Brian Keaney

Month: May, 2012

Musical notes

Judging by the time stamps on the texts I sent the other night, it took me about an hour to travel half the length of the Orange Line.  Also judging by my spelling and grammar in said texts, I should have found another way to entertain my intoxicated self during the extraordinarily long trip home.  Sitting at downtown crossing for half an hour is no excuse for inverting nouns and verbs.

At least he wasn’t taking up three seats on the T.

My trip in, on the other hand, was not only shorter, it was also more eventful. Shortly after boarding an empty car I was joined by three guys a few years younger than I.  One could certainly be classified as a hipster and, no surprise, as they walked past I could hear that music was their topic of discussion.  They had a paper bag full of nips and I had a flask, so we had a connection that was meaningful as long as it lasted.

I wasn’t really paying attention, but somehow their conversation turned to the Celtics, and Rajon Rondo in particular.  I don’t think any one of them was a fan, and presently they returned to music.  Rondo gave way to Rhonda, and one asked if there was ever a song written with the word Rhonda in it.  None of them could think of one, so I offered “Help Me Rhonda” by the Beach Boys.  I think they were impressed as they raised their nips to me and I acknowledged  them with a tip and a draft of my flask.

While I might have felt momentarily superior in my musical knowledge, I can’t say that all has been smooth in that department as of late.   When I am studying, or doing something where I really need to focus, I like to listen to both classical and Hawaiian music, particularly hula.  I don’t get caught up in the lyrics, and it helps drown out other distractions.

Lately, however, Pandora has been throwing a lot of other music into my classical station for reasons unknown.  At first it was Adele.  In the past couple days Pandora has been branching out even more, despite my thumbs down to Al Green and Fun.  I like all of them, but it’s not what I want to hear when I am expecting Brahms and Wagner.

Fun in particular was an interesting selection.  They seem to be the likely next step in musical trends lately – as best an amateur and outsider like myself can discern, anyway – but are certainly not even close to classical.  I wasn’t quite sure what to make of them when I first heard them, but I came to like them and their hit, We Are Young, in particular, a great deal.  That is, I liked them until I heard Yahoo’s parody.

It was a bit painful to be reminded that I am no longer young, and that I increasingly have more in common with the sad, sorry 30-somethings of the parody than I do with the partying, bar fighting 20-somethings of the original.  As I approached my own three decade mark, I wrote here that

To be sure I have accomplished things in my life, but I don’t know that I would call any of them great.  I’ve never saved a life.  I’ve never directed a best picture winning film.  I’ve never written the great American novel, reconciled quantum physics with general relativity, won the Congressional Medal of Honor, cured the common cold, eliminated racism, or brought about world peace.  Since the day I was born, I’ve never done anything that millions of people before me haven’t done, and billions after me won’t do.

That sentiment is awfully reminiscent of the parody’s: “We’re all somewhere in our 30s, done nothing worthy, this ain’t fun.”  Then again, I used the occasion as a call to arms to get up and do something great.  The songwriters, on the other hand, only delved further into their own angst.  The mid-life crisis is well established, and the quarter-life crisis is well known among my peers, but could this song be the catalyst for recognition of a one-third life crisis?


My celebrity family

My mother has decided, she told me the other day, that if I am OK with telling my newlywed sister that I want a nephew, she is OK with telling me that she wants a daughter-in-law.  I don’t quite understand why seeing as she already has two daughters of her own, but reminded her that one of them is still unwed, and that gay marriage is legal here in the Commonwealth.  Surprisingly, that did little to comfort here.

Much like the great Ferris Bueller, I used to think that my family was the only one with weirdness in it.  The more I travel around the sun, however, the more I realize just how relatively normal they are.   Several months ago I was getting a free meal visiting my parents when I heard my mother cry out, “Oh no!”  When I inquired what was wrong, she told me that “DiNozzo got an earring.”  I asked why she let herself get so emotionally involved in the nonsense she watches on television, and she reminded me of how often I will scream at the TV after a dropped pass or bad call by an official.

More recently, she told me that DiNozzo, of the television program NCIS, reminds her of me.  I thought it would be because of my dashing good looks, encyclopedic memory of all things cinema, or my way with women.  Not so much.  Turns out all the sarcastic remarks he spits out on TV are what make my ears burn.  I told her that I thought I was more like the doctor on the show since everything reminds me of a story.  As evidence, this blog post is only three paragraphs old and I am already three stories deep.

It is my youngest sister that reminded me of a character on the show, however.  Both the forensic scientist and Lauren are soft as a grape.  Take away the goth couture, and you would have my baby sister down to a T.  She who bore me laughed, agreed, and then added that Gibbs was just like my father.  She wasn’t too far off the mark, but I think I have an even better fictional character to whom I can compare him.

While watching the latest Indiana Jones film, it struck me that my father would respond in every situation almost exactly as Indy did.  I now want to go back and see if I find the same thing in the three earlier films, or if this was just a fluke of the screenplay.  Yea, that’s right.  My dad is just like Indiana Jones.  He’s clearly cooler than your dad.

Finally, to wrap this all up, I want to show a video that is sure to scar everyone.  Not so long ago, I mentioned that “my grandmother had to explain to me who Kim Kardashian was and why she was famous, and I’m still not sure as to the latter.”  Fortunately, the words “sex tape” never up, but tragically, that means she was the first person I thought of when I saw the following video.

Be warned, it is not for the faint of heart.