MAYA – Illusion: Musical Theme for February

Welcome back to Bear and her selection for this time:  I think the way we perceive things is fascinating. So much of what we think we see is an illusion, but here are just a few examples I have found in music and dance. I hope you enjoy.

Thanks to my daughter, Kate, at Sincerely Kate for her assistance with the musical selections.

Just a Dream (Carrie Underwood)

Virtual Insanity (Jamiroquai)

You’re all the World to Me (Glee)

Amazing Dance a Brain Cannot Process


Check out other participants:



Sinfully Musical: A Musical Theme based on the Seven Deadly Sins

When my daughter suggested the seven deadly sins as a theme for our musical adventures, I thought it was interesting. And I knew that she would find a song for every one of the damn things–that’s just the way she is. Awesome, thorough, and a little compulsive. If you don’t believe me, check it out at Sincerely Kate.

Well, I have my own issues, so I took a different approach. I decided to focus on one specific sin–that of pride, and apply it to what’s been going on as I try to bring some semblance of calm into my crazy life. OK, calm might be too strong a word, but I have to face it. My life is just too full of things to do, and it’s time to make some changes.

So how does that tie into pride? I think some of my self-enforced busyness comes from a mis-directed sense of pride. The compulsion of my personality type is to be busy, and I do not disappoint. And that’s just the problem. I am driven to appear responsible, to achieve, to shine. And yet, there is often little satisfaction in it.

How much is enough? How do I know when it’s right?

Get it Right (Glee)


And then there are the times when I act as though what I do is so important, but for whom? It’s really all illusion, as in the song below.

Everything I’ve done, I’ve done for you

I move the stars for no one

Within You (Labyrinth)



So it sometimes gets tangled up in accumulating more and more of the stuff to do, to get the fix I think I need. A little greedy, don’t you think.

Mine Mine Mine (Pocahontas)


After a couple of inner dialogues with a character known as Plate Spinner, it was time to swallow my pride and start shifting my focus.

Inside Out (Eve 6)


There is a long way to go, but I feel like the break-up with the need to accomplish for its own sake, life seems a little more hopeful.

But since you’ve been gone
I can breathe for the first time
I’m so movin on yeah yeah

Since You’ve Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson)


As I continue to work on making this shift in my life, I’ve been doing many internal dialogues (see second Plate Spinner dialogue)  to discover what is really important to me, so that I quit wasting my time on the pointless activity. I am enrolled in a course called “Write Your Own Story,” and as I work with these dialogues and figure out who will narrate my story, I realize that I am paying a lot more attention to what’s really going on with me. I feel like I’ve become much more of a friend to myself, and that I have more self-support than ever.

Someone’s Watching Over Me (Hilary Duff)


I may have to work on weeding out some of the other places these deadlies show up in my life, but for now, I’ll focus on the fact that for now, I’ve done enough.  🙂

Thanks to my Collaborator at Sincerely Kate for the above selection of songs to illustrate my foray into exploring the sin of pride. And it’s important to her pride that I give credit where credit is due. Thanks, Kate!



The Seven Deadly Sins: A Musical Theme for February

Image courtesy of fotographic1980 /

Image courtesy of fotographic1980 /

If you’ve been following the Container Chronicles, you know that I have been participating in Music Themes for a while. Since October, my daughter at Sincerely Kate has been my Collaborator. After we announced the Hobbies and Pastimes theme, the other participants have had things come up, and the group seemed to be on hold for a bit. On one hand, my friend, the Plate Spinner is thrilled because that’s one less thing taking so much time and energy, but at the same time I enjoy this creative exercise and would like to do it, just maybe not so often.

With that said, Kate and I decided we would get the Music Themes back up and running, though we will only be doing this monthly compared to every 4-5 days. Everyone is welcome to join us, posting videos, poetry, and/or artwork as it’s convenient for them. Should the others like to post a theme over the next few months, we’ll gladly put together some sort of schedule so everyone gets a fair shake at this.

February’s Theme: The Seven Deadly Sins

Kate has posted about each of these sins in the past, and she thought it would be fun to look at them again in a different way. Personally I am more likely to explore a couple of them in more depth. But regardless, should be a lot of fun.

What ideas do you have about how music might tell a story or two about one or more of the seven deadly sins? Feel free to comment below OR maybe you’d like to join us in our Music Themes project for February. When Kate and I finish our posts, we’ll link them here. You can do the same and see what we all come up with.

Flashback to our Hobbies and Pastimes Theme



A Few of My Favorite Things: Music Theme for January

Interestingly, this post helped me discover that even when it comes to fun things, I may have a few too many plates in the air. It became obvious when I realized that there were so many “favorite things” that writing a few lines about each of them seemed like an obstacle. Along with the decluttering I’m doing in the rest of my life, I need to sort through these activities and see which ones really sustain me and which are just “one more thing to do.” This is somewhat ironic, because I had no trouble in coming up with lots and lots of ideas and songs for this post. Thankfully, Collaborator was able to fill in the musical gaps.

Favorite Thing #1: Entertaining

Even though my husband has taken over most of the food preparation part of things, I do like entertaining (when I have the time). However, I notice that lately, I schedule a lot less of it than I did in the past couple of years.

Be Our Guest (Beauty & the Beast)

Favorite Thing #2: Swimming

I’m not a great swimmer, but I enjoy the water. I find it relaxing as well as a good way to exercise. Not too easy to do in the part of Taiwan that I live, but maybe something to consider in the future.

Just Keep Swimming (Finding Nemo)

Favorite Thing #3: Spending time on the Water 

Speaking of water, a favorite activity in Seattle was to either take the four-hour cruise to Victoria, BC or the ferry ride across Puget Sound to Bremerton. I don’t know if it’s still this way, but once you paid to get on the ferry, you could ride back and forth on one fare. Being on one of those trips was one of the most relaxing things I’ve experienced. I someday want to take a longer cruise, maybe to Alaska.

Sailing (Christopher Cross)

Favorite Thing #4: Riding Bicycles 

Growing up on the west side of Bay City, Michigan, I rode my bike a lot. My sister and I could ride to the library, to Grandma’s house. If we wanted to go visit a friend, we could hop on our bike and just go. People are always amazed when I tell them that I used to ride my bicycle to college and back several times (10 miles each way). After my children were born, I don’t know if we just didn’t have bikes around anymore, or if I just got too busy, but I haven’t ridden a bike in many years. But I (think I) remember how much I enjoyed riding, and I think I’d like to get back to it. Not something I would pursue in Taiwan, but maybe when I return to the U.S.

Bicycle Race  (Queen)

Favorite Thing #5: Flying Kites

I have a thing about kites. Like the Plate Spinner of late, I once had an inner dialogue with a kite. A few weeks ago, we went on a trip to Hsinchu, and near the coast, dozens of people were flying kites. I knew right then and there that I was going to be flying a kite sometime in the not too distant future.

Let’s Go Fly a Kite (Mary Poppins)

Favorite Thing #6: Indoor activities (baking, knitting, puzzles, drawing, reading, etc.)

The saddest thing is that nearly all of these have fallen by the wayside with the business of all the work I’m doing. The knitting is ok, because I have quilting. And when students are here doing puzzles, I enjoy it vicariously even though I’m often working in the other room. Dave has taken over most of the cooking activity. So that leaves reading and drawing, or in my case, Zentangling. Those might be worth finding a little time for. Oh, I do like Sudoku, and usually manage to do one of those before going to bed. I do enjoy that.

When Will My Life Begin (Tangled)

Favorite Thing #7: Singing

I love music. I have played the piano for years, and I love singing. Even though I can’t play the piano much in Taiwan (well, I could, but it would take too much time and effort under the circumstances), I am planning to do karaoke sometime this year, including one song in Chinese.

Sing (Glee)

Favorite Thing #8: Quilting/Sewing 

If someone had told me last year at this time, that I would be in the middle of two quilting projects, I wouldn’t have believed it. But progress is being made, and I’m really enjoying it. I will post a quilting update soon.

Tapestry (Carole King)

Favorite Thing #9: Dancing 

I have enjoyed dancing at different times in my life. I studied ballet as a young girl, and then during my freshman year of college. I later attended an adult ballet class before moving away from Seattle. Although it is physically challenging to think about dancing, I want to give it a try again.

We’re Dancing (Center Stage)

I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out about a few of my favorite things. I will be considering where to focus my time and energy, and give myself some breathing space for the ones that bring me real joy!

Contrast: Musical Theme for January 8

Hey, it’s Kate, Deborah’s youngest and favorite child. My mom was a bit too busy to think of songs for this Contrast theme let alone put a blog together, so as her faithful collaborator I thought I’d tackle a bit of her commentary for her.

As you’ll see in my blog on the 13th, I was immediately inspired by this theme, and when that wasn’t the case with my mother, I told her she should pick two ends of some sort of spectrum and do a few videos for each one. My original recommendation was heroes and villains, but then we reached the conclusion that she should find a happy and sad video from the same artist(s). She chose The Carpenters and Carly Simon for this path.


Superstar (Carpenters)

Top of the World (Carpenters)


I Get Along Without You Very Well (Carly Simon)

Let the River Run (Carly Simon)


Although I liked that route, I, of course, had to over-think it. Maybe instead of happy and sad songs from the same artist, we could find renditions of a song that’s both happy and sad! Thanks to Glee, I had a couple ideas ready to go, and I also thought of another musical number and its reprise from Rent. Mother was happy with these offerings so you can find them here:

I Want to Hold Your Hand (Beatles)

I Want to Hold Your Hand (Glee)


I’ll Cover You (Rent)

I’ll Cover You (Rent) 


Deborah here: I got my blog back from my daughter. Although I used my collaborator to my advantage, I still enjoyed this exploration, and her ideas were invaluable in looking at this theme. I realized that I typically thought of contrast only in terms of the visual, or thematic, so I was constantly surprised at the various kind of musical contrasts we discovered. Of course, the more we did, the more it was possible to see others. The last combination, in particular, was striking in its contrast. And it was great contrasting the approach to this theme between mother and daughter. See you next time.


Check out the contrasts among the other themists:


Dreams and Dreamers (Musical Theme for January 5)

For a little extra entertainment, I thought I’d give you a little insight into the mother/daughter collaboration process. As we started on this one, I was in the middle of a work project, but Collaborator was on a roll, so she just kept going.

Keep in mind that when Collaborator and I work together, we are on opposite sides of the world, and our communication takes place via Facebook messaging. It is usually morning in Michigan where she is, and my grandson, Mr. Logan, is often nearby. It is evening in Taiwan where I am, where I am sometimes working on other things. But we somehow manage.

To say Collaborator was happy about this theme would be a huge understatement.

Collaborator: YAY! DREAMS! You could use your dance videos

Me: I could, but I think I want to do something else. Because I have very specific plans for the dance one

Collaborator: do you have an idea of what you want to do instead?

Me: I will give you an idea in a little bit. For me, it’s largely about possibility

When I came back from meeting with a student, I found these:

Dream Weaver (Gary Wright)

This was quickly followed up with her #2 offering:

Daydream Believer (Monkees)

I may have casually mentioned California Dreamin’, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when this popped up:

California Dreamin’ (The Mamas and the Papas)

Here’s where it starts to get really interesting.

Collaborator: There’s three dream songs, the other three can be more specific once you get a more specific idea.

A “little” time passes, and I get another message as she sends this.

Collaborator: So do you just want DREAM songs or do you want something a little more specific?

It’s hard to respond while I’m  listening to Fleetwood Mac, but I do after the song.

Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)

Me: “Not sure yet, but I think you may be all done before I decide 😉

Up pops this one:

Dream a Little Dream of Me (Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong)

Me: (appreciatively)  I like that one. There’s a song from the 50s or 60s about dreams, dreams, dreams that I can’t quite put my finger on”

BAM! Kate posts the video. And a comment:

Collaborator: You’re dreaming about songs from yesteryear.  (Such a darling child!)

All I Have to Do is Dream (Everly Brothers)

RIP Phil Everly (Jan. 3, 2014)

Collaborator:  That’s 6.

Me:  BUT . . . . we don’t have any Glee!

and then BAM! Kate strikes again, giving me her leftovers,

Hall of Fame (Glee)

But hey, I did this one all by myself!

Dream Baby Dream (Bruce Springsteen)

Me: Wow, I did this one all by myself. Geez, I sound so pathetic 😉

Collaborator: No, I sound like I need Ritalin.


My dreaming colleagues:




Dwelling Between – Musical Theme for Winter Solstice 2013

I’m going to let the music speak for itself. Thanks to the Collaborator for the Glee fix and the Joni Mitchell piece.  🙂

Snow is Falling (Kalafina)

Amid the Falling Snow (Enya)

Solstice Bells (Jethro Tull)

I’ll Follow the Sun (Beatles)

River (Joni Mitchell)


Wintersong (Sarah McLachlan)


Winter Light (Sarah Brightman)


Don’t Dream It’s Over (Glee)


Fellow musical themists:






Crazy Little Thing Called Love: A Fun Musical Exploration

While working on the Random Acts of Kindness version of the theme of Love, the Collaborator and I also thought it would be fun to do a post about absolutely ridiculous songs on the topic of love. Wow, there were lots! Some of our selections are just silly, some are crazy, and some are downright ridiculous. On a couple of them (we’ll let you figure out which ones), the videos further enhance the ridiculous element. Hope you have as much fun exploring these gems as we had finding them. Enjoy!

I Believe in a Thing Called Love (The Darkness)

Without Love (Hairspray)

Honey Bee (Blake Shelton)

When I Get You Alone  (Robin Thicke)

We Go Together (Grease)

Dammit Janet (Rocky Horror Picture Show)


It’s Not Unusual (Glee)

Silly Love Songs (Paul McCartney)

Lovefool (Cardigans)

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Love and Random Acts of Kindness: A Musical Exploration

For today’s theme, Eva chose A Love Letter In This Digital Age: Music Theme ~ Love. While there is a touch of romantic love in this post, the Collaborator and I explored the larger realm of love when people reach out to others and show love in unexpected ways. Sometimes, it’s as simple as making someone smile or laugh. And sometimes it’s much more profound. Regardless, random acts of kindness can make a difference in someone’s life, and the possibilities exist for them to make a bigger impact, especially if people pay it forward.

I sometimes have a tendency to be overly optimistic, but I find that it’s better than the alternative. Looking for the good sometimes disappoints, but there are moments when love transcends many of these disappointments. And in case you think I’m a little too optimistic, I have another post to follow that is much lighter.  🙂

Give a Little Bit (Roger Hodgson)

Stereo Hearts (Glee)

Better Days (Goo Goo Dolls)

Build Me Up, Buttercup  (Highway Sing-A-Long)

Good Life (OneRepublic)

Ever Ever After (Carrie Underwood)

Heroes (Glee)

Pay It Forward


To see the other posts on this theme, visit the links listed below.




Across the Universe – A Sunny Musical Theme for December 4

This was almost the post that wasn’t. In spite of help from the daughter AND the husband, the mother almost lost the file entirely. With a lot of help, it was reconstructed, and here it is: a collection of songs about a sun, a moon, some stars, Jupiter and the distance between them all. We hope you enjoy!

Here Comes the Sun (Glee)

Walking on Sunshine (Katrina and the Waves)

Glad You Came – The Wanted (Glee)

Drops of Jupiter (Train)

Dancing in the Moonlight (Toploader)

Walkin’ on the Sun (Smash Mouth)

The Space Between (Dave Matthews Band)

Ray of Light (Madonna)

Big Bang Theory Theme (BareNaked Ladies)

To the Moon and Back (Savage Garden)

Beatles Across the Universe (NASA/JPL)

Published on Mar 31, 2012

For the first time ever, NASA beamed a song — The Beatles’ “Across the Universe” — directly into deep space at 7 p.m. EST on Feb. 4. The transmission over NASA’s Deep Space Network commemorated the 40th anniversary of the day The Beatles recorded the song, as well as the 50th anniversary of NASA’s founding and the group’s beginnings. Two other anniversaries also are being honored: The launch 50 years ago this week of Explorer 1, the first U.S. satellite, and the founding 45 years ago of the Deep Space Network. Learn more at:….

 Catch a Falling Star (Perry Como)


Check out these selections from the other participants: