|Old Fashioned Baked Beans|
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Saturday, August 15, 2020
A time of increased isolation is the very worst and the very best of times for someone who, as I do, examines her life constantly. Worst, because I have enough unoccupied time for memories of certain events and the remorse they bring to haunt me. Best, because it has forced me to meet those feelings head on.
Remorse is a bad thing to carry around. Yes, I mean remorse, not its sometime companion, guilt. Both have to do with what has happened in the past and how one has acted but, in the case of remorse, there is no belief that you are an evil person because of those actions or inactions.
I feel remorse because I wish there had been different outcomes during events in my past - events where what I said was not as well thought out as it could have been. Yes, in some cases those outcomes might have been different had other participants' actions been different, but this is about me. It isn't about blame. Everyone did what we believed to be right - at the time. In some cases, I even feel remorse for not getting angry at the way things were unfolding and giving the problem a chance to be cleared up. I have to accept the sort of person I was in the past.
K gets a bit upset with me when she catches me second-guessing myself, reminding me "you cannot go back". Not only is going back impossible, in the case of the actions that haunt me sometimes, I cannot even act in the present to heal the rifts that were caused. Many of those involved are now dead - a curse of getting older I suppose. I have to get on with living in the here-and-now and to do that I must forgive myself.
Self-forgiveness is different from making excuses. It is about accepting what was done. It requires a change of heart that reflects awareness of my failings.
By forgiving myself and others, when those memories return, I can let them wash over me with acceptance and a feeling that lessons have been learned. I am not that person now and, hopefully, the way I act in the present might lead to fewer feelings of remorse in the future.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Why are some songs so catchy and others so forgettable? More to the point, why do some songs come, unbidden, to play over and over in our heads? I’ve heard these called various things ... ear-worms, sticky music, … my favourite, coined by a musical friend is hum-clinger.
Where do ear-worms come from? The term stuck-song syndrome would seem to indicate that there is a pathology involved and certainly when you have one it can drive you quite crazy. My suspicion is that dreams and ear-worms come from the same place in the mind. It might be the same place where ideas are generated and, like dreams, these pieces of music that pop into our head could indicate something about our concerns or desires of the moment.
The best way I’ve found to rid myself of an ear-worm is to find a temporary replacement that I know will go away - The Stars and Stripes Forever is a favourite of mine.
Great composers, like John Phillip Sousa, composer of The Star and Stripes among many other memorable marches, were masters of the use of repetition and development of a musical phrase. Beethoven was ‘the’ master of repetition and development. His Fifth Symphony is, perhaps, the very best example, and a frequent ear-worm for me. Those four notes in the pattern da-da-da-dahhhhh appear over and over throughout the piece.
Songwriters who are successful are aware of the phenomenon of a song becoming popular because of repetition of both rhythm and melody. Some refer to it as the hook. As well, in a song, words can be repeated and emphasized using rhythm, making the song unforgettable ... like this one sung and played by an unforgettable artist.
Saturday, August 1, 2020
I want to be as generous as possible here. One could easily get cynical about a place where they use washing machines as a measure of volume.
A sinkhole roughly the size of six to seven washing machines has closed the northbound lanes of State Line Road near 100th Street in Kansas City, Missouri
In fairness, it would be worth mentioning that if you want people to be able to relate to the news in the 15 seconds you give them on television, a familiar way of describing makes good sense. We shouldn't blame 41 Action News - it isn’t their job to educate. Their only job is to get the viewer's attention long enough so you will still be watching as they cut to a commercial break and pay the bills.
Being me, I cannot help but think that if they used square metres or even square yards, it might stimulate some younger viewers to care what that meant. It might give them some knowledge of the way things work. Heaven forbid, it might make them want to know more about how to measure things.
Sinkholes happen everywhere in the world - being proud that you hate science and mathematics is not a universal characteristic ... yet. Happily.
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