Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me

For another hour and a half, at least, as I write this. Thanks to alla youse who texted or called with greetings! Special thanks of course to Yvette my love, who I was talking to as midnight came and went, and I turned a year older.

Couldn't sleep last night -- had a lot on my mind; too many changes going on it seems, what with the new job and the possibility of moving out of the house I've lived in for almost a decade -- and at around 4 AM I decided I wanted to listen to some music, to start the day off. But I was just tired enough to not want to have to choose it myself, so I set my Winamp player on random, loaded all my mp3s, and pressed Play.

Many of us like to read significance into the random, try to divine some meaning or guidance from a throw of dice, a spread of cards, or a book flipped open, a set of words jabbed at blindly. I thought: this will be my musical version of "Book Magic," as we used to call it back in high school. Somehow the first five songs Winamp chooses will contain some sort of message for me. So here they are, unchanged, uncensored: the First Five Random Songs Winamp Played On My Birthday, 2005, at 4:14 AM:

Nick Drake - Pink Moon
The Strokes - I Can't Win
Ciudad - How Did You Know?
PJ Harvey - This Mess We're In
R.E.M. - At My Most Beautiful

Since I silently promised myself that I would blog honestly about my Birthday Five, you don't know how relieved I am that nothing really embarrassing popped up out of my music files... Um, not that I own anything really embarrassing, having impeccable musical taste and all that. Yeah.

The fact that song titles like "I Can't Win" and "This Mess We're In" came out of the shuffle is kind of alarming, though I take comfort in the fact that I actually like those songs a lot. I've only recently started listening to Nick Drake, thanks to a CD from Indira, but "Pink Moon" sounds pretty good. Ciudad, of course, is always a hoot. And "At My Most Beautiful" is just beautiful; funny, as I celebrated another orbit (as Kidlat would put it) last year, I was listening to R.E.M. too, as I recall. I like to think that the five songs taken together can be said to possess an overall mood of guarded optimism, with the notes of dark anxiety being balanced by notes of happy romanticism. It's not a perfect or even a particularly bright world, these five songs seems to say, but what the hell, there's fun and even love to be had. (No Bowie or XTC in my Birthday Five, but still, not a bad way to start the day).


mariposangbulag said...

Many happy returns, Luis.
When oh when is your next book coming out. hungry fans want to know! Seriously.

Best wishes from someone who used to live down the street from you.
Write! Write!


starshuffler said...

Did you have a good birthday, Luis? ;-) Nico and I hope you did.

wawaya said...

helloooo!!! don't forget me and he madcat are taking you out tomorrow night... jo and lainee might pop by :)

Camille said...

ei birthday boy! =) a bit delayed as usual with the greetings but i've got a good excuse this time as there's this big deadline coming up on saturday... (the real truth is, am just plain forgetful :o) still, hope it was fabuloso! =)

sundial girl said...

happy birthday! (even if it's a tad late.)

Budjette said...

(Oh wow... missed it!)


Happy new day! Happy new year!!!

Luis K. said...

Thanks, everyone, for the greetings. :) Belated or otherwise, they are very much appreciated.

And special thanks to Waya and Lala for the lovely dinner and the wonderful gifts. Words fail me. :)