Saturday, December 31, 2016

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...Happy New Year 2017!


Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Yep. 2016 was a disappointment and true disgrace in so, so many ways.
Humankind took some pretty big steps backward in 2016 so let us hope it begins to move forward once again. But even better, let us not simply hope for the best, but work for the best. Let us actively support the values of fairness and human decency to counteract this current dark tone sweeping not only the United States but much of the rest of the world. Live your life by the principals of humanism. Let us strive to give the darkenss a reason to retreat in 2017.

Friday, December 30, 2016

"Perfect World" by Katie Melua

This video for Katie Melua's "Perfect World" touched me deeply. It reminds me of the true, unconditional love I felt from my mom, and the state of innocence of childhood. She has been gone for 14 years now and I miss her still, every single day.



You're precious
I can't stand seeing you cry
It hurts
Watching you get what you don't deserve
I tell myself
You don't belong in this rough life
You should have a perfect world
You should have a perfect world

You're too gentle
And much too quick to forgive
Every slight
And blow you've ever been dealt
Well who knows
If the world will ever deserve you
You should have a perfect world
You should have a perfect world

And who knows
If the world will ever deserve you
You should have a perfect world
You should have a perfect world

http://katiemelua.com/

Exquisite video images by Karni & Saul of the BAFTA-award-winning Sulkybunny:
http://www.sulkybunny.com/

Thursday, December 29, 2016

BEAUTY: Installation--Anonymouse

Swedish street art group Anonymouse have just made their first installation of stores for mice...a little nut store called Noix de Vie and a sweet little cheese shop called Il Topolino. The anonymous members of this art group (or member, singular, since no one knows exactly who is behind this) told metro.co.uk, "For us the main point with the little scenes are to spread a bit of joy, so the question of our identities seems quite irrelevant. The scene is there for its own sake so shifting focus to us just seems unnecessary."

All the objects are made from human detritus like bottle caps and match sticks. I love how the nuts in the window have little country-of-origin flags, and that the store fronts light up at night. And I especially love that the Anonymouse logo is a combination of the Guy Fawkes mask used by international hacker group Anonymous and Mickey Mouse ears!

On their Instagram account, Anonymouse have announced that there will be a new vignette, for mice, in 2017...

Actual mouse...
...shopping for cheese.

https://www.instagram.com/anonymouse_mmx/

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"Breathing Underwater" by Emeli Sandé

I am pretty overwhelmed by this lovely song, "Breathing Underwater" by Emeli Sandé. The music is wonderful, her voice is exquisite, and what she is singing is beautifully mystical.



When I first heard this song, the words resonated with me. It feels obliquely profound, like they describe a dream, some kind of transcendent event, a peak experience. It speaks to me of a state of freedom that I imagine exists outside of our bodies, outside of time. But when I saw the video, I was quite taken aback by the very unexpected literalness of the flying motif. I have spent my nightly dream life flying, and the idea of having the power to fly is very important to my own personal mythology. So when I saw these dancers start to float up in the air, I was moved to tears...because of the freedom, because I know--I know in my heart and in my soul and in my skin what it feels like to fly... and because I can't do it in this physical plane.

I believe in miracles
Cause it's a miracle I'm here
Guess you could call me spiritual
Cause physical is fear

And it's safe to say the storm's gone away
And I’m dancing on the morning after
Yes I'd love to stay, but my home's the other way
And I miss the love and laughter

Something like flying
Hard to describe it
My God, I'm breathing underwater
Something like freedom, freedom
My God, I'm breathing underwater

Every moon and every star
Knows who you are, you know
So ever if it gets too dark
You never are alone

And it's safe to say you surrender your days
To pay back all the love you borrowed
And hopes are high you survived yesterday
And today is jealous of tomorrow

Something like flying
Hard to describe it
My God, I'm breathing underwater
Something like freedom, freedom
My God, I'm breathing underwater

http://www.emelisande.com/

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

We Are Stardust


"The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust."
--Neil deGrasse Tyson

"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff."
--Carl Sagan

"Everything we are and everything in the universe and on Earth originated from stardust, and it continually floats through us even today. It directly connects us to the universe, rebuilding our bodies over and again over our lifetimes."
--Iris Schrijver, author of LIVING WITH THE STARS: HOW THE HUMAN BODY IS CONNECTED TO THE LIFE CYCLES OF THE EARTH, THE PLANETS, AND THE STARS

"We are stardust/ We are golden/ And we've got to get ourselves/ Back to the garden"
--Joni Mitchell


Images produced by Lematworks
https://lematworks.myportfolio.com/

Monday, December 26, 2016

Still Cold...

...and we could use some warming up (it was 34*F here this morning!). Check out these marvelous recipes for delicious variations on hot chocolate! Those who know me will not be surprised to learn that I am very eager to try the Lavender White...as well as the Caramel!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

R.I.P. George Michael

Such sad news. George Michael has died on Christmas Day at the shockingly young age of 53 (the age of your blogmaster...ahem) and as regular readers of "Oh, By The Way" know, I start each December off with a re-post of his lovely "December Song (I Dreamed Of Christmas)." This year has taken a lot of great talent from us...


George Michael, born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, was a talented vocalist--with a powerful yet smooth voice--and songwriter. His work with Andrew Ridgeley as 1980s pop duo WHAM! started him in the public eye but it was his solo work that solidified his stature. His album "Faith" was a revelation (1987). It was a seamless blend of English pop with synthesizers and American soul. Take a listen to the funky yet dark "Hard Day."



Don't bring me down
Don't bring me down
Don't bring me down

I've never been one
For playing games
You can move your mouth forever
But the words sound just the same
Something like
Bang bang you're dead
Couldn't we just make love instead
Say yes because it's what we do best
And I've had such a hard day

Take me where their eyes can't find us
Without you I may as well just...

How much - do I have to say
What more - do you have to see
What will it take to make you love me
Well you're not the first
You're not the last
You're not even the one who loves me the best
But all I think about is you

So take me where their eyes can't find us
Without you I may as well just...

So take me where their eyes can't find us
Without you I may as well just...

Don't bring me down
Don't bring me down
Don't bring me down

Please don't wander from my door

I've never been one
For playing games
You can move your mouth forever
But the words sound just the same
Bang Bang you're dead
Shouldn't we just make love instead
Say yes 'cause it's what we do best
And I've had such a hard day

So don't bring me down
Won't you give me a break
Somebody give me a break now!

Don't bring me down
Don't bring me down
Don't bring me down

Sweet little boy with oh such a big mouth
Harsh words can get you into hot water
When people don't understand you baby
I'm always here for you
And I
And I will never bring you down, down, down my baby

Trust me
I want you to trust me
Oh trust me
'Cause I won't bring you down
(Don't bring me down)
I won't bring you down
Do you trust me
Yeah

But his 1990 release "Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1" took him to another level. The song "Freedom! '90" was ostensibly about his own rise to fame and his unease in that position, but can be read at the same time as a declaration of emancipation for anyone feeling tied to or trapped by something not of their choosing.



I won't let you down
I will not give you up
Gotta have some faith in the sound
It's the one good thing that I've got
I won't let you down
So please don't give me up
‘Cause I would really, really love to stick around, oh yeah

Heaven knows I was just a young boy
Didn't know what I wanted to be
I was every little hungry schoolgirl's pride and joy
And I guess it was enough for me
To win the race? A prettier face!
Brand new clothes and a big fat place
On your rock and roll TV
But today the way I play the game is not the same
No way
Think I'm gonna get myself happy

I think there's something you should know
I think it's time I told you so
There's something deep inside of me
There's someone else I've got to be
Take back your picture in a frame
Take back your singing in the rain
I just hope you understand
Sometimes the clothes do not make the man

All we have to do now
Is take these lies and make them true somehow
All we have to see
Is that I don't belong to you
And you don't belong to me yea yea
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You've gotta give for what you take
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You've gotta give for what you take

Heaven knows we sure had some fun boy
What a kick just a buddy and me
We had every big shot good-time band on the run boy
We were living in a fantasy
We won the race
Got out of the place
I went back home got a brand new face
For the boys on MTV
But today the way I play the game has got to change
Oh yeah
Now I'm gonna get myself happy

I think there's something you should know
I think it's time I stopped the show
There's something deep inside of me
There's someone I forgot to be
Take back your picture in a frame
Don't think that I'll be back again
I just hope you understand
Sometimes the clothes do not make the man

All we have to do now
Is take these lies and make them true somehow
All we have to see
Is that I don't belong to you
And you don't belong to me, yea yea
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You've gotta give for what you take
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You've gotta give for what you take

Well it looks like the road to heaven
But it feels like the road to hell
When I knew which side my bread was buttered
I took the knife as well
Posing for another picture
Everybody's got to sell
But when you shake your ass
They notice fast
And some mistakes were built to last

That's what you get
That's what you get
That's what you get
I say that's what you get
That's what you get for changing your mind
That's what you get for changing your mind

That's what you get
That's what you get
And after all this time
I just hope you understand
Sometimes the clothes
Do not make the man

All we have to do now is take these lies
And make them true somehow
All we have to see is that i don't belong to you
And you don't belong to me yea yea
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You've got to give for what you take
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You've got to give for what you take
Yea you've got to give for what you, give for what you give

May not be what you want from me
Just the way it's got to be
Lose the face now
I've got to live I've got to live

But one of my all-time favorites is his delirious song "Flawless (Go To The City)" from his album "Patience." The music always gets me grooving and his message of hope to those who don't fit in (gay men and women in small towns in particular) is quite uplifting , but I especially love this video that was filmed, amazingly, all in one continuous four-minute take. The concept is actually extremely moving and inspiring, seeing all the people and lives who have moved through a single space. And watching them all in this overlapped sense of time--where all time is simultaneous--suggests ideas of quantum physics and multiple universes. And of course there is a metaphysical aspect in that beautiful, transcendent moment, when, for one instant, all these people who do not know--and never will know--each other, are in sync and connected through space and time by their sense of self, and by their sheer, unstoppable life force. Lovely...



'Cause you're beautiful (Perfection)(Like no other)
Flawless, absolutely flawless
'Cause you're beautiful (Perfection)(Take me, make me)
'Cause you're beautiful (maybe tonight, they'll see you tonight)

And it's no good waiting by the window
It's no good waiting for the sun
Please believe me, the things you dream of
They don't fall in laps of no-one

And it's no good . . . Waiting, waiting
And it's no good . . . Waiting

You've got to go to the city

Always the same
Always the same dreams yeah yeah
Always the same (yes you're movin' up)

Well you've got to think of something
'Cause your job pays you nothing
But you've got the things God gave you
So the music may yet be your saviour

Got to be a way, some way
Got to be some way to make your way to the light (All the girls say)
Got to be some way, today, today, maybe tonight, maybe tonight

And it's always the same . . .
Always the same dreams yeah yeah
Always the same (yes you're movin' up)

You're beautiful, you are, and you know it
You're wasted here, you're a star
In this small town of hand-me-downs who don't even know it

Sometimes they’re beating you down
Sometimes they’re eating you up
Sometimes you think that your head's going to blow
It doesn't get better . . .

Don't you know, you've got to go to the city
You've got to reach the other side of the glass
I think you'll make it in the city baby
I think you know that you are more than just
A fu**ed up piece of ass

You've got to go to the city
You've got to go to the city,
They're going to find you there

'Cause you're beautiful
'Cause you're beautiful

Do you want a saviour, saviour
Say that you do,
You know you're wasted here, wasted here
And there ain't no miracles happening any time soon ...

Goodbye, George. Rest in peace.


http://www.georgemichael.com/

Merry Christmas 2016!


The sun's birthday and Saturnalia! Enjoy the day and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

It's Midnight At Christmas

"Snowflake" by Kate Bush...



I was born in a cloud...

Now I am falling.
I want you to catch me.
Look up and you'll see me.
You know you can hear me.

The world is so loud. Keep falling. I'll find you.

We're over a forest.
There's millions of snowflakes.
We're dancing.

The world is so loud. Keep falling and I'll find you.

I am ice and dust. I am sky.

I can see horses wading through snowdrifts.
My broken heart, my fabulous dances.
My fleeting song, fleeting.

The world is so loud. Keep falling. I'll find you.

My broken heart, my fabulous dance.
My fleeting song, my twist and shout.

I am ice and dust and light. I am sky and here.

I can hear people.
I think you are near me now.

The world is so loud. Keep falling. I'll find you.

We're over a forest.
It's midnight at Christmas.

The world is so loud. Keep falling. I'll find you.

I think I can see you.
There's your long, white neck.

The world is so loud. Keep falling. I'll find you.

Now I am falling.
Look up and you'll see me.

The world is so loud. Keep falling. I'll find you.

In a moment or two.
I'll be with you.

The world is so loud. Keep falling. I'll find you.

Be ready to catch me.

The world is so loud. Keep falling. I'll find you.

Kate Bush taught me how to fly.

http://www.katebush.com/

Lights Will Guide You Home 2016

On this Christmas Eve, may you find your way home, where ever that may be, even if it is only in your heart.

I'll Be Home For Christmas 2016

If only in my dreams...


Friday, December 23, 2016