I’m Not Dead (but Tom Might Be)

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Dear all,

I hope you have been doing splendoriffically!  Basically, I wanted to check in today, and seeing as I have posted nothing for two weeks, assure you that I am not dead or seriously ill.  Or that I suddenly forgot how to type or had my computer stolen or my keyboard drenched in maple syrup or any other such catastrophe.  So this post will be a mish-mash of various stuff that ought to be said.

1) Today Is a Momentous Day

First of all, happy Programmers’ Day!  And to any programmers who may be reading this, thank you.  The further we move towards the future, the more important your job seems to become.  Without you, there wouldn’t be this website, nor a thousand other things we take for granted.  So really, thanks a lot.

And happy International Chocolate Day!  Yay for chocolate, and for whatever genius discovered how to make it.  To them, the world is forever grateful.

2) I Promise

…that more Greece posts are coming soon.  Hey, the closer we get to winter, the more fun it will be to reminisce on summer, right?

3) If you are looking for Tom…

Okay, my mom was in the kitchen for several hours yesterday, having garnered a large quantity of tomatoes to be processed (or so was the general impression) into sauce.  (To her as well, we are forever grateful.  YAY MOM.)  But anyway, when I entered the kitchen at around nine in the evening, the labels on the assorted jars told a more sinister story:

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Tom Sauce.

So if you have been looking for Tom, I regret to inform you that I may have found him.

On that cheery note, I bid you a good Saturday evening.  Enjoy it!  And have some music too.  I say, I do enjoy posting music on here, but does it ever seem like it’s just a way for me to be lazy and not have to write as much?  I hope not.  Anyway, I love this song, so here it is.  And remember, YOU ARE AWESOME, and God loves you WAY more than you could possibly imagine.  You are golden.  Don’t you forget it.

Cheers.

Double Vision

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Good morning!  Afternoon!  You know what I mean; whatever time of day it is where you live.

Do you ever notice on albums that some songs just go together really well?  I mean yes, track order is quite intentional, but a lot of the time, two tracks can really be part of each other, almost one song rather than two.  I love it when that happens.  It makes listening even more of an experience.  So today I bring you six songs that really are more like three thoughts put to music, each with their own way of harmonizing with each other.

Prologue and Kettering – The Antlers

This entire album is a work of art.  That’s clear whether one is a fan or not.  But I particularly like how these two songs fit together.  “Prologue” sets the scene, a distressed instrumental track reminiscent of an ambulance siren, but it leaves the listener hanging.  The thought remains unfinished, and that’s where the next track comes in.  Brilliant.

Company Calls and Company Calls Epilogue – Death Cab for Cutie

By their titles alone these songs are named twins, but where is the common thread?  “Company Calls” is a fine song on its own, and there is a definite break between the two.  However, the lyrics of the epilogue continue the thoughts and imagery, even as those mellow and lose some of their enthusiasm, as though all available energy was put into singing its predecessor.

The World at Large and Float On – Modest Mouse

 

These two songs make use of the classic way to blend one song into another: a simple transition.  But that in no way diminishes the apposite paring of these two songs.  The words “float on” appear numerous times throughout the two, they share the same chords, and even the same key.  “The World at Large” is a worthy beginning of the thought that “Float On” completes optimistically.

So there you have it folks.  There are several ways to skin this cat, all of which work.  It all depends on the mood and the situation.  Kinda like life, eh?  If something doesn’t work one way, you’ll find another.  Things will inevitably work out as they ought to.  Forget the second law of thermodynamics!  If it were true to every situation of our existence, the whole world would be in chaos by now.  And yet we don’t just resist it, we grow.  We thrive.  And that right there is, in my opinion, proof of miracles.

Now it’s your turn to be a miracle.  God bless you all.

Prologue

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18 August 2014

I’d almost call it a hole in the wall, oddly nestled between a graveyard and some abandoned warehouses, a charming place to stumble upon.  Except, we had decided not to stumble upon it; such risks do not always pan out here like they do in Greece.  You could end up with something you wouldn’t want to feed to anyone or anything.  Except a landfill.

That was the strongest it had been since we had gotten home.  That feeling of quiet yet omnipresent excitement, that something was happening, that the scenery was alive in ways you’d suddenly notice but never be able to pinpoint.  That you weren’t in Kansas any more.  Call it nostalgia, and you’re almost right.  Almost.

I guess it was the ambiance.  I don’t know why it made me feel like I was in Greece again, it just did.  It was a Greek restaurant after all, even if you can’t get the same caliber of ingredients here.  Even if there was lettuce in the Greek salad and the prices were perfectly shaved to the nearest 95 cent mark, sales tax not included.

But it made me happy.  And it made me miss Greece, because there really is no other place quite like it.  And it made me remember that I had rather promised to write about my more fascinating experiences on the Aegean, though mere words can never express anything perfectly.

I suppose when I returned to the land of my birth and citizenship, I was afraid of holding on to closely to the trip, as though it was some childish toy I would be ridiculed for keeping.  Life had to press on, to return to normal, and I knew this.  It’s simply true.  But the whole thing was meant to be fantastically unforgettable, to change our lives.  Because it wasn’t just a cruise.  It wasn’t merely the highlights of the country, compiled for tourists.  It was more than that.

It was music and laughter and fellowship.  It was meeting dozens of amazing and talented people.  It was village life, and exploring the rugged and windy coastline.  It was finding time between rehearsals and concerts to leap from a cliff into the Aegean sea.

It was noise and celebration, the band of friends, and post-concert silliness.

It was silence and the roll of the sea, and small conversations, and awe.

So this is for me, and for you, and for everyone.  Sort of like one last souvenir.  One last wave goodbye before the plane departs.  Destination: future.  Passengers: everyone.  And in some small way, I’m a different person today than I would have been if the trip had never happened.  For that, I am truly grateful.

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© 2014

Dirt

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As the sun slowly faded behind its curtain of trees and power lines, I dragged the nasty old thing up the hill, frightening some chickens as I did so.  We let them out in the evening when the weather is nice, which they love.  But we also have three that are in permanent exile for the heinous crime of eating their own eggs.  Their new home is the Tiny Abandoned Patch of Corn, an adequately shaded enclosure safe from predators.

They needed shelter though, as it had been raining a lot recently, and that is why I had brought them the old crate we retrieved from its spot in the woods.  It was made for a dog I think, but it works quite well for three chickens to sleep in.

“Now, what this is is nothing to be afraid of,” I told them as they fled from my approach.  “What this is is a place of hope, a chicken paradise.  It is a place where dreams come true.  It is what every chicken dreams of having.  It is beyond all description, and it is certainly not something to run away from.”

I chuckled inwardly at my own exaggeration.  But then I realized, I rather had stumbled upon an interesting point there.

You see, it really was disgusting when we dug it out from where it had sat, full of mud and standing water.  But it was still a crate, and it was still useful.  Despite its appearance, it had value.  All it needed was a bit of cleaning up and some straw to become something that the chickens would appreciate, if they were capable of such feeling.

And yes, it was covered in mud.  It was dirty.  But what is dirt?  Is it beautiful?  Absolutely, if you think about it, dirt gives most plants the ability to grow, to stretch their roots and expand.  I mean, no flowers, no vegetables or grain; where in the world would we be without dirt?

It’s an analogy folks, and I love analogies.  “Not everything that glitters is gold,” goes the old and well-known saying.  But not everything that’s dirty is worthless.  There’s a lot of dirt in this world.  If it were the case that all that dirt rendered us worthless, we might as well just call it a day and throw in the towel.  But we don’t.  We keep on keeping on, and laughing, and loving.  And if you look for them, miracles happen in the most imperfect places.

It’s food for thought.

The Gravatar Easter Egg

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So I was reading another WordPress blog today when I moused over someone’s profile image and got the ubiquitous Gravatar hovercard.

2014-08-17-screenshot01Notice the blue square circled in red?  It’s just a logo that links to Gravatar’s website.  At the time, I did not know this (although I guessed), and so I decided to click it and find out.

The thing is though, I right-clicked, so as to open it in a new tab.  To my astonishment, every single Gravatar on the page started rotating counterclockwise when I did so, and as far as I can tell, would have continued spinning indefinitely.

It was amusing to watch:

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Even the one at the top of the page does it!

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So there you have it, folks.  An interesting Easter egg to invoke next time you get bored or to show a friend.  Because who doesn’t love spinny things?

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My new profile picture?

5 Weirdest Music Videos that Won’t Damage Your Sanity

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In all of us, I think, there is something that is attracted to the odd, the strange, and the freaky side of life.  I was inspired to write this post because heck, there are some pretty weird music videos out there, and I wanted to share them.  So I did some research.  While there is no shortage of articles and blog posts compiling some of the most bizarre, I had two main problems with most of them.  First, some of them are downright disturbing.  Additionally, a good percentage of them were not only bizarre in their imagery, but the music was too unorthodox or uninspired for my taste.  So what I bring you today is a list of five weird, quirky, and/or whimsical music videos that maintain family-friendly imagery and decent music.  Because music is after all more important than the video.  In other words, these videos won’t damage your sanity.

Enjoy!

(If you’re not interested in weird videos, scroll to the end of the post because I don’t know everything and I’m asking for your suggestions on something…)

Note: neither The Window Philosopher blog nor Peuce L. Monk can guarantee that your sanity will remain intact under any circumstances.  The above assertions are based on personal experience. Continue reading

The One I’ve Been Waiting For

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This post is one that I have been waiting to write for quite some time.  What I was waiting for was a significant number of followers, and I think nineteen (woohoo! thanks guys!) is enough to make this worthwhile.  Because this is something I feel quite strongly about spreading the word on.

“What could possibly be so important, P.L.M.?”

“Making other people’s day, that’s what.”

So here’s the story: a few years ago, my family and I were staying at a friend’s house in northern Virginia for a few days.  We went out shopping for something, possibly groceries, but we inevitably ended up in the book section of Target.  I’d recently seen the movie rendition of Boublil and Shönberg’s “Les Misérables” (which by the way, I don’t recommend.  See it live.)  Because it was in theaters, there was a rack with copies of the original novel by Victor Hugo.  I didn’t think we had a copy, so mom said, “Sure, get one,” and probably something about it being a classic

Fast-forward to when we got home.  I had the novel and had started reading it, when I stumbled upon a scrap of paper between the pages a few chapters in.  It read, “Don’t dream your life, live your dreams!”  Underneath that was a URL, www.randomnoteproject.com.  “Hmm…” I thought, “What could the Random Note Project be?”

I got on the computer and typed in the URL.  Turns out that someone has started a project to leave anonymous notes for people to find, to brighten their day.  In their own words:

“Random Note Project is an impromptu happiness spreading activity started by a girl who thought the world could use a decent pick-me-up. Through RNP, that girl met about seven other people who were interested in making people happy. These seven people have, at various times, participated in what is called “note ghosting.” Note ghosts anonymously write pick-me-up lines on their media of choice and leave them for strangers to find.”

- RNP website

Now, I think this is an absolutely amazing idea.  It’s one of those concepts that you see and wonder “Why didn’t I think of that?”.  But that’s not all, because you are invited to participate:

“So there you have it. Now it’s your turn! Write a few of your own and post them in places where people venture. Post them in places where people don’t usually venture. Have fun with it and spread some smiles!”

Ibid.

I admit, it’s fun.  And you’re doing something for other people at the same time.  Maybe it’ll make someone’s day, maybe it won’t, but the point is, it might.  That’s the key.  Along with doing it anonymously.  (And don’t forget to put www.randomnoteproject.com  at the bottom.)

So check it out people.  GO GHOST SOME NOTES!

www.randomnoteproject.com