tabular_rasa: (1970s)
Time for my commentary on the Top 100 Songs of 2014!

Important note: This is not my own personal ranking of songs, but taken from a pop radio station's official list based on airplay and requests or whatever. (I used iHeartRadio ranking this year, which Jessica and I actually did listen to the last 8 songs of during our drive on New Year's Day). I just like to go through and provide commentary on the official list as a way to reflect upon the year's music, since I enjoy listening to pop music in major part because of how it's so connected to a certain place in time. The songs are on for a limited period of time, so when I listen to them I am brought back to that point in my life. And the lists are always interested to go back and look at, too, to see which songs I have remembered vs. forgotten and which ones I change my feelings about as they're played more or less.

Plus, so much pop music is fucking hilarious. I am not a snob. The worst pop music is often the best just because of how ridiculous it is.

If you have any strong feelings about songs you heard this year, I'd love to hear them!

Top 100 Songs of 2014 )

Looking back, overall it was a pretty good year for pop music. Or maybe I have finally stopped expecting pop music to be good and just expect it more to be entertaining, lol. This year was interesting since the list wasn't as dominated by a few big established names and there were a lot of random newcomers.

However, there were a few songs I'm surprised didn't make the list, or I wish would have.

Notable Absences )

Previous years: 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
tabular_rasa: (Windflowers)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Yesssss Writer's Block is back!

Honestly, the only reboots I've really liked have been things I wasn't super familiar with the first iteration of, lol. (Or things which have been rebooted so many times I just accept there's like 800 different versions, like superhero universes). When I liked the original, I generally take any direct reboot as an attack that cannot live up to the genius of the original. The irrational emotion of nostalgia and all . . .

That being said, I'm kind of surprised no one has made a Redwall movie for theatrical release yet. Given the state of CGI/motion capture and how much people loved Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy, it seems like they could even do a "live action" one at this point if they wanted. (Not that that would necessarily be the best way to do it, but at this point you know that's how they WOULD do it). THE TIME IS RIPE HOLLYWOOD.

Outside of media, though, I'm in favor of bringing back things like toys and snack foods from when I was a kid. Drink some Ecto Cooler HI-C while being disappointed about how Crossfire is definitely not as cool as the ads made it look.
tabular_rasa: (Windflowers)
This was posted on May 24th . . . but I'm posting it here for easier reference.

As I do every year, I took a Top 100 list of songs as decided by a radio station and have made my comment on them. Completing this 5 months after 2013 has ended has taught me that the bulk of "important" music of 2013 was really forgettable . . .

Top 100 Songs of 2014 )

List taken from: Z100's Top Songs of 2013

Previous years: 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
tabular_rasa: (Windflowers)
Windflowers Friends Only

There are a few public entries here and there, but for the most part this journal is Friends Only.

Comment here if you would like to be friends!
If you comment on any other public entry, I don't check back after a certain point so I probably won't see it.
tabular_rasa: (Windflowers)
If you want to see some of Robert's work (and do him an awesome favor!), check out this music video he made for a contest, using one of The Birthday Massacre's songs off their new album:

"Like" the video to vote for him.
tabular_rasa: (Default)
Read 100-51 here.

50-1 Countdown )

List taken from: Z100's Top Songs of 2012

Previous years: 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
tabular_rasa: (Windflowers)
So finally I'm getting up my annual Top 100 Pop Songs list! I don't know if anybody waits with baited breath for these or anything, but I enjoy doing them as a sort of for-posterity thing.

Anyway, after two years of nonstop In Da Club Dancing Until The World Ends hyper-sampled party hits, I thought the music of 2012 was really refreshing. With my daily commute (in a van that doesn’t have satellite radio or an ipod hookup) and employment in a job that kept music on in the background, this year was the first since 2009 that I’d spend a substantial amount of time captive to the radio, and I was impressed with how tolerable the music was

. . . but then I read this list and realized that just because I’ve been listening to stations that play music released in the past year doesn’t mean I’ve listening to a pop station.

I mean, who knew? I grew up in a town where the options were Pop, Oldies, Classic Rock, Country, and the Mom Station*. (Indie hits? New rock? On the radio? The fuck is this shit? What is this alien place?).

*Mom Station: adult contemporary rock and inoffensive pop hits with no rap and minimal profanity, generally featuring the Delilah program in the evening. THERE IS ALWAYS A MOM STATION IN THE MIDWEST.

So while I was listening to Macklemore, Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters and Men, M83, AWOLnation, and Rise Against, and thinking pop had suddenly gotten miraculously really different and awesome, I apparently just had my dialed tuned to the wrong place >.<

This list was also surprising to me in some ways I think because people in the greater New York area (I use the list published by the Z100 station out of NYC) don’t listen to the same exact music as people in the greater LA. I’m surprised by how many of the songs I just straight-up didn’t hear—and I know I was listening to legitimate pop stations often enough I should have. However, I’ve used Z100’s list since I started doing this in 2007, so I kept with my tradition and used it this year. If I still don’t recognize half the stuff for next year, maybe I’ll switch to Billboard’s Top 100 or something instead, but for this year . . . well, I had already starting writing my responses to this one before I thought to look up the Billboard chart or a local LA station.

Even once I worked through this list, though, I think 2012 was better and refreshingly different than the two years previous. There was still plenty of the same crap, but there were a lot of novel gems and some genuinely talented artists landing big hits.

As always, a disclaimer that these are my personal opinion and you are welcome to disagree and express your disagreement, without getting into generalized attacks of taste. So without further ado (and in two parts, because these are massive), my thoughts on the Top 100 Songs of 2012.

100-50 Countdown )

Continue to 50-1.
tabular_rasa: (College)
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My bedtime routine has gotten much shorter since I started showering in the morning. However, it still consists of:

1) Do daily calisthenic routine (200 crunches, 100 leg-lifts, some squats and lunges), usually while watching YouTube videos or the tail end of a movie or TV show or something Robert and I are watching.

2) Put on pajamas.

3) Brush teeth and put in retainer.

4) Wash face and apply acne spot treatment if necessary.

5) Take hair down if it was up or somehow bound.

6) Set alarm for the next day if it's a worknight.

7) Turn on the fan (air circulation for Robert and ambient noise for me), turn out the lights, kiss Robert if he's available, and get in bed.

Not always in this exact order, but generally the exercises come first and the bed part comes last :-P

I am a slave to routine to the point of near compulsion, meaning if I don't get all of these things done I will fixate on what I missed, possibly to the point of insanity. (Frankly I'm still surprised how I manage to fall asleep without having showered, after that having been a requirement for a good decade or so. I try not to think too hard about it). For example, I don't know if the bigger motivator to brush my teeth and wear my retainer every night is the oral health or just not being able to fall asleep obsessing about how I haven't. And I have some pretty nice abs to show for getting myself to the point of being compelled to exercise each night before bed. Pretty genius move on my part, if I do say so myself :-P

And now speaking of my bedtime routine . . .
tabular_rasa: (Default)
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Definitely save up for longer vacations. I live across the country (and used to live on the other side of the world) from my family and most of my friends, so if I ever want to see any of them I have to budget enough time to get there and make the trip worthwhile. Plus I like to travel to foreign countries, and living in the US it's really hard to go abroad for a three-day weekend-- at least if you actually want to do something before you have to leave again.

Of course, ideally I wouldn't have a mere 14 vacation days to budget per year. I really miss having a summer vacation and built-in winter and spring breaks ):

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By giving them opportunities to be self-sufficient and independent as a child, duh. As a child grows up, s/he should be given more and more freedoms and responsibility, from more unsupervised play, more access to "adult" privileges (computer and phone access, use of a car, etc) and more free choice in their life (pick their own extracurriculars and course of study rather than doing what the parent wants) to more responsibility for personal care (bathing themselves, dressing themselves, remembering to brush their own teeth, etc) and chores to learn how to run a household (cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc). With each transition to more choice and responsibility the parent has a role to teach and supervise at first to ensure the child is capable of handling the new choice or responsibility, and coach them accordingly, but eventually the kid should be left alone with nothing but the assumption they can handle it and a readiness to address it if they don't.*

*Sometimes there's a natural consequence to failing to fulfill a responsibility (eg: You didn't wash the dishes when you were supposed to and now the dishes are unwashed when we need them, so you need to wash them now when the food is even more caked-on and gross) and the parent need only ensure the connection is made between the cause and effect. But sometimes it's necessary to set up additional consequences like grounding, removal of privileges, etc.

In the US right now I think the far bigger problem is children/teens/young adults who are too dependent rather than neglected; a lot of parents could do with less helicopter-ing and more leaving their kids to explore and make mistakes on their own. Kids are really not as fragile as we like to make them out to be.

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Not really. I can't say I've ever made any major decisions solely to avoid "being judged." Now, I've made a lot of decisions based on whether I felt they would help or hinder me in life regarding education and employment, which often has to do with the overall judgement of society (eg: not employing people with certain "unsavory" histories or who don't dress a certain way at an interview, etc), but I think "not getting a job" or "not having enough money to live off of" or "not getting incarcerated" is a bit more severe than "being judged."

Maybe this question actually means to ask whether I've made certain choices in life because of the pressures and potential sanctions by society-- in which case of course yes, and anyone who said otherwise would be lying (or considered a pariah, mentally ill, criminal, etc)-- but I wish they'd frame it that way rather than the rather petty-sounding "fear of judgement." The pressures that make us align to social norms are much bigger than a conscious middle-school style fear of fitting in; they have very real consequences that affect our quality of life. The mantra of "Just do what you want and haters to the left" is a lovely sentiment that applies just fine to superficial questions like whether to wear something "unfashionable" or ride a bike instead of drive a car, but it's not practical on a universal level given that humans are social creatures and advantages disappear if we don't behave according to some mandates of the group. It's often unfair, but it's also unavoidable.

But what would I do if for some reason all human social laws and consequences no longer existed (and yet I still were somehow living in the context I am now)? Well, for starters I'd have wiped my ladytime on my ex-neighbor's face the last time I had to knock on her door to tell her to shut up . . .
tabular_rasa: (Into the Dark)
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My level of functioning goes down under 7 hours of sleep. I can still "function" between 6-7 hours of sleep, but I'm kind zombie-ish, extra prone to zoning out, and need to have extra doses of caffeine during the day (rather than just my single cup of tea in the morning), which is a pain since it makes me pee even more than I already do, but I can still do what I need to do. But if I get less than 6 hours, I'm pretty miserable. I don't trust myself to drive or do anything that involves concentration and accuracy, and until I can nap I just feel like crap. Lack of sleep always makes me feel weirdly dirty and sick, sometimes outright nauseous.

7-8 hours is my sweet spot and that's what I usually get-- though sometimes I take 9 or 10 on weekends when I have the opportunity to indulge. (Especially if I'm "making up" for less sleep-rich nights during the week, or I went to bed later and it seems to take longer for the sleep to make me feel refreshed). To me, sleep is a necessity, the same as eating. It is a non-negotiable in my daily schedule and I've voluntarily gone without it only a handful of times.

I do get less sleep than I'd like on nights when I just can't fall asleep for whatever reason (thankfully I don't struggle too much with insomnia, but every once and a while there's just some random restless night), or when I have bitchtastic neighbors who don't realize the world doesn't revolve around them and their whims about using their stereo system against our bedroom wall at 2:45 am. I also get barely any sleep if I have to be on a plane overnight. But I generally avoid putting myself in the position of having to lose sleep, like leaving studying or a paper until the night before it's due so I have to cut into my sleep hours, or scheduling something that could run late if I have to be somewhere early the next day.

And I will get kind of bitchy insisting upon my right to sleep, too; if I can see there is going to be a problem with my sleep schedule (has happened when my entire schedule was subject to employer), I will address it to request something be changed (change times, get permission to leave early/arrive late, etc) and I will fight for it. Don't try to tell me I don't need it or that I should go without it just because you do; that's your choice, not mine, and our bodies do not work the same. And I simply do not buy into the unhealthy idea that subsisting on less sleep makes you "strong" or a superior person in some way.

. . . It's going to be interesting when I have kids, lol. I have many reasons I'd like to stay home with my kids when they're young, if I can, but this is one of the big ones when it comes to infants. I simply can't imagine trying to function at work the day after a baby has kept me up all night, when I don't have the chance to catch a nap when the baby is sleeping during the day. Hell, it's not even so much work that would be the problem-- it's crashing my car and killing somebody and/or myself on the commute!
tabular_rasa: (Wherefore?)
Once in a lifetime opportunity to witness Venus cross the sun in our line of vision! (Though, like an eclipse, probably not something you want to stare right at . . . ).

Robert has been taking pictures:
tabular_rasa: (Phwee?)
Silly Gif Meme )
tabular_rasa: (Duck/Cover)
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IHOP should serve their pumpkin pancakes (fall seasonal item) and gingerbread hot chocolate (holiday seasonal item) year-round! Though I'll admit maybe they wouldn't be as tasty on, say, a hot day in July.

Also, McDonalds needs to bring back their Hot Mustard sauce. (Assuming it's actually gone. They no longer mention it on their displayed lists of sauces, but I keep hearing from people who say that if you ask for it, they still have it-- and I haven't been in a McDonalds to ask for it in a while. But maybe that's just residual, leftover sauce they're trying to get rid of?). Honey Mustard is fine and all, but Hot Mustard is the shit; it has been my official McDonalds sauce since I was a preschooler. I pretty much can't eat McNuggets without it.

Additionally, Necco needs to bring back the original Sweethearts conversation hearts and ditch the new inferior recipe!
tabular_rasa: (Duck/Cover)
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Considering most movie adaptations butcher their source material, I think I'd rather spare the few of my favorites that haven't had the Hollywood treatment. But I suppose it's just a matter of time. I'm actually kind of surprised they haven't begun some CGI-tastic Redwall franchise yet. And while as a kid we had some animated VHS versions of Beatrix Potter stories (which were basically just moving versions of her actual illustrations, with the narration and dialogue exactly the same-- the way a book-to-movie adaptation should work, IMO) I'm still waiting for the hypermarketed Peter Rabbit with a big name voice actor and Happy Meal toys.

Or perhaps Michael Bay directs Pat the Bunny. The bunny will be an alien robot and Judy will have double-D breasts and be perpetually soaked or greasy and leaning against a car.

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I'm not sure the absolute longest, but it was certainly multiple hours. The one time I flew from the San Francisco airport I had to wait over two hours in the security line alone. They always recommend you arrive two hours before your flight, and I guess the San Francisco airport is why; I checked in more than two hours before my flight, but at the end of that line I had to run to catch my plane!

For a Harry Potter book release I waited 6 hours, but I wasn't in line the entire time, just captive in the bookstore.

Though any time I've had to wait more than two hours, you can be sure I was waiting with friends who could hold my place in line for me to duck out and use the bathroom, otherwise that shit was not happening.

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If we're talking literally timeless, as in it has actually been around forever, I'm going with a skirt or dress/tunic. Or whatever you would call it the first time someone thought to wrap a skin or some grasses around themselves to hide their private bits. "A good pair of jeans"? Several millennia of human civilization laughs at the hubris of a garment not yet 200 years old.
tabular_rasa: (Default)
Am I crazy that whenever I see quotes around individual words, I assume they are intended in either an ironic or sexual context? Apparently a lot of people put quotes around things to give them emphasis, but then my mind always reads them in a sleazy voice. In my head, a delicious burger and a "delicious" burger are two totally different things.

As another example, I recently saw this contest posting: Whoever guesses the amount of tornado watches issued for the Continental US by 7/31/12 (including those already issued) will win a "special" prize.

I'm sure it's just, like, a poster of a tornado or something, but what ran through my head is the prize must either:
a) involve semen
b) be really unpleasant, like the contest judges will personally see to it that a tornado touches down on my house

(And of course "special" in particular has ableist connotations, like maybe this prize would only appeal to the developmentally disabled).

I don't know why people have to use quotes in these circumstances. Isn't special prize, without the quotes, appealing enough? (Or in my case, more appealing?).
tabular_rasa: (Default)

Amy's Dewey Decimal Section:

135 Dreams & mysteries

Amy = 135 = 135 = 135

100 Philosophy & Psychology

Books on metaphysics, logic, ethics and philosophy.

What it says about you:
You're a careful thinker, but your life can be complicated and hard for others to understand at times. You try to explain things and strive to express yourself.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Sounds pretty appropriate! (Especially for something, um, completely and utterly random*). I love all of these subjects, And while I don't know about my life being "hard for others to understand," I do love expressing myself. Generally via long-windedly in LJ entries I'm frankly shocked you guys actually get through as often as you do :-

*Or based on numerology, apparently. Which, well, still may be completely and utterly random . . .
tabular_rasa: (Wherefore?)
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"Is life an experience we can *win* by doing the right things?-- or are we just here, and it is what we make of it?"

Though maybe I would start first with, "Are you actually there?"

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I still haven't broken it completely, but I've gotten a lot better about biting my nails. I made it a New Year's resolution at one point and while it didn't stop cold from there, since then it's only something I do when I'm really nervous, or get an intolerable hangnail or rough edge somewhere I don't have access to nail clippers. I've been impressed with myself that my nails actually get long enough now that I need to explicitly sit down and cut them down again. That never used to happen when I used to bite them all the time.

I'm also getting better about not touching or picking at my face as much as I used to, but still not perfect with that, either. I am still a chronic scab-picker.

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(As copied from a comment I left to [ profile] _toni)

I'm a little disappointed this question only asked about the solar system, because most of the astronomical things I'm especially fascinated by (thankfully) aren't local, like black holes. If I could visit a black hole without being stretched into an eternal moment of death? (Or at least come back from it afterward?). Um, awesome.

Visiting the edge of the universe, if it exists, would also be awesome. Is it like a wall or a floor? A glass window into another universe? Does it taper away eternally like some sort of weird hyperbola thing? Does it just become the other side of our own universe again? I dunno, but if I went there maybe I could find out.

Within the solar system, I might go for the sun, because 1) I did a report on it in third grade during our solar system unit so I feel the most special connection with it and 2) the sun is probably the last place in the universe anyone could ever visit, so if I could pop over there with no consequences, ie death? All over that shit.

Or Jupiter's Great Red Spot or Neptune's Great Dark Spot, because, uh, biggest baddest-ass storms EVER.
tabular_rasa: (Duck/Cover)
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Honestly? Right now, it's the song in Spanish about the mammoth that gets cancer and AIDs and throws himself off a building:

No clue why it's there right now. But I'm kind of glad it is, because what a wacky thing to answer this question with.

At least it's not the theme from Duck Tales, which is what plays by default when there's nothing else in my head.

In other news:

What's My Tarot Card? )
tabular_rasa: (Fuck!)
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Attraction at first sight? Of course. But love? No.

Being mutually attracted to another person is a good first step towards love, but it does not guarantee it. Love is much deeper than simply being drawn to each other from across a crowded room; you have to do a lot more than just look at someone to love them.

I was very attracted to Robert the first time I met him-- at first physically, and after talking to him, it was clear there was a lot of chemistry between our personalities, too. It's probably the closest to love-at-first-sight I'd ever experienced, in that the interest and desire to pursue was very dramatic straight out of the gate. But I didn't love him after one look, or after one night of talking. That took weeks and months of getting to know each other and sharing bonding experiences. If we'd never seen each other again, I would hardly be justified in saying I loved him; I wouldn't even know him!

At least most people I know don't believe in love at first sight; it seems mostly to be the myth of teens who haven't been in a functional relationship long enough to feel the difference between a crush and real love, or the occasional adult who wants to believe the moment of initial attraction they felt for their current partner was somehow different, special, and fated for whatever reason. (Which I don't exactly understand, because I think the fact you chose to pursue the other person and invest the time to create a history together is a much more romantic gesture than just having been fated). But I guess who can blame them, the way the media makes love out to be all in *one look* or whatever? I think instead of saying, "I knew I loved him/her at first sight," it would be healthier if people said, "I was so attracted to him/her the moment we met, I just had to see where it would go-- and it led to love."

(Too verbose? Well, get used to it. Another favorite myth about love is that you can say little or nothing at all and your partner will automatically understand you. FALSE, TRY AGAIN).
tabular_rasa: (Default)
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Default programmed electronic voice: "Your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system."
My recorded voice: "Amy ___."
Default programmed electronic voice: " . . . is not available. At the tone, please record your message."
Or something like that.

Yeah, when I got my new phone, I realized after about a week that I had given my number to several people I was waiting to hear from but had forgotten to set up my voicemail, so I set it up in a hurry with one of the default messages. (I did extend the effort to leave my name, though, because I had changed my number, and any time I call a number I've never called before I like to hear the person's name in the message so I can verify I called the right place). And I just haven't bothered to change it. I wouldn't use anything clever, though, because my cell phone is the only phone I have and I don't want to turn off potential employers and things like that. Being a grown-up is no fun.
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