What happened today

I got out of bed at 3:45am, and met my friend outside at about 4:10am to drive to the airport.

I flew in an airplane to Chicago, where I met my cousins and then drove to Wisconsin.

We met with my brother and his friend at Devil’s Lake, and then hiked about six miles together around the lake.

We admired willingly the spectacular and deep-breathing-inspiring colors of the Fall, and awed at a Bald Eagle who flew over the lake for a bit.

We checked into our joined suite rooms, and then dunes down the street at an all-you-can-eat Mongolian stir-fry place, each eating more than we’d intended.

We gathered in the joined living area of the suite rooms, sipped digestifs, chatted about nonsense, played ukulele, practiced/learned some yoga and some acro-yoga, talked about nerd stuff, joked about my brother’s classmates back in college who argued about some terms in calculus, cracked up when my cousins began to argue about those terms in calculus, and consciously enjoyed our collective company.

I chatted more with my brother as he prepared for bed and I, unknowingly, was locked out of my room.

We laughed, and, eventually, I gained access back into my room with my cousins.

My cousin and I listened to voicemails from our grandparents, filled with wholesome delight.

I took the first good shower I’ve had in months (since the one where I’m living has been quite the nonsensical mess since I moved in there), and reminisced about Japanese onsen while I untangled a crazy knot in my extremely long hair.

I earned another badge in my Fitbit, because I walked over 22,000 steps today.

I stayed awake and in a good mood for over 19 hours.

I breathed easily almost the entire day, for the first time in a long while (it has felt, anyway).

I was myself, and so were the others, and we were spectacular.

I and we did good today, both grammatically correctly and incorrectly. 😉

Post-a-day 2018

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Ear-worm* mashups

Does anyone else ever end up with a mashup between “Last Christmas” by Wham! and “Lucky” by Britney Spears in your head?  It happens to me almost every time I get into Christmas music (yes, this means that I’m already getting into the Christmas music mood).  As with any song, “Last Christmas” will get stuck in my head, kind of repeating casually as I go about my business, even thinking about other things.  Whatever I do, though, the song plays like background music, just inside my head.  Eventually, I become aware of the fact that I’ve been going back and forth between “Last Christmas” and “Lucky”, and then totally crack up inside at how utterly different the two songs’ topics, years, genres, and artists are.

If you think I’m just nuts here, or even if you just are interested, give it a try.  Here’s how the words work out the switch:

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart,
and the very next day, you gave it away.

This year, to save me from tears,
I’ll give it to someone special…..
(dumm dumm dumm)
She’s so lucky.  She’s a star.
But she crie-crie-cries with her lonely heart,
thinking, “If there’s nothing missing in my life,
then [why do these tears come at night?”]
the very next day, you gave it away.
This year, to save me from tears,
I’ll give it to someone special….

And then the whole thing repeats.  Notice that the brackets part is how that line would continue in the song.  I left it, because, occasionally, my head finishes out that line, too.  Usually, though, it has a sort of fading overlap, like how what DJs do or the original settings in iTunes did, having the Wham! song come in at that exact spot as the new main line.

Fun, huh?  (Well, I like it, anyway, so that works for me.)  🙂

*We don’t really have a single word for this in English, so I used a translation of the German term Ohrwurm, the word used to reference a song that gets stuck in one’s ear/head.

Post-a-day 2018

Stromae to Mosaert

After writing about Stromae the other night, I looked up to see if he had any tour dates in the US anytime soon.  Unfortunately, he does not.  However, I discovered that lots of his efforts have gone into his clothing brand lately, and that the brand is spectacular.  All of the clothes are unisex and super cool, are fair-trade, are made in Europe, have an emphasis on sustainable/organic fibers and eco-friendly sewing tactics (to waste as little cloth as possible), and are in limited numbers.  (The last part means that only a certain number, say 25, for example, are made of any one item.  So, for a t-shirt, there would be 4 XS, 6 S, 6 M, 5 L, and 4 XL made, and that’s it.  Once they are sold out, there are no more of that particular t-shirt made again.)  They also include a chart on the cost of production for many items, detailing how much money it actually costs to produce that specific item, thereby explaining why an item is being sold for its specific price.

Check it out.  Here’s the page all about their being an awesomely responsible company, from which you can click to the shopping area to see the awesome clothes, and here’s the page for the company as a whole, which is more than just a clothing brand – check out their About page found on that one.

I just wish I lived a life where it would be practical and affordable for me to get the cardigan 7, which is a sweater I loved when I first saw it in one of Stromae’s interviews (actually, the one I linked here the other night!).  The sweater was cool in and of itself, but it was made even cooler by the fact that Stromae himself actually wore it.  Alas, I do not live such a life (and am instead barely getting by financially as a crazy person doing full-time grad school and part-time-ish work), so the cardigans will go to those who do live such lives. 😛

Post-a-day 2018

 

Stromae (and my solo gelato dance party)

Last night, waiting for my dinner to finish baking, I was dancing in the kitchen while snacking on some pre-dinner gelato (because when else is gelato so satisfying?), jamming out to a Stromae (pronounced like “maestro” split in half, the second half said first) song, when I suddenly recalled how spectacular his music really is.  I haven’t listened to almost any music lately, and so haven’t listened to any of his either.  When I taught high school French, I listened to and discussed his music all the time with students.  They had to find a new francophone song every month that they liked, and each student and each class went in all different directions.  But, without fail, a single Stromae song would come up once in a class, and then his entire repertoire would show up the following months from different students in that class.  They regularly requested his music, whenever we played music during work time in class.

We listened to a lot of French language music, and the kids knew I loved lots of it.  But they also knew that I liked Stromae for more than just his voice, and, at some point, they decided that I really loved him and his music.  I remember one specific incident of Stromae coming up in casual chat during class, and a student said, “Oh, we know, Miss —: you would totally date Stromae if you had the chance.”  I’m almost certain that I verbally agreed immediately, and we all laughed.    It was great.  (So many things those kids never knew about me and my life, but they always remembered anything they ever heard about dating or marriage.)  😛

If you don’t know Stromae’s music, check it out.  You can start with this English interview he did, which is great.  He still sings in French, and even dances a bit (he’s a spectacular dancer, by the way, as can be seen in his music videos), but the discussion is all in English.  I find the themes of his music to be powerful, though regularly dangerous and tough, even scary – but, to me, they are real and honest.  What’s more, they make for a great dance party any day, because the musicality is tops (especially so if you don’t understand the lyrics).  When I first heard of him, it was from a German kid when I’d first arrived in France for school.  He mentioned that the only French song Germans knew was this “Alors, on danse” song that I wasn’t too sure I’d ever even heard, but definitely had heard of.  That was the only line I understood when I first listened to Stromae’s music (“And so, we dance”), but it didn’t matter – I still loved it all.  Now, I just love it even more, because I understand the words.

(“Dodo” is one that gets stuck in my head most often these days.  It’s a prime example of what I mean by a tough song – a difficult theme combined with beautiful music.  I recommend you watch the video first, and then look up the lyrics.)

Post-a-day 2018

Sing away the sickness

It feels as though an absence of music in my life is a sign of an absence of delight.

When there is so much happening, that I do not take the time for music – either listening or playing – it usually results that I am stressed and haggard and, quite likely, too, sick.

No surprise that I haven’t had any music lately, and I haven’t played guitar or ukulele in a while…., and no surprise that I’ve been stuck with an icky cold for over a week and a half…, because I’ve been so stressed and strained with various topics in my life, I haven’t taken the time to take care of myself.

I haven’t taken the time to have music, one of the deepest joys of my heart.

Perhaps, if I had music for myself every day, I might never get sick… there’s likely some study about that anyway, where music makes the body healthier (not to mention improved brain function on the whole).

Well, I’ve been doing what I consider to be a very good job, as of late, feeding myself and preparing food for myself…. now to add music in there every day.

I wonder if I can really do it… can I see myself as really being worth that effort and time?? (I’m still only halfway there with the good food preparation mentality…)

But I think it is a good time to give it a go, so I’ll go for it… music every day… for myself…, because I not only need but deserve it.

Okay.

…Crazy how this scares me somehow…

Post-a-day 2018

Today’s list

Oktoberfest…

semi-unplanned friend visit…

Mid-Autumn Festival…

car accident…

Earthdance….

… with origami and Braille, both taught by a blind man with a blind man’s wristwatch…

stopping for toilet paper…

and a house gathering…

all with a rain storm pouring over us off and on…

How was this only one day?

Post-a-day 2018