Wednesday, February 29, 2012

...Music is Magic...

I tell you, I just about fell off my seat on Sunday night when I saw Pharrell Williams drumming with Sheila E at the Oscars. Absolutely made my night.

I have always loved and been inspired by Sheila E and we all know how I feel about Pharrell. And drummers. That was my personal highlight for the evening. And the two dudes who won, got up said, “thank you” and then left the stage. Now that’s how you give a speech.

Sheila E was what I had in mind in the 7th grade when my music teacher Mrs. Peg said everyone in the orchestra had to learn one additional instrument. I chose the drums. I was no Sheila Escovedo, but I enjoyed my music lessons immensely even if my questionable abilities made Mrs. Peg consider a career change.

Before Mrs. Peg, there was Mr. Patterson, my violin teacher. I’m pretty sure he only gave lessons for the money but I was too young and optimistic to allow his perpetual grumpiness take away my love of music.

Perhaps the greatest musical influence in my academic career was Mr. Williams, known for his amazing style, his incredible charm, and probably also for his excess gas.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

...I Learned My Lesson...

Volunteering with children, I have learned, is a lot like exercise:  if you haven't done it in awhile, you should probably pace yourself and ease back into it.

My Saturday went something like this...
(Jack-Jack Attack starring "Kari" as me)

Jack Jack attack

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

...Mine Would Be a Short Story...

Watching Whitney Houston’s home-going ceremony was eye opening.

When a person of her status passes away, there are no shortage of stories about their career highs and lows, but rarely does anyone have the real story.

I watched friend after friend stand up and share all kinds of funny memories. No matter how many times I had heard she had a completely different side from the public image, seeing so many people say such nice and interesting things was a surprising but pleasant and heartwarming experience.

It’s also a reminder that every step in life is a word to our life’s story and we should try to make sure we take steps in the right direction to build an amazing story.

Of course, an amazing story doesn’t mean that we don’t have missteps and mistakes.

Hopefully it just means that every day as we go along, we take as many turns as we can and make the plot interesting.

And hopefully it means that we rest when we are tired, but as soon as we are able, we get up and keep right on stepping.

I established long ago that I want no funeral. I plan to be cremated with my ashes spread at the feet of Christ the Redeemer (and no I didn’t mean, “the foot of Christ the Redeemer.” I understand that it doesn’t really have feet, but I said what I meant.)

I wonder now what would be said about me if I did have a funeral. I shudder at the thought. The conversations I have with friends and family make it clear to me that anyone who’s read this blog more than twice could paint a more accurate picture of who I am than any of them could.

If it were up to those people to tell my story, it would probably be a one-liner and a complete lie.

My own version wouldn't be that great right now either: She woke up, worked all day, and eventually caught a couple hours of sleep. Repeat.

As usual, I'm working on that. I get caught on the hamster wheel like anyone else and then something happens to remind me this isn't as it's meant to be. I know in my heart that my story is meant to be one of those "Choose Your Adventure" books. Remember those? Those were awesome. You could always start over and pick another path if you wanted to.

So aside from the music and films, I am grateful to Ms. Houston for the reminder...

I must not only create the story, but also share the story so that others can be inspired to create their own.

Whatever your given talent- and I know you have one- use it to make your story known.

Stuck in my head...
I never decided which video version I love more so...
Kanye West f/ Adam Levine - Heard 'Em Say

Art by Mr. Bill Plympton (Check out "Idiots & Angels" if you can)

Okay, so this wasn't stuck in my head but it seems appropriate
Beyonce - I Was Here

Sunday, February 19, 2012

...Science and Creativity are Friends...

I was watching something a few weeks back where this musical MacGyver kid rigged his kitchen to make the whole room a huge musical instrument. Most impressive… And now this.


“The new music video from OK Go, made in partnership with Chevrolet. OK Go set up over 1000 instruments over two miles of desert outside Los Angeles. A Chevy Sonic was outfitted with retractable pneumatic arms designed to play the instruments, and the band recorded this version of Needing/Getting, singing as they played the instrument array with the car. The video took 4 months of preparation and 4 days of shooting and recording. There are no ringers or stand-ins; Damian took stunt driving lessons. Each piano had the lowest octaves tuned to the same note so that they'd play the right note no matter where they were struck. For more information and behind-the-scenes footage, see and Many thanks to Chevy for believing in and supporting such an insane and ambitious project, and to Gretsch for providing the guitars and amps.”

That was so awesome.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

...If Children are the Future, We're Doomed...

Perhaps you’ve heard about a recent study that found some parents would not read classic fairy tales to their children because they believed the stories to be “scary” or “outdated” or they feared the kids might “ask awkward questions.”

Oh, that's a good idea. Dumb down the kids so you're always a step ahead. Is that the plan? Fairy tales are probably one of the last harmless things around for kids.

I once fell asleep on the living room floor listening to one of my favorite LPs, a collection of bedtime stories that included “Jack and the Beanstalk.” When I woke up I was afraid to move because the room was dark and I wasn’t sure where the hole in the floor was that had to have been left behind by the giant falling to earth.

I moved.

And I’m alive. I made it. It’s okay. It turns out of all the things I have witnessed that have scarred me for life, fairy tales were involved in none of those events. One involved nudity, another had an undercooked egg, then there was a crochet potholder, a tutu, and a glow in the dark Wacky Wall Walker, and two separate incidents involving Fudgecicles, but no fairy tales. (FYI, never ever give a cat a Fudgecicle.)

Way (way, way) back in the day, so-called children’s books were meant for
adults. Some were only meant for the wealthy. And there was those children’s stories that were meant to teach kids a lesson and prepare them for life’s hardships. This was during the earliest years of kid lit when it wasn’t uncommon for children to be injured by wild farm equipment or killed by some sort of plague.

If the Disney stories set you on edge, check out the original versions of the Grimm fairy tales.

You will poop your pants.

Monday, February 13, 2012

...I Wasn't Going to Do This...

I just can't do these anymore.

God bless her soul and her family.

Ms. Whitney Houston

Sunday, February 12, 2012

...TraPhik's Going to Help You Prepare for Valentine's Day...

My gosh this is funny.

And as a bonus...
His rendition of Senorita f/ Eebsofresh (Ebrahim). He calls it "epic" and folks, he's not kidding.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

...Maybe It Does Work...

So last week I spoke a bit about some elements of a former life and I spoke about my geeky love of research.

It might be a good segue to this post I wrote a while back but couldn't figure out when or where to post.
Be forewarned…
This post features a topic matter of a mature nature, and contains (sort of) adult language.
If last week’s discussion made you blush, or you know you’re not supposed to be reading this, you might want to skip this one.

Of course if you like a little sex with your science, read on.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

...This World is Amazing...

Sometimes it's not so pleasant because the people here can be numbskulls, but if you ignore them and keep looking up, you can see something really beautiful.

Here is another amazing video of the aurora borealis from late last month as shot by Alister Chapman.

It is interesting to note this video is in real time and not a time-lapse video, so what you see is as really breathtaking as it appears.

Aurora was the Roman goddess of the dawn, that much I knew; but the rest of the story is interesting, too.

Thanks to Dot Earth for the lead on the lead .

Thursday, February 2, 2012

...I Wish You Love, Peace, and Soul...

The apparent suicide of Don Cornelius left me quiet.

I needed a minute to sit with this one and think about how I feel about it.

Of course I feel shock and sadness.

I feel confusion, too, about the way Mr. Cornelius left this life.

But in some horrible, inexplicable, morbid way I feel understanding.

I understand what leads you to think about it.

I understand what leads you to attempt it.

I understand because I’ve been there more than a few times myself.

In a strange way, it can feel like a last ditch effort to regain control of a situation and resolve a problem that seems to not have an answer.

I understand how in a lot of ways it is, but I remind myself that truly, it is not.

I remind myself that the part or parts of my brain that make me feel so depressed that I can see no other way, are simply not good parts to rely on.

I remind myself that the first time I ever had these feelings and tried to act on them, I was about 4 or 5 years old and that with all of the down times in my life, I have had some good times, too. I never would have had those good times had any of my previous attempts been successful. (Strange that they call a completed suicide, “successful.”)

I understand that in spite of one’s many accomplishments, sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough.

And sometimes even if is enough, it doesn’t change the pain you feel when you are feeling it.

I wish it did.

I wish, more than anything in the whole world – for me and for us all, - at least one amazing moment of pure, unadulterated joy, but really as many joyful moments as there are days in your life if and whenever possible.

And I wish that when we can feel no joy, that we can at least feel hope.

I do.

From the bottom of my heart, with tears in my eyes, and terrible sadness in my heart, I wish for hope between the joy.

God bless you and thank you, Mr. Don Cornelius.
You are loved, you are loved, you are loved.

Scott Eastlick’s  amazing Best of Soul Train compilation

Scott's episode guide here
Five iconic Soul Train moments here.
Before you say something stupid, educate yourself

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

...I Guess I'm Unnatural Then...

Tim Gunn’s very personal revelation was such a topic of conversation that the first person I heard the news from was my mom.

In case you missed it, the fashion guru, style expert, Project Runway mentor, and now daytime talk show host informed his co-hosts, the audience, and all the rest of us that he had not had sex in 29 years and he was perfectly happy.

Personally, I’m pleased to hear this. No one ever talks about choosing to abstain for an extended period, and considering the general response, is there no wonder we keep quiet.

 One expert had the audacity to call  this behavior “unnatural.”   I’m guessing this expert is a bitter, anti-depressant-abusing, communicable disease-ridden whore.

I love how people think because they can’t keep it in their pants, no one else can either unless there’s something wrong with that person. We could argue there’s something wrong with you for attaching yourself to people with such wild abandon.

 When did we get here?

 It’s okay to tweet semi or totally nude pictures of myself or “accidentally” leak graphic videos of me having sex with some dude (and maybe even starting a career from it) but if I choose to relate to people on levels that don’t include sexual intimacy, then I’m “unnatural.” Really?

I could slut around and boast about it and people would call me empowered and accepting of my healthy sexuality in a world that expects women to stay home and bake cookies. (Which, up yours, I love baking cookies.) Who’s to say that keeping my fly zipped isn’t another expression of a healthy sexuality?

So like Mr. Gunn, I will confess that is has been some years since my last encounter.

Clearly the climate of this topic makes it unsafe for me to go into details but suffice it to say that it’s been enough years that even my own family thinks I’m lying. If it comes up in conversation with friends, they usually respond with, “Oh, Good God! Have you been to a doctor?!”