Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On fate

For someone with both legs firmly planted in an “I don’t see it until I believe it” tradition, I am strangely prone to believing in fate. I don’t do God, auras or aliens, but I do believe that there is such a thing as “meant to be”. Now, just to make one thing clear right away – I’m not necessarily saying this applies to love. If there is only one person out there in the whole wide world that is meant for me, I certainly don’t have a very good chance of finding him among the 3,3 billion others out there, now do I? (For all we know, he could live in Tuvalu, and I might never get to even meet him, little less hit on him…) But, at any rate, love and statistics are not the topics of this blog. Music and hair are.

Remember a few weeks ago when I asked for help in finding a CD that I should have, but didn’t buy at the Mall of America? I received some helpful comments, and a suggestion. Could the CD I was looking for be Feist’s “The Reminder”? Again, my musical guru, J.M. Hunter helped me discover new music I loved. I am still not 100 % sure it’s the same CD, but from what I could hear on YouTube and Pandora (before my un-US-ness ripped it away from me), it sounded very similar, and I decided to buy the CD. However, since my stay in the US was coming to an end and I was facing the problem of how to bring everything I’d bought back to Norway, I decided to let the Feist album wait until I got back home. Besides, I had already bought a number of CDs that I would need to familiarize myself with until I could refill (I find that I usually need at least a week between new CDs, otherwise I end up listening to only one of them – which is bad since I tend to buy them in heaps, and then I won’t buy any for a year or so…).

One of the CDs I had bought was a complete impulse-buy. I was in a Borders store, it was on sale, and I thought the cover looked like it might be Damien Rice-ish. I was wrong.

The CD I bought was by Flight of the Conchords, and it’s called “I Told You I Was Freaky”. (Boy, they are not kidding, but I was not to discover this just yet.) I had never heard of Flight of the Conchords before, so I was more than a little disappointed when I discovered that the first song was a rap song. I can tolerate rap, but only in very small portions. It’s definitely not my favourite genre. This is partly because it’s often so lyrics centered, even if the lyrics often aren’t very complex (“maddafukin’ b**ch yo I wanna fuk ya yo, let’s go into da house and do da lopsided dance”) – or at least that is my prejudice. Because frankly, I would not know.

[I am very sorry that it is taking me so long to get to the point. No hair in sight yet – I promise there will be some, but let me reassure you, it’s not going to be a hairy rapper. They are often bald. By choice, I think.]

I would not know because I don’t listen to lyrics. Almost never. At least not until I’ve heard the song about a million times. Until then, the voice of the singer(s) is only another instrument to me. I am more likely to be able to recite the guitar riff or the drum solo than the lyrics of any given song. What catches my attention in music is the rhythm, the melody, the use of instruments (including the voice of the singer). So when I heard a rap song from a band that meant nothing to me, I filed the CD under “bad impulses” and moved on to reacquaint with Cat Stevens and to form a brand new relation with Neil Diamond (thank you “Glee”!). However, due to my tendency to put any new music I buy in the music library on my laptop (which automatically synchronizes with my mp3 player whenever I plug it in), my automatic playlists would jump to a song from this album every now and then. I soon discovered that there was more than rap music on this CD. In fact, it seemed to contain music from many different genres. I was intrigued, but I still did not listen to the lyrics…

[Where is the HAIR??? The hair is approaching… So is the point. We still have a few miles to cover, though…]

Jump to this morning [finally!]. Since I moved into my new apartment (actually, my friend’s apartment) [I thought you said you were jumping to this morning?!?], I have been keeping a very un-me schedule. I absolutely HATE not having enough down time, and the proper amount of down time can only be achieved when I spend a considerable amount of it at home, not asleep. This is where I’ve failed lately. Since I moved into the apartment on Thursday, I have slept and showered here. That’s all. I haven’t even unpacked yet – it’s a mess to say the least (good thing my friend won’t be back for another two weeks – I’ll have it tidied by then, I hope…). In addition I have had problems getting up in the morning (it looks like I missed this time zone as well…). This morning [hrmf! Do you really mean it this time?] was no exception. I got up later than planned, and once up, I was hesitant to leave home immediately (it was, after all, nice to see the apartment in daylight) even if I had planned to have a full day at the University. When I finally did leave, naturally, I missed the tram (which is the fastest way to get to the University from here). Instead, I took a bus, which would lead me to the metro. [The POINT?!? Get there!!! Now!!!!] Right by the bus stop, however, is a mall (“Oslo City” aka Hell on Earth, for those who are familiar with the place). I often try to avoid Hell on Earth, but as this was late in the morning, I didn’t think there would be much rush, so I entered on a whim.

Back to music. My whim was actually more of a rushing of something I had planned for later today – to buy the much awaited new album of my favourite band, Kent. I went to the record store, got the CD, and left, happily. Now, critical voice that type in brackets, we are moving fast forward again… [Yes!!!]

I went to the University, spent a few hours there, about 50% of them in the cafeteria, but hey – that’s what I’d missed about the place. Then I again decided to pay Hell on Earth a visit. There are a number of things I needed for the apartment (such as a radio in the bathroom – I figured that maybe it would be easier to get up in the morning if I didn’t have to stay in bed to listen to the radio – which is what I’ve been doing. My friend has the most brilliant alarm clock. It’s one of those that light up a few minutes before it rings – or in this case, the radio starts – which is supposed to make the awakening process easier. I can’t say that it is extremely effective, seeing as I’ve overslept every morning since I started using it, but it’s way fun. Anyway, radio in the bathroom…). Hell on Earth is the place to get them.

I walked around for a while, finding most of what I needed, and then I decided to pay the record store another visit. I wasn’t buying anything, of course. I had already bought a CD today. I was just going to have a look…

This record store is a two storey one. On the bottom floor, they have most of their CDs; while upstairs, they have DVDs. Since I had already been downstairs today, I was upstairs now, looking at DVDs. I emphasize this because if I hadn’t bought the Kent CD earlier, I would have been downstairs, and probably not bothered going upstairs at all. If I hadn’t, nothing of the following would have happened. Suddenly, I saw something interesting. They had a Flight of the Conchords DVD!

This is when the hair comes in. [There is hair? I had completely forgotten about that by now..]

I had picked up the DVD, when a young lady came over to me and signaled that she wanted to speak to me (I had ear plugs with music in them, so it’s a good thing I speak body language). I unplugged, and she explained that she was looking for models [don’t get carried away – the sentence goes on] for her exam in hairdressing. She needed a model for a bob, and I had long enough hair for it to be cutable. Basically, what she offered me was a free haircut.

I have relatively long hair. I’ve let it grow (though cutting it every now and then, like anyone growing their hair long should) ever since I went to Japan in 2006. This is how long it has taken me to have long hair. Which means I was a little bit hesitant at first.

The thing, though, is that I don’t have a proper hairdo at the moment. Since my hair is fine and light (Nordic to the last straw…), it doesn’t do much. I can’t train it to form in luscious shapes for the life of me. Especially when it’s not cut in a “do”. So I’ve been wondering if I should pay a visit to a hairdresser soon, and actually, I have been thinking about the bob. Now the opportunity fell from the sky, and I realized I needed to grab it.

I gave the girl my number, and we decided that Friday morning worked for both of us. When she left, I looked at the DVD in my hand again. Perhaps the whole world except me knew this, but apparently, Flight of the Conchords is a comedy duo from New Zealand. They have their own TV-show (the first season of which I was holding in my hand), where they do parodies. I had no idea that I had been the proud owner of one of their incredibly funny albums for weeks.

I figured that the free haircut saved me about 500 kroner. Thus, my visit to the record store (in addition the Flight of the Conchords DVD, I got two other DVDs, and, finally, “The Reminder” by Feist) was paid for by what I saved on not visiting a real hairdresser. On my way home I listened to Flight of the Concords on my mp3-player, and this time I also listened to the lyrics. I very nearly missed my bus stop. It’s not funny, it’s hilarious! (The rap song is about how rappers have feelings too – for instance when they make a nice meal and nobody compliments the food, their feelings are hurt!) Further on, I now realize that I have in fact seen these two New Zealanders before, on some American show (according to Wikipedia it’s probably either Letterman or Conan O’Brian). I now look forward to my 360 minutes of uncontrolled rolling around on the floor.

On a concluding note – my friend has a very fancy stereo [how is that concluding? I thought we were finally done with the digressions…]. It takes several CDs at once. Right now I’ve let it play through my new Kent album (another brilliant one. So far I think it's not quite the individual hit song album "Du & Jag Döden" was, it's more in line with "Tillbaka till samtiden" which was much better as a whole album but had few individual hits. However, Kent has yet to disappoint me – I love them!) and the Feist album. I am now fairly sure that this indeed is the CD I left in Minnesota. And even if it isn’t, it has succeeded in letting my mind accept that it is, and thus rest. Plus, I really love it.

All in all, this has been a good day musically. Now I might consider watching an episode of Flight of the Conchords before I go to bed. I will probably dream of evil scissors cutting my hair, though…


Tundiel said...

*dies laughing* See, this is why I read your blog :)

Excellent digressions today! And yay for the free haircut, and yay for the finding elusive CD, and biggest yay for discovering a hilarious couple of blokes from New Zealand! That's quite a lot of 'ysys', but you've accomplished rather a lot today, so I figure it's deserved :)


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Now *that's* a good story, well-told!

I did shiver a little at the haircut. I have long, fine hair (brown, though), too. I think I would have ended up turning down the free cut...

Mystery Writing is Murder

Cruella Collett said...

Tomorrow is the big day - my free (and slightly scary, I must admit) haircut... The girl also offered me a free colour job, but I decided that the cut is as far as my bravery reaches. My last colour adventures ended with me desperately trying to get my natural colour back, and now that this is largely what I've got, I'm hesitant to go through all that again (even if it is free).

Wish me luck!

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