I could stop the countdown now. This is my #1 as of October 9, 2013.Truly. This song has been my favorite song for the past year, maybe two years. I’ve often pushed onward with this countdown for the purpose of getting to this song. I have listened to “Love Letter” more than any other song; I am certain. What the hell did I ever know about alt-rock, post-punk singer-songwriter Nick Cave prior to about two years ago? Nothing. Perhaps I had heard of him, but I had never heard him. Then, one day, I was browsing a friend’s Spotify playlist. I had to listen to a song called “Love Letter”. And it filled my heart was aching and yearning and passion and all those squishy things that a song should do, but in a richer, more piercing way than any other song I’d ever heard. Just…perfect.
So why only #114? I didn’t know how to rate a song I had never heard before. Each time I heard it, I’d give it a higher rating. In late December 2011, I went through my song list and gave each song a “final” rating. I wrote at the time:
“From unknown to top 10…if i had more time… Hard to know if it’s just a phase. When I finally post this, how will I feel about this rating?”
It would have actually been #11 had I just gone with the very last rating. Instead, it lands down here. Two years is a long time, and, as I’ve made apparent several times, my affinity and nostalgia for some of the lighter fare in this countdown has faded. I hesitate to say my tastes are more sophisticated now. After all, the album “No More Shall We Part” was reviewed by one critic as being at risk of devolving “into schmaltz” (I learn from Wikipedia). So it makes sense why I love this song. But even those people who rate songs at RateYourMusic.com like it; it cracks the top 5000.
As I did my ratings for this countdown, there were 5 or 6 songs I figured had a chance to be #1, and any of them could have wound up on top. If I were doing a countdown based on what I love today, “Love Letter” would be on top. I am certain.
Officially, I have no blog posts posted for the last 2 1/2 months. (I have three drafts that I’ve posted and then rescinded). A post about blog posting can come later. Perhaps I’ll be starting back up again. At the very least, I’ll play catch-up with my Top 379 recaps. Even though most of the songs no longer inspire me as they once did, as they apparently did as recently as two years ago when I rated them, I still feel an obligation to myself to see this through. Unfortunately, at the pace I’ve been posting, it will take me years to get through, and the songs will be even further removed from my present affinities. Though, I must admit, whenever I cringe over a song I need to post, and perhaps there are weeks I procrastinate before posting it, when I finally get around to it, and I listen to the song several times, that affection returns. There were genuine reasons I’ve rated these songs highly, and, I know I still fear judgement for sharing them.
Anyway, I will present my write-up of #114 in full here. I don’t know who’s reading Toastiest besides my father. (Hi, Dad). I suppose I’ll put this link on Facebook. If you’ve seen this via Facebook, I’ll kindly ask that you actually comment in here if you have a comment, just because I don’t share this blog with all my Facebook friends, for various reasons. I can’t quite tell these days if Facebook is still announcing to all your friends when you comment on someone else’s page. I know, I can’t really control this. Enough of this social sharing ruminating…
As I’ve done before, here’s the recap of the rest. Maybe I’ll get to #112 on this quiet Friday night.
Two more months of posts. I just got back into the mode of posting one nearly every day. Why? Isn’t this a lost cause? Am I not reliving the past, a past that by no means warrants conjuring? The romantic in me barely survives, and for as much as I’ve thought that flame deserves to keep burning, I’m sorely tempted to snuff it out. I’m afraid I’ll just continue talking in riddles if I go on with any attempts to write about this. I’ll go on, anyway. I haven’t done a public ramble in awhile.
This list is my life. This list was my life. This list bears no resemblance to my life. All of the above.
Then again, this blog bears no resemblance to my life. Even the darkest, most personal passages that are still out there for public consumption don’t dig as deeply or go as dark as the absolute truth. Ok, that doesn’t equate to “no resemblance”.
This wasn’t supposed to be another one of my meta-blogging posts…but I’m in a no self-censorship mode at the moment, so I shall trudge along…
As the Top 379 trudges along…I want to finish this up. I should’ve hit #1 back in January if I had stuck with the post-a-day plan. I didn’t. And posting these songs, that occasionally mean a great deal to me, is like chopping down a tree in the middle of the forest. For whatever reason, it’s important to me that people rate the songs, even when, and especially when, they hate the song. Because, for as much as I don’t need to defend any music I like, if you think a song is a 2.7/10, I will take that into consideration and my opinion on the matter may evolve in a way that’s beneficial to me.
Enough blathering for now…here are the last 11 songs posted to the Top 379. I think the songs are becoming more and more awesome, as songs of a countdown should. Rate them. It makes me happy when you rate them, so why wouldn’t you?
I finally used my credit for five 16×20 canvas prints from mypix2canvas.com which operates locally out of Apex. I had already had one previous canvas of Herman and Aremid together. I spent awhile trying to figure out how I’d arrange these six prints. Two rows of three is what I had planned for months. Ultimately, I realized that one just didn’t fit.
So these five are together:
Aremid gets the most wall-space, and the prints are arranged in a sort-of symmmetry: Aremid-Zellouisa-Herman-Aremid-Zellouisa-Herman-Aremid.
I didn’t pick these up during my first run-through of the show. In my grief, I get one spoiler alert. Ok, three. But I won’t reveal what these characters have to do with Mr. F or the Featherbottom legacy. I’ll give the episode, though, if you want to look for them.
Episode 8: Red Hairing
Hey, it’s Herman and Featherbottom!
Episode 9: Smashed
What is Tommy Tune doing on Arrested Development?
Episode 12: Señoritis
Maeby is her father’s daughter…and her mother’s daughter…
As previously reported in Facebook, because that’s where breaking news happens, Mr. Featherbottom passed away on Thursday after a very brief illness. He was approximately 4 years only. He was only with me for a little more than 9 months. I had Aremid for 16 years. I’ve had Zellouisa for 16 years. Herman is 12 going on 13. I figured he would be my insurance policy against losing all my pets at once. His run in the household was shockingly brief.
I am only being honest to say that I resented him at times for his aloofness and seeming lacking of affection. He was the prototypical cat in ways, whereas I was used to cats who clearly adored me and gave back to me as much as I gave to them. But I also realized that Mr. F couldn’t help how he had been treated for the first 3 years of his life. He didn’t dole out much love and would keep to himself, but he was also extremely trusting and would not hesitate to make himself completely vulnerable by falling asleep splayed out on his back.
It may have been for the best that he played the role he did. He crowded out Zellouisa for food and raised Herman’s anxiety level by blocking his path, but, generally, he did not angle for attention and didn’t mind at all that I gave most of mine to H & Z.
He never curled up in bed with me or cuddled on the couch or cuddled at all. It wasn’t his thing. Maybe that would have changed if he had ever become the prime pet, maybe not. He was a beloved member of my family, even if I never had much cause to say “good boy”. I called him “big boy” a lot, but it was said with affection…mostly. I would kid with him that he would just take and take and take. This was true, but I came to accept that he was here to simply be a cat.
He was a big boy, indeed. I struggled to strike the right balance between getting geriatric Zellouisa enough calories and keeping Mr. F’s obesity in check. Pancreatitis can be caused by obesity, and Mr. F hadn’t been to the vet since I took him home last September. But his weight had stabilized months ago, and, considering he had seemed fine as recently as last weekend, my vet thinks this acute onset was caused by something out of my control. Had his diet contributed to “the worst case of pancreatitis” she had ever seen, it would have been because he had eaten a tub of lard, she said. It was a freak thing. Fine one day. Ravaged by disease the next.
He had been noticeably ill on Tuesday. I brought him to my regular vet on Wednesday. An ultrasound early Thursday confirmed the suspicion of pancreatitis, and it was as bad as it could be.
I shall note that I did not have to have him put to sleep. The alternative would have been to send him to the 24-hour veterinary hospital, like where Herman had been last week for a couple of days. Except Mr. F would have had to have been there for 5-7 days, being tube-fed, and in constant discomfort. He had already been in tremendous pain for 48 hours. And…to be perfectly blunt, the financial cost would’ve been staggering. IF I had not just spent a staggering amount on Herman’s surgery…IF I had had Mr. F for years…IF we had established the same strong bond I had with my other pets…maybe I would have done whatever it took to save him. BUT…it was also likely, given the severity of his condition, that, having survived this trauma, he would have been left with massive organ damage and constant health problems. I don’t have to justify my decision, but I want to be honest about my thought process. I could have tried for a different outcome. On so many levels, though, it just wasn’t worth it.
I actually contemplated not going out to the vet when Mr. F was put down. He wouldn’t care, I thought. But I quickly changed my mind. I owed him that. And he was actually more alert than I suspected he would be. He let me give him a belly rub for awhile, so I think he was aware of my presence. But eventually he did move away, and he eventually turned his back on me, which was typical of him. I don’t begrudge him that. Unlike with Aremid, I didn’t stay to watch the end. I knew that by the time I left the parking lot, he’d already be in an irreversible state and gone within a few minutes.
Mr. Featherbottom deserves a more loving tribute than what I’ve given him so far. Let’s see…he loved belly rubs. He loved to eat. He’d crowd out Zellouisa, but it was amusing to watch. He would get his rear in the way of the food I was trying to put in the bowl. He’d zig-zag between my legs as I’d walk, and I stepped on him a few times as a result.
It was a week or two after I got him before I realized that the adorable ridiculously high pitched squeeks he emitted were signs of unhappiness. He expressed discomfort with mousy noises, not growls or whails. He didn’t particularly enjoy being picked up, but I’d do it just to hear these sounds.
So he was adorable…all the time. He way eye candy if you enjoy watching cute cats. Sitting in a loaf with his big butt or splayed out on the floor in a squashed position. Curled up asleep. Stretched out on his side. Perfectly content on his back, full belly exposed…
Mr. Featherbottom took full advantage of the storm door I had put in back in December, as he’d lie down in front of it and gaze outside even know he never expressed any interest in going outside. I’m not sure if he had ever set foot in the outdoors. He would play kind of a game of chicken with Herman where I would come back home with Herman after a walk, and it was entertaining to see which one would give way first. Sometimes Herman would get to the door and turn around in fear. Other times, Mr. Featherbottom would bolt.
I wish we had more time. I was so curious if our relationship would evolve, what he might be like in a few years when he was the prime pet. I’m not going to know. Poor guy. I hope he was happy here.
Herman’s going in tomorrow for the surgery I said I was considering. It actually feels a bit sudden because we went in for a surgical consult today, and I had figured we’d be scheduling it a few weeks ago, but the surgeon could fit him in tomorrow, so I decided sooner is better. If Herman has 1-2 good years left, we should get those started asap. Like with my own surgeries, I’m not giving much thought to worst case scenarios. What’s the point? I’m assuming he’ll be fine. If he’s not, it’ll be horrible. If I worry about a horrible outcome now, it will still be just as horrible.
Pic from September 2007, when Herman was a spry 6 or 7 years ago.
Asked to watch this before taking a training module at work:
Three immediate reactions:
1. It’s all very cool…but
2. The audience members hooting and hollering are a little too excited…
3. And actually physical interaction with the world and with people is far more important than all of this…
I’m becoming increasingly indifferent to technology.