Sunday Song: Gangnam Style

After today, I may have no readership. This post contains content that may be offensive to all viewers. There will be the “Oh gawd that song is horrible and now it’s stuck in my head!” crowd. There will be those who found elements of the video unforgivable, especially those with a sense of taste or color coordination. There will be those who roll their eyes and say, “Dana, are you really that far behind on pop culture?” to which I will have to admit, “Yes,” which will then cause those readers to abandon me as hopeless.

So there are huge potential losses, but I’m going to post this anyway. Because, and I hate to admit this, I actually do like the song and think the video’s a scream. And because – but we’ll get to that in a moment.

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Sunday Song: Gangnam Style

Sunday Song: Fun With Drugs

Thank you, all of you, for your enormous outpouring of support. I figured I’d get a few “Yay good luck!” comments. I got so much more. With this sort o’ backing, I think this might actually work!

It’s also nice to know I’m joining such an awesome crowd of quitters. Quitting drugs is one form of quitting I can wholeheartedly endorse – especially when the company’s congenial.

I filled my scrip for Chantix today, and the dreams have already started. Merely having it in the house, unopened, led to a nightmare in which Doctor Who was canceled. A truly terrible nightmare indeed. This is some powerful shit.

Since I’m about to start a prescription drug, I’m thinking about drugs, and one of my favorite songs about drugs ever.

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Sunday Song: Fun With Drugs

Sunday Song: Old Jerome

One of the things I love best about blogging is stumbling across the unexpected. When I was researching for Oceans of Ore: How an Undersea Caldera Eruption Created Jerome, Arizona, I certainly wasn’t in the market for music. But I stumbled upon a reference to a song called “Old Jerome” by Kate Wolf. I’m not much of a folk music fan, but I sought it out on YouTube anyway, and discovered it’s quite beautiful.

Now, you may notice that’s not Kate Wolf singing. I couldn’t find a video for her. But a quick search uncovered the track on MySpace. She’s got the right voice for this old town: lovely, haunting, a little bit desert.

Since 1983, when she wrote this song, restoration has continued apace. A lot of the buildings that stared out with empty eyes are now homes and shops and museums. And this song is its anthem.

I meant to put this up a few weeks ago, but got distracted by other shiny things. Good thing, too, because I hadn’t copied the embed code for the song, so had to search for it again. I must have used a different search string this time, because a Tony Norris song came up called “High Tide in the Desert.” It’s about boats, and Jerome, and sailing the desert. It might sound a bit silly. But remember: this whole area has been a sea several times. It began under an ocean. If those boats wait patiently enough, they’ll get a chance to sail again, several million years from now.

Or, y’know, someone could just tow ’em down to a lake…

This little ghost town has inspired a lot of music, it turns out. For our final song, we’ll have Barenaked Ladies, “Jerome.”

When I saw this song mentioned on Wikipedia, I was all like, “Whatevs. They probably have no idea what they’re talking about.” But they do! Listening to this song was like being transported there. They know Mingus Mountain! They even know the old jail slid downhill! I have no idea how a Canadian came to know my little Arizona mining town so intimately, but Kevin Hearn got it spot-on. Beautiful!

All of this makes me want to wander those old streets again. Shame about it being in Arizona. But it’s a liberal enclave, so at least my tourist dollars will be supporting the rebels, eh?

Sunday Song: Old Jerome

Sunday Song: Storm

It’s been a stormy week. Some of the storms are metaphorical, but they had real-life effects. Some of the storms were real, and had real-life effects. I should be in Oregon right now, recovering from a day banging on rocks at Quartzville. But Lockwood and I called that off because the weather kept looking stormier and stormier. Also, Aunty Flow’s doing those “Guess who’s coming to make you miserable!” nudges. When that happens, it’s best not to nudge back by engaging in strenuous physical exercise.

All of this has left me with one song going through my head:

Thing is, I couldn’t see the storm – the real one, I mean (the metaphorical one was bloody fucking obvious and has been for some time). I realized a day or so ago that we did, indeed, have a storm coming in. Silly thing to say, right? I mean, the weather was nice for two days, but the forecast predicted rain for the weekend, what else would it be but a storm? It’s just that rain is Seattle’s default weather. I’ve stopped thinking in terms of rainstorms. A storm system moves in that brings rain, but I don’t see it as a storm, just rain, just ordinary weather. A storm, to my Arizona mind, implies an upheaval, something different, something a bit wild and chaotic. Days upon days of gentle drizzle interrupted by occasional sunbreaks don’t register as stormy. But they are.

And the rain came down hard Saturday. It got serious about the business. It reminded me of the Noah Open, which is what my dad and his golfing buddies named the tournament they played in during an epic monsoon storm in Flagstaff. I could barely see to drive to the mall, but they stayed the course. They’re more hardcore than I am, those golfers. I didn’t step a foot outside of shelter today, and yet this rain was the lightest of spring drizzles compared to the downpour (with lightning!) they played through. But for Seattle, this was a serious storm.

So I did a desultory bit of cleaning, yammered at my intrepid companion over the phone, and then settled down to read up a bit on threat assessment. You’ll see the results of that soon. I decided that, seeing as how it was a dark and stormy day, I’d sink into the bathtub with a book. That’s about the time the clouds went away and the sun came out.

I had a bath anyway. Then I went up on the drumlin and enjoyed the brief sunshine. I was after birds, but the buggers didn’t cooperate. I saw a hummingbird, too small and distant to try to capture with a point-and-shoot camera. One day, I’m going to see about setting up a hummingbird feeder so I can catch the little bastards in action. I’ll just have to ensure I do it right – I remember hearing somewhere that some feeders are harmful, and I don’t want to hurt any hummingbirds. I just want to shoot them with a camera.

I’m rambling, aren’t I? Never mind me. Where were we? Ah, yes, storms. I don’t mind storms, actually. Much. Sure, they sometimes keep me from doing what I’d like, but they’re quite often necessary. The metaphorical one certainly has been. It needn’t ever to have happened. You’d think people who call themselves skeptics would be rational enough to handle the idea of harassment policies without completely losing their shit. But they have, and so there’s a storm howling round us, and when it clears, I do believe we’ll find a shiny, fresh set of harassment policies designed to make everyone’s* experience better gleaming in the sun, because most people in this movement are rational enough to realize such things are necessary. Obviously, also, desperately needed, considering the behavior of those who hate them so much.

Things thankfully haven’t gotten stormy round the cantina, because every single person who’s commented has been brilliant. You’re good people, and I appreciate you more than I can ever express.

You’re my raincoat and umbrella. You’re allowing me to venture out into the storm without worrying about getting too soggy. Thank you.

It’s only going to get stormier before the sun’s out, I’m afraid. But that’s all right. We’ll weather it just fine, all of us together.

Okay, so the lyrics don’t quite match my optimism. Just stick with the title and we’ll get there.

Here’s a good place.

The Finnish, according to Dark Lyrics, translates thusly:

The shadow of goodness covers the tear,
Takes the step to the one found.
Peace may rock the cradle to sleep.
Hope remains, a way to love.
A way to a deep freedom.

All we have to do is weather the storms. And we will, my darlings. We will**.


*Excepting those who must harass to have a good time, but who gives a shit if they’re not satisfied?

**Even if Dark Lyrics is completely wrong about the Finnish. I’m really not sure. Bing (formerly Babelfish, which was far cooler) made a dog’s breakfast of the translation. But if you want a good laugh, go paste this:

Hyvyyden varjo peittää kyyneleen,
löytäneen luo vie askeleen.
Rauha saa, kehto uneen tuudittaa.
Toivo jää, tie rakkauteen.
Tie syvään vaupauteen.

Into here. Yep.

I don’t think Google Translate has anything to fear from Bing just yet.

Sunday Song: Storm

Sunday Song: Beautiful Day

After sixteen hours of research yesterday, it was time to play. Good thing it was such a beautiful day today (hence the delay in posting). This is the perfect anthem for a lovely day. Also, there is some wild weathering at the beginning that looks a bit like tafoni. Some other gorgeous rocks throughout. Shame about the flowy dress thingy in the way.

I took my intrepid companion out to see the maclargehuge erratic, and he got a shot with the proper perspective for us. Yay, no more camera on the ground!

Maclargehuge erratic, moi for scale

Yep, still huge. We did some field breakage (i.e., threw one rock down on another) with some of the loose bits, and got some nice fresh surfaces, and I found a nice-sized chunk with what looks to be good crystalline structure, so I may be doing another post with samples so we can figure out if it’s definitely dunite (or gabbro) or not. Stay tuned.

Then we headed over to North Creek Park, which has changed rather dramatically since two months ago. I’ll be doing a compare-and-contrast post, but for now, some outtakes. Forget-me-nots were out in force and absolutely lovely:

Forget-me-nots growing out of the water.

I was hoping for frogs, but had to settle for a water-skipper instead.

Water-skipper. There's probably a technical name for this species, but hell if I know it.

And, last but not least, got a wonderful snap of a red-winged blackbird.

Red-Winged Blackbird

And now I’m home with the cat, who’s out on the porch in the nice sunshine, and birds are still singing, and I’ve got a fabulous UFD coming up for you. It truly is a beautiful day.

Here’s hoping yours was a little something wonderful, too, my darlings!

Sunday Song: Beautiful Day

Saturday Song: Broken Bridge

This song has been randomly playing in my head lately, and it’s gorgeous, so here we go.

There’s one person in particular who’s shaped my musical tastes: Cameron Lee. Saying one person had all that influence may sound like the lexicon is limited, but this is a man who loves everything from Emperor to Aqua (and was not above playing those two sequentially). Put it like this: if only his music collection survived a world-wide catastrophe, you’d still have rescued a considerable chunk of humanity’s creativity. I’m not sure if there’s a single genre not represented.

So, he got me in to black metal. But he also found independent bands and artists who are incredible, some virtually unknown, deserving of far more attention than they get. He introduced me to Daughter Darling, and I shrieked in despair when, after one album, they vanished.

I adore “Broken Bridge.” And I think “Absconding” is one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs ever performed.

So you can imagine my howl of anguish when Daughter Darling was no more. Then I discovered Natalie Walker had continued on her own, and it was okay. There’s one song in particular on the Urban Angel album, “Quicksand,” that I’ve used as an anthem when times get rough.

Things aren’t particularly rough right now, but it’s still an anthem, and hopefully it will lift more than one person up who needs it. Music has got that power.

Saturday Song: Broken Bridge

Sunday Song: Memorials

It’s Memorial Day weekend here in the States. I wrote a memorial last year, and won’t add to it. We’ll just do two songs.

This is Iced Earth’s “Ghost of Freedom,” which is quintessentially American and a lovely tribute to those who fought and died for liberty.


Every time you think about it
It tears you up inside
You curse the day your mother
told you, your father died
Now you’re always searching
Searching for the reason why I’ve gone
But I will always be here
By your side, through the darkest night

Here I’ll stand on the firing line
Here I’ll walk through the field where I died
I will fight and let the voice ring true
I am the ghost
Standing next to you

Every night you go to sleep
You pray the Lord my soul to keep
You don’t know I’ve not gone away
You see I watch over fighting men
So they can have peace again
And maybe someday you will all be free

Here I’ll stand on the firing line
Here I’ll walk through the field where I died
I will fight and let the voice ring true
I am the ghost
Standing next to you

You speak to me
And I feel your pride
Assuring me I’ll never die
I write Mother…
“He’s here with me…”
He’s in our minds
He’s in our souls
Of sacrifice his story’s told
He holds the flame of freedom for all to see

Here we stand on the firing line
Here I’ll walk in the field where I fight
I will fight or die for liberty
With the ghost standing next to me

Don’t tread on me…live free or die!!!
To our fallen brothers
You died to keep us free
To our fallen brothers
Who gave us liberty!!!

Of course, I have hopes that one day, liberty won’t come at such an appalling cost. I would like to see a time when there are no fresh names to remember on Memorial Day, when war is just a memory from our species’s angry adolescence, and disputes aren’t solved at gunpoint. I find myself unable to do the “Rah, rah!” thing on Memorial Day. They died. Some of these soldiers died for good causes, some while serving their country in much murkier wars, and we owe them all. But they died, and I want there to come a time when people do not have to die in the line of duty.

So, “Sleepless.” This an an Anathema cover by Cradle of Filth, and it’s haunting and beautiful and a soul cry.

And I often sigh
I often wonder why
I’m still here and I still cry

And I often cry
I often spill a tear
Over those not here
But still they are so near

Please ease my burden

And I still remember
A memory and I weep
In my broken sleep
The scars they cut so deep

Please ease my burden
Please ease my pain

Surely without war there would be no loss
Hence no mourning, no grief, no pain, no misery
No sleepless nights missing the dead … Oh, no more
No more war!

Sunday Song: Memorials

Sunday Song: Blackbirds

I’ve become quite fond of Juanita Bay over the years. I lived just blocks from it the first two years I was in the Northwest, and it was the first local park we visited after arriving. It’s a lovely, peaceful place (well, aside from the motorboats further out on the lake). It’s got wetlands with boardwalks, and a long boardwalk across the end of the bay, and all sorts of wildlife. My intrepid companion and I repaired there after our adventures with rhodies last Sunday, because I was bloody well determined to get some bird photos if it killed me, and birds flock there.

The Red-winged Blackbirds were out in force. And this time, I was ready for them.

How lovely is he? He’s not just a black blob sitting on top of a cattail way off in the distance. Yes, he’s giving me the stinkeye, but that’s all right.

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Sunday Song: Blackbirds

Saturday Song: Utah Carol

One thing among many that I love about adventuring with Dr. Evelyn Mervine is this: much like the Doctor, she loves goofy fun and doing things on a whim. Even when we’re doing serious geology, we’re not doing it seriously, if you know what I mean. When we needed items for scale, we ended up with plastic dinosaurs and a knight. When we wanted to have a look at minerals, we went to a rock shop that doubled as one of those kitschy tourist traps, complete with duct-taped dinosaurs. And she encouraged me to find twu wuv.

I can’t pretend I’m serious all the time, either. So the two of us sort of caused… escalations. When you’re a ripe 37 and running about with someone who just became a doctor, that’s glorious.

So there we were, in the rock shop, and Evelyn discovered the children’s section. They had plush dinosaurs from the Natural History Museum. The dinosaurs had protofeathers on. Not as many protofeathers as they should, but still, an effort was being made. Educational and accurate! Evelyn picked up a good-sized velociraptor, and then found a wee little thing, which she thrust my way for an assessment of its relative cuteness.

Adorable tiny dinosaur plushie with protofeathers on

“It’s a Utahraptor!” she said. And I allowed it was the cutest Utahraptor ever, and she should totally get it, because then she could name it Utah Carol. I’d have to explain later why naming it Utah Carol would be so appropriate.

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Saturday Song: Utah Carol