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Ryou Bakura unconscious in hospital bed

Maybe I shouldn’t have cosplayed as Bakura since he’s always getting hurt or winding up in the hospital. *_*

When Halloween came around last year, I was pretty darn excited. I was going to work cosplaying as one of my very favorite anime characters, Ryou Bakura from Yu-Gi-Oh!, in the hopes of winning the costume contest. I had the perfect outfit, the hair, and a handmade Millennium Ring all with me, and I was ready for an amazing day, even if no one at work knew who I was.

I didn’t expect my life to turn itself on its head that day.

It started when I was driving to work. As I drove down a pretty large hill on the interstate, I started getting very dizzy and woozy out of nowhere, my ears buzzed, and my vision began to black out. The road was suddenly encompassed within a circle of black as my heart raced in panic. What the heck was happening to me? And why?

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Saturn and Titan

You’re also an album full of ear-worms. 😛

A few months ago, my “little brother” introduced me to a band called Brave Saint Saturn, which is a side project of former members of the band Five Iron Frenzy. My buddy Aaron is a HUGE Five Iron Frenzy fan, so I’m a little familiar with their songs (“Canada,” “You Can’t Handle This,” all that stuff). I figured it would be pretty similar stuff.

Anyway, my little brother told me that Brave Saint Saturn’s album The Light of Things Hoped For was one of the few albums that he could listen to from start to finish with no problem. I have a few like that myself: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis and Dimensionaut by Sound of Contact (I’ll be writing about that later!) are good examples. So I found the music on YouTube, popped in my earbuds, and listened as I typed away on some copy at work.

The first time through, I felt mildly interested. There were 2 or 3 songs that caught my attention, but I thought it was nothing to write home about (sorry, little bro). After all, Christian rock isn’t really my thing (even though I’m Catholic) – I’m more into rock, pop, progressive rock, that kind of thing.

Fast-forward to maybe, oh, I dunno, a week ago, and something got in me to listen to the album again. And again the next day. And maybe again the day after that.

Dang it, this album has dug itself under my skin and won’t stop bothering me. >_<

So I thought, well, why not go ahead and sort of give my own thoughts/interpretations and such on these songs? So here you have it: thoughts about Brave Saint Saturn’s The Light of Things Hoped For, an album that depicts a crew on the S.S. Gloria who have been surveying the moons around Saturn for 5 years and have run into a bit of life-threatening trouble.

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Sufjan's "Mercury" live

“All that I dream – where do you run? Where do you run to?”

I was a bit late to the party and didn’t know that this happened until this afternoon, but OH, MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS, Sufjan Stevens and his buddies, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and James McAlister, performed my very favorite track off their new album on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night. And it was glorious!

There was much squealing. Or at least, I was trying very, very, very hard not to squeal with delight at my desk when I saw it on Asthmatic Kitty’s Facebook page.

Promoting their new album, Planetarium, Sufjan and crew brought out the gentle yet powerful tune called “Mercury,” my absolute favorite off the entire album. It was a more abbreviated version than both the album version and other previous live renditions, but it was still just as beautiful. Sufjan sounded a little nervous, but the song can prove difficult to sing, and he still did such a wonderful job, especially on the last portion of the song: “All that I dream/Where do you run?/Where do you run to?”

Oh, my heart.

Hearing this song felt as if someone took all of my worries in their arms and wrapped a warm, fresh blanket around my shoulders. I particularly appreciated the harmonizing in the song and the reemergence of the brass in the 2nd half as the planet Mercury danced on the television screens behind the band.

Check out their latest rendition of “Mercury” here and see for yourself! 🙂 It’s, ahem, out of this world! (…I’ll be here all night… okay, I’ll show myself out.)

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Isle Royale and the Milky Way

Okay, so I didn’t see THIS, but it was still gorgeous and awe-inspiring. 🙂

No, seriously, do it. And I’m not talking about going outside, looking up, and seeing maybe one or two stars in a light-polluted area. Get outside, go somewhere dark, and really look at what’s above you.

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Sometimes I get a little weird.

Well, okay, I’m always weird. But even still, I have moments. I’m not ashamed to say it anymore – I’m an anxious person, or at least anxiety is part of my life. If I could achieve a doctorate in something, it probably would be in apologizing profusely. I’m self-conscious, awkward (until I’m very comfortable with others – and even then, I still have blips of awkwardness), repetitive, and painfully aware of my flaws, both physically and mentally.

Sometimes when I get like this, I want to make like a turtle and retreat into my shell. Or run away. Or run away, find a pit to jump into (not literally because, yeah, I’m a klutz and am not exactly adroit at upper-arm activities), and retreat there for a while – sometimes too long. Other times, when I tell the nonsense inside my head to shut the heck up and listen to reason, I’ll reach out for things that bring me comfort.

This portion of my life is something I’m working on (and failing at kind of frequently), so I thought I’d mention the things that give me comfort, dig me out of the proverbial hole, or cheer me up. Maybe a few of these things will resonate with you, too! (more…)

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Rio

Look at DEM FEETS! They’re not even feet – they’re TOOTSIES!

So I did something this weekend that I thought I would never do – I went to an area shelter to visit a cat that I seriously considered adopting.

Let me back up and explain a few things.

First off, I’ve never had a cat in my family growing up. My dad and sister are super allergic, to the point that they can’t enter a home that has or once had cats living inside. So if we had pets at all, it was dogs. Needless to say, I didn’t have very much experience with cats.

So what changed? (more…)

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Sufjan quoteToday is July 1st, which means one thing to me – it’s Sufjan’s birthday! As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Sufjan is one of my very favorite musicians and has been an important part of my life for… my goodness, almost 10 years. His music has served as inspiration for my crazy ideas and drawings, has given me a cozy place to curl up and retreat from the world, and has allowed me to express my elation, my sorrow, my frustration. It has transported me back in time to experience happy or awkward memories. It has given me courage to face the demons in my life, to be my eccentric self more boldly, and to say “I love you” to the ones I cherish. It’s pointless to say it, but you know me – I’m gonna say it anyway: my life would have a bit of a void without Sufjan’s music and words.

In celebration of Sufjan’s birthday, I’ve come up with a list of my 15 favorite songs of his. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. I could easily give you 50 or more, and for different reasons. But nonetheless, here are my top 15: (more…)

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