Fun Archives

30 Day Song Challenge

I did the 30 Day Song Challenge on Facebook the past 30 days and thought I’d post them all in one post here. It was a fun challenge, but I now feel like taking a 30 day break from Facebook.

Here’s the list:

Day 1 – “Your favorite song.” The 1st movement of the Elgar Cello Concerto. Nobody performs this as well as Jacqueline Du Pre did but Alisa comes close. You can watch Du Pre perform the full movement here.

Day 2 – “Your least favorite song.” Working on the Highway by Bruce Springsteen. I like Bruce but could never fast forward past this song quick enough back in the day. Bruce has said he doesn’t like his Born in the USA album so I won’t feel bad about dissing this song. This live version seems slightly better than the studio one.

Day 3 – “A song that makes you happy.” U2 performed on cello makes me happy. This is from the new album by 2Cellos. Their version of Where The Streets Have No Name makes me even happier but there’s not a video of that one.

Day 4 – “A song that makes you sad.” Rachmaninov’s Vocalise performed on cello. This song was my constant companion for a brief period 10 years ago as I grieved a loss. The song still makes me feel sad.

Day 5 – “A song that reminds you of someone.” Downeaster Alexa by Billy Joel. This song reminds me of  my daughter Alexa because it was this song that made me aware of the existence of the name Alexa.

Day 6 – “A song that reminds you of somewhere. Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles. A late 80s song that reminds me of college as it was a #1 hit at the time.

Day 7 – “A song that reminds you of a certain event.” Gigue of Bach Cello Suite #6. The CD of the 6th Bach Cello Suite as performed by Yo-Yo Ma happened to be playing as daughter #3 was born. Which was fitting, as it’s the most upbeat and joyful of the 6 cello suites. So this reminds me of her birth, of course.

Day 8 – “A song you know all the words to.” Gloria by U2.

Day 9 – “A song you can dance to.” Tightrope by Janelle Monae. Monae is sometimes called the female James Brown. She’s my favorite 20something performer. This live version is excellent.

Day 10 – “A song that puts you to sleep.” A Day Without Rain by Enya. The Enya station on Pandora has helped my youngest daughters fall asleep many times.

Day 11 – “A song from your favorite band.” Mercy by U2.

Day 12 – “A song from a band you hate.” Punk Rock Girl by The Dead Milkmen.

Day 13 – “A song that is a guilty pleasure.” Ray of Light by Madonna. Yeah, there are a few Madonna songs I actually like. This is one of them, even if she does look like a tatterdemalion here.

Day 14 – “A song no one would expect you to like.” Why Can’t I Be You by The Cure. My oldest daughter was appalled recently when I told her I like some songs by The Cure. Fortunately some of my fellow Gen X Facebook friends agreed this song is pretty awesome.

Day 15 – “A song that describes you.” Party Girl by U2. The title says it all. ;-)

Day 16 – “A song you used to love but now hate.” Coldplay songs tend to age quickly, so any Coldplay song would fit the bill here.

Day 17 – “A song you hear often on the radio.” Rolling in the Deep by Adele.

Day 18 – “A song you wish you heard on the radio.” This gives me an excuse to post a Muse song. Here’s one that probably doesn’t get played on the radio in the US. This song was inspired by my favorite Depeche Mode song, Enjoy the Silence.

Day 19 – “A song from your favorite album.” Mysterious Ways by U2.

Day 20 – “A song you listen to when you’re angry.” Third movement of Summer by Antonio Vivaldi as performed by Nigel Kennedy.

Day 21 – “A song you listen to when you’re happy.” Double Violin Concerto by Bach. No instrument covers the terrain from angry and intense to ecstatic and joyful like the violin.

Day 22 – “A song you listen to when you’re sad.” Saeta by Miles Davis. My favorite Miles Davis song. It’s based on Good Friday processional music, which is why the trumpet sounds disconsolate from the 1:14 mark on.

Day 23 – “A song you want played at your wedding.” Linus & Lucy by Vince Guaraldi. Linus & Lucy was the music for our wedding processional. I’m posting the George Winston version because I like how Winston deviates from the original beginning at the 1:53 mark.

Day 24 – “A song you want played at your funeral.” Sarabande of 5th Bach Cello Suite. The most somber movement in the Bach cello suites, yet it’s also a reminder that music like this is larger than death, so it would be most appropriate to be buried to this song.

Day 25 – “A song that makes you laugh.” Hey Eugene by Pink Martini.

Day 26 – “A song you can play on an instrument.” Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. Well, I could play this in junior high. Have barely touched the piano since then.

Day 27 – “A song you wish you could play.” Bach’s Chaconne for Solo Violin. I envy violinists who get to take the 17 minute musical and spiritual journey that is the Chaconne.

Day 28 – “A song from your childhood.” You’re The One That I Want from Grease.

Day 29 – “A song that makes you feel guilty.” Get Right With God by Lucinda Williams.

Day 30 – “Your favorite song a year ago.” Escape Artist by Zoe Keating.



It’s time to bring back the La-Di-Frickin-Da.

Below is a ten second clip of the late comedian Chris Farley saying “La-Di-Frickin-Da” in his inimitable way while performing as the Matt Foley character on Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s:

Image of Well La-Di-Freakin-Da!

It would be fun to put that as my voice mail greeting or play it each time a kid whines about something.

A couple of friends of mine and I have turned La-Di-Frickin’-Da into an acronym – LDFD – and find it comes in handy in emails and instant messages as so many things in life warrant a LDFD.  ;-)

If you’re interested in having a few laughs, click here to watch a complete Matt Foley skit. Chris Farley grew up here in Madison, WI and here’s a blog post I came across about a trip a fan made to Madison to visit Farley’s grave and favorite restaurants and such.

The blog also points to this poster (Farley died of a drug overdose):

That reminds me, I’m reading the book War of the Gods in Addiction: C.G. Jung, Alcoholics Anonymous and Archetypal Evil by David E. Schoen, a Jungian analyst. I don’t have an addiction and neither does anyone in my immediate family, but I’m highly interested in the idea posited in the book that the 12 steps in A.A. are similar to Jungian psychology. The book is based on correspondence between Bill W., a co-founder of A.A., and Jung.

Anyway, according to this book, addiction isn’t totally the person’s fault, as that poster says. But addiction isn’t just physical, however. There’s a psychological element as well. Schoen also says the cure isn’t medical:

There is a manageability to most most emotional/mental disorders other than addiction. Presently, almost all of them can be treated effectively with a combination of medications and psychotherapy. Medication and psychotherapy have not proven effective primary treatments in arresting alcoholism and addiction.

He recommends A.A. and/or Jungian psychology for a variety of reasons, because they both emphasize the spiritual as essential elements for achieving sobriety and recovery. Jung said the formula for overcoming addiction is spiritus contra spiritum (spirit of life against spirit of death).

So, even though that wasn’t my intention when starting this post, I ended up mentioning Chris Farley and Carl Jung in the same post. La-Di-Frickin-Da, as Matt Foley would say.


There’s a party in your heart

I discovered Death Cab For Cutie’s new song You Are A Tourist this morning and have been listening to it repeatedly while working on a writing project.

When I first heard the line, “there’s a burning in your heart,” I thought it was, “there’s a party in your heart.” Our parakeet Shirley sings wildly while this song plays so I couldn’t hear the line properly, but I like my misinterpretation better than the original anyway. There’s obviously a party in her heart while singing along to this. Birds are as particular as we humans are in their musical preferences. She doesn’t sing along with any of the other songs on the new Death Cab For Cutie album. Neither do I, as it turns out.

Here’s a video of the song:


This Mrs. Peel outfit is needed

Tonight I watched the video montage of the Emma Peel “You’re Needed” scenes and this purple and yellow outfit jumped out at me, given all the dandelions and creeping charlie I’ve been looking at in the yard lately:

Awesome outfit. If only I could pull it off. Actually, I’d have to pull it off, and change into something else, before going out into public, as an outfit like that would make people say, “Anita, you’re not needed.” On the other hand, that might not be so bad. :-)


Alone Miles

Rose Is Rose

Alone miles. Good idea. I have a few more weeks to get some in. Where’s a Harley when you need one (here is the #1 bestselling Harley among women. A mere $7K).

Alone miles behind an electric Earthwise mower don’t quite cut it, although the Earthwise does cut the grass, er, dandelions, creeping charlie and wild violets just fine, at speeds averaging 2 m.p.h. (according to the MapMyRun application on my phone). It also leaves behind a delightful smell of fresh cut violets rather than gas and oil and ruminations of how the yellow and purple color scheme in nature looks pretty cool, so why do people spend hundreds of dollars per year poisoning their yard to get rid of it, not to mention these weeds don’t grow as tall as grass and require less frequent mowing. Also, the electric nature of the mower means I’m not burning any gas and get to feel all virtuous about that. Plus I no longer have to contort my body in weird ways to avoid turning off the mower while simultaneously bending over to remove a stick or other debris in the mower’s path, as the mower is so easy to flick on and off, no laborious pulling of a cord required, which probably means I should take up yoga again now that I no longer have to do these contortions while mowing.

Yeah, I know. Forget get trying to justify that sissy 2 mph-electric-purple-yellow mowing nonsense and just get on a Harley already. Vrooom.


100,000 photos

A Chicago nanny who took 100,000 street photographs in the mid 1900s started receiving national attention a few years ago, shortly after her death. She zealously hid these photos from others during her lifetime and many of them remained undeveloped.

Behold three of those photos:

A young man purchased a box of negatives at an auction in Chicago in 2007. One thing led to another and he eventually figured out Vivian Maier was the photographer and he went on to acquire 600 rolls of her undeveloped film and thousands of prints and negatives.  Here’s a video that tells more of the story.

Scroll down this blog to view more photos. It’ll be well worth your time.

(H/T Lady Elaine)


Fun Friday: a tiny wooden ball performs Bach

What a creative way to perform Bach:


Fun Friday: In which gray hair is the new blonde

Below is a video of a 57-year-old woman who talks about how wonderful it is to have gray hair.

First here’s a photo:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Her advice to anyone wondering if they should rock their gray hair or keep coloring it:

“Do it. You can always color it but do it. I’ve had the best time of my life with silver hair.”

Here’s the video:

(H/T Advanced Style)


Cellist Zoe Keating’s unique landscape of sound

Below is a wonderful 6 minute documentary of cellist Zoe Keating.

She talks about when she started playing cello as a girl (“It never occurred to me that I could stop playing the cello”), the visual aspects of music (“I can almost see the way the music happens”) and more.

I like how she says she has a hard time answering the “what do you do for a living” question: “I’m creating a world and it’s really hard to say what it is…you can’t describe it with words and that’s why it’s music.”


Fun Friday: 3 fun songs

Image and video hosting by TinyPicBelow are a few songs I’ve added to my playlist in the last week or two. They’ve been fun to listen to while doing things like driving 262 miles in constant rain (Pandora radio helped with that too), enduring the exhausting two-handed kettlebell swing, surviving spring break at home with the kids, etc.

I’m not normally into heavy metal music (shocking, I know) but I guess because because this song by Sevendust uses acoustic guitars, I find it easier on the ears than conventional metal and it’s fun to listen to:

From the other end of the music spectrum is this song by Newsboys:

And this one from Robyn, whose songs (the ones I’ve heard anyway) don’t ever have lyrics that make one go “ewwww” like some of Lady Gaga’s:

By the way, Janelle Monae remains my favorite 20something musician.

Hope you have a fun Friday.