Don’t know why, but still partially in a dream slowly waking.. I had the idea.. I should read “The Tempest” by Shakespeare.
I read it once already, back in..hmm.. 1997? Time to read it again. I will read it during the day, and continue with a Terry Pratchett Discworld novel which I am reading for the first time.. will read that at night.
Most of my favorite Discworld novels I’ve read at least 5 times.
The one I started a few days ago is called “Pyramids,” and is about a teenage boy who is stuck having to be pharaoh (Discworld version) on account of his father’s unexpected death.
His father thinks he’s a bird, and jumps off a wall of the castle. He is then met by Death, the only character I’m aware of who shows up in all the Discworld novels. Death always has a brief but interesting conversation with every soul he helps move on its way.
There’s even a whole series about Death and his family. Not sure how it is, since I’ve only read one book in that series so far.
If you want to read a really great book about the Grim Reaper, in a modern fantasy setting instead of a more primitive setting, I suggest “On A Pale Horse” by Piers Anthony. Brilliant book.. though I’m not a Piers Anthony fan in general.
“Pyramids” is not part of any of Pratchett’s series, but still set on Discworld. It has started out really well. Maybe I will add it to my list of Pratchett favorites once I’m done.
What is Discworld? A fantasy realm a bit similar to Middle Earth, except a whole lot more funny. It’s a flat planet, that spins like a record album, and is located on the back of four elephants, who are standing on the back of an unimaginably massive sea turtle, who is swimming through space.
Douglas Adams (the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” guy) used sci-fi for writing British-style satire. Pratchett used the fantasy genre.. brilliantly. Pratchett is my favorite author. He passed away in March of 2015.
In general, I work on somewhat challenging reading material during the day (both fiction and non-fiction), and fun fiction at night before I go to sleep.
Oh, I should mention.. Pratchett did, in some of his novels, include story elements which are parodies of Shakespeare (and many other parodies as well). of But, “Pyramids” is not one such book.
if you want to see what an American city really looks like (or a traveling carnival), and appreciate excellent cinematography..
In this video, we see a rather unglamorous and realistic view of an urban environment in a large American city. Though the video was shot in Los Angeles, the images are not unique to L.A. I lived in Chicago for three years. The scenery in many neighborhoods is practically identical.. as it would be in any city in this country that has let’s say half a million people or more.. Philadelphia or Boston, or Houston, or.. Actually, in many cities with smaller populations, you will see streets like this.
Seeing what many American city streets look like is one reason to watch this video. I appreciate the realism. But there is another reason to watch this.. the way the video was shot.
No fancy special effects, no quick edits, just one very long, continuous shot. I have never seen one shot last this long. I’ll post the video now, write about it a little more, and then get to a very different video that was shot in a very similar way.
Before tonight.. (3:01 am now) I’d never seen this video, nor heard the song.. the song doesn’t impress me all that much, but the video is amazing. No special effects or quick edits. Instead.. one continuous shot with a steadicam (sometimes spelled “steadycam,” I don’t know which is the accurate spelling.)
A steadicam is a camera mounted on a device that isolates the camera operators movements.. in other words.. a cameraman can be walking, but the image stays steady, doesn’t move up and down with the cameraman’s steps. Steadicams tend not to be light.
It takes a LOT of skill (and strength, energy) to be able to shoot a video like this. The band is British, so is the singer, Shara Nelson. They went to L.A. because this is where a steadicam expert, named Dan Kneece lived, and also because of the natural light unique to L.A.
The video wasn’t entirely planned. Some of the people in the background are not official extras, just street people.
I watch a lot of movies and have seen a lot of music videos. I’ve almost never seen such long, continuous shots. The other one that has impressed me so much was at the beginning of an excellent, dark film called “The Place Beyond The Pines.”
In that film, the camera follows a carnival daredevil biker from the inside of his trailer, as he walks through the nighttime crowd, hops on his bike and enters one of those crazy metal cage balls in which motorcyclists drive around and upside-down. That was also an amazing shot.
Hey.. I just found the opening scene on youtube.. unfortunately, you won’t see the bikers doing their stunts, but you can see this long, continuous shot.. which is brilliant and sets the mood like no other opening scene I have ever viewed.
Gosh sometimes I wish I’d taken more than one film production class in college. I majored in English and the Social Sciences instead.. Hmm.. Life could have been different.
I am an amateur photographer and videographer. (and lover of great films, videos, and TV). I guess most folks won’t be stunned seeing this video.. but for me.. wow. Genius.
This video is a rare ’80’s gem! The band never even got close to the fame they deserved. Just happens sometimes. At least they got some serious airplay on MTV for a little while in ’89, when they released their album “Sonic Temple.” That album changed my life.. and I do mean it. I was a huge fan of these guys, and had two large posters of them up in my room when I was younger.
This concert video is from 1986, and features one of the best songs by The Cult, “She Sells Sanctuary. If you want to skip to 17:01, you can hear it..or just play the video all the way through.
Although the video is obviously old.. lines going up and down the screen, etc. it is very well-shot, and the music is original and great.
Billy Duffy, the band’s lead guitarist and co-songwriter along with singer Ian Astbury (who has one of the most unique voices in the history of hard rock, in my opinion), is still one of my favorite guitarists, not only because of “She Sells Sanctuary,” but for his later work on “Sonic Temple,” especially on the songs “Fire Woman,” “Edie” and “Soul Asylum.”
I was looking for live footage of “Soul Asylum” (one of the most passionately and intensely romantic songs ever written.. if you look it up, listen to the studio version) but couldn’t find any live videos of the song that were separate from a whole concert video.
I watched some live performances, and found this one, which I really like, even though “Soul Asylum” is not on it. A most unique band, with some awesome music.
Occasionally I have written rather rambling, lengthy posts that cover a variety of subjects. A stream of consciousness kind of thing.. especially appropriate for this post, considering it is about several dreams, and what I thought about upon waking..
So I had this dream..
My dreams are usually vignettes.. no beginnings, no closure. Several little moments.. one ends, on to the next.
In this little dream, I was in a large store here in America. The store appeared to be in a building that had once been an old K-mart. K-mart stores have not done well since Wal-Mart stores first opened. The K-mart here in town closed some years ago.. so I guess it’s logical I came up with a large store located in a building that used to be a K-mart.
What was sold in the building was many many goods related to the East, especially India.
Backpacks, t-shirts and other goods with the Ohm symbol.
CD’s with various kinds of music, mostly from or associated with India.
Sculptures, statues, art, cookbooks, dried goods, snacks, decorations, tapestries, books..
I didn’t actually see all these things up close, but knew they were there. It was that kind of store.
I was browsing through some tote bags, and I’m not sure what all.. larger bags, looking around.
This incredible music came on. The sound system in the store was better than I’d heard in any other store. The volume up higher than in many stores, but not deafening. Just right, especially since the music was wonderful.
The song that came on was actually a cappella, one woman’s voice, I think, layered in harmony, multiple tracks, but with some digital enhancement., mostly a reverb affect and a bit of a chorus effect.
The words? The sound? I don’t know, I can’t remember.
I thought to myself in the store, I should ask a woman who wore an apron, carried a clipboard, and who obviously worked there.. what is this song ?! I imagined her telling me, and me walking over to the large CD section, and finding the CD.
I am a person of great internal conflict.
I, out of shyness, self-destruction (feeling I’d strongly regret not asking the woman and finding the CD, and taking on the regret because it hurts) and also out of a desire to just listen, hear and feel the song, savor the moment and not take home the song on a CD, put it on my hard drive and ipod, but rather just listen.. all these things were going through my mind, so I didn’t ask.
And yet, a artist/band name came to my mind as I was waking up:
Jaidphur (I know this is not the actual spelling of the city in India..I figure the artist was being creative). The song was called “That’s The Answer I Like Best.”
Or was any of this correct? I don’t think so. That wasn’t the song. The one I just mentioned came to my mind a bit later. The song I came up with was a different song than the one I’d heard in the store. “That’s The Answer I Like Best” sounded different.. more hip-hoppy, and I only heard a few seconds of it in my mind.
I don’t have the title or name of artist for the first song.. the one in the store.
A song by the title and artist I came up with.. I googled it. “jaidphur that’s the answer i like best.” Doesn’t exist.
Then I just googled the song title.. no song appears on google with this title, which is very surprising.
This song, in my mind, sounded hmm.. hard to say exactly.. voice a bit like Janet Jackson, but not quite.
Before I went to bed, which was after 5 this morning, I was working on putting some playlists together to burn CD’s, since in one vehicle, I don’t yet have a stereo that I can plug an ipod or phone into.
I was also looking for some songs online.
Found myself trying to find a song supposedly by Destiny’s Child.. a song that also doesn’t exist.
In 1997, I took a dance aerobics class at a community college.
I was not aware this was one of those classes it is not considered acceptable for heterosexual men to take. The women take this sort of class to bond with other women. They don’t mind gay men, since gay men are more expected to be dancers, and gay men aren’t after women.. who can feel free to wear skin-tight clothes, not for the purpose of being sexy, but just because that’s what women wear to such classes.
I later took a yoga class, and noticed the women bonding together in groups, looking over at me occasionally, not the most friendly of glances.
I did meet two women in the dance class though without even trying. But they turned out to be not so worth knowing, as I found out later, and I wasn’t friends with either of them for long, although I did have a nice and friendly few moments with one of them.. who a bit later told me she had a boyfriend.. I hate when that happens.. good thing we didn’t get very intimate.
But anyway.. hip hop dance class. I’m not generally into hip hop, except for a few artists and songs, but hip hop dancing looked fun. I was not there to try and meet women, I just thought hey I need some exercise, gym workout isn’t doing it for me, I’ll try this class.
There was an awesome song we learned a routine for. I asked the teacher, and she told me it was a song called “This and That,” by Destiny’s Child.
I have never found a song called “This and That,” by this group.
I looked online years ago, and looked again last night. I will google it again now.
Well.. either my memory of when I took the class is wrong, or my memory of what the teacher told me is wrong.. The first Destiny’s Child album was released in ’98.
And no.. just checked their discography.. no song called “This and That. ”
Only found a few songs last night called “This and That,” but not by Destiny’s Child, and not matching the vague recollection of the joyous song I danced to back then.
The song in my mind as I woke up didn’t sound like Destiny’s Child either. Which is good, because, as I was listening to some song clips by Destiny’s Child, I remembered I didn’t like this group, nor do I like music by Beyonce, (except one song which I think is called “Halo.” I like an instrumental cover of that one better than the original) who was once the main woman (there were two others) in the group.
You want to hear the instrumental cover of “Halo?” Here it is.. beautiful music.
The song called “That’s the Answer I like best,” the second song from my dreams.. Fairly slow tempo, but upbeat, romantic.
Why romantic? Another, earlier dream vignette, this one very short:
I was laying on the grass with a woman in a beautiful meadow. I can’t tell you what she looks like. I was looking out at the grass, dew on the grass in the sunshine.. astonishingly beautiful.. the clouds went by like in time-lapse photography.. a transcendent moment.
She’d asked me a question. Before this vignette moved on to others, I’d forgotten the question.
I’d given her three answers.. the two were honest but not especially complementary and more rational than spiritual.
The last one was something like..”because you can see spirits in nature, and I can’t.. and you are.. ” I can’t remember what I said, but it was a very loving answer. I can’t come up with it now.. something about her being an incredible woman and spiritually attuned to nature and that’s why I love her, but a much better answer than what I just wrote.
Then an odd image I can’t even explain. Something strange and somewhat distubring that I can’t comprehend.. images and feelings. lasting a couple seconds. just strange.
A sense of acute unease. Looking down, background is the shiny mud of a riverbank..
Looks like this.. (I took this picture several years ago).
Man’s hand sliding down the arm of a woman, who has placed her hand on the riverbank.. gesture meant to be reassuring, but the gesture feels forced, as both the man and woman are feeling this acute anxiety. Man’s hand and woman’s arm both very pale.
Then a dog’s leg and paw, white, the dog somehow holding a large drop of dew, which then looks like the Earth, still in the dog’s paw, the background still the mud of the riverbank.
This happened in two seconds or less. I don’t know what to make of it.
Then I was in the store, and a song came on, all a cappella.. and this was the last vignette.
I got up, googled “Jaidphur that’s the answer I like best” and of course this song and group does not exist.
Why the song title? The woman I was with in the meadow.. the vignette ending to quickly perhaps for her to say anything.. but I got her message anyway.. the third answer I gave her..
That’s the answer she liked best.
I’m not a song writer. I can create strange experimental music, such as this ..
but I can’t play any instruments well, and don’t know music theory.
I haven’t tried to write lyrics or poetry in many many years, and don’t feel I have the knack for it, except for writing some spoken-word lyrics to go over my weird compositions.. still haven’t done this,. but you might be able to write lyrics and music..
I just remember a pleasant, slightly sexy female voice at the end of a chorus singing, “That’s the answer I like best. That’s the answer I like best.”
I am very surprised no one has thought of this.
I wonder sometimes why ideas for songs have come to me in dreams, or I’ve heard songs in dreams that have not been recorded or written.
This has only happened three times (or maybe a bit more than three?) that I can remember.
Maybe the muse missed her target (the muses of Greek mythology which bring inspiration are female, as far as I know) I wish I were a song-writer but I’m not. Some things I am just not.
But perhaps in dreams, we tap into the collective unconscious.. perhaps someone else also received this this idea for a song while dreaming.
And if not in dreams, someone might be reading this post right now.. I don’t mean the right now when I am typing it..
.. but whatever time is right now for you who is reading it.
Maybe you’ll be able to do the song justice.
And if you write it and record it, please give me some of the credit for the idea..
A woman asks her man a question.. he gives two answers she doesn’t like, and one that is absolutely wonderful beyond words.. and that’s the answer she likes best.
And what about Jaipur.. it is spelled without a “d” or “h.”
Jaipur is a city an India. I only know this because I watched a mostly great film, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” and the sequel, “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”
The first one starts out in England, but the rest of it is in Jaipur, and the second one is entirely set in Jaipur. Not entirely filmed there though, also filmed in the city of Udaipur.
Both movies are worth watching.
Here are the trailers:
In case you are wondering what I did find when I googled “jaidphur that’s the answer I like best,”..
Tips on travel from many sites.. even though I spelled the name of the city wrong (on purpose).. the word “answers” brought up a lot of sites with the words “questions and answers” relating to Jaipur.
The one I clicked on which I thought was most interesting.. it had the word “romantic” in it.. because the song with the title I typed in was romantic..
An answer posted on a website called quora.com. I like this website a lot. You can post any question you want, and likely receive an answer. There’s a worldwide community on that site. I’ve never posted a question, but have read many questions and answers that randomly show up in my email inbox.
Here’s the question and answer post I found on google..
Hmm.. just learned there is a city in India, in the same state of Rajasthan, called Jodphur. In my mind, I’d unknowingly combined the two names.
The Jaipur question and answer I liked best..
This answer is from someone named , (I copied and pasted the name from the quora site. That’s why it shows up in blue).
“Here is the list of things, you can do in Jaipur with your partner.
Make this valentine a special day , The most memorable for you and your partner by taking him/her to the balloon ride where you can view whole jaipur from an astonishing height ,
you and your lover with that cool breeze flowing and that peace and silence what a better place to be on ,such a day … have experience of life time with sun set in background and whole city below your feet express the love to your partner.. This whole experience is quite costly but love does not see money isnt it !!
cost 225$ link is provided for the vendor.
<- by this link.
I have such a connect with the place , i just love it , this place call nahargarh fort is 5-6 km from center of city very close to amber fort so after your balloon safari you can go to this place top of the city watch city lights growing fighting with darkness, as darkness cover the city and .. those street lights give you feeling of gold Jewells spread all over the city… too beautiful to describe , ask for a coffee or take dinner regarding food i am not sure but they serve all kind of meals …. put your phone pick some romantic number give charm to your most amazing romantic evening ….
If you are not short of money book a burj a small chatri kind of place where you can have alone time… Burj are on Padao just few metres from main fort where entry fee is 50rs , against this 50rs they will give you a cofee or cold drink of your choice.
This is very traditional yet memorable way to celebrate your valentine day. I would suggest more mature couples with there toddlers to go there wear some traditional rajasthani clothes , ride camel re-ignite the fire of love , cuisine is traditional rajasthani more then you can eat. Ask for your love compatibility from the person siting over there with his parrot, Dance to the tunes of traditional rajasthani songs. Have a good laugh with there jokes , have a boat ride sit in a hut eat Jaggery and traditional rajasthani bread , give your kids a feel of true rajasthan.
4.Shopping in Old Jaipur Chaardiwari , Chauda rasta johari market , Purohit ka katla
This might not impress the masculine gender , but if you are guy who made some blunder on all these love days .. there are so many these days . Then this is your chance to sought out before ruining your evening.Take your lady for shopping in the streets of old jaipur. Jaipur offer wide range of jewellery and handicrafts. You can buy anything from handbags to sandals etc. Take some time out with her while shopping have tea , have a glass of lassi instead . All in love is important is to give time , while buying out gifts express your love and make this valentine memorable.
5.Lunch or dinner in Om Tower jaipur
This is one thing i would love to do , if i ever got chance . Lunch or dinner in om tower with my love .Om tower i have visited few time with my parents . This place is a revolving restaurant on Mi road .This restaurant is on wooden plank that rotates with a very slow constant speed . You will never realise that you are rotating until you see outside the windows . There is live music available that guy sing beautiful.Retro kishore songs and ghazals will add charm to your evening and food you cant complaint about it .
Do visitfor more info! :)”
Here’s the link to the answer, and you can explore quora.com from there.
The two songs I heard in my dream don’t exist, as far as I know. And I don’t know what song I liked best from my hip hop dance aerobics class, but that’s alright, I suppose (well, not really). There are so many amazing songs I have heard and do know of, and so many yet to be discovered.
And maybe you are a songwriter, and will write some!
Maybe someday I will figure out how to write songs, and will write some too. Or else write and record some spoken word lyrics that I will include with the music I create/
I hope you enjoyed this rambling journey through my dreams, musical curiosities, and things related to the city of Jaipur.
Watch the movies if you want, check out some music from India..
And why India? I forgot to mention that..
One of the bands I was listening to last night is called Cornershop. The guys in the band are British, but of Indian-descent, and their music has a lot of Indian elements in it.
Here’s a Cornershop track:
Pretty awesome, right?!
And, I was browsing through a comparative religions book a couple days ago, including a section on Hinduism.
And I like those two movies I mentioned.. I own them and have watched them several times..
And there is a fairly large store (but not nearly as large as the one in my dream) here in Boise that sells a lot of Eastern goods..
All these came together in my sleeping mind.. and much more. And yes, I do believe in the collective unconscious and spiritual inspiration for music.. and that such things are mysteries..
These are the dreams I had, what I thought as I woke up, and as I’ve been writing this post.
Thanks for coming along with me on my journey, which, just like the vignettes of my dream, ends here, without any sense of closure.. but still, an interesting journey anyway.
I hope you think so.
“Many people mistakenly believe that healthcare is synonymous with medical care. Health is, to a large degree, a matter of personal responsibility that must be exercised within the limits of genetic endowment. Educational achievement, income, and environment are also important factors.” – W.R. Barclay, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), from the article, “Editorial: Hypertension: a major medical care challenge,” published in 1976.
You want to be healthy? Take responsibility for yourself. Yes, it’s true that some of us will never be as healthy as others. We are born with different “genetic endowments,” as Barclay called them.
Also, if you are poorly educated, not earning much income, and are living in a dangerous environment, it will be harder for you to take responsibility for your health. Harder, but not impossible.
Why am I writing about health?
I’m sitting here in the little eating area just off the kitchen. My morbidly obese, diabetic father is sitting at the kitchen counter, trying to sort out his diabetic numbers, how much insulin to take, etc. He is struggling with a LOT of health problems. He just pulled himself out of a diabetic low, and has not been able to stabilize his numbers lately.
He’s also been limping around with a cane, and I can’t keep track of how many different kinds of doctors he sees per month or how many meds he’s currently on.
My mom is getting tired of keeping track of my dad’s multitude of medications, and I will soon be handed that onerous responsibility.
What about me.. my health? I’m between 15 and 20 pounds overweight, with almost all my fat concentrated on my abdomen, and the rest of it on other parts of my torso.
This is not good.
My dad’s health continues to deteriorate. I don’t have much hope for him. He’s 72, in case you are wondering.
I’m 44. I still have some time.
What am I doing about my health?
- Working toward being on a mostly vegan diet. I’m going to eat to live, not live to eat.
- Starting to regularly practice various forms of meditation to reduce stress.
- Getting back into the habit of practicing Tai Chi. Good exercise.
- Continuing to walk my dog almost everyday, except during the winter.
- Working out at a health club at least three times a week.
- Trying to have a better attitude about things.
I NEED to get serious about my health! It is not too late for me.
It is probably not too late for you either.
Has anyone read “Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman? I saw an interview of him on the PBS News Hour several days ago. He talked about the book.. sounds really good.
I’ve included the brief interview in this post.. spoiler alert.. if you are completely unfamiliar with Norse Mythology, you don’t know how things end.. so I’d suggest not watching the clip, unless you have no intention of reading the book.
I’ve truly loved some of Gaiman’s books, especially “American Gods,” except for a few parts which I felt were unnecessarily graphic. Gaiman can be quite pervy and warped at times, most often in his comic book series called “Sandman.”
I’ve also dearly loved the novel he co-wrote with my favorite author, Terry Pratchett, called “Good Omens,” which is an amazingly good, funny, and sometimes dark re-telling of the Christian end-times. It definitely reads more like a Pratchett book than a Gaiman book.. but, in case you aren’t familiar with Pratchett, don’t let that discourage you. The book is awesome!
If you’ve seen the 1976 horror classic, “The Omen,” which is a movie about the early life of the Anti-Christ, then you’ll get more out of “Good Omens,” especially some of the humor in the book. Just to warn you, “The Omen” is NOT a comedy. Pretty heavy and gory sometimes, but one of the few horror films I’ve appreciated.
I also liked Gaiman’s “Neverwhere” a lot. “Anansi Boys” was good, but I was shocked to realize that it was NOT a sequel to “American Gods,” and was written in a rather different style than Gaiman tends to use. Actually, his style, in general, does not remain consistent. But that’s alright.
Gaiman’s third collection of short stories, entitled “Trigger Warning,” is a book I’ve not yet read. But, I have just learned there’s an “American Gods” story in it. I can get “Trigger Warning” from the library.
In my opinion, Gaiman is hit and miss. I tried three times to read his short novel, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.” Couldn’t manage. I thought it was so bad. Didn’t like his novel “Stardust” or some of his short stories either.
Gaiman is brilliant.. but his books are kind of like the Coen Brothers films, in that some are amazing, some are just ok, and some are terrible.
Amazon is selling “Norse Mythology” for less than $14 right now, and I’m having trouble not buying it.
I don’t feel like waiting for months to get the book from the library. There are 28 holds on it right now, and I would not have enough time to read it, since there’d be holds on it, and I would not be able to renew it.
I haven’t been reading much in quite awhile, except for emails, facebook posts, articles on Wikipedia, a few newspaper articles (in both the Idaho Statesman and the Wall Street Journal) and re-reading my favorite Discworld books by Terry Pratchett multiple times. But most of my life I’ve been a reader, and want to spend more time immersed in books.
I’ve been re-watching many of the Marvel movies, and episodes of my favorite show, “Community,” and I feel my eyes are starting to wear out.. just bought a copy of “Star Wars: Rogue One,” which I will watch many times, I’m sure, but, not tonight. I think reading is easier on my eyes.. I hope.
Tonight, I started to read the play, “Our Town.” Surprised it took me this long to get around to reading that classic (it won a Pulitzer Prize), but I’ve almost never been into reading plays.
I’ve got a pile of old John Steinbeck paperbacks in the shed. Been collecting those. I don’t tend to read Steinbeck lately though, because so many of his books are set in California.
Even after over 6 years of living in Idaho, I’m still quite homesick for the Central Valley, Motherlode, and Monterey Bay/Santa Cruz County regions of California. I don’t want to amplify that feeling. It’s mostly not pleasant to feel this way. Quite distracting.
So.. hmm.. well.. I figure I’ll likely get a copy of “Norse Mythology” eventually, if not soon, (I’m having some self-control issues, so I might order it tonight) but I’m hoping I can get some opinions on it first.. no spoilers please..