Friday, October 21, 2005

On the Road Again

Before I begin this post proper, let me say what a pleasure it is to be accused of murder by Mr Wang. Go read, quite fun.

Driving a 100 miles a day gives you plenty of radio time. With increased exposure to music, combined with my propensity towards aural learning, means I get Last Song Syndrome a lot. It's generally not unpleasant.

However, some days, it becomes more than pleasant. Some days it takes over your life, hits you just there, and leaves you gasping for breath. Some days it becomes your personal soundtrack, and you wonder if the music is the message you've been looking for.

"I know there's something in the wake of your smile.
I get a notion from the look in your eyes, yea.
You've built a love but that love falls apart.
Your little piece of heaven turns too dark."

- Listen to Your Heart, DHT and Edmee

I'm not much of a Roxette fan. I think the female lead for Roxette sounds way too harsh for their rendition of "Listen to Your Heart", and I don't think the way Roxette oversynthesizes their music does justice to the song.

I first heard the DHL version a day ago. Today, at 7 am, on my way to class, I heard it again. I heard it one last time at 8 pm, on the way back from classes. Each time, the raw simplicity of piano + voice left me breathless. There's a raw honest simplicity in music that dares to use rests in music as an invitation to fill the music with my own thoughts and personal experiences.

It is, however, the voice that truly carried the song. Clean, clear, powerful, yet so very...real. As if the song wasn't really sung and broadcast on radio, but sung by a dear friend, right beside me.

I swear, I even identified the friend. And as I named the friend, the voice changed again, and I heard in the song another friend's voice. Then another. Then another.

They all sang together, and magically blended together, for the voice in the song was the song of EveryWoman. I found myself missing these friends in Singapore terribly. The names I ran through weren't the people I had expected to miss, but I did. Even as the song ended, the feeling of loss remained.

Your mind may play tricks on you, but your heart always knows who it misses.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Zhng My Books

I am -such- a geek. Given a choice between zhnging my car and zhnging my books, I'd almost always pick the latter.

Hence, I am extremely appreciative of living in Berkeley. One of the perks of living in Berkeley is that you're in a place where cool authors visit. One of the downsides of -studying- in Santa Clara while -living- in Berkeley is that you're usually away when that happens.

In September, Cody's, a bookstore 15 minutes walk away from my house, brought in Neil Gaiman -AND- Terry Pratchett. Except on both the days they were around, I wasn't. At least, I -think- I wasn't. I didn't even remember they were popping by.

To make matters worse, I had none of my Pratchett books with me, and I don't own a single Gaiman book. Yeap, not a single one. Not American Gods. Not Anansi Boys. Not Neverwhere. Not a single Sandman comic. No book zhnging. Damn.

I figured body autographs were just out of the question anyway.

Well, at least Lois McMaster Bujold will be popping by in October. Hopefully I'll be able to catch her.

Anyone wishing to pledge their firstborn/sell an organ/donate to my non-existent scholarship fund in exchange for zhnged (Read: Autographed) books are very welcome to email me at khaycelim-at-gmail-dot-com. Perks for those who know me. I'm good that way.

P.S I saw an autographed copy of Anansi Boys still available at Cody's I think. Pre-zhnged books. Anyone wants?