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Why do you walk across the fields? You hear the rumbling of the train coming and the dog has already run past you on its way into the brush where it will bury its snout in a pile of critters. What will it sniff, let me ask you? I think the noise coming from the girls swimming in the pool is so distant I can barely hear the splashing. And yet the dog can sniff that splash from afar, the scent of young maiden flesh rises from the pool and, like a trail cut across by a barely visible airplane, makes its way to the dog's nostrils.

The dog's master meanwhile looks off to the sides and licks her lips. The dampness of the air has got her breathing in deeply through her nostrils. It's that summer mugginess that she delights in. Perhaps she is thinking of the chicken breasts she will be cutting up for dinner with her large steak knife or the stairs that she will be wiping down with a rag while her one-year-old, tiny as an oversized rabbit, will be trying to clamber its way down those stairs, tottering like a drunken sailor as he makes his way down sticking his tongue out -- but at who? At the dog that isn't seen?

The fields are drenched in holy liquid. It was only rain you might say, but it stuck to the surface of the gravel so intently, with such a flaming determination that if you dip your foot into that cauldron, it will surely swell and turn red. But dip your foot you will not because you are wearing boots. And right you are to be wearing them. Because there is nothing more obscene than a naked foot.

Others may protest that other body parts are surely more offensive. But no, exposing the very mechanism of motion that allows you to move across the earth with a deadly efficiency exposes your mastery. It's something that the dog cannot do....Yes, you move on two feet and your arms are free to do what they will. A dog has no arms, he can't hold weapons, nor can he grasp a steak knife. The poor thing. It's so primitive.

But the one thing that we cannot do is start walking on the air and all the way up to the sky. Which just proves the point that we must confess our inferiority to birds, must look up to their dizzying flight with a desire to imitate. Superior they are, they can swoop above us and quickly drop down to our level, circle around us in the blink of an eye and then just as quickly disappear somewhere into a beyond where our frail slow eyes bounce in our sockets in the agitated quest to follow those divine creatures and yet still only capture a part of their trajectory. There it goes, got it. Oh no, now I don't see it anymore.

<E2D2> Pop quiz time. Bonus GP to everyone who daylogs the most memorable song or album of their childhood. Due by midnight tonight

It will sound extremely clichéd to say that music is an integral part of my life, without which I would be a substantially different person. Almost every phase of my life so far and most days within those phases have been marked, touched, embedded, sweetened, burdened or otherwise accompanied with music.

That, the time restriction to post this log and my general lazyness will be my excuses for writing about a memorable song or album, but not necessarily the most memorable one. You've been warned.

One of the first (and few) birthday presents I got from my father was The Beatles' Please please me. I remember my brother and me riding on my father's blue pickup and learning how to use the tape player on our way to a natural park of sorts. Maybe we didn't quite "get" what the songs were about.

  • It wouldn't be until 2011 when I got to play I saw her standing there with my brothers and sister in Rockband Beatles. It was maybe the first time we all played together (we all know how to play one instrument or another), and even if they were only plastic controllers, it felt like the real thing. Expert Bass is a beauty to play.
  • I would listen to Misery when the first girl I liked turned me down, sometime around 2000 or 2001, thinking how the world was treating me bad
  • I would learn how to play Anna (go to him) around 2002, when a friend of mine (called Anna) wanted to know if there was a song named after her. She didn't like the message, but appreciated the gesture.
  • Chains was probably the first song I learned with that "minor change" (ooh, these chains of lo-o-ove). This must have been in '97 or so
  • I made the foolish mistake of playing Boys for an english class in 2003. Imagine teenage Andy getting excited in a classroom full of more hormonal teenagers who didn't know these geniuses.
  • I've never sung Ask me why in public. After 2005, I don't want to.
  • Please please me "forced" me to speed up my chord changes so I could play the whole song consistently. This must've been around 2000
  • I had heard Love me do in either the Red or Blue compilation albums (I can't remember which one). When I saw the cover photos I thought they did the same thing every year. Boy, I was a little more gullible back then
  • I've never seen P. S. I love you and I kinda don't want to. I have a strange fetish for snail mail and that kind of written messages. Postscripts are like finding one extra cookie when you thought the jar was empty. Something similar happens with this song.
  • I think Baby it's you is the only song here without any particular memory associated to it. It's interesting for being uninteresting
  • There's this hilarious episode of Home Improvement where Tim has to tend some clients and celebrate his anniversary on the same weekend. They all go to the same hotel and Tim juggles his time between the japanese guys and Jill. On Saturday night, after waiting for him forever, Jill goes down to the bar to find his husband and some guys singing Do you want to know a secret? in karaoke. I could paraphrase those lines forever:
    - Tim, what do you think you're doing?
    - Ringo's part... 
  • I don't have any particular memory about A taste of honey. That's how I roll
  • I woke up to There's a place playing on the radio almost a year ago, after waking up from one of those nights of self-loathing. I wondered if it was a message from above. I forgot about it two hours and three beers later.
  • I played Twist and shout with my high school band at a school festival or something. Earlier, I had my first vodka ever. Maybe it was the dizziness after our gig, but to this day I prefer orange over pineapple juice.

But I couldn't know back then how much it would impact me. Just like Steve Jobs said, you can only connect the dots when looking backwards. The album was only played when we were out for a swim with my cousins. I didn't need to know the lyrics or importance of the guys playing. I only needed uplifting tunes to dance in my seat

The most memorable song or album of my childhood? I don't know about "most", and actually don't know if memories can be ranked cardinally. Who is to say a memory is more than another?

But I will talk about a memory, and perhaps my first memory of music as something of my own. It was Christmas of 1992, and I had gotten two gifts: a Super Nintendo and two cassette tapes. I was 13 at the time, and was I think somewhat of a late bloomer. At 13, I was still thinking of the things of childhood: games. The things of adulthood (music, the first gateway into the larger culture) were just barely of interest to me, but I had recently gone beyond simply listening to what my mother was listening to, to listening to the oldies and classic rock radio.

So I had, for Christmas, asked for two albums on cassette tape. The albums I got? Herman's Hermits Greatest Hits and Magical Mystery Tour. And so, in the long cold month (or it seemed like a month, it could have been a week, time flows different when you are a child) following Christmas, I listened to my two new tapes over and over again, while playing Super Mario World. I also, for some reason, remember microwaved quesadillas. I think the microwave was also new.

It might be hard for people to remember now, but in 1992 or 1993, consumer electronics, including stereos or even one-speaker cassette players, were serious business. By selecting music to play, and by commandeering a device to do so, I was making a statement about controlling my environment. Obviously the formal aspects of music control were probably more important to me than the music I was listening to: even for a 13 year old, Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter isn't the most soul-resonating song. But even to this day, when I play or watch Super Mario World, Herman's Hermits start running through my head, and perhaps the smell of squishy, microwaved quesadillas...

When we were young the future was so bright
The old neighborhood was so alive
And every kid on the whole damn street
Was gonna make it big in every beat

- The Offspring, The Kids Aren't Allright

After he left us way the hell back in 2002, my dad got a bright orange jeep (it has some fancy name like auburn sunset or something), fixed it up so the tires were huge and tall, and started four-wheeling-- which is basically when a bunch of people with jacked up Jeeps go find big rocks and drive on them.

I'm seeing this girl and she just might be out of her mind
Well she's got baggage and it's all the emotional kind.
She talks about closure and that validation bit
I don't mean to be insensitive, but I really hate that shit.

- The Offspring, She's got Issues
(He used to say this one was about our mom)

He started abalone and scuba diving more. Went hunting more. He got really into his car. He went on a huge health kick with yogurt and granola and fancy water bottles (to the point where one of the contributing factors for why we wouldn't visit him was because he had no good food in the house, just nasty tasting vegetable matter).

Goodbye my friend, you've messed up again
You're going to prison, you're off to the pen
You've gotten off easy so many times
But I guess no one told you how to get a life.

- The Offspring, Walla Walla

But I remember when we would go to his house, he'd come in the Jeep and in the summers it wouldn't have a top or doors or windows; he'd take them off to enjoy the air. And we'd climb in and he'd blast either the Offspring Americana CD or some Best of the 80's Cd. If he had other CDs, we didn't hear them. It was always Offspring or random 80's music.

Have you ever walked through a room
But it was more like the room passed around you
Like there was a leash around your neck that pulled you through?

-- The Offspring, Have You Ever

I swear to God, I don't even know the names of some of those songs, but if they come up on the radio or in the background of a movie or something, I'll know every goddamn word.

Jesus Christ I think I hate that band.

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