Departure

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:38 pm
liv: ribbon diagram of a p53 monomer (p53)
I've never left a job before. I spent my 20s as a contract researcher, and when my project came to an end, I just... didn't work in that lab any more. So I didn't know how to give notice, how to do the tax paperwork, it was all completely new to me. Also, the people I've been working closely with for the past eight years were all actually sad to see me go and wanted to mark the rite of passage. That was new to me too, in a mostly touching but slightly bittersweet way.

last days )

I started my new job the following Monday. I need to work out how much I should talk about that in detail here; for one thing it's looking to involve somewhat more blogging and social media presence as my professional persona than the old job did. Also I am still adjusting to living in Cambridge full time, which is probably another post, and I'm up to my eyes preparing for the High Holy Days beginning on Wednesday, so I am going to stick with posting about leaving rather than about arriving for now.
liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
I've known [personal profile] lethargic_man for half my life, and all that time he's talked about wanting to get married. Whereas I never had any interest in getting married, and assumed I probably wouldn't. I would never have believed you, if you'd told me back in the late 90s, that [personal profile] lethargic_man would get married five years after me. But this is in fact what happened, so many many congratulations to [personal profile] lethargic_man on finally achieving that ambition, and to [livejournal.com profile] aviva_m on celebrating your partnership by means of a fantastic wedding.

wedding details )

And then I had to dash back to Stoke to pack up and finish everything off in my last three days there; I wasn't able to go to any of the subsequent seven blessings meals. I wish I'd had more time to celebrate with them (and more time to spend with [personal profile] forestofglory and more time to help my parents with their party), but even so. I couldn't be more happy that [personal profile] lethargic_man got the wedding he's been dreaming of, though, and if the marriage is even a fraction as happy and successful as the ceremony they'll be doing really well.
liv: cup of tea with text from HHGttG (teeeeea)
In the last week and a half, I've had [personal profile] forestofglory and her husband and daughter visiting, and my parents celebrated their 40th anniversary with a big party, and I was best human at [personal profile] lethargic_man's wedding, and I played an escape room game, and I had a really memorable leaving celebration at my old job. But I moved house across the country on Friday and I start a new job in exactly 12 hours, so write-ups will have to wait.

So probably by the next time I have a moment to update, I'll have even more to tell you...
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
A song that moves you forward. I spent ages thinking about this one, and I think the answer is To be with you by Mr Big. It's a linchpin of my 'happybouncy' playlist. I think if I were actually going through a break-up, someone telling me, don't worry, I can be with you instead, would be mostly annoying. But in a broader sense, I hear
Build up your confidence
So you can be on top for once
Wake up. Who cares about little boys
That talk too much?
not as a blandishment from someone who wants to seduce me, but as a kind of encouraging, supportive inner voice which I try to cultivate. The self-nurturing part of my own mind is allowed to call me 'little girl' in a way that some male acquaintance chatting me up definitely wouldn't be.

Also I am very, very fond of the tune and it works pretty reliably to give me energy. Sometimes what moves me forward is more poppy, sometimes it's more intense hard rock or goth music, but this really works even though it's a relatively slow, relaxed style.

video embed )
liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
A favourite song with a person's name in the title: Several options for this one, but I'm going with Hey there Delilah by Plain White T's. I generally really like songs that tell a bit of a story, and I can imagine the characters in this one so vividly. I like the balance of emotions; it's a sad song about missing a lover, but it's also optimistic and the music is at least somewhat catchy. And I like that they're apart because they're both pursuing their careers, it's not some passive muse waiting for her artist boyfriend to come home. It's not my usual musical style; indeed I discovered it simply by listening to chart radio like some young person who's in touch with the recent music scene.

Besides, I've been in long-distance relationships pretty much my entire adult life, so I can really relate. But no longer; I haven't posted about this in public yet, but in a couple of weeks I'm properly moving to Cambridge. So I'll be living full time in the same house as my husband and the same town as my Other Significant Others. And I won't be spending every Friday and Sunday evening commuting. I'm really really looking forward to this next phase in my life, but also at the moment up to my ears in arranging the move, and quite emotional about leaving the situation I've been settled in for 8 years.

This weekend I lead my last Shabbat morning service with my lovely community. They are understandably nervous about the future without me, and I will miss them absolutely terribly. I talked a bit about Re'eh, making sure that there's no comparison between Moses saying farewell to the Israelites and me saying farewell now. I discussed keeping sanctity while you're living in an imperfect situation, far away from Jewish centres. What compromises can you make (eating meat without making a Temple sacrifice) and what lines can't be crossed (worshipping in Pagan sites)? Then it will go well for you and your children after you, for all of time, because you will do what is good and right in the eyes of the Eternal your God. And we ate cakes made by my sister and the community gave me some really nice silver Shabbat candlesticks with engraved stands.

[personal profile] jack came up to help me sort the flat out. In lots of ways the decision making is the harder part of packing than the physical labour, so having my husband with me was an amazing help. I am really looking forward to living with him and properly sharing the work of running a household, because we're such a great team. Not just one day in the distant future when our dreams come true, but next month:
We'll have it good
We'll have the life we knew we would
My word is good

video embed )
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
That was not the Worldcon I would have liked; I'd hoped to do as several of my friends did, and travel overland and explore some of the region. Or at least to really get immersed in the con itself. And I'd have liked a proper holiday with my partners and their children, which hasn't really happened this year though we've had a few short breaks.

In reality I was only able to go for the long weekend. I spent an eye-watering amount of money on a trip that didn't quite work for me, between flights, accommodation, Worldcon membership (when I actually only ended up attending for half a day), and just general living expenses in a not very well planned trip to an expensive city. It feels churlish to complain about being in a position to spend a bit too much on a less than perfect trip, and in many ways it was good, just not quite what I'd hoped for.

more details )
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
Recently read:
  • Dzur by Steven Brust.

    I didn't love this; I'm not sure how much it's a weaker member of the series and how much it's me. It is book 10 in a set of 19, of which the last five are still to be written. I may have left it too long since I read the previous volumes, or maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it. I decided I couldn't be bothered following all the complex allusions to the meta-structure of the whole series, and as a single novel it's never more than just ok. I didn't find Vlad's voice or Loiosh's asides witty, and the pacing dragged, and I didn't care about the mystery. Because I hadn't been following the chronology properly, the twist at the end wasn't a delightful surprise, it just unsatisfyingly didn't make sense.

    When I was reading 50 books a year, I intended to read the whole series, because both the individual novels and the way they fit together into a complex whole appeal to me. Now that I read more like 15 or 20, I'm thinking I may drop this. Not sure; one weaker book doesn't mean the whole series isn't worth bothering with.

  • A taste of honey by Kai Ashante Wilson. This was a Hugo-nominated novella, which meant that several of my friends read it, and were enthusiastic about it. So I ended up reading the copy from my Hugo packet on the way back from Worldcon, which is not exactly in the spirit of things. And I regret not reading it in time to vote for it, not that it would have made much difference since McGuire's Every heart a doorway (which I wasn't keen on) won by miles.

    Anyway, this is a really amazing fantasy romance story. It's beautifully written, great characters, twisty, thought-provoking plot. The worldbuilding is really deep; looking it up it turns out this is a companion novella in the setting of a novel, which I'm now definitely going to seek out. I had dismissed Wilson's Sorcerer of the Wildeeps mainly because the name is so clunky; I assumed it was parodic or just really generic swords and sorcery.

    It's hard to describe exactly what's so great about AToH without spoilers, but it's a really moving romance, and has a lot to say about choices and sacrifices made for love. [personal profile] jack thought it maybe needed some content warnings; some of the content is about homophobia and abusive parenting. To me it didn't feel like misery porn, it felt as if it centred its variously Queer characters and described some of the bad things in their life as well as the good. But I can imagine some readers finding it hard going.

    Up next: The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin. I'd been meaning to read this, though I'm a little scared of what I've heard about it, and I've now bumped it up my list since the sequel won a second Hugo.
  • liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
    A song that has many meanings for you. I think this has to be Some kind of stranger by Sisters of Mercy. Partly because it's lyrically complex; I have never been sure if it's about a positive relationship or a breakup, a long-term connection or a casual affair, and it may well not be about romantic love at all.

    This is another song that [personal profile] doseybat introduced me to when we were teenagers. So it's tied up with discovering alternative music and the goth scene, and forming my own tastes in music as well as more broadly. A period of my life when I think I did the most growing up.

    In some ways it's a song about keeping faith in spite of everything that might push you towards despair. And that's why I keep coming back to it, whether it's faith in a person or just more broadly:
    And I know the world is cold
    But if we hold on tight to what we find
    We might not mind so much
    That even this must pass away

    Then it's the soundtrack of my PhD. The bit where my brother had a bad accident and I was in an emotional mess, but the science was still inspiring and still needed doing. The bit where it wasn't inspiring any more, it was a slog, and I had to keep going. One more step, one more flask of cells, one more measurement. The long repetitive bit at the end Come here I think you're beautiful over and over again, when I was sitting in the cell culture room with my headphones a portable tape player, and just keeping my cells alive and nourished before I could actually do any experiments took about three hours three times a week. You can't miss a sesssion or the cells die or mutate and you lose months of work. You have to concentrate enough not to get anything contaminated, but it's not exactly intellectually stimulating. In fact, a lot of the point of my PhD was providing justification for replacing me with a robot, but grad students are cheaper than robots, and I was just sitting there screening through hundreds of potential new drugs.

    It's also a song about making friends with [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel, towards the end of that PhD and the years just afterwards. [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel is also a Sisters fan and gave me a recording of one of their concerts, since it's nearly impossible to buy studio versions of most of their music since the 80s. The ambiguous words might be about a sudden, intense yet enduring friendship, maybe. Some kind of stranger / some kind of angel.

    And even though it's a pretty downbeat song, it's a very happy song for me now. It promised me that I could endure, and I have. My brother is fine now. I still love most of the people who sustained me in my late teens and early 20s. I've succeeded at some things that were hard and failed at others, but I have people who love me for myself, not my achievements. And nothing is permanent, but as long as I'm here and get to experience things and love people, I can cope with that.

    video embed, audio only )

    Group work

    Aug. 8th, 2017 03:18 pm
    liv: Cartoon of a smiling woman with a long plait, teaching about p53 (teacher)
    I'm on a mission to redeem group work in education. I expect this to be controversial among many of my friends. So if I'm right and lots of you have terrible memories / experiences of being made to do bad group work, I invite you to comment here and tell me what was bad about it. Do you think it's just awful, or are there problems that might be fixed? I believe strongly that while it can be dire, it can also be great, or perhaps I might phrase it as, there are things that look like group work superficially but are actually great.

    Because I'm on a mission this may turn into a more formal research survey at some point, but in that case I'll pose the question in a formal context with ethics and everything. Right now I'm just trying to gather some opinions and not just rely on my own ideas. Plus I am eye-deep in paperwork and I could do with some distraction, so do rant away.
    liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
    I'm up to the thinky items in the list: a song that makes you think about life. I'm not quite sure what to do with this because in general I don't listen to music to inspire deep thoughts.

    digression on what music is for )

    One song that often makes me stop and think is Song of choice. I heard it interpreted by Solas, a group with a Celtic-ish style that I find hard to classify, it doesn't seem to fit well into either trad or neo. I think this song isn't original to them; I know there's a Peggy Seeger version, but again, she often doesn't perform her own material. But anyway, I really like Karan Casey's voice, and the lyrics are all about taking decisive action before it's too late, a message that seems important to me:
    In January you've still got the choice
    You can cut the weeds before they start to bud
    If you leave them to grow higher, they'll silence your voice
    And in December you may pay with your blood
    But I think my pick for this meme is going to be Farthest star by VNV Nation. I need to have some VNV in this meme, and they tend to have very thinky lyrics. So some of what I think about life is contained in:
    We possess the power
    If this should start to fall apart
    to mend divides, to change the world
    to reach the farthest star
    If we should stay silent
    if fear should win our hearts,
    our light will have long diminished
    before it reaches the farthest star
    It's a call to action, but a more optimistic one than the Solas. video embed, audio only )

    Social

    Aug. 3rd, 2017 11:57 am
    liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
    I've had a lovely week, really, with a whole range of pleasant social things. I hope this is a sort of foretaste of what my life will be like when I properly live in one place.

    social diary )
    liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
    Recently read: Two very strong pieces on living with chronic health issues and navigating people's assumptions about health and disability:
  • [personal profile] monanotlisa writes I broke my spine in 2006, and nothing has ever been the same for me since.
  • Malfunctioning space stations, by Marissa Lingen within the Disabled people destroy SF series.

    [personal profile] mrissa also wrote, years ago, a post which has really informed my thinking about chronic illness and disability: Hollywood broken leg theory.

    Both pieces are very personal, and also very intersectional, pointing out that people's general status in society will really affect just how much negativity they get in response to their condition. Someone I don't know, Aubrey Hirsch, explored a similar topic in the comic Medicine's woman problem. Transcript below the cut, though I'm not sure I can quite manage full image descriptions.

    transcript of Hirsch's cartoon )

    Currently reading: Dzur by Steven Brust. This is the nth in the rather extended Dragaera series, about what happens next when a human ends up in Elfland. In this case, the human's son and series narrator, Vlad Taltos, is living as an assassin and small-time crime boss among people much more powerful than him and whose morality he doesn't understand. I like Taltos' discursive, witty style, and I like the way that each book is fairly light and self-contained, but the series as a whole has very deep complex connections. That said, I can only take so much at a time, so I've been reading through the series very slowly with lots of breaks for other stuff.

    I'm about a third of the way through Dzur and so far it's not really grabbing me. It seems very middlish, and it's still meandering through set-up. Many of the earlier books started in medias res with lots of action, whereas Vlad's quips are witty and his descriptions of food are delightful, but not quite enough to fill a hundred pages.

    Up next: Not sure. I think maybe A long way to a small angry planet by Becky Chambers, because lots of people have enthused about it in a way that makes it seem appealing to me, even though a few people I know really hated it.
  • liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
    I don't have much to say about a song from the year you were born but I don't like going away from the weekend leaving scary stuff at the top of my journal. I am not enough of a muso to be able to immediately name something other than what was in the charts, and the charts for my birth year seem to be quite uninspiring. I got briefly excited about some Electric Light Orchestra stuff, but it turns out to have been released the year before and was still in the charts the year of my birth.

    So about the only song I have positive feelings about is Take a chance on me by ABBA. This reminds me of a coach trip when I was a teenager, when the only music we had was one mixtape someone had thought to bring, that was played over and over on the coach's sound system. I can't imagine now going on a several day trip and only having a dozen songs to play. But anyway, this was one, and it reminds me of good times not quite 20 years after it was actually released. I'm a bit sick of it now because it sorts first in the alphabet in my digital collection and for a while I was using a music player that wasn't very good at shuffle and always started with the first track. But hey, it's cute and poppy and you might not have heard it as much too often as I have.

    video embed )

    History

    Jul. 28th, 2017 12:31 pm
    liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (mini-me)
    I don't normally care whether people read my links or not, but I would very much like it if as wide an audience as possible saw [personal profile] sovay's post I was anticipating the total destruction of Polish Jewry, about visiting an exhibition of photos from the Lodz ghetto. The subject matter is the Holocaust / Shoah.

    I don't know my family history as well as Sovay does. All my great-grandparents were in England by 1900, so none of my close relatives were directly involved. I'm in a similar position that I'm pretty sure there are third etc cousins of mine who should exist but don't. The people who should have been their ancestors might be in the photos; there probably were people related to me among those murdered in Poland, no idea if they were in Lodz specifically.

    Whichever Nazi it was that claimed 'a million deaths is a statistic', the scale matters in a different way. That is, one person murdered because of who they are is already too many, but once you get into the millions, everybody is affected. Every Jewish person with any European connections at all might, it's probably best to assume they do, have missing relatives. Every part of history since 1930 is marked by that mass murder.

    Anyway. I have more to say but I'm not sure I want to say it on a public post, and you're better reading the linked post anyway.
    liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
    A song that you would sing as a duet on karaoke. I don't do karaoke, and I don't do duets, so this is a bit of a non-starter for me.

    No, let me explain, because I'm having fun answering this meme in way too much detail. I think karaoke is an absolutely excellent idea in theory. It's really great to encourage people to sing just for fun and not worry about skill level. And it's really great to use technology to play the backing music and display the lyrics so that someone can just get up and sing the melody with little preparation.

    The problem is that for me personally, karaoke means packaging up 30 plus years of abject humiliation over not being able to sing in tune, and asking me to enjoy that in public. I find it hard anyway to make myself sing in front of other people; I do it, because I absolutely do believe that music belongs to everybody (not just people who are "musical"), and shared music is a great way for people to connect. Singing in front of an audience who are paying attention to me, or even worse, in a competition, however light-hearted, is too terrifying.

    Duets are possibly extra impossible, because singing in unison with someone else is already hard for me. Especially if they have a lower range; I can't really hear octaves, so I find it very difficult to join in with someone singing in the bass clef range. Singing in harmony is really really hard, because not only do I have to sing the correct notes which I always find difficult to remember, I also have to match the note which is very imperfectly in my head while being distracted by my partner singing a different note that my actual ears can hear. I can sometimes do multi-part harmony if there are several people singing each section, so I can listen to someone else who is singing the same line as me. And I'm fine with parts in music in general when I don't have to worry about pitch. But a sung duet is really tricky.

    And really, I can think of very few duets that I know at all, for whatever reason, even to listen to. Let's call the whole thing off might work, because (at least in this superlatively great version with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong) it's mostly alternating verses or lines between the two singers rather than harmony. But hypothetically, if I were to find the courage to sing karaoke, I probably wouldn't start with something really amazingly great; somehow I'd feel less bad about murdering some ephemeral extruded pop product than attempting an actually good song.

    I will admit, though, that my brother and I have been known to sing Always by Bon Jovi, as a sort of duet, sometimes in public and definitely not caring that neither of us can really sing. Partly because we always liked the dubious rhyme of:
    I'll be there til the stars don't shine
    Til the heavens burst, and the words don't rhyme
    And partly because Bon Jovi can't really sing either, he just projected a persona calculated to appeal to teenaged girls in the 90s. So I probably wouldn't sing it actually in karaoke, and I probably wouldn't sing it with anyone other than my brother, but it seems slightly less impossible than any other options, so I think it seems in the spirit of the meme.

    video embed )
    liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
    Let's get the political complaining off the top of my journal, and talk about One of your favourite classical songs.

    Because I always end up picking Fauré's Requiem every time I answer a meme about music, I'll stick to a strict definition of 'song' and go with Les roses d'Ispahan instead:

    video (singing over animation of the score) )

    The story behind this is that I fell in love with Fauré when I heard the school choir singing the Requiem when I was 12, and the singing teacher saw me falling in love and decided to try to teach me to sing, even though I notoriously couldn't hold a tune. And we talked a lot about singing Christian sacred music, but she also pointed out that Fauré wrote plenty of secular stuff, so I could learn that. Alongside lots of simpler things more appropriate for a beginning singer. And I loved all the repertoire I learned, but Les roses d'Ispahan best. Spending absolutely months trying to learn songs that were too hard for me gave me an appreciation that just listening to them never would.

    Or, if I'm going with a strict definition of Classical, to get even further away from always going on about Fauré... most of the music I like is either Baroque or Romantic really, but I'm not against the entire Classical period. So let's go with Schubert, whom I always reliably like. I'm choosing the song Heidenröslein for the tune, even though I'm not wholly enamoured of the lyrics. I mean, it's Goethe, but it's also about the poet destroying his lover to punish her for rejecting him. Also because I discovered recently that there's a Rammstein song alluding to it, so I'm using the meme as an excuse to tell you about that.

    video embed, containing religious violence )
    liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
    I feel completely out of step with most of my friends politically. UK politics, very gloomy )
    liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
    A song that is a cover by another artist. I think this has to be Tori Amos' cover of I don't like Mondays, originally by the Boomtown Rats.

    Tori Amos was I think the first musician I really got intensely into, beyond just enjoying the sound of somebody's music. The single Cornflake girl was on the radio a lot in the mid 90s, and I quite liked it but didn't have any context. Then I met MK when we were both up for Oxford interview, and became instant friends. He put a lot of effort into supporting me through a somewhat bumpy transition from sheltered child to independent person, including dealing with a bereavement that hit me really hard when I was 19. He's also responsible for introducing me to digital socializing (email, instant messenger, Usenet to an extent, and the wonderful world of peer-to-peer file sharing). And he played lots of Tori songs for me when I was sitting in the dark crying about letting go of childhood naive optimism. I bought Little earthquakes on CD, and had access to a lot of Tori's oeuvre for all of the 90s via not entirely licit digital copies. Not only Tori Amos, there was a lot of alt stuff especially goth that I picked up from [personal profile] doseybat, but Tori Amos was pretty much the soundtrack of inventing myself as an adult.

    I don't like Mondays was almost a novelty thing in a way, recorded with a bunch of much less successful covers, of things like Smells like teen spirit which really doesn't work for Amos' musical style, most of which were never commercially released. This one did make it to Strange little girls, the concept album of gender-bent cover songs, which I was never fully convinced by. I haven't been strongly into Tori Amos' music since 2000, not that I think it's bad but it isn't part of my psyche in the way that the 90s material is. But anyway, it's a remix of a song written in response to a school shooting in the late 70s. The original is meant to be ironic, but it comes across as so inappropriately jolly that it often gets played on the radio as a joke song, here's one to cheer you up from your Monday commuting blues... Tori Amos' cover is a total reworking, without any irony at all, just sadness about a teenaged girl turning a gun on her schoolmates.

    So it kind of epitomizes why Tori Amos meant a lot to me at that time in my life; she wrote and performed beautiful songs (she's a classically trained musician) about serious subjects which she took seriously. But that seriousness isn't about glorying in the violence and ugliness, it's about challenging it. video embed, audio only )

    As a bonus, have kd lang's cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. It's a song that gets covered way too often, nearly always as a kind of soppy lovesong that really fails to do justice to the extremely powerful original. So basically I hate Hallelujah covers, except this one. Again, it's very different from Cohen's original, but it's an emotionally serious interpretation in its own right which doesn't cheapen its source material.
    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.

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    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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