This Will Be Our Year (Zombies cover) – Twelve Days of OK Go
An excellent friend of mine has been fielding job offers from several fantastic companies. While her work ethic, team expertise, and mad computing skills no doubt have much to do with her employability, she attributes her plethora of choices to having a strong Job Interview Theme Song. Her theme song is Cake’s "Short Skirt/Long Jacket." I think you’ll agree with me that this is an awesome choice. (UPDATE: I should have made clear that you really do want to click that link for the Cake song. It goes to one of the most entertaining videos I’ve seen in a while. (No rickroll, trust me.))
I’m self-employed and don’t require a theme song for job acquisition purposes, but I do need one for pretty much every other aspect of life. Especially meetings with prospective clients, and social events where I don’t know anyone. Fortunately, I have one: "Invincible" by OK Go. That’s the video above.
Of course OK Go are my close personal friends (not really), but I knew this song was mine when I heard the lines "When they finally come to destroy the Earth, they’ll have to go through you first. I bet they won’t be expecting that." How could this not be my Theme Song?
I need some kind of device that can sense when my confidence is flagging and that can begin playing my Theme Song, preferably directly into my brain so only I can hear it and respond. In the absence of such a device, I cue up the song on my iPod before I back out of the garage.
A theme song that you play to yourself might seem a paltry means of building inner courage, but I assure you it works astonishingly well.
Right now, I think maybe the Pittsburgh Penguins need a theme song. I’d offer them mine — a "thousand Fahrenheit hot metal lights behind your eyes" would be a great help on both offense and defense, wouldn’t it? — but maybe there’s a better option. What should it be?
And while we’re discussing it: What’s your Theme Song?
I’ve mentioned before that "Murderers," currently playing at City Theatre on Pittsburgh’s South Side, is a terrific play and well worth your time and money, yes?
The play is three monologues, each by a different actor, each beginning with the sentence, "I am a murderer." The play is by Jeffrey Hatcher, a playwright with a strange and dry sense of humor that apparently is closely aligned with my own. He also wrote "A Picasso," which City Theatre put on last year and which I enjoyed quite a bit.
"Murderers" is even better. It’s full of slight asides, charming characters, murder and revenge and people saying very unreasonable things in very reasonable tones. The sets, costumes, sound, lighting and direction are all excellent, and the performances are layered, rich, and engaging. Plus, the intimate Lester Hamburg Studio is an ideal space for these intimate tales of life and death.
What did others think? City Paper loved the play too and the Tribune-Review admired it and wondered if a crime spree was bigger than imagined, while the Post-Gazette didn’t care so much for the play although Christopher Lawson admitted he laughed along with the rest of the audience. As for me, I suggest you find an evening in your busy holiday schedule to slip down to the South Side and take in this play, as an antidote to all that’s saccharine sweet about the holidays.
"Murderers" continues through December 22. Find more information, including how to get tickets, at the City Theatre website.
In other news of things I like, my close personal friends OK Go got a shoutout on the Simpsons this week:
NaNoWriMo update: You’ll note that the word count in the meter in the sidebar is speeding upward. I’m writing my pretty fingers to the bone. thank you to everyone who has offered encouragement. It may sound a cliche, but your words help me keep generating my words.
DrawMo update: My brother Anthony sharpened all my pastel pencils, so I’m set to churn out some pretty new things. And some ugly new things too — I don’t much care right now, as long as I catch up.
You wouldn’t guess it to look at me, but I enjoy exercising. No, honest, it’s true. Especially weight training or heading out for a little jog at the end of the day.
I can still get bored though, so I keep an eye out for new twists: a funky pair of socks, new equipment, and especially a new, entertaining workout. Lately I’ve been enjoying the online workouts at Nike.com: full-length, completely free workouts led by motivating, super-athletic but amazingly non-frightening trainers. Sure, they’re also showing off workout gear that you can order online with just a couple of clicks, but there’s no obligation to buy.
My main fave has been the Warrior Moves Cardio workout on nikewomen.com. It seems like a relatively low-key combination of shadowboxing and pilates with a thick layer of empowerment all over it. (Sample guidance from the instructor: “A warrior is someone who loves her body and her life and is dedicated to being all she can be.”) But the next day you discover that you’ve made extensive use of muscles all over the upper and lower body both — muscles that you may have forgotten but that will for several days scream for attention. If you can survive a couple of workouts of Warrior Moves, you really do start to respect your body.
But as of today I have a new contender for favorite workout: the OK Go Treadmill Workout. It’s available via iTunes and is sponsored by Nike, but the grand thing is that the trainer/narrator is my sweetie Damian Kulash, lead singer of OK Go.
I don’t have easy access to a treadmill, and I already have the album versions of all but one of the songs included with it, but I bought the workout anyway and used it as my guide for this evening’s jog.
It’s a fairly basic interval training workout: warmup, come up to pace, then run intervals of increasing duration with recovery breaks in between, and finally come back down. All set to the music of — you know it — OK Go. And through it all there’s Damian, urging you to push a little harder here, take it easy there, get ready for the big interval now, etc.
And it’s quite a fine workout, assuming you enjoy upbeat indie-pop music and don’t mind having a cute-sounding guy say charming things to you while you run. I assume that Nike trainers and highly paid copywriters wrote the script, but it doesn’t feel terribly forced, and it is encouraging for real. I’ll know tomorrow just how hard I worked, but I felt like a pushed myself much harder than I would have just running to music.
Nike has a bunch of other workouts on iTunes also — search for Nike Sport Music for the full list. And anyone can submit a Sport iMix. Lots to choose from.
Or, if you’d rather not, you can always just enjoy the video one more time: