Video Complete!

Amidst packing, 4th of July celebrations, saying goodbye to the city where I’ve lived for the past four years and all the people I’ve come to know in it, training a new employee, moving from couch to couch each night, and trying to enjoy the one sunny weekend in all of the spring/summer thus far, I have been hard at work.  But, at long last, my law school scholarship video is complete.  Please check it out:

Hopefully I’ll be a finalist in the running and calling on all of you fine people to vote for me, come August (Access Group, pick me!  I’m even blogging about you!).  Yippee!

Frontierland

There’s been quite a bit of NASA press recently , both good and bad – new discoveries on other planets, funding shortfalls and avoidable accidents.  What hasn’t been thought about in a constructive way is just why we think we still need to be in space at all.  Sure, there are space installations like satellites that influence our daily lives that should and will continue to be maintained.  But why do humans need to be out there, floating amongst the debris?  Does it really enrich our lives that much more to have a human, rather than a machine, out in the void, especially considering the risks (and the cost)?

MIT says yes.  A recently published white paper analyzes the history of our space program, evaluates cooperative international efforts, and looks at the possibilities of involving the private sphere.  There’s been quite a bit of arguing going on recently in these areas.  While I may not agree that exploration itself makes the national space program worth the risk and investment, the ideas presented are generally well thought out and interesting to consider.  And the idea of that vast outer frontier – what can I say?  It still inspires wonder.

Is this funny? I don’t think it’s funny.

A long time ago, in a land far away, a girl composed a poem about worms.  i can’t really remember much of it, except that it was hilarious.  SO, for my WriMo, I set out to create a similar funny (if not hilarious) poem, to be added into my tale.  Of course, feeling not so inspired for most of the time I was writing, I left the poem for the end, for the last of my creative juices.  The result is less than pleasing:

Digging, delving, ever pinker

Rolling juicy earthworms pant.

Singing gaily of their prowess

Who can tell what makes them dance?

Dancing come they, willy-nilly.

Dancing come they, to a feasting.

Festive garbage, festive eating.

How to move, then, with no feet?


Jiggle-juggle go the earthworms

Jiggle juggle dancing sweetly

Keeping time with rings of gristle

Keeping jiggles as they creep.

In there tunnels none will mark them.

Eating refuse, breathing deep.

So, now I need to make this funny.  Or, if you already think it’s funny (you weirdo, you).  I need to make it funn-ier.  Please help.

The Poetry of the Soul

Why is it that certain circumstances bring out the artist in us?  I’m not talking about the inspiration of comparison, the excitement we get at seeing another’s creative work and wanting to do something just as good ourselves, which has half-prompted my recent attempts at song writing and video making (none of them finished yet).  I’m speaking instead of something more nebulous, perhaps the touch of a good Muse, overflowing us with creative juices.

I slept later today than I have in some time, until 1:30 pm, probably catching up on some much-needed rest.  I dreamt for the first time in as long as I can remember, something about a very angry shortish man, possibly Asian, maybe an irritable Genghis Khan, who I had to placate and attend to.  Now I can’t sleep, unable to relax and distracted by a host of wayward thoughts, some of them with no relevance to my waking life.  These nighttime distractions scurry around in my head, chasing each other with new permutations and wordings.  Eventually, I have an entire complete poem (though I’m not sure it’s any good, my perception being hazily on the edge of sleep) running around in my head.  What can I do but get up from my comfortable bed, turn the light on again, and search out the supplies to write the whole thing down?  If my mind is flowing with milk and honeyed words like the promised Canaan, what can I do but spit them all out in a tasteful kind of word-vomit?  Would anything else be a denial of my ‘gift’?  Or will such midnight writing prove to be a black mark against my reputation as a writer in the morning light?

I cannot at the moment judge.  If I should die before waking, as some midnight paranoias have whispered in my head, some other hand will have to seek out my night’s frantic scribbles and decide for themselves.  All I can do for now is spit forth what I have bundled and packaged, and hope that these dribbles my soul has chosen to leak out now have some eventual worth.  Perhaps the writing will at least allow me to sleep, quieted in the comfort at having done something at the end of the day.

The ‘International Language’

Some people may think the only international language is love.   Wrongo, punks.  What kind of person loves someone they can’t even talk to?

Nope, the real international language is art.  Some of it is international because without words it expresses a deeply held belief or invokes a powerful emotion.  Some of it is international because it has value and meaning to a wide variety of cultures and countries around the globe, even if that meaning is not exactly the same everywhere.  Some of it is international because no one really understands it, in any country.  Regardless, art serves to connect us, whether through response to it, esteem for it, or rejection of it.

A more specific  example can be seen here, relating to the specific art of classical music.  Now, whether or not you are a fan of classical music (or of the NY Philharmonic), the idea of a symphony being a bridge between two very different and often opposed cultures is inspiring to me.  it reminds me of that famous World War Christmas, when both sides stopped fighting and just sang carols back and forth in their disparate languages.  There is a respite, a gift, and a connection we share in music that has power and deep meaning, something of significance that I hope we can learn to develop.

There are studies that show calming effects due to music, and it is also thought to improve brain function in the elderly by stretching parts of the brain that are not typically or as frequently exercised. There has even been some success in the area of music therapy and Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.  Finally, this article paints an even more hopeful picture of the relationship between sound and better health.  Too bad I didn’t see this long one first.

Though it seems like similar types of music are processed by various people in similar ways, musical taste remains a hallmark of individual personality.  Why is this?  Is preference in some way linked to who we are, or who we want to be?  Does the emotion/memory/endorphin rush sparked by music look the same, or mostly the same, in all of us?  Or is some part of that response to music colored by our own preferences, or tastes?  Could music, over time, affect who we are, and if so, does it provide some evidence to a true ‘generation gap’ due to what type of music is popular in our culture at a given time?