I’m terribly addicted to the quizzes that pop up all over Facebook; we once had the temple at Delphi telling us to “Know Thyself,” and now we have Buzzfeed.
[moment of silence for approaching end of civilization]
Anyway. The one that’s making the rounds right now is “My Most Used Words on FB.” If the OED has deemed an emoji the word of the year, I’m thinking that a post about my most-used words on a social media site is practically dissertation-quality material.
It took a lot of censoring to get my name and location off that screenshot.
One at the center is puzzling; I can’t figure out what context made that the #1 word.
My mother (cough Avril Incandenza cough) had trained me to use “one” when speaking: “One would think . . . .” That could have been the origin of this #1 (heh) word, but my college roommate immediately set out to rectify this grammatical situation. She either repeated whatever I’d just said, substituting a militant “you” or just outright threatened me. It worked.
I do like the reading of “I’m also one.” It sounds like some sort of riff on “Imagine.”
If you don’t know this version, listen. Also Google her. She managed to disappear.
I also like that my manifesto (well, it’s my manifesto as of this afternoon, when this quiz gave it to me) appears in there (reading down, on the left):
However, there’s also some life advice that I ought to listen to more often:
take happy around always
I’m betting most people reading this never leave home without their phones. Do you leave home without your happy?
Instagram your happy. Tweet it. Hashtag it. The world will be okay without another picture of coffee.
I feel like morning favorite coffee please is completely self-explanatory to anyone who knows me. Particularly to anyone who’s been around me in the morning. Morning and I swipe left on Tinder (did I get that right?).
many trying tried bad represents a lot of what went south over the past year. But that’s two forms of the word “try” versus one “bad,” so trying wins 2:1 over bad. I hope. And good is many, many times bigger than “bad.”
gnomes is also much bigger than “bad.” So that’s what life needs: more good, more gnomes. There is more goodness and more gnomes in the world than bad– if you’re looking and willing to believe in things that others say don’t exist.
I don’t know what the next current anything is, for tomorrow, let alone next year. That does indeed drive me crazy. Hopefully change.
All I’ve got at the moment is a great big now. And now I’m writing a post because this is therapy. I’m reading a book because there was a while there when I couldn’t, so I’m making up for lost time. It feels good. I cooked dinner, because wonderful people (on Facebook!) helped me find cooking resources. And that feels like an accomplishment. I crashed the coffee place again, because it was a beautiful day, and I got to wander around downtown at some length. I sat outside and read. Fussed with my plants.
And that nowis important because today started off really, really horribly. If I have to string a bunch of nows together like beads on a chain to pull through, then that’s what I have to do.
Mini-post! Title sort of, not really, kind of related to content! Mostly an excuse to post a clip of my Higher Power: Julia Sugarbaker.
I have an entry almost ready to go (in draft), but it’s not quite there, and I’m not in the mood to t-h-i-n-k tonight: It’s about a sci-fi novel, and I started it last week, before the Hugo winners were announced. In other words, it’s semi-relevant, which is a big change around here.
So I’m going to do a mini-entry that has absolutely nothing to do with anything instead! The more things don’t change . . . .
Presenting three snapshots from today. Your choice of funny, musical, and beatdown-needed.
Snapshot from Today
I stopped to get a late lunch in between two appointments; I’d gotten three fillings in the morning and had put off eating for the obvious Novocaine-mouth reasons. Here’s how ordering went:
Me: . . . and a soda.
Her: A side?
Me: No, thanks. Just a soda.
Her: Did you say a salad?
Me: A COKE.
Behold, regionalisms at work. I felt like Ernest T. Bass by the end of the exchange:
Then again, I often feel like Ernest T., so this isn’t anything particularly new:
I feel like I should mention here that there were not a lot of TV options when I was a kid. I’m equally proficient in 50s/60s B monster movies, but they typically lack Life Lessons.
Julia Sugarbaker would have handled it more effectively.
40th Anniversary Is Rubies; Pretty Sure This One Is Multi-Platnium
In other news (file under: FEEL OLD YET?), the radio is doing a marathon celebration of the anniversary of Born to Run: August 25, 1975.
As always, my main danger for arrest is reckless driving, brought on by radio-induced enthusiasm. For those of us who really, really can’t sing (see: the episode where Barney tries to sing in the choir), the car is a safe haven for wholehearted belting and dancing like no one is watching (I did apologize once to someone; I had parked next to what I thought was an unoccupied vehicle in a parking lot, only to realize her father was sitting in it; unfortunately for all involved, he had his window down, and I was letting the world know that I didn’t give a damn about my reputation).
At any rate, I spent a lot of time today listening to the preparation for the Day of St. Bruce (hey, Boss’s Day is already taken). Needless to say, I heard “Born to Run” itself multiple time (swerve, veer, swerve) as well as “Thunder Road,” both Top Ten All-Time Favorites (see previous post), “Thunder Road” being way up there in the Top Ten (a subcategory of the definition I neglected to mention: being “way up there”). “Hungry Heart” made an appearance too, for some reason.
I’d like to point out that all three of these songs have something in common: for the person who gets way too wrapped up in lyrical performance while driving, they’re all pretty much versified prescriptions for wrecks:
“But Officer! I wasn’t driving carelessly; I’m just chrome-wheeled, fuel-injected, and stepping out over the line!”
“But I’m pulling out of here to win! I can’t do that AND pay attention to the speed limit . . . or the lanes . . . or other cars . . . .”
[cooly gazes over shades] “I’m not from around here. I went out for a ride . . . and I never went back.”
I really have no idea how to relate Bruce Springsteen to Designing Women. Ideas in comments?
A major point here is: I’m a longtime, firm believer in radio tarot. I have no idea if that’s something other people have heard of or do. At any rate, what it means is that the car radio is your horoscope for whatever you’re on your way to do. Needless to say, the rules exist in my head (and you don’t want to go there). Positive song, positive outcome, obviously. Added points for a song you really like. Even more if you hear the whole thing (rather than coming in on the end or having to cut it off mid-song). You probably get it. And yes, theoretically, a sad song can still have some plus points if it’s something you really love. I told you to stay out of my head.
Incidentally, for the scientific value, a recent study confirmed that, even if a song is sad, it can still improve your mood.
Yes, I AM aware that current/new artists exist. I even listen to some of them!
Should the mother of the young girl in the waiting room with me, by some extreme coincidence, read this: She was trying to get you to take the very simple quiz from National Geographic Kids. You would ignore each question until about the third time she asked, then give a dismissive answer. Finally, you told her to leave her alone and go wash her face: she’d gotten it painted in art class and very clearly, even to me, a complete stranger, was still excited about it.
I was mentally walloping you with my book. I hope you felt it. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR KID. IT WILL NOT KILL YOU TO HELP HER ENDURE THE TIME IN A WAITING ROOM. HOW DO YOU THINK SHE FELT WHEN YOU TOLD HER TO WASH HER FACE?
I’m done. I needed to get that out.
Julia Sugarbaker would have schooled her on the spot, not on a blog. Sigh.
Image: The following post is tangentially/nominally/supposedly music-related. Name that screenshot!
Title: Latest brainstorm, brought to you by caffeine: let’s revive the cassingle! Can I afford a record player? No way. LPs? Nope. Do I still have a functional Walkman? Indeed! Am I somewhat to relatively sure that there are cassingles stashed at my parents’ house? Sort of, maybe! I could be on the cutting edge here!
Though personally vinyl-less, I can still be obsessive. Shown below is the back of Dwight Yoakam‘s Gone (1995), my original and only copy of the CD. I listened to it 157 times in the first five days I had it (incidentally, I was at church camp) and still play it. Please view the condition:
This heart of stone / Sure is missing you . . .
We won’t go into things like my still-functional early-2000s-cost-way-less, far-surperior-to, put-out-of-omission-by-Apple Nomad, mp3s, still-extant mixtapes, homemade CDs, etc. In short: I like music.
First, Some Quizzes!
How did “know thyself” apply before online quizzes? This time, I’m switching from Buzzfeed to Playbuzz. I’m pretty sure that constitutes variety.
Which Member of the 27 Club Are You?
You are a free spirit. You believe in telling the truth. You live deep in your emotions and always on the search for love. You’re not concerned about tomorrow, you are only thinking about the moment. You get it while you can. Rock on! You are Janis Joplin!
Pretty sure it was my actual taste in music rather than my personality that produced this answer. I’m fine with it, though. My copy of Pearl has been with me a long, long time.
What is your 70’s Anthem?
Many words have been used to describe Freddie Mercury and Queen’s timeless classic BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY: Strange, quirky, blasphemous, invigorating, and of course – epic – All of which are words that could be used to describe the innards of both your mind and soul. A poppy and energetic individual whose imagination knows no bounds, this song’s winding thematics and brazenly over-the-top elements were made to accompany you! This is the song you need to be blaring in the car whenever you need a piece of music to make your soul soar.
::wipes tears:: Thank . . . just . . . thank you. You really have no idea how much this means to me. Or how often Queen probably really is what is making my car swerve down the road (if not Queen, Springsteen– Queen, The Boss: I guess I like titles?).
Okay, but seriously: invigorating, epic, poppy, energetic, etc.? Maybe I’m living a Fight Club scenario where I have a double I don’t know about? You know, I really don’t sleep that much . . .
(. . . “and dying” . . .)
We interrupt this profound message with an equally profound question: how many Taylor Swift quizzes does this world need?
Which Southern Woman Are You?
Well, maybe the title didn’t scream music, but I took it anyway– and I got a musical result. Therefore:
Country music singer from Butcher Holler, Kentucky. She is well -known for singing about her home and her distinct perspective as a woman in country music. Some of her most popular songs are “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “The Pill,” “One’s on the Way,” and “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” a duet with Conway Twitty.
There was something (still on Playbuzz) about ranking songs from movies. I didn’t look at it, because I’m just going to insert my own pick:
I took a musician lookalike quiz based solely on appearance questions (hair, eye color– very basic): Beyoncé?
This, in case you live under a rock, is Beyoncé.
This is me. I DO live under a rock.
Which 80s Alt. Band Wrote the Soundtrack of Your Life?
I think we ALL already know the answer to this one, pre-quiz . . .
The soundtrack of your life was written by The Smiths! Half funny and half morose, you’re a bit of an oddball and proud of it! You are extremely emotional and intense, always juggling between your idealism and cynicism. You enjoy a more classic look, and will always think outside the box when given an opportunity. You have to do what feels right, even if it means facing social scorn; whether that means being outwardly celibate or calling your album Meat is Murder. The Smith’s passionate vocals, witty lyrics, and jangley guitars are what sing you to sleep.
No quiz needed: self-evident.
True story: I was watching the video for “There Is a Light that Never Goes Out” (late) one night, and YouTube froze. Completely. The universe, over and out!
99 out of 100 Scientists Endorse This Section
I have absolutely no idea who most of the people in the quizzes are. Who’s this person, Taylor Swift? 98% of the quizzes are about her. Oh, and I took an 80s hair band one, but I’m not going to post the result. It was shameful. Is there a good answer for an 80s hair band?
*But I am not a snob! [cough]
Except maybe I’m really not. This study started making the rounds recently; roughly, what it says is that you stop listening to new music around age 33. More specifically, it’s when people stop listening to mainstream/popular music and return to old favorites or start heading into the non-mainstream.
Apparently, I was 33 by the time I was in high school. If this were a Faulkner novel, that would be symbolic, but it’s late, and I’m tired. Talk amongst yourselves.
For instance: WHAT?
It also says that having children ages you about four music-years. I knew I was staying young . . . somehow. These children’s albums seem like a pretty good compromise, though.
Or: here’s a quick sampling I worked up:
Available to babysit!
Though it seems only fair to mention the song that I listened to repeatedly when I was very small (I don’t really remember, but my parents claim I said it made my pigs dance). And I just realized that yes, I do still have a copy of this album– not the original LP that was at home, because it’s probably long-since destroyed:
So my taste in music stopped at . . . about age two? Always have to be the one to skew the statistics. That’s not really true, anyway; it just got odder (=less popular).
I’m thinking about it now, and I can’t figure out how it landed on the obscure. This was pre-Internet, and I didn’t have access to a music store (or music magazines); if you got music, it came from (the) Wal-Mart, a sometimes trip out of town, or the very rare trip to see family in New York, where there was . . . Tower Records (RIP).
“Politics, Religion, and Her” (does anyone else remember that?)
The #1 getting-to-know-you question that I hate (often involved in awkward introductions) is “what kind of music do you listen to”? Whether or not it starts out as an innocent ice-breaker, it turns into the ultimate do-or-die personality test/character evaluation/judgment test. Are you disagreeing with me right now? Nope. This one’s universal; everyone does it, to some extent.
Let’s try this out with a quiz. Mostly because I want to play with a poll.
In all seriousness (well, not really; serious doesn’t really happen here): how do you answer that? You run the risk of showing your age, having to add “before they were cool,” expressing borderline stalker-level devotion, appearing to acknowledge the existence of only Top 40 radio (or to disdain it completely on High Moral Principle), etc. And if you just say “a little of everything,” it’s a cop-out.
My advice to you, son, is if someone asks you this question, jump out the nearest window.
“. . . And to You It’s Just Words”
The only alternative approach: I’ve done a post before about words invented by families (etc.). Another one from mine is “Top Ten All-Time Favorite,” defined thus:
Top-Ten All-Time Favorite (n.): A song that is definitely, absolutely one of your favorites. Several rules apply to its use. If a song that this applies to is playing, you must A) announce that it is a top ten all-time favorite and B) increase the volume (no matter how many people are violently objecting). Crucially, the number of favorites you have must be nowhere near ten; the closer you can get to triple digits, the better. Don’t even pretend that it’s just ten; call out favorites as often as you wish. Once you turn pro, you earn the privilege of designating top ten favorites by X artist, top ten favorites in X genre (in X decade, with X type of harmony, etc.). Again, don’t bother keeping it anywhere near 10.
“Born to Run!” Top Ten All-Time Favorite!
“Out in the Street!” Top Ten All-Time Springsteen favorite!
“Girls in Their Summer Clothes!” Top Ten All-Time Springsteen summer song favorite!
“Jungleland!” Top Ten All-Time Big Man solo favorite!
All the above was purely, um, hypothetical, of course. Nothing I personally have ever said. Yep.
The Conclusion You’ve All Been Waiting for: I Shut Up
To wind this sucker down, I will now show you what’s behind door #3 (and yes, I’m aware you can’t actually see anything): my still-extant CD collection, or at least the part of it that’s made it to my 1,000 year old CD rack (the rest awaits sorting and copying). I was planning to offload a substantial portion of it, until someone mentioned the possibility of losing all my digital media: hello, paranoia, my old friend. You’ll see that the CDs are still here. Those are empty LP sleeves on the wall, all scavenged (and belonging, I assume, to defunct LPs); the Real Deal is an investment I can’t afford. Behold: symbolism!
CDs: mid-90s to present. Taste: mid-questionable to very much so. Cropping to try to hide scarves on bedroom door: screwed up the picture.
Post title: Joe Hill’s last words (prior to execution by firing squad). Image: Woody Guthrie and his famous guitar (“this machine kills fascists”).
So this will actually appear May 2nd. Isn’t it stylish to be late and all that? If you disagree with that, see also this Smithsonian article about time as a social construct. BOOM.
I never learn my lessons. History thus repeats itself.
. . . except I think I am one. As a customer at work said to me: “You write like my old man!”
A moment of theory so I can pretend I’m putting my education to use:
That’s all, folks!
So: May Day/International Workers’ Day/(real) Labor Day in emoji. Yes, your life is now complete. You’re welcome.
Arise, ye workers from your slumbers.
Also, yes, a Spotify playlist to go along with this, because why not? The songs and performers are all a mixed bag; for instance, I found one site that listed 800+ workers’ songs. These are arbitrary choices, pretty much. Some really great ones aren’t here simply because I just plain couldn’t work them out (if you’ve got one, feel free to drop it in the comments). The performers are also fairly arbitrary; some are personal favorite versions/very famous renditions, but others are just why nots? So many of these have so many versions that it’s difficult to pick one.
*Please note that many/most of these emojis got weird somewhere between the composing and publishing stage (as I see now that I’ve done a preview). There were a variety of skin tones, and that seems to have eradicated itself. I’m not sure what “version” of the emojis is showing up in the actual post, but it’s NOT the one I’m seeing here and used to write this thing.
Several versions on Spotify, but none can top the actual Woodstock version. So here.
🙋🚜 (Maggie’s Farm)– Of course!
 My hypothetical daughter would/Alice does know this.
I am Woman, hear me . . .
 While doing the Spotify playlist, I found the Lady Sovereign version of this. What have we come to??? And no, this is not me being old. Listen and compare the lyrics, for crying out loud.
[3a] Title according to my brother: “Hippie Commie Song by that Guy Who Can’t Sing.”
[3b] See 3a.
[3c] For full list of singers and bands this applies to (according to my brother), schedule a week off work and bring a recording device. Also many tapes. Also batteries. Generator?
[3d] I like David Foster Wallace. I think that’s come up.
 Spotify list is Peter, Paul, and Mary– yes, I know their band name doesn’t actually contain the Oxford comma, but welcome to my blog. Anyway, I definitely told my brother that “Puff, the Magic Dragon” was about drugs. Eh, sorry?
 This has an “explicit” warning next to it on Spotify, for all those who, um, yeah, I really don’t know who actually needs that.
 Every song written or performed by Phil Ochs could pretty much be on here.
Got a favorite song I didn’t cover here? Leave a note in the comments, and I’ll see what I can do . . .
At any rate, maybe you want to up your game. Maybe a heart or an eggplant just doesn’t say how you truly feel. Technically, this post was reader-suggested (well, the emoji part; I’m the one who went all kinky with it, DUH); therefore, mashing all that together, this is going to be an advice column for the technology-addicted lovelorn.
I long to communicate my innermost desires and feelings o’ passion to anyone in my contacts list I might reasonably have a shot at. My feelings are as multilayered and nuanced as the finest Harlequin Romance writer’s, though, and I simply can’t cram the swelling tides of passion that o’erflow my heart into one cartoonish symbol. Help my thumbs speak eloquently!
Struck Dumb on a Smartphone
Dear Struck Dumb,
Had smartphones existed in Shakespeare’s day, imagine how much more transcendent the sonnets would have been! Picture Donne’s “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning“– the whole final stanza could simply be a picture of a compass! I’m completely re”writing” my personal favorite, Auden’s “Lullaby.” “Lay your 😴 my 💘, / 👤 on my 🚫 ⛪️ 💪; / ⌚️ and 😷 🌋 away / Individual 🌈 from / 📚 👶, and the grave / 👏 the 👶 🍃 . . . .”  The humdrum, limited language of these soon-to-be-forgotten poets is not for you, my dear; you will write the pithy, epic sexts that will be the cultural touchstones of the 21st century! Just get ready to take notes (screencaptures?) . . .
A nice, gentle one to ease you into this: “kiss me slowly.” (via Buzzfeed)
Choose one: A) All about that Bass; B) Fat-Bottomed Girls; C) I Like Big Butts; D) My Pet Theory, They’re All the Same Song (Paper forthcoming: “Butt Appreciation: It’s the Same Old Song”). Okay, fine: it’s asking about getting to second base. (via nymag.com) 
Twerking fails to impress.
Looks like somebody’s getting lucky tonight. (via Buzzfeed)
Pretty obvious, though I do wonder: is that a glass of wine apiece, or does it take two glasses of wine to get to that point? Sub beer if that’s your thing.🍺 (via Buzzfeed)
My personal favorite: want to join the Mile High Club? Here’s how to ask. (via Buzzfeed)
This one is dedicated to the current situation above me. Use as you see fit. (my own)
👀 📬 👰
Not finding tru luv on Tinder? Mail order is always an option! (my own)
Steamy. Theoretically, you could tack on another shower. You know, a cool down. Yeah, never mind.
BUT . . .
👉 + ❄️ 🚿 = 🚨
does make it clear someone needs to take it down a notch. (my own)
Suggestive can be good:
Urban Dictionary top meaning: a smoking hot female; female with a fine ass; beautiful curvaceous ass. My understanding is that, in the context of the song, it referred to the band member, and (duh) underage promiscuity and general hell-raising. Which is basically all Runaways/Joan Jett songs, give or take the underage bit.
. . . and I just came up with one for “Do You Wanna Touch Me?” in my head, but I’m going to stop myself before this entire thing turns into a Joan Jett emoji post, and some psychoanalyst finds it, and I end up in a mental health journal. Or TMZ.
There are always other songs
👀m on 🔥
Bruce’s hottest song? YOU DECIDE. 
Okay, referencing “The Ship Song” is going to work on a limited audience, but it includes me, and this is MY blog. So. There.
And, my lord, Cale is on stage with him. What else can I give you? Oh, yes, MOJO’s recent artist profile, where he is called “the Satanic Sinatra.” 👺🎤
Finally, I’d really like to see someone come up with a translation for this one:
Annie Hall again, yes. Your point?
So there’s your quick guide. I should mention that this post comes with a 100% in no way guaranteed guarantee that you’ll live happily ever after.
Well, at least you’ll have a great soundtrack!
 Eh, the Harlequin covers were boring. You’re getting a 50s pulp instead:
This is pretty much also the subtitle of this post. Or this blog. Whatever.
 Seriously, how are you supposed to convey “ephemeral”? Where’s the emoji set for wordy nerdy types?
 After presenting this theory to one person, they declared: “Sir Mix-A-Lot: an ardent supporter of feminism since 1992.”
 Best Springsteen article ever. Also citing because I won a comment award for what I said there. But, um, you seriously might not actually want to read what I wrote there, because you’ll definitely never be able to un-know it.