Friday, May 28, 2010

Analyzing Joanna Newsom Songs Part 1

Joanna Newsom and I have this connection. She is a Folk GODDESS. Sure. Amazing vocals, natch.

But not everyone knows she took creative writing classes too, which definitely enhanced her lyrical skills. Some people have had trouble deciphering her complex songs. Understandable. Unless you have a Creative Writing Background, such as me, this would be difficult. This is a new segment where I will analyze Joanna Newsom's beautifully complex songs. I'm going to start with one of my favorites of hers.


Twenty miles left to the show
Hello, my old country, hello
Stars are just beginning to appear
And I have never in my life before been here

Okay, easy so far. She's twenty miles away from a show, and it's almost night time, and she's somewhere she doesn't know. Okay. Simple.

And it's my heart, not me, who cannot drive
At which conclusion you arrived
Watching me sit here, bolt upright
And cry for no good reason at the Eastering sky

Now we start getting tricky. She realizes that her heart can't drive a car, which makes sense, I guess, because it's an organ. And she's crying about it.

And the tilt of this strange nation
And the will to remain for the duration
Waving the flag
Feeling it drag

Here she's waving a flag, but it's falling on the ground.

Like a bump on a bump on a log, baby
Like I'm in a fistfight with the fog, baby
Step, ball-change, and a pirouette

I think here she's just rambling.

And I regret, I regret
How I said to you, honey, just open your heart
When I’ve got trouble even opening a honey jar
And that, right there, is where we are

Here Joanna is regretting the honey jar she left behind. Don't we all have regrets? Fucking beautiful.

And I've been 'fessing, double-fast
Addressing questions nobody asked
I'll get this joy off of my chest, at last
And I will love you till the noise has long since passed

She loves some guy with a nice chest, and she's asking him stuff.

I did not mean to shout, just drive
Just get us out, dead or alive
The road's too long to mention
Lord, it's something to see
Laid down by the Good Intentions Paving Company

Here the story takes a sharp turn, like all good stories should. She's involved in a high speed chase, her very life in the balance. What is this Good Intentions Paving Company? Some Mafia organization? Some Government Black Ops Group? Chilling.

All the way to the thing we've been playing at, darling

I can see that you're wearing your staying-hat, darling
For the time being, all is well
Won't you love me a spell

And the chase continues! Hats are blowing off in the wind! They're going to make it (darling) so can't the guy with a nice chest give her a kiss or two?

This is blindness, beyond all conceiving
While behind us, the road is leaving
And leaving, and falling back
Like a rope gone slack

Well, I saw straightaway that the lay was steep
But I fell for you, honey, easy as falling asleep
And that, right there is the course I keep

Through their escape, they have to deal with temporary blindness and ropes and the road itself falling apart, but they persevere. They stay the course and she falls asleep.

And no amount of talking
Is going to soften the fall
But, like after the rain
Step out of the overhang, that's all

His talking almost wakes her up. Don't wake Joanna!

It had a nice ring to it
When the old opry house rang
So with a solemn auld lang syne
Sealed, delivered, I sang

And there is hesitation
And it always remains
Concerning you, me
And the rest of the gang

I think...a gang is chasing them here? I don't know.

And in our quiet hour
I feel I see everything
And am in love with the hook
Upon which everyone hangs

....God, Joanna's fucking weird sometimes.

And I know you meant to show the extent
To which you gave a goddang
You ranged real hot and real cold
But I'm sold
I am at home on that range
And I do hate to fold
Right here, at the top of my game
When I've been trying with my whole heart and soul
To stay right here, in the right lane
But it can make you feel over and old
Lord, you know it's a shame
When I only want for you to pull over and hold me
Till I can't remember my own name

She gets home eventually, and the lovers embrace! Beautiful!

There you have it! Joanna Newsom: easily explained for you to enjoy! Now listen to this beautiful song!

Pictures of People Taking Pictures Part 3 - Asian Pacific American Edition

Me at the semifinals of Philly Beer Geeks. My good friend Dan competed against ten others, answering questions on local Philly beers, brewing processes, and what beer you would take...INTO SPACE. Dan handled it like a champ and is now in the finals. Here I am taking a picture of him, before his victory! Congrats, Dan!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hug an Asian Pacific American for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

Did you know that May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month? Me neither! And now it's almost over and so is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. It might be too late to do anything spectacular to celebrate this proud people, but bear with me as I present a proposal.


Why? Because Asian Americans make up the third largest minority group in America. Because they have one of the largest educational attainment levels. Because they are fucking adorable.

Aren't they cute?
Asian Americans, for better and for worse, are considered the "Model Minority". What does that mean? That means that we could all be models!

Here's some more stats:

There are nearly 14.9 million Americans that are either Asian or a combination of Asian. By 2050, this will increase by 213%! If you're not sure how many Asians that means, ask an Asian to do the math for you.

49% of Asians 25 and over have at least a Bachelors Degree. And 20% have a Masters Degree or higher.

There are over 1.1 million businesses owned by Asian Americans.

What does that mean? It means America runs on Dunkin', and Asians. But it also means that despite these statistics, despite the fact that we are so good looking: we are all different. We are all unique, and even though we are a part of a community, we have all grown up with vastly different backgrounds.

The Asian Pacific American community is almost more united in our differences than with what we have in common and I think that's what makes us so...American!

Forgetting about Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is equal to forgetting someone's birthday. The problem is, most Asian Americans will let this oversight go. They're polite that way.


So, the next Asian (Pacific) American you see, I want you to give them a nice, caressing hug. Then say, "I appreciate you."

We'll know what you mean.

Now, watch this video to get a full perspective of the Asian American Experience.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Review Of the Lost Series Finale party

After so much anticipation, it's only inevitable that people are going to be let down. But my Lost Series Finale Pajama Party Ice Cream Social nearly met all expectations! All the important people were involved: Me, Kim, Drew, and Dustin, the puppet, for comic relief.

What's a Fina
le Party without ice cream, some Oreo's, and, of course, Milk! Did we disappoint?
I think not!

I had the cheap but delicious Walgreens Dutch Chocolate Blend. And Kim and Drew? The surprising choices of Twix and Snickers Ice cream "flavors". A little disappointing, but not every Finale party is going to go exactly as planned.

Things quickly picked up with this surprise twist:

Kim made Dustin pajamas!!!! WHHHAAATT? At that point, I didn't know what was going to happen next!

We then went through the ringer of emotions:

We laughed!

We cried!

We were terrified!!!

And that was just during The Prince of Persia Commerical! That movie looks craaaazzzzyy!

After that, we had to dea
l with the fall - our sugar high causing us to crash fast! It was thrilling to see who would make it through the night, the tension mounting to an unknown end!

When Drew stopped cracking jokes, and Kim stopped hugging Dustin, I thought the night was...well, lost. But like every good drama, they persevered, fighting all odds, beating man's enemy, Sleep, with a one-two punch! YES! It was exhilarating! The Lost Series Finale Pajama Party Ice Cream Social hit an incredible high!

And then the
Lost Series Finale started!

What a night! Overa
ll, even though the Lost Series Finale Party hit a few snags, it's in my opinion that it was the best Lost Series Finale Party ever!!