Miscellany: November Edition

English Bay, Vancouver (Look, CIC, are we not meant for each other?)

Inapt Colloquialism of the Month
Eric (after we've walked over the Burnside Bridge in a wildly roundabout attempt to get from Vancouver's West End to Granville Island): I'm sweating like a pig.
Em: Do pigs really sweat?
Eric: Actually, no. They can't sweat at all. That's why they have to roll in mud.

Confession of Vaguely Embarrassing Recent Additions to iTunes
So, look. It's true that I just burned the remainder of the iTunes gift card Mary gave me--and, further, went on to spend actual money--on some songs that would make me keep my iPod constantly under wraps if I had any musical shame whatsoever. Luckily, I don't, and can admit here to my extensive readership that, were you to look in my Recent Additions playlist, you'd find the following:

Take It on the Run--REO Speedwagon
Change--John Waites
Second Hand News--Fleetwood Mac
Do They Know It's Christmas?--Band Aid

I also tried to buy Shannon's Let the Music Play, but the iTunes store had evidently had enough of me by then, as it kept lobbing error messages my way. Don't think I won't try again, though.

At any rate, I've been listening to all of these tunes with a somewhat alarming frequency, and am overjoyed to find them either inscrutable or wildly overblown. Take the REO Speedwagon tune: is the guy on the side of his lady or the neighbors who've been telling him she's been messing around? You might think you know the answer, but take a closer listen to the song. He lays out his fears about her cheatin' ways, then disses the people he's heard the story from, then pretends he wants nothing to do with his lady if she does in fact "got a boyyyyyyyyyfriend" with whom she stays "out late every weekend," and THEN says he doesn't believe the accusations, "not for a minute." Is the song really an in-depth exploration of the complex emotions that arise when one is faced with the news of a partner's possible infidelity, or is it just utterly nonsensical?

Fantastic for entirely different reasons is Do They Know It's Christmas? I fondly remember wasting significant amounts of time at work with Stephen and Scott intricately dissecting and mocking the way overblown lyrics to this song. To wit:

  • "There won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime." Really? No snow anywhere in all of Africa?
  • "Where nothing ever grows; no rain or rivers flow." (Except, um, the Nile.)
  • "Do they know it's Christmastime at all?" If they're among the continents millions of Muslims, probably not.
I won't even start in on Second Hand News (mainly because I still can't figure out what the hell it's actually about).

Analyzing lyrics of guilty pleasures from the 80's is surely a sign either of intellectual apocalypse or a keen and inquisitive mind. I will hope fervently for the former.

Why I Have a Serious Crush on that Tall Boy from Portland, Reason #37
Because the voicemail message he left me on Saturday morning began, apropos of absolutely nothing, with a minute-and-a-half mockery of/tribute to Garrison Keillor's "Writer's Almanac."

European Things I Miss
Listening to Adam babble away happily in Adamish; the croissants from my favorite cafe in Florence; limoncello fatta in casa; climbing belltowers and stuff; wine at approximately every meal; and the unabashedly dorkwad thrill of seeing license plates from places like Monaco (yes, J, Monaco!) and Finland.