Song Lyric Sunday 6/25/17 – Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)

Our prompt for Song Lyric Sunday this week is to post a song with a sound in the title or lyrics. Well alright, silence counts as a sound right? Well I guess so does crying (even if we do so without sound) and maybe one mention of wind counts.

Well, ahem, OK. So we’re going into the void where we cry without sound for this prompt, with the following song. Written and recorded by Roland Orzabal in 1992 (who, at this point, was a solo act as he and Curt Smith who made up the duo better known as Tears for Fears had split by this point) also with contribution from Dave Bascombe.

In typical Tears for Fears style, however, the lyrics are rather heavy and dark over an upbeat tempo music so though Curt Smith was no longer with the band, it definitely has the pedigree. After all, Orzabal was really the creative mind of the band and wrote most of their material anyway.

Anyway, enough jibber-jabber, here’s the song.

Chewed the bone down too low
Got fed on tea and sympathy
Blew the sail like the wind
I wish you were my enemy
I was humble for you
What a fool I’ve been to have
Laid so low for so long, so low

Into that void of silence
Where we cry without sound
Where tears roll down
Where tears roll down
And where your mother’s violence
Sent your soul underground
Where tears roll down
Where tears roll down

Drew the blade way too slow
Was shackled by your honesty
Made a mess, I guess I have should have known
That life was lust and liberty
Not a chance mutation or the last temptation
Laid so low for so long, so low

Into that void of silence
Where we cry without sound
Where tears roll down
Where tears roll down
And where your mother’s violence
Sent your soul underground
Where tears roll down
Where tears roll down
Source: Lyrics in video description.

So there you have it. Maybe not the best fit for the prompt but since when have my contributions been? Nonetheless, hopefully it’s one you all enjoyed.

Now For a Rather Embarrassing Health “Issue” – Advice/Suggestions Needed

I’m looking for some advice or suggestions from anyone who might also have this particular issue or know someone who does and thus have experience with it, because this is really getting old quickly (and I’ve suffered from it most of my life).

Ever since I can remember I’ve struggled with horrible postnasal drip. I know allergies contribute to it a fair bit but even when I’m not in the middle of an attack it’s still there and I find myself clearing my throat almost nonstop. It’s gross and embarrassing, especially in any kind of public setting. Perhaps I wouldn’t be so self-conscious about it had I not been relentlessly teased for it in school (all the other kids just had to make a loud, dramatic “ahhhh-ahhheeemmmmm!!!!!” when they walked past me in the hall just to make fun of me) but it’s still bothersome nonetheless.

I also wouldn’t be so worried about it if I was one of those tone-deaf, amusic people but I’m not. I don’t have the prettiest of singing voices (never have) but I do like to sing karaoke and at home with a guitar (and have been known to play open mics in some intimate coffee shop settings and such). I don’t think much of my own voice but everyone who ever hears me sing reassures me I’m better than I give myself credit for so I keep on. Of course, the problem arises in that constant throat clearing can do some major damage to the vocal cords (by repeatedly causing them to come together forcefully) and can even have a fairly noticeable degradation f one’s speaking voice, much less one’s singing voice.

Now, I’ve not totally dismissed the slight possibility that it’s an autistic hypersensitivity in that I react that way to even the slightest thickening of mucus on my vocal cords but I doubt it as I can usually feel things loosening up and moving around when I make that “ah-ahem” noise. I do try to limit it as much as possible in any kind of social setting but of course then I tend to go really croaky if I wait too long and then I’m hacking forever. It’s like a losing battle.

Again, surely I’m not the only one who struggles with this so if anyone else does please chime in with your suggestions because I’m tired of it and I’d especially like to not struggle when I’m trying to sing. It has a way of making life somewhat miserable.

I’m getting desperate. Any suggestions from anyone, please say something.

Sad Day for My Blog…

…I really hoped to not have to do this, but with the instances of verbal (typographical?) abuse I’ve dealt with at times in the past on this blog and another very recent instance of such, I have had to formally establish a commenting policy.

I will be including a link to the policy on most of my blog entries moving forward (maybe with the exception of any awards, challenges or Song Lyric Sunday posts) but just know if you’re a long-time reader and we’ve exchanged comments before, this doesn’t affect or apply to you whatsoever. More or less it will be new or unfamiliar commenters I screen more closely.

My newly instituted commenting policy can be read here. As I said, it probably doesn’t affect you, but it’s just a safeguard for my own well-being and the well-beings of those I care most about here.

Thank you all for understanding.

-Lynn Blair, The Inked Autist

The Autistic Pride Award

So I was “passively” nominated for the Autistic Pride Award by Laina over at The Silent Wave Blog. I do appreciate it and although this does feel somewhat weird to me (as autistic pride is somewhat of a foreign concept to me due to the way my life has panned out) but I’ll give it my best shot.

The rules are really simple…

  1. Whoever wants to participate, participate.  I’m focusing primarily on Asperger’s/autistic people, of course, but anyone who supports autistic people and neurodiversity is welcome!
  2. Do link back to the blogger who gave you the idea
  3. Do link back to Silent Wave as the original creator.
  4. Describe a bit about yourself.  However much you feel comfortable saying.
  5. List your main “special interests” or areas of primary focus/niche specialties.
  6. If you’re on the spectrum yourself, describe why you’re proud to be Aspergian/autistic or what you like about being Aspergian/autistic.
  7. If you’re not on the spectrum yourself, you can use this opportunity to describe a loved one in your life who is and what makes them awesome, or you can explain what autism means to you and why you think the world would be a better place if it were to be more embracing of autism.
  8. (Of course, you can answer more than one!  For example, someone who is autistic can also describe how much better the world would be if it was more open toward autism.)
  9. If you like, you can list other blogs or resources that are autism/neurodiversity-positive, to give them a shout-out, too.

That’s it. 🙂

So a bit about myself:

ASL: 30/M/USA originally from Roswell, NM, currently living in Abilene, TX. Right now I work as a lift plan engineer for a large crane company, a job I totally despise but it pays the bills well enough. After having my dream career yanked out from under me due to my autism diagnosis (however unfair that seems), but eventually realizing it would have been the same unsatisfying dead end as this direction, I’ve set my sights on one day owning my own cigar and whiskey lounge.

I was diagnosed with AS/HFA at the age of 14 despite much resistance from my parents who did not want to accept I was different. They thought I was just a defiant child and treated me as such, sometimes being subject to psychological and physical abuse. I still live with some of the emotional scarring from that but our relationship is much better now that they’ve accepted it.

My main “special interests” are as follows:

  • Tattoos/piercings/body modifications
  • Music (both playing and listening)
  • Change bell ringing (for those unfamiliar, here’s an explanation)
  • Microbrew Beer
  • Scotch Whisky
  • Cigars
  • Auto racing (particularly open wheel racing)
  • 80s Fashion (with a particular love affair with men’s short shorts LOL :-P)
  • Aviation/airplanes
  • Philosophy (with particular emphasis on existential nihilsm and antinatalism/efilism).

What I like about being (why I’m proud to be) Aspergian/autistic:

This really is a tough one. For the longest time I’ve hated being this way and I’ve only very recently warmed up to it and accepted it as part of me (though if I were to be totally honest most of the time I still wish it wasn’t). Alas, I have to pick something here so I will say a few things. I love being able to absorb information like a sponge and retain it forever and that it enables me to maintain intense concentration on a particular task for countless hours (so long as I’m actively engaged in the task at hand). I also like that I have practically no self-censor and am able to speak my mind no matter how unpopular my opinion might be. Lastly, I feel it’s part of the reason I enjoy physical touch. In a particularly hands-off society, the power of a hug, kiss on the cheek or cuddling (even among just friends) is grossly underestimated and I think it’s easier for me to accept and enjoy physical affection than if I was neurotypical.

Why I think the world would be a better place if it embraced autism:

Well, that’s an easy one for me to answer, seeing as how I was a victim of exclusion from the aviation world due to my diagnosis (no current world aviation governing body grants medical clearance to fly for autism spectrum people), embracing autism would actually mean most of us could live our dreams and probably excel at them. There are certain professions in which the condition would be a net asset but the stigma surrounding the condition holds all of us down. Life is hard enough as it is, don’t make it any harder for us please.

As far as resources, well, I don’t think I can share any more here that the creator of this award didn’t so I’ll just refer you back to her resources page.

So that’s my contribution to this topic. Maybe it was sort of lame and cliche, but maybe you enjoyed it. At any rate, I think this kind of thing is good for me as it helps me to be more comfortable in my own skin. Hope I didn’t bore you to tears and by all means please participate if you’re interested.

Cigar Reviews – Ohana Pulse Natural and Maduro Toro

Yes, I’m breaking a rule – two posts in one day. So sue me, I just wanted to write this while everything was still fresh in my mind.

So yesterday my local tobacconist had a cut-and-light event with Ohana Cigars based out of Ft. Worth, Texas and they brought along their Pulse line of cigars which they were doing specials on as well as some Flor de Cana 4 Year Gold Label to pair with them. I got to meet and visit with the director of sales and the master blender who were both very helpful and genuinely nice people who have a passion for cigars. Needless to say it was a fun-filled event and I was able to try a couple of really awesome cigars.

They had three sizes in each of the Pulse blends (Robusto, Toro and Gordo), but I went with the Toro in both (6″ x 52RG) as it’s my overall favorite size so I use it as a baseline. Both blends feature the same Nicaraguan binder and long filler, with the exception of the Maduro Gordo which features more ligero leaf for a bigger strength kick (no offense to Ohana, I’m a lightweight and I just can’t handle that much strength so that one wasn’t going to be for me). The Natural is a non-box pressed vitola featuring an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and a pigtail cap. The Maduro is a box-pressed vitola featuring a Mexican San Andreas Maduro wrapper and a closed foot.

Both cigars featured excellent construction, a perfect draw, plumes of creamy textured smoke and a good burn requiring no corrections or touchups. Burn time was slightly on the fast side for each, yielding about an hour of smoke time to the band point where I typically end my cigars but that might have been due to the relatively hot atmospheric conditions. Both also featured about a mild/medium strength, which is perfect for my taste.

Concerning flavor profiles, both cigars were fairly consistent start to finish but were completely different. The Natural featured a natural sweetness mixing with a medium/full creamy, nutty body and a sweet nasal spice (read: cinnamon/nutmeg) and a subtle cedar on the retrohale. The maduro was slightly milder in body teetering somewhere between a medium and medium/full** and was a total chocolate bomb featuring a naturally sweet rich, creamy milk chocolate on the draw accompanied by a hint of coffee and smooth, earthy/leathery retrohale with that same little bit of sweet nasal spice the natural had. Both went absolutely beautifully with the rum – a nice mellow rum featuring notes of caramel, brown sugar and coconut with absolutely no after burn. It was a great pairing for sure and neither one overwhelmed the other.

If you held a gun to my head and forced me to pick one, I’d say I liked the Maduro ever so slightly better but I’m a chocoholic so that comes with the territory but I absolutely loved the Natural too. Needless to say these will definitely be going into my regular rotation.

Ratings:
Maduro: 4.5/5
Natural: 4.25/5
Rum: 4.25/5

**I found with the Maduro the flavor intensity is greatly enhanced by the retrohale as opposed to it just adding more nuances. I retrohale a lot so I perceived it as more medium/full but “mouth breathers” will probably just perceive it to be a medium.

Song Lyric Sunday 6/18/17 – Music Box Dancer

So this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt was to post a song about dance/dancing. Well OK, there are plenty of those around, so as is my usual style I’m going rather unconventional and throwing a curveball into the prompt, and I’m afraid I’ll have to forego the bonus points for tying Father’s Day in because in a way Father’s Day is painful for me having never met my biological father (only spoken to him a few times on the phone) and having a strange relationship with my step-father in that it took him forever to accept me for the person I am instead of the person he wanted me to be.

Anyway, I digress. Enough of the sob story. When I think of pieces of music about dance, this lovely little instrumental tune composed by Frank Mills is always the first thing that comes to mind. Sure, it’s lyric-less but it whisks you away into a peaceful place anytime you listen to it.

Now, whereas Frank Mills envisioned this to be just an instrumental tune, there are a couple of different versions of lyrics people have penned to this piece of music. This first set of lyrics was penned by Ray Conniff in 1979, who renamed the tune “Little Music Box Dancer.”

I dream of a music box dancer no one can see
She twirls around and round and dances only for me
She´s just a cute music box dancer singing for me
When I hear that melody I know I´ll never be free.

She dances and she sings and then she hasn´t the time
She smiles when she goes by me and with me that´s just fine
She plays it, then she sings it, and she beats to the time
And a little music box dancer will one day be mine.

I dream about a girl who sings and dances for me
The love she gives to me is not that really could be
She twirls herself around and throws her kisses at me
My little music box dancer that no one can see.

Ah-ah-ah-aaaaah-aaaaah-aaaaah
Ah-ah-ah-aaaaah-aaaaah-aaaaah

My little music box dancer that no one can´t see.

I dream of a music box dancer playing the song
She sings it and then she dances to it all day long
She´s just a cute music box dancer playing for me
When I hear that melody I know for me love can be.

My little music box dancer, that´s something to see
The way she twirls around is just as cute as can be
As long as she´s around I know I´ll never be free
Why no one else could see her is a mystery to me?

I dream about the girl who sings and dances for me
The feeling that I have for her was just meant to be
And when she twirls around and throws her kisses at me
I love my music box dancer that no one can see!

Ah-ah-ah-aaaaah-aaaaah-aaaaah
Ah-ah-ah-aaaaah-aaaaah-aaaaah

My little music box dancer that no one can see!

Ah-ah-ah-aaaaah-aaaaah-aaaaah
Ah-ah-ah-aaaaah-aaaaah-aaaaah
Aaaaaaa!

My little music box dancer that no one can see!
My little music box dancer that no one can see!
Source: http://www.connifflyrics.com.br/little_music_box_dancer.htm

This next set of lyrics has an unknown author, however I think I might like these lyrics a bit better, but they’re equally as corny as Ray Conniff’s.

You walk in the room and you’re wearing a frown,
You reach for the shelf and cradle it down
The Music Box Dancer, what does it prove?
Only that you need to see a statue that moves.

A tutu of satin, bordered with lace,
Slender lines, agile legs, a wonderland face.
Her beauty is balanced, an immovable pose,
Eternally destined to remain on her toes.

Music Box Dancer, she is only a toy,
Project upon her your dreams of wanting life’s joy;
She’s perched on her stand, and never will part,
A final gaze upon her, now the music will start.

You wind the doll up, it’s nostalgic because
You’ve been here before, so give one final pause
To dream of the future, to reflect on the past,
Music Box Dancer start your whirling at last.

The room fills with music, such a cute song,
Watching her go ’round and ’round, she’s where she belongs;
Bring joy to the watchers, spreading a glow,
Whenever wound up, she’ll put on a good show.

Music Box Dancer, do you think or believe
She could step off her box if she wanted to leave?
So easy it is, twirl around with such grace,
Staying in her circle, she remains in one place.

Such a brief moment, a small time to spend,
The dancing will slow soon, the music will end;
In real life we’re plastic, nature’s unfair,
How can we breathe life, how can we share?

The knowledge and insights hidden in tombs,
We’re all Music Box Dancers all alone in our rooms;
We sit on our shelves where objects reside,
We don’t allow the music to get right inside.

Music Box Dancer’s now completely alone,
No winder or no listener, because nobody’s home;
How long before someone will re-wind the spring?
The room will now be witness; and silence can’t sing
Source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/f/frankmillslyrics/musicboxdancerlyrics.html

Well, I hope you all enjoyed. Again, I know, an unconventional approach to the topic but oh well. I’m just strange, I admit. 😛

Some Wise Words From Curt Smith

So I came across this video in my recommendations today (after YouTube recovered from its massive outage this early morning!). The segment “Today I’m Brave” featured Curt Smith (bassist, co-founder and co-lead vocalist of Tears for Fears) where he was discussing some “brave” steps he took in his own life and I think we can apply this to all of our lives, regardless of whether or not we’re pop stars. I think it’s especially true for those of us who are “different” for one way or another (be it autistic or some other deviant mental/physical trait).

I encourage you to take three minutes out of your day to listen to what Curt has to say here. You’ll be glad you did.

Powerful, isn’t it? Self-acceptance is often difficult, but in the end so worth it. It’s not something you achieve overnight either – it takes years. I really am trying. It’s not been easy but I think I’m making strides.