Sunday, March 05, 2006

Weekend Assignment: Very Hidden Talents

Over at By the Way, the Weekend Assignment is pretty straightforward...

Weekend Assignment #101: Name a talent that you don't have that you wish you did.
Extra Credit: Do you have any completely useless talents.

I wish I could play a musical instrument. It doesn't really matter which one, though I'm partial to the dobro or the mandolin. I just think they sound cool. But any musical instrument will do. Two problems have held me back: 1. I'm left-handed, which has frustrated the couple of people who have attempted to teach me to play a stringed instrument. I really, really, really want to hold them upside-down and play them with the "wrong" hand. 2. I'm fairly uncoordinated. I can type about 40 words per minute if I really concentrate, but that's about the limit of my hand-eye coordination. I just don't think my fingers would cooperate to hammer out a tune with any decent medley or rhythm, even with decades of practice...and I don't really have that kind of patience. I guess that's three things.

I do have some neat talents that are pretty useless. I can do a pretty fair rendition of the William Tell Overture by snapping my fingers and clapping. Wait a minute, you might be thinking, what about that hand-eye coordination thing? Well, that's the only song I can do that sounds anything like what it's supposed to sound like. I'm not really sure how I picked it up, but I've been able to do it since I was a kid.

Also, back in the day when I used to chew bubble gum, I could blow a bubble inside of a bubble. I'm not sure if I can do it anymore. It's been a while. I probably could if I really concentrated.

One more: My elbows hyperextend. Some people would say that I'm double-jointed. So I can do a pretty good job of convincing someone that I've broken my arm.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Random Music Mix

I don't know that anyone really reads these lists or even cares, but when I see them on other blogs and webpages I feel a special insight into the person that put them together. And I enjoy doing them.

The Master List:

1. "Rush" - Big Audio Dynamite
2. "One" - Metallica
3. "Blackbird" - The Beatles
4. "Lover's Rock" - The Clash
5. "Noah's Dove" - 10,000 Maniacs
6. "Nemesis (The Arch Deviant Mix) - Shriekback
7. "Wicker Baskets" - Jars of Clay
8. "Tied Down and Chained" - BoDeans
9. "You Ain't Going Nowhere" - Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs
10. "Personal Jesus" - Depeche Mode

This is another weird collection of songs that don't really go together, but somehow it works. The transitions aren't as jarring as you might think. In fact, by rearranging these songs a little, this could be a pretty good little playlist. One note: the Flatt & Scruggs is probably not what you're thinking. This is not traditional bluegrass; it has a more contemporary feel. Think countrified Dylanesque. This is from a double album, Dueling Banjos / Live at Kansas State - some live songs, some studio. They even do a version of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now."

The Favorites List:

1. "Shiver and Shake" - The Cure
2. "Maps and Legends" - R.E.M.
3. "Building a Mystery" - Sarah McLachlan
4. "Jesus Online" - Bush
5. "The Back of Love" - Echo and the Bunnymen
6. "Papercut" - Linkin Park
7. "Home by the Sea" - Genesis
8. "Miss Sarajevo" - Passengers
9. "Cut" - The Cure
10. "Rain on the Scarecrow" - John "Cougar" Mellencamp

Since I was listening to him when he was just John Cougar, it doesn't sound right to say John Mellencamp without throwing the Cougar in there. I don't think he likes it, but it's what I'm used to. Don't know if you're familiar with Passengers, but this was a weird little side project that U2 did with Brian Eno. Luciano Pavarotti contributes some vocals to "Miss Sarajevo," a song about a beauty pagent held in a war zone.

I was going to change some of these songs in my MP3 player, but couldn't find the cable I needed to git 'er done. I finally found the cable and will get these songs switched out ASAP.