Do You Window Swap?

window sill

About a week or so ago, I saw a tweet about a website called Window Swap. Have you seen it?

The simplicity is addictive. You see views out the windows of other people. That’s it. But those views let you travel around the world in an instant and catch a glimpse into their lives. Like a short film.

Over the last several days, I looked out about two dozen windows, but didn’t stay on many for long. However, this window pictured above is different. It belongs to Justin in Rochester, New York.

The view is calming. A real moment of zen — with trees gently swaying in the breeze outside, part of a sofa or chair cushion in front of the window sill, with a watering can to the right. The window sill has a vase of colorful fake flowers, a tiny potted evergreen tree with a cat seated in the middle. The cat turns around and looks at you, walks a bit, then turns around and sits again. Music plays in the background and you can hear people talking, the sound of food sizzling, the microwave timer, and dishes clanking.

Above all else, music always grabs me, so the songs cinched it and I decided to blog this scene. Further, I downloaded Shazam so I could find the music. I couldn’t find all the songs, but found four. The music is perfection — all mellow grooves. I wonder what they’re cooking? For a moment you can see slight reflections as they walk around the kitchen.

The scene is on a 10 minute loop, so the same music plays over and over. The cat moves around the same way and the bits of conversation repeat as well. She asks him to write down something they need and then asks him to subtract 88 grams from (the lentils?), then thanks him. What a beautiful simple moment.

It makes me wonder more about this video and these people. What was the day and time? Just a normal day or a special one? I guess I’ll never know. Maybe that’s part of the intrigue. The mystery of the mundane bits and pieces of other people’s lives.

I haven’t closed the scene yet, because as I write I want to capture the feel of it. Once you open a new window, you can’t go back. And I haven’t seen that you can search for a particular place or scene. When I close it, it will be gone.

There’s also a place on the website where you can submit your own window and learn more about the project. It’s in response to the pandemic with everyone being stuck at home. This is a way for us to travel.

Below are songs from Justin’s window. Hope you enjoy them as well. Lifted by DAO is my new favorite song that I have on repeat!

Playlist – Justin’s Window

El Camino – Ganzo

lōland – taiyō

The Calm – DAO

Lifted – DAO

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Image: WindowSwap

Recently Watched: Chocolate ~ A Korean Food Drama

Chocolate Korean Food Drama

If you’re looking to escape into another world for a while, there’s a lovely place you can go on Netflix. To the world of Lee Kang, a neurosurgeon and Moon Cha Young, a chef who eats chocolate to center herself when she’s suffering. They live in South Korea, but the story takes us to other countries as well. The show is in Korean, so unless you speak it, you’ll be reading subtitles.

The two meet as children over a shared meal at Kang’s family restaurant. Kang asks Cha Young to come back later so he can make her a chocolate sasha, which I don’t really know what it is, unless he means this Japanese snack.

But because they are kids and her family had other plans, she isn’t able to return. He waited for her and was devastated when she didn’t show up. A year later she came back to find him, but his family had moved away.

They never forget each other and are fated to meet again. Repeatedly. Their lives are forever intertwined through a series of serendipitous meetings, but there are so many misunderstandings and hurt feelings. It’s dramatic and romantic. So much longing. And filled with food. The food scenes are stunning. I could practically smell it watching them cook.

The food is a third main character and made me want to get some Korean food. Then I was zapped back to the realization that I’m living in the middle of a pandemic and can’t go to a restaurant as easily anymore. Then I got swept up in the story again and relished the recipes. The precision and beauty. Colors, sounds and textures.

There is a depth to the characters lives that makes it easy to get caught up. We come to know their inner lives. There are painful family stories, intrigue, disasters, war, and some humor too. I found myself getting really aggravated at certain points, but couldn’t stop watching. I was so hooked! Chocolate is a real love story and they get me every time.

The music is haunting and sets the tone for the series, further increasing the tension and emotion. I definitely recommend you give a listen. The cinematography is captivating too.

I’ve been a fan of Korean dramas (K-dramas) for several years now and have been finding a lot more on Netflix recently. I’m surprised there isn’t more buzz around this series. I really enjoyed it and was disappointed to read that there won’t be another season. There’s a lot to like about Chocolate, but it is basically a soap opera. So if that’s not your thing, this probably isn’t for you. Otherwise, enjoy this series and get a respite from the day to day of quarantine life.

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Image Credit: YouTube

My Pandemic Theme Song

My pandemic theme song
Screenshot: YouTube

I never wanted a pandemic theme song. Then again, I never wanted to be in a pandemic.

For whatever reasons, there have been certain periods in my life where I wake up and the first thing that comes to mind is one particular song. It happens over and over again — each day upon waking. And again, if I go back to sleep and wake up. Sometimes, even if I take a nap. Kind of like the movie Groundhog Day. It’s been going on for weeks.

I’m not dreaming. It’s as I wake up, the lyrics and music are my first conscious thought. No doubt stemming from my subconscious in some way.

When this happened before, I don’t remember what made it stop or the name of the songs. But generally, when I need to get something out of my head, I have to write about it. Then it will go away. So this is my attempt to make it stop.

What’s my pandemic theme song? “The Happening” by The Supremes.  In a way, the lyrics I “hear” upon awakening make sense.

I woke up. Suddenly I just woke up. To the happening.

Maybe my subconscious sees the pandemic as the happening. It certainly is happening even though I wish it weren’t. Though I’m not sure why my mind needs to put it to music.

During school, when it came time to write papers and study for exams, I worked best with lots of music. Including the bar exam. I remember playing Alexander O’Neal on serious repeat. The Teddy Riley – Babyface musical battle on Instagram, which I did watch by the way, came closer to some of the songs that should be my theme song.

Music has always helped me cope with difficult situations. But “The Happening” was never one of those songs. It came out in 1967, when I was only three years old. It’s not a bad song. I like it. But I’ve never had any particular affinity with it.

Life is certainly testing all of our coping skills, so maybe this song is one of my coping mechanisms. I had planned to write differently about the pandemic. I’ve been reading articles and saving links, but have found that it’s been too much. So I’ll write in bits and pieces as I can.

I sewed a mask to wear when I go out and found that I had to modify it, because it was hard to breathe. A poem called “Wash Your Hands” by Dori Midnight has become a favorite.


We’re in a liminal place right now. Our lives are so different than they were just two months ago. And we don’t yet know what the future will bring. But life will never be the same. We are in that in between where things are changing. Life isn’t what it was or what it will be.

The discomfort we’re feeling is grief, according to an article that I read. Grief for what was. Grief for people who may have already died or who may die. Maybe even fear of our own deaths, especially dying alone. We’re all dealing with so much loss as we transition to whatever the “after” will look like.

Recently, I finally watched the Netflix series SALT FAT ACID HEAT and was especially struck by the show on heat. Heat is the element of transformation. It triggers change.

It made me think about the saying, “If you can’t take the heat, then get out of the kitchen” and the idea that extreme heat and pressure transform coal into diamonds.

This pandemic has us all under extreme pressure. For those that are sick, a literal rise in body temperature is one of the symptoms. Our lives are being transformed into something else and we are very uncomfortable. We don’t have the option of getting out of the kitchen. We have to deal with the heat.

I don’t know how to process it all except to acknowledge that this is where were are right now. And sit with it. It’s happening to me and it’s happening to you. Maybe that’s what my pandemic theme song has been trying to tell me all along.

Bruja Full Moon Magic Playlist

Bruja Full Moon Magic Playlist

Between this being Palindrome Week, with Friday the 13th yesterday, the full moon today, and my birthday being this past week, it’s been feeling like a magical time.

Also, there were lots of sudden out of the blue endings and beginnings in my life during this time. Something is in the air.

I have a playlist on Amazon that I listen to while I’m driving. Several of the songs I found on my monthly Cosmic Playlists by Chani Nicholas. I listen to Virgo, my sun sign and Taurus, my rising sign. It’s a great way to find new to me music and inspired me to create a new playlist.

There were some witchy songs that I took from the driving list and moved to a separate playlist celebrating the full moon mood and bruja magic. Below is a list of the songs and a link to it on Spotify if you’d like to listen to it too. The 17 songs take an hour and twelve minutes to play. Enjoy!

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  1. I Put A Spell On You – Nina Simone
  2. Witchcraft – Frank Sinatra
  3. Moondance – Van Morrison
  4. Black Magic Woman – Santana
  5. Brujas – Princess Nokia
  6. Sufi Woman – Jidenna
  7. That Magic – India.Arie
  8. Primavera – Santana
  9. Strange Magic – Electric Light Orchestra
  10. Pink Moon – Nick Drake
  11. Equinox – John Coltrane
  12. Shanti /Ashtangi – Madonna
  13. Witchy Woman – Eagles
  14. Destiny – Zero 7, Sia, Sophie Barker
  15. Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac
  16. Superstition – Stevie Wonder
  17. Incantation – Deva Premal

Subway Stories: These MBTA Days

MBTA Sign for JFK/UMass station.

Tuesday morning I got a text from a friend warning me about the Red Line because of a derailment. The T is always a mess and the Green Line had just derailed a few days before. Unfortunately, this has become a regular thing. So I figured more of the same.

Then I looked at Twitter and saw MBTA and Red Line trending, but not just locally in Boston. Nationally. That’s never good.

Because of the Wollaston Station renovation, for more than a year my commute is negatively impacted and each additional situation makes it that much worse. It’s so frustrating that the powers that be, who could change things, don’t seem to care at all.

Each time something happens, they talk about how things are improving and for us to be patient. But they are not taking the train. It’s also dangerous. Is it going to take a mass casualty situation with  multiple people killed and injured for something to really change? I really hope not.

It’s that much more of a slap in the face, when we are told to seek alternate transportation. If we had alternate transportation, we would use it! Now! If parking downtown were more affordable and the traffic were not so bad, I would drive. Every day!

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A Song Is Born

Anyway, yesterday morning I woke up and the theme from All in the Family was in my head for whatever strange reason and I kept humming it.

Then I started thinking about the horrible commute I would soon be facing and the words to the theme songThose Were The Days.

“Someone should switch the words to something about the T,” I thought. Then I started thinking about lyrics. Long story short. I am a writer. However I never thought of myself as a song writer.

But when words start swirling around in my head and I can’t get them out, the best way to stop the chatter is to write them down and do something with them.

So I wrote lyrics for a song called These MBTA Days to the tune of Those Were The Days for my own sanity and amusement. Hope you enjoy them too! 🎶

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Mixed signals you do send.
I hope we don’t have a tragic end.
You make me wait over and over again.
These MBTA days.

Me with an awful hangnail.
So of course you decide to derail.
We could use a leader like Elizabeth Warren who always has a good plan.

Remember the three days the T ran great?
Now I try to contain my rage.
When I get home, I’ll burn some sage.
To wipe away these MBTA days!

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