Monday Earworm: Depeche Mode

I had mostly only known the instrumental version of this song until recently, and while I enjoy the slightly slower pace of that Dave Clarke acoustic version, I really like this original too. Enjoy!

Don’t forget, there’s still just a little time to weigh in on my poll for the October series. Thank you to everyone who already has done so, with your votes and/or comments!

And particularly if you’re on the Texas Gulf Coast, good luck this week.

Monday Earworm: The Killers

This song has been on constant loop the past week, so now you can deal with it, too. (It’s a bit of a torment, but also it’s actually one of my favorite Killers songs, to be honest.) It’s the kind of song that seems to inspire a wildly different interpretation from everyone who listens to it. What do you think?

In other news, there’s still time to weigh in on the survey I posted last week about the annual Witchy Weekends series here on the blog next month. Be sure to vote for your favorite!

September Poll Plans For October

Hello! Welcome to September. I don’t know about you, but I’m desperately happy it’s not August, The Official Worst Month Of The Year In Texas. This September is admittedly not ideal, but we’re going to press on forward, onward and upward, and fake it till we make it around here.

One of the things I really love about September is its proximity to October, which actually is my favorite month! (Or one of them. Or probably my actual favorite. I mean, October is just grand.)

And October on the blog means the triumphant return of Witchy Weekends, one of the seasonal celebrations we do around here. This series has taken on a variety of forms over the years, and this time I’m in a bit of a quandary deciding what to feature. There are just so many options!

So I thought I’d pose the question to you, dear readers: what would you enjoy seeing here on the blog this October? Please let me know in this totally informal and unscientific poll, and feel free to expound upon your opinions in the comments section. I will take your preferences into account.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

 

Monday Earworm: Journey

So the song that has been played on the radio nearly every time I’ve gotten into the car over the past couple of weeks is catchy and fun to dance to but probably not one whose video I should post here on the blog. This other one, however, caught my attention today, and it is truly lovely. In fact, I liked the song so much that I made it my first non-classical piece to learn on the piano, back when I was still playing regularly, once I had the freedom to choose what I wanted to learn how to play.

This video footage is from a Journey concert here in Houston back in 1981. (I was not at the concert, alas; that was a couple of years before I started attending big stadium rock concerts.) This show was at The Summit, one of the best venues for rock concerts and live sports our fair city has ever had. It’s something else now, but I can assure you rock concerts and Rockets games are the finest, purest things ever to happen in that building.

I read an interview of Steve Perry once that noted his voice was the closest thing to opera that rock music ever had, and listening to this song, it’s not hard to believe that. Have a good week.

Too Much, Frankly

School starting normally feels like drinking from the proverbial firehose, but last week and this week are something extra special. So, no earworm tonight. I’m sorry, but you’ll get one next week (I assume). Instead, please enjoy the following video, which is part 5 in one of my favorite series ever. (If you haven’t seen the first four parts, please do that. I’m sure you can find them in the links around the video I’m posting here.)

Rock on, Julie Nolke, you’re amazing.

In other news, if you’re a Sonic Chihuahua subscriber/reader/fan and haven’t received your August issue yet, hold tight. The last of them are going into the mail tomorrow morning, including all the ones going to Canada and the UK. I had to get more postage, which meant going to the post office after school today. (Fortunately I think I got enough for September’s issue, too.) Cheers!  

Monday Earworm: Aretha Franklin (Because It’s Always A Good Time for Ms. Franklin)

Last week the new biopic Respect came out, starring Jennifer Hudson as the Queen herself, reportedly chosen by Aretha Franklin to play her. If it felt safe enough to go to a movie theater in Houston right now, I’d be there, but since it doesn’t (hello, red zone), I’ll have to wait a bit longer. Unfortunately. I’m so eager to see it!

Anyway, I meant to get this up yesterday, but events conspired. Another busy day today before classes start tomorrow. Here’s some danceable fun from a straight-up goddess to get your day in gear.

Why, Yes, Virginia, Adulthood IS A Myth!

Believe it or not — and if you know me, this won’t be a stretch for you to believe — I am still working through the requested reviews from my Books I Read in 2020 list! Seriously, thank you to everyone who requested those reviews. I appreciate your engagement so much, and I’ve had fun revisiting so many of the titles I read last year.

At this point, I’ve finished almost all of the requests, either as blog posts or as book chat videos I was doing for a while with my friend Kara. And I now have three books left to tell you about. Allow me to knock one of those off the list today while the next chapter of the new novel I’m writing incubates in my subconscious…

 

 

If you type “adulthood is overrated” into a Google search bar, you will get umpteen kajillion sites with articles or products or other content declaiming this travesty against our youthful expectations. Normale.

Adulthood Is A Myth, a compendium of comics by Sarah Anderson about the travails of becoming an adult, takes this pseudo-despair about growing up into “real life” one step sideways. Her comics are amusing and well drawn; they dive deep into the maelstrom of emotions that is the proverbial Human Condition with just the right levels of snark, angst, and immense relatability.

It would be easy to dismiss Anderson’s collection as a lot of comics about millennials not being able to get their shit together, but it would be wrong and ageist to do that. The fact is, adulthood is not a state of being that comes with a manual, despite the proliferation of self-help books related to the subject. Most of the time we observe the world around us and the generations that came before us to find answers, and our life trajectories are shaped by world events. And thanks largely to technology (which has changed not only the metaphorical size of our world but also our ability to view and interact with it), 21st-century young adults have a really different row to hoe from all of us who came before them. Frankly, Gen Z is basically a generation of cyborgs — and as a parent of kids in Gen Z, I mean that in the most loving and practical way.

The comics in Anderson’s collection aren’t really about that, though, which is one reason this book has such wide appeal. It’s about human interaction and daily, practical functioning and the challenging emotions so many of us experience regardless of age or time of life. Moreover, she does it all with a wryness that will make you feel maybe just slightly superior (in a non-snotty way) if you’re generally competent at adulting, and make you feel absolutely seen and heard and understood and even maybe cared for if for you, like for most of us, managing this American life is challenging sometimes.

I really enjoyed this book and will admit I gobbled it up in about an hour, cover to cover.

I’m also not squeamish about telling you that I did it late on a Saturday afternoon, with a basket of laundry next to me, sitting on the floor at the top of the stairs where I had gotten distracted by seeing the book on top of a pile next to Han’s desk and decided it was the right time for me to stop and read a book even though I was literally in the middle of doing a household chore.

(And if that doesn’t give you some context of where my head was or why this book hits all the right notes, I’m not sure anything will.)

Be well!