Day 55 – when i’m alone and blue as can be, dream a little dream of me

Day 55 – a Song That Reminds You of a Friend

I had posted this earlier and apparently forgot to actually post the song with it. Welp, okay.

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of early to mid-century jazz and bebop. It’s all very nice. Ella Fitzgerald, in particular, has quite captured my fancy and I really appreciate her.

Rosalie, who is one of my best friends at college, also really appreciates Ella and has often remarked that when she gets engaged, she wants this song playing in the background. So now I sort of associate the song with her.

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Day 54 – the scenery’s changing and it warms my soul

Day 54 – the Most Recent Song in Your Collection

I recently discovered Foy Vance and I really appreciate him. I bought his album a couple days ago so technically all of those songs are the most recent, but this one is my favourite so I’ll pretend that it’s the most recent. And his moustache is incredible.

Day 53 – i never know the state that you’re in

Day 53 – a Song From the Last Band You Saw in Concert

The last official concert I saw was Anberlin in April 2013, but I almost saw Young the Giant in March of this year. So I’m gonna go ahead and post YTG instead because I’m pretty sure I’ve already posted 300 Anberlin songs and no Young the Giant songs. What. Okay.

I really like Young the Giant a lot and I especially like their 2011 self-titled album. It’s just a good album all around with distinct but not overbearing electronic elements and catchy tunes that aren’t annoying. That in itself is quite a feat.

God Made Man is my favourite from the album, I think. Have a listen.

Day 52 – if I was a basket filled with holes, then she was the sand I tried to hold

Day 52 – a Song Whose Lyrics You Have Used as a Facebook Status Update

Ok so first of all, I’m back with this. Music Mariel is back. I am back to impart my musical choices to you.

So let’s talk about Day 52. Facebook status? Really? I haven’t really done the whole lyrics-as-status thing since 2011 so how about instead of dredging that up I talk about the shirt I got in the mail today.

I’ve mentioned mewithoutYou and my love for them about a thousand times already and I’m mentioning it again now. I LOVE mewithoutYou. They will rank in my top 5 favourite bands FOREVER. They’re really good. A couple of weeks ago I was bored and I had some money [not usually a good combination, for anyone ever] so I went on their webstore and looked at merch. They have really rad merch. Not quite as rad as The Last Bison, who sell soap in their webstore, but rad nonetheless. So I ordered myself a shirt and promptly forgot about it

I just got back from my reading break yesterday [during which I was able to go to Colorado! Praise the Lord for that!], so today I checked my mailbox for the first time in over a week and lo and behold, there was a package in it! So I tore it open just before my next class started and pulled out a beautiful green shirt decorated with beautiful artwork depicting a scene from Paper Hangar, one of my favourite songs from Catch For Us The Foxes, and lyrics at the bottom.

“Scratched around the mouth of the glass,

‘My life is no longer mine’.”

WOW. So cool. My life is NO LONGER MINE. The song goes on to say [though not the shirt] “If they ask for the sign of the Father in you, tell them it’s movement, movement, movement and repose.”

WOW. WOW WOW WOW. I love mewithoutYou. I’m pretty stoked to wear this shirt tomorrow and ponder the idea that my life is no longer mine, but I have in fact surrendered it completely to the Lord [or, I strive to do so].

on breathing, or the lack thereof

I’ve been having trouble breathing for a week now. It’s maddening, this constant feeling of breathlessness — like I just ran up a flight of stairs. In the last couple of days I’ve been feeling lightheaded, like I might faint at any moment. I spend a lot of time sitting down, slightly hunched over. If my posture is too good I’ll start to cough, and that’ll lead to hyperventilation which in turn will lead to more coughing. There’s no winning in this cycle.

And oh, I’ve been to the doctor. I was diagnosed with pneumonia so I received pills and an inhaler in order to treat it, but it’s been four days now and I see no signs of retreating. The grand plans I have for semester break are at risk if my breathing doesn’t clear up — the air in Colorado is thinner than here so any problems will be exacerbated.

It’s awfully inconvenient. I thank God for teachers who are understanding of my illness and my resulting absences from their classes, but I wish to be in class. Even now my classmates are in Romans and I am here in my room, attempting and failing to control my breathing well enough to go back to class.

A girl in my hall is going through much the same thing and the other night we were both in her room, bemoaning our respective states of breathlessness. “I asked God to give me a verse,” she said, “and He gave me Psalm 150:6 — ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.’ Okay Lord, you have a sense of humour.”

We both laughed about the irony of such a verse given our present states. I don’t know if she’s thought any more on that verse but it has not left my mind.

The full passage is as follows:

“Praise the Lord.

Praise God in His sanctuary,
praise Him in His mighty heavens.
Praise Him for His acts of power,
praise Him for His surpassing greatness.
Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise Him with the harp and lyre,
praise Him with timbrel and dancing,
praise Him with the strings and pipe,
praise Him with the clash of cymbals,
praise Him with the resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.”

I’ve always loved Psalm 150 because of its musical imagery, but since rereading it in more recent days I’ve come to love it for an entirely different reason.

“Praise Him for His acts of power, praise Him for His surpassing greatness.”

It can be so difficult to praise God in times of distress – be it sickness, worry, grief – it’s difficult to bring praise to God when we feel that we have nothing to praise Him for. But this Psalm lays out quite nicely for us a no-nonsense approach to praise – we praise God because He is worthy of praise. He is worthy of so much more than our weak human praise, but we will offer Him the best we can.

It doesn’t say “Praise the Lord because He keeps you healthy always.” It’s easy to praise God when everything goes our way. In fact, the danger of that is that our praise is not genuine, but is a sort of obligatory gratitude. But when everything is failing us – when nothing seems to be going our way, that is when our praise has the opportunity to be most genuine. I can see no good in the situation that I’m in now. I can’t breathe, I’m missing classes, I may not be able to go to Colorado.

But God is good regardless. We praise Him because His greatness surpasses all. We praise Him because He is powerful. However bleak my life seems right now, I praise God because He is great. I worship God because He is good. I praise Him because He has given me the very breath that I use to sing His praises, regardless of how weak that breath may be.

If my understanding of God’s goodness is dictated by my health, then my relationship with God is extremely one-sided and egotistical. God is good regardless of me.

I didn’t use shampoo for 4 months.

Well this post is two months late but hey, it’s here.

For those of you with whom I became Facebook friends since the end of June and the only reason you’re here is because you saw a weird bloggy thing pop up on your newsfeed, welcome. I have a blog. I am not a cool person.

For those of you who are long-time readers, welcome back. You’re probably also not a cool person or you wouldn’t be here.

For those of you who accidentally stumbled across this page in the course of searching for Showbread’s 2003 album, sorry to disappoint. Here’s a song to ease the pain.

On to the hair thing.

To catch you up: I decided not to use shampoo in my hair for four months — May-August — just to see if I could, and also because I’d heard the whole no-shampoo thing was a pretty worthwhile endeavour. And guess what? It totally was.

The last time I gave you the hair update was at the end of June so I have to catch you up on July and August. If you want to read about everything up till June, go here, here, and here. My routine didn’t vary much [read: at all] for the last two months. I did my standard baking soda wash twice a week and rinsed with colloidal oatmeal every second wash. It worked SO WELL. My hair was soft and manageable and did a super neat sort of curly thing all on its own. Overall I was super pleased with how low maintenance my hair was and it definitely freed up time in the morning.

At the end of August I used shampoo for the first time in four months. It wasn’t really real shampoo, it was that Neutrogena anti-residue stuff. It was so nice to use shampoo again. Baking soda doesn’t lather and it was kind of difficult to get used washing my hair with it. I mean it still cleans the hair but I sort of had to massage it in and just guess at whether or not my hair was covered. Shampoo is a lot easier to deal with in that respect because you can just feel where the soap is. So it was nice to have a taste of that again. And by taste I do not mean I was eating it. Just for clarification.

So I used the shampoo once, just to get my scalp really clean, and then I went back to baking soda for the rest of my time at home. I was home for about two weeks and then I headed back to college, where I am now. I had every intention of continuing my hippie hair routine here but I was thwarted by an enemy known as Millar water.

The water here is not good. It’s full of chlorine and other chemicals and overall it is not very pleasant. It’s possible to get used to it but you can sort of always tell that something’s off. But I never really made the connection that I was showering in that same chemically water. It didn’t make a difference to me last year. But this year I noticed a big difference.

Baking soda did not clean my hair. It usually looked clean but it felt waxy or greasy. I put my hair in ponytails for a lot of September because if I left it down it looked really limp. And I obviously didn’t clue in to the fact that it was the water that was making the difference. I put three tablespoons of baking soda in half a cup of water once to see if that would work. Afterwards my hair was dry and gross but still not clean. September was such a gross month.

Finally, finally I realized that it was the water. There’s probably some sciencey explanation for why baking soda reacts differently with different kinds of water but I do not know it. I retired the baking soda for good and switched to only shampoo.

So yeah. After four months of proving that I’m tough and that I can wash my hair without chemicals, I resorted back to shampoo. I’m a bit disappointed.I’m still managing to justify myself in that I’m using that Neutrogena stuff, which is sort of weird shampoo. One good thing that came of the summer is that I still only need to wash my hair once or twice a week. Switching back to shampoo hasn’t changed that. I’m still planning to do the baking soda thing but it’ll have to wait until I’m done at Millar.

So ok. I’m done. The moral of the story is:

Baking soda WORKED. It was really good. I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a way to change up their hair routine. But if your water is crappy, maybe don’t bother.

[currently listening: stars//progress]

FAQ FRIDAY! ON WEDNESDAY!

“Mariel why no do the music thing no more”

Well sweet children, I’m nearing the end of my 80 Day Song Challenge, and by that I mean I’m at day 51 of 80. But I scared myself by going on a roll and posting 6 songs in 6 days which is far too fast, considering that I started the challenge in March of 2013 and was barely halfway done a year later. The long and the short of it is that I’m saving the rest of the challenge until I’m back at school so that I’m forced to listen to music once in a while, because otherwise I don’t really make time for it. And I want to. So I decided to take a three month hiatus [which let’s be real, is nothing out of the ordinary for me especially considering that I had only done three days of the challenge when I decided to put it off for six months. What. Obviously I have commitment issues]. So I’ll be resuming in September. Maybe. Before Christmas for sure. Maybe.

“What do you look like irl”

Think Hermione Granger. But not Goblet-to-Hallows pretty Granger. Think Philospher’s Stone, frizzy-haired-Ron-you-have-dirt-on-your-nose-I-can’t-even-fight-a-troll-I-know-all-about-Devil’s-Snare-because-I-spend-all-my-time-in-the-library Hermione Granger. I think that’s an accurate picture. Except I’m not 11.

“Why do you have an FAQ”

Because I’m a mega-blog that moms read all the time. Kidding about the megablog. Not kidding about the moms. I’ve had a big increase in mom traffic over the last couple months and it’s all because I started talking about my hair. What. Also AMERICANS. Americans have been ALL OVER MY BLOG in the last month or so! I don’t even know why because I’ve basically stopped posting things altogether but every now and then I’ll check on my stats and I’ll see that like 15 new visitors have been to my blog in the past 24 hours, and 14 of them are from America. And that’s not even views! 14 SEPARATE AMERICAN IP ADDRESSES LOOKING AT MY BLOG AND RACKING UP MY VIEW COUNT. What are you doing with your life, America! Is this because I posted that one Sufjan Stevens post and it had the word Illinois in it? I know that’s American but I don’t read every blog post with Saskatchewan tagged in it. You guys are weird. But you’re bumping my site stats in a very major way, so keep on. What was the original question? Right. Why do I have an FAQ? Well, the truth is, I don’t. But I received the first two questions [the first one was, albeit, written a little better before I got to it] so I thought ok, FAQ it is. This question wasn’t even a question. No one asked me why I have an FAQ. I actually just asked it to myself to lend some context to why I posted the first two questions, but then I got off track talking about site traffic and visitor counts and America and moms. American moms. Okay. I’m done now.

currently listening: anberlin//armageddon