We all need a little relaxation therapy today.
Welcome to October.
We made it through the first month of 2020. But the rest is yet to come.
Let’s take a walk through a nice old garden under the subtropical sun. This is from Vizcaya, here on the shores of Biscayne Bay in Miami.
We all need a little moment to just take a breath and remember how infinitesimally small we are in comparison to the universe, and that no matter what happens, the sun and the moon and the stars are still safe in their orbits, and Betelgeuse hasn’t gone supernova yet. At least not as far as we can tell.
I took this yesterday morning as I was walking into work. It was a cool morning and a clear sky, something we don’t often get here. Enjoy.
I spent time yesterday with one of my closest friends from college. Rich and I were both theatre majors and even though his family lived in the area, he lived in my freshman dorm. We have been friends through thick and thin and it was deeply meaningful for us to sit on the patio of his family’s home and just talk.
That’s what is important. There may be a lot going on in the world, and part of my job here is to look at it, but as Rich and I did yesterday, it’s also really important to just let it be.
This photograph was taken last Sunday on Ocean Drive on Miami Beach as we were setting up for the second day of the car show as part of Art Deco Weekend. A cool front was coming through — the same one that brought all that cold and snow up north — and with it came a band of heavy rain just as we got there around 8 a.m.
I’m not much of an art historian, but I know what I like, and to me this evokes the work of Edward Hopper: the grey skies, the damp and empty street, the wind pushing the flag to full extension, and the composition of the lines and colors. It’s now one of my favorite photos.
It was taken by one of our club members who showed up to volunteer to help with the show. I’ll respect his privacy so I’ll thank him in person.
Do not turn on your TV or radio. Just click the link and let it play. Take the time to marshal your energy for the times that are coming.
Regular blogging will resume tomorrow.
Everyone knows they need to manage their stress. When things get difficult at work, school, or in your personal life, you can use as many tips, tricks, and techniques as you can get to calm your nerves.
So here’s a science-backed one: make a playlist of the 10 songs found to be the most relaxing on earth.
Sound therapies have long been popular as a way of relaxing and restoring one’s health. For centuries, indigenous cultures have used music to enhance well-being and improve health conditions.
Now, neuroscientists out of the UK have specified which tunes give you the most bang for your musical buck.
The study was conducted on participants who attempted to solve difficult puzzles as quickly as possible while connected to sensors. The puzzles induced a certain level of stress, and participants listened to different songs while researchers measured brain activity as well as physiological states that included heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing.
According to Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International, which conducted the research, the top song produced a greater state of relaxation than any other music tested to date.
In fact, listening to that one song — “Weightless” — resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.
Here it is. See if it works.
Are you tired of all the ads, the phone calls, the mailers, and the blog posts about the mid-term elections, all the news coverage about ISIS, Ebola, school shootings, and stupid old white guys trying to turn this country back into the antebellum paradise it never was?
Well, we here at Bark Bark Woof Woof have heard you, and down here in the subtropical paradise of South Florida we have the best next thing to getting away from it all: three uninterrupted hours of gentle soothing sounds of waves on the beach, of peaceful calm and quiet with no cell phones, no dramatic breaking news bulletins from the TV, no paid political ads telling you how rotten everything is and how much better you will be if you vote for the other guy or take some boner pill.
So without further ado, here you go, and the only question you need to think about is “Which way to the beach?”
There now, don’t you feel better? You’re welcome.
Tomorrow, though, get your ass out to the polls and vote if you haven’t already.
After a day like yesterday, it’s really tempting to just find some quiet little shady spot on a beach and hide from all the turmoil.
I thought you might like a little break.
It started raining last night during the Christmas Feast and hasn’t let up yet, and I don’t think there’s a corollary here in Florida for “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.”
Anyway, we had a wonderful time last night courtesy of Bob and the Old Professor, joined by close friends Dan and Kathy, Ira and Susan, and Bill and Terri, sharing a great meal and good times. I am very grateful to have such good friends.
I hope you had a good time yesterday with your friends and family if you celebrated. What did you do?
Today is Boxing Day. In countries and places with a British heritage, it’s an official holiday when, according to Wikipedia, “servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box”, from their bosses or employers.” Hmm. I don’t have any servants, and I already got a box of chocolates from my boss, so I guess I’ll just hang out around the house and catch up on a crossword or two.