Snowy_Blog_Collage_1000x1500pWebSnowy in Florida

With their newest release, Snowy in Florida, Phantom Phunk is changing up the standard playlist. This is their version of a punk circus.

While the lyrics are almost nonexistent, there is a coherent musical narrative. The song’s structure and tone recreate the agitation of our everyday existence without jamming the obvious down our throats. The riveting guitar licks, pumping bass and hammering drums are the house of mirrors. The constant bombardment of soundbites offers a stereophonic substitution for the fun house. So ladies and gentleman, step right up, and prepare to be amazed…


Max and Cookie taking a walk on a rainy day.

Max the Chihuahua and Cookie the Cat- the Story of a Broken Heart

We adopted Max when he was six weeks old.  Cookie arrived about a week later, likely the same age.  They became best friends.  In the beginning, we took Max for walks four to five times a day.  Cookie came on our walks almost from the start. We bought her a collar and leash, but once the leash was on, she sat down and wouldn’t move.  We stopped using the leash, but she continued on our walks.  When they were younger, Cookie would come home when Max did.  But after a while, Cookie became the neighborhood explorer, coming home whenever she pleased, but always before we went to bed.

Max was never a very healthy dog.  He had scoliosis and walked on an angle, his back legs always towards the right and his front legs and head sort of to the left. If Max stopped, Cookie stopped, if Cookie wandered away, Max would wait patiently for her to catch up.  On the rare occasion that I kept walking and allowed her to get out of sight, Cookie would cry until we walked back to her and then we would continue on our journeys.

At home they would run around and play with each other and nap together on the couch.  Our older cat, Valentine passed away when they were about three, and we quickly adopted Clara and Cleo and then they were four. About five years ago we adopted Trixie, a lab/pit mix and then they were five. Throughout the years, Max and Cookie remained best friends.

About a year ago, Max’s health started deteriorating.  He got cataracts and went blind.  He started falling occasionally and would cry in pain when I picked him up.  We went to three different vets who gave us oils and pain meds, but Max didn’t get better.  Cookie, on the other hand, remained healthy and happy.

Not too long ago, Max fell off of the curb and hit his head on a car.  I carried him home and Cookie came inside with us. As much as I knew it was going to hurt, I knew it was near the time I was going to have to say goodbye to Max.  I debated for about a week what the right thing was to do.  Finally I made the decision to say goodbye to my little friend. It was one of the hardest things I have every had to do as an adult.

All the animals knew something was different.  They were different.  Clara stopped fighting with Trixie.  Cleo became a cuddly lap cat and Trixie seemed to lose her puppy-like exuberance.  Cookie changed the most.  She spent more time outside than usual and one night, she wouldn’t come in at all.

It has been a month since Cookie has been gone.  Some of the neighbors think she was taken by a wild animal. I know differently.  Just as one spouse dies soon after the other, Cookie went off to die, alone, from a broken heart.


Richard Nilsen

Tallulah Rose Tallulah Rose

I have an interesting “contest” going on with my granddaughter, Tallulah Rose. She is 16 and immersed in music, taking guitar, piano and banjo lessons; she has some genuine talent. When I chauffeur her around on those occasions when I am called on, and am playing some Bach or Beethoven on the car CD, she is apt to say something like, “Classical music is so boring; it all sounds the same.” And, of course, when I hear her listening to pop music on her iPad, my reaction is the mirror: Pop music is so boring; it all sounds the same. So, I scratch my head and wonder.

How can something sound so monotonous to me and not bore her to tears? How can something so varied and glorious as classical music possible sound to her as if it is all the same gluey mush? It is more than…

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