It’s one of those days* when I end the day laying on the couch idly, scrolling through Facebook with a scattered mind and no greater purpose, wondering what it all means. I like to think of the characters in To the Lighthouse when I do this, namely, I think (if I recall the story correctly) Mrs. Ramsey and Lily Briscoe, both of whom asked the question frequently as they were observing the interactions among the denizens of the Ramsey family summer home. The very general but very pressing question they raise makes sense to me. People are so interesting, and there are always so many weird coincidences and connections from one person to the next. If I look hard enough, I find myself reaching for some grand revelation that will never come. To invoke “To the Lighthouse” again, I find myself acting like Mr. Ramsey, when he laments that he’ll “never make it to z” – the end of the alphabet, which must signify, to him, some transcendental truth or revelation.Continue reading “Friday Night Video — Spotify Wrapped Edition — Songs 90-81”
FNV (Friday Night Video) – Spotify Wrapped Edition 2022 Edition – Songs #91-100
My favorite time of year, music-wise, is always when Spotify Wrapped comes out. I’m rarely surprised by the songs that are on my list, but I’m always excited to see what I’ve listened to the most. This year, I decided to make my 2022 Wrapped Playlist into a regular installment on my blog by listing my top 100 songs, ten at a time, and explaining why I like them and what memories I associate with them (reasons that often overlap, since music, to me, is always a nostalgic medium).
Today is an extra good day to write about my favorite songs**, because I’ve been home sick for three days now, and will probably be out for at least two more after today. I rarely get physical illnesses, so I hardly know what it’s like to get the flu, or something like it. But the past few days, my eyes have been constantly secreting disgusting substances, I’ve had a fever, and my throat has been incredibly painful, even after taking Ibuprofen.
Nobody likes to be sick. On the flip side, I can’t remember the last time I’ve had five days to myself to quarantine inside my house and decide how to divide my time all day.*** It’s resulted in a lot of organizing, when I have energy, and some intermittent sessions of online Monopoly with my friend Asma and her two oldest kids, who live out of town. And it’s also resulting in this…another blog post. Last time I posted (a couple weeks ago) I vowed to do so more regularly, and now I can fulfill that goal by talking about one of my favorite things on this planet, music. So, here are my 91st – 100th favorite songs from last year, in order from 100 to 91.Continue reading “Friday Night Video – Spotify Wrapped Edition, Songs 100-91”
The overcast, early December day had lapsed into an opaque blue sky arching over a frigid winter night in rural southwestern Pennsylvania. The lights shining out the window of the warm apartment in Indiana PA sliced through the tranquil darkness, penetrated the night. Inside the apartment, I reclined on a plush, brick-red chair while drinking tiny cup after tiny cup of Arabic coffee and conversing with a friend, and a friend of a friend I’d just met. The conversation, initially engaging to me, started to lapse in and out of English,veering off into a tongue that I could not understand, much less speak myself. As I listened to the melodic cadence of words, beautifully spoken but beyond my grasp, I instinctively did what any good,self-centered American would do; I reached for my phone, and started doing “taktaga,” which is an Arabic phrase (and some of the little Arabic I know) for the act of busying oneself on one’s smartphone. I planned on ejecting myself from the conversation for only a short moment or two, but as this story will demonstrate, the best laid plans are often not those that come to fruition.Continue reading “F.N.V. 4: Disappointment on a Winter’s Eve: My Spotify Letdown”