Things Consumed

visit the latest entry in things consumed | visit the things consumed archives | return to | subscribe to the feed

Monday, September 15, 2008

"He Kills Me Singing"

  Ever since my employer relocated headquarters to Eville (a.k.a. Emeryville, California), I have been talking about Eville's natural soundtrack. That is, whatever the radio station of choice is for the Emery-Go-Round ( shuttle bus system, free buses which haul workers from MacArthur BART to the various reaches of Emeryville's office spaces.

2007 felt dominated by easy listening, but 2008 marked a change to KBLX, which led to... Well, okay, more easy listening. And the amusement of my most regular shuttle driver that I know all the words to Michael Jackson's 1979 album Off The Wall. The problem with so many of the tunes KBLX plays is that I know the lyrics to the songs they play. (Yes, because I am old.) And often, those lyrics stick in my head.

One morning, they played Let's Get It On. Imagine spending your day writing dry legal documents with Let's Get It On on endless loop in your head. It's just not pretty.

The source of recent mental-loop torment was the rather lovely, painfully sticky song Killing Me Softly with His Song ( by Roberta Flack. Which is a really, really persistent... [sound of struggle] Anyway, it's actually a very good song. I wanted to know more about it.

After downloading a version of it and listening to it a few times, all roads led to Wikipedia. Unsurprisingly, Wikipedia's many obsessive-compulsive contributors have outdone themselves: in addition to information about the song writers, performers, covers, and information about the hits that preceded and succeeded Roberta Flack's version on Billboard's charts, there is a relentlessly fabulous chart listing versions of this song in other languages. With the title translated.

Oh! Oh oh oh oh oh! This is the internet at it's best.


"He kills me singing" from Italy. (This covers most Italian operas.)

"Of what you live and breathe" from Estonia. (Possibly a song about oxygen and nitrogen.)

"Two little wings are not here" from the Czech Republic. (A song about... the birds that are NOT evoked in the song.)

"Every day is too much" from Finland. ("Please send anti-depressants.")

And, possibly the best translation of them all, "Something inside me became sad" from Germany.

I LOVE Wikipedia!!

Labels: , ,

posted by Arlene (Beth)10:07 PM

Saturday, August 30, 2008



I taught Steven how to make popcorn tonight.

He is beside himself with pride. He has forced me to admire the beauty of the popcorn several times, how none of it went unpopped, how none of it is burnt.

His satisfaction is really something to see.


posted by Arlene (Beth)8:47 PM

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


14,235 days and counting

My birthday is coming up at the end of next week, and I'm taking a vain pleasure in the surprise and disbelief that my young colleagues express when they hear that I will have completed thirty nine years of life on this earth since my birth.

I haven't been so vain about the perception of my age in the past, which has always been variable. When I was in high school, I recall being mistaken for my younger sister's mother by her friends, even though she's just four years younger than I am. That had more to do with the youth of her friends' mothers than my appearance. I was often ma'amed by girls my own age on the bus, though I always attributed that to my great height. When I was in junior college, I was often mistaken for a professor by other profs, but that's because I had keys to everything. (I helped run my department's office.) I could be perceived as older one day, younger the next, depending on context, but often older.

Lately, I've unduly enjoyed being mistaken for a younger woman. I was asked during my post-elbow-surgery medical appointments this year to confirm that I am 28 on three separate occasions, which thoroughly entertained me. Twice, office colleagues my own age have prefaced a story with a comment about how I might be too young to know something, and I've told them my age, to their amused surprise. A colleague's eyes widened considerably yesterday when I revealed the number - she looked like she was waiting for a punch line that proved it was a joke. Though the most satisfying reaction I've received came from a young man, a friend of a friend, who remarked on the past and shared that he is 24, and thus was born in 1983. When I told him I was born in 1968, a look came over his face of... shock and awe? There were visible thought balloons filled with exclamation points and question marks over his head. It's probably not fair to take such pleasure in the response of someone who was born the year I started high school, but I did.

I suppose this birthday will be more of a marker than most, because it will demarcate the beginning of my 40th year of life. I'm pondering what that means to me. The biggest question, I suppose, is whether or not any year in my 40s will top age 33, which was a sort of peak for me, especially physically. I suppose I'll soon find out!


posted by Arlene (Beth)6:16 AM

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

comments Return Home