musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Category: Not about a band

Happy Year Of The Horse!

Performers do the horse dance on the evening of the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, at a park fair in Beijing (The Independent)

Performers do the horse dance on the evening of the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, at a park fair in Beijing (The Independent)

Yes, I do realize that I once again “owe you all” several bands and/or pointless ramblings. The problem is that just a month in, this year has seemed to gallop off without me. I now realize why that is — it’s the Year Of The Horse!

The Chinese Zodiac (Shengxiào) has been around for a little while; since the Han dynasty, in fact (206-220BC). Anyone who has been to a Chinese restaurant will likely be familiar with the 12-year calendar cycle, represented by animals. This year, it’s The Horse (or more accurately, The Wood Horse, as they cycle through five elements — fire, earth metal water and wood).

So what does all this mean? The horse is energetic, and it is said that the wood “provides fuel” for its fiery nature. This could mean many heated arguments, so be aware of that and try to stay cool. From The Independent in the U.K. comes these Predictions for the Year Of The Horse. You can also look up your particular animal (it’s based on the year of your birth) and see what 2014 holds for you by clicking through the cute animals.

Eight things you (probably) didn’t know about the year of the horse

Before I trot off, I’ll leave you with my own horse symbol. Stay focused! Be positive!

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Introducing Boris

It had become a nightly ritual. As I brought clothes into the bathroom for a shower before I went to bed, I saw you in a twisted ball, quickly maneuvering back into your web. So quickly did you take up your spot, then perfectly immobile and poised like a portrait, that it seemed you had heard me coming. It was as if you were trying to make it appear that you hadn’t relinquished your post, and were hastening to be back by the time I returned. My attention was immediately drawn once again to the window, and there you were.

With such ease, such stealth, and then still as a statue, like one of those ornate pins I purchased in Europe in the 1980s, the round abdomen made of colored glass, or fashioned of silver with tiny rhinestones embedded in the metal. I was so fascinated with those glamorous insects, I started a small collection.

It’s eerie how you come and go with my own movements. You stand watch while I shower, and as I’m getting out and preparing for bed, you scurry off for a while, having fulfilled your service, temporarily off duty.

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Thoughts and Prayers to Japan (and Christchurch NZ) – & A Reality Check from the East Coast

[As I was trying to finish this up, I got word of a massive earthquake that has struck Japan, along with a subsequent tsunami affecting much of the Pacific basin. My thoughts go out to everyone in its path.]

Two and a half weeks ago on February 22, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand’s third largest city. They were hit last September by a 7.1 quake, but this time it was just three miles from the city, at a shallow depth. My first reaction was a very personal one – a deep concern for my dear friend Lizi, who started as an online ‘pen pal’ and quickly became, by virtue of her down-to-earth nature and wicked sense of humor, the sister I never had. I visited her in 2003, she visited me several years later one summer, and we pop in and out of each other’s lives from time to time with lengthy emails. Thankfully she and her family were ok, though dealing with an enormous mess and the tragedy of many lost lives. What followed once I heard back from her was that terrible realization of the fragility of our lives, dancing on the head of a pin as we all are, deeply immersed in the silliest of concerns, and how in an instant, our world can be turned upside down and we’re living inside of a news story instead of watching it passively on CNN.

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the haircut

If you’ve visited my “about” page, you’ve already been sufficiently warned. Consider this a first dipping of my toe into a very cold and curious ocean. There will be more, muse willing. Have no fear; I’ll continue to promote musicians I like, and to make feeble attempts to keep up with Boston-area bands as well as, inexplicably, those 2,983 miles away from me. But for now…

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