November 17th, 2003

panda!cake

Happy and sad

Happy: The most frequent user of mrstrellis points to Mad Music, a repository of what might largely be termed novelty songs. On the downside, they tend to be 90-second clips in particularly dodgy mono format, presumably to make them a less attractive target for the copyright lawyers; on the upside, there are some wonderful tunes in there. I don't expect you to appreciate John Kettley Is A Weatherman unless you know the '80s British minor celebrities mentioned, but it's a song with many happy memories for me. The selection and categorisation of songs is a highly personal choice; I would argue that Mercury/Caballe's Barcelona and Nena's 99 Red Balloons are both credible and beautiful songs. Sure, those are two from 200, but there might be other songs you really like in there, especially if you, like me, like that sort of thing.

Sad: Accordingly, I'm on a "99 Red Balloons" kick at the moment, a mere 19 years or so too late. It's a beautiful song, though ever so sad. You can get a better, full .mp3 near the bottom of here, modulo linkrot. I want to know why it's quite such a sad song, other than the obvious ("it's about nuclear war") - or, generalising, why some songs can be so sad and yet so effective. Collapse )

I want to throw in another poll at this point. Apologies for its assumption that relationships must be between exactly two people - more power to those of you who can make larger relationships work. I think the options are close to mutually exclusive but not actually completely so, thus: tickyboxes!
Poll #206310 Is music an essential nutritional component of the food of love?

How important is it that you and a relationship partner have similar tastes in music?

Essential - I couldn't imagine sharing my life with someone with whom I couldn't share my passion for music.
1(1.9%)
Strongly desirable - one of my major recreations is music; accordingly, I'd like to relax enjoying both my favourite music and my partner's company at once.
2(3.8%)
Weakly desirable - not a major factor, but I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with someone whose musical taste I hated or someone who hated mine.
15(28.3%)
Unimportant - if I care for a person then I'll care for them whatever their musical taste is; perhaps I might grow to love their musical taste given time.
7(13.2%)
In addition to the above, music is more fundamental to my well-being - even to my spiritual existence - than merely being a source of recreation.
0(0.0%)
I couldn't be in a relationship with someone who didn't like gratuitous meaningless tickyboxes.
1(1.9%)

Happy: Giving good gifts makes me happy, though I only feel I can manage it one or twice a year compared to several more workmanlike presents. Now please do argue with me on this one - convince me I'm off-base if you think I am - but there is a time and a place to give heartfelt presents and another time-place combination to give token gifts. Heartfelt gifts: whenever the opportunity and inspiration present themselves, without occasion or excuse being required. Token gifts: birthdays, Christmas. Mentioning no names at all and emphasising just how common this is: when people in a relationship have problems buying gifts for each other, that's a problem. Being able to surprise your partner (or even your friend!) with a perfect gift is wonderful, but people cannot surprise on demand and it's unrealistic and unhelpful to expect friends or partners to do so. Communicate about gifts! Enjoy the discussion!

There's a simple way around it: wishlists, wishlists, wishlists. Sometimes I see wishlists as a bit cheeky, a bit presumptuous that anyone might ever want to buy you a gift, but on balance I think they're a public service. Now I bet most people, on thinking wishlists, think Amazon - and some people, on thinking Amazon, think "one-click patent boycott" and think noamazon.com (which seems to be down). With respect to at least the one nice person I know who works at Amazon, I'm going to plug two meta-wishlist services which don't tie you down to a particular retailer: TheThingsIWant.com and WishFish. Other, more generic, non-automatic wish lists are also good solutions.

Sad: I definitely don't speak to my parents as much as I used to (in the long term) and I think I've identified the reason why. Nobody likes discussion where there's an undercurrent of "well, it's very nice that you're taking an interest, but due to the different experiences we've had, you just don't get it". Unfortunately, this seems to be creeping into my LJ experience more and more. I don't have anyone specific in mind; one of the nice things about LJ is that people are generally happy and prepared to evangelise and explain about their passions. Looking at this the other way, I know I often talk about things so obscure that people feel they can't really talk about them because they know they just don't get it in the same way. I can't really think of a way around this, except everyone's LiveJournal being read by ten times as many people, and I don't think anyone's actively doing anything wrong here - certainly not deliberately so. However, that doesn't stop it being perceptible and sad, though.

Happy... and Sad: Given that I've started a new poll, time to wrap up the old one - the "happiest LiveJournal" poll. The result: Collapse )

Finishing on a Happy note, reasons to be cheerful:
  • Paid users now get 20 syndication points rather than 10. Hurrah, especially as I peaked at using 10.2 of my permitted 10. I remember when the limit used to be 5...
  • Kasparov played textbook anti-computer chess (or, perhaps, specifically anti-Fritz chess) to level the match at 1½-1½ and set up an exciting conclusion. Action starts at 1pm EST tomorrow on ESPN 2 or online.
  • How's thee father? All right!
  • Current Music
    "99 Red Balloons" - Nena