Author Krista Tibbs

Archive for the ‘Light Menu’ Category

Soundtrack for “Uncertainty Principles” Featuring Werner Heisenberg

In Being Human, Light Menu on April 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm
The songs in the following imaginary soundtrack were chosen by the characters in Uncertainty Principles. The choices were  in no way unanimous — except for the bonus track, “Heisenberg Sings”, which is not to be missed.

Track 1. “Dare to Believe” by Boyce Avenue

“Don’t keep holding out while the innocent die.”

Track 2. “Closer to Fine” by Indigo Girls

“The less I seek my source, the closer I am to fine.”

Track 3. “Invisible” by Jason Chen

“Let’s save each other from this cold world.”

Track 4. “No Matter What” by Jennah Bell

“Always know me as the north, and you’ll always know you’re home.”

Track 5.  “Sweet Sacrifice” by Evanescence

“Fear is only in our minds, but it’s taking over all the time.”

BONUS TRACK: “Heisenberg Sings” by Werner Heisenberg (via Larissa Walkiw)

“I got physics in my brain and I ain’t afraid to show it.”

Fiction: About a Squirrel

In Light Menu, Original Fiction on November 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Picture from

“I gotta find me some nuts!” Squirrel skittered from tree limb to trunk, to the fire pit, and onto the front porch of the cabin. “Nuts, nuts, nuts!” He poked around for a hole in the building, just to warm up a little. Chilly, chilly out here, it was. Winter and all, he supposed.

It had been a lovely summer. He had touched every branch in the forest, he was sure of it. While his brothers and sisters were all knickers-in-a-bunch over their winter rations, Squirrel had climbed miles of bark and leapt across a sky full of leaves, warmed his tail in the sunshine, and every evening hassled little dogs from outside their windows. Yes, it was a merry old time.

Aha! He knew there’d be a hole, he just knew it. He shimmied his little body through the opening and crawled into the living room, whipping his tail in after him. Nobody was home! He sauntered over to the kitchen then sprung onto the counter and ran the length of the sideboard. He caught a sweet smell from a drawer. He poked his paw into the crack and jiggered the drawer open. He couldn’t believe his eyes; inside was a nut, made of sugar! He’d never seen one like it. He climbed into the drawer then stuck his nose out and sniffed the air. There were more!  More, more, more!

He followed his sniffer through the four rooms of the cabin, collecting the nuts and scurrying back to deposit them in the drawer. He’d be the envy of the family, he would, he would!  But maybe tomorrow. Right now, he was tired. And with that, he curled up next to his pile and went to sleep.

He woke to the sound of a man and a woman entering the cabin. He scrambled out of his hiding placed, jumped onto the floor, and wiggled back through the hole. Outside, he cried, “Which way, which way?” then raced up a tree, jumped across to the drain pipe, and slid down to the ledge outside the kitchen window.

The man inside was saying, “Looks like the mice ate your poison while we were gone.”

The woman grimaced. She dropped a cooler onto the counter and pulled open a drawer–Squirrel’s drawer! He squeezed closer to the window for a better look. “Oh, dear. I don’t think it was the mice. Looks like something’s been stockpiling them for winter. I hope he’s all right, stupid little thing.”

All right? Why wouldn’t he be all right? And who’s she calling stupid?

“You know that squirrels are basically mice with tails, right?” the man said.

Squirrel took offense at that. He wrapped his leg around his big, bushy tail and hugged it to his cheek. It was a fine tail, it was, it was.

“Well, the tails make all the difference. I couldn’t hurt anything with a fluffy tail.”

Squirrel had almost warmed up to the woman over that. But then she did something unforgiveable; she emptied his drawer into the trashcan! He plastered his paws to the window and screamed at her. “That’s my dinner! Dinner-dinner-dinner-breakfast!”

She turned in his direction and pointed. “I guess we know who the culprit is!”

The man laughed, “Yes, and he sure told you.”

The woman picked out one of the sugar nuts and brought it to the window. “Hey, little guy. I’m sorry to make you mad, but these aren’t good for you. They’re poison!”

Squirrel smacked his lips and swallowed. Come to think of it, they had tasted a little tangy.

Well, it was a good thing he had restrained himself from eating one. Oh well, oh well. He jumped down from the window and plowed through a pile of leaves. “I gotta find me some nuts!”

Things I Want My Niece to Know/Be/Do

In Being Human, Commentary, Light Menu on October 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm

© kjraff11 –

There are some things we figure out the hard way, and maybe that’s what makes them meaningful. But if there is ever a chance for me to spare my niece some tears on her way to a full and happy life, then I will offer these bits of advice:

1) Push through the difficulties of learning, because there is a great joy of accomplishment and internal reward on the other side.

2) Whenever you feel the wind, believe in the power you can’t see.

3) Understand that a stranger’s meanness has more to do with herself than with you, even though it seems personal.

4) Look for the goodness and intelligence and strength in everyone you know, but forgive them when they fail. Especially your friends. And yourself.

5) Realize that friends sometimes fill the parts of us we wish we could be but aren’t. That’s a recipe for jealousy; don’t let it spoil what matters.

6) Get close to other people but don’t rely on them for your happiness. When you figure that out, teach me.

7) Never doubt that your parents love you even when they don’t answer your pleas of the moment. The same is true of God.

8) Know your own soul that follows you all the way through your life. At the same time be willing to change and experience new things and grow.

9) You feel how you feel. Acknowledge it, but don’t dwell in it. And don’t let anyone stifle your sensitivity; it is a beautiful part of who you are.

10) Learn a ballroom dance.

Watching Baseball

In Being Human, Commentary, Light Menu on October 11, 2012 at 2:39 am
I like to watch baseball, especially the post-season, for the suspense, of course, but also to see grown men with the excitement of little boys. It never fails to make me smile. Even in professional baseball, with the many millions of dollars in talent who have worked hundreds and hundreds of games, all the players–even the arrogant ones who say it’s just about the money–come to the edge of the dugout and shoot their arms in the air while they shout.

I once watched a rookie get three two-run homers in Game 7 of the division series, and he tried not to smile as he ran the bases, keeping his jaw slack so as not to grin. But he couldn’t withhold it as he landed home and his teammates crowded around to hug him. Full-on hugs and then some to that same rookie they like to pick on. The team warms my heart.

I like to remember the 2007 Rockies when they made it to the World Series. Those grown men leaping tree feet in the air, piling on top of each other with giddiness. And what Red Sox fan can forget Game 4 of the 2004 World Series? The pitcher catches the ball, there is one last out to win the game and the series of a generation; all he has to do is toss it to first base. He hesitates with the realization of what is about to happen, runs toward first base as though he’s going to make the out himself, then finally tosses it underhand ever so carefully, all the teammates making sure it is firmly caught and the out is called before the mad celebration begins.

Such moments conjure pictures of these men as they must have been after a Little League game, that joy of play, the thrill of accomplishment, the chance of a lifetime. How many professionals get that level of excitement? (Not many that I know, unless they’re just leaping on the inside.)

Why does it make me smile? I guess anything that makes grown-ups feel eager like children has my vote. We could use a lot more of it.

And now, a recap of that 2004 moment, for all the Red Sox fans (I dare you not to smile):

Crazy cat ladies and mad cows

In Commentary, Light Menu, Science on September 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm
Over the summer, I celebrated my birthday with a single cupcake and a can of tuna for my two cats. Shortly thereafter I read an article about how crazy cat ladies have a higher risk of suicide. After wondering if my tax dollars paid for that study, I became slightly alarmed. Does a person know when she is on her way to being crazy cat lady? Or is it one of those things that only your friends can see and you wouldn’t believe them if they told you? I spent several panicked minutes gauging every interaction with Spunk and Teddy against the crazy-o-meter, but then I came to my senses.

I have cats because they are amusing and furry. This doesn’t make me insane; in fact it could be the most normal thing about me.

The suicide article about cat owners was not an issue of mental and emotional health; it was about a particular parasite, T. gondii, that somehow changes a person’s brain and drives her to strange behavior. I find that creepy and gross, for sure, the same as I did when I read Deadly Feasts, a book about prions that lie dormant in your brain for decades until they turn your gray matter to mush and spring you with full on mad cow disease. The truth is, there may be any number of no-see-ums inside you that have been there since the turn of the century, eating away at your brain without your knowledge (no pun intended). There’s not much that can be done about it. Mad cows, crazy cats — when it’s your time to lose your mind, I guess it’s your time.

But when it comes to common health issues that we can control, like moderate depression and immune dysfunction, pets beat pills in every head-on study I’ve read (there aren’t many). In fact, if you own a cat, you may be 30% less likely to have a heart attack than petless people. Seems like a decent trade-off to me.

So, does anyone need a starter kit?

Animal Stories: Moose plus Music Soundtrack

In Announcements, Light Menu, Original Fiction on May 13, 2012 at 4:41 am
The fifth and final installment of the video and music preview series for Reflections and Tails was supposed to be about moose. However, it was surprisingly difficult to find moose videos that appropriately captured their essence in the story, and the genre of moose music is meager at best. So, I decided instead I would give you one short moose video and then let you in on my little game called “If They Made My Story into a Movie” and link to a few song clips from the imaginary soundtrack. Enjoy.

Moose Video

I’m Still Here by Doc Holladay (give this a second to load)

Hard to Believe by David Cook (scroll down and click “Play All Samples”)

Stones Under Rushing Water by Needtobreathe (scroll down and click “Play All Samples”)

When You Come Back Down by Nickel Creek, sung by Susanne Gerry (click on the orange button)

Chase This Light by Jimmy Eat World (scroll down and click “Play All Samples”)

Animal Stories: Book Cover Revealed and Wolves

In Announcements, Light Menu, Original Fiction on May 4, 2012 at 2:27 am

As promised, today we reveal the book cover!


Of course today’s music and video hints are all about wolves. The secret is out; they have many sides. So, starting with the fairy tales we know by heart, I take you back to the big, bad wolf of childhood then to the fine line between the evil wolf of generations past and the pet you can trust with your baby. Every wolf was a baby once, too, who had to be taught how to howl. Watch the video of the Wolfman and the pup’s first lesson. Lastly, the music today is by The Voice by Celtic Woman Lisa Kelly . 
 Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?

The Trusted Pet 

Learning to Howl

Wolf Song by Celtic Woman Lisa Kelly

Click here for lyrics and more by Celtic Woman

When can I get this fabulous book of stories and art, you ask? The e-book release date is the end of May for all outlets, possibly sooner for Amazon.

Animal Stories: Dads and Dude Ranches

In Announcements, Light Menu, Original Fiction on April 28, 2012 at 6:45 am

This third set of video hints about the upcoming e-book (title to be revealed in the next post) is about horses. Or rather, it is about a particular human experience with horses, namely the dude ranch. The first 25-second video shows the ranch that my family visited when I was in high school, and it pretty much sets the tone. The video below that is a scene from Return to Snowy River, which is both riveting and relevant to the story (except the part where he gets shot).  

Today’s music is by a group named The Dad Horse Experience. I don’t understand the music or the video or most of the words that the man is singing, but I find it weirdly compelling.

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

Return to Snowy River

Music by The Dad Horse Experience (Find out more about this one-man band here and here.)

Animal Stories: About Vampires?

In Announcements, Light Menu, Original Fiction on April 19, 2012 at 2:23 am

Post #2 in the video/music hint series is about vampires. Well, vampire bats, anyway. They are cute, they are delicate, they are misunderstood. Just watch the first video of a bat grooming his ears like a cat and feel the “awwww” well up inside you. If that doesn’t do it for you, watch the second video of the baby bat looking for his mother. (I’ll bet you didn’t know that vampire bats adopt orphans.) Then if you’re still not sold, listen to the metal mood music of an oldies hit cover by The Animals and contemplate the temperature of your cold, hard heart.

Bat Paws for Grooming (link)
ARKive video - Common vampire bat grooming


Bats Have Babies Too, Y’know




Mood Music – Place of Skulls Version  vs. The Animals: “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”


Animal Stories: About Sheep

In Announcements, Light Menu, Original Fiction on April 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I am excited to be working with an artist on an illustrated e-book of animal stories for grown-ups, to be released early this summer. Stay tuned for the title and the book cover, but in the meantime, the series of posts to follow will feature animal-related music and videos that hint, however obliquely, at the contents of the book.

So, today, we start with sheep. Because sheep are both serious and silly and have a centuries long relationship with people, I give you classical music paired with stunts by sheep and shepherds. Enjoy.


March of the Sheep by David Rozsa, an orchestral allegro. (Photo by Kázsmér Zsuzsanna)


Surfing Sheep


Extreme Sheep Herding


Now that I think of it, the sheep segment in the book will have nothing to do with surfing or marching and refers very little to shepherds either. So this wasn’t much of a hint at all.


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