Sunday, July 22, 2012

I am in New Jersey

There wasn't a single cloud in the sky tonight, so I could easily see the way the different blues arched overhead: bright and vibrant straight above, then fading to near-white at the very edge of the horizon. It looked sharp, as if the circle of the sky rushed down and sliced through the sea right there.

We didn't stay long enough to watch the sun reach out and play across the water, so I can only imagine how beautiful that must have been. I rather wish we had.

Tomorrow, maybe.


A very young boy in stars-and-stripes shorts stood by the sea with a shovelful of sand. He looked as triumphant as a two or three-year-old boy could look.
"Look at America," said one of my brothers. "He claims this land for himself!"
America held his shovel up with both hands and awkwardly tossed its contents at the waves. They mostly plopped at his feet.
He bent down for another scoop of sand and did the whole thing again.

When we were preparing to leave, America walked past us towards the boardwalk, wailing as he clung to his father's hand. He pointed somewhere and sobbed harder. He was obviously trying to get something.
(Whiny child.)

When we were walking back to our house, we passed a family: mother, father, and young son. They were fully dressed now, without their bright swimsuits, so it took a second look for us to recognize them.
"Hey," said Jeremy. "Is that America?"
It was.

Maybe we'll see him again tomorrow.


Fireworks are booming from somewhere beyond the other side of the street. They're mostly red and gold, and I have no idea why they're being set off at all. Maybe a clear summer night is a good enough reason to celebrate.

One golden firework lingers in the sky after it explodes into a thousand tiny sparkles.
I imagine this might be what it looked like if it rained light instead of water.


The seagulls were massive in number. You couldn't look any direction without seeing one, or twenty. They were also massively obnoxious, constantly stalking as close to you as possible and swooping low over your head, not to mention swarming at the merest hint of food. It would be easy to hate them, or at least resent their presence.

Instead, I mostly envied them.
I envied the way they could spread their wings and beat them till their bodies rose.
I envied the way they could streak through the air just as fast as they wanted to.
I envied the way they could soar upon the strong, cool wind, confidently tilting here and there as they rode the shifting currents of the vivid sky.

These rugged scavengers are as loud as they are bold. They'd answer me, no doubt, but I don't know how to ask them if they'll teach me how to fly.

I'd ask tomorrow if I could.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"The Prayer"

I'm sure many of you are familiar with this song. Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli sang it. Charlotte Church sang it. Josh Groban sang it. Celtic Woman sang it. Everyone wants to sing "The Prayer." Not that that's a bad thing, of course--it's a very pretty and inspirational song, much like "You Raise Me Up."
I am not sure how many of you are familiar with this song's origins. It's from a movie called Quest For Camelot, and is sung by the main character's mother as said main character races off from her village on a horse, presumably towards Camelot (presumably, because I haven't watched the movie, so I don't know). I didn't look up the actual clip until today.


Nobody mentioned that it was a chase scene.
Nobody mentioned that it was a chase scene involving monster things with metal arms.
Nobody mentioned that it was a chase scene involving monster things with metal arms riding on warthogs.

Monday, July 9, 2012


2. The eastern winds were a bit unfelt today, since i was inside.

3a. Spiderman or Scrabble Cheezits have the same flavor but not the same mouthfeel or texture as regular Cheezits, and are therefore less enjoyable. The aerodynamics really do mean something.

3b. We need to decide if the Fn key is going to be universally on the LEFT or the RIGHT of the Ctrl key. Incredibly frustrating.

18. Not all foods are created equal. Most banana foods are delicious: banana cream pie, banana chips, banana milkshakes, banana bread, banana muffins, banana cupcakes. Most pea foods are not: pea cream pie, pea chips, pea milkshakes, pea bread, pea muffins, pea cupcakes.

R. Those who try to be poetically deep are often obvious.

Sii. Who is more important, the blademaster or the blacksmith?

Answers due in two weeks. Thank you class. Remember you can always reach me during office hours or at Watch the stray asteroids as you exit the building!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Picture of A Summer Evening

Thunder grumbles in the distance like a giant restless river. The air and clouds hang heavy with the promise of rain, but rain doesn't come. The scorched, thirsty ground remains dry.


The bird's sound is not like any kind of music that I know, but rings clear in trills and rounded notes, smooth and loud and lilting. I wonder at the rippling sound bursting from the bird's throat, surely shaped so differently from my own. It is not so much a song--(if some wild melody is promised, it fades too quickly, only completed, perhaps, in the human mind)--but what else can we call it?


Sunset glows warm through the thinning cloud-veil;
gentle colors gather in the west, saying
farewell to the day.
No ray of light can needle through the heavy air
and brush across the leaves to set them ablaze--
the evening trees of green and gold
are only green tonight.


I saw a firefly. Couldn't tell if he was green or yellow, but the light was very bright. He blinked with his whole body, and fifteen others followed him at once.


It's dark now, so the windows become mirrors, and I can only see outside through my own reflection. My body is too narrow to watch the whole night wrap its arms around the house, but the night doesn't mind. I think the bird sleeps with the sun, both of them silent as the crickets take up the song of summer, and the moon thrusts its silver light against the other side of the inky clouds, hoping that a sliver will peek through. Perhaps, here and there, it does.

It's still dark.

Thunder grumbles again, and again the ground and I will hold our breaths for rain. It is only a promise. Perhaps it will come when I, too, lie down and sleep.

Two fireflies are left blinking above the grass. They surge up, up, higher and higher, their light twinkling in bright streaks behind them.

They are my stars against the murky sky.

DFESA 5 - Mew

I am posting this nearly a month overdue and two days late. Sorry about that. To make up for it, this DFESA installment deals with Mew, which I have liked for a very long time and treasure as one of my favorite-favorite artists. Pay close attention! if you care, that is.

Brief Description:
Mew is a three-member indie Danish band that was formed in 1994 and has achieved much commercial success in the UK since then. Their sound has been called "alternative rock," or just "indie," or "stadium rock," among other things. Apparently it's difficult to classify the precise genre. In my opinion, the best approximation that I found was "progressive rock electro shoegaze alternative dreamy indie-pop."

What I like about this artist:
I've always found it hard to put my fondness for Mew into words, but I'll try.
It's really quite a bizarre style (or unique, I should say), with an ethereal feel that's half-grounded in a bit of rock, but sometimes doesn't make much musical sense at all--at least, when you first listen to it. Everything makes more sense with each subsequent listen. Part of what I love about Mew is the songwriter's ability to mix sounds and rhythms that I'd never have thought could go together, and in some strange dimension they work surprisingly well. For me, listening to Mew is akin to reading a particularly good poem: it stretches my brain to consider new possibilities.
I also love the ridiculously long title of their last album (pictured above): No more stories// are told today// I'm sorry// they washed away// No more stories// the world is grey// I'm tired// let's wash away.

Some of my favorite songs:
Since this is late, I've included more than the usual four:

"Introducing Palace Players" - One of the weirdest tracks in its composition, but also one of my favorites.

"The Zookeeper's Boy" - Gorgeous.

"Snow Brigade" - Probably the oldest Mew song I remember listening to.

"Hawaii" - SO HAPPY.

"Comforting Sounds" - Nine minutes long, but ridiculously relaxing.

"Sometimes Life Isn't Easy" - This one's weird too.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Typical Conversations #16 and #17

DAD: Ugh, I am so dizzy. Going around and around the trees, around and around the yard...
MOM: Can't you mow the lawn in straight lines? People mow their lawns in straight lines.
DAD: That's too boring.
MOM: Then don't complain!


DAD: You know, that'd be like, like two stones, uh...two stones with one bird.


DAD: Whoops.
MOM: Riiiight. You throw the bird at two stones, and it dies.