Archive for January, 2012


Posted by on Friday, 27 January, 2012

I had a thought once that it would be amusing for The Purple Robe to have a self-titled EP with an actual song titled The Purple Robe; another song called Self-Titled EP; a third song called Title Track; and maybe one called Eponymous or something. Hilarious. That is not what this post is about.

I used to subscribe to a certain guitar magazine that always had “clever” article titles that I actually found quite annoying. To make up an example, there might be an article called, “Another Brick in the Wall”, and you get you get all in a Pink Floyd mood, when it turns out to be an interview with some guitarist named Johnny Wall, about whom you could not possibly care. Or whatever. It drove me crazy. Yet years later, I find myself with a blog where I am constantly catching myself wanting to title my posts with the same sort of puns and references. So now it drives me crazy that I want to do that.

In any case, lately I have been thinking about titles. A lot of that is due to the fact that I have actually been changing titles after posting recently. Last month I posted one of my [not even a little] famous movie reviews, except that I inadvertently titled it as a “Music Review…” As it happens, the prior post along with the following two were actually about music, and “music” and “movie” are kind of similar words, so it was perhaps an understandable mistake. It was up for a week or two before I noticed and corrected the error, so I suppose my most diligent readers had already noticed. If not, I left the permalink unaltered as a reminder of my foolishness.

I usually have a title in mind for a post when I come up with the topic, before I even start writing. However, a couple of weeks ago, I wrote the whole post, and then sat for some time trying to think what to call it. It was another post about dreams, and the first thing I happened to think of was “Bird Singing in the Sycamore Tree”, which (assuming that you are exactly as cultured as I am) you should recognize as a reference to dreams. Yet it just was not quite my style. So I decided instead on, “Who Am I to Disagree?”, which is another similar reference, if perhaps more cryptic. I was not totally satisfied with that, but I published it anyway. However, with that finished, I still had sycamore trees on my mind, so I went back to the source for that reference and discovered the “While I’m Alone and Blue as Can Be” line (again assuming that you are exactly as cultured as I am – you did not know about either) which was definitely my style. Unfortunately, I initially misquoted it as “[When] I’m Alone…” and thus, within minutes of initially posting, I changed the title and resulting link TWICE, but I figured that no one would have seen it yet.

Last week I went overboard on the geekiness. In some programming/engineering/logic contexts, “!” means “NOT [whatever comes afterward]”. For example, if X is TRUE then !X would be FALSE. So for that particular title, You have to ask yourself, “What is Sparta?” Then more specifically, “What is NOT Sparta?” That was a lot of work, no? [What do you think of THAT, Guitar World?]

As you may have noticed, I am quite fond of titles that start “In Which the Author…”, but I try to limit those so as not to lose the novelty. Other times I get stuck on a theme. I had no initial intention of having three “([Whatever] Edition!)” music posts, or three posts related to racism, or how for a while last summer two out of every three post titles inexplicably started with the letter ‘F’. I still do not know what that was about. It got to the point where I would come up with a post and title and have to tell myself, “I don’t care how perfect that title is, it starts with ‘F’ again. Change it.”


On the topic of what to call things, sometimes I come up with story ideas. (I never, you know, write them down, or anything like that, of course.) Yet, in my head, I have to call the characters something, and I find it tricky to come up with names, because invariably I think of someone that I know or have known with that name, and I generally do not want that character to remind me of that person.

Last week, I had plenty of time to think as I was digging holes, and I came up with a new story (which is unlikely to go anywhere), and for some reason I settled on the name “Clara” for one of the characters. Then I immediately thought, What‽ No one has been named “Clara” in a hundred years. Which is obviously good for the someone-that-I-know issue, but not so great on the a-name-that-someone-would-actually-have criteria. However, this is the internet, and I discovered that after a dramatic fall off, “Clara” has actually been gaining in popularity over the last ten years. Which really left me wondering how exactly did I know that? (Incidentally, it seems that “Aiden” is among the top ten name for boys these days. Why would you name your kid that? That name screams, “Entitled punk who desperately needs to be slapped.”)

Lastly, back to the topic of post titles, how are you guys doing on this one? I even thought of another level since then that made me really wish I had attached it to a more meaningful post, but c’est la vie. Would it help if I mentioned that I had this song in my head when I first came up with it? Probably not.


Posted by on Thursday, 19 January, 2012

I once heard on Christian radio, “You know, there’s not a single thing that you’re going through that someone hasn’t been through before.” The point being  that you should, of course, give your problems to God, but also not be afraid to seek out guidance from members of your church or whatever.

And while I generally agree with the statement, I can not imagine that anyone that I could reasonably talk to has ever had this specific problem that I was dealing with today.

It is rapidly coming up on one year since I tore apart my bathroom to fix a leak… and not fix anything else. Due to some pressure from a couple of people, I have been a little more serious for the about getting that done, and a lot more serious this past week. However, I quickly discovered that once I broke for lunch, I absolutely refused to go back in there afterward. No amount of self-berating could change that. Now, technically, that is still a big step up from refusing to go in there at all, which I did for months and months. Yet, having firmly decided that absolutely nothing is more important than getting this done, the fact that I seem to be fighting some kind of civil war with my own body when it comes time to do it is frustrating and confusing, to say the least. It is almost enough to make me believe in spiritual warfare, but I really do not want to go there.

Anyway, without going into details, today I discovered that I had screwed something up, and spent all day (with no damned lunch break) just trying to get back to the point where I was on Monday. Which basically entailed digging a hole in the bathroom floor for a fourth time. It is hard not to think of oneself as an incompetent fool during such a process. Especially when the specific thing that I am trying to do is probably not that critical. I seriously could have wasted another week looking up nonsense on the internet or whatever and been no better or worse than I am now.

Naturally, one can not help but think that I could fall on my sword and just pay someone to fix this problem. Except, at this point, I honestly do not think that I could. It would be expensive, humiliating and I strongly doubt that I would be happy with the results. A certain television show just last week mentioned that “every single contractor in the world is a miserable, incompetent thief”, which would be easier to dismiss as a joke were it not for the fact that everyone that I have ever known to hire a contractor has been dissatisfied.

While I’m Alone And Blue As Can Be

Posted by on Monday, 16 January, 2012

This post is a little later than usual because I just clean forgot about blogging last week.

Last night I had a dream about Lady Gaga again. (To whom, as you may recall, in dreams I am somewhat related. Although I am not sure that was the case this time. I have somehow managed to learn a little more about the real life Gaga in the intervening… almost exactly two years… and this dream featured a somewhat more “realistic” version.) As it happened, the Lady was going to be on Saturday Night Live and needed to get a band together for the performance. [Does she have a band? She must have a band. Right? I don’t know.] I have no idea why I was in a position for her to be telling me all this, but so it went. The first person she found was a jovial old fellow who played bass, but in his own words, “I am 99 years old, and I am not going to live to 100.” Apparently he did not want to waste any of his remaining time on this gig. She had found two other guys to play though, but when I looked at them, I realized that it was just the Lonely Island guys in disguise.

Wait a second, I play bass. Sort of. I do not know why I did not think to mention that in the dream. Instead, since there was some doubt in my last post as to Lady Gaga’s sense of humor, I asked how the members of the band knew when she was joking.

“They never know.” She replied conspiratorially. “Just like with YOU.” Aww, she’s just like me! [Still, I think I prefer Magic Tween Gaga. (You know, maybe I should start my own line of Dream Lady Gaga action figures. (You know, maybe when ideas like that enter my head I should let them pass without mentioning them.))]


As it happened, my shoulder was hurting when I went to bed last night, and continued to hurt as I woke up several times in the night. I had another dream in and around these wakings where I was beside a swimming pool for some reason and I was making stacks of round stones about a foot in diameter and three or four inches tall. Only in the dreams they were not called “stones”, they were called “PAIN.”

Supplemental (Comedy Edition!)

Posted by on Saturday, 7 January, 2012

I usually  exclude comedy songs from my lists, because I have a hard time taking them seriously, if you know what I mean. But some of them are actually pretty entertaining so today I figured, “Why not?”

Horse Outside – Rubberbandits Warning: Vulgar. Also: Scottish.

Perform This Way – Weird Al Yankovic Not necessarily Weird Al’s best, but interesting for the back story. Apparently, when he asked for Lady Gaga’s permission, her “people” claimed that she needed to hear it first. So he went to the trouble of recording, only to be denied, which raises the counter-intuitive proposition that Lady Gaga actually has no sense of humor. However, after he posted the song and rant online, Lady Gaga gave it her blessing. I had read somewhere that after the Coolio incident, Weird Al always contacts the artist directly precisely to avoid this kind of problem. So, was this a misunderstanding, or coordinated publicity stunt? Warning: creepy weird-ass video.

Show Me Where Your Noms At – Hannah Hart & Songs To Wear Pants To This is a collaboration between some dude of whom I had previously never heard and a girl with a terrible cooking show.  That is to say, the show is about terrible cooking wherein she (allegedly) gets drunk and attempts to do a cooking demonstration with no preparation whatsoever.

God’s Away on Business – Tom Waits/Cookie Monster Tom Waits is an artist of whom I have been vaguely aware for some time now. Earlier this year I wanted to know more about him, but he has such an intimidating body of work that it is hard to know where to start. I did quite like this one though. By some coincidence, about a month later, someone put this gem together. It is actually almost a minute longer than the official video, and unfortunately, I feel it actually suffers for the added repetitiveness, but there you go.

Stores That Tell You Exactly What They Are – Break This is a song that I declined to put on last year’s list, which is a shame, because it might have been the only one actually released in the year 2010. Other than that, I think the appeal is self explanatory.