Wordswirl

ornamentalcat

Recollections wreck elections. I know there are things needing to be done.

Lope to the kitchen. I watch ditches. Sink spirits like a loose cannon. Water cannon.

Cold sweat overtakes me. I know there are things needing to be done. Anxiety knew long before as it crowded my brain migraine. Ache eats into my subconscious. Need something to occupy my mine.

Resort to electronics but the terror vision is no relief. Too many nude dead love triangles to handle in one day. Too many scandals in sandals. Judgements to be made, judgements to be forgiven, and we all get flushed through the news cycle like wet herds. If I can resist the social media wagon, I can resist the negative commentary troll baggin’. I could witch mice elf out of this crazy place. Sometimes our escapes make us fools. Sometimes fools are wise as wizards.

Digital pastimes fill me with guilt because I know there are things needling to be done. Virtual comforts pass when the power goes out. Then it’s so quiet I can hear the gangs down the sloped street chuting each other. No one thinks they’re alone, and yet everyone does. Everyone gets up and goes for a ride. Everyone stops at the end of the slide.

What does it all mean? Why are we here? To do better? To make it all better? To be like Eddie Vedder? The search continues through the sinews. Learning hits me like a ten ton ruler on the back of the hand. When I feel it I remember again, and I don’t say it, ’cause there’s no need to repeat the spin.

From the Vine

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For centuries, people used grapes in amazing ways. They used grapes instead of water to quench their thirst. They used grapes as nature intended: as food straight off the vine. People even used grapes as raisins because dried fruit kept longer and could be used in the months when nothing grew on the farm except chickens and teenagers.

Then in 1873, during a heat spell in California, some knucklehead stuck a marketing flag all over the dried grape and called it a “Peruvian Delicacy”. From that simply evil prevarication came the sick ideas of sticking grapes and raisins in everything—everything that never called for it. Grapes in salad would only be good if it’s a fruit salad, and yet more knuckleheads, probably related to that first knucklehead, threw grapes and raisins in a perfectly good vegetable salad. It could be argued that eating grapes with tomatoes is healthy, but the sanity of such an act is questionable.

Grapes in a chicken salad? The chef must have been cleaning out the left-overs in the fridge.

Grapes on a tuna salad sandwich? Was the sandwich-maker drunk?

Raisins in oatmeal cookies? What other way could you destroy dessert? 

Raisins in trail mix? Sure, fine, it kind of makes sense because it goes back to the ancient way of storing food for long periods of time with little effort. The only problem I have with this idea is that it has gone too far. It has become difficult to find trail mix without raisins. It’s come to the point where I have to make my own trail mix.

Cashews? Check.

Peanuts? Check.

M&Ms? Check.

Done. No raisins needed.

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To put the raisin craze in even better perspective, did you know you could dry mushrooms? And what if some advertisement industry knucklehead portrayed mushrooms the same way they portray raisins? Would we have dried mushrooms in everything?

Meanwhile, the cat…

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If you were a dog, would you be an inside dog or an outside dog?

From my personal point of view, I’d rather be an outside dog. The freedom entices me. Would I play in the snow? Absolutely? Would you? I hope so, but don’t be worried about having a different opinion. Having different tastes or likes or desires from someone else doesn’t necessarily make you wrong. The world would be a dull place if everyone enjoyed the same music, or ate the same kind of food, or preferred the same exact activities.

The dog chases sticks. I don’t want to pretend to know what the dog is thinking when he enjoys this activity. I probably have a clue, though. If I was that dog, why would I chase a stick? For the mystery and excitement of seeing where the stick landed. For the thrill of seeing how fast I could return with it. Did the stick fly farther than last time? Where will it land? Can I differentiate the one thrown from all the other sticks in the world? What will the stick smell like when I pick it up this time? Did you see how fast I ran? Want to see me do it again? Want to see how fast I am when the wind changes direction?

If a dog could throw his own stick, would he ever come back?

Your dog will follow you anywhere. Dogs don’t likely know when you’re homeless. Dogs don’t likely know when you’re lost. Dogs follow because they have a loyalty uncommon to the animal kingdom. Not many animals would stick with you no matter where you go.

A dog chases his own tail. I’m not even going to pretend to know what the dog is thinking when he chases his own tail. Is he thinking he’ll catch it? I don’t know. Is he thinking, “Look how fast I can move my tail!”? Not sure. There’s an answer. Only the dog knows, and it should probably stay that way. Let the dogs have some secrets.

It’s no secret that dogs need to go for walks. If a dog is an inside dog, Mister Owner-Man will need to leash him up and take him around the block a time or two. Exercise still happens outside for the inside dog.

Leashes are less of a necessity for an outside dog. Do you sense the freedom of being an outside dog? Have I convinced you yet?

An outside dog has the freedom to chase other dogs, to bark at other dogs, to bark at passing vehicles, to cower under a rock during lightning storms, to howl at midnight, to growl at outside cats.

A dog can chase and race and fetch. A dog can shatter bones with his teeth. A dog can growl and howl and bark.

Meanwhile, the cat…

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New Arrivals

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Spring means new things.

This one goes out to the babies, and those who’ve had babies, and to the ones who adore the babies.

The young ones, with their new smell, their eyes waking, smiles grinning wide to the world. They’re ready for what’s next and what’s next is everything. Everything is new to the young and they want to experience it all. Their knowledge of the world is trusting and innocent. Their judgement is uncluttered, unhurt.

New to walking, the baby will need help up. New to talking, the baby will need an example, like the sound of mom’s voice, dad’s voice.

The young one’s legs are weak, at first. They seem to get strong quickly. From a mewling lump of flesh, quickly building sinews in the neck. Strength in the core means rolling over…and over again until baby stands and starts bossing mama and papa around. Barking out orders no one understands. Rebelling against everything. Playing loud music at all the wrong times of the day.

Just kidding. That was total exaggeration.

Seriously though, before they become teenagers, they’re still as cute as a wild wolf pup. Babies are cute so that the animal kingdom will take care of them and give them the protection they need to survive and grow old and have their own babies. Survival, not only of the individual, but of the group. A cute baby means a healthy species.

A baby may not seem to have much to give, no skills to put on a resume, no bank account, no amassed assets, and yet, any new mother and father can tell you their baby means the world to them. A true mother would give her life for her child. So many mothers have given, and still do give, their whole life for their child. Why? They don’t owe anything to the child. The babe has nothing to offer in return for the mother’s devotion.

It’s most likely obvious to some, the reason is love. Love is the ultimate parental motivation. It’s the kind of feeling not limited to one species. A parent can look at someone else’s baby and feel concern and caring. A parent can look at newborn chicks in a nest with the same feeling.

Then again, do you have to be a parent to feel this feeling?

Why Rap Doesn’t Work In Movies

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You’ve seen the scene with Thor totally conquering hundreds of ugly foes. You heard the Led Zeppelin song “Immigrant Song”. You know why the song was chosen: it conveys emotion, it gives the listener a sense of the action on the screen. Not only that, but the song is about Valhalla and other Viking themes. The song enhances the effect of the action for the audience. Without the song (try watching the same scene with the audio muted) the scene could still carry some excitement, though it wouldn’t be as extraordinary, it would be a bit more flat. This is only one example of a well-crafted piece of music conveying emotion.

Danny Elfman has managed to capture a wide range of emotions with his cinematic musical scores. It could be argued that his music is mostly comical. The emotion that I usually get from a movie with Danny Elfman music is circus-like amusement. Think of Men In Black, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or The Lego Batman Movie. These are a few Danny has written music for.

If you want to hear some cinematic music, check out Jason H. Abbott‘s WordPress site when he does Epic Music Monday. Cool stuff.

Not necessarily what you would find on Jason’s site, but cinematic sounding music no less, here are some selections which convey emotions:

Try to listen to Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” without feeling a sense of dominance. Jimi makes the listener feel as if chopping down a mountain with the edge of a hand is not only possible, but possible now. The sensation is immediate.

Try listening to Joe Satriani’s “Surfing With The Alien” and dismiss the feeling of cosmic awe. I don’t believe anyone can. It’s a masterpiece. Satriani can craft amazing music with a guitar.

Indulge in the sounds of Living Colour’s “Nothingness” and find a sense of loss or a feeling of emptiness or possibly only love for the pleasant melody (who knew a rock band could make such fascinatingly mellow music?). Check out anything from this band and find a variety of emotions.

The industrial/alternative/metal band Skinny Puppy, in their song “Illisit”, tells me “This is the criminal age.” And I believe them. I fear the digital criminals now.

The Australian blues band known as The Blackwater Fever can convince me there’s more  life on the run when I hear their song “Shot Thru”. It gives me a feeling of escape.

In the hip-hop song “Jump Around” by House of Pain you get a feeling of party time.

Unfortunately, most music that would be considered rap music can only convey one emotion: hubris. This is why it doesn’t work well in a cinematic setting. In a movie, you have revolving emotions. The idea of the movie is to help the audience feel a sense of one emotion, then roll into the next emotion. If a musical style is like a one-note canary, it won’t translate but one thing to the listener or the audience.