2018.06 minutiae

  • Last month I wrote about how I’d been listening to Melissa Auf der Maur’s first solo album; this month, it’s been Brody Dalle’s.  Her band the Distillers had put out an album in 2003 that I liked a lot, but I hadn’t kept up with her post‐Distillers efforts.  The solo album is a lot more sophisticated than the Distillers stuff: it’s still fundamentally a hard rock record, and Brody Dalle still has that distinctive “Courtney Love if Courtney Love could sing” voice, but it’s a lot more atmospheric and includes some unexpected twists like prominent brass sections.  But the reason I mention this is that I discovered a doozy of a coincidence: Melissa Auf der Maur co‑wrote her first solo album with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age.  Brody Dalle, it turns out, is married to Josh Homme and has three children with him.  That got me thinking about some other links and loops.  For instance, Shirley Manson provides guest vocals on Brody Dalle’s record.  Shirley Manson is in Garbage with Butch Vig, who won fame for recording Nirvana’s breakthrough record.  Nirvana’s drummer was Dave Grohl, who was in Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures with Josh Homme, who as noted is married to Brody Dalle.  You can also do the loop that Nirvana was fronted by Kurt Cobain, who was married to Courtney Love, who was in Hole with Melissa Auf der Maur, who as noted co‑wrote her first record with Josh Homme.  (I came up with around twenty of these but I think I’ll stop there.)

  • I have noticed that this year when I catch a student doodling, whether it be in a test prep classroom or a high school one, invariably it will turn out that she is rendering an intricately shaded human eye.  Is there some kind of “how to draw realistic eyes” viral video going around or something?

  • An analogy I sometimes use when encouraging students to get familiar with test prep strategies instead of sticking with the approaches they learned in school (and which are getting them the scores they find unsatisfactory) is that it’s like when I switched from Qwerty to Dvorak: at first my typing speed plummeted, but after forcing myself to use it for a couple of weeks, I was typing much faster than I ever had with Qwerty.  But the lesson I secretly draw from this example is pretty simple: typing is freaky!  Like, I think of the sentence I want to type, and my fingers bash away at the keys, and the sentence appears on my screen, and I have no idea what my fingers are doing to make that happen.  I can look down at my keyboard and watch my fingers move and I am not consciously controlling where they go.  It’s not just a matter of, “Oh, I know that keyboard layout so well I don’t even have to think about it”—​because I don’t know it.  Ask me to write out the Dvorak keyboard layout instead of copying a picture of it and I couldn’t do it.  Clearly some part of my brain has internalized the location of each letter, but my conscious mind has not.  I guess it’s not too different from the way I don’t think about (and often couldn’t tell you) exactly how my mouth is moving when I speak: very rarely do I think “now I want to say the word ‘diploid’, so I will start by placing the tip of my tongue against the alveolar ridge of the roof of my mouth” or what have you.  But somehow the typing weirds me out more.  Maybe because I can watch it happen.

  • I was talking to someone about how there’s a new Strawberry Shortcake, only to discover that the Strawberry Shortcake that I thought of as the new one is no longer considered the new one, because now there’s a new new one. 
    I’m not even going to talk about how they Powerpuffed her.  I’m too busy reeling from the discovery that the middle version there that it seems like they just unveiled is already old hat, or old strawberry‐themed cap as the case may be.  Apparently things from 2009 are no longer considered new.  How the hell did that happen?

  • Another example: I decided to get another exoglass spoon, but was disappointed to discover that the only kind Amazon had available was a color I already had.  Here’s the old one next to the new one:

    I got the spoon on the left around the time the new Strawberry Shortcake premiered.  I guess maybe it has been kind of a while.

  • Apparently Bugs Meany is now working in the cheese industry, if this sticker from a tub of ricotta I bought this month is anything to go by:

    And since I also want to get this post up before June 31st, that’s all for now!


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