The Lame and the Sublime

Yellow cheers me. It’s true – and a reminder that cliches become cliches because they are true.

I approached the topic of the latest WordPress photo challenge with dismay or maybe disdain. Yellow. Lame. Does an orange cat count? Maybe I’ll sit this one out. But then I was out for a walk at sunset and this sky reminded me of how important yellow can be:

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Blue. Black. Purple. Red. At different times, each has been my favorite color. Yellow has never topped my favorite list, but when it’s in a group it always wins my attention and my heart. I decided the sunset was a sign that I should do the photo challenge and I kept my camera out until dark. It was reassuring to know the universe was helping me make life’s big decisions.

At my front window I caught a reflection of the sunset, plus holiday lights in my front room, and a distant glow of bedroom light:

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(Those power lines are reflections; they are not in my front room.)

A patio light had sunset glimpses behind its lattice fence:

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I’ve got lights outside for the holidays, and this one sucked all the sunset out of the view. Yellow is like that:

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On my front door is a wreath with dangling folk art animals. The last rays of sun turned this gator’s scales gold:

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Near the gator hangs a big cat which gleamed yellow-white in the sunset. I could never figure out what kind of big cat this was supposed to be, even before the sun bleached most of the color from its fur:

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That’s one beauty of folk art. Interpretation is loose and never literal.

From my backyard, I watched the sun finish setting over the top of my home and the mountains. That warm glow is from my kitchen:

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(The thick diagonal line across the window is a branch in the foreground.)

So, okay, WordPress knows best and this photo challenge turned out to be sublime.

For my fellow nerds, I’ve used the wonders of the internet to determine that a typical yellow has a wavelength of 570 nanometers. That’s a short wavelength. Only orange and red are shorter.

Now we know.

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For Non-Traditional Christmas Musicologists (?), Two Gems

When I was a kid, my father ignored neighbors’ comments for weeks each December, when he blasted tinny Christmas recordings from a speaker in our garage, making the music kind of seem to come from the illuminated plastic carolers in the garage window.

As an adult, I admire my dad’s ability to ignore the opinions of others, but I struggle with Christmas music – with the exception of Phil Spector’s Xmas album, and these two splendid pieces.

The Pogues – Fairytale in New York

“I could have been someone.
Well so could anyone.”

What a song for an audience singalong! (You won’t learn the lyrics by listening to Shane deliver them here, but if you would like to join in, click here for a version with lyrics laid out.)

The Killers – Don’t Shoot Me Santa

“I couldn’t let them off that easy.”

This video approaches genius.