Sunday, January 15, 2012

end of week hodge-podgey wrap-up #1

Project Life:

Week one of our 2012 Project Life. I am determined to follow through for the entire year this go round. Determined. And I've accepted that that means most weeks will look much like this. As in very plain, very simple, little or no eye candy. That's okay. Sure, I wish I had time to beautify and play, but that's not in the cards right now.

New-to-me words:

*vorpal-deadly (from Epic by Conor Kostick)

*polymorphism-the simultaneous existence, in a population, of two or more alternative versions of a gene, where neither is rare enough to be just a recent mutant (from The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins)

*augury-an omen or portent (from Epic by Conor Kostick)

Music from Ana:

I love, positively love, every single one of the lists I asked my friends to make me for my happiness project. But the list of songs from Ana is just so incredibly special to me. I can't really even put into words why. For one thing, you'd all think me utterly sappy and sentimental if I tried to explain.

Anyway, I am utterly unqualified to talk about music. I don't even have the vocabulary for it. So when I talk about the song I spent the week experiencing, it will not be in any polished or knowledgeable way. It will simply be the random notes I jotted down during the week. Interesting to no one but myself, I'm sure. And maybe Ana.

So...this week's song was "Vesuvius" by Sufjan Stevens.

*Whoa. This is so different from what I was expecting. Not different as in "bad." But different. I'm not quite sure if I like this or not. Am eager to spend more time with it finding out.

*Decided to pull up the lyrics and read along while I listened this time. Glad I did. After reading through with this song once, I'm no longer catching myself just trying to understand a word here or there. I hate being jarred out of a song's flow when I do that.

*Love that I now know how to pronounce his name! (The living in a cave thing rears its ugly head yet again.)

*This song is definitely growing on me. More and more with every listening.

*I can't believe I've gone from not even knowing if I liked this song to totally loving it. Makes me wonder how many songs I've written off without even giving them a fair shot.

(Project progress: Happiness Project, Ana's list of songs, Item 1-Vesuvius by Sufjan Stevens)

This week's mini reads:

Short story-
"Pearl's Fateful Wish" by Jeanne DuPrau. As with last week's story, this one came from What You Wish For: Stories and Poems for Darfur. And like last week's story, I'm just sort of meh about it. It's not that I dislike it by any means...but it definitely didn't wow me in any way, shape, or form. I'm wondering if part of my problem so far with this book is a matter of my own faulty expectations. This book was displayed in the teen section of the bookstore, and yet these first two stories read much more like stories aimed at younger kids. Don't get me wrong, I love middle grade fiction! But I think in this case I was just caught off guard because I was mistakenly expecting something else. I've still got high hopes for the rest of the collection though--both because of adjusting my outlook and because there are some pretty amazing authors still to come.

"Wishes" by Jane Yolen. Also from What You Wish For. It wasn't my plan to read this this week, but when I saw that the next selection in the book was a poem instead of a short story, I just couldn't stop myself. And I'm glad I didn't. I've actually read "Wishes" a number of times now...I love it. I really really love it. I'd hoped to be able to find it online so I could share it here, but I didn't have any luck. :(

"Rendezvous 7: Tarsiers" from The Ancestor's Tale. This one was much shorter than last week's, and for me, much easier to read. We meet up with Concestor 7, and we learn about the tarsiers and their very large eyes.

(Project progress: Misc. Projects--Read one short story a week, Read one essay a week, and Read one poem a week)


Nymeth said...

OF COURSE this is of interest to me :P And I bet not just me either.

What I love about that song is that it's both earnest AND playful. The whole self-referencing thing is a bit over the top, of course, but I love it because it's so clear that that's a deliberate choice. Lines like "follow the flame / or fall on the floor" are a little bit silly, but none of that takes the heart of the song away. Instead, it just prevents it from taking itself too seriously, from becoming melodramatic. The hints of humour are like a breath of fresh air that add to the emotional resonance of the whole thing.

I totally get what you mean about lacking the vocabulary to even talk about music, though. Reason #1 why I could never be a music blogger.

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf said...

Ana's music recomendations are a dangourous (but rewarding) thing! ;)

Much of my concert going (and therefore music listening) can be traced diectly or in directly to her. And I couldn't be more pleased with my music stats in the last 12 months.

Trish said...

Hmmm, now I have the urge to look up how to say Sufjan Steven's name! I've heard Ana talk about him but hadn't heard anything by him until I listened to the Indie Christmas station on Pandora. I LOVE his Christmas album. Now I'm listening to Vesuvius and am really loving it.

And you know what Debi? I like your approach to scrapbooking and think that I need to follow suit. When I was on maternity, I went to the craft store almost every day (to get out of the house) and picked up scrapbooking things. Unfortunately it's low priority for me to make pretty pages but I still want to document life. Simple will still be just as treasured years down the road...

And love these posts... ;)

Jean said...

Glad you're making progress on different happiness fronts. Music to my ears that needs no lyrics to explain. :-)

animewookie said...

Your scrap booking beats mine any day. Mine consists of drawers full of old pics and boxes of pics on CD. That HAS to make you feel better about you're doing great! <3

Kailana said...

I found early into my music-listening experience that all of the songs that Ana suggested should be listened to while reading the lyrics. Sometimes I am not so sure about the song, but I really appreciate the lyrics. :)

Jason Gignac said...

Interestingly, 'vorpal' is actually a made-up word, originally, from Lewis Carrol's Jabberwock - over the years it was slipped into a few things (Dungeons and Dragons, I know, where one could apparently get a 'vorpal blade') probably more or less as a joke, and is now almost just accepted at face value, despite it being meant to be faintly silly in the original ("The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!" is the line I remember).

Glad you're finding good music! I'm terribly worried I have been mispronouncing Mr. STevens name in my head, now, all along...