I'm doing a somewhat-early blog tonight. It's been a little busy today, what with groceries, podiatrist (just a check - everything's good), some laundry, and even a floor scrubbing or two in there. I think all that calls for an early night.
These photo blogs put me in mind of memes - you know, the '20 Questions About Yourself' mini-quizzes. I suppose I could just state the day's 'assignment' and post a photo with it, and let it go at that. Readers could draw their own conclusions and make up stories to go with.
But nah. You know me. Would I pass up the chance to put my two cents' worth in?
On to today's blog: it's a two-parter, and darned if I can see much relationship between the two. Takes me right back to the idea that the creator of this couldn't decide which one to use, so used both.
The first is "A picture of your iPod or other music-playing device on shuffle, and then list the first 10 songs that play." The second is "A picture of something you hate."
I'm going to tackle the second half first if only to salve my troubled heart at leaving you with a picture of misery.
A few days ago we were watching a wildlife program - there are some wonderful nature filmographers these days. The show was about a relatively small area of Africa. Of course they got into an overlong segment about predators and prey.
Now, I don't think of myself as exceptionally squeamish. I know what goes on - and I'm not a vegetarian - but that doesn't mean I want it graphically displayed for me. This program did exactly that, dwelling on a cheetah's dinner to the extent that I said to Himself 'I'm sorry, but I really can't watch this. I don't have a problem if you want to finish watching it, but it's just too gross for me.'
I have seen very few horror movies. For years, I was an avid Stephen King fan. The thing is, I have a vivid imagination, and I can well picture blood 'n' gore from the descriptions. My mind's eye is self-censoring, so I can avoid the extremes - which I can't do very well if I'm trying to watch a movie. (And yes, I've been known to close my eyes.)
Back to things I hate:
--I hate violence.
--I hate cruelty.
--I hate intolerance.
I deplore mindless destruction. I get very angry about apathy, and disrespect, and unkindness. But how do you depict these things?
I put 'cruelty' into a search engine. Oh my. Big mistake. The pictures that came up were harrowing, and I'll leave it at that.
I tried 'intolerance,' but that didn't quite cut it either. I used a few other descriptive nouns, but nothing really gelled.
Like with the cheetah's prey, I know these things exist. In the case of human (and even animal) suffering I try to contribute, and feel guilty for not doing 'enough,' whatever 'enough' would encompass. The poor - and the abused, and the sick, and the persecuted - we have ever with us. I try to content myself with '...and we do what we can.'
After all that, I chose this picture:
...because in some ways I feel that 'Injustice' is the root of all evil. If we practiced that fundamental law of all religions, all morality, we would truly do unto others and there would be no room for injustice in the world.
Let's go back and pick up part one.
I don't have an iPod. I wouldn't begin to know how to use it. My daughter has one that's loaded with, oh, I dunno, hours worth of music, a truly heroic mix. I'm so lost when it comes to hi-tech things like iPods, Kindles, even my smartphone. I'm guessing that with so many different songs packed onto one disc you could get an illuminating mix, giving you a good idea of the kind of music someone prefers.
The stereo I have is for a single CD, so I don't generally bother with random / shuffle. I don't play it all that often either.
There was a time when I had music in the background every day, all day. Whether it was the radio, a stereo, or even (eventually) MTV, I was immersed in music. Then I sort of got out of the habit.
I had a favorite 'classic rock' station I used to listen to in PA, and when I first moved to England they were available online. But they quit broadcasting over the 'net, and I think that's one reason I kind of moved away from music.
When the ex-husband left I couldn't take listening to the songs that had accompanied our relationship - we started dating at the end of '77, and I've known him since first grade, so the music of our teen years as well as that throughout the '70s and '80s and well into the '90s provided a backdrop. We usually listened to old rock, 'easy listening,' a smattering of folk, things like that. The anguish of hearing music that was so intertwined with one of the happiest times of my life was more than I could bear - probably another reason I cut back on music.
Somewhere along the line, in the late 1990s, I was in a music store flipping through the bargain bin and came across some opera recordings. No painful associations there, for sure. And at a buck apiece, what the hey. So I selected several Puccini operas. I didn't know anything about opera, but I'd heard the name Puccini, so that's what I went with.
I fell in love with it. I've learned a bit about opera in the meantime, and I have wonderful recordings of a couple of Mozart's operas (The Marriage of Figaro - yay; The Magic Flute - bah), 'standards' like Bizet's Carmen, not-so-mainstream like Saint-Saens' Samson & Delilah. I avoid Wagner like the plague - truly not my bag. The first opera I ever saw onstage was Rigoletto, so it has a place of honor in my little collection.
Himself's father - who I always called 'Mr G,' rather than Dad - loved just about every kind of music. Himself is an only child, and when Mr G died (Mrs G having died many years before) we inherited his music collection. What a wide-ranging variety!
He had learned to play the piano starting when he was about 5, then went on to become semi-professional on the organ (in fact, for a time he made money working part-time at movie theatres, playing organ accompaniment to silent movies). He said classical music was his first love, but there were so many others he was also keen on.
Among his CDs we found many versions of classical pieces, but also Gershwin, the Beatles, Charlotte Church, Gaelic folk music, Jake Thackeray, and yes, even George Formby. A lot of operas new to me were in the mix as well. Himself gave me Mr G's radio-stereo, which is here in the office beside my desk. I found a photo online:
I hadn't played it in about a week, and since it only holds one album at a time, as I said, I don't think it would mean much to play it on random, so instead I checked to see what's in it.
Puccini's Turandot. You could've predicted.
We'll let that represent the first assignment, shall we?
Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!