13 August 2005

songs of myself : part one

thinking about you : radiohead
click here to listen. 2m 41s.

(apologies to uncle walt. got this idea after re-reading his brilliant song of myself.)

'scuse me for being rude. i've been blogging for about six months now without having even introduced myself. this is my 55th post, all the while remaining pretty much anonymous if not for the couple of recent comments that gave away my name and mother tongue. but how exactly does a blogger introduce himself? in our daily lives, we've come to do it based on predefined identities, quite often based on our profession, our place of origin, our age -- pieces of information that are subordinate to who or what we are. our choice of work says a lot about ourselves, until we realize that deep down we'd really rather be doing something else. the city, state or country we grew up in only confines us to certain stereotypes, and surely each of us is different from the million or billion others with whom we share the same culture? and we all know what age is nuthin' but. stripping away what you do and where you come from, how do you respond to a stranger asking, "tell me something about yourself."

but such is modern society, i guess. after all, it's far easier and more acceptable to say, "hi i'm x, i'm an xx-year-old journalist living in hong kong," than "hi, i'm x. the first song i ever learned was michael jackson's 'one day in your life.' i think i was about three years old. but my musical taste has improved since, i think, though i can't seem to memorize songs that easily anymore." we are our own eccentricities, our million preferences, our vast experiences. we are not the information on our passports or employment forms. so in the interest of unabashed vanity, i'm introducing myself the best way i know: by associating aspects of myself with the songs that have grown with me, and i'm going to start by answering my own question: if you could lay a soundtrack to your ordinary day, what song would it be?

i'd been asking myself this question for a while, and it was only during a long bus ride, listening to my ipod, that i found the one song i'm truly happy with: thinking about you by radiohead. it's not the story of the song (there's nothing about it i can relate with) but its pace, its rhythm, its acoustic simplicity. it's neither fast nor slow, and although it has its high points, it doesn't reach a crescendo. it's short, bittersweet, and it ends on a quiet note. it's my ordinary day. i wake up and drink orange juice, get ready for a 16-hour day, take a scenic ferry ride to work, and go about the rigors of a business journalist. there is nothing too stressful about my work; i even like the intellectual challenge of the stories i write about. lunch is the highlight of my day. i prefer to go alone because i can never make up my mind about what i'd like to eat, but i sometimes take it with my significant other who works nearby. with a view from the 60th floor, all afternoons are beautiful as the sunset turns the horizon to bluish gray, and layers the outside world with silence, or an impression of it. evenings are spent quietly with a magazine, a book, or a television show, and ends with a prayer, a wish, an abstract thought.

lather. rinse. repeat.

what's the soundtrack to your ordinary day?

1 comment:

  1. jimmy eat world, 23.
    my days are weary and long.

    i usually prefer to lunch alone too.