‘Bottle After Bottle. Glass After Glass.’

When I was growing up, I always had a notebook to sketch down any thoughts I might have for a poem or story.

I would walk the fields of the farmstead, often taking in a sunset or an evening storm, trying to let the life and landscapes that surrounded me become my voice. I won’t lie, the exercise often satisfied my senses more than my literary aspirations. Writing has never come easily to me.

I rarely use pen and paper for the task of writing these days. Instead, my thoughts often go onto a computer screen.

I keep a couple of files where I place pieces of fact, fiction or a mixture of the two. I always hope they will reveal themselves to be something worthwhile. Sometimes, they evolve into a complete piece. Often, a paragraph will languish for months or even years with no obvious way for me to help it grow.

I would like to share one snippet that I’ve desperately wanted to breathe life into for a couple of years because I’m quite proud of it. I’ve attached various appendages to this brief sketch, but none of them fit quite right. If you’re a writer, I’m sure you can empathize with my frustration. I can’t shake the feeling that this is something I want to take somewhere, but when will that “where” filter out my brain and through my fingertips?

Bottle after bottle. Glass after glass.
Our laughs get louder. The hours pass.
You are a troublesome house, but I don’t want to leave.
I like the darkness of your corners, the silence of your staircase.
Yes, I know that in the attic, some ragged beast stirs. It’s a cruel reminder of loves lost and life deferred. But I’m happy to visit here all the same. The unease gives me pause. It makes me think about what could have been …

Now, where does it go from there? What could have been? …

Am I A Psychopath?

Jack Nicholson in "The Shining." His character is probably along the lines of what most of us think of when the word "psychopath" is mentioned.

Jack Nicholson in “The Shining.” His character is probably along the lines of what most of us think of when the word “psychopath” is mentioned.

Am I a psychopath?

Please, think carefully about that before you offer an answer. I’m giving you fair warning.

I pose the question for good reason; apparently, a fair number of journalists are psychopaths compared to other professions.

Last year, Kevin Dutton, an Oxford research psychologist, wrote a  book titled, “The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.” In it, he makes an argument that psychopathic personality traits such as charm, confidence, ruthlessness and keeping a level head under pressure can be positive attributes in the world if applied appropriately.

In other words, not all psychopaths are, by definition, violent individuals looking to harm others.

In the article, “A Better Definition of Psychopath,” Rick Nauert defined psychopaths in the following manner:

Broadly speaking, they are people who use manipulation, violence and intimidation to control others and satisfy selfish needs. They can be intelligent and highly charismatic, but display a chronic inability to feel guilt, remorse or anxiety about any of their actions. Scientists estimate that 15-25 percent of men and 7-15 percent of women in U.S. prisons display psychopathic behaviors. The condition, however, is hardly restricted to the prison system. (Joseph Newman, a a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) estimates that up to 1 percent of the general population could be described as psychopathic.

In an interview with Smithsonian Magazine, Dutton elaborated on the subject:

When psychologists talk about psychopaths, what we’re referring to are people who have a distinct set of personality characteristics, which include things like ruthlessness, fearlessness, mental toughness, charm, persuasiveness and a lack of conscience and empathy. Imagine that you tick the box for all of those characteristics. You also happen to be violent and stupid. It’s not going to be long before you smack a bottle over someone’s head in a bar and get locked up for a long time in prison. But if you tick the box for all of those characteristics, and you happen to be intelligent and not naturally violent, then it’s a different story altogether. Then you’re more likely to make a killing in the market rather than anywhere else.

Dutton has even pointed out that “a number of psychopathic attributes [are] actually more common in business leaders than in so-called disturbed criminals.”

Now THAT doesn’t come as a surprise, does it? Look at the finance industry …

In 2011, Dutton conducted what he calls “The Great British Psychopath Survey.” He is currently conducting an American version. You can take the test here.

The British version found the professions with the most psychopaths are:

1. CEO
2. Lawyer
3. Media (Television/Radio)
4. Salesperson
5. Surgeon
6. Journalist
7. Police Officer
8. Clergy person
9. Chef
10. Civil Servant

Meanwhile, the professions with the lowest rates of psychopathy are:

1. Care Aide
2. Nurse
3. Therapist
4. Craftsperson
5. Beautician/Stylist
6. Charity Worker
7. Teacher
8. Creative Artist
9. Doctor
10. Accountant

Now, in my decade of journalism, I’ve encountered only a handful of people in the profession who may rank high on the psychopath scale — and they are definitely more likely to be found in television. (Sorry television journalist friends!)

In the interview with Smithsonian Magazine, Dutton admitted that “normal” people may do well to step up some of their psychopathic traits:

Normal people can work out their psychopath muscles. It’s kind of like going to the gym in a way, to develop these attributes. It’s just like training.

Psychopaths don’t think, should I do this or shouldn’t I do this? They just go ahead and do stuff. So next time you find yourself putting off that chore or filing that report or something, unchain your inner psychopath and ask yourself this: “Since when did I need to feel like something in order to do it?”

Another way you can take a leaf out of a psychopath’s book: Psychopaths are very reward-driven. If they see a benefit in something, they zone in on it and they go for it 100 percent. Let’s take an example of someone who is kind of scared of putting in for a raise at work. You might be scared about what the boss might think of you. You might think if you’d don’t get it you’re going to get fired. Forget it. Cut all that stuff off. “Psychopath up,” and overwhelm your negative feelings by concentrating on the benefits of getting it. The bottom line here is, a bit of localized psychopathy is good for all of us.

He has some great points. It’s easy to over think things on occasion and resort to inaction as a reasonable solution.

So in response to the initial question: Am I a psychopath?

Well, I took Dutton’s survey and scored a 118 out of 224, making me average. Average once again! Will I never be exceptional!? Screw this test! What does it know!? I’ll be what I damn well please!

Oh, sorry, I was letting loose with my psychopathic traits.

I did score somewhat high when it came to rebelliousness. Here is what the survey had to say about that:

High scores are nontraditional and question authority frequently. They may be defiant and oppositional to people who give them orders. Low scorers tend to respect and obey authority figures, including parents, teachers, and bosses.

At least I have a rebellious streak in me. That provides some comfort.

Perhaps I’ll have to begin exercising some of my psychopathic traits as Dutton recommends. Get ready Boss, I’m asking for a raise. Damn the consequences!!! 🙂

FYI: Bach Is Not Affecting My Sex Life

“Is Bach affecting your sex life?”

Well, what a question to ask.

It was this inquiry that I encountered while perusing the Omaha World-Herald‘s site this week. Intrigued, I had to read more.

It turned out that it was a column about sex and music written by Brier Jirka, a sex therapist with the Methodist Physicians Clinic Women’s Center.

She writes:

You know it as soon as you hear it.

THE song that brings back memories of a special moment between you and your partner. That moment when fireworks exploded and you knew love was in the air.

The fact that music has such a prominent place in our relationships should not be surprising. We all listen to music on a daily basis, and a person’s taste can vary from classical or rock to country, pop or R&B.

For some, that special song is anything by the band Boston or ever popular REO Speedwagon. For others it could be by Marvin Gaye or one of today’s superstars – Usher, Carrie Underwood, or dare I say Justin Bieber!

But have you ever thought about how much music actually influences your sexual behavior?

It’s a common question I hear in sex therapy: What music should I play to set the mood?

“Let’s Get It On” or “Sexual Healing” usually come to mind right away. However, an article on the subject published in Softpedia noted research which showed those that enjoy jazz music have 34 percent more sex than those who like pop music.

The least sexually active group – those who prefer classical, like Bach or Beethoven.

So what gives? Blame brain functions. The left hemisphere is linked to language and the right to our feelings. Music often triggers both at the same time, resulting in stronger outward behavior, AKA movement. Simply put, music encourages touching.

Both men and women rate tactile (touching) stimuli as most important in sexual arousal. However, when it comes to musical stimuli, men are often less responsive than women.

For men, the type of music doesn’t really matter. But for females, “her song” will likely result in positive thoughts and feelings.

Next time you want to set the mood for love, consider what your partner’s ears prefer.

And in case nothing comes to mind, here is a list of songs that may help set the mood, followed by those which will ruin your chances for intimacy.

This list was generated from a combination of online polls and my professional suggestions.

Top 5 Mood Setters

• I’ll Make Love to You (Boyz II Men)
• Come A Little Closer (Dierks Bentley)
• Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)
• Too Afraid to Love You (The Black Keys)
• Feel Like Making Love (Bad Company)
• I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Frank Sinatra)

Top 5 Mood Spoilers

• How You Remind Me (Nickelback)
• Boyfriend (Justin Bieber)
• I Wanna Sex You Up (Color Me Badd)
• I’ll Do Anything for Love (Meatloaf)
• Anything Disney – seriously it’s wrong to mix sexual intimacy and Disney music

OK, I know Jirka says that men are less responsive than women to music, but I can say that if any lady out there tries to seduce me with the mood setters listed above (aside from The Black Keys) I’m likely to either burst out laughing or run away in horror. (“Feel Like Making Love” actually makes people want to make love? Are you kidding me???)

However, I’m glad to see people are turned off by Nickelback, Bieber and Meatloaf.

“I Wanna Sex You Up” though? I could handle that if we were in the right mood — as in, not a serious mood. It’s certainly better than AC/DC. Seriously.

Now, you know what comes next. This is where I have to list 10 songs that I think are great mood setters (because I will go 200 percent for those I love — and because I don’t have the discipline to pick only five). I’m not going to disappoint you.

Turn down the lights. Spread the rose petals. Don’t those candles smell great?

Let’s get started.

“This wine tastes great. Hey, are you familiar with this song that Robert Smith wrote for his fiance as a wedding present. Whenever I hear it, I can’t help but think of you.”

“Would you like to hear some poetry? ‘If you stay, I’ll chase the rain-blown fields away. We’ll shine like the morning and sin in the sun. Oh, if you stay, we’ll be the wild ones running with the dogs today.'”

“I really don’t have the words.”

“I’ve got a genius idea. Let’s have some fun. Natural fun. (Please don’t slap me.)”

I don’t gotta say a word …

“‘It may not be the right time. I might not be the right one. But there’s something about us I want to say.”

“I thought you’d want to hear about this really incredible book.”

“Girl, why mess with the rest when you got the best? I’m what you need.”

“This is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard in my life. I can’t believe I’m with the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met in my life right now. What a coincidence.”

“Can we just cuddle already?”


So, uh, how was it? Was that Bach or Boys II Men?

(By the way, if you’re visiting this post via “Freshly Pressed,” WELCOME! Thanks for checking out “An Inland Voyage.” Please look around and share any thoughts. Find out more about me and “An Inland Voyage” here. — Nathan)

An Inland Voyage’s Top Albums Of 2012

My list of top 10 albums of 2012 was published in the Press & Dakotan today. I present the list here for you with Spotify links.


What a difference Spotify makes.
This year marked my first full year using the streaming music service, and it has definitely had an effect on my listening habits.
It serves as my Google of music, allowing me to dig up most any song that comes to my mind.
And so 2012 was a year spent listening to a lot of music from my formative years. Remember “Stars” by Hum? How about Urge Overkill’s “Sister Havana”? The list goes on …
However, I did still manage to engage with my share of new music. Spotify changed my regular habits in that regard, too.
Whereas I used to listen to entire albums on my mp3 player, Spotify made it much easier to select my favorite tracks and put them in a single playlist.
The argument has been made by some that streaming music services make music more disposable than ever, and I can’t entirely disagree with that. Instead of letting something grow on me with repeated listens, I’m much more likely to simply move on to the next song or album. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, I’m not entirely ready to say.
All that being said, I still treasure a good album. This year had it’s share of those.
Here are my picks for the top 10 albums of 2012:
10. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti — “Mature Themes”
Ariel Pink comes up with some great, catchy tunes. But what really makes me enjoy “Mature Themes” is its sense of humor. The title track, in particular, is a great sing-a-long about wanting to talk about “taboo things.”

9. The Soft Moon — “Zeros”
The Soft Moon sets a bleak tone that does not let up through all of “Zeros.” The gothic post-punk electronica reminds me of some of the early work of The Cure, a sound that will always warm my cold heart.

8. Cursive — “I Am Gemini”
“I Am Gemini” is much more than an album. It is a rock musical — but without all the glitz and glam. It’s just straightforward guitar and drums rock ‘n’ roll with an elaborate story to tell. “I Am Gemini” is a story of two male twins separated at birth. One is good, and one is evil. They find themselves face to face, and the drama plays out beautifully. As a long-time Cursive fan, this was the hardest of their records for me to totally uncover and appreciate. I’m glad I took the time to do it, because now I can sing along to the entire musical!

7. The Raveonettes — “Observator”
“Observator” opens up with the despair of “Young and Cold” and the lyrics, “I get a shiver from broken hearts/I like the sun when it don’t shine/I make it hard on anyone/So many restless souls/I don’t wanna be young and cold.” It maintains that kind of mood, which sounds just right to my ears.

6. VCMG — “SSSS”
There once was a band named Depeche Mode that had within its ranks two great songwriters. One — Vince Clarke — left the group very early on, and the other, Martin Gore, went on to write most of Depeche Mode’s biggest hits. Clarke became part of Yazoo and Erasure. The two former bandmates hadn’t worked together since the early 1980s, but they came together for a dance album perfect for when the clubs close. I may have spent more time with “SSSS” than any other album this year.

5. Soulsavers — “The Light the Dead See”
While we’re on the subject of Depeche Mode, the lead singer of the band paired up with Soulsavers in 2012 for a criminally under-appreciated collaboration. David Gahan’s bluesy voice is perfect for the sometimes spaghetti Western, sometimes gospel and sometimes rock music created by Soulsavers. Introspective and beautiful.

4. Beach House — “Bloom”
I think this album is a culmination of everything Beach House has been working toward since first releasing an album six years ago. Hazy, transcendent dream pop at its finest.

3. Frank Ocean — “Channel Orange”
You’ve heard the hype about this young artist. It’s all true. I didn’t quite get “Channel Orange” in its entirety when it came out, but later in the year it clicked and I’ve been listening to it relentlessly since. Smart lyrics. Beautiful voice. And some good tunes.

2. Icky Blossoms — “Icky Blossoms”
I would never have guessed that an electronic dance/rock band from Omaha would end up on my top 10 list at the beginning of the year, but here it is. Icky Blossoms’ debut album is solid from beginning to end. I highly recommend seeing them live, too.

1. Crystal Castles — “III”
Sure, a part of me wanted Crystal Castles to release an album filled with the kind of pop perfection displayed on “Not in Love,” their collaboration with Cure frontman Robert Smith. Instead, they produced an angry, bleak and obfuscatory album that continues to intrigue me. In a way, it captures life in 2012 — even if the world didn’t end.

Put Your Guns Down: A Reflection On Movie Violence After Newtown


Tom Cruise in “Jack Reacher.”

I wrote this column for today’s Press & Dakotan about my reaction to violence on the big screen in the wake of the Newtown shooting. Have you had a similar experience?


Suddenly, things were different.

It started with “Jack Reacher,” the film starring Tom Cruise about an ex-member of the Army who is a drifter and reluctantly agrees to solve a crime.

The opening scene shows a man setting up a sniper’s nest in a parking garage. He proceeds to shoot down a handful of people in the street.

I cringed, and an ache developed in my stomach as I watched the seemingly random murder of innocents proceed in great detail.

With the gun-fueled massacre of children that transpired in Newtown the week before, I couldn’t passively consume these images. The wound created within me by the real-life violence was too fresh.

I wasn’t the only one who cringed at “Jack Reacher” in the aftermath of Newtown. The Dec. 15 premiere of the film in Pittsburgh, where Cruise was to walk the red carpet, was delayed in the wake of the shooting. Paramount didn’t get into specifics of why the decision was made, other than to say it was out of honor and respect for the families of the victims.

My mixed feelings about sitting in the theater that December night began even before the film’s opening credits.

Each movie trailer leading up to the main feature had characters toting guns, usually accompanied by big explosions. Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson in “Pain and Gain.” Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Last Stand.” Bruce Willis in “A Good Day to Die Hard.” I had the same experience in movie after movie I attended during the last few weeks of the year. The advertisements became a blur of gun violence.

Is this all our film culture has to offer? Reams and reams of shooting and explosions until it reaches the point of self-parody and all we in the audience can do is laugh at the absurdity of it?

Often, that seems to be the case, and I am growing weary of it. I see too much of this violence play out in real life, with almost 80 people killed in mass shootings in America during 2012 alone.

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way. A recent poll conducted by The Hollywood Reporter found that 70 percent of those over age 30 feel there is too much violence depicted in advertising for movies and TV.

I would go a step further and say there is too much violence in the films and television shows themselves.

And yet, this is not me calling for government action or some kind of censorship. Nor am I attempting to link violence in films to the mass shootings.

I even think there is a place for violence in our entertainment, as it is the source of some very good storytelling that I really enjoy.

No, my grievance is with the frequency with which violence is used as an integral part of films, television or even video games, as if there was no other compelling element of human existence. Are the only stories worth telling those in which a character takes another’s life?

I hope if I write a fictional story for the page, stage or screen some day, I have the strength to avoid the storytelling crutch that is extreme violence and murder and find another aspect of life that people would be interested in seeing unfold.

It is possible.

Some of the most beautiful, thought-provoking films I saw this past year included no gratuitous gun play or explosions. I think of the heartbreak and hope watching a troubled child in “The Kid with a Bike”; the almost-mythical love story of “Moonrise Kingdom”; the self-destructive love of “The Deep Blue Sea”; the struggling drug addict in “Oslo, August 31st”; and the poignant coming-of-age story in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

In the brooding Turkish film “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia,” the director even manages to find a way to deal with the aftermath of a murder that raises interesting questions about guilt and mercy. But the film does not include a vengeful vigilante who tortures and kills people while hunting for the killer. In Hollywood, that would no doubt be the default storyline.

In short, the creators of our popular entertainment need to broaden their imaginations and acknowledge a wider range of human existence.

Put the guns down every once in a while.

Many of us in the audience have already surrendered. We’ve had enough.

We’re asking nicely for more films with memorable, humanist characters and not just memorable death scenes filled with firepower.

A UFO Sighting Near Yankton? Let’s Investigate

This artistic depiction of a UFO has absolutely nothing to do with a Yankton sighting of an unknown object in the sky. I just thought it looked cool. Cool?

I got excited Monday when I saw in the Yankton County Sheriff’s report that an unknown object had been spotted in the sky west of Yankton.

I don’t keep up with the UFO literature much anymore, but I read extensively about possible alien visits to Earth in my youth. When “The X-Files” began airing in 1993, it brought to life many of the stories I had read up to that point.

One of the books on these matters that I particularly enjoyed in later years was Jim Marrs’ “Alien Agenda: Investigating the Extraterrestrial Presence Among Us.”

I admittedly  haven’t given much serious thought to the issue of UFOs recently, but I’m always on the look-out for the unusual.

When I saw the sheriff’s report, I immediately asked myself if this had been a UFO — which I guess could mean any number of things. The possibilities aren’t exclusively extraterrestrial, of course.

Within minutes, my brother happened to send me a link to this story a UFO writer had posted about the Yankton case.

The matter culminated with this story I wrote in the Yankton Press & Dakotan today:

A resident just west of Yankton claims he has seen unexplained lights in the sky on multiple recent nights.

A male resident along Rainbow Street in Riverside Acres reported to the Yankton County Sheriff’s Office at 8:40 p.m. Friday that he had observed an unknown object in the sky.

Sheriff Jim Vlahakis said two of his deputies subsequently observed the light and believed it to be a satellite or, more likely, an airplane due to the flashing red light common on all aircraft.

A message was left by the Press & Dakotan at the residence of the individual who reported the light, but it was not returned by press time.

According to Jim Klancnik, the state director for the Mutual UFO Network, Inc. (MUFON) who resides in Spearfish Canyon, the same individual submitted a report to the organization’s public UFO case files Sunday. MUFON is a Greeley, Colo.-based organization dedicated to the study of unexplained flying objects.

In the report, the man said he was outside around 10:15 p.m. Jan. 3 when he noticed what looked like police lights in the sky to the south of his location.

“The part of the sky I was looking at is a pretty busy flight path,” the report states. “On any day at any time of the day, I see planes and, especially, helicopters flying by, usually flying (northeast). This was definitely not a plane or helicopter.”

While watching the light, the man said a smaller object appeared to fly out of and away from it in parabolic curve toward the ground.

“As soon as object #2 disappeared behind background trees and houses I heard a herd of cows about a mile away freak out briefly,” the report reads. “Nothing really happened; no cows were harmed and the diving craft didn’t crash.”

Looking around, he said about four more similar lights were observed.

On Friday night, the man said he saw about six of them. Approximately 11 lights were spotted around 1 a.m. Saturday night.

As the report was being written around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, the witness said they were directly overhead.

“I can see the shape of it (maybe triangle or stealth fighter shape),” he states. “There are no military bases around here or anything else that should bring so much aircraft other than the usual traffic of private planes, crop duster planes and medical helicopters.”

The sheriff’s office has received no other reports of strange aerial activity.

MUFON allows photos to be attached to the reports but none were submitted.

Klancnik said it’s not the first instance of a possible UFO sighting in the region in recent times.

“I’ve had about six different reports within 100 miles of Yankton of a lot of different UFO sightings,” he stated. “Most of them have to do with orange lights.”

For example, a witness reported May 17 of last year that two sets of orange orbs were spotted in the sky at Pickstown.

“They appeared only for a few seconds then disappeared,” the Pickstown report states. “I tried to get the images on my camera and it was unsuccessful. (Fifteen minutes) later a squadron of jet fighters circled the area and looked like they were sweeping the area around the (site). At first, we thought it was military training activities with flares. The more I thought about it, flares don’t stay stationary. Or do they?”

Klancnik said he planned to conduct an interview with the witness in Yankton. During his investigation process, he attempts to gauge the reliability of the individual to make sure they aren’t just making up a story.

“For all of the reports we receive, 98 percent of them are explainable,” Klancnik added. “About 2 percent are not, and that’s the stuff that makes us wonder.”

This is the full report posted by the Yankton witness on the MUFON site:

on Thur Jan 3rd I went outside to smoke and was about ready to go to bed. It was about 10:15 pm. I couldnt help but notice what looked like police lights (“cherries” or whatever theyre called) in the sky to the south. I was pretty sure there werent any cop cars flying around that night, and the part of the sky I was looking at is a pretty busy flight path. On any day at any time of the day I see planes and especially helicopters flying by, usually flying NE. This was definitely not a plane or helicopter. Then, while I was scratching my head “what the &*%$ is that?!” a smaller thing like it appeared to fly out of and away from the first object. Its flight trajectory was a sort on parabolic curve toward the ground. And as soon as object #2 disappeared behind background trees and houses I heard a herd of cows about a mile away freak out briefly. Nothing really happened; no cows were harmed and the diving craft didnt crash. But seeing that made me realize that there may be more of them. I looked around at the sky and spotted about 4 more of them but all were either smaller or at higher altitude than the first one. The same thing happened every night since then. But every night there seems to be more of them. Thursday there were maybe about 3 or 4 of them. Friday 1/4/13 there were about 6 of them, Saturday night at about 1am there were at least 11. While I write this its about 6:30 pm and they seem to have started early because instead of being on the easter horizon, right now they are almost directly overhead, and other new developments are that they must be lower because they are much easier to see. And about 15 minutes ago I saw something with all of those same flashing lights but is was much closer to the ground and I can see the shape of it (maybe triangle or stealth fighter shape. There are no military bases around here or anything else that should bring so much aircraft other than the usual traffic of private planes, crop duster planes and medical helicopters. Tonight is as interesting as all the other nights so, I guess the story continues to unfold.

I’m going to admit that I’m skeptical of the story.

These lights were allegedly viewed in the area of Riverside Acres, which isn’t exactly sparsely populated. If the lights were visible on multiple nights — as early as 6:30 p.m. in one case — it’s a bit hard to believe no one else noticed anything strange.

In addition, you have Highway 81 crossing the Missouri River nearby, which gives motorists a clear view to the west. Traffic is always crossing that bridge. You would think someone would have spotted something.

Also, I know if I was seeing strange things over multiple nights, I would try really hard to get pictures or videos of the phenomenon. If those exist, they have not been shared on the MUFON site.

While walking across the Meridian Bridge Monday night, I made sure to keep my eyes to the west in case the lights made an appearance. I will say that between airplanes, cell phone towers and wind towers, there are a lot of red lights that can be seen from the Meridian Bridge. However, I saw nothing out of the ordinary.

At this point, I’ll assume that the witness is being honest about what he believed he was seeing. However, more evidence will be necessary before I can truly get excited about this UFO sighting.

On a probably unrelated note, these red lights made quite a stir in Colorado in 2011:

Read about the mysterious lights here.

An Inland Voyage’s Top Songs Of 2012

If you’re like me, you love this time of year because of all the “best of” lists that emerge.

Well, I guess I’m technically on the late end of “this time of year” because such lists tend to start appearing around Thanksgiving and most seem to be out by Christmas. I like to wait until it’s the next year before I tell you what I thought was best about the previous year.

Does that make me old-fashioned or simply out of fashion?

Here are some of my favorite tracks from 2012 in no particular order:

1. Bat For Lashes — Laura

Twin Shadow — Five Seconds

Death Grips — I’ve Seen Footage

Kishi Bashi — Bright Whites

Guided By Voices — Doughnut for a Snowman

The Soft Moon — Die Life

Divine Fits — Shivers

Dinosaur Jr. — Watch the Corners

Sky Ferreira  — Everything is Embarrassing

XX — Angels

Todd Terje — Inspector Norse

Icky Blossoms — Heat Lightning

Grimes — Oblivion

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti — Mature Themes

First-Aid Kit — Emmylou

Neil Young and Crazy Horse — Walk Like a Giant

The 2 Bears — Bear Hug

Beach House — Myth

Purity Ring — Fineshrine

Frank Ocean — Lost