Since the Grammy’s were last night I was feeling musical and honestly, there’s not a better way to reflect on a year of your life than listening to your music playlists. One of the beauties of using the streaming music client Spotify is the ability to do just that, and I want to share with you a few of my favorite songs I listened to (a LOT) in 2013. Now, they aren’t ALL from 2013, mind you, (there are a few songs from the 60’s and 70’s on here, just because I have rediscovered them and listened to them 2 million times this year). The list below includes songs I really liked this year, for some inexplicable reason or another.
Shall we begin? In no particular order… (links go to Youtube)
- WOODKID – “RUN BOY RUN” (Not my usual, but if I was a runner or athlete this would be on my playlist.)
- MUSE – “MADNESS” (I’ll admit, it’s a guilty pleasure and catchy as heck.)
- TOM ODELL – “CAN’T PRETEND” (Give it to 2 minutes in. Trust me.)
- THE FOX – “YLVIS” (Oh, shut up. You know you liked it too when it came out and watched that Youtube video 100 times. At least I will admit it.)
- BASTILLE – “OBLIVION” (This guy’s voice = swoon)
- PEARL JAM – “SIRENS” (A little poppish for Eddie Vedder, but I like the lyrics)
- THE BETA BAND – “SQUARES” (Pretty trippy LSD version, but it’s just stupid catchy.)
- ALT-J – “TESSELLATE” (No idea what he’s talking about, but it sounds great.)
- ELTON JOHN – “LEVON” (We might have gone to an Elton John concert this year and this might have been his last song of the night, and I might have gotten really excited dancing with the old hippies with cigarette lighters, foul mouths, and hip replacements… and I might just secretly love it.)
- THE CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA – “TO BUILD A HOME” (Amazing. Just listen to it. Really.)
- JASON COLLETT – “RAVE ON SAD SONGS” (Totally underrated song, this guy has a great voice.)
- IMAGINE DRAGONS – “RADIOACTIVE” (I definitely predicted this #1 after hearing it on the show “Hard Knocks” last year. I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t love it?)
- JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW – “HIGHER LOVE” (Best cover I’ve heard in a while, although the dude sounds castrated.)
- CAT POWER – “3, 6, 9” (Oh, why does this song have to be so catchy? She’s an odd one, but a Georgian, and I love her voice.)
- BADFINGER – “BABY BLUE” (Thank you Walter White, for reminding me how much I love this band and how FANTASTIC this song really is.)
- NADA SURF – “WHEN I WAS YOUNG” (Nice tune, I like the lyrics, and just hang on until about 2:00 in…)
- COLDPLAY – “EVERYTHING’S NOT LOST” (Somehow I missed the “hidden” track on this song years ago, I heard it on XM and revived it.)
- ALICE IN CHAINS – “BLACK GIVES WAY TO BLUE” (Dear Alice in Chains, thank you for coming back and recording this song and making it so fun to play on the guitar.)
- BENJAMIN FRANCIS LEFTWICH – “PICTURES” (This is the perfect song to just relax and listen to… no idea what he’s talking about, and the video is very odd.)
- AWOLNATION – “SAIL” (First time I heard this song, I saw a man free-fall from outer space, OK? Forgive me, but it’s a bit inspiring.)
- LORDE – “ROYALS” (Yeah, yeah… Another guilty pleasure)
- RODRIGUEZ – “CAUSE” (We watched a documentary about this guy. Brilliant songwriter as popular as the Beatles in South Africa but somehow was completely overlooked and living in the slums of Detroit. Amazing story.)
- LED ZEPPELIN – “GALLOWS POLE” (Thank you Spotify for now streaming the entire Led Zeppelin discography so I can be reminded of all their less popular songs, although I love pretty much everything they’ve done.)
BONUS (JUST FOR FUN): THRIFT SHOP (8-BIT NINTENDO VERSION) (Oh yes, yes I did.)
Miss Livi tends to get overshadowed by my dogs often in my work… but she is beautiful and deserves some attention as well. She got some catnip for Christmas in the stocking from her “Grandma”, so I took a cute picture of her rolling around under the bed the other day after playing in it.
Canon 6D with 50mm f/1.2L in low light room, no flash (under the bed) 🙂
One of the best parts of my weekend is that one of those days, my puppies get their weekly bath. In general, dogs tend to smell unpleasant after a week of running around outside, playing rough, and not getting their bottoms cleaned. Think about it… you would too, if you didn’t bathe but every 7 days.
I decided to document the event in photos. (Ryan said I was mean to just stand there and take pictures.) Personally, I think dog bath pictures are pretty fun.
Canon 6D and 50mm f/1.2L
When I first moved to Savannah, my Dad did me a solid and offered to buy me some furniture so I wouldn’t have to sit indian style on my apartment floor while I ate my shrimp-flavored Ramen noodles. He took me to Rooms to Go and let me pick out a couch, a matching chair, and a set of tables. Because I was such a wonderful kid and made his heart swell with pride for starting pharmacy school, he even let me get a matching shag rug to go with the set. It was the best rug.
That living room set endured a hell of a lot.
One Sunday night, while I was diligently studying for Biochemistry, I left Baron (my miniature American Eskimo) unattended on the floor playing with his toys. He had been to the bathroom and was playing peacefully until bedtime… or so I thought. Suddenly, a horrendous smell crept through my olfactory, past my blood brain barrier. It was so offensive it cauterized my nostril hairs and resulted in a Niagra-esque cascade of tears. In search of the source of the odor, I scanned the room until my eyes fixated on my sweet little puppy. When our gaze met, he immediately interpreted this as an invitation to run batcrap crazy around the room. Before I could form the “N” in “NNNNOOOOOOOO!!!” he blazed past me, running circles, all over the rug, all over the couch, all over me, creating an all-encompassing vortex of sh*t and stink.
What I soon discovered was that Baron had produced the foulest of all poops on the rug (my beautiful rug), then proceeded to run circles through it more efficiently than any NASCAR driver I know… thus distributing it evenly all over the room. My fluffy white dog was now a gradient of doo-doo brown from his tip toes to his ears, and a feeling of helplessness overwhelmed me. I wept.
At this time, I concluded that there were 2 things that had to happen… Clean the dog. Clean the living room. Not in that order. Well, maybe in that order.
I grabbed the dog and threw him in the bathroom and slammed the door (as if he understood). I paced. I grabbed the cleaning supplies and emptied a bottle of Arm and Hammer on the carpet/rug/couch/chair. I called my Mom.
I’m sure she thought I was dying.
Me: *sobbing* “MOM OH MY GOD THERE IS CRAP EVERYWHERE AND BARON IS COVERED IN IT AND I AM COVERED IN IT AND THE RUG…. THE RUUUUGGGGGG. *incoherent babbling* IT’S ALL COVERED IN IT EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE AND I HAVE A TEST TOMORROW AT 8:00AM AND I AM GOING TO FAIL!!!”
Mom: “Okay. Baron. Number 2. Test. Gotcha. I’m on my way.”
And just like that, my Mother came to my rescue… all the way to Savannah. Mom of the freaking year.
I managed to wipe away my tears and wrangle Baron into the bathtub. I am pretty sure it was the worst bath of his life (and certain it was the worst bath of MY life). I uncapped the pet shampoo and covered him with the entire bottle. He was not happy, but neither was I. Unmerciful, yes. Cruel, no.
And I didn’t make an A on that Biochemistry test… or even a B that time… but I learned valuable lesson even more important than purine and pyrimidine synthesis…
Tears won’t wash away crap… but 16 ounces of “Perfect Coat: White Pearl”, 2 bottles of “Arm and Hammer Pet Stain and Odor Removal”, a roll of paper towels, and a phone call to Mama can sanitize even the most unfortunate “shituations”.
As most of you know, I am somewhat of a regular at the local Humane Society. I show up ever so often, camera in tow, prepared to crawl into dog pens and photograph scared, dirty, and unhappy animals. It’s challenging to capture the spirit of an animal when they are often lost and heart broken. I am diligent, however, and will not leave until I catch a glimpse of this dog or cat’s soul, just so a potential adopter can see the beauty that I see.
I say all this, not to brag on myself. I need no congratulations or pat on the back. However, I would like to acknowledge someone else who is far more diligent than myself. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some very dedicated, amazing people. The director, George, his wife, Dee, some of the workers and volunteers at the shelter (like Reggie, Cindy, and Debbie, just to name a few) who have been more than helpful during my visits. One particular volunteer, however, I have become most fortunate to know.
This man is a Navy veteran, dog lover, and as a journalist, he is one heck of a good writer. His name is Chuck Warzyn, and despite ups and downs in his own life, one thing is certain: he WILL go to that shelter at least 3 days a week and walk those dogs, and he WILL go to that shelter and give them all fresh Kong balls filled with peanut butter, and he WILL ensure I am updated on what photos need to be taken/changed/moved/deleted/replaced. And he does it all so eloquently, whether it be by telephone or e-mail.
On my way out of the shelter on Saturday, Chuck mentioned that he wanted a photo of Drucilla, the resident Irish Deerhound, jumping up with her paws on someone’s shoulders, just to demonstrate her size to any potential adopters. He happily volunteered to be the “shoulders”.
This is what we got…
I just loved it.
Dublin Laurens Co. Humane Society, Dublin, Georgia
In Boneventure Cemetery, there is but one monument that stands out among the rest. Although it is not towering high, or even massive in volume, it has drawn myself as well as hundreds of others to seek it. It’s a plain statue. A portrait of stone. To say it is simple would be unjust, but it truly is. It’s just a young girl, in the likeness of the deceased, posed ever so appropriately at the side of her own grave. She looks as if she is weeping for the loss of herself. But alas, she is not weeping. She has no eyes, no true expression, just spheres of stone. If you look close enough, you may see them. You may even believe them to move. Her mouth is posed open, in just a slight way. You cannot tell if it is meant to express surprise, loss, confusion, helplessness, hopelessness. Part of you wants to tell her that she will be okay. But then you realize, she is not real. It’s an illusion and an image which has ingrained itself into the minds and continues to haunt all of those who visit… Including myself.
Her epitaph reads, “Allured to brighter worlds and led the way.” What a beautiful sentiment. Such a nice way of indicating someone has passed. I can somehow picture the statue, coming to life, with her flowy dress and clutching her flowery wreath, running through the flowers and trees, finding a brighter world. All the while, the mortals (we) follow her lead…Not knowing what is next, but following, nevertheless…
There are many tails about Corinne Elliott Lawton, the person who came before the corpse who now lies in this plot. Stories have spun through the centuries until a tale of unattainable love and suicide is concocted, and is now fed to tour groups daily. Alas, it is but a fable.
Corinne, living in the dark times she did, was stricken by an illness. According to her mother’s diary from around that time, it appeared to be a severe respiratory infection of some sort. Or perhaps even a dreadful common cold. (Yellow Fever epidemic? Pneumonia? The Flu?) Days passed, and Corinne appeared to be doing better, however the illness reared its ugly head once more and finally took Corinne down with it. Written in her mother’s diary, Corinne drew her last breath on January 24th, 1877.
Corinne’s father was of nobility, of high rank in the confederate army, hence the elaborate statue you find in Boneventure. He commissioned a famous Italian artist to create the likeness of his beloved daughter and turn her into stone. Now she sits there eternally.
He did a fine job.
As strange as it may sound, Bonventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia may be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The towering oak trees are hundreds of years old, and so are some of its permanent residents. My favorite thing about this old place, however, is the art. If it were anywhere else, it would be ordinary.
Canon 6D with 50mm f/1.2L, adjusted in Lightroom.
A few more to come…