Sunday Song: Autumn Interlude

You know how you hear a word that you weren’t paying much attention to, and suddenly it’s everywhere? Yeah. That’s happening with autumn. Here I am, minding my own business, listening to my new favorite radio app Jango (ha ha ha fuck you and your intrusive ads, Pandora!), and thinking I had autumn songs sewn up already because, hey, I have a whole bloody playlist full of ’em – then they hit me with two more. And they are gorgeous.

First, though, a photo to get you all in the mood. Continue reading “Sunday Song: Autumn Interlude”

Sunday Song: Autumn Interlude

Sunday Song: Sato No Aki

So I went a little nuts on photographing autumn foliage this year. Then I went a little more nuts on finding songs about autumn on YouTube. Look, I was multitasking during that last bit – and some of the songs I found are bonza. Problem is, there are too many of them. Continue reading “Sunday Song: Sato No Aki”

Sunday Song: Sato No Aki

Metal Cred – I Still Haz It

My old friend and former coworker Hank posted this to my Facebook timeline. He knew I’d get it.

Black Metal LOLcat
Yep. You sure did.

If you utter a dark laugh and require no explanation, then you, too, have metal cred. If you need an explanation… well, then, whatever metal cred you may have, it ain’t of the black metal variety.

Metal Cred – I Still Haz It

Saturday Song: [Learning] Japanese

It turns out that one (not particularly efficient) way of learning Japanese is to spend a whole day reading haiku based around the same theme. After a while, even though the translations are loose at best, you begin to pick out particular words and know what they mean. I can now say “red dragonfly.” Aka tombo. And when I see aki (秋), I know autumn is somehow involved. Look, it’s more Japanese than I knew yesterday morning.

But if any readers speak Japanese, I’d dearly love to know what the phrase “tombo kana” means. Do you know how good online translators are with Japanese? Not good at all. Do you know what it did to a perfectly beautiful, deeply meaningful Issa poem? Observe: Continue reading “Saturday Song: [Learning] Japanese”

Saturday Song: [Learning] Japanese

Monday Music: Help a Choir Out

Some might be surprised to find out, but I sang in concert choir in high school. It was full of personalities, so to speak, and always had some drama going on. Most of us (self included) had voices of indifferent quality at best. And we were hormonal teenagers who were often too distracted to follow instructions properly, much less throw heart and soul into making wonderful music. But our director was an amazing fellow who took less-than-ideal ingredients and mixed them into magic. It was great fun. And there’s something wonderful about turning words into a rich, flowing sound that fills every cranny of an auditorium.

We could have used better outfits, though. Our men looked like cheap Vegas best men and the ladies looked like they’d just stepped out of a production of Macbeth, still holding the ladle for stirring cauldrons and cackling. New outfits weren’t in our stars, though – not a small town high school concert choir competing for microscopic funds against the football team.

So when one of our own turns out to be a member of a choir that’s looking to get new uniforms, of course I want to help! You can, too. They’re doing a sort of Latvian version of a Kickstarter, but in this case, you don’t have to donate dollars, just vote. You’ll need a cell phone, because this site texts you a code to use, and it’s in Latvian, so you’ll need RQ to guide you through, but it’s not terribly difficult.

First, a song for motivational purposes.

Continue reading “Monday Music: Help a Choir Out”

Monday Music: Help a Choir Out

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.

Continue reading “Sunday Song: Gangnam Style”

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.

Continue reading “Sunday Song: Fun With Drugs”

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