for Friday night for once, and made it to shul Saturday morning. And [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait and I decided to skip Strawberry Fair since the queues for alcohol checks were enormous, and instead had lunch in a fairly hipster café, Stir.

I watched Despicable me with [personal profile] cjwatson and his younger kids. I'd got the idea from the marketing that it was going to be mainly slapstick and not really my kind of thing. But actually the Minions play a relatively small role, and there is some physical humour, but the main point of the story is about someone breaking the cycle of abuse and learning to be a parent in spite of his own terrible childhood. So it was a lot more sweet than I was expecting, though definitely a little kids' film.

The highlight of a generally lovely weekend was when [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait continued her recently established tradition of celebrating both Jewish and Christian Pentecost by setting cheesecake on fire. Which was part of a lovely meal together where we talked mainly about that morning's Torah portion Naso with its delightful Haftarah about the birth of Samson, rather than more obviously seasonally relevant texts like Ruth or Acts. But still, I got my cheesecake and Torah discussion and celebration with my loves.
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
Day two is: a song you like with a number in the title, and it turns out that I have quite a few number songs in my collection but not that many I actively like. I mean, I don't usually keep songs I hate around, but looking through the number ones I'm mostly feeling neutral, they're ok, they're lesser songs by artists I like, that sort of thing.

So I settled on Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega. This was a hit the summer I was doing a science summer school in Israel, and falling in love with p53 and molecular biology research. And the summer one of my best friends became a father, about ten years earlier than most of the rest of my peers. This song was the first music that my friend's baby son unmistakably recognized and seemed to enjoy. We used to joke that he liked it because he recognized his mother's name in the list of women, but I don't know if that's actually plausible, I was already bowled over to learn that a very young baby could express distinct musical preferences. (Baby is now at university, because there are actual adults half my age, which is why lots of my music choices won't be exactly up-to-date.)

embedded video )

I had a quiet, relaxing bank holiday weekend with lots of time with my people. what I did on my weekend )
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait and a bunch of other people are doing a 30 day music meme, and it's really interesting to see people's choices! In some ways music isn't a big part of my life, so I might struggle with this one, and anyway I'm not going to commit to posting every day for 30 consecutive days, but I thought I'd give it a go.

The first is A song you like with a colour in the title, so I went for White winter hymnal by Fleet Foxes. I don't always love the kind of very blurry musical style that Fleet Foxes go for, but I got really fond of this song a few years back and it's one that always raises a smile when it comes on shuffle.

People are generally linking to YouTube, and I'd never actually seen the accompanying video for this one before. It's kind of a cool claymation thing, so I'm glad I searched it up.

Embedded video )

Social

Feb. 20th, 2017 07:40 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
I've had a good month for seeing friends I don't spend time with often enough. I managed long phone chats with [personal profile] hatam_soferet and [personal profile] lethargic_man, and [personal profile] jack and I managed to get most of a weekend with [personal profile] doseybat and her mother and [personal profile] pplfichi, and the wonderful [personal profile] angelofthenorth came to stay with me for a few days.

I feel really really blessed by having such wonderful friends, especially when they reach out to me when I'm doing badly at keeping in touch. And several other people have got in touch too and I really do want to get back to them to make plans. And I'm not doing at all well at posting or commenting here (though I'm still reading, definitely, I haven't missed a day.)

slightly angsty )

Anyway, the only way to restart the habit of posting here is to just go ahead and do so. Have a meme which [livejournal.com profile] ghoti sensibly imported from FB: suggest a category and I'll tell you my top five things in that category. Feel free to propagate it if you think it would be a fun thing to do in your own journal.
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
My wonderful girlfriend made a romantic dinner just for us, basically taking lots of food that I really like such as mushrooms, parsnip, chestnuts and making them into really exciting dishes. And she made me these amazing quilted coasters with teacups on them, having never done quilting before. So my anniversary present to celebrate two years together was something she made based on her major talent, and something she made based on learning a completely new skill. I feel so incredibly loved!

[livejournal.com profile] ghoti also posted one of those memes where you shuffle your entire music library and use it as a kind of mini-oracle. I had a go at it and got nothing very striking, but passing on memes is fun, so:

asking shuffle gets strange answers )
liv: cup of tea with text from HHGttG (teeeeea)
From a locked post:
Name ten of life's simple pleasures that you like most. Try to be original and creative and not to use things that someone else has already used
I'm not sure I'm capable of writing a list of pleasures that are both original and simple, so you might get slightly complicated pleasures, but then one of my greatest pleasures in life is exploring complexity in good company, so.

listicle )
I'm following the example of the person I got this meme from and not tagging anyone, so you're welcome to propagate the meme or not, whatever suits you.

Q&A

Jul. 25th, 2016 10:16 pm
liv: cup of tea with text from HHGttG (teeeeea)
Nice thinky meme from a locked post a few weeks back, cos I feel like answering questions about myself. These suggest an attitude to media that isn't quite mine, but I'm rather interested in thinking about why the questions don't exactly fit as well as answering them.

30 questions with long rambly answers ) OK, that was a very long meme, I maybe should've broken it up a bit more. But definitely interesting to think about!

Letter

Mar. 10th, 2016 11:16 pm
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] azurelunatic revived a meme from several months back, where you answer some questions with a particular letter of the alphabet. This is what I said a year ago for A. And now Azz has given me G, so:

meme )

Comment for a letter, if you don't mind a second round of the meme.
liv: cup of tea with text from HHGttG (teeeeea)
Facebook memes are so much less fun than the old-school LJ kind (and those annoying kids should get off my virtual lawn). Anyway, [livejournal.com profile] ghoti ranted about that awful 27 ways to love me FB meme, which is barely even a meme, it's just a series of stock photos of young, thin, apparently white and heterosexual couples with banal words printed on them in a font that looks slightly less dated than Impact. Ten years ago it would have been a quiz where you could select which of the 27 things apply to you, much more fun, and much less assuming that all relationships are the same, and all women want things that can easily be marketed to them.

So in the spirit of 2006, I am going to transplant the meme to DW, and I'm going to make up my own list of 27 things, not just click share on an extruded marketing product, and I'm going to write the list in text not images of words. And I'm not going to assume that all love is coupley romantic love or a prize for young pretty people who buy the right things. And I'm not going to call it ways to love me because I can't decide for anyone else how they should experience love, but rather ways to make me feel loved, because I do know my own reactions.

mememe )

Currently reading: Ghost spin, by Chris Moriarty. I'm enjoying the writing and the beautifully detailed world-building, even though I am a bit annoyed by the set-up for this third book in the trilogy.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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