Musical Association

Today’s a shorter post, but hopefully there’s no shortage of insights on the wonderfully mysterious world that is my mind.  One of my readers suggested (more like insisted) that I write about crafts on my blog, that I am not crafty enough.  To this I say: have you actually ever seen me doing anything involving glue, glitter, and/or felt in the last few years that was for a project I invented and decided to execute, just for the fun of it?  No.

Truthfully, I’m not terribly creative when it comes to handicrafts.  I learned how to knit (twice) and have forgotten how both times, I can only do basic sewing by hand like altering and mending, and I can cut simple snowflakes and paper lanterns.  That’s it.  Though I can make a mean balloon dog, but that’s not exactly crafty.  I promise you, this blog would die a swift and painful death if I tried blogging about my crafting experiments.  So nay to a crafts entry.

But onto something I do like, and that’s music!  When I like a song/album, I really like it.  Like listening to it nonstop for hours liking.  But usually that’s only when I stayed up all night writing a paper (due the next day, of course- old habits die hard).  I need music to keep me awake and focused when I’m up at 4 AM, and I don’t want to be bothered with skipping songs I’m not in the mood to listen to.  Sites like www.youtuberepeat.com are a godsend to me because it simply puts on a favorite song and continuously repeats it.

Sometimes when I go travelling, I get hooked on a particular album, and I’ll listen to it for the majority of my trip.  And then that album becomes forever connected to that place in my mind.  Off the top of my head, I can think of three such musical associations (and I swear I didn’t just pick three to keep it consistent with the rest of my lists!)

3 Album-Location Associations

1. Alaska 2005- Employment by Kaiser Chiefs

2. Kau’ai 2006 (and a little bit of China 2007)- Under the Iron Sea by Keane

3. Spain 2011- Music for Men by Gossip

Dunno why they struck my fancy at the time, but they did.  So now whenever I hear any song from these albums, my mind immediately conjures up memories from these trips.

Viva España

When asking readers (aka my friend who happened to be on Google Chat) what they would like my next blog entry to be about, this is what I got:

something book related lol…
or english major-y related
or observations in spain

Since it’s my third post on this blog, and I love the number 3, let’s go with the third thing on the list, shall we?  She knows me so well- she only gave me three things to pick from.

Three Random Observations I Made Whilst in Spain:

1. They really don’t like to eat their veggies.

I never thought I would say this, but I was desperately craving a good salad or even just some simply steamed greens by the end of my 10 day trip.  I’m sure their lack of veggie love is for a variety of reasons, one being that their geographic location is not very kind to growing different types of vegetables, but damn.  I really don’t think green beans from a can (which I had at everywhere from road stops to “fancy” restaurants) counts as a veggie.  Or a food for that matter.  Usually their salads consisted of a bunch of iceberg lettuce with some thick dressing slopped on top.  I’m going to say this right now- I’m really not a huge fan of condiments (OK, maybe just Western food condiments) and salad dressing REALLY grosses me out.  Vinaigrette is about as strong of a dressing as I can handle.  Otherwise, I just prefer sans the Ranch and Thousand Island.

2. Spain looks just like SoCal.

They’re both part of the same climate zone (Moist Subtropical Mid-Latitude Climate, for those of you who care- ooh look!  A link to find out more!) which means that the same plants grow well in both areas, the same weather happens, etc. etc.  So basically whenever I looked outside at the scenery that went by, I thought I was looking at home.  Home with more windmills, sunflowers, giant bull signs (funny story about those) and of course, more Spanish on the signs and buildings.  But not too much more, since I do live in Los Angeles, where you can go for hours without actually seeing anything in English.  If you can’t travel abroad, go to LA and its environs.  You won’t even realize you haven’t left America.

3. Spanish architecture is fantabulamazincredisuperawesome (One of the prerogatives of English majors is that we can make up words at any time to suit our needs. THAT’s why I majored in English.)

This fact I actually knew long before going to Spain, but actually seeing the magnificent architecture up close solidified this fact.  Nothing you read or hear can prepare you for seeing beautiful places such as the Alhambra and the Cathedral–Mosque of Córdoba in person.  It’s indescribable, really, the symmetry and detail carved into every nook and cranny.  I’m always impressed by architects (and composers and directors and athletes- actually, I’m easily impressed by a lot of things) who can envision such huge, grandiose buildings and make it all come to life.  From the facades to the doors to the doorknobs, they somehow can see it in their heads and make it all come together into giant masterpieces.  That’s amazing to me.  If you ever have a passion, realize it, even if it’s as small as knitting a scarf or as large as building a church.  The things our minds can create can astonish you.  And it will probably impress me, if that’s any consolation.