Tuesday Tangents – and it really IS Tuesday!

I really like movies, but as you may recall if you’ve been reading here for a while, I’ve grown to really HATE Oscar Week, which has come to signify my Annual Traffic Nightmare. My office is one street north and about four blocks west of the Kodak Theater. As it gets closer to the Academy Awards, more and more streets in the area will be closed off in preparation for the ceremonies, and the street my office is on will become one of the primary detour routes. For several days, it’s so congested that can take twenty to thirty minutes to drive those four blocks, and traffic backing up from around the corner means a long wait to get out of our parking garage and out on the street in the first place. It takes a lot of patience, and after a long day at the office, my supply of that isn’t always so high.

Granted, it’s only for about a week or so, but it feels like a very long week. But I think I read somewhere that the Academy Awards will be leaving the Kodak Theater for a new venue after this year (or maybe next), so perhaps my Annual Traffic Nightmare is nearly at an end.

The Academy Awards are the only major award show that’s aired live here on the West Coast, which means it’ll start around 5:30 PM this coming Sunday. Fortunately, I will be nowhere near my office then. I’ll probably be somewhere near the TV, though; even though I’m not too enthused about most of this year’s nominated movies (except for Up in the Air, which I loved, and Up, which won’t win Best Picture, but it’s nice that an animated film has finally been nominated), I’m pretty sure we’ll be watching at least some of the show. Will you be spending this weekend with Oscar?

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I really like music, too. I haven’t done a music-related list post for awhile, come to think of it – people usually seem to like those. I’d usually get the prompts for those from Ten on Tuesday, though, and that site hasn’t been updated for several Tuesdays running, so I’ll need to come up with a theme of my own. If you have any suggestions for me, fire away!

After getting tired of getting tired of myself, last week I set up one of those little “tasks” lists in Gmail to make notes of songs I want to download from iTunes. I think of songs at random times – usually when I read a mention of one, or hear it or something like it on the radio – but much of the time, I’m not on my MacBook (where my iTunes lives) when they come to me. And by the time I open up iTunes with the intent of shopping, I’ve forgotten which songs I wanted to get. My first attempt at it worked out pretty well, and since I’d been pretty diligent about making my notes, I had enough things on the list to kill off a $25 iTunes gift card.

My approach to my first list wasn’t so much to note specific songs, though; I noted artists I was interested in, and then searched on them and picked out the songs I wanted from the list in iTunes. This list was mostly stuff by groups I used to listen to on that “modern alternative” station in the mid-90’s (Counting Crows and the Offspring, which is kind of going from one extreme to the other), as well as some tracks by Heart that don’t get much radio airplay any more, but sometimes I actually buy newer music too. Got any recommendations for me?

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Also on a musical note – pun totally intended – I recently came across a couple of posts about people getting musical in public. On Franklin Avenue, one of my favorite LA-based blogs, Mike talked about a spontaneous Tears for Fears sing-along at Trader Joe’s:

…I was strolling through the veggie aisle when Tears for Fears’ 1985 hit “Head Over Heels” came on the loudspeaker.

Catchy tune — and slightly less overplayed than “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Shout.” But a funny thing happened — as the song started, the guy next to me, sticking his paws on TJ’s apple varieties, began singing along.

That’s cool, I thought — I nearly did myself. So I strolled on, past the wines. A guy standing there, mulling over the Two Buck Chuck, began whistling.

Wow, people really like this song, I thought.

I pushed the cart past the bread. The chorus was about to erupt on “Head Over Heels.” And wouldn’t you know it — the guy standing with his girlfriend, grabbing a loaf, busts out into the chorus.

And then I caught another guy, in line for a free sample, chiming in as well.

Surreal. Yet kinda cool…Perhaps there’s something about the informal, bonding experience of walking the aisles of Trader Joe’s that allows folks’ guards to come down — and their inner Karaoke-ing self to come out.

And Victoria noticed people connecting over satellite radio at the burger place:

While there I noticed the smattering of people throughout the restaurant were all various ages and backgrounds.  There was the military Dad with his two middle school age girls, the teenage boy stopping by with his mother, another teenage boy silently chomping away with his parents, just as silent seated next to him and a few random college age kids.  Throw in a few guys alone and in their middling 30s and 40s and you had quite a collection of people.  The one thing we all had in common beyond the burger joint?

We were all jammin’ to the 80s music that played from the restaurant’s XM Radio.  TD could not control herself over Bon Jovi’s ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ and The Comedian wiggled along while I noticed myself singing aloud, as were others throughout the place, to Phil Collins’ ‘Billy Don’t Lose My Number’.  When Duran Duran and The Police played back to back I thought the whole place might go into neon light mode and everyone would just start dancing like we were auditioning for ‘Footloose’.  Toes were tapping, heads were nodding and there was a lot of lip synching and singing aloud.  Minus the teenage boys who just looked on sullenly embarrassed for us all. 

That’s been me, more times than I can count, and with a very unusual (for me) lack of self-consciousness when it happens. Most of the time when I’m singing along with the music, I’m in the car, but I have been known to get caught up in it in public places too – I’m just usually not as loud there. Have you ever been seized by the musical moment while out and about?

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I’m going to ignore the conditions associated with it – pass it on to 7 deserving bloggers and write 10 honest things about yourself – because I’ve followed them once before (and I almost always write honest things about myself here!), but I do want to thank Heather J. of Age 30+…A Lifetime of Books for passing the Honest Scrap Award on to me!

Heather is one of my co-hosts for The Sparrow Read-a-long. She’s a book-club guru and a dedicated mom to Kiddo, and her blog’s a great source for reviews of audiobooks and historical fiction. If you don’t know her already, fix that soon – you’re missing out!

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Tell me about the tangents your mind is wandering these days!

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