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Awesomesauce on the Internet: February 25th

I’ve concluded that I want to dedicate a day a week to links. I’ve seen a bunch of other blogs do it — and I am nothing but a filthy copycat. Also, it gives me a chance to pimp the way-too-many blogs I follow in Google Reader. (Trust me. It’s too much.) Since this is a new thing, it’s going to take some some adjusting. This week is light, since I decided this yesterday. I don’t even know how I feel yet.

This Week at the Cafe.

The writer’s group here in Lawrence started a blog at the beginning of the year called The Confabulator Cafe, which is delightfully fun and tackles a different writing-related topic each week. This week we discussed how we tackle character development. It’s interesting to see how a group of fiction writers all look at developing characters differently. Angela admits she has some trouble with villains. Rachel doesn’t do character sheets but Sara does. Larry hates his characters, and Jason discusses people watching. And man, that’s not even most of the posts. Have at it!

Okay, yes, I also wrote a post about how I’m just sort of stumbling around and will figure out the character more while editing.

Random Posts

How To Create a Notebook Design with CSS from CSS Tricks. It’s a tutorial from a 14-year-old developer on how to create — as the title suggests — a block that looks like notebook paper. It’s pretty slick. I may use it at some point.

Make your own homemade dishwasher detergent & How buying heirloom seeds defends our habitat from invasion from Offbeat Home. I find a lot of Offbeat Empire posts really interesting, and these two stuck out yesterday. Making homemade dishwater detergent sounds really cool, and I just know nothing about heirloom seeds. Both posts appeal to my dirty hippie side.

Music

Sometimes I just want to update the blog with YouTube videos of music — there’s a reason I have the egotistical tag “Ashley has awesome take in music.” So, you know, I may as well do that now! Two songs today.

Wax Audio: Stayin’ Alive in the Wall
Ever since I learned the phrase “mash up” from Glee (don’t judge me, I hate myself enough) I’ve loved the concept. Love! Some of these mash ups offend family and friends — Tik Tok Together is well-hated by Andy’s boyfriend best friend, and every time it plays in the car he swears he’s going to jump out. But this one is golden. As it Tik Tok Together, I don’t even care.

Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know
You’ve probably already heard this; it plays on our localish alt-rock station occasionally. I may have even already linked it, I don’t know. I heard it once and loved the sound of it; I like the mellow mournful thing, like “I’m sad, but it’s really a lot of fucking effort to get really upset about it.” Opinion of the people in the car with me varies. (I do most my obnoxious music listening in the car. Seriously. I become a monstrous bitch the second we’re on a road trip. If Andy and I ever divorce, the papers are going to say “Got into a fist fight over the MP3 player in the car.”)

But more than the absolutely amazing sound, I actually think this is the most perfect story song I’ve heard in a long time. In a little over four minutes we’re given all the story of a relationship we’ll ever need. We don’t know how long these two were together, but we know that he thinks they had that puppy love, deliriously happy phase — and they undoubtedly did, when they first got together (Like when you said you felt so happy you could die, which honestly, says something a little strange about these people). We know that he is one of those people who can’t abide a good thing, and is possibly that guy who self-sabotages relationships (You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness / Like resignation to the end, always the end.). He launches into this chorus about how after they break up she makes a break for it, gets her friends to get her things, and changes her number. That’s some abnormal break-up nonsense. What the hell.

Except her verse talks about a very different relationship, at least by the end. In two lines, she undermines pretty much everything he says, all blame heaped on her by the chorus: Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over / But had me believing it was always something that I’d done.. Suddenly you have to look at everything he’s said in a different light, especially the chorus. Was this an abusive relationship, or just a broken one?

Ladies and gentlemen, this song has unreliable narrators! Oh man, unreliable narrators are the best, and seriously: how often to we think about having an unreliable narrator in a song. I have a hard time expressing my feelings on this. It’s just such a good song, and it’s such a compelling story, and I cannot stop listening to it. I think Andy might be sick of it.