I am thankful for baby-smell, a daughter’s love, an oldest son’s helpfulness, and a wife that’s still here with us all.
I don’t know what it is about the Fall, but it tingles my senses and excites something in me. I feel a great deal of hope for personal productivity. Projects blossom in my mind, creativity becomes a force around me like the wind, and all things seem possible.
Having three children in my family now has changed the way I can spend time, but hasn’t changed the impulse to craft new ideas. What I need to spend this creative season on is ways to put my minion to work on these ideas. Basically, never before has the opportunity been so tangible to actually clone myself!
Sometimes a new song is played and you instantly fall in love with it. It could be that it’s a great emotional swelling in your body, or just something so groovy that you can’t keep still while you listen. Other times, it might be a contextual reference that gives the song a special relativity.
Imogen Heap created the song “Hide and Seek” in 2005, though I heard it for the first time some months ago. When I did, it grabbed my attention and pulled me in. I only got to hear a piece of it and never got the name. Last night, on “So You Think You Can Dance,” Katee danced her solo to the end of that song and credit was given. I’m so happy to have found “Hide and Seek” again. The song rings in my ears even as I wake up to another song from the alarm clock. I’ve played it countless times already and can’t seem to wrap up in it to satiation. I don’t know how popular the song is, but my wife isn’t a fan. Balthazar, who’s critical ear for music is far beyond his 5 years, is merely respectful of the song.
It would be difficult to pick a favorite song, and that’s why MP3 players have playlists. I can’t name any song my favorite, though Imogen Heap’s composition certainly has my attention at the moment. If I look back at some songs that pulled me in a similar fashion, the list looks like this:
- Madonna – The Power of Goodbye
- Nina Gordon – Tonight and the Rest of My Life
- Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek
I could have also mentioned “Arco Arena” by Cake, but it’s so categorically different from these other three that I threw it out. There are probably dozens more that I could mention, but those three I just listed rang true for me at this moment. I’m actually guessing that’s the case because I’ve been listening to “Hide and Seek” and the three are very similar in mood. It’s also true however, that I dig songs that are sad or melancholy.
What are you digging lately and could you name two other songs that pulled you in a similar way?
We have now officially fallen to a distant 2nd for Balthazar’s adoration. My mother gave him the gift of a lifetime – somewhat inadvertently – yesterday. She had been at a dog party where the requirement was to dress up your animals for Halloween. Among hers, she had some cowboy and villain paraphernalia that fell into the hands of one 4-year-old on the farm. Balthazar must have nearly vibrated into hysteria at his luck. He’s all boy, and as such, enamored by all things weaponry and heroic. I’ll have to get a picture on this post as soon as I can; he describes himself as “Cowboy Superhero.” His garb consists of two side shooter cap guns, the belt with holsters, sun glasses (Power Ranger), a cape, and a Sheriff’s star. Oh, he also has hand-cuffs which – thank you mom – are metal and rather painfully slapped onto the wrists. They’re not even useful for cuffing the boy to a hand railing while I go and take a nap – he can wriggle out of them at their tightest setting.
With the power of the Internet, I was able to demonstrate to this superhero that his act has already been done and he has a more proper name, “The Lone Ranger.” He didn’t have a cape, but he had a horse named Silver and sported a red neckerchief (thank you, dear, for the proper term). We watched some opening scenes of the old shows; I learned that there was a cartoon series as well. Then we found this…
For the 13 years now, I’ve missed Atlanta’s very own Scandinavian Festival. The problem is that it’s hosted on one day of the year and I always seem to discover that day after the fact. This year, I was prepared all week. Well, mostly prepared. I had planned on going, though I didn’t bother to see the times or days of the event. I had assumed that the festival would be taking place all weekend, but I was mistaken. It’s a 1-day event at Oglethorpe University. This year, it was on the 13th of October. This time next, this post will remind me of this fact and this entry might actually be about the Scandinavian Festival instead of about how I missed it. If any of readers plan on going, let’s help each other remember to check the dates in advance.
At this time of year, every year, I start getting a fever for some serious woodwork. For some reason, the change to Fall brings out the craftsman in me and I begin planning new designs and reviewing old plans for carpentry projects I’d like to do. Some are extreme, long-term projects like a three-story deck or home addition. Some are relatively simple such as a coffee table or entertainment center. I get so caught up in it that I lose all perspective on why I didn’t complete these projects over the last year. Thinking back on it, I’m not sure why I don’t continue to work on these projects throughout the year. So far this season, I’ve manufactured 11 16×20 picture frames with 2″ and 3″ framing stock. It’s a fairly minor task, but very detail-oriented. A table saw is in my near future to extend the growing collection of shop tools. With this next item, I should be able to get to work…for real…on some of those projects I keep coming back to. Perhaps when Spring rolls back around I can figure out what happens to distract me from this work. Until then, I’ll try to enjoy the inspiration!
I broke out of my comfort zone in two big ways this weekend; both involving drumming. When it comes to personal challenges, those involving my creative efforts are the most difficult to engage. A failure at something coming from creativity is a personal one, to me. However, I don’t feel that I lost in either of my explorations this weekend.
I’ll start with the last event because I’ve only just sat down from it recently. The wife and I rallied the surrogate siblings (DR Boy and Spazzmanda) to join us in facilitating a drum circle for the United Hospice. The event was held at Tallulah Falls, GA for Camp Cocoon – a bereavement camp for children. Alchemy Drumming & Dance was called to put together a drum circle for children ages 5-17. About 60 of them. So four people made the trip to the Tallulah Gorge with a van full of buckets, beaters, and various percussion instruments. The intense sound of kids with percussion instruments filled every corner of an outdoor gymnasium. My wife and Spazzmanda brought their dance moves to the floor and got everybody hopping to the groove DR Boy and I laid down. I think we found some closet drummers, dancers, and gymnasts! The whole gig was a volunteer effort by the Alchemy crew and I think it was really rewarding to everyone. We got a lot of really great compliments from the camp organizers. Each of us also found a little something in ourselves in the challenge.
I also had a Friday night gig with Christine Zaarour at the Mezza lounge in Decatur. I met Christine at a debke workshop. My wife and her friend were there to learn the dance style and do a couple of performances afterwards. That’s also where I performed my first drum solo, and also the reason Christine was interested in having me out at her performance at Mezza. She’s from Lebanon and doesn’t know any drummers in the area, but “I’m the best drummer she knows” sounds better. It so happened that Mezza was having a private party coming that night and was standing room only. 50 or 60 people showed up to see Christine Zaarour perform her dance routines…and I’d have my ultimate test as a solo drum performer. I think everyone had a really good time – it was really a party by the end of the night, which came quite late. The food at Mezza is really wonderful as well. The nicest people, live entertainment, and delicious Lebanese food – this place has it all! Against the staff’s expectations, I also had some Arabic coffee. It’s not entirely different from the Minas coffee I’ve had from Bosnia.
So a weekend of opportunities taken. Stepping out of my comfort zone; once while performing as a solo drummer for Mezza, and again at Camp Cocoon as a facilitator for children of all ages. I think next weekend I’ll try mowing the lawn. Talk about breaking out of your comfort zone!
If you’re looking around for an AllofMp3.com replacement, you’ve probably happened across MP3fiesta.com. At first glance, it looks like a good thing. Reading into some of the reviews will give you more hope that MP3fiesta is what we were looking for after the fall of AoM. However, upon a true introduction to the services I found that this service is yet another example of a great front end to the vast collection of MP3’s we will never hear. The payment handler currently is a company called “intacard.” I found very little on the Internet about this company. I mean very little. There were no advertisements to speak of, and no reviews out there. The most suspicious part of the affair is the lack of working links on intacard’s site. The Terms of Service and Legal links are both bad. I believe that the pages are actually written to fail rather than actually disclose anything about the alleged company. All of this falls into line when you look at what happens when you attempt to add money to an MP3fiesta.com account – you are redirected through a POST form to intacard.com to be met with a generic error. I took a look at the POST data from the form and found that the email address I used to create the account was sent to intacard. I call SHENANIGANS!
Winter really didn’t have much of an icy grip this year. It is not unheard of to see a hearty snow in the middle of March, but I think the danger of that is over. Spring appears to be here to stay, if the Cherry trees, Flowering Pear, and Daffodils are to be believed. Per the old days, this is the time of Ostara – a custom modern day subscribers call Easter. From my own ancestral brethren, only Sumarmál (summer time) followed winter. Presumably because the frigid climate of Scandinavia had little in the way of transition between Jól (mid-January) and some warmer, sunny weather in April. If things continue the way they have been for the last few years in the Southeastern United States, we may drop winter in favor of a spring – summer – fall cycle.
The Death of Captain America
On his way to an arraignment at the Federal Courthouse in New York City, Captain America was shot in the right shoulder by a sniper’s bullet. Several subsequent shots were fired point blank at Rogers by Sharon Carter, brainwashed by Dr. Faustus who was allied with the Red Skull. Sharon, unaware of her actions and concealed by the crowd during the shooting, escorted Rogers to the hospital while the Falcon and the Winter Soldier subdued the sniper, Crossbones (Brock Rumlow). Captain America was pronounced dead on arrival at Mercy Hospital. Sharon’s memory was restored by a keyword spoken by the Red Skull’s daughter, Sin (Sinthia Shmidt).
I hadn’t actually been following the Captain America saga since my early childhood, so the segment above made very little sense to me. However, I’ve since caught up on parts of the story.
Sometime after Rogers was discovered and awoken from his icy slumber, he joined up with the Avengers to fight for justice, etc. Move down a successful line of hero/villain struggles and the government enters as one new possible nemesis. The Super Hero Registration Act is put into play and Captain America is asked to help enforce it. At this point in his career, he goes by the way of civil liberties and begins the new “Secret Avengers” to combat S.H.I.E.L.D. and the government. A ‘Civil War’ ensues between Avengers and Secret Avengers – the critical focus being around Captain America and friend, Iron Man. After they lay waste to the city in a cacophonous battle, Captain America gives himself over to law enforcement as Steve Rogers. It’s on his way to arraignment at the Federal Courthouse that he’s assassinated. Of course, as is true to Superman and all things make believe, death is inevitable, but not always permanent.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass