Not much to report today. I rode my bike home from work yesterday, Shobhit had lentils, opo and rice prepared for dinner, we watched the third episode of the Ken Burns documentary series The Vietname War, that single episode being nearly two hours long. Shobhit would have done episode #4 as well, but that was 114 minutes and I just couldn't hack four hours of it. I need to get some library book reading done. I'll be finishing Everybody Lies this evening for sure. Finally I'll have a book done before it's overdue! (It's due back on Friday.)
I did add Apocalypse Now to my Netflix queue. I decided Shobhit and I should watch it after finishing this documentary series. The movie will be given a broad context I never had before, especially the 2001 Redux version that restored a bunch of stuff much more directly related to the French colonial rule -- which I did not know until seeing this series was something that lasted a full century. (I didn't know anything about the French connection at all until Apocalypse Now Redux came out.)
I also showed Shobhit the "Power Ballads" playlist I created on Monday with him in mind, and did some last-minute minor changes in sequencing yesterday. He really loved it and asked me to put it on his phone. It includes at least one song I have historically hated with a fervent passion ("My Heart Will Go On") but he has always loved, but is so old now I don't really mind it. Here, I'll share the playlist, in sequence:
1. The Winner Takes It All / ABBA
2. The Way We Were / Barbra Streisand *
3. Your Song / Ewan McGregor & Alessandro Safina *
4. Going to a Town / Rufus Wainwright
5. Live to Tell / Madonna *
6. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (from the Bollywood movie of the same name) *
7. Oh What a World / Rufus Wainwright
8. Come What May / Ewan McGregor & Nicole Kidman *
9. I'll Never Love Again (Extended Version) / Lady Gaga *
10. I Will Always Love You / Whitney Houston *
11. My Heart Will Go On / Celine Dion *
12. The Winner Takes It All / Cher
The asterisked tracks are well-known songs from popular movies, another big element of this playlist; there are eight such tracks, amounting to two thirds of them. Most of the non-movie soundtrack songs are other ballads Shobhit really, really loves. (I had to clarify for him what "ballad" means -- he was confusing it with "duet." For the record, Shobhit: the straightforward dictionary definition of "ballad" is "a slow sentimental or romantic song.")
Shobhit's only pseudo-complaint was that he thought the ABBA and Cher versions of "The Winner Takes It All" should be flipped, because he thinks the original is best and therefore would work best at the end. I disagree; making that switch would fuck up the sequencing -- the Cher version of the song does not transition to "The Way We Were" nearly as smoothly as the ABBA version does, because ABBA and old-school Streisand are both much older tracks and exist better right next to each other. The Cher version also has a better transition coming after "My Heart Will Go On" than ABBA would. I stand by my decisions!
My only possible reservation now is whether I should have included "Shallow," the lead single from A Star Is Born that is both a ballad and a duet (as are three of the other songs already included, in fact) with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. It is objectively a better song, but "I'll Never Love Again" fits better in sequencing with the likes of "I Will Always Love You" and "My Heart Will Go On," all three of them being power ballads closing hugely popular romantic films. Now, though, I am considering adding "Shallow" to the first half. I'm not sure it's necessary, as the song exists pretty firmly outside the boundaries of songs Shobhit has long loved. (So does "I'll Never Love Again," admittedly, but it does bear similarity to "I Will Always Love You," which Shobhit mentioned right after seeing A Star Is Born.)
Okay, one final quite aside: getting back to the songs that are thematic tracks from popular movies: Madonna's "Live to Tell" is admittedly a borderline example. That song is far, far better known today on its own, outside the context of any movie at all; easily most people familiar with the track have no idea it was from a 1986 movie called At Close Range (which not even I have ever seen) -- but, even though it later was included on the 1986 album True Blue, that movie is still where the song was first heard. So it counts!
As a rule I make my playlists average 80 minutes in length -- a holdover from when burnable CDs had that as their limit. This particular playlist works better as running at roughly an hour, though, because of the specific nature of its theme -- there aren't enough other equivalent songs to include, so anything more would just feel like filler. The same could be said for including "Shallow," to be honest. So I think my mind is made up about that now!
It's still strangely foggy outside today, even at lunch time. I guess "strangely" isn't quite accurate, now that I think about it -- it is pretty normal for fall, I suppose. It's also slightly unsettling these days, so close as it appears to the hazardous choking wildfire smoke we saw in August. It's evidently not smoke, though -- just fog. I have that "WTForecast" app on my phone and when I first opened it the message was, Fucking this fucking foggy bullshit. It must change every time I open it, though, because now it says: It's mild and cloudy with a slight chance of cussing. Dildo shit fuckface von nasal-twat tosspot. Ha! I laughed out loud even as I was transcribing that.
Hey wait a minute -- what the shit? That same app shows a high of 73° Wednesday October 17! 71° the day after that, 70° the day after that. These people are smoking crack. The default Yahoo! Weather app shows 67° next Wednesday, followed by 65° and 62°. As if anyone is ever accurate predicting Seattle weather a week in advance anyway. Why do they ever even bother? We'll probably have rain in the forecast for Wednesday next week by the time it actually gets here. I guess there's the National Weather Service -- the forecast I rely on most ever since reading Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise taught me it's right the most often. Their extended forecast only goes out six days. They're not even showing what they're predicting for Wednesday next week yet. Those people are smart!
There has been a bunch of pastries set out in the kitchen today at work. I have had entirely too much of them. But they are so delicious!
Completely unrelated: I suppose I could mention my oldest sister, Angel, turned 49 yesterday. That makes this the start of her 50th year. I just turned 40 two years ago, so there are to be only three and a half years with all four of us, my siblings and me, being in our forties at the same time. Because at this time next year, Angel will be fifty. Fifty! That year, Sherri -- Angel's mother -- will be all of 67. Brandi, Angel's daughter, will be 35. As you can see, a lot went down between 1969 and 1985. I guess one benefit of seemingly hereditary teen pregnancy is that by comparison it makes you seem forever young.
[posted 12:34 pm]