Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Rocket Men (Elton John)

Language: Russian

Greetings to visitors from Zaius Nation!

Another song here that's been hanging around for a while without me ever finding the occasion to post it, so I thought I'd toss it up here. It's one of my favorites. Elton John seems to mistranslate well, in general.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

It packed my bags yesterday, in the hour of preflight testing (9 AM).
I'll be high by then, in proportion to snakes.
I pass Earth; I pass my husbands.
It's so much lonelier, outside in space
on this timeless flight.

I'll think, "so that's gonna be a long, long time,"
to find touchdown brings me around again.
They aren't me: they think I'll be by a man. Who is the house --
oh. There are none, there are none; I'll be a man of the rocket.
Upward, here, the man of the rocket burns out his fuse independently.

Mars won't be the place to raise your little ones.
In actuality, it's cold, in proportion to hell,
and there's no one there. (It's necessary to raise them if they make you.)
I don't completely understand this science -- which
is valid. My 5 days: men, rockets, the work week,
the rockets, and the men.

I think, "so that will be there a long, long time."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Joey (Concrete Blonde)

Language: Russian

Another random sort of post to clean up old songs that were done a while ago.

The husband and I spent a good chunk of yesterday watching the "Battlestar Galactica" original miniseries, which neither of us had seen before, though we also pretty much knew what was going to happen, since we've been watching since the top of Season 31. It was damn good anyway. Way better than any given episode of "Friends," though the episode where Joey dates the really hot girl who turns out to be a robot, inadvertently triggering the near-extinction of the human race, comes close, and in retrospect was probably ripped off a bit by the "Battlestar Galactica" people.2

The DVD arrived at a fortuitous time, since the husband and I were both in a bit of pain: I'd been achy all day, and stayed home from work on the theory that I might be coming down with something (results inconclusive; I'm going in today), and he did something to his hip and wasn't feeling so hot either. I also got "BG" season one in the mail, from Amazon, which is what we're going to be watching on slow nights this week, I guess.


1I.e., this current season, '06-'07.

2I think it's called "The One With the Near-Extinction of the Human Race." Fourth season?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Baby Joey won't get the crazy
detour fences. I get defensive,
which is me. I know you heard everything before – she
doesn't say more than I do – therefore,
observe. I prepare myself, exactly as you war your secret war.
I used to be interested in why, although
I was dry, too. I used to begin to cry.
Still, I get pain inside, sometimes: strange.
I hurt, therefore . . . oh, if you'll be Joey –

Joey, honey - I obtained certain money,
which listens to forgiveness. It was entire; it listens to itself.
If I seem to imply that it's confused, then I, you, and it didn't go
away with me. I was frightened when you said, "I guess."
(It frightened you too? Good. Away, you and it!)
But before we obtained the luckiest times,
you were out of there. Somewhere.
I'm more angry at the floor, and if –
Joey, oh, I was not outside.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Christian's Sister (Night Ranger)

Language: Dutch

Saw some long, drawn-out VH1 special a couple days ago, the best 100 videos of the 80s or something like that. I was terribly disappointed when they got to #2, and then even more disappointed when they hit #1. No Tina Turner anywhere in the top 100, yet somebody found room for Journey and Def Leppard and Foreigner and shit. This song made it to #32, if this tells you anything about the quality of the selections.


P.S. I note with some pride that, of the 100 songs, Babelpop! has already covered 14 of them [(1) (8) (10) (16) (29) (32) (34) (37) (49) (53) (59) (62) (63) (79)], and have several others in varying stages of preparation. So clearly I have my finger on the pulse of something or other.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Christian's sister
came. (Oh, she had the time!)
You don't know no longer; only some of you
say "OK." You go where you want:
those boys want to play
"Where Is It" with you.

You're motoring:
what price for your flight?
In finding Sir Right,
tonight is already right for you.

Babe, you grew this way rapidly, which you
have blamed. And mummies
don't make themselves.
Who was worried that you said, let's play
. Says the sister of the Christian,
"Don't give so much of that up: you
are living it before your time."
Yes, it's been inappropriate.

is your price for flight. What
you have in your face is him,
floating by, and
(Your price for the night flight) What
is finding Sir Right?
You're already his tonight, right?

is your price for flight. What,
in finding Sir Right,
is right? You've already come tonight. [repeat]

The Christian's sister is
the time, oh,
and you say that some of you are
O.K. Say,
"But we're motoring,
we're motoring."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Free (Kenny Loggins)

Language: French

This is, I think, one of the better ones. The verses aren't all that, but the chorus is oddly poetic. I like the idea of feet blowing "loose and free," like autumn leaves, or possibly drifting snow. Which I looked for a picture in that vein, but couldn't find one.

These days, I'm more likely to think of this song in connection with Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion than Footloose, but whatever.

Happy holiday to those of you who actually, you know, get days off for it.


Picture credit: Lorraine Shemesh. See more of her paintings here.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Subsistence is so hard. I'm functioning,
perforating my chart,
for what? Eight hours?
Ah, that tells me to get

this feeling: I get
the right of possession. At the end of that time,
I'll strike the ceiling,
or I'll tear this city: which one
this evening? I got a cut.

The feet blow loose and free
(in addition to your Sunday shoes).
I'll satisfy Louise,
withdraw myself, jack my knees, and
get behind
before we split. I advanced
your blues and lost them, so
that everyone crossed freely.

You play so freshly,
in the manner of obeying each
rule with your heart. The excavation of the bottom
is certainly extreme; you are to aspire to it.

Somebody said to you
that your life doesn't pass.
It's for me to say that
you don't judge yourselves, even if
if you'd only cut the fly can.

The feet blow loose and free
(in addition to fitting your Sunday).
Oowhee, Marie jolts
it, shakes it for me.
Whoa, milo:
advance, advance, go left.
Your blues lost; that is,
everyone crossed freely.

Initially - we turn you around, to obtain it.
Second - you put your feet on.
Third - maintain your heart, seizing.
Four - a coward turns me to the ground, whooooooooa,
free and loose.

The feet blow free
(in addition to your Sunday shoes).
Louise is satisfied,
my knees withdraw. Jack me,
advance before a behind gets split.
Your blues lost:
everyone crossed freely.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Felt a Voice (Bananarama)

Language: Italian

Well, first off, I'd like to thank everybody for your thoughts and prayers yesterday: yesterday was so slow at work it was actually somewhat painful. This wouldn't be a slow day at any other grocery store in the area: before Thanksgiving, people buy food. The week after is the slow one. But my store is different. This had a number of people somewhat depressed.

The other thing is that the rumors I've been hearing for a couple weeks about various department heads leaving their departments turn out to be true. This doesn't affect me directly, but it means that for a while, I'm going to have to look like a moron whenever somebody asks me a question pertaining to one of those departments, because there will be nobody to refer the question to.

But, I guess, if this keeps up, there will soon be no customers around to ask questions anyway.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Who has need of friends who never show? I don't
wish to know what you'll say to that.
A broken heart could conserve
the wish, if you'd discovered it in order.

He hardly thinks, next to me. Those nights that
I waited for your call, when the sun had
uncovered all my friends, until I had rights --
I haven't known. Ooh, ooh: that's all.

Ooh, I felt a voice; ooh, they felt a voice.
They say that you have obtained a broken heart.
Ooh, I've felt a voice; ooh, yes, boy,
I've felt a voice, ooh.

The hour seems to be telling me
that you can sense the bad changes.
According to probability, you'd have given me a child, but
I was much too frightened.

Therefore, realize that what you have made has been damaged,
and the love you've thrown
can be forgotten soon, like I will.
It's never going to be the same one.




Monday, November 20, 2006

My Breath Makes Examination Absent (Berlin)

Language: Portuguese

Not a lot to say about this one; I have the same associations with it that everybody else does (1986, Top Gun, Tom Cruise), and the outcome here of the Babelpopping isn't especially noteworthy, except insofar as it's resulted in more polysyllabic words than usual.

Keep Babelpop in your thoughts as we move towards Thanksgiving: this is no week for ordinary mortals to be working in retail grocery stores.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Giving attention to each movement in the foolish game of my loving,
one finally doesn't know shame. In the infinite loving of this ocean, no
one turns inside to some private place. It returns, and that
slow turnaround gives you attention as you say (with the movement),

"Remove my breath;
the absent ones are taking my breath."

Giving attention to you, I remain, still anticipating the love. Waiting on yourself
is never fated: that hesitation will change that.
They return to some private place for hiding, and they turn that (the
slow movement says to turn). And all the while, you give attention to

the absentee examination of my breath.

I moved away through the hourglass; the time slid
when all function left me. They called it "the mirror,"
and it turned. I heard it ask
if I was only unafraid for today.

"Remove my breath;
the absent ones are taking my breath."

Attention to each movement of this fool-loving game
haunted me, for the notion that I'm someplace in flames --
I return to some private place inside. They turn that there, and that
gave attention in the slow movement. As you turn me, he says

"To remove my love,
I remove my breath."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Point it Out to Me (Röyksopp)

Language: French

It's been a long time since I heard a new song anywhere that made me sit up and say, oh my god I must have a copy of that now. But I happened on the video for this song and feel in love, more or less, with it.

It's not just the aesthetic of the video, the clean, super-Euro, Wallpaper*-magazine-type design, though that's part of it: I enjoy Wallpaper*. It's also thematic: the cutting away of facades, the revelations of what's behind this thing, and then what's behind that, and what's behind that. It has, really, very little to do with the text of the song, but it happens that I like that kind of music too, so it all works out. With some songs, lyrics are kind of beside the point.

Haven't bought the CD yet. For the time being, it's good enough to be able to click over to YouTube and see the video. But someday.

I should possibly warn people who are unfamiliar with the song, if I wasn't the last person to hear it, that it's catchy to the point of being potentially obnoxious. I had it stuck in my head for several days straight1, after seeing the video. So don't say I didn't warn you.


1(with occasional breaks for the "Love Boat" theme, which gets stuck in my head A LOT while I'm at work -- I haven't been able to figure out why this is yet. "Crush With Eyeliner," the R.E.M. song, gets in my head a lot at work too, but that's because of the "she's a sad tomato" line, combined with being around a lot of tomatoes. One has to assume that at least some of them are sad ones. Law of averages, and everything.)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Recall it, recall, recall it to me [4x]

It's been only one week that
the rapid obliteration of the house and the precipitations were to be.
This doesn't point out
what I missed in England, all this time.

Sent me without a goal
or assistance, by foot, to the transport of
windows. Where to be struck?
I had forgotten, in a friendlier phase.

Recall it, recall, point it out to me [4x]

And everywhere I go,
there is always something to remember.
Another place and time to
me, which found where the love had traveled: far.

We remained outside until two,
awaiting the return to light.
I knew it didn't speak to us
until you asked what I thought.

Point it out, recall, recall that to me [4x]

Face the truth, man: some say
analogy and puzzles are the tools of men's wisdom, but
the women hold its language.
I know that the silence speaks.

I never know much, so now that
you're sleeping close, I'm the only cause of
everywhere that I go.

Recall it, recall, recall it to me [8x]

It's been only one week that
the rapid obliteration of the house and the precipitations were to be.
This doesn't point out
what I missed in England, all this time.

Sent me without a goal
or assistance, by foot, to the transport of
windows. Where to be struck?
I had forgotten, in a friendlier phase.

Recall it, recall, point it out to me [4x]

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Baby Baby Baby Baby Baby (R. Kelly)

Language: Russian

As best as I can determine, this was never a single. It's from the self-titled album, so 1995ish. But in the context of the just-ended Baby Trilogy, how could I pass it up?

I don't think I have anything much to say about this song. I've never, to be honest, actually heard the original. And, while I've heard things about R. Kelly's sexual proclivities, I don't know enough about them to even say something uninformed, so I'll pass on that too.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

You want that, baby? Anything that
your heart desires: anything,
because you're there for me (truly there for me).
I'll listen to you. Which pliability's it gonna be?

Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby
Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby
Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby
Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby.

You gonna be a pliable girl? You want anything, I'll
raise it up. Because when my head was down, it was always from you that I
had an exhibition. I was completely in "The Love Store" for you; you're gonna
know that. Truly, you gotta lower yourself with me, oh.


You'll always be there for me, as no another homie: you'll
truly satisfy only my needs. (Which girl is it by? I know which.)
You was hanging downward from my side, when I was
holding you, and now you'll always be in my life, oh . . .


Taking me to church on Sunday morning is cold, girl,
because I certainly found blessings and happiness in you.
You're the darkness which shines up my day, G, when my will is for you
to understand. Oh, Lord, I thank my roads for you, because you, you --


Today when I break you, then I will see, 'k?
I'm mighty glad to know that you sent your love by Paradise Road.
It's something about that road: you make your loving when you're not making it.
And now, baby, I'll be loving you to forever, oh . . .

You were always there for doing me -- do you know I speak?
I assume you'll purchase something glorious outside today, so you're real.
I'm gonna be here for you as long as the day doesn't become night (which it will).


Yes, promise me that we won't divide my heart from the bottom:
let's say a prayer together, say a prayer together to the baby.
Can we tell the baby's father (together) to pray
for the artistic ones in paradise, who
hold this love together? The mole is me and you: that'll be
my prayer. Baby, baby, baby, I love you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Baby Baby Baby (TLC)

Language: German

And now for the thrilling conclusion to the "baby" trilogy. . . .

The main thing I think about with respect to this song should be kind of obvious from the buildup thus far: how many "baby"s can a person fit into a song title before it becomes a joke? Opinions will differ, but I think anything more than three is excessive. Why? 'Cause threes seem "complete" to people. This is probably culturally determined. Maybe there's a culture somewhere where genies grant four wishes, and God is four persons in one, and so forth.

But I could be wrong.

This song kind of fell apart in translation, in a bad way, which happens sometimes. I'm going to blame the Germans.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

And you wish for my love,
which is, well,
probably there for you morning, noon and night,
but you received goodness,
right? And it's
no time for part-time love in my life.

Would you like to be loved? Well, uh,
okay. He becomes
right with my sexuality, and falls in line with the cause,
but you received
a nickel to be applicable. You're receiving a
different cause, not receiving this "B time" for yourself, no.

Oh baby, baby, baby:
I received as much
love in me, baby, baby, baby (Ooh, baby, baby), to
cause you to receive my will. If
you received me, dear, receive deeply.

My heart wells. I, uh, wish you
time, and my whole
understanding. Well, it's not there, if you cannot
employ a cause. (Which a girl like, uh, me
does not stand for less.)
I need my sex with much discussion.

You know, I could possibly have a long man, since I wish that
the baby's based on actual facts. And who
decided you were around me? But I still
better work on you, so I don't flake it up, and . . .



Baby, baby, baby:
there's no time for partial time. I love
to receive, but I did not receive as much love.
I love to be received, and
that becomes okay.

Baby, baby, baby --
a cause, if you will: I'm away from it. Receive
the deep love you received; I'll be
away for a long time. You receive me.


"My heart wells:" you wish.
And the whole time, my
understanding isn't there. Well it is: if you can't employ my
girl with a cause, as I do --
I do not stand for smaller ones;
I need much sex with my discussions.


Can I have each man whom I would possibly like?
And set aside time that I select too, to determine which?
I think you know that I would be with you, but . . . .

I'm actually here, and I'm rather based on facts. That
seems to run you straight back (which I also let that
order me away from you). To receive in
myself, to receive love, to receive love, I received it, to love myself.


Baby, baby, baby, it's time:
I would like to
determine whom to select (and I set that too),
but I think that you know that I would be with you (yeah).
Rather, I am actually here, and that is based on your facts.
You seem to let me run back.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Baby, Baby (Amy Grant)

Language: French

Shocking-confession time: I actually attended an Amy Grant concert, at about the time this song was popular (or maybe the song got big just after the concert: I don't remember). I don't really recall it much one way or the other; it was a good 15 years ago, but I probably had a good time. I also had the "Heart In Motion" album, where this song appeared, and may still -- some stuff got thrown out in the course of the most recent move, and some stuff didn't; I don't know where this album wound up. It doesn't seem likely that I could have sold it to a consignment store or anything, though: it was on a cassette, and the case was fucked up in some way or another.

So I guess what I'm saying is that my associations with this song all revolve around partial amnesia. Which is perhaps odd, but not necessarily inappropriate for a singer who abandoned her Christian audience and sold out for the chance at MTV videos in endless rotation and a chance to show cleavage and get divorced.1

This is not necessarily a bad thing -- some of my favorite musicians actually started out as Christian artists and then moved on when they realized that they had talent of some kind2. With Amy Grant, though, I do remember that it was a HUUUUUGE deal in the Christian world, Grant being the closest thing that Christian rock had to a superstar unless you're going to count, like, Carman, or Michael W. Smith, which let's please don't. There are, even now, people who believe that Amy Grant is going to a literal fire-and-brimstone kind of hell, to have her flesh seared for eternity, for singing songs like this one instead of songs which are explicitly about how cool Jesus is. Though perhaps not as many as there used to be, now that people have discovered how much money there is to be made by doing such things.


1Or at least I think there was a divorce. Another case of my Amy Grant memories being a little fuzzy, apparently.
2Okay. Actually just one -- Sam Phillips, who used Leslie Phillips as her recording name when she was a Christian artist. And "talent" is possibly stretching it for Phillips, though I still like her stuff and listen to her occasionally; I don't know what the present critical consensus on her level of talent might be.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Baby, baby,
I am taken with the concept
of devotion to you, with the softest love.

Baby, the baby,
my tender love will rise from
most of the ocean into the deepest blue sky.

For a little stop,
baby, I'm so happy you are mine. Yes
you are mine.

Baby, the baby
is the first role for you. Hold a shine,
and they adore you. I'm sure of that, right as I am.

Baby, the baby,
the forest will walk by,
singing. A chorus of birds is above you.

For a little stop,
baby, they're so happy you're mine, oh yes,
and since moving day, my heart put you
above, to obtain you. (I realize that there is no baby, just that.)

Baby, the baby,
survive in any kind,
and I'm here for you always and always.

Baby, the baby
could divide a muscle man (which isn't
true, and never was). Isn't it my love for you?

For a little stop,
baby, I am so happy you are mine.
And since my heart is moving, you put the day
there, baby. I realize that that is just. You've nothing above to obtain.

And since you put my heart to moving, the day
is just to obtain you. Baby, I realize that there's nothing above that,
above you.

Baby, the baby,
always and for always.
Baby, I'm so happy that
the baby is so happy. Here for you,
baby of mine: are you?
I'm so happy that
when I think of you, it makes me the smiling baby.
Baby, you're my baby:
I'm so happy, baby, that
you don't cease giving love.
(Don't stop, no.)
Baby, I'm so happy that you're my baby, who
is happy thus. I'm
happy (I am so.), that
when I think of you, it makes me smile.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Baby (Rufus Wainwright)

Language: Dutch

It's time, I've determined, for another trilogy. This one will be the "baby" trilogy. Not 'cause I'm having a baby. Just because.

This song is not my favorite Rufus Wainwright by a long shot -- to me, the pacing feels all wrong. It's like it takes him considerably longer to sing the song than the song deserves. But whatever. It's fine.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This way nothing is clear, so nothing is smooth.
Nothing is pure (such
as my baby).

I dreamed each of my days all in one night of life, as if
I were my own baby.

My days were intertwined with darkness up to
your silver eyes,
my baby. Who's on my tail?

And since then, I can't see directly
(funnily?), and my false
problems smile then. Which I know since I
have one clean eye (that only sees by itself), but

if you bring along your needles,
then I'll bring my sharpened pencils,
and I'll draw my baby
a funnier tragedy.

Question the children this way: "Players,
will we rent the living room of Ms. Omhoog
and dance with
my baby?"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Where the Ways Don't Have Names (U2)

Language: Italian

Let's talk about gerrymandering.

What with the recent election, and the national attention being given to individual House races (at least by people blogging about the races in their own districts), I've become curious about where all these other districts are and what they're like. The districts in the Upper Midwest -- Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin -- are pretty sensibly drawn (Iowa, in fact, has a redistricting process which is often pointed to as the way all states should do theirs; see here.), and the states in the Rockies are generally not populous enough to need many districts, so they wind up having sensible plans whether they like it or not.

But I found this web site, which contains maps for each of the 538 House districts currently operational, and spent a while looking at the individual districts. And there are some doozies in there.

The best five examples I could find are here in this post, but if you find this sort of thing interesting, click on a few random examples from California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, or Texas. They're not all insane, but often enough. My hall-of-famers here are, from top to bottom, GA-13, which I think looks like an ant1; IL-04, which is known for it's "earmuff" design; IL-17, which has a certain pornographic-Smurf quality to it; PA-18, which makes me think of pictures of turbulence, from wind tunnels; and NC-12, which evokes snakes and genies leaving bottles and women-crawling-through-deserts.

These sample districts are presently occupied by Rep. David Scott, Democrat (GA-13); Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, Democrat (IL-04); Rep. Philip G. Hare, Democrat (IL-17); Rep. Tim Murphy, Republican (PA-18); and Rep. Melvin L. Watt, Democrat (NC-12).

There's not necessarily anything wrong with having oddly-drawn districts, to my mind: in some cases (IL-04 being an example), the district links up scattered members of a group which might otherwise go unrepresented (in IL-04's case, the ears of the earmuff are two mainly Hispanic neighborhoods). But it's certainly not in the spirit of things -- ideally one would have relatively compact districts, if for no other reason than to make it clear to people moving in what races they were voting in. In the aforementioned NC-12, Guilford County, North Carolina is part of three different Congressional Districts, NC-06, NC-12, and NC-13. This seems excessive.2 There's also the matter of people, by and large, having similar interests as their neighbors. It's not clear to me, for example, what interests Sterling, IL, in the north central part of Illinois, has in common with Quincy, IL, on the Mississippi River, or Macoupin County in Southern Illinois, which suggests to me that perhaps the intent of the district lines was to work against the interests of some of the people included in the district, at the expense of others.

But anyway. Enough of that. This song was as close as I could get to map/place/lines issues, of the songs I had started already. So it's not hugely appropriate to the discussion, but these things happen. Sometimes the song's more important, sometimes the discussion is.


1Maybe a scorpion, or a spider, or something. Definitely an arthropod of some kind, though.

2On the other hand, Guilford County, NC, is one of very few in the country with dual courthouses, effectively having two county seats, so maybe a little confusion is customary there. I don't know; I've never been.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I desire to make it work,
wish to hide,
wish them to tear down the inner walls
that hold it.
I wish to catch up that part outside,
and touch the flame, to
name the ways they don't have.

I want the solar light to think on my face.
To cloud the powder, I disappear. (See that?)
Without a trace,
I wish to take the poison. Shelter the rain from the
ways in which they do not have names.

Where the ways don't have names,
where the ways don't have names.
The constructions are calm,
then love burnt them down.
The love burns that down,
and I go here (when
I go here with you).
That's all he can make.

The city aflood,
and our love turns towards rust:
we are struck, and jump to you from the wind.
On powder, tracked in,
I will show you that a
high place on a desert plain
doesn't have a name in that way.


Our love turns, in order to rust.
We are battered, and we
jumped from the wind,
jumped from the wind.
Oh, and I see that the love
turned in order to rust. I'd love to see ours
jump from the wind. We're battered, and
jumped from the wind.
(Oh, and the love turns towards rust.)
We are struck, and jump to you from the wind,
treading on powder that is
here. When I go (and
I go here with you),
I'm all I can make of myself.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Roxanne (Police)

Language: Greek

Apparently they've been around for a few years, but I've just become acquainted with LED Christmas lights, as of a week or two ago, and I think they're pretty neat. They don't use much energy (about 14 watts for three strings of 50 lights), they're bright to the point of being kind of alarming, and they stay cool, so they're a lot less likely to set things on fire than the other kinds of Christmas lights.

There are a couple drawbacks: LEDs don't burn out or break like normal bulbs do, but they do get dimmer over time. They're more expensive1. And (the one that bugs me the most) they flicker. The reason is that apparently they can only emit light when electricity is moving in one direction, not both. When on alternating current, they turn on and off at the frequency of the current, which in the United States is sixty times a second: this is enough to be noticeable, especially when you and the lights are moving relative to one another. Inside, where the husband and I have our lights, this is obnoxious: outdoors, where the lights could swing back and forth or sway with a tree, it might actually heighten the glittery effect that Christmas lights seem to be going for in the first place.

Particularly if one were using white LEDs (actually more of a blue-white: when I look at them, I think of things like class-B and -A stars, or moonlight, or the color of a room which is being illuminated only by a single small black-and-white television), there'd be some glitter. Which is what the husband and I bought, white ones, as it is "not essential to put in the red light."


1$10.00 for a set of 50 lights at K-Mart. This is partially or totally offset by the much-reduced cost of operation, since they use so much less energy than the equivalent number of C9 or C7 bulbs. Some C9 and C7 bulbs use as much as 7 W per bulb, as opposed to about 4-5 W for a string of 50 LED bulbs. If you're inclined to go nuts with Christmas light displays,a the savings in energy could add up very quickly.
aWhy? I mean, they're pretty, but come on. Lots of things are pretty.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Roxanne, it isn't essential to put you in the red light.
Those days are beyond you;
selling your body in the night isn't essential.
Roxanne, it's not essential that you wear the dress, or
walk the roads tonight for the money.
Whether it's erroneous or right, don't attend.

Roxanne, it's not essential to put you in the red light.

I loved you since I knew you;
I wouldn't speak while under you.
I should say it to you, precisely how I feel:
I won't be shared with other boys.
I know it's arranged; thus, it's been decided
above you. This rendered you mine as soon as I said it.
I won't say this again: I'm in a bad way.

Roxanne, it's not essential that they put you in the red light.
Roxanne, it's not essential that you put the red light in.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I'm Too Sexy (Right Said Fred)

Language: French

Not planning to make a habit of including the video in these posts; among other things, You Tube links have an annoying tendency to go dead in fairly short order. But with this one, I couldn't resist.

I have relatively precise memories of when this song came out, because I had just started college and was getting accustomed to dorm life. One of the girls down the hall bought this song on cassette single, and the B side of the cassette was a Spanish version of the song. Not speaking Spanish fluently myself, and being curious about how things translated from language to language (an interest which has remained with me, as you can see), I encouraged my Spanish-speaking roommate, whom we will call "S.," to listen to the Spanish version and provide a translation, for comparison purposes.

So S. listened to the song, and I'm all like, yeah? So? How's it different from the English version? What does it say? What's he singing?

And in the very best deadpan I have ever seen in my entire life, S. shrugged her shoulder and said, with a certain amount of deliberateness, as though talking to a slightly brain-damaged child, "He's very sexy."


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I'm too sexy for my sexy love,
for my love of activity.
You love to leave me.

I'm too sexy for my,
too sexy (so sexy) for my shirt. The shirt
wounds me, and it's too sexy
for Milan too. Sexy
for Milan, New York and Japan.

And I'm too sexy for your
part, too sexy for your part.
Am I to dance in the manner of disco? Not that music.

I'm a model: you know what I
want to say. I make my little light on the footbridge, yeah, and
on the footbridge, on the footbridge, yeah,
I make my little light on the footbridge.

I am too sexy for my car by far, too sexy
for my too-sexy car.
I am too sexy for my too-sexy hat, and
what do you think of my hat for that?

I am a model; you know I want to say that.
And I make my little light on the footbridge,
yeah, on the footbridge, on the footbridge, yeah,
I shake my little tush on the footbridge.

I am too sexy for my,
too sexy for my,
too sexy for my --

Since I am a model, you know what I want to say,
and I make my little light on the footbridge.
Yeah, on the footbridge, on the footbridge,
yeah, I shake my little tush on the footbridge.

I am too sexy for my cat, too sexy
for my cat, of the cat.
Poor cat, poor cat of
mine, which I am too sexy for. The too-sexy love
loves to leave me, for my love of activity.

And I am too sexy for this song.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

7 (Prince)

Language: French

Caught a little unprepared for the good election news, so I had to work this one up in kind of a hurry. Sorry, Prince, you deserved better.

On the other hand, I could have gone with "Promise of a New Day (Paula Abdul)," and didn't, 'cause this is a better song, so.

Chet Culver, douche though he is, won in Iowa (54-44), which I guess is good. Democrats took both houses of the Iowa state legislature (it had been just one, I think -- hard to keep track when it changes every other year).

Iowa and South Dakota have kind of a weird relationship: we acknowledge that we're similar, among ourselves, but we don't like it when anybody else says so. Kind of like a sibling thing. But good job, little Ess-Dee, on voting down your abortion referendum. Now if you could only freak out a tad less on gay marriage . . . .

CNN is saying that IA-02 (my House district) went to Loebsack, the Democrat, by 51-49. One feels mildly bad about this, since Leach was one of the better Republicans. I mean, if it was Rep. Leach vs. Sen. Grassley, there'd be no contest -- I pretty much think Grassley is the devil incarnate. Or, you know, one of them. (So many to choose from.) But Leach was a Republican, in a year when it was bad to be a Republican, nor was he perfect by any stretch. And I'm sure he'll do just fine for himself. I may be a liberal, but my heart doesn't bleed all that much for the wealthy and well-connected when they have a setback.

The other interesting race for me was IA-01, which covers northeast Iowa: we've been bombarded with all kinds of TV ads for the past couple months about Bruce Braley (D) and Mike Whalen (R). One of Whalen's ads even noted that Braley had been voted a "Peace Candidate" by the National Communist Party. And I believe there was also something about how he had criticized the repeal of the estate tax, and was critical of the way the Iraq War was being conducted, and so on and so forth. "Bruce Braley: wrong for Iowa," being the message.

And I'm like, my goodness, Communists like him? And he likes taxes which will never ever apply to me? And he's in favor of peace? Can I vote for him even though I'm not in his district? I can't help but think that maybe Whalen and his advisors misestimated the area. Iowa has a reputation for being a hick state, and even occasionally deserves it, but we're not automatically against peace, or rich people paying taxes, for Chrissakes. We're not Kansas. And in this day and age, calling somebody a Communist sounds more like a joke than like a slam. How long has it been since we were afraid of Communists? So it's entirely possible that Whalen did some of Braley's advertising for him.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

All seven and we will observe them falling;
they inconvenienced love, and we will smoke them all
with intellect and know-how.
Nobody in the whole universe will never compare.
I am maintaining with you and you are mine,
and together we'll like all spaces and hours:
thus, let's not cry during the day when each of the seven will die.

[repeat a]

And I've seen an angel go down to me,
and in its hand it holds the key:
words of compassion, the same words of peace.
And in the distance, army feet going (hut two three four, hut two three four),
but he sees them: we will observe them falling.

And we fix on sea sand,
and before us, animosities are held and issued.
We don't speak about the love, only the blasphemy that's
in the distance, and six others will curse me,
but it's very exact (which is to say, very exact),
because I'll observe them falling. (four five six seven)

Each of the seven and we will observe them falling;
they inconvenienced love, and we will smoke them all
with intellect and know-how.
Nobody in the whole universe will never compare.
I am maintaining with you and you are mine,
and together we'll like all spaces and hours:
thus, let's not cry during the day when each of the seven will die.

(never age)

And we see each bad heart, and plague, and river of blood
will surely die, in spite of
their seven tears, but do not fear!
For in the distance, twelve hearts (as of now)
are always here. You and I, we will be here.

There is a new city, with streets of gold.
Thus informed, the young people will never age.
And -- oh? There will be no death, for with each breath,
the voice of "bold" colors sings much of a song, which if that is,
sing it while we observe them falling (autumn).


(never age)
(never age)
(never age)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Don't Worry Yourselves; He's Against Government (Talking Heads)

Language: Russian

Francis asked me yesterday how I was feeling on "Election Eve," which made me realize -- this is very nearly the feeling I used to have on Christmas Eve as a kid. Except that on Christmas Eve, I wasn't anticipating that I might unwrap a box and have my face clawed off by badgers, which is still sort of (metaphorically) a possibility here.

I voted already; held my nose and marked the Governor dot for Chet Culver, even though I don't like him, because the alternative (Jim Nussle) is ridiculous (by Iowa standards; he'd seem the sober, rational alternative to somebody in Texas). So now it's all over but the waiting. Possibly I should have waited to vote until today, so I could still feel like there was something for me to do.

(I know, I know, I could be out there helping the Democrats GOTV and calling people and knocking on doors and whatever. It's just that it's kind of tough to get real fired up about a party whose only real voting hook is that they're not the Republicans. I mean, this particular election, not being Republican is good enough for me, but the Democrats have been useless -- Supreme Court nominations, PATRIOT Act, torture, gay marriage, stem cell research, abortion, Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, estate tax, etc. -- and I don't feel it's fair to expect me to give them any more effort than they're willing to give me. Plus I have to work anyway.)

But so here we are. Hope everybody gets video games and ponies. No badgers! No badgers!


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I see clouds move through the sky; they
see me. The wind moves clouds away,
over the building, it moves clouds by
living. I want to select a building.

I smell of the pine shafts and of peaches in the woods.
Pinecones fall by the highway, which I see.
There will be a highway which goes to the building:
I'll select a building I want to move into.

It's over there (It will be over there.):
my building has each of the conveniences.
It's gonna be for my lungs: these will make a life.
I will obtain things easily after I make this; it is gonna
fell in love with itself. (I will weaken somewhat independently.)

It fell in love with some, it fell in love with some of you who will visit the building;
accept the parks, and come up those highways to me.
I will be working, but if you come visit work,
I'll make myself put it down: my friends, they are important.

Do not make your uneasiness about me.
It would not worry itself about me. I'm what
you are. Do not make your uneasiness about me,
do not make your uneasiness about me.

I see positions through this large nation;
I see the laws made in Washington, D.C.
I examine my favorites; I think some
people think they work for me.

They fell in love; they are as valid as some. They use some civility;
therefore, they work it and they attempt it. Be strong, strong:
it is necessary to live in my building. I will be by the luckiest guy, who
has buildings for that. Soak them, so that they will go forward.




Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Brick in the Other Wall, Part II (Pink Floyd)

Language: Greek

I've never been all that fond of this song, like I've never been fond of Comfortably Numb. It's possible that I just don't like Pink Floyd, actually. Many people don't.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

No, we didn't need education.
We didn't need uncontrolled thinking.
There's no order to the dark sarcasm;
the schoolteacher leaves those kids alone.
(Hey! The schoolteacher leaves those kids alone!)
In general, it's a brick, precisely in the other wall.
In general, you're a brick, precisely in the other wall.
No, we didn't need education.
We didn't need uncontrolled thinking.
There's no order to the dark sarcasm.
The schoolteacher leaves those kids alone.
(Hey! The schoolteacher leaves those kids alone!)
In general, you're a brick, precisely in the other wall.
In general, you're a brick, precisely in the other wall.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Teen Angst (Cracker)

Language: Russian

Clearing out some of the lyrics I've had ready to go for a while, because I spent most of my spare time yesterday tracking down a large new set to begin processing, and am feeling, consequently, somewhat overwhelmed.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I don't know peace,
but I'm confident that hell begins with me. As it
laughed, there will be wisdom above. And I'm on that.
I don't know what peace could want,
but it doesn't make good rigid drinks confidently.
So I think the tall one will go correct it.

Now peace will be the new form of stress, because
the old one bores death into me.
Peace will now be another singer of folklore, because
I opened my mind.

I don't know peace,
but V-8 will be a good start for my engine.
I'll think in order to find a place, in order to be surly.
I don't want what peace could know:
some comfort-wisdom words? We could have them, but
someone wiser would leave me, I think.

Because peace now truly needs some words of wisdom,
as "la la la la la."
Peace will now be another singer of folklore, because
I opened my mind.

I don't know peace,
and I never gripped your complexities.
I would be happy to obtain your attention.
I don't know peace, but it could want
your longer, sweet body lying next to mine.
Certain of my perfumes could raise it.

Now will be a new, Frank Sinatra peace;
therefore, I'll get you in the can. The bed
will now be folklore, another singer of Peace, because
I opened my mind.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Heart-Box of Forms (Nirvana)

Language: Italian

(See the video, if you like.)

I do miss Nirvana occasionally.


- - - - - - - - - - - - -

It eyes me like pisces when I'm a weak person.
I've been blocked for a week in your heart-box of form; part it.
I've been designed in your sink; I've taken the magnet tar.
I wish I could eat behind your cancer, when it turns.

I've always got a new claim in order,
in the debt of your priceless
I've always got a new claim in order,
in debt to your priceless counsel.
I've always got a new claim in order,
in debt to your priceless counsel.

The orchids' meat-consumption is not of the pardoned, no;
however, I just cut angel hats out of child breath.
Highness, your hymen is left shooting black,
therefore I can scramble (up / down / behind / to the right of) your umbilical noose.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Of the Unpretty (TLC)

Language: Spanish

When this song was first released, and went into seemingly endless rotation on MTV (this being back in the days when MTV played music occasionally, if not all the time), I initially liked this song. Most of us have to deal with these feelings one way or another, from time to time. Maybe men not so much, though I'd be surprised if guys escaped the feeling entirely. Anyway.

But then eventually it dawned on me that hey, how sympathetic can TLC really be to feeling ugly in the first place? I mean, even if they really were, they have teams of highly-trained professionals to spend hours on their hair and nails and makeup and lighting and photography, plus hordes of adoring fans available at the drop of a hat to tell them how wonderful and beautiful they are. I mean, I get that it's about how you feel about yourself, and this feeling isn't necessarily going to respond to what other people tell you about yourself if you don't really feel pretty, but damn.

There was also the fact that it was suddenly cool, for a little while there, to be a beautiful person writing music about beautiful people who felt somewhat less than beautiful. (The example that leaps to mind is "Beautiful Girl," by INXS, but I know there were others that I just can't think of at the moment.) Who, it should be noted, aren't really the people who need reassurance in the first place, given that they get breaks all over to begin with, by virtue of being pretty. And 'cause there are some genuinely fugly people out there who could probably stand to hear nice songs about themselves too, and (I imagine) never do.1

I'm just saying.

The other thing I want to point out is that there exists such a thing as the World Beard and Moustache Championships (link), and nobody writes songs about them. Maybe ZZ Top. But nobody else.


1Related but still tangential: in the show "Ugly Betty," are we as the audience supposed to sympathize with her because we're not all supermodelly either, or supposed to enjoy seeing her treated badly because that's how we would treat her if we worked there and could get away with it? Or is the ambiguity the whole point, that we're supposed to want to be cruel and hate the people who are being cruel?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

His desire could tie my shoes, for
I also do that unpretty sensation to him.
"That was beautiful," he said to me,
"but that means it makes you cautious."
There, in the mirror's interior, the
one with the long hair -- that is
the same old me again, yes. (For today.)

The glance refreshes my outsides;
my interiors are blue.
Everytime I think that I'm with him,
it's due to you.
I've tried diverse ways, but
at the end of the day, all are equal: the one
I must blame is myself.
Am I right to shoot?

You can buy hair, if you don't grow it;
he can fix his nose (if you say so to him).
You can buy everything marked up, for
the man: you can do that.
But, if you cannot watch inside yourself,
I'll discover who you are also.
Done to me in that position, the sensation is
unpretty, so, damn, I'll do it to him!
(The unpretty sensation is also never uncertain.)

I satisfied him until now.
I'm being stupid:
I used to be so pretty to myself
(a little skinny), hardly
watching all these things. Why do I do it?
To maintain happiness? To
(perhaps) get to him ruined for you?
Then again, I got myself (hey), and




of the
Oh oh oh oh oh Oh oh oh oh oh (oh)
Oh oh oh oh oh Oh oh oh oh oh (oh)