Tag Archives: repetitiveness

Non Sequiturs Galore

Every so often (or, as I called it back when I listened to the radio, “all the time”), a song comes around that’s not too bad on the first listen, but rapidly turns annoying, often due to some tedious bit that repeats ad nauseum.

I’m not sure that the song I highlighted today ever entirely outstayed its’ welcome, but there is one bit that once you realise it makes absolutely no sense, there’s not really any going back.

Welcome to “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers.

“I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier.”

Well, I’m sure that’s very nice for you, but do you happen to know what a non sequitur is?

“I’ve got ham but I’m not a hamster.” Apparently Bill Bailey already did this one. I may even have heard it from him, I’ve watched a couple of his shows, but I think I also came to it independently. Either “Great minds think alike”, or it’s just the obvious gag, but there’s no reason to stop there…

I’ve got toes, but I’m not a toaster.

I’ve got hips, but I’m not a hipster.

I’ve got abs, but I’m not an abstract.

I’ve got eyes, but I’m not an iceberg.

I’ve got pain, but I’m not a painting.

I’ve got pills, but I’m not a Pilsner.

I’ve got tea, but I’m not a teacher.

I’ve got poise, but I’m not a poison.

I’ve got wind, but I’m not a window.

I’ve got fat, but I’m not a fatwa.

I’ve got a car, but I’m not a carpet.

I’ve got a toy, but I’m not a toilet.

Every time I hear the song, they just keep coming! It keeps making no sense!

(“Yeah, you know you got to help me out…”)

Make it stop!

(“Yeah, oh don’t you put me on the backburner…”)

What gems can you add to this pile of parody? It’s ok, the song’s asking for it.

(“Yeah, you’re gonna bring yourself down…”)

(“I’ve got soul…”)

“I’m in pain! I think this is what pain feels like!”

I’ve had a bit of trouble staying comfortable in my seat. On its own it soon feels not padded enough. I’ve experimented with combinations of pillows and cushions. Recently went without anything again for a few days, and was getting up awkward and stiff. Added some cushions back in, feeling started getting worse.  Last night I tried a small exercise ball (more like a kids’ space hopper, actually), I made the chair shorter to be at a reasonable height.

Pain got worse. Top of my right leg, there’s a part I can touch on the side that will flare up when I do. No sign of swelling, or anything like that. Going to bed last night, found it hard to get my leg into bed, hard getting a comfortable position. Tried aspirin, which kicked in after about an hour, then I could sleep.

Walking around the house today hasn’t been fun, nor sitting, nor lying down. Nor just standing.

Ibuprofen has been working a lot better after switching to it this morning, but still taking all movement carefully. Get warning twinges whenever I move wrong, seems to be a muscle that I use for EVERYTHING, moving or relaxing. Still, with the ibuprofen, I can find twinge-free positions to stay in for lengths of time.

Really hope I’m feeling better tomorrow.

I’ll leave you with a poem I made up earlier today:

Ow ow, ow ow, ow ow,
Ow ow, ow ow, ow ow.
Ow ow, ow ow,
Ow ow, ow ow:
Ow ow, ow ow, ow ow.

Review: Into The Woods

My sister-in-law put this movie on hold at the library, and it came in shortly before her holiday, gallivanting off to the Old Country (England, of course), with a friend.

I don’t think she managed to see it before she left, and it’s due back before she gets home (apparently it was an option on one of her planes, so maybe she’ll get to see it anyway).

Into The Woods is a musical that appeared on Broadway in the late ’80s, but was not adapted into a movie until 2014. I think I’d managed to not really know about the story at all (I think I registered the term “fairytale” along the way). I rarely look at the Entertainment Weeklys that breed like Tribbles in the bathroom reading rack, so I didn’t read about it there. There’s something good about watching a movie with no hype, no preconceptions.

The story itself does feel like a theatrical production, though the film does seem to spread out characters and locations more than I would expect to see on stage. And of course the effects. Very difficult to do CG on stage.

We tend to watch shows and movies with subtitles on, makes it easier when kids are being loud. Only Youngest was in the room when we watched it, the others being in their own beds, and that was plenty to justify subtitles. A lot of those song lines go really quick, though, so the subtitles were nice in that respect as well.

A lot of the songs seemed to show up, go away, then come back, sometimes as throwaway lines in other songs, so a lot of the soundtrack seemed to blend together, didn’t really seem to have a lot of variety. But on the other hand, it never seemed to be repetitive enough to be tedious, and if you’ve been following my opinions on music much, you’ll know it doesn’t take a lot for me to get annoyed at music.

In telling four fairytale stories (Red Riding Hood, Jack And The Beanstalk, Cinderella, and Rapunzel), while weaving them together with a fifth story, some parts seemed to be shorter or less developed than I would like. Johnny Depp’s Wolf was fun, but essentially gets one scene. Red Riding Hood’s Granny was Annette Crosby in a blink-and-you-miss-it part. Rapunzel herself didn’t feel very developed and then isn’t really seen after her “happily ever after”.

Any perceived shortcomings didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the film. I like the actors (I didn’t realise that a particular character was Frances De La Tour until the end!), I liked the songs (more for the complexity and their part in furthering the narrative). It was fun.

For me, it didn’t reach the heights of “everybody should see this film!”. Although the fairytale-mashup genre has been done almost to the point of cliche since Shrek burst onto the scene, Into The Woods gets a free pass because technically it predated all of them. IMDB’s cumulative user rating is 6.0 for this film, and that doesn’t seem unfair. A bit above average, , but not so far as to be outstanding.

Radio Killed The Radio Star

Coming out of a discussion that just happened in the room behind me (that I joined in with). There’s something about not having control over the music you’re listening to.

There have been several places I’ve worked where the radio has been on for the enjoyment (or otherwise) of the employees.

One was a relatively small store, where we had a little boom box on out back, in the warehouse area of the store. Sometimes we’d bring in CDs, but most of the time we’d hear the radio. A lot of the time we weren’t back there, being on the shop floor, but even then it was clear that some stations were more repetitive than others. Virgin’s “No Repeat 9-5″ offered some reprieve to this sameness… until you clued in to the fact that the playlist was pretty much the same every day. You could just about set your clock by the appearance of some of the songs – if I remember correctly (it was ten years ago), there was a period where the great November Rain by Guns ‘n’ Roses without fail would come on right before the 11 o’clock news. Made it easy to find out what the song was called.

Out on the road, by that point, I had started reverting to the rather more talky Radio 2.

A few years later, I was working in a rather large distribution centre on a night shift. The shift lengths varied a bit over the years I was there – it was between 8 and 10 hours a night. They played radio there, too: I think the station got picked by one of the office workers, I know it changed sometimes.

The speakers in the area I worked in were relatively small for the area they had to cover. Other parts of the complex, you could hear more clearly. Where I spent the most time, you could hear the higher frequencies kinda ok, and the lower frequencies not at all. The upshot being, if there was an annoying part to a song, you would get that scratched into your brain.

For example, Beyonce’s “All The Single Ladies” was popular at the time, and you couldn’t hear the grungey electro-industrial weirdness that runs under the song. You could hear the singer, but not particularly clearly. The part where she repeats “All the single ladies” over and over – it sounded very much like “I want cigarettes”.

Another song that became particularly obnoxious very quickly was Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars”. There was one song, and I think it was this one, that I counted five times in one shift. Seriously? A century of recorded music and you have to play that whiny junk over and over again? (incidentally, this also was the only song that carried through our floor from the shop below, while I was trying to get to sleep. Un-fun…)

Actually, most of the songs I tired of easily (Single Ladies, too) just sounded so whiny. The tinny speakers didn’t help, of course.

But even pre-tinny speakers. “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt. Just as whiny. (May I recommend the Dead Ringers parody version.)

As music radio became more tedious to listen to, I started listening to other things. Especially in that distribution centre job. Final Fantasy MIDIs on my phone soon became mp3s of my CDs, soon became podcasts and podiobooks. I’d venture to say that podcasts have changed my life. This may not have been possible without the utter tediosity that radio has become, so I can’t be entirely ungrateful.

I’m not quite in the same boat as Queen, though. “Radio, someone still loves you!” That wouldn’t be me. Radio, I’d be happy to love you again, but most of the time you’re just not really worth listening to.


Reading Program update: Oldest hit 9 hours altogether, Middlest hit two. I reached one hour total from reading to kids (today’s half-hour reading to Middlest, most of that was a chapter of The House At Pooh Corner) and five minutes on my stopwatch from reading to myself, in a little break, and I didn’t count thumbing through a newspaper from 1975.