Monday Earworm: Jonathan Coulton

Today’s my dear husband’s birthday, and in honor of such, I’m using his favorite Jonathan Coulton song for my earworm. And it really does have a catchy chorus. Aaron first introduced me to Coulton’s work with “Code Monkey” years ago, and now I’m a big fan as well. So much of his music is ridiculously funny (such as this earworm) as well as nerdy, so you know we’re going to be big fans in this house. You’ve heard Coulton’s work on this blog before, too, particularly in the form of his Christmas album, a collaboration with John Roderick; some of those songs often show up in 12 Days of Christmas Music That Doesn’t Suck.

I’m also a fan of Coulton’s because he wrote a new song every week for quite a long time and posted them online. “Skullcrusher Mountain” is one of those songs. If I’m not mistaken, this project (called “Thing A Week”) allowed him to transition from a job in IT to being a full-time musician, and let’s be frank, that kind of creativity, persistence, and dedication are just inspiring.

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday Earworm: Queen

I hope that you enjoyed this year’s Poem-A-Day series in honor of National Poetry Month. It’s such a popular series — maybe the most popular thing on the blog some years? — I’ll try to put more poetry up here throughout the rest of the year. But otherwise I’m already curating next year’s lineup.

Now that we’re back to Ordinary Time on the blog, though, Monday Earworms will resume. Lately this song keeps popping up on Pandora, and I love it, but also it figures prominently in Casey McQuiston’s Red, White and Royal Blue, which was one of my favorite books I read last year and which I will probably be reading again this summer as a cheer-me-up. It is definitely the alternate timeline I’d rather be living in than this one! Give it a look.

In the meantime, though, how about some Queen?

Monday Earworm: Garbage

Today is going to be our last earworm for a little while, because Wednesday is April 1st, and like every year for quite some time now, I’ll be doing a Poem-A-Day series here on the blog in honor of National Poetry Month here in the U.S. The daily poem is possibly the most loved series among this blog’s readership, and there’s some excellent stuff in the line-up again this year. I hope you’ll check in daily — or just subscribe — to get a dose of poetry. But I fully anticipate earworms coming back in May, and in the meantime if you need more music, just play some from the blog archives. Reply in the comments if you want me to host an online earworm dance party some time.

And honestly? I’m only kind of joking about that. Social distancing is hard on many people. My son likes to say this is the kind of national disaster he’s made for, because left to his devices he’d just play online video games with his friends all day every day anyway. And we are definitely lucky in our household because we have enough space for all of us to work or school from home without being in the same rooms with each other, my husband and I are stably and gainfully employed (knock on wood), and we have everything we truly need. We also have cats and daily human in-person interaction.

For my friends and family members and colleagues and everyone else out there who lives alone in an apartment with no pets and who may be starting to feel worn down by having interactions only via screen, I see you. Seriously, I will host a dance party from my laptop. Just say the word. I can’t guarantee it will help, but it might at least be funny.

(For what it’s worth, I’m also considering hosting an online reading in the not-too-distant future, so stay tuned for that.)

Also, if anyone would like a free copy of the 1st edition of Finis. to add to their reading list (or to put in their local Little Free Library) while they have some enforced downtime, I’m mailing them out to the continental U.S. right now. (I can’t do international mail at the moment due to pandemic closures, but if you want to get on the list for those as soon as things open up, just drop me a line.) Send me an email to forest.of.diamonds@gmail.com to get a book, and put “FINIS. giveaway” in the subject line. (I’ll be wanting to know where to send it to, as well, of course.) Look for more giveaways in the near future.

So, social distancing getting you down? Missing connection with people? I get it. I stood on my parents’ front lawn yesterday and had a conversation with them while they stood in their front doorway. I drove half an hour across town to do this, too. It’s hard, but it is temporary, and the more we adhere to the stay-in-place rules, the sooner it will be over.

Here is today’s earworm: “#1 Crush” by Garbage. The video contains footage from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, which was, in some ways, both excellent and bonkers. But then, the play is also both excellent (in its artistry) and bonkers (in its tragic boneheadedness). And the song is such a mood. And also? It totally reminds me of Bas from Rainbow Rowell’s highly entertaining Carry On. (I recommend reading her Fangirl first, but you don’t have to.)

Stay safe. Stay home. Wash your hands. Listen to the scientists and doctors and nurses, and not (for Pete’s sake, NOT) the politicians. (That’s good advice always, by the way, not just now.)

And let me know about that dance party.

Monday Earworm: Michael Bruening

So this week I will begin teaching online. I’m looking forward to some aspects of it, although I suspect that the longer it goes on, the more I will sincerely miss being with my students and colleagues all together in one place. Here’s hoping the new dynamic is worthwhile.

In the meantime, I’m hoping to keep other routines in place as much as possible for the sake of easing stress. Still, I suspect my first day online with my students is going to be show-and-tell of our pets…