Quote: A Lack of Color

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“And when I see you
I really see you upside down
But my brain knows better
It picks you up and turns you around
Turns you around
If you feel discouraged
When there’s a lack of color here
Please don’t worry lover
It’s really bursting at the seams
From absorbing everything
The spectrum’s A to Z”

- “A Lack of Color”, Death Cab for Cutie

Another Earworm, Housekeeping, Infinity, and a Priest

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Featherstone – The Paper Kites

I stumbled across this song via what I consider one of YouTube’s most annoying features.  When looking up a new artist on YouTube, I usually find there’s a playlist the site will generate of that band’s most popular songs.  However, these playlists are sometimes interspersed with songs from other bands that YouTube’s algorithms “think” are similar.  This makes no sense at all to me, but it did lead to me discovering this song from a band I had never heard of.

I suppose it got stuck in my head because of its plaintive but somehow upbeat melody.  Plus, it’s rather calming.  The harmonies are also neat.  Indie folk-rock: what’s not to love?  (Still not sure quite what to make of the video though…)

I do however have a few things to address in addition to music.  Just some points regarding this blog, in case any of you have been wondering:

  1. Yes, more Greece posts are coming.  I think during Christmas break I should be able to get a lot done on this front.  I’ve not forgotten.
  2. There are several of you whose comments always seem to require my approval.  I don’t know why this is because it should be set up so anyone with one approved comment already is in the clear.  And I don’t know whether you people to whom this occurs care much, but yeah.  Just thought I’d say, I’m aware WordPress keeps doing that… and that I have no idea why, or how to stop it.
  3. There is no item three.  But things always look better in threes.  So here is the third item, which doesn’t exist.  Except it does exist now.  Or does it?
  4. Because I felt like it.
  5. Oh, but does four exist?  Do five or six?  Does seven exist, but invisibly?
  6. Do 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc. exist?  Are there in fact an infinite number of items here?

Also, on an entirely different topic, I’ve been watching a lot of Fr. Robert Barron’s videos on YouTube lately.  I encourage you to look him up; I find his videos are very intellectual and logical.  Gives one something to think about on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Bit of a ramble today… the product of the past hour and a half of my mind’s wanderings.  Time to go crank up the stereo and bake some granola.

Have a happy Sunday!

Pieces

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The Autumn leaves are falling
And here within they’ve settled,
Though I can’t find where,
Shattering like ice
Underneath the frosted
Surface of the deep.

The silent snows are drifting.
I have no heart for fires
That cannot understand,
So full of warmth and dancing,
The peaceful lack of color
Which clothes the streets below.

The winter wind is rising.
Some voice recalling sunlight:
“All appears so fine.”
I can no longer bear
These lies which keep my soul
From flying with the breeze.

The leaves are rent to pieces.
I did not move to save them.
The wind collects them faster
Than I could dare pursue.
And so I stand in silence
As daylight slowly fades.

Some voice within is crying
For seasons that were wasted.
The Summer is forgotten,
The Spring I never knew.
They are not dead, but sleeping
Deep beneath the snow.

“They shall soon reawaken,”
A voice once said to me.
For now the wind keeps rushing,
Time disappears too fast.
Perhaps I still could catch it,
With Winter as my hope.

My coat with sleeves outstretched
They found upon the snow.
The chill has pierced me through.
Hah! How could I mind?
Not with the stars as guides,
My hair whipped wild with speed.

Far off, some lights a-glimmer
Reflected in the fragments
Of tattered Autumn leaves
Convince me that in flying,
Having lost the fireside,
I have gained the world.

Six easy ways to improve NaNoWriMo

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Louis from VA:

I’m not the reblogging sort for the most part. But every now and then I come across something that just really deserves to be shared.

I thought about doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I never really planned for it much, and the next thing I knew it was November 3 and I thought to myself, ” Oh, yeah. That…” No hope now. Perhaps there would have been, if I’d read this sooner.

All the points Guy Bergstrom makes in this post make a ton of sense, and as a professional Speech Writer Guy, he should know. So to all my dear readers who have ever done, are doing, or have thought about doing NaNoWriMo, I say unto you: read this. Maybe I’ll do it in June, or some later date when I actually have time…

Originally posted on The Red Pen of Doom:

Writer peeps tell me they’re doing NaNoWriMo, which is Esperanto for “I’m trying to write a novel in a single month, and I’m 10k behind already, so I’ve quit my job and divorced my husband. I vaguely remember that we had some kids. Ready for a sprint?”

God bless all who sign up for this. I believe a novel is the toughest thing a writer can tackle, and the most rewarding.

It’s just that 30 days is a bit insane, and I say that as somebody who writes insanely fast. Related post: Why are all writers lazy bums?

If a friend of mine said they were doing NaNoWriMo, I’d want them to have a good experience and not pull their hair out because they missed two days of writing at that wedding and now they need to write 3,000 words a day and IT’S NOT HAPPENING.

It’s great that there’s a…

View original 1,558 more words

The Best of October

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BEHOLD, October is past, ready or not, and the year is quickly drawing to a close.  It is against a sky which has in the past week driven me alternately to t-shirts and to mittens with its sun and snow that I bring you the best of my forays into music, literature, and the arts in general from the month past.  Cue majestic drum roll.

Books

  • Who: Rainbow Rowell
  • What: Eleanor and Park (St. Martin’s Press, 2013)
  • Why:  I’ll be honest, I have tried repeatedly and always unsuccessfully to like Young Adult literature.  I find these novels too often to be short on believable character development and enough pages to pull off anything intricate.  Enter Eleanor and Park.  It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s the finest book I’ve read of its genre.  For starters, yes, it’s a love story, but I found the plot of these two misfit kids in the 1980′s applaudable, and not as narrow as some.  Its subtleties could have been brought out more, but it made one think a little, and Rowell’s way of portraying each character’s perspective is interesting and effective.
  • For: Anyone remotely interested in YA lit, those looking for something not terribly intellectual but not crappy, people who read really fast.

 

  • Who: Peter Kreeft
  • What: Three Philosophies of Life (Ignatius Press, 1989)
  • Why: For anyone who has never read Peter Kreeft, you must.  He is an outstanding contemporary philosopher.  In this book, Kreeft sets forth three main possible philosophies of life, as demonstrated by what Kreeft says are the most profound books of philosophy he has ever read.  These three are the biblical books of EcclesiastesJob, and Song of Songs.  What follows is a wonderful examination of life as vanity, life as suffering, and life as love, and the connections and pathways between these ideas through the lens of biblical Christianity.  An insightful and yes, enjoyable read.
  • For: Philosophers, Christians, people who have never heard of this Kreeft character but want to see if he lives up to my claims of his awesomeness.

 

Film

  • Who: Nancy Oliver (writer), Craig Gillespie (director), starring Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider
  • What: Lars and the Real Girl (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2007)
  • Why:  I have something of an affinity for quirky independent films, and this film most definitely fits that description.  The story of a socially inept young man who purchases a life-size mannequin to be his girlfriend, Lars and the Real Girl is at times funny, at others touching, and throughout, a very interesting character study.  The way that “Bianca” helps change Lars’ way of interacting with the world and the way in which his family and friends react to her makes for a memorable hour and a half.
  • For:  Those looking for something both thought-provoking and enjoyable to watch, appreciators of film as an art form, lovers of the quirky and slightly bizarre.

 

Music

  • Who: Death Cab for Cutie
  • What: We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes (Barsuk, 2000)
  • Why:  We Have the Facts is a strong entry in Death Cab’s discography.  It’s style is a bit of an acquired taste though.  For those who don’t mind the almost lo-fi instrumentation, the dynamic and emotional ebb and flow, especially on the second half of the album, make for some beautiful moments in music.
  • For: Professed Death Cab fans, lovers of independent bands, those who want something different from most contemporary music.

 

  • Who: The Postal Service
  • What: Give Up (Sub Pop, 2003)
  • Why: Give Up is an interesting portrait of a surprisingly successful side project.  I’ve never encountered another album with quite the same feel, at times introspective and dreamy, at others optimistic and extroverted, and always an interesting blend of Ben Gibbard’s expression and Dntel’s eccentricity.  Quite an enjoyable album, and unique.
  • For: Fans of Death Cab or Dntel, folks who need cheering up, those who are willing to try something new.

Songs of the Month

Jumping back to music real quick for October’s picks:

A Movie Script Ending – Death Cab for Cutie

A fine song, not their most polished, but neat tune and lyrics.  Was horribly stuck in my head at one point, and we were out of town, so it kind of reminds me of Gainesville, VA now.

You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Randy Newman (from Toy Story)

How can one not love this song?  To all my dear readers, this song is for you.  I love you guys.  <3

o.0  heh,

I almost wrote “dead readers” instead of dear.  *creepy music*  Maybe I’ve been thinking about Halloween too much.  If I do have any dead readers out there, I’d love to hear from you!  That would be freaking creepy actually.  Maybe I don’t want to hear from you.  Tom, have you been reading my blog?

“R”, left index finger, we type “R”, not “D”.

Oh boy…  It’s been a long weekend.

Earworm Double Feature

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Dream Song – Benjamin Gibbard

Lily – Benjamin Gibbard

I wasn’t a huge fan of Ben Gibbard’s solo album, but the first few songs I thought were all quite good.  These two were also rather catchy, and thus they got stuck in my head.  The lyrics to “Dream Song” are also neat.  And “Lily”, if somewhat generic, is an enjoyable listen.

Enjoy!   And apologies to any audiophiles out there for the audio quality of the first video.  Not everyone’s a perfectionist when it comes to that sort of thing unfortunately.  :\

Setting Stuff on Fire (Literally and Figuratively)

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Lessons learned in Chemistry today:

  1. Light behaves both as a wave and as a particle.
  2. Particles of light called photons are emitted from electrons when they lose energy.  These changes in energy occur in degrees measurable by integers, with no intermediate level (like a step function.)
  3. If you pour methane on random crap and set it on fire IT GLOWS IN ALL SORTS OF WEIRD COLORS.

Number three will be the most memorable moment from the class I daresay.  Rest assured this demonstration was carried out by Professor and not by us pyromaniac young’uns.  I was sad that I did not have my camera…  But yeah, next time you put fuel in your lantern, add some strontium chloride and let me know what happens.  You can get it on Amazon.  *nods excitedly*  (‘Cept no one uses lanterns nowadays unless their power goes out.)

I dunno.  I felt like blogging today, so here I am.  I guess I ought to make an attempt at writing something interesting.

Well… today I opened my Bible just to see what I would land on (always an interesting endeavor).  It happened that I came across Mark 4:21:

He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?”

There’s a practice known as Lectio Divina which involves taking a verse from the Bible and examining it word by word, meditating and praying over it.  I found this verse to be a good one for it.  I mean sure, we’ve all heard it before.  “Jesus is saying don’t hide the fact that your a Christian or whatever, I don’t remember, whatever the Sunday school teacher said it was about.”

But really, there’s a lot to look at here.  What is the lamp?  What does it mean for the lamp to be “brought in”?  Why would one place it under a bushel basket?  Do I?  How can I better ensure that its light spreads throughout the house?  And then you pray about it.  Contemplate it.

I could tell you the answers I had to these questions, but that would be beside the point.  The point is to discern what it is God is trying to say to you at this moment in your life through the Scriptures.  For example, I found this particular verse to have a particular meaning to my life right now, and I just opened to a random page.  (Further cementing my belief that happenstance does not exist.  Everything happens for a reason the way I see it.)

So give it a try.  You may be surprised at what you find.  I wish you all a splendoriffic evening, and as the year draws so quickly to a close, enjoy whatever remains to you of Autumn.  And don’t forget to be awesome.

Bye!