Monday, June 25, 2007


There is a line in a song called "luv [sic] Part 3" by a Japanese DJ named Nujabes. It says: "It's funny how music puts time in perspective... Adds a soundtrack to your life and perfects it."

I know (from a deodorant commercial) that smell is the sense most strongly related to memory, but I bet hearing a familiar tune can have an equally strong tie to one's memory.

A few nights ago I decided to do something I haven't done in a while. I was going to run with my iPod. Rather than taking time to make a playlist I decided to keep it on 'shuffle'. Towards the end of the run I came across a song that I haven't heard in a very long time. Maybe it was because I'm out of shape and was lightheaded from the run, but for some odd reason this song seemed to lift a curtain and unveil memories I had completely forgotten. As I warmed down and continued to listen, the song not only evoked images but also emotions and a sense of excitement.

The same way that certain genres of music define a generation (i.e. disco and the 70s) certain songs can define times, events and people in one's personal life. And when I reflect on my own soundtrack, it really is something funny whenever I hear Coolio and think of my first grade class, or how John Lennon makes me think of my mom teaching me to play the piano.

It is common, at a party or among friends to have a conversation that begins with "Dude, do you guys remember...(fill in the blank)" This is when someone decides to recall their favorite childhood cartoons, old teachers, or toys. Everyone erupts in laughter and applause and contributes to the subject. "Or what about... (another blank)" Then there is that one person who didn't have cable or went to a private school and has no idea what everyone is talking about but has fun laughing along anyway. Songs can be the same way. I can hear a song and be back in seventh grade and lip-syncing on stage with my two best friends. I hear another song and taken to Hollywood, the time I saw it live in concert.

As a fan of music, and a sucker for sentimental value I find it more and more difficult to take songs off my iPod or delete songs from my library. I like to believe that although I may never care to hear Lil' Zane again, maybe someday I'll come across that song and appreciate what it will bring back.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

More Fun with the Baptizer

My room mate often says I'm a the "perfect consumer". He means to say that I'm a sucker for good commercials and easily persuaded by advertisements. But who cares what he says? He has a bowl cut. [Haha only kidding Andrew : ) ] There is some truth to this. I have been known to make some unnecessary purchases, and after all most of my blogs are mere endorsements and analysis of products that I buy or food that I taste or music that I hear. Such is the nature of commentary. However, I must say that it takes a lot for something to make its way from a fleeting opinion in my incessant internal monologue to the topic of my latest blog. That thing must have held my attention or triggered a strong reaction.

A few posts ago I mentioned a 200 yd. water balloon launcher that I call "The Baptizer".The water balloon launcher is basically a really long surgical tube with two handles and a pouch that cradles the balloon. It's a three man operation two men each hold a side of the sling and one man pulls back the loaded pouch like a catapult. My brother and I recently discovered a two-man method in which one man on a knee holds both ends and raises his arms above his head as the other cocks back the pouch. The 200 yd. part, by the way, is no exaggeration. This is probably the only thing worth mentioning twice in my blog. The past few weeks I've had this thing and it has been a blast. Not only was it a hit at Bay to Breakers but it's been a hit at every summer gathering this year. The launcher is instant fun in any setting. They are good for parties, picnics, the beach, parades or even just in the middle of night under the cover of darkness.

The launcher can be found online or at any Sports Chalet... Note that there are two ranges. The 100 yd. and 200 yd. launcher. I have never seen the 100 yd. launcher in action but imagine that can only be half as fun.