I work at a coffee shop. And not just any coffee shop, but a coffee shop in one of the most laid-back cities with one of the most laid-back bosses. I am prefacing this post with this interlude because I need to explain my typo up there. (May I be struck down and not become stronger than can be possibly imagined if I ever do make a legitimate grammar or spelling error.)
We always have a White Elephant gift exchange come our Holiday Party in December. The rule is usually that the gift either has to be hand-made (allowing for such lavish gifts as macaroni art, a hand-drawn adventure land for Gumby and a how-to-become-a-rockstar kit, including coffee ground side burns, beer goggles, and a malfunctioning Yak Back) or a re-gift (which inevitably led to a water-damaged copy of AC/DC’s Back in Black, a water-damaged copy of a James Patterson novel, and a water-damaged picture of the person who had gotten the rockstar kit the year before.)
Now, I don’t know how it got started, but someone once got a so-called Muscial Snow Globe. It’s about the size of your head, has a horrible stand painted with sparkles and fake arches and maybe has a castle inside? I don’t know, because this thing is so horrible that I can’t look at it for fear of my face melting off like in Raiders of the Lost Ark, or possibly because of exposure to the first five rows of a Muse concert. And yes, on the freakin’ box, it says “Muscial Snow Globe,” leading us to postulate that muscial is a legitimate medical term that deals with the back of the knee or something. All in all, the thing is a monstrosity, like if the Alien facehugger had a baby with the clown from It that rotated on an axis and popped out a creepy carnivalesque organ-grinder tune.
This thing has popped up in the White Elephant gift for about three years running now. Whoever received it at the previous party will bring it back — even if they no longer work for the shop — to give to whomever is stupid enough to think that the heaviest gift will be the best. (I have fallen prey to this exact ploy many a year, which is why I now have a Garfield Chia pet, a Clapper that turns on and off even if someone laughs bawdily, and a water damaged rockstar [read: Amy Winehouse.])
So, in case you haven’t noticed yet, I like to start out posts with a story of my past and then extrapolate the metaphor into some slightly philosophical diatribe about why the last four paragraphs are important. Without further ado: music is extremely important to me, especially when writing. I have whole mixes devoted to songs for different moods I want to portray, and even an entire mix of 200 songs that I call “Gwen’s Mix” because I think my main character — named Gwendolyn (surprise!) — would like them.
Like the Muscial Snow Globe, music is something I find to be very circular. Artist A will remind me of Artist B, which in turn is reminiscent of Artist C, who, in their own right, is like a shoe-gazy, edgier, darker version of Artist A. (It’s like algebra, but with guitars. And without crazy math teachers who start off word problems with “You’re running from the Spanish Inquisition…” I can no longer think about the Spanish Inquisition without shuddering from the calculus-related flashbacks.) Like the Muscial Snow Globe, music is able to transport me to a different land just by shaking things up. (You know, I once saw a horror movie where the M. Night Shyamalan-worthy ‘twist’ at the end was that they were all caught in a snow globe and their little truck got to the end of their plane of existence and then just sort of clonked into the glass interior. Or maybe I hallucinated this movie, since I can’t seem to find any record of it. This happens to me a lot.) Like the Muscial Snow globe, music sometimes makes me shudder at its mediocrity that tries to pass for profundity. See: anything from Annie, anything by Coldplay, and anything by Sheryl Crow. Like the Muscial Snow Globe, songs often are…er….I mean…have really obvious linguistic mistakes. Like, uh, Lay Down Sally. Yeah, totally.
Well, the metaphor falls short on this one, but on Mondays I’ll totally be posting the song obsession of the week in the hopes that bands I really love can get more exposure, or you know, a little something-something to fill up an otherwise crazy blog with little bits of normalcy.