Sunday, August 31, 2014

Homework Assignment: Music that Inspires

The Professor's homework assignment for August is " show us how songs or music inspire your dress, mood, art, writing, etc. "

Music has an enormous impact on my mood.  When I feel melancholy or lethargic, listening to upbeat music makes me feel better. Sometimes it's the type of music played at goth clubs, such as Covenant or VNV Nation. Sometimes it's '80s pop/rock. Yes, '80s music was so cheesy it would melt on pizza, but it was, like, totally perky. If your pulse doesn't quicken (for whatever reason) when you listen to Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine," you might need medical attention. ;)

On the flip side, I find country music terribly depressing. One of my favorite thrift stores occasionally plays country music, and on those days, I can't enjoy shopping. After just a few minutes, I start to feel horrible and I have to leave.

Music is part of my daily life. Even when I am not listening to music, there is a soundtrack in my head, and the DJ picks music based on my subconscious. I will find a song running through my head, and I'll realize that it's related to my current situation or what I've just been thinking about. For example:
  • My dog began to choke, and I had to give her a doggie Heimlich maneuver. After she was okay and my adrenaline died down, I realized that in my head was a line from "Omen" by i:Scintilla which says "Please keep breathing."
  • I saw a cabinet that I thought might work for a vanity in my bathroom. I opened it to discover that it had a record player inside. Later I found DJ Subconscious was playing "You Spin Me Round" (... like a record, baby...).
  • I work with an email system called Majordomo. When I needed to pick a password, "Mr. Roboto" (Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto) popped into my head.
  • And of course, DJ Subconscious played Ashbury Heights' "Spiders" (I can't stand the spiders) after I walked through a web.
Anyone else have this happen?

Sometimes the connection is really obscure. The other day, I saw a guy on a Segway. Shortly after, I realized I had Weird Al Yankovic's "Eat It" in my head. Huh? The Segway triggered a memory of a video in which Al rides a Segway for a few seconds. I saw the video who-knows-how-long ago, and I didn't remember the song or how it went. So DJ Subconscious pulled up a Weird Al video/song that I did know: "Eat It."  (YouTube research has revealed the video was for "White and Nerdy.")

More random facts about music and me:

I don't like poetry, but I do like meaningful song lyrics. I used to write them on large pieces of black paper on my wall, which you can see in this photo.  (You can also see some of the 200+ CDs I had.)

When I get in my car to go somewhere, I often realize that the song in my head is the one I was listening to when I last got out of the car. It's like DJ Subconscious is picking up where I left off. This can happen even when I haven't driven anywhere in two or three days.

I can't fall asleep with music on. My brain continues trying to actively listen to the music and keeps me awake. The only exceptions are new age meditation-type music, which has no words, and for unknown reasons, Alice in Chains' "Jar of Flies." I discovered the latter unintentionally while lying in bed listening to the album.

Another accidental discovery: At their slower speed, the windshield wipers in my car move to the beat of Depeche Mode's "I Feel You." :D

I love to sing, but my voice is horrible. Thus I sing in the car, where I can turn up the music loud enough to drown myself out. :P

If you saw me singing in the car recently, it might have been one of these current favorite "car songs":
"The Bells" by i:Scintilla
"Ritual Noise" by Covenant
"Tight Rope" by Lacuna Coil
"Joyride" by Roxette
"This Corrosion" by The Sisters of Mercy

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Lucky Find: Black Headboard

My bed, which I built myself, lacks a headboard. I've had plans to make one for a while, but they've been filed away while other projects took priority.

Yesterday I was scouting for bathroom vanity options at a secondhand store, and I happened upon a black wrought iron bed frame.  I'm a sucker for wrought iron.  The frame was in decent shape, it was the right size, and most importantly, I could take it apart so that it would fit into my car.  And bonus, it was on sale!  Only $14.

Batman tape was holding some of the pieces together. :)

After purchasing the frame and taking it out to the car, I discovered that I did not have the right tool to take the headboard apart. I needed one of those little star-head wrenches that come with ready-to-assemble furniture.  I had several at home but not one in my car tool bag.  Argh!

Standing in the parking lot, I could feel the sun beating down on me. (Oh, Burning Orb, why must you roast me?!)  I'll do just about anything to get out of the sun, and if that means fitting a queen size canopy bed frame into a compact car, well... I WILL find a way.  I shifted and slid and twisted the headboard until finally it fit!

Well, most of it.  :)  One of the legs was sticking out the rear window.

I'm tall, so I normally have the driver's seat pushed all the way back.  But to fit the headboard in, I had to pull the seats forward.  I now know what it would be like if I had to drive while sitting in a coach airplane seat.  :P  I felt like I was driving one of those tiny circus cars that 40 clowns come out of.  Too bad I couldn't get a photo of me in the car, but even my arms aren't long enough for that kind of selfie. ;)

Thankfully, the drive home was only about 10 minutes (and entirely clown-free).  Car, bed frame and I all made it into the garage safely.

It's not what I'd planned, but I think it will work to fill the vast purple expanse at the head of my bed.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Autumn Shopping Begins!

Autumn and Halloween merchandise is starting to show up in the stores.  I'm not seeing many bat motifs, but there is a lot of owl and raven stuff, similar to last year.

Of course, I bought some Halloween cottons.

And I found the most bat-tastic salt and pepper shakers:
from Jo-Ann

Unfortunately, the "tree" is not very sturdy.  When you take one bat off, the tree falls over, taking the other bat with it.  :P  If I want to actually use the shakers, I'll need to anchor the tree to something heavier.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Planning the Bathroom Rejuvenation

As usual, I have spent most of the summer at home hiding from the hot sun.  (Oh, how I love air conditioning!)  I've been watching too much DIY Network and thinking about my next big DIY project -- redoing the bathroom.

This project is best approached with some smart planning because there is only one bathroom in the house. Any delays in the process will be problematic.  I'm not keen on parking a port-a-potty in my driveway or washing my hair in the kitchen sink. :P

I've decided on the general look that I want; now I'm pondering the details, such as sink, faucet and vanity.  What I want is something like this:
Or this:

What I can afford is something like this:

The harsh sting of reality.  :P  It's time to get creative!  I started a Pinterest board to gather ideas.

Next, I have to figure out how to replace the flooring... a portion of which is, of course, underneath the toilet.