Sunday, March 13, 2011


This year, I will be 39. Statistically speaking, that just about puts me into the second half of my life, such as it is. Of course, being overweight and hypertensive, I am probably nearer the grave than raw statistics would indicate.

This evening I watched the John Cusack movie High Fidelity. Sitting in a pew at the funeral of his girlfriend's father, he makes a list of songs to be played at his funeral. Being in rather a melancholy mood tonight (and not just tonight, lately, believe me) I thought I would do the same. My mood has obviously coloured this short list. But in case you think I am looking forward a bit much to the sweet embrace of the tomb, don't worry - I intend to fight the reaper off with a stick for as long as I can. Never pull the plug on me. I have paid into my health insurance all my working life, and I want those buggers to pay through the nose to keep my bloated carcass alive for as long a possible.

Anyway, here they are.

First, "Piano Man" by Billy Joel. This is purely for the lines "And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar, And say, man, what are you doin’ here?". Especially lately, I have thought this quite a bit. Regrets for things not done, or dreams not followed.

Next, "Wichita Lineman" sung by Glenn Campell. OK, people who know me are probably shaking their heads now. I like the song, and it speaks to a commitment to service, at the expense of comfort. The lonely lineman, atop the poles, driving the lonely roads to keep the lines working.

Finally, "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber. Purely because it is one of the saddest pieces of music I know, and always leaves me contemplative. However, I would like a specific arrangement. The choral "Agnus Dei" version by the Santa Barbara Quire of Voyces from the soundtrack to the game "Homeworld". A beautiful rendition. On my iPod, I have a version performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and I often listen to it to try to settle my nerves.

So there you go. As an afterthought, I probably should get a will done. First, though, I will need to get a cat, so I can leave my vast fortune to said corpulent feline.

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