Saturday, February 4, 2012

80's crap = Crystal Math gold

As a part of my 2012 New Years "Revolutions," I'm composing a list of [early] 80's mediocre music to accumulate next time my favourite persyn and I go on an excursion for obscure music. My list so far consists of well known and well-forgotten artists and "artists" of the desired decade. But I'm laying down one major rule:

  • NO, and I repeat NO "best of" bullllllllllshiiiiiiiiiiit. It goes against the purist music snob that's begging to get out. Greatest hits albums are a cop-out and a limitation of what this artist is truly capable of.

Some of them have since reunited, and some of them have since insisted it never happened. Whether we listen to these bands on an LP or mp3, they are:

1. Howard Jones

2. Europe -- ever since "Final Countdown" came on the airplane radio on my way back to California I've been on a kick.

3. The Human League

4. A Flock of Seagulls

5. Adam and the Ants (focus on early punk, technically late 70's)

6. Marshall Crenshaw

7. Plastic Bertrand --> Here's Sonic Youth's cover of "Ca Plane Pour Moi." I don't think he ever had another hit...

8. Missing Persons -- this band was mentioned in a book I read, Less Than Zero, and prompted me to check out all the obscure bands therein.

9. 'Til Tuesday

10. Romeo Void -- I first encountered this band on an 80's compilation from Time Life (my eyes were glued to the tv whenever the infomercial came on and somehow my mom bought my whining pleas, and consequently the CD series)

11. Numbers -- yet another female lead band that fell into obscurity. Brush off the dust and you've got an interesting collection.

12. The Pretenders -- Yeah, everyone knows these guys already. In addition to the Human League, they'll probably be the easiest to find.
13. OMD (Orchestral Manuevers in the Dark)

14. Dugites --> The lead singer reminds me of a Pat Benatar/Jane Weidlin hybrid, though she was from the same era (but Australian). "Waiting" is another good one, but this tune caught my attention as well:

*ok ok ok ONE MORE*
15. Sparks -- forget that the guy has a Hitler mustache! He reminded me of Pee Wee and the video is cute:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Musings Not Bemusings

I feel like the world is my effin' oyster right now. 

Ever since I returned from El Salvador, I see so many options and paths ahead of me. It literally opened up my eyes to the people, the culture, the language of the world. It made me feel closer to those I hold dear to my heart -- or it inspired me to get closer to them. Conversely it's inspired me to let go of the things that have been the source of my hold-ups for the last two years.

Both are going to inspire big changes, but I have so much optimism that I'm hopeful for a future even if it means struggle. At least it'll mean change.

I'm not as offended anymore when people remind me how "young" I am... (I think what bugs me so damn much is that I have no perspective on the matter ... think about it: I don't know what it feels like to be any other age than the ages that I've already experienced, how could I possibly know how relatively "young" I am compared to someone older than me?) ... but it certainly has made me feel that I need to take the time to go the extra mile to represent, protest, oppose and propose the things that I want to see happen in my lifetime. I want to make this semester at school the best ever, and I want to make this summer the best ever, and everything else afterward: The Best __________ Ever!

Exploring another country that is as rich in history as it is in tragedy inspired me to explore my options that lie in my own local community. People that I talk with about my journey seem fascinated and admire me for doing it, but some part of me doesn't understand why. It makes sense to me that one would want to pursue a cause about which they are passionate. I know that there are some hold-ups: money, risks of traveling to a "developing" country, trust, etc.

I had never been more homesick but once I returned to the United States I couldn't stop thinking about returning to the pueblos and learning more about what it meant to be from El Salvador. When I returned from the Twin Cities to protest the Republican National Convention four years ago I was surprised to see that "nothing" changed while I was away; now, returning from another country, I'm witnessing the same thing (I just have more colorful stuff). Only this time around I'm taking more initiative to creating the results I want.


Are you a Dot, a Line, or a Squiggle?

At today's teacher in-service I did a dramatic reading of The Dot and the Line to illustrate the four phases of the Interactive Reading Method which was integrated into the Caluco workshops I did in El Salvador.

  1. Literal Phase -- who/what/where/why/when
  2. Personal/Interpretative Phase -- do you know anyone who feels ...? What would have happened if ...? 
  3. Inferential/Multicultural Phase -- how could have ______ been avoided? Have you or anyone you know ever experienced ...? How might you have reacted if ...?
  4. Creative Phase -- write a story of what happened afterward; draw a picture or character profile of your favorite part; perform a play/monologue/song in the voice of one of the characters.

It was compelling to see the light in my colleague's eyes as the story progressed, and to see who sided with either the dot or the line. Seeing their enthusiasm in guessing what would happen next rejuvenated me and renewed my energy for the classroom tomorrow.

But first I've gotta grade these quizzes... :-P