Welcome Distraction

It seems wrong not to address today.  But it seems just as wrong to add to the cacophony of variations on the theme.  And since a non-negligible portion of the people reading this were with me 10 years ago for the unfolding of events, there’s just no point in doing my own retrospective here.

Instead, I’m banking on the idea that some, if not most of you, are burned out on this by now or you’ve been actively avoiding it all day to avoid reopening old wounds.  I offer not a solution, but an alternative.  Something to look at that’s just not that.

My distractions of choice?  The Amityville Toaster Video, and YouTube Searches on the following:

Duct Tape

Cute Kittens

Cute Babies

Funny Kittens





Baby Animals


German Music Videos

Sometimes a little mindless video opiate is a welcome distraction from the overload of an anniversary like this one.  Got a YouTube search you’d suggest?









Musikalischer Mittwoch: Making it A Better Time for the Optimists

In case you missed my whining, and the fact that I haven’t posted on time (again), I’ll tell you that this has been a helluva last two weeks.  I’ve been working long days, on weekends, and generally busting my ass.

This level of sustained activity involved in something I’m not really keen on doing requires a certain level of musical stimulus to maintain my sanity and my energy level.  “Zeit für Optimisten” by Silbermond has been in my playlist rotation fairly heavily.

If you like fast paced, solid rock music, you will be able to enjoy this song without knowing German.  Musically, I won’t say this is my favorite Silbermond song (I think that would go to “Symphonie”), but it’s got the right tempo to offer a pick me up when Excel spreadsheets are bogging me down.  There’s also the note of, not quite anger, but definitely something less than happy lurking under the upbeat sound, which mirrors my level of frustration just about perfectly.

If you DO know some German, the lyrics complete the package to make this a perfect addition to the job-dragging-me-down playlist.  “es ist ‘ne schlechte Zeit für Optimisten” repeats the chorus….literally?  “It’s a bad time for Optimists.”

Ain’t.  It.  Just.

And rather than offer empty hope about improvement for the Optimists, the song takes the bull by the horns suggesting “Also lasst sie uns ein wenig unterstützen / Wer will schon gern alleine sein?” That is, we should help the optimists….who wants to be alone?  That’s right.  Instead of bench warming it with the pessimists (me), we ought to be out there finding a way to make things a little better for those lonely optimists.

A nice sentiment, really.

Of course, being a pessimist I could suggest that the other option for Optimist loneliness is to convert them to pessimism.  Clearly Silbermond has more optimism than me.  And that’s good, because they give me rockin’ songs that make me momentarily think I should abandon my pessimism if I want to see things improve.

Once again, for the daring samplers out there, a legal version is up on YouTube.  The video is a couple of years old.  Don’t ask me about the TV-headed people.  I didn’t get it when the song came out and I still don’t get it, though I am amused by the guy on the crapper and the kid on the mini four wheeler.



Musikalischer Mittwoch: Held “Captive” By An Earworm

I’ve been “held captive” by yet another song on repeat.  It’s one I should have known about much sooner, but was only introduced to earlier this month as I’ve been re-establishing my quality time with CBC radio 3.

Sarah Harmer’s “Captive” is poised to become the song of the summer for me.  Within just a few listens, I was out buying the album (“Oh Little Fire”) because I had to have this tune.  It’s catchy, upbeat and just plain fun.  It’s going  into my road-trip mix and is already on my playlist for working out.

After all my usual go-to Sarah Harmer songs like “I Am a Glow” and “Escarpment Blues” and “The Hideout”, “Captive” is a departure.  Where the others are definitely heavy to the acoustic and folk side (which I love), “Captive” is refreshingly pop.  If you want something to dance around the house and sing along with, it’s tailor-made for the occasion.  That’s not to say the other Harmer pieces aren’t just as good (if you are in the mood for some great acoustic folk, check out any of those others–“I Am A Glow” is a particular favorite of mine).

The music is definitely the draw here.  Lyrically it’s a fun love song (“I wanna be held captive/Forget the way I acted”….”As long as there’s a view to look to/Fence me in and keep me close to you”), which is all well and good, but the real fun is in the beat and the “Oh-oh-oh-ohs” (ever notice how songs with things like that are automatically more fun to sing along with?).

And, bonus, there’s a fun video.  A whacky visual piece with late 1800s/early 1900s costumes, some trampoline-style acrobatics (without the trampoline) and streets turned into canals.  It’s nice to know people still make music vids, even though the crappy cable channels never play them.  In this case, you get the fun of watching AND it gives me an easy (and legal, since this is posted by the record company) way to share the song* with you, gentle readers:


Have a look, have a listen and let yourself be held “Captive.”

*You can also listen, as usual, on the CBCR3 Page.

Spotlight of Awesomeness

I’m not sure if this is a series or what… Or if it’s a series we already started and forgot about.  Whatever, it’s a post.

Today we’re going to talk about a random person who I don’t actually know.  But who I’m convinced is reasonably awesome.  Don’t get excited and think this is any kind of respectable profile or anything.  No, it’s just kind of a fangirlish gush that makes an attempt to not be a fangirlish gush.

Tonight’s spotlight:  Dai Cooper

If you’re in anthropology or any related discipline chances are you’ve already seen at least one of her YouTube videos.  But to my knowledge, most of our readers are not, so here’s the song that made her famous:

How much do I love this song?  Lots.  I mean, I too am a little bit of an anthropologist (but I’m not really an anthropologist, I’m a folklorist, because they’re different disciplines.  No matter what they say.)  In addition to giving me warm fuzzy feelings about anthropology (the difference between us really is a social construct) and some nice double entendres (I have also experimented with archeology, but it was in my late teens and I maintain it was just a phase), it really captures something I’ve experienced.  I kind of feel like I should have had this song to play for my parents several years ago when I decided to get a degree in folklore.  In a bizarre way there was a moment where I had to “come out” to them as a folklorist.  Don’t get me wrong, more or less, my parents are supportive.  But they would also really love it if I would just get a sensible job teaching Spanish (like I did for the most miserable year of my life), marry a nice man and get a cat (Mom’s totally fine with no more grandchildren).  It’s not that they don’t want me to be happy, they just can’t understand what it is I do.  And I keep explaining it to them.  But I’m not sure they get it at all.  (Not to mention the last time we talked my father thought I was getting a degree in Medieval Literature, so he’s a bit behind the curve).  But yeah, it’s all right there in the song.

But recently I went to listen to that song again, and discovered that she has more songs.  Many of which also bring the funny or make me happy.  Anywhy, here’s a short, but probably not exhaustive list of reasons I’ve decided this girl I’ve never met is awesome:

1.        The above song.

2.       There are jawas in most of her videos.

3.       Her song “A Cuzco” is about going to Latin America and falling in love.  I have been to Cuzco and fallen in love myself.  Granted, the song is about falling in love with a person and I fell in love with the Urubamba River Valley, but… y’know…

4.       Even though I am on Facebook and don’t mind it so much, this song is awesome:

Also, it reminds me of Cammy.

5.       Like a good cultural relativist she wrote the most inclusive holiday song I’ve heard yet.  It includes Christians, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, pagans and hypochondriacs to name a few.  Because all traditions are worthwhile, even if those traditions are overreacting to cold and flu season.

6.       She wrote her niece a multilingual lullaby.  If I were a more awesome aunt, I would do that.